One Seed Contenders

Here is an updated exhaustive list of every team that can reasonably get up to the one line, along with their estimated percentage chance of getting there.

THE TOP CONTENDERS

· Villanova (70%) – The reigning champions are 11-1 vs. the RPI top 100, with six top 50 wins (4 of which were on road or neutral courts). With the 26th rated overall schedule, they are in solid position to get a one seed if they win the Big East outright.  Beating Virginia at home isn’t a must, but it drastically improves their one seed odds.
· Kansas (65%) – The Jayhawks just picked up a huge win at Kentucky and are 6-1 against the RPI top 50 (with 4 of those wins away from home). With eleven top 100 wins and the 24th-rated OOC SOS, they should get a one seed if they win the Big XII outright.
· Baylor (45%) – The Bears have 12 top 100 wins, including a whopping NINE top 50 wins. Their great ninth-rated OOC schedule puts them in prime position to land a one seed with a Big XII regular season or tournament title.
· Gonzaga (70%) – The nation’s only unbeaten has 6 top 50 wins, including Iowa State, Arizona, Butler, and Tennessee on neutral floors. Their overall SOS won’t be great by Selection Sunday, so a one seed seems unlikely if they suffer more than one loss. Even one loss isn’t a one seed guarantee.

· Arizona (30%) – The Wildcats are just 3-2 against the top 50, but they are playing their best ball right now and their best five wins of the year are away from home. They’ll probably need to win the Pac-12 regular season and tournament.

THE DARKHORSES

Louisville (20%), UNC (18%), Kentucky (12%), UCLA (12%), Virginia (12%), Oregon (10%), Florida State (9%)

THE LONGSHOTS

Butler (8%), Florida (5%), Maryland (5%), Notre Dame (3%), Duke (3%), Other (3%)

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One Seed Contenders

The Tournament Picture

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (5) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame

Big XII (3) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia

Big East (2) – Villanova, Butler

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

Others (1) – Gonzaga

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks:

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (1) – Duke

Big East (2) – Xavier, Creighton

Big Ten (4) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota

SEC (1) – South Carolina

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (3) – VCU (unlikely to get an at-large because they are lacking in quality wins, and the road loss to Fordham is bad), Dayton (not in bad shape with plenty of top 100 wins, but the lack of top 50 wins could do them in), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they have)

AAC (1) – Houston (a longshot that desperately needs quality wins)

ACC (7) – Virginia Tech (the lack of bad losses and number of good wins will likely be enough), Clemson (lots of solid wins over other bubble contenders, but their atrocious ACC start may derail their bid), Miami (they keep doing enough to stay on the radar, but haven’t made a strong push), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (is on the radar because of a strong start to the year, but the blowout losses will not be forgotten; this team needs to play a lot better to get a bid), NC State (a strong schedule is bolstered by a great road win over Duke), Georgia Tech (the OOC portion of the schedule was bad, but the Jackets have great wins over Florida State and North Carolina to get them squarely in the mix)

Big XII (5) – Kansas State (faces a tough climb because of a very weak non-conference slate, but the wins over West Virginia and at Oklahoma State really help), Texas Tech (a very poor out of league schedule means they need lots of good wins and a decent conference record), TCU (lacks marquee wins, but has avoided truly damaging losses), Oklahoma State (a real at-large contender despite a poor Big XII record), Iowa State (has a solid profile that should only get better)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (has some decent wins out of conference and no bad losses), Marquette (may regret playing so many RPI 200+ teams, but greatly benefit from the win at Creighton and the home win over Villanova), Providence (is hanging by a thread; it’s unlikely they can overcome some bad losses)

Big Ten (7) – Michigan (has a middling profile that should put them near the cut line), Indiana (will probably make the field because of wins against Kansas and UNC, despite way too many games against RPI 200+ teams), Illinois (has a decent profile, but may be done in by the home loss to Winthrop and too many losses to other bubble teams), Northwestern (has no bad losses and will likely have their first tournament appearance upcoming), Nebraska (has pretty much ruined an excellent non-conference schedule and a good start to conference play; hanging by a thread), Michigan State (has decent computer numbers, but they are simply not winning enough games), Penn State (is unlikely to overcome a couple bad OOC losses, but they have done enough to be in contention)

Pac-12 (4) – Utah (is barely hanging on the bubble with an awful OOC slate and a neutral loss to San Francisco), Stanford (has decent numbers but a serious lack of good wins), USC (has important home wins over SMU and UCLA to pair with solid RPI numbers), California (has a very nice win at USC, but not too much else)

SEC (8) – Vanderbilt (is only under consideration because of a great OOC schedule and a win at Florida), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile, which includes a blowout home loss to Alabama), Arkansas (has a home loss to Mississippi State and a lack of great wins, but their numbers are solid), Ole Miss (has a great non-league slate but no great wins), Tennessee (the Vols are within striking range after picking up a win over Kentucky), Auburn (doesn’t really have much of an argument yet, but can still make a run), Alabama (like their Auburn rivals, they are in position to make it with a run but have no current argument for being in the bracket), Texas A&M (the neutral court win over Virginia Tech is about all they have)

Others (5) – St. Mary’s (should be fine if they avoid bad losses), UNC-Wilmington (needs to hope for a run by St. Bonaventure and no losses before the tournament final), Middle Tennessee (has some good wins that they hope will overcome a home loss to Georgia State), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and no top 50 wins, so it likely won’t happen but they keep on winning over a decent slate), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St)

The Tournament Picture

January 24 Bracket

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Weber State / New Orleans

8 Indiana
9 Arkansas

5 Florida
12 Pitt / Oklahoma State

4 Cincinnati
13 Monmouth

6 Xavier
11 TCU

3 Oregon
14 Vermont

7 Virginia Tech
10 Marquette

2 Florida State
15 Texas Southern

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 Morgan State / Fairleigh Dickinson

8 USC
9 Kansas State

5 Maryland
12 New Mexico State

4 Creighton
13 Nevada

6 South Carolina
11 Iowa State / Georgia

3 Louisville
14 North Dakota State

7 Minnesota
10 Wake Forest

2 Arizona
15 Bucknell

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 UC-Irvine

8 Michigan State
9 Seton Hall

5 Wisconsin
12 Illinois State

4 Virginia
13 Valparaiso

6 Purdue
11 UNC-Wilmington

3 UCLA
14 Georgia Southern

7 Saint Mary’s
10 NC State

2 Kentucky
15 Belmont

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 UNC Greensboro

8 SMU
9 Dayton

5 West Virginia
12 Akron

4 Notre Dame
13 FGCU

6 Duke
11 Middle Tennessee

3 Butler
14 Winthrop

7 Northwestern
10 Clemson

2 North Carolina
15 Princeton

THOUGHTS:

-TCU dropped one at Oklahoma State. Not a bad loss, but it really demonstrates just how glaring their lack of quality wins is. They find themselves all the way down at an 11.  The Cowboys, on the other hand, move into the field despite starting 0-6 in Big XII play.  Their loss at Texas isn’t that bad, and they have some very good road victories (including the demolition of Wichita State). Rhode Island dropped out because OSU simply has a better resume.

-NC State’s road win at Duke moved the Pack back into the field, even avoiding the First Four. Duke, meanwhile, is a borderline disaster. Their talent appears to be vastly overrated and they have some chemistry issues.  They fall to a six seed, but a further drop could definitely happen.

 

January 24 Bracket

January 23 Bracket

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Weber State / New Orleans

8 TCU
9 Indiana

5 Florida
12 Akron

4 Duke
13 Monmouth

6 Xavier
11 Pitt

3 Oregon
14 Vermont

7 Virginia Tech
10 Dayton

2 Florida State
15 Texas Southern

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 Morgan State / Fairleigh Dickinson

8 USC
9 Kansas State

5 Maryland
12 New Mexico State

4 Creighton
13 Nevada

6 South Carolina
11 Iowa State / Georgia

3 Louisville
14 North Dakota State

7 Minnesota
10 Wake Forest

2 Arizona
15 Bucknell

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 UC-Irvine

8 Michigan State
9 Seton Hall

5 Wisconsin
12 Illinois State

4 Notre Dame
13 Valparaiso

6 Purdue
11 UNC-Wilmington

3 UCLA
14 Georgia Southern

7 Saint Mary’s
10 Marquette

2 Kentucky
15 Belmont

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 UNC Greensboro

8 Northwestern
9 Clemson

5 Cincinnati
12 Michigan / Rhode Island

4 Virginia
13 FGCU

6 West Virginia
11 Middle Tennessee

3 Butler
14 Winthrop

7 SMU
10 Arkansas

2 North Carolina
15 Princeton

THOUGHTS:

-VIrginia Tech picked up another huge road win (at Clemson, to pair with at Michigan). They have three top 50 wins and some solid 51-100 wins away from home. They will likely be dancing despite an awful out of conference strength of schedule.

-Clemson’s loss leaves them with just one ACC win. This serious downward trajectory drops the Tigers all the way down to a nine.  But remember, the committee will judge the team’s total resume, and not just their ACC performance. They are still in solid shape if they just win some games.

-Xavier and USC both picked up much needed wins yesterday over Georgetown and Arizona State, respectively. Xavier stays at a six and USC moves up to an eight because of the Clemson nosedive.

January 23 Bracket

Tournament Picture

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (6) – Duke, Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame

Big XII (3) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia

Big East (3) – Villanova, Creighton, Butler

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

Others (1) – Gonzaga

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks:

AAC (1) – SMU

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (3) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue

SEC (1) – South Carolina

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (4) – VCU (lacking in quality wins, and the home loss to Georgia Tech isn’t great), Dayton (the lack of quality wins could do them in), Rhode Island (no bad losses and a neutral court win over Cincinnati help), LaSalle (a long shot that needs to be almost perfect from here on out)

AAC (1) – Houston (there likely isn’t enough heft to make it)

ACC (7) – Virginia Tech (the lack of bad losses and number of good wins will likely be enough), Clemson (lots of solid wins over other bubble contenders, but their atrocious ACC start may derail their bid), Miami (they keep doing enough to stay on the radar, but haven’t made a strong push), Wake Forest (lack quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (is going to be headed for the cut line with a mediocre resume), NC State (a strong schedule, but ACC play has been a disaster), Georgia Tech (the OOC portion of the schedule will likely prevent a bid)

Big XII (5) – Kansas State (faces a tough climb because of a very weak non-conference slate), Texas Tech (a very poor out of league schedule means they need lots of good wins and stop losing to bubble teams at home), TCU (lacks marquee wins, but has avoided damaging losses), Oklahoma State (needs to start beating top 50 teams), Iowa State (has a solid profile that should only get better)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (has some decent wins out of conference and no bad losses), Marquette (may regret playing so many RPI 200+ teams, but greatly benefit from the win at Creighton), Providence (needs good road wins to overcome a couple bad losses)

Big Ten (7) – Michigan (has a middling profile that should put them near the cut line), Indiana (will probably make the field despite way too many games against RPI 200+ teams), Illinois (has a decent profile, but may be done in by the home loss to Winthrop and too many losses to other bubble teams), Northwestern (has no bad losses and will likely have their first tournament appearance upcoming), Nebraska (has pretty much ruined an excellent non-conference schedule and a good start to conference play; hanging by a thread), Michigan State (will likely be dancing with a solid seed despite early hiccups), Minnesota (is a solid tournament bet)

Pac-12 (4) – Utah (is barely hanging on the bubble with an awful OOC slate and a neutral loss to San Francisco), Stanford (has decent numbers but a serious lack of good wins), USC (has an important win over SMU at home and solid RPI numbers), California (has a very nice win at USC, but not too much else)

SEC (5) – Vanderbilt (is only under consideration because of a great OOC schedule and a win at Florida), Georgia (has an unremarkable, but decent profile), Arkansas (has a home loss to Mississippi State and a lack of great wins, but their numbers are solid), Ole Miss (has a great non-league slate but no great wins), Tennessee (the Vols are within striking range, but are lacking noteworthy achievements)

Others (3) – St. Mary’s (should be fine if they avoid bad losses), UNC-Wilmington (needs to hope for a run by St. Bonaventure and no losses before the tournament final), Middle Tennessee (has some good wins that they hope will overcome a home loss to Georgia State)

Tournament Picture

January 22 Bracket

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Weber State / New Orleans

8 TCU
9 Indiana

5 Florida
12 Akron

4 Duke
13 Monmouth

6 Xavier
11 Pitt

3 Oregon
14 Vermont

7 Clemson
10 Dayton

2 Florida State
15 Texas Southern

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 Morgan State / Fairleigh Dickinson

8 Virginia Tech
9 Kansas State

5 Maryland
12 New Mexico State

4 Creighton
13 Nevada

6 South Carolina
11 Iowa State / Georgia

3 Louisville
14 North Dakota State

7 Minnesota
10 Wake Forest

2 Arizona
15 Bucknell

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 UC-Irvine

8 Michigan State
9 Seton Hall

5 Wisconsin
12 Illinois State

4 Notre Dame
13 Valparaiso

6 Purdue
11 UNC-Wilmington

3 UCLA
14 Georgia Southern

7 Saint Mary’s
10 Marquette

2 Kentucky
15 Belmont

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 UNC Greensboro

8 Northwestern
9 USC

5 Cincinnati
12 Michigan / Rhode Island

4 Virginia
13 FGCU

6 West Virginia
11 Middle Tennessee

3 Butler
14 Winthrop

7 SMU
10 Arkansas

2 North Carolina
15 Princeton

THOUGHTS:

-Florida State picked up another huge home win. This time, they beat Louisville.  FSU is putting together a one seed worthy resume. Two things are keeping them off the one line right now.  First, there are four really good teams already there. Secondly, the Noles have been beating almost all of these teams at home.

-Nebraska lost to Rutgers yesterday. They are no longer close to being in the field.

-Baylor picked up a huge road win at TCU.  They are firmly entrenched as a one seed.  As the season develops, it is looking increasingly feasible for Baylor to get a one seed even if they fail to take the Big XII Championship or the tournament title.

-Marquette easily moves into the field after winning at Creighton.  The Bluejays, meanwhile, have dropped to a four seed because of the loss of Maurice Watson.

 

 

January 22 Bracket

One Seed Contenders

See the post below this one for my updated bracket. But first, here is an exhaustive list of every team that can reasonably get up to the one line.

THE TOP CONTENDERS

· Villanova – The AP’s #1 are 12-1 vs. the RPI top 100, with six top 50 wins (4 of which were on road or neutral courts). With the 20th rated OOC schedule, they should get a one seed if they win the Big East outright.
· Kansas – The Jayhawks are the Coaches’ top team and are 4-0 against the RPI top 50 (with 3 of those wins away from home). With ten top 100 wins and the 35th-rated OOC SOS, they should get a one seed if they win the Big XII outright.
· Baylor – The Bears have 10 top 100 wins, including five top 50 wins. Their great tenth-rated OOC schedule puts them in prime position to land a one seed with a Big XII title.
· Creighton – Greg McDermott’s squad leads the country with 8 top 50 wins, and they only have one loss. They suffered an unfortunate break, though, as Mo Watson was lost for the year. How they do without him will impact their seed.
· UCLA – The Bruins have made a great turnaround this year. They own the best win of the season (at Kentucky), and have 8 top 100 wins. However, the Bruins have just 2 top 50 wins and a poor 176-rated OOC SOS.
· Gonzaga – The nation’s only unbeaten has 7 top 100 wins, four of which are against the top 50. Their overall SOS won’t be great by Selection Sunday, so a one seed seems unlikely if they suffer more than one loss. Even one loss isn’t a one seed guarantee.
· Kentucky – The Wildcats have an outstanding OOC SOS (7th), as well as 8 top 100 wins and 4 top 50 wins. However, they already have two losses to other one seed contenders (UCLA and Louisville), and playing in the SEC does not give many opportunities for quality wins. Beating Kansas at home is a must for a one seed.

THE DARKHORSES

· West Virginia – The Mountaineers have surprised this year. They own a top notch road win (Virginia) and a dominating win over Baylor. However, WVU has just 5 top 100 wins (although four are against the top 50) and a brutally poor 253-rated OOC SOS.
· North Carolina – The Heels are a solid 5-1 against the top 50 and are 4-2 against 51-100. However, they already have three losses and the ACC grind is unforgiving.
· Florida State – The Seminoles are flying high this year behind Dwayne Bacon and exceptional athleticism. They are a great 6-1 against the top 50. However, they have just one win against RPI 51-100. I expect the Seminoles will end up on the three or four line when all is said and done, but they are undoubtedly in the one seed race right now.

THE LONGSHOTS

· Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish have been a pleasant surprise this season. They are 7-2 against the top 100 (with four wins against the top 50), have just two losses, and are unbeaten in ACC play. However, their RPI and OOC SOS are just okay. The Irish will need either the ACC regular season or tournament titles to have a chance at a one, and maybe both.
· Louisville – Rick Pitino’s 2016-17 edition has some major plusses, but also some real negatives. While the Cards have the 11th best OOC SOS, 4 top 50 wins, and 8 top 100 wins, all of their top 50 wins are at home and they already have three losses.
· Duke – The Blue Devils are barely in the discussion with just five top 100 wins and four losses. However, because of their injury issues all season, the suspension of Grayson Allen, and the absence of Coach K for medical reasons, a realistic possibility exists for the Devils to run through ACC play and take the ACC Tournament Championship. If that happens, expect the committee to give the Devils the benefit of the doubt.
· Florida – The Gators have a great RPI, the nation’s best OOC SOS, four top 50 wins, and 10 wins against the top 100. However, they already have three losses and their best win is either Arkansas or Seton Hall. If Florida takes home the outright SEC regular season title and makes the SEC title game, then they’ll likely end up on the one line. But that’s probably not happening.
· Butler – Bulldog basketball always seems to find a way, and this year is no different. Butler leads the nation with 12 top 100 wins against just one top 100 loss. However, they already have three loses, two of which are in the bad loss category. If they end up beating out Villanova and Creighton for a Big East Championship, then they have a great argument. But don’t count on it.
· Arizona – Despite some terrible personnel luck, Sean Miller has his crew in position to get a protected seed. With just two losses, a one seed is possible. But their only top 50 win is by two over Michigan State on opening night, and they also have neutral court losses to Butler and Gonzaga. If they take home the Pac-12’s regular season and tournament, though…
· Oregon – Dillon Brooks was injured to start the year, and they may catch a bit of a break from the committee for that. However, they only have two top 50 wins (both at home), and they have just one road or neutral win against the top 100. Like Arizona, there’s a path to a one seed. But near perfection will be required.

 

One Seed Contenders