The NCAA Tournament is inching toward us quicker than some might realize. We are nearing four weeks until Selection Sunday and now is a good time to look at how the bracket seeding might look like if the season ended today.
It’ll be formatted seed by seed, looking at the at-large first, then discussing why each team is seeded where they are right now. I then will give my current first five teams out and discuss why they’re not included in the NCAA Tournament field.
After that, it’s 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
One Seeds: Duke, Virginia, Kentucky, Gonzaga
Duke remains my number one overall seed in large part due to the fact they have arguably the best resume in the sport,. The Blue Devils have two wins against Virginia, who is probably their biggest challenger to the top overall spot, and the committee could ignore two of their three losses due to injuries.
Virginia is my pretty comfortably number two overall seed. Kentucky got the nod over Tennessee simply due to the fact that they have four more Quadrant One wins. Gonzaga rounds out the one seeds, with a win against Duke and the number one ranking in the NET — unless they lose in WCC play they will be a one seed.
Two Seeds: Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State
Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, and Michigan State are pretty clearly my number two seeds. If Michigan State took a loss this weekend they could move down to the three line but for now, they are a two seed.
Three Seeds: Kansas, Houston, Purdue, Marquette
These same three teams are the same teams that were announced on the Bracket Preview a couple of weeks ago, with not much movement since then nothing really changed on the three line.
Four Seeds: LSU, Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Maryland
This is where things get interesting. LSU and Wisconsin are pretty clearly four seeds due to their large amount of Quadrant one wins. Then things get interesting as I think eight teams are in their own tier competing for a four seed. I chose Texas Tech and Maryland as my last two four seeds, Texas Tech due to a Top-10 ranking in the NET and four Quadrant one wins and Maryland because of their six Quadrant one wins and NET ranking of 23.
Five Seeds: Iowa State, Florida State, Mississippi State, Louisville
Iowa State is on the five line due to their 14th ranking in the NET and five Quadrant one wins. Florida State has a NET ranking of 21 with five Quadrant one wins. Mississippi State has eight Quadrant one wins, which gets them on the five line. Louisville has four Quadrant one wins and a 17th ranking in the NET, which is pretty good overall, they also have three wins over Top-15 NET rankings.
Six Seeds: Villanova, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Nevada
Villanova was heavily considered for being on the five line, but the things that held them back was that their NET ranking is 27 and they only have four Quadrant one wins. Kansas State ends up on the six line due to their low NET ranking of 28, while their six Quadrant one wins are good it just isn’t good enough to get on the five line.
Virginia Tech has a NET ranking of 13, but with only three Quadrant one wins, it’s holding them back. Nevada ends up on the six line, they have no Quadrant one wins, so they could end up seeded lower but I think the committee gives them a break seeding wise by giving them a six right now.
Seven Seeds: Iowa, Buffalo, Baylor, Cincinnati
Iowa ends up on the seven line due to the fact have a NET ranking of 29, along with four Quadrant one wins, which comfortably gets them on the seven line. Buffalo has three Quadrant one wins and a NET ranking of 18, which puts them on the seven line, while they are close to securing an at-large bid.
Baylor ends up on the seven line with a NET ranking of 33 and four Quadrant one wins, mixed with seven Quadrant two wins. Cincinnati has a NET ranking of 25 and three Quadrant one wins, which right now ends up putting them on the seven line right now.
Eight Seeds: Ole Miss, Wofford, Auburn, Washington
Ole Miss ultimately ends up on the eight line. Their four Quadrant one wins are good but only having three Quadrant two wins holds them back of being a seven seed. Wofford has a ranking 24 in the NET and they have two Quadrant one wins, this team not only is safe from the bubble but a top-eight seed right now. Auburn and Washington end up on the eight line due to good records and NET rankings.
Nine seeds: Texas, Ohio State, Syracuse, Florida
The four nine seeds all have pretty similar resumes, which is why each of them are on the nine line and safe from the bubble for now. Florida and Syracuse have three Quadrant one wins, while Ohio State and Texas have four Quadrant one wins. All four teams rank in between 31 and 42 in the NET, which is pretty typical of a nine seed.
Ten Seeds: St. John’s, Oklahoma, NC State, Minnesota
The Red Storm, wind up being on the ten line, right now the thing holding them back is their low NET ranking, but six Quadrant one wins is a lot and it could probably get them into the field of 68 despite that low NET ranking. As I wrote about Oklahoma about a week ago, their resume is solid and without a complete collapse, they probably should get into the NCAA Tournament.
NC State is being held up because of their NET ranking of 32, but if that drops they could be on the bubble. Minnesota is on the ten line and they probably would be there if the season ended today, they have the wins needed, and the only problem is that they are ranked 51st in the NET rankings.
Eleven Seeds: TCU, VCU, Alabama, Temple
TCU has a good NET ranking but the thing holding them back is the fact that their only Quadrant one win came in a road game at Iowa State, which is a good win but they probably need a couple more to feel safe. VCU is currently the projected Atlantic 10 Champion, but with two Quadrant one wins and a NET ranking of 37, an at-large bid isn’t out of the equation for the Rams.
Temple is 19-7 with a win over Houston but that’s about it when it comes to quality wins. Right now they’re essentially trying to just hold onto an at-large bid. For now, Alabama is avoiding Dayton based on a good collection of wins earlier in the season, although that could change if they continue to struggle like they are now.
Twelve Seeds: Seton Hall, Arizona State, Utah State, Furman (All four Last four in)
All my current Last Four are falling on my 12 line seeding wise, which judging by the history that a play-in winner has won a Round of 64 game every year since the addition of the first four, means that we are guaranteed a 12-5 upset.
My fourth to last team in right now is Seton Hall, who is extremely inconsistent, but with three Quadrant one wins and one of them being against Kentucky, they should be in. Arizona State is also really inconsistent but with four Quadrant one wins they should probably get in this year against a weak bubble.
This year will probably see two mid-majors get in with at-large bids. If the season ended right now, Furman and Utah State would be those teams. Both rank well in the NET, have one Quadrant one win, simply put, that’s not great but based on this years bubble, they deserve to be in.
First Five teams Out Butler, Georgetown, Nebraska, Clemson, UCF
Butler is my first team out, the Bulldogs are one of those teams that just doesn’t have the necessary Quadrant one wins to make the field of 68 based on their overall record. The Bulldogs still have games left to be played and maybe they can pick up a win or two against a Quadrant one opponent and make the field of 68
The Hoyas are an example of a team that shot themselves in the foot by scheduling weak opponents and not winning by enough in the process, which is why their NET ranking is down at 71. They do have four Quadrant one wins, which is good enough to get in this year, but right now they at least to move into the 60s in the NET rankings before being a legitimate at-large threat.
Nebraska is falling apart before our eyes right now and that is slowly being shown in the NET rankings, as they are down to 45th. With only two wins against Quadrant one opponents, no Isaac Copeland, and a brutal upcoming schedule, it could be a rough finish to the season for Tim Miles and the Cornhuskers.
In 2017 Clemson hung around right until the end, simply because they played a good schedule and rated well in the RPI. Well, this year they are doing the exact same thing, with the only difference being that the committee uses the NET right now. Maybe they can win a couple of games down the stretch and backdoor an at-large bid, although their schedule doesn’t provide the Quadrant one opportunities that you would like.
The Knights are another example of a team that is probably pretty good but one that doesn’t have the necessary Quadrant one wins to make the NCAA Tournament, as they currently have zero Quadrant one wins. Coming in they will get four Quadrant one opportunities, so a good finish to the regular season can quickly change their fate and send them to the big dance.
Side Note: Indiana was not considered for an at-large bid, teams have to have a winning record for me to seriously consider them for an at-large bid.
Projected Conference Champions
Atlantic Sun: Liberty, 12 seed
Ohio Valley: Belmont, 12 seed
Colonial Athletic: Hofstra, 13 seed
WAC: New Mexico State, 13 seed
IVY League: Yale, 13 seed
American East: Vermont, 13 seed
Conference USA: Old Dominion, 14 seed
The Summit League: South Dakota State, 14 seed
Big West: UC Irvine, 14 seed
Big Sky: Montana, 14 seed
Sun Belt: Texas State, 15 seed
Horizon League: Northern Kentucky, 15 seed
Big South: Radford, 15 seed
Missouri Valley: Drake, 15 seed
Patriot League: Lehigh, 16 seed
Southland: Sam Houston State, 16 seed
SWAC: Prairie View A&M, 16 seed (play-in game)
MEAC: Norfolk State, 16 seed (play-in game)
Northeast: St. Francis (PA), 16 seed (play-in game)
MAAC: Canisius, 16 seed (play-in game)
Top Right Region
East Region (Washington DC)
1, Duke (Columbia) v 16. St. Francis (PA)/ Canisius
8.Ole Miss v 9.Ohio State
4. LSU (Jacksonville) v 13. Hofstra
5. Iowa State v 12. Belmont
3. Marquette (Des Moines) v 14. South Dakota State
6. Nevada v 11. TCU
2. Michigan State (Hartford) v 15. Drake
7. Buffalo v 10. NC State
Bottom Left Region
West Region (Anaheim)
1- Gonzaga (San Jose) v 16. Lehigh
8. Washington v 9. Florida
4. Texas Tech (San Jose) v 13. New Mexico State
5. Florida State v 12. Utah State/ Arizona State
3. Houston (Tulsa) v 14. Montana
6. Virginia Tech v 11. Temple
2. Michigan (Hartford) v 15. Northern Kentucky
7. Baylor v 10. St. John’s
South Region (Louisville)
1.Virginia (Columbus) v 16.Prairie View A&M/ Norfolk State
8. Auburn v 9. Texas
4. Maryland (Salt Lake City) v 13. Yale
5. Mississippi State v 12. Liberty
3. Purdue (Des Moines) v 14. Old Dominion
6. Kansas State v 11. Alabama
2. Tennessee (Columbia) 15. Radford
7. Cincinnati v 10. Minnesota
Midwest Region (Kansas City)
1. Kentucky (Columbus) v 16. Sam Houston State
8. Wofford v 9. Syracuse
4. Wisconsin (Salt Lake City) v 13. Vermont
5. Louisville v 12. Furman/ Seton Hall
3. Kansas (Tulsa) v 14. UC Irvine
6. Villanova v 11. VCU
2. North Carolina (Jacksonville) v 15. Texas State
7. Iowa v 10. Oklahoma
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