Bracketology: Seventeen Locks Entering Weekend, Huge Win for Virginia, and Kentucky and Tennessee Both Barely In
The top seeds are in shambles after a week where Michigan lost to Penn State, Indiana lost to Minnesota, Duke lost to Virginia and Florida lost to Tennessee. Gonzaga is the one team that has continued to plug along, and right now what looked like a long shot because of all the candidates in the power conferences a month ago looks like an almost certainty now (Gonzaga may even be able to get a #1 seed with a loss to St. Mary’s in the WCC Championship Game).
So right now, I’ll put Georgetown with a question mark in the fourth slot, but twelve teams are still in contention.
What about the teams that I think have locked up bids, as in, they don’t have to win any more games to merit an at-large? (Certainly a losing streak would impact seeding, of course). Here are the teams I believe have done enough already–and the list will probably grow substantially by the middle of next week. It is currently at 17 teams, but 15 more are within one win of pretty much guaranteeing a bid.
Big Ten (5): Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State
Big East (4): Georgetown, Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette
Big XII (2): Kansas, Kansas State
ACC (2): Duke, Miami
Mountain West (1): New Mexico
SEC (1): Florida
Pac-12 (1): Arizona
West Coast (1): Gonzaga
Here are my projections for seeds in the NCAA tournament. These projections are still based on trying to be predictive of the final games in the regular season and the conference tournaments. I did also begin considering RPI rank with all its strength of schedule vagaries, since we know the committee will use it, in addition to what I think the resumé will look like.
#1 Seeds: Duke, Indiana, Gonzaga, Georgetown (?)
#2 Seeds: Michigan State, Florida, Miami, Louisville
#3 Seeds: Michigan, Kansas, Syracuse, New Mexico
#4 Seeds: Wisconsin, Marquette, Arizona, Ohio State
#5 Seeds: Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Colorado State
#6 Seeds: Pittsburgh, Butler, St. Louis, UNLV
#7 Seeds: St. Mary’s, Virginia Commonwealth, North Carolina, Illinois
#8 Seeds: Missouri, Memphis, San Diego State, Notre Dame
#9 Seeds: UCLA, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina State, Wichita State
#10 Seeds: Colorado, California, Oklahoma, Oregon
#11 Seeds: Creighton, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Akron
#12 Seeds: Virginia, Temple, Belmont, Kentucky vs. La Salle
#13 Seeds: Tennessee vs. Boise State, Bucknell, Louisiana Tech, Valparaiso
#14 Seeds: South Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, Davidson, Harvard
#15 Seeds: Stony Brook, Long Beach, Weber State, Robert Morris
#16 Seeds: Niagara, Northeastern, Mercer vs. Texas Southern, Norfolk State vs. Charleston Southern
First Six Out: Mississippi, Baylor, Iowa, Villanova, Southern Miss, Alabama
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