We are now less than 10 days until Selection Sunday. With this week starting conference tournaments, right now is a good time to look at how the bracket seeding might look like if the season ended today.
As usual, it will be formatted seed by seed, looking at the at-large first, then discussing why each team is seeded where they are. I then will give my current first five teams out and discuss why they’re not included in the NCAA Tournament field.
After that, I will look at each projected conference champion and what seed they would get in the NCAA Tournament. Finally, I will give you what my current Bracketology would look like if today was Selection Sunday. Without any further introduction, let’s get into the seeding breakdown.
One Seeds: Virginia, Gonzaga, Duke, Kentucky
The one seeds remain the same as it was last week on the seeding breakdown, although things are a lot tighter than they were. Virginia and Gonzaga have not done anything to warrant them moving down, so they remain my top two overall seeds.
Duke will play at North Carolina on Saturday. If the Blue Devils win that game, they will be on the one line, if not North Carolina will hop the Blue Devils on the one line. As for Kentucky, they lost to Tennessee on Saturday, but their overall resume is still better than Tennessee’s. That being said, the two teams are expected to play in the SEC Tournament Semifinals game. Assuming that happens the winner will get on the one line.
Two Seeds: Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan
The two seeds remain the same for now, although there seems to be a clear order of the teams. Tennessee and North Carolina are pretty clearly the two best teams on the two line from a resume perspective, as mentioned earlier both of these teams can earn their way onto the two line in the next ten days.
Michigan and Michigan State are on the two line for now, but assuming LSU wins on Saturday, the loser of the Michigan, Michigan State game will drop down to a three seed. Both teams are on the two line for now but in either team’s case, a loss puts them behind LSU from a resume perspective.
Three Seeds: LSU, Purdue, Texas Tech, Houston
As mentioned earlier, LSU is set to move onto the two-line with a win on Saturday. What is currently keeping them off the two-line is their low NET ranking of 13. However, 10 Quadrant one wins will be enough to move them ahead of either Michigan or Michigan State.
Texas Tech and Purdue are both clearly on the three-line, as both have the wins and appropriate NET ranking to be on the three-line. Houston is the toughest choice right now to be on the three-line, especially after losing to UCF but I would anticipate the Selection Committee would try to reward Houston for having a NET ranking of 6.
Four Seeds: Kansas, Wisconsin, Florida State, Kansas State
The Jayhawks are not very good right now, but they have 10 Quadrant one wins at the moment, which will help them get a Top-Four seed, resulting in the four-seed. Wisconsin and Florida State are two teams with the appropriate amount of Quadrant one wins and NET ranking to be on the four-line.
The battle for the last four seed came down between Mississippi State and Kansas State, The big separator between the two teams is the fact that Kansas State’s wins are much better than Mississippi State’s wins.
Five Seeds: Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Marquette, Villanova
The Bulldogs missed out on the four-line, although with eight Quadrant one wins and a NET ranking of 22, they are at least on the five-line. Virginia Tech is on the five-line because of their NET ranking of 11 and four Quadrant one wins.
Marquette isn’t ranking that high in the NET, but nine Quadrant one wins has them on the five line, while Villanova edges out Maryland in large part due to the fact that they have four more Quadrant two wins than the Terrapins.
Six Seeds: Maryland, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Buffalo
The Terrapins have six Quadrant one wins, which is a big reason that they are on the six seed. Iowa State has struggled as of late but a total body of work with five Quadrant one wins and a NET ranking of 23 in the Big 12 gets them at least on the six-line.
With a NET ranking of 21 and four Quadrant one wins, Cincinnati falls on the six-line. Of the three mid-majors in this range, which includes Buffalo, Nevada, and Wofford, I think Buffalo has the best overall resume, as they have two Quadrant one wins and a 26-3 record, which is just slightly better than either Wofford or Nevada.
Seven Seeds: Wofford, Nevada, Louisville, Auburn
The other two mid-majors in this seed area are Wofford and Nevada; both teams have great records and rank in the Top-20 of the NET rankings, meaning both will be at least seven seeds. Louisville isn’t playing well as of late but their great wins early on help them stay on the seven-line. Auburn hasn’t been impressive this year but they now have two Quadrant one wins and eleven Quadrant two wins, which is probably good enough to get them on the seven-line.
Eight Seeds: UCF, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ole Miss
UCF has gone from on the bubble to a lock in just a week, as they beat Houston on the road and Cincinnati at home. In turn, they now have two Quadrant one wins, while ranking in the Top-30 of the NET. Oklahoma, Iowa, and Ole Miss all have four Quadrant one wins, with less than eleven losses, plus a NET ranking of 41 or better, which is why I have all three seeded on the eight-line.
Nine Seeds: St. John’s, Baylor, Syracuse, Washington
St. John’s has five Quadrant one and Quadrant two wins and while they rank 62nd in the NET rankings, they should still be safe. Baylor has locked up an at-large bid but now with three losses to teams in Quadrants 3 and 4, they probably end up on the nine-line.
Syracuse is avoiding the bubble this year thanks to three Quadrant one wins, including one at Duke. Washington is the top team of the three teams that are 24-6 overall, I’m not sure their resume is better than the other two teams, which are VCU and Utah State, but the committee seems more likely to give Washington a nine seed than the other two schools with similar records.
Ten Seeds: VCU, Utah State, Ohio State, Seton Hall
The Ten seeds start out with the other two 24-6 teams, VCU and Utah State. As I just mentioned, the committee tends to give the edge to Power Conference teams in these scenarios, which is why both end up on the ten-line. Ohio State is still safe as they have four Quadrant one wins and their most recent losses could be discounted, as the Buckeyes were without Kaleb Wesson.
Seton Hall put themselves in the driver’s seat for an at-large bid by beating Marquette. They now three wins over Top-30 teams in the NET, which probably is good enough for them at this point to get an at-large bid.
Eleven Seeds: Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Indiana
Minnesota picked up their third Quadrant one win by beating Purdue. The Boilermakers now are safely in the field of 68 (for now). Texas and Florida are two teams with good wins and a good NET ranking, yet with both teams likely entering into Selection Sunday with 15 losses, they will be seeded pretty low.
As for my final eleven seed Indiana, they have struggled but when looking at their total body of work, which includes six Quadrant one wins, they will be in the NCAA Tournament so long as they don’t lose to Rutgers.
Twelve Seeds: Alabama, TCU, NC State, Temple
Alabama is in the tournament for now, as their win over Kentucky is helping them stay in the field for now, although they shouldn’t feel safe. TCU is in for now, although with only two Quadrant one wins, they should not feel safe at all when it comes to their at-large hopes.
NC State is one of the most perplexing teams, as they don’t have the total body of work to get into the NCAA Tournament but they have a NET ranking of 35, I don’t think the committee ends up leaving them out. The final team in is Temple, who has an okay resume but a win over Houston, they are in for now; although they would be out with a loss to UCF on Saturday.
First Five Out: Arizona State, Creighton, Clemson, Murray State, Xavier
Arizona State is my first team out, the main reason being that their NET ranking is 71st. The Sun Devils also have two Quadrant three or Quadrant four losses, which is holding them back as well. They still control their own destiny, as they will have a good shot to win the Pac-12 Tournament if they don’t though it could be a long Selection Sunday for the Sun Devils.
The Blue Jays are moving towards the bubble as they are finishing the season strong. The Blue Jays are close to being into the NCAA Tournament as they now have three Quadrant one wins and six Quadrant two wins, assuming they beat DePaul, they will have a good shot to be into the NCAA Tournament field by Sunday morning.
Clemson hangs around as they are 40th in the NET rankings, although with only one Quadrant one win, they have no shot at getting into the NCAA Tournament field without a strong showing in the ACC Tournament.
The Racers are hanging around the bubble, although they probably aren’t getting in without winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. Also, watch the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, it is going to be really fun.
The Musketeers needed to beat Butler earlier in the week to be considered a legitimate threat to get an at-large bid, that being said they could be a potential bid-stealer, as I would give them a decent chance of winning the Big East conference tournament.
Projected Conference Champions
Atlantic Sun: Lipscomb, 12 seed
Ohio Valley: Belmont, 12 seed
Colonial Athletic: Hofstra, 13 seed
WAC: New Mexico State, 13 seed
Big West: UC Irvine, 13 Seed
American East: Vermont, 13 seed
IVY League: Yale, 14 seed
Conference USA: Old Dominion, 14 seed
The Summit League: South Dakota State, 14 seed
Big Sky: Montana, 14 seed
Sun Belt: Georgia Southern, 15 seed
Horizon League: Northern Kentucky, 15 seed
Big South: Radford, 15 seed
Missouri Valley: Loyola-Chicago, 15 seed
Patriot League: Colgate, 16 seed
Southland: Abilene Christian, 16 seed
SWAC: Texas Southern, 16 seed (play-in game)
MEAC: Norfolk State, 16 seed (play-in game)
Northeast: St. Francis (PA), 16 seed (play-in game)
MAAC: Rider, 16 seed (play-in game)
|East Region (Washington DC)||West Region (Anaheim)|
|1.Virginia (Columbus)||1.Gonzaga (San Jose)|
|16.Colgate||16.Texas Southern/ Rider|
|4.Kansas State (San Jose)||4.Florida State (Jacksonville)|
|12.NC State/ Temple||12.Belmont|
|3.LSU (Jacksonville)||3.Texas Tech (Tulsa)|
|2.Michigan State (Hartford)||2.Michigan (Hartford)|
|10.Utah State||10.Seton Hall|
|Midwest Region (Kansas City)||South Region (Louisville)|
|1.Kentucky (Tulsa)||1.Duke (Columbia)|
|16.Abiline Christian||16.St. Francis (PA)/ Norfolk State|
|4.Kansas (Salt Lake City)||4.Wisconsin (Salt Lake City)|
|13.Hofstra||13.New Mexico State|
|3.Purdue (Des Moines)||3.Houston (Des Moines)|
|14.Old Dominion||14.South Dakota State|
|2.North Carolina (Columbia)||2.Tennessee (Columbus)|
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