The NCAA Selection Committee releases their Top 16 teams this afternoon, so you guys get an early bracket to digest beforehand. But first, let’s go through the reasoning for the Top 16.
1. Villanova – Fell victim to a resurgent Johnnies this week, but rebounded nicely against Butler. Still the best team in the country, and they have nine Group 1 wins.
2. Virginia – Blew one yesterday against VT…but can’t drop them out of the Top 2.
3. Xavier – Wet suit magic is back. Impressive week with wins at Butler and at Creighton. Xavier has 14 wins against Groups 1-2…tied with Kansas for most in the country.
4. Purdue – I almost went with Texas Tech here as the leader of a far superior conference, but Purdue has a much better non-conference SOS (94 vs. 202).
5. Texas Tech – It won’t surprise me if Texas Tech is at 4. They’re excellent.
6. Clemson – The Tigers just keep winning and are 10-4 against Groups 1-2.
7. Cincinnati – Why is Cincy ahead of MSU, you ask? Well, better metrics (RPI and KenPom), SOS (non-conference 116 vs 215), record (2 losses vs 3 losses), more Group 1 wins (4 vs 3), more Group 1-2 wins (12 vs 8).
8. Michigan State – Well, Sparty finally beat someone and it took a Bridges late three to get it. The resume just isn’t very good and the Big 14 is pretty horrible. I’d be shocked if the Committee put them as the fourth #1 seed.
9. Auburn – Losing to A&M at home drops them a bit, but they 4-3 against Group 1 and 9-3 against Groups 1-2.
10. Kansas – I have no idea what that was in Waco yesterday. Self always schedules well (18 of 25 games against Groups 1-2, with 14 wins).
11. UNC – The Heels have a very strong resume with seven Group 1 wins, and the second toughest schedule. Consecutive wins against Duke and NC State have them rolling. Watch out Monday…
12. Duke – Heading in the wrong direction lately, and the resume isn’t spectacular. Only eight wins against Groups 1-2.
13. Tennessee – The Vols were absolutely housed by Bama yesterday in one of the few games I actually picked correctly. Strong numbers: RPI (11), KenPom (7), SOS (12).
14. Ohio State – Chris Holtmann is the COY, in my opinion. Although they lead the Big 14, they only have two Group 1 wins (over Sparty and Purdue).
15. Arizona – Sweaty Sean has the Cats at 20-6 and two games clear in the Pac 12. 3-3 against Group 1, 9-6 against Groups 1-2.
16. WVU – Do they deserve to be in the Top 16 after going 3-6 in their last nine games? Probably not. The resume says otherwise: five Group 1 wins, 10 Group 1-2 wins.
|Pittsburgh||1 Villanova||16 NC A&T/UNC Asheville|
|8 TCU||9 Houston|
|5 Texas A&M||12 E. Tennessee St|
|Boise||4 Ohio State||13 Vermont|
|Wichita||3 Kansas||14 UC Santa Barbara|
|6 Arizona State||11 NC State|
|7 Kentucky||10 MTSU|
|Charlotte||2 Clemson||15 Wagne|
|Detroit||1 Purdue||16 SF Austin|
|8 Seton Hall||9 Wichita State|
|5 Florida||12 Louisville/Kansas State|
|San Diego||4 Arizona||13 Louisiana|
|Wichita||3 Duke||14 Charleston|
|6 Gonzaga||11 Arkansas|
|7 Virginia Tech||10 Providence|
|Dallas||2 Texas Tech||15 Montana|
|Charlotte||1 Virginia||16 Penn/Grambling|
|8 St. Mary’s||9 Butler|
|5 Rhode Island||12 Syracuse/UCLA|
|San Diego||4 WVU||13 Buffalo|
|Dallas||3 Auburn||14 Belmont|
|6 Miami||11 Michigan|
|7 Creighton||10 Washington|
|Nashville||2 Cincinnati||15 No. Kentucky|
|Nashville||1 Xavier||16 FGCU|
|8 Nevada||9 Missouri|
|5 Oklahoma||12 Loyola-Chicago|
|Boise||4 Tennessee||13 S. Dakota State|
|Pittsburgh||3 UNC||14 Rider|
|6 Alabama||11 New Mexico State|
|7 Florida State||10 Texas|
|Detroit||2 Michigan State||15 Bucknell|