Hello, college basketball fans!
Next Sunday is Selection Sunday! The regular season is now complete, all that remains are the conference tournaments (some are complete already).
|Fri/Sun March 27-29|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||16|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||12||Akron||22-7|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||11||Stanford||20-11|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||10||Texas Tech||18-13|
|15||North Dakota State||21-8|
|West Regional||Los Angeles|
|Thur/Sat March 26-28|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||16|
|9||Utah State *||24-8|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||12||East Tennessee State||26-4|
|13||Stephen F. Austin||25-3|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||11|
|14||New Mexico State||23-6|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||10||NC State||19-12|
|2||San Diego St||29-2|
|Thur/Sat March 26-28|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||16||Little Rock||20-10|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||12||Yale||21-7|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||11|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||10||Arizona State||20-11|
|East Regional||New York|
|Fri/Sun March 27-29|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||16||Winthrop *||22-10|
|Fri/Sun March 20-22||12||Liberty *||28-4|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||11||Xavier||19-12|
|Thur/Sat March 19-21||10||Rutgers||19-11|
|First Four Games|
|Dayton||W||Prairie View A&M||16-13|
|Tue March 17||16||North Carolina Central||14-13|
|Wed March 18||16||St. Francis||21-9|
|Tue March 17||11||Indiana||19-12|
|Wed March 18||11||Arkansas||19-12|
Bids by Conference:
Big Ten: 11
Big East: 7
Pac 12: 6
Big 12: 4
One bid conferences: 23 (Including AAC)
Highest NET left out (WarrenNolan.com as of Saturday's games): Oklahoma (44), Wichita State (46), Minnesota (47), Northern Iowa (48), St. Louis (49), Mississippi State (50)
We have another change on the top line as Dayton makes its first appearance this season as a #1 seed. Because Baylor lost, Dayton in this bracket is listed as the 3rd overall #1 seed and was placed in the Midwest Regional over Baylor, who wound up in the East Regional. Baylor has now lost three games in the past three weeks. There's a decent chance they will be a #2 seed and had San Diego State not lost, Baylor would be a #2 seed right now. Baylor still has 11 Quad 1 wins. If they make the Big 12 final, they should be able to keep a #1 seed but an early loss could send them to a #2 seed. Of the current #2 seeds, Florida State probably has the best chance of moving up to a #1 seed as they are the ACC regular season champion.
There isn't a lot of separation in my opinion between the #2's, #3's, and #4's. I put Villanova and Duke on the 2 line because they beat the best team, Kansas. Duke also beat Michigan State and Florida State. Villanova split with co Big East champions Creighton and Seton Hall. Co-Big Ten champion Michigan State leads the #3 seeds being ranked #7 in the NET with 8 Quad 1 wins. Co-Big East champion Creighton swept Seton Hall and has nine Quad 1 wins including a sweep of Seton Hall and a win at Villanova. SEC Champion Kentucky also has nine Quad 1 wins including Michigan State and Louisville. Pac-12 champion Oregon sneaked onto the #3 line. They have eight Quad 1 wins but the big one is one over Seton Hall. Interesting that the top three seeds in the West Regional now are all actually West teams. I can't remember the last time that happened. In
Seton Hall has ten Quad 1 wins and a share of the Big East title but has to settle for a #4 seed. They lost to Michigan State, Oregon, and Creighton twice. They did beat Maryland which is why the Terrapins are also a #4 seed. Louisville lost to Kentucky (although they beat Duke at Duke). Wisconsin grabbed the last #4 seed. Maryland was placed out west to accommodate BYU in the second round (BYU can't play in Sacramento in the second round because they play on Sunday). They're the #4 seed behind three West teams. But a lot can change on Championship Week. With the top three in the ACC and Big East pretty close and Michigan State and Maryland up there, a conference championship could move you up to a #2 seed and a first round loss could doom you to a #4 seed.
In addition, in order to get two Big Ten teams as #5 seeds and BYU as a #5 seed, I had to pair Gonzaga and BYU so they could meet in the Sweet 16. There's a pretty good chance they will meet in the WCC final so that would be their third meeting and teams that meet three times aren't supposed to meet before the regional final but when it comes to BYU rules have to be broken.
I tried accommodating all of the top NET teams all the way down to #43 with Oklahoma being the highest ranked to be left out. Purdue, despite being just one game over .500, still ranks #33 with four Quad 1 wins including Michigan State and Virginia, a win that looks a lot better now. They also have two wins over Indiana. I have a hard time leaving Purdue out and putting Indiana in, especially since Indiana's NET ranking now is #60. The Big Ten Tournament might change my mind. Indiana has to play the first day vs. Nebraska. If they lose, they are definitely out. Indiana drew Penn State who just lost at Northwestern as a potential second game. Purdue will play Ohio State, a much tougher opponent, in its first game. Should Indiana make it to the quarterfinals and Purdue go one and done, that might move Indiana ahead of Purdue in the Big Ten pecking order. Indiana also gets a Maryland team as a potential QF opponent that hasn't played so well lately either while Purdue's QF opponent would be Michigan State and nobody in the conference is playing better than them. The draw seems to favor Indiana but the Hoosiers have to take advantage. If they lose to Nebraska or Penn State, they don't deserve to make the NCAA Tournament.
One thing about Purdue is they remind me about several high NET ranked schools last year that didn't make the cut, Texas (16-16) and Indiana (17-15) and NC State. All three of these schools had low RPI's, Texas's was #68, Indiana's was #97, and NC State's was #98. Purdue's current RPI is #86 (courtesy of Warren Nolan), by far the lowest RPI of any at large team in this field. Texas Tech's RPI is #73 even though their NET is #22.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma has five Quad 1 wins but lost to Wichita State, Wichita State was swept by Cincinnati, and Cincinnati is ranked #51 with four Quad 3 losses so none of these teams got in. All three of these teams have to show me something this week in their conference tournaments if they want in. Finally, UCLA's NET ranking is still #75. They definitely have to win at least one game if not two.