Tuesday Tournment Picture

Congrats to the two latest additions to the NCAA field, the Virginia Tech Hokies (making their first March Madness since 2007) and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Both should be looking at single-digit seeds.

Meanwhile,  Indiana and Pitt finally drop out after losing to Purdue and Georgia Tech .

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (8) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke, Miami, Virginia Tech

Big XII (5) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma State

Big East (3) – Villanova, Butler, Creighton

Big Ten (5) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State

SEC (3) – Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

WCC (2) – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks until they win one (or in some cases two) more:

A-10 (1) – Dayton

AAC (1) – SMU

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (1) – Michigan

SEC (1) – Arkansas

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (2) – VCU (will be in if they win their final two regular season games, which would include a win over Dayton), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they had until beating VCU; winning their last two regular season games looks like a must just to be in the picture)

ACC (4) – Clemson (the last two regular season games are at home, and the Tigers likely need both and a run in the ACC Tournament), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers; they must beat Louisville at home or Virginia Tech on the road to have a decent shot), Georgia Tech (losing to NC State at home changed their whole outlook; still alive if they can win their last regular season game, but it’s not looking good), Syracuse (the importance of the Duke win cannot be overstated; still need at least one more win to have a good argument)

Big XII (2) – Kansas State (the Cats are falling quickly; winning the last two regular season games and making a tournament run look necessary to have a chance), TCU (they need their final two regular season games and a Big XII tourney run to be a serious competitor)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (they should go dancing if they win their last regular season game, but they still would not be a lock), Marquette (they’ll probably dance if they win their last two, they’re right in the hunt with one, and it’s unlikely if they can’t get one of their last two), Providence (they got DePaul out of the way; winning over Saint John’s will move them up a category to should be in status)

Big Ten (4) – Northwestern (the Wildcats have moved back down into the bubble fray after a loss at Indiana; one more win should put them in great shape, though), Illinois (has a decent profile, and one more victory might be enough), Ohio State (keep an eye on them if they can win their remaining regular season game over Indiana; not dead yet), Iowa (despite a high RPI, the Hawkeyes will merit a serious look if they can close out the regular season with wins over Wisconsin and Penn State)

Pac-12 (2) – California (must win their remaining regular season games to have a chance; that Dillon Brooks three is unfairly damaging to their profile), USC (the Trojans drop from the land of the “should be in;” they’ve lost four straight and now have a bad loss at Arizona State; they absolutely cannot afford another loss before the PAC-12 tournament)

SEC (4) – Vanderbilt (may really regret losing at Kentucky, because that win would’ve been so strong I was even considering locking them in; winning over Florida at home still might be enough to earn a bid), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that needs at least two more regular season wins added to it; surviving LSU at home was a must), Ole Miss (probably won’t have much of a chance unless they win their last two), Tennessee (is in serious danger; they’re likely done if they lose another regular season game)

Others (5) – Middle Tennessee (will get a serious look if they need it; they should be UNC-Wilmington and Vandy’s biggest fans), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and only Wichita State as a top 50 win, so it likely won’t happen even if they lose to Wichita in the Valley final), Wichita State (has excellent efficiency numbers, but didn’t do anything notable in the OOC except lose to competitive teams; their best hope is the rest of the bubble failing miserably), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St, but they’ll get a look if they win out until the MWC final), UT-Arlington (it’s a longshot, but if the committee loves Saint Mary’s, then a road win over the Gaels might do it)

Advertisements
Tuesday Tournment Picture

Tournament Picture

The post below this one contains my new bracket. But the new Tournament Picture update is here.

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (7) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke, Miami

Big XII (5) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma State

Big East (3) – Villanova, Butler, Creighton

Big Ten (5) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

WCC (2) – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

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

A-10 (1) – Dayton

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (1) – Virginia Tech

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (1) – Michigan

SEC (2) – South Carolina, Arkansas

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (2) – VCU (will be in if they win their final two regular season games, which would include a win over Dayton), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they had until beating VCU; winning their last two regular season games looks like a must just to be in the picture)

ACC (5) – Clemson (the last two regular season games are at home, and the Tigers likely need both and a run in the ACC Tournament), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (needs both of their regular season games to have a chance entering the ACC tournament; both are difficult games), Georgia Tech (losing to NC State at home changed their whole outlook; still alive if they can win their last two, but it’s not looking good), Syracuse (the importance of the Duke win cannot be overstated; still need at least one more win to have a good argument)

Big XII (2) – Kansas State (the Cats are falling quickly; winning the last two regular season games and making a tournament run look necessary to have a chance), TCU (they need their final two regular season games and a Big XII tourney run to be a serious competitor)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (they will go dancing if they win their last two), Marquette (they’ll probably dance if they win their last two, they’re right in the hunt with one, and it’s unlikely if they can’t get one of their last two), Providence (they have an easy closing stretch; they probably can’t drop more than one of their last two)

Big Ten (5) – Northwestern (the Wildcats have moved back down into the bubble fray after a loss at Indiana; one more win should put them in great shape, though), Indiana (has a difficult last two games, meaning the opportunity is there if they can win the final two), Illinois (has a decent profile, and one more victory might be enough), Ohio State (keep an eye on them if they can win their remaining regular season games over Penn State and Indiana; not dead yet), Iowa (despite a high RPI, the Hawkeyes will merit a serious look if they can close out the regular season with wins over Wisconsin and Penn State)

Pac-12 (2) – California (must win their remaining regular season games to have a chance; that Dillon Brooks three is unfairly damaging to their profile), USC (the Trojans drop from the land of the “should be in;” they’ve lost four straight and now have a bad loss at Arizona State; they absolutely cannot afford another loss before the PAC-12 tournament)

SEC (4) – Vanderbilt (is just over .500 overall, but one more might be enough), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that needs at least two more regular season wins added to it; surviving LSU at home was a must), Ole Miss (probably won’t have much of a chance unless they win their last two), Tennessee (is in serious danger; they’re likely done if they lose another regular season game)

Others (5) – Middle Tennessee (will get a serious look if they need it; they should be UNC-Wilmington and Vandy’s biggest fans), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and only Wichita State as a top 50 win, so it likely won’t happen even if they lose to Wichita in the Valley final), Wichita State (has excellent efficiency numbers, but didn’t do anything notable in the OOC except lose to competitive teams; their best hope is the rest of the bubble failing miserably), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St, but they’ll get a look if they win out until the MWC final), UT-Arlington (it’s a longshot, but if the committee loves Saint Mary’s, then a road win over the Gaels might do it)

Tournament Picture

2/26 BRACKET

Yesterday produced a lot of changes in the bracket.

-Noticeably, Gonzaga falls off the one line following a shocking home loss to BYU. They are highly unlikely to return, and have fallen all the way to a three.

-Northwestern simply isn’t winning games, so they have dropped all the way to the First Four.  They will probably need one of their last two to make it.

-UCLA barely overtakes Arizona for a three. Remember, Arizona already won at UCLA, so the Bruins won’t get special treatment just for winning the second game between the two. Don’t get too hung up on Arizona’s four, either. They are my top four and could climb to a two quite easily.

-Butler is up to a two.  It’s amazing what a sweep of Villanova can do.

-Cal climbs back into the field. They don’t have an at-large quality resume, but someone has to be in.

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 MT ST MARY’S / NEW ORLEANS

8 VIRGINIA TECH
9 ARKANSAS

5 NOTRE DAME
12 NEVADA

4 MINNESOTA
13 VERMONT

6 CREIGHTON
11 VANDERBILT

3 UCLA
14 BELMONT

7 IOWA STATE
10 SYRACUSE

2 BUTLER
15 SOUTH DAKOTA

WEST

1 OREGON
16 UC DAVIS / NC CENTRAL

8 MIAMI
9 PROVIDENCE

5 CINCINNATI
12 TEXAS-ARLINGTON

4 PURDUE
13 AKRON

6 MARYLAND
11 WICHITA STATE

3 GONZAGA
14 VALPO

7 SAINT MARY’S
10 USC

2 FLORIDA STATE
15 FGCU

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 NORTH DAKOTA

8 SOUTH CAROLINA
9 VCU

5 WEST VIRGINIA
12 ILLINOIS / CALIFORNIA

4 DUKE
13 PRINCETON

6 WISCONSIN
11 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

3 FLORIDA
14 BUCKNELL

7 DAYTON
10 MICHIGAN ST

2 LOUISVILLE
15 WINTHROP

SOUTH

1 NORTH CAROLINA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 XAVIER
9 MICHIGAN

5 VIRGINIA
12 UNCW

4 ARIZONA
13 MONMOUTH

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 SETON HALL / NORTHWESTERN

3 KENTUCKY
14 ETSU

7 SMU
10 MARQUETTE

2 BAYLOR
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

2/26 BRACKET

2/24 Bracket

Thursday didn’t change the bracket much. The biggest result was Arizona moving to a two after a win over USC.  Notre Dame also replaces Wisconsin on the five line, while Michigan State replaces USC on the nine line.

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 NC CENTRAL / NEW ORLEANS

8 VIRGINIA TECH
9 VCU

5 CREIGHTON
12 UT ARLINGTON

4 UCLA
13 MONMOUTH

6 CINCINNATI
11 VANDERBILT / CLEMSON

3 FLORIDA
14 BUCKNELL

7 SMU
10 USC

2 LOUISVILLE
15 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

WEST

1 GONZAGA
16 NORTH DAKOTA

8 IOWA STATE
9 MICHIGAN STATE

5 MINNESOTA
12 NEVADA

4 WEST VIRGINIA
13 VERMONT

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 SETON HALL / ILLINOIS

3 DUKE
14 UNC ASHEVILLE

7 SAINT MARY’S
10 PROVIDENCE

2 OREGON
15 FLA GULF COAST

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 UC IRVINE / MT ST MARY’S

8 SOUTH CAROLINA
9 MIAMI

5 VIRGINIA
12 UNC WILMINGTON

4 PURDUE
13 PRINCETON

6 MARYLAND
11 MARQUETTE

3 FLORIDA STATE
14 AKRON

7 DAYTON
10 MICHIGAN

2 ARIZONA
15 BELMONT

SOUTH

1 NORTH CAROLINA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 ARKANSAS
9 NORTHWESTERN

5 NOTRE DAME
12 WICHITA STATE

4 KENTUCKY
13 VALPO

6 WISCONSIN
11 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

3 BUTLER
14 EAST TENNESSEE ST

7 XAVIER
10 SYRACUSE

2 BAYLOR
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

2/24 Bracket

One Seed Contenders

THE TOP CONTENDERS

KANSAS (94%) – There is little doubt the Jayhawks would be the overall one if the committee seeded the field today. With wins over Duke and Kentucky away from home, as well as a sweep of Baylor, the Jayhawks have shown they can beat the best of the best away from Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have their annual loss at Oklahoma State coming up. They can likely sustain a loss there and in the Big XII tournament, and still end up as a one. They have made it clear they are the best team in the nation’s most efficient conference.

VILLANOVA (82%) – The reigning champions looked like a sure one seed until they lost at home to Butler. Still, they are in great shape. They currently have fifteen top 100 wins and nine of those are against the top 50. A Big East tournament title will clinch it.

GONZAGA (64%) – I think the Zags will end up on the top line, but this is far from a sure thing. The Bulldogs can lean on four RPI top 15 wins, only one of which was at home. But even if the Zags win out, other one seed competitors may simply do too much by winning out. One thing looks quite likely at this point; the Zags need to be unbeaten to be on the top line.

NORTH CAROLINA (52%) – The Heels have made quite the run to the one line. They sit at my overall three right now (ahead of Gonzaga). Looking at the resume, there are an impressive nine wins over the top 50, including six wins over teams currently in my top six seed lines. The problem for UNC is they may have to win the ACC tournament to stay on the one line because teams like Oregon, Arizona, Louisville, and Baylor can dramatically improve their resumes during their conference tournaments. Even if they don’t win the ACC Championship, if they can win out during the regular season (which would include a revenge win over Duke) and perform reasonably well in the ACC tournament, then that will likely be enough.

OREGON (29%) – The Ducks are right on the verge of a one seed, and a decent argument can be made they’re already there. They have fourteen wins over the top 100, and they own wins over UCLA and Arizona (in highly impressive fashion). Also importantly, they have the Dillon Brooks injury to excuse some early season woes. Oregon will almost certainly end up on the one line if they win out through the PAC-12 tournament. But that’s a tall order.

THE DARKHORSES

BAYLOR (13%) – The Bears were the overall three seed a couple of weeks ago. But Kansas’s win in Waco has changed their outlook pretty significantly. Without a Big XII regular season championship, the Bears will need to win the Big XII tournament. Fortunately for the Bears, they will almost certainly end up with double digit RPI top 50 wins if they do that. With such non-conference wins as Louisville, Oregon, Xavier, VCU, and Michigan State thrown in there, that would probably be enough to sneak onto the one line.

ARIZONA (9%) – The Cats are my top three seed right now, with only three losses on the season. However, they went 0-3 against the three best teams they’ve played (Oregon, Gonzaga, and Butler). If it comes down to a head-to-head comparison, then the Zags could be in trouble. Still, if Arizona can enter the tournament with only three losses, then they’d have to be a strong bet to end up a one.

LOUISVILLE (7%) – The UNC loss wasn’t bad, but it was a huge missed opportunity. Winning out through the ACC Championship will likely get the Cards on the top line, but doing that appears unlikely.

DUKE (4%) – The loss at Syracuse doesn’t hurt all that much, but that game was really important to Duke’s one seed chances. But with nine top 50 wins already and a visit to Chapel Hill upcoming, the opportunity to get in the conversation is there. If Coach K’s team wins out, they’ll probably find the one line.

FLORIDA STATE (3%) – Nine top 50 wins is a good start. But they’ll need to win the ACC tournament, and the fading Noles don’t look like they’ll do that.

ALL OTHERS (7% combined) – Florida, Kentucky, Butler, UCLA, etc. aren’t completely done. But there are too many holes in their resumes to consider them strong contenders.

One Seed Contenders

Tournament Picture

The post below this one contains my new bracket.  But the Tournament Picture is rapidly changing, as well.

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

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

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

Big East (3) – Villanova, Butler, Creighton

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

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

Others (1) – Gonzaga

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

A-10 (1) – Dayton

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (2) – Virginia Tech, Miami

Big XII (2) – Oklahoma State, Iowa State

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (1) – Northwestern

Pac-12 (1) – USC

SEC (2) – South Carolina, Arkansas

WCC (1) – Saint Mary’s

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (2) – VCU (they will lock if they win their final three regular season games, but will move up a category even if they win just two), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they have; winning their last three regular season games looks like a must just to be in the picture)

ACC (5) – Clemson (the last three regular season games are at home, and the Tigers likely need all three), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (needs at least two of their last three regular season games to have a chance; all are very difficult games), Georgia Tech (losing to NC State at home changed their whole outlook; still alive if they can win at least two of the last three with one preferably being at Notre Dame), Syracuse (the importance of the Duke win cannot be overstated; winning one of the last two is a must)

Big XII (3) – Kansas State (the Cats are falling quickly; winning the last three regular season games looks necessary to have a chance), Texas Tech (despite wins over Baylor and West Virginia, the Red Raiders are nearly done; they will fall off the page if they don’t win their last three regular season games), TCU (they need at least two of their last three, but probably all three)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (they will go dancing if they win their last three; two of three should put them on the right side of the bubble entering the conference tournaments), Marquette (they’ll dance if they win their last three, they’ll probably dance if they win two, they’re right in the hunt with one, and it’s unlikely if they can’t get one of their last three), Providence (they have an easy closing stretch; they probably can’t drop more than one of their last three, and even that is pushing it)

Big Ten (6) – Michigan (they have a difficult closing stretch; two of three should do it), Indiana (has a difficult last three games, meaning the opportunity is there if they can win all three), Illinois (has a decent profile, but they need at least two of their last three), Michigan State (will likely go dancing if they win three of four and are still in decent shape if they take just two), Penn State (is going to need their last three to have a chance), Ohio State (keep an eye on them if they can win their remaining regular season games; not dead yet)

Pac-12 (1) – California (must win their last three to have a chance; that Dillon Brooks three is unfairly damaging to their profile)

SEC (5) – Vanderbilt (is almost .500 overall, but two of the last three might be enough), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that needs at least three more regular season wins added to it), Ole Miss (probably won’t have much of a chance unless they win their last three), Tennessee (will likely move back to the right side of the bubble if they win their last three), Alabama (has some resume-building games ahead, but might need all four to get a strong look)

Others (5) – Middle Tennessee (will get a serious look if they need it; they should be UNC-Wilmington and Vandy’s biggest fans), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and only Wichita State as a top 50 win, so it likely won’t happen), Wichita State (has excellent efficiency numbers, but didn’t do anything notable in the OOC except lose to competitive teams; their best hope is the rest of the bubble failing miserably), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St, but they’ll get a look if they win out until the MWC final), UT-Arlington (it’s a longshot, but if the committee loves Saint Mary’s, then a road win over the Gaels might do it)

Tournament Picture

2/23 Bracket

Wednesday was such a wild day that it’s prompting a whole new bracket. Without further adieu:

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 NC CENTRAL / NEW ORLEANS

8 VIRGINIA TECH
9 VCU

5 CREIGHTON
12 UT ARLINGTON

4 PURDUE
13 MONMOUTH

6 CINCINNATI
11 VANDERBILT / CLEMSON

3 ARIZONA
14 BUCKNELL

7 SMU
10 MICHIGAN STATE

2 LOUISVILLE
15 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

WEST

1 GONZAGA
16 NORTH DAKOTA

8 IOWA STATE
9 USC

5 MINNESOTA
12 NEVADA

4 WEST VIRGINIA
13 VERMONT

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 SETON HALL / ILLINOIS

3 DUKE
14 UNC ASHEVILLE

7 SAINT MARY’S
10 PROVIDENCE

2 OREGON
15 FLA GULF COAST

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 UC IRVINE / MT ST MARY’S

8 SOUTH CAROLINA
9 MIAMI

5 VIRGINIA
12 UNC WILMINGTON

4 UCLA
13 PRINCETON

6 MARYLAND
11 MARQUETTE

3 FLORIDA STATE
14 AKRON

7 DAYTON
10 MICHIGAN

2 FLORIDA
15 BELMONT

SOUTH

1 NORTH CAROLINA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 ARKANSAS
9 NORTHWESTERN

5 WISCONSIN
12 WICHITA STATE

4 KENTUCKY
13 VALPO

6 NOTRE DAME
11 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

3 BUTLER
14 EAST TENNESSEE ST

7 XAVIER
10 SYRACUSE

2 BAYLOR
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

2/23 Bracket