Final Bracket

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.)

EAST

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

SOUTH

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

MIDWEST

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

WEST

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
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