Hello, college basketball fans!
It's Championship Week! Selection Sunday is just six days away!
|8||San Diego State||18-8|
|12||UC Santa Barbara||17-4|
|14||South Dakota State||15-6|
|14||Morehead State *||21-7|
|7||Loyola Chicago *||22-4|
|B1||Prairie View A&M||14-4|
Bids By Conference:
Big 10: 9 (Mich, OSU, Iowa, Ill, Pur, Wisc, Rut, Md, MSU)
Big 12: 7 (Bay, Kan, WV, OkSt, T Tech, Tex, Okl)
ACC: 7 (FSU, Va, Clem, GaT, UNC, Lville, VaT)
SEC: 6 (Ala, Ark, Tenn, Mo, Fla, LSU)
Big E: 5 (Vill, Creig, Conn, SH, Xav)
Pac 12: 4 (USC, Colo, Ore, UCLA)
WCC: 2 (Gonz, BYU)
AAC: 2 (Hou, WSU)
MVC: 2 (Loy, Drake)
MWC: 2 (SDSt, CSU)
A-10: 2 (St. B, VCU)
One Bid: 20
Highest NET left out: Penn State (40, sub .500 record), Boise State (43), St. Louis (44), Utah State (48), Syracuse (49). NET Data courtesy of WarrenNolan.com.
I wrote at The Champaign Room (SB Nation's Illinois Fighting Illini blog) about Illinois's #1 seed chances being a University of Illinois alumni. Illinois cemented their grip on a #1 seed by beating Ohio State last Saturday. When I checked Bracket Matrix after last Friday's brackets, the #1 seeds looked pretty consensus on most of the brackets surveyed, Illinois, Gonzaga, Baylor, and Michigan. I normally don't like to look at the Bracket Matrix before doing a fresh bracket to not be influenced by other brackets but I highly doubt any #1 seeds would have changed based on the weekend's action, even if Michigan lost to Michigan State. I did say Iowa and Ohio State could bump Illinois from a #1 seed by beating them and winning the Big Ten Tournament. But I would say the #1 seed is Illinois's to lose, Iowa or Ohio State would have to take it from them.
Meanwhile, we have Kansas moving up to the #2 line over West Virginia. Kansas's win over Baylor had a lot to do with that. Oklahoma State jumped all the way to a #3 seed with a huge win at West Virginia. Arkansas also moved up to a #3 seed. I am not sold on Houston as a #2 seed. They don't have the quality wins and they have a Quad 3 loss. They did beat Texas Tech on a neutral court but Kansas swept Texas Tech including a win in Lubbock (in fact #3 seeds West Virginia and Oklahoma State also swept Texas Tech). Villanova will be an interesting team to watch without Collin Gillespie and the first look is not good as they lost to a Providence team that doesn't even project to be an NCAA Tournament team. They're a #4 team in this bracket but if they go one and done in the Big East Tournament they could fall to a #5 or even a #6. Florida State also blew a golden opportunity to win the ACC when they lost at Notre Dame. Someone from the ACC needs to step up. Can you imagine a bracket where the highest seeded ACC team is a #4 seed?
Drake (last team in) and St. Louis (last team out) now have to play the waiting game. Comparing the two, St. Louis has two Quad 1 wins but Drake has 6 total Quad 1/2 wins vs. 4 for St. Louis. St. Louis has wins over St. Bonaventure and LSU, Drake over Loyola. Both have two Quad 3 losses although one of St. Louis's is to Dayton which is #80 in the NET. I'm not even sure Drake is the right call, St. Louis played many fewer games.
Some of the conference tournaments to look for when it comes to bubble teams:
Big East: Xavier and Seton Hall. I wrote in the Bracket Matrix discussion thread that Seton Hall should be ahead of Xavier because they won the head to head. Their NET's are similar. Seton Hall has three Quad 1 wins vs. just one for Xavier but Seton Hall has a Quad 3 loss that Xavier doesn't have (Xavier also has played many fewer games). They are on opposite sides of the draw. The Big East is open with Villanova having to play without Gillespie (and they lost another player after Sunday's game) and Creighton having issues with their coach. Who knows, maybe Seton Hall or Xavier can go on a run and get off the bubble.
Mountain West: The top four teams are all 3-3 vs. each other. San Diego State is the regular season champion but got lucky playing two of the other three teams (Boise State and Colorado State) at home (and even lost one of two vs. Colorado State at home). They also got a tough Nevada team at home (Nevada defeated Colorado State once and Boise State twice. Utah State also got to play two of three teams at home. Colorado State and Boise State had to play two of three on the road and both had to play Nevada on the road which hurt them. Then again, Boise State had no business losing at home to Fresno State, a Quad 4 loss. The MWC Tournament can help separate the four teams. San Diego State is the strongest of the four right now with a win over UCLA. Colorado State is helped by the fact that they have no Quad 3 or 4 losses. But lose their first game in the MWC Tournament and they will have one. Boise State won't have to worry about any additional Quad 3/4 losses but they have to play Nevada in Vegas. They need to win to make the Selection Committee forget that Quad 4 loss.
Big Ten: Michigan State and Maryland are probably both safe (I'd question Michigan State's NET ranking (#67) but when a team beats Illinois, Ohio State, and Michigan in a two week span, I think you have to let it slide. Michigan State also has no Quad 3/4 losses and Maryland won't be one even if they lose. In 2019, St. John's was ranked #73 with five Quad 1 wins and still got in so if past precedence is true the NCAA should overlook the bad NET ranking. Maryland had a terrible week losing at Northwestern and at home to Penn State but both losses are still just Quad 2 losses and their NET ranking is a very solid 34 with four Quad 1 wins including a win at Illinois and no Quad 3/4 losses. They also are protected from a bad tournament loss unless they beat Michigan and lose to Nebraska in the Big Ten semifinals which is pretty hard to imagine and those games would cancel each other out.
ACC: It looks like Duke will need to win the ACC Tournament to make the NCAA's this year unless the Selection Committee is looking for TV ratings. There are three #10 seeds in this bracket and a #9 seed. I think all 7 of the ACC seeds in this bracket are safe as long as they don't take a bad loss in Greensboro.
Pac-12: I'd watch out for UCLA. They have only five Quad 1/2 wins. Currently they have no Quad 3/4 losses but a loss to Oregon State would be one. Stanford's NET is #71 but they do have 4 Quad 1 wins including a neutral court win over Alabama. They're nowhere near the tournament but a win or two and they might be able to sneak into the tournament.
I should have a bracket update on Wednesday updating the finals from the conferences that play championship games Monday and Tuesday.
Compare my bracket to other brackets across the internet at BracketMatrix.com.