UPDATE (4:45 CST): NCAA tweeted out that they had four contingency plans based on the Big 10 / AAC games. Therefore, due to the MSU win, I have moved MSU to the 1-line (#4 overall) and Tennessee to the 2-line (#5 overall). Kentucky also drops to #6 overall, and goes from the South to the Midwest.
Revised bracket below.
Here we go.
Yes, I have Belmont as the last team in. Why? Four reasons:
1) They have two Top 50 road wins (Murray State / Lipscomb). Yes, they are fringe Top 50, but these are significant wins. Especially so, because Bernie Muir again stressed that what you do on the road is important.
2) The metrics are solid. The three I frequently look at: NET: 47, KenPom: 54, SOR: 39. Highest is KPI at 62…still not terrible.
3) Nick Muszynski, Belmont’s stud freshman who averages 15 a game, missed the OVC Championship against Ja and Murray State due to an ankle injury. From Rothstein, earlier this week:
4) I am hoping that the committee is going to reward the scheduling of home-and-homes with solid mid-majors. Big schools (with UNC being the exception) are not going to routinely travel to good mid-majors. It’s just not going to happen. How do you boost your schedule then, if you’re a mid-major? Do exactly what Belmont, Lipscomb and a few others do and play the home-and-home. It just makes sense.
Regarding the 1 seeds, I kept Tennessee up top, because the entire body of work is still better than the other candidates. The committee will likely put Gonzaga up there, but I just can’t do it.
Last Four In: VCU, Ohio State, Arizona State, Belmont
Last Six Out: Temple, Alabama, NC State, Creighton, Indiana, UNCG
(Note: CAPS means AQ. Big 10 and ACC not finished yet, but no effect on seeds.)
|Columbia||1 DUKE||16 IONA / NC CENTRAL|
|8 Minnesota||9 Oklahoma|
|San Jose||5 VILLANOVA||12 MURRAY STATE|
|4 Kansas State||13 UC IRVINE|
|Tulsa||3 LSU||14 GEORGIA STATE|
|6 CINCINNATI||11 Washington|
|Des Moines||7 Louisville||10 SAINT MARY’S|
|2 Michigan||15 COLGATE|
|Columbia||1 Virginia||16 NDSU / F. DICKINSON|
|8 Ole Miss||9 UTAH STATE|
|Hartford||5 IOWA STATE||12 Arizona St / Belmont|
|4 Wisconsin||13 VERMONT|
|Tulsa||3 Texas Tech||14 OLD DOMINION|
|6 Marquette||11 VCU / Ohio State|
|Columbus||7 Nevada||10 Syracuse|
|2 Tennessee||15 GARDNER-WEBB|
|Jacksonville||1 UNC||16 PRAIRIE VIEW A&M|
|8 Seton Hall||9 Iowa|
|Hartford||5 AUBURN||12 NEW MEXICO STATE|
|4 Purdue||13 NORTHEASTERN|
|SLC||3 Houston||14 NO. KENTUCKY|
|6 BUFFALO||11 St. John’s|
|Des Moines||7 WOFFORD||10 TCU|
|2 Kentucky||15 BRADLEY|
|Columbus||1 MICHIGAN STATE||16 ABILENE CHRISTIAN|
|8 UCF||9 Baylor|
|San Jose||5 Virginia Tech||12 LIBERTY|
|4 Kansas||13 YALE|
|Jacksonville||3 Florida State||14 SAINT LOUIS|
|6 Mississippi St||11 OREGON|
|SLC||7 Maryland||10 Florida|
|2 Gonzaga||15 MONTANA|