It’s Selection Sunday, one of the best days in the college basketball season. I’m glad we’re finally here. Below is my final bracket projection of the season, but first, some notes:
I kept my 1-seeds as Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga. I understand the discussion with Duke due to their top-5o wins, but I think the number of losses they have, including the bad losses, will keep them on the 2 line. If they do move up to 1, I’ll be curious if the committee puts them their replacing North Carolina or Gonzaga. The media seems to think it will be North Carolina; I think it would be Gonzaga. I would disagree with that decision. Gonzaga deserves to be a 1 seed.
I see the following 12 teams battling for the final 8 spots: Xavier, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Marquette, Providence, USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, and Illinois. I ultimately think those first 7 will be in. So it comes down to Kansas State, Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, and Illinois. I think Kansas State has the best resume, but would not be surprised if any of the other 4 make it. I would be surprised if Syracuse makes it, and Iowa isn’t also included in the field. Those two teams have very similar resumes, and I would argue Iowa’s is slightly better. But I do think the Syracuse name carries weight with the committee.
Speaking of Illinois State, I think where Wichita State is seeded SHOULD have impact on whether or not Illinois State is included, even if I don’t think it necessarily WILL happen. Those two teams have very similar resumes. Both only have top 50 wins against each other. Both have 1 other top 100 win. They have similar RPI and SOS numbers. The biggest difference is Wichita State is ranked much higher in the analytic, predictive tools like KenPom and Sagarin. I think Wichita State’s seeding will show how much the committee is using those predictive measures. But if Wichita is seeded as a 7 or 8 seed, I’m not sure how you can keep Illinois State out of the field based on traditional RPI and SOS measures. They have very similar resumes. However, I think that is exactly what the committee will do. I think they will seed Wichita as a 7 or 8 seed and keep Illinois State out, which means the Redbirds will have a legitimate gripe (unless of course the committee finally commits to seeding using predictive, analytical measures).
Okay, here is the final bracket projection and seed list before Selection Sunday. Enjoy the night, everyone.
1 – Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
2 – Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Oregon
3 – Louisville, Baylor, UCLA, Florida State
4 – Butler, Notre Dame, Florida, West Virginia
5 – Purdue, Virginia, Iowa State, Cincinnati
6 – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Creighton, SMU
7 – St. Mary’s, Maryland, Michigan, Wichita State
8 – Virginia Tech, Dayton, Oklahoma State, Arkansas
9 – Miami (FL), VCU, South Carolina, Seton Hall
10 – Middle Tennessee, Northwestern, Xavier, Michigan State
11 – Vanderbilt, Marquette, Rhode Island, Providence, USC
12 – Wake Forest, Kansas State, UNC Wilmington, Nevada, Vermont
13 – Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Winthrop
Here is the updated bracket following one of the best basketball days of the year, the Thursday of Championship Week. Big winners today: Kansas State, Vanderbilt, and Xavier. Big losers today: Iowa and Illinois. Right now, California and TCU are in their “keep hope alive” stage of the season. Neither would be in today, but the bubble hasn’t bursted yet for either squad.
Biggest change near the top of the bracket. Villanova has jumped Kansas for the number 1 overall seed. I’d say those two are locked in at those spots with North Carolina locked into the third 1-seed. I have Gonzaga as the final 1-seed currently; it is possible the Pac-12 Tournament champion could overtake them.
Here is the bracket and the seed list heading into Friday’s action.
1 – Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
2 – Kentucky, Oregon, Baylor, Louisville
3 – UCLA, Arizona, Duke, Florida State
4 – Florida, Butler, West Virginia, Purdue
5 – Notre Dame, Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU
6 – Minnesota, Iowa State, St. Mary’s, Creighton
7 – Maryland, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Dayton
8 – South Carolina, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, Wichita State
Here’s the updated bracket for January 27th following this weekend’s slate of games. Let’s take a quick look at some stock up/stock down since last Monday before the bracket is revealed.
Michigan – The Wolverines had themselves another week. Wow. They beat Iowa at home on Wednesday and then went into East Lansing on Saturday night in primetime to hand Michigan State their first Big Ten loss of the season. I know Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne were both out for Sparty, but that’s still a huge road win for Michigan to put them atop the Big Ten all alone. They climb up to a 3-seed this week.
Creighton – The Bluejays climb from a 6-seed up to the 4-line in this week’s bracket after their wildly impressive win last Monday at Villanova followed up by a solid home win against Georgetown. The computers love Creighton, so a 4-seed might actually end up being a bit low for them.
Wichita State – I no longer see a reasonable reason for keeping the Shockers off of the 1-line. (more…)
Here’s the updated projected seed list for The Nickel Dimer heading into Saturday’s game. I think this will be the format we use from here on out. We’ll release an actual projected bracket on Sunday night or Monday morning. Then, on Friday or Saturday morning, we’ll post the current seed list without actually placing the teams in the bracket (since that’s the time-consuming part).
Alright, here’s the projected seed lines. Look below for Last 4 In, First 4 Out, and list of multi-bids conferences.
We’re reaching that point of the year where college basketball is reaching the national spotlight. College football is over, the NFL is winding down, and the NBA is in the dog days of January. With those factors combined with the start of conference play, it feels like this weekend had some added importance and interest. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest storylines I took out of the weekend.
Big Win for Iowa:
Iowa headed into their game Sunday against Ohio State with a 13-3 record with road losses to undefeated Wisconsin and 1-loss Iowa State and a neutral court OT loss to 1-loss Villanova. All of those games were one possession games with 5 minutes or less to go in the 2nd half. So clearly, Iowa’s losses were very good losses that were close to being very good wins. They finally got that good win Sunday at #3 Ohio State.
Iowa was up 70-68 with 3:22 left, and it was shaping up to be another one of those close games that Iowa has struggled to win this year, as well as last year. Iowa closed the game on a 14-6 run to record one the best victories by any team in the nation yet this season. Iowa’s two best players, Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White, had highly effective and efficient games on Sunday. Marble had 22 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and 8-11 from the line, while White put up 19 points on 8-12 shooting. Iowa is known for its depth, they play 11 guys. But Marble and White are the key for this club and are two of the more underappreciated players in the nation. When they play like they did Sunday against Ohio State, Iowa is extremely tough to beat and will be a threat in March to make the Final 4.