Bracketology – March 7, 2014

Here’s a Friday morning update on bracketology following this week’s first four days of games. I decided to take a step back when I did today’s bracket and took a fresh look at each of the teams in consideration for the tournament. First of all, this provided some great insight and was quite refreshing to actually dig into each team’s resume from scratch again. In the past handful of updates, I got in the bad habit of reacting far too much to one or two games here, rather than examining the resume of each team as a whole.

I think Twitter and social media is the main influence that makes you think this way. When you hop on Twitter each night, you see quite a few tweets saying that the bubble team that had a big win is now “definitely in”, while a team that was safely in the field that might have dropped two games in a row is now on the bubble or even out. This is an awful way to do a bracket projection, because the committee simply does not operate in this way. There is no proof that a game in March has any more value to the committee than a game in November. Losing three out of four games in late February/early March is no different than having that same stretch at the start of conference play. The complete and total resume is thoroughly looked over by the committee, not the highlights or lowlights that are pointed out on Twitter on a Tuesday night in early March.

Remember that when you look at bracket projections this weekend as you’re watching games, log on to Twitter, and see someone making a reactionary claim that “Team A” is now out of the tournament. It’s not that easy, nor that simple.

Okay, onto the bracket for today. The link to the bracket immediately follows this paragraph. The seed list from 1 to 68 is below, along with Last 4 IN, First 4 OUT, and Next 4 OUT. Bids by conference is further down the page as well. Quick scheduling note, I’m going to be out of town this entire weekend. I should be getting back into town Sunday evening and hope to get a bracket out that night. But if not, there definitely will be one out by late Monday night at the latest.

Bracketology – March 7, 2014 (CLICK HERE)

  • 1 – Arizona, Florida, Wichita State, Kansas
  • 2 – Wisconsin, Villanova, Michigan, Syracuse
  • 3 – Virginia, Duke, Creighton, San Diego State
  • 4 – Michigan State, Iowa State, Louisville, Oklahoma
  • 5 – North Carolina, Cincinnati, UCLA, Texas
  • 6 – UConn, New Mexico, St. Louis, Kentucky
  • 7 – VCU, Ohio State, UMass, Iowa
  • 8 – Memphis, SMU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
  • 9 – Arizona State, Baylor, Oregon, George Washington
  • 10 – Colorado, Stanford, Gonzaga, St. Joseph’s
  • 11 – BYU, Pittsburgh, Xavier, Dayton, Arkansas
  • 12 – Nebraska, Minnesota, Harvard, Green Bay, North Dakota State
  • 13 – LA Tech, Stephen F. Austin, Toledo, Belmont
  • 14 – Iona, Delaware, New Mexico State, UC-Santa Barbara
  • 15 – Georgia State, Florida Gulf Coast, Boston University, Vermont
  • 16 – North Carolina Central, Davidson, Weber State, Robert Morris, VMI, Alabama State

Quick Bracketing Tidbit: As you can see in our seed list above, Dayton and Arkansas are listed as 11-seeds while Nebraska and Minnesota are 12-seeds. These are the last 4 teams in the field. However, due to bracketing rules and conference affiliations, Nebraska and Minnesota cannot play in the First Four game against one another. Minnesota cannot play Arkansas either, as that would be a regular season rematch. Therefore, as you can see in the bracket, Minnesota plays Dayton as an 11-seed play-in game, and Arkansas plays Nebraska in a 12-seed play-in game. Even though Minnesota is technically “seeded higher” according to the bracket, they are still the last team in this projection. They are listed as an 11 strictly due to bracketing rules.

  • Last 4 IN: Dayton, Arkansas, Nebraska, Minnesota
  • First 4 OUT: Tennessee, Georgetown, Providence, California
  • Next 4 OUT: Missouri, Utah, St. John’s, Florida State

Breakdown by Conference:

  • Big 12: 7
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Pac-12: 6
  • A-10: 6
  • ACC: 5
  • American: 5
  • SEC: 3
  • Big East: 3
  • Mountain West: 2
  • West Coast: 2

As always, check out The Bracket Matrix. Keep an eye out for our next bracketology post, either on Sunday or Monday night. Enjoy the weekend.

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