FINAL Bracket

This is my official bracket prediction for 2023.

Thanks for following the site! Good luck in March (and April?)!

FINAL Bracket

Thursday Bracket

Thursday Bracket with Oklahoma State as the last team in.

Arizona St, Rutgers, Clemson, Vanderbilt, North Texas, Wisconsin, UNC, Michigan, & New Mexico linger outside the field.

NC State’s impressive Virginia Tech win moved them past Pitt for 40th overall.

West Virginia moved to an 8 via a nice win vs Texas Tech (at Arkansas’s expense).

Thursday Bracket

The last 2 seed – Gonzaga vs Arizona

Gonzaga pummeled St Mary’s in the WCC final on Tuesday. Suddenly, we have a real committee dilemma for the number 8 overall seed (the final two seed).

Let’s compare the teamsheets: (edited)

Gonzaga’s Advantages

Gonzaga has the advantage in the results-based metrics, with being ranked 8th overall by both KPI and SOR (KPI hadn’t yet updated on the teamsheets). They also have a slight predictive metrics advantage with all three efficiency-based metrics being top 8. Metrics alone make it appear Gonzaga deserves a spot right on or near 8th overall.

The Zags played a tougher OOC SOS than Arizona, and their average loss was much better than Arizona’s (28th to 59th). While Gonzaga was a perfect 5-0 vs Q2, Arizona went a relatively awful 5-4.

With elite wins against Alabama in Birmingham, Xavier on a neutral court, and St Mary’s on a neutral court, the Zags are worthy of a number 2 seed.

Arizona’s Advantages

The Wildcats, on the other hand, point to their excellent work in quadrant 1 as the basis for being deserving of a 2 seed.

The metrics all agree that Arizona should be about the 10th overall seed.

But Arizona is worthy of a bump up the seed list because they are a stellar 4-1 vs Quadrant 1A, owning wins against UCLA and Tennessee at home, and San Diego State and Creighton on neutral courts. Additionally, the Indiana neutral court win in Quadrant B2 is elite.

Overall, the Wildcats posted an awesome 8-2 record vs quadrant 1. They are the only team in the country to post an .800 win percentage vs Q1 with at least 7 games played. And they’re the only team with an .800 win percentage vs Q1A with 5 games played.

While Gonzaga lost at home to Loyola Marymount, the Wildcats have beaten every non-NET top 100 team they’ve played.

The Verdict

This is a toss up. Ultimately, I think it comes down to two things:

  1. Arizona’s 8-2 record vs Q1 and 4-1 record vs Q1A standout as exceptional and give an edge
  2. Arizona’s AD and former AD are both on the committee. Will other committee members want their colleague happy? I’m certainly not accusing anyone of anything. But human nature might play a role.

I am moving Gonzaga from 12th overall to 9th overall.

The last 2 seed – Gonzaga vs Arizona