Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Attempt at Projected Tournament Field

Here is my first draft at the NCAA field. I am not going to do matchups until my final draft is released on Selection Sunday. My seeds are left to right in order of how I have them ranked right now as well. (Automatic Bids in bold, predicted Automatic qualifiers in italics)

One Seeds- Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame

Two Seeds- North Carolina, Duke, Texas, BYU

Three Seeds- Florida, Syracuse, Louisville, Kentucky

Four Seeds- San Diego State, West Virginia, Purdue, Wisconsin

Five Seeds- Kansas State, St Johns, UCONN, Vanderbilt

Six Seeds- Cincinnati, UCLA, Arizona, Xavier

Seven Seeds- Temple, Georgetown, UNLV, Texas A&M

Eight Seeds- Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Gonzaga

Nine Seeds- Marquette, Old Dominion, Michigan, Washington

Ten Seeds- Villanova, Butler, Florida State, George Mason

Eleven Seeds- USC, Boston College, Colorado, Virginia Tech

Twelve Seeds- Richmond, Clemson/Michigan State, Utah State, Georgia/St Mary's

Thirteen Seeds- UAB, Harvard, Oakland, Belmont

Fourteen Seeds- Morehead State, Indiana State, Kent State, Bucknell

Fifteen Seeds- Long Island U, Wofford, St Peters, Northern Colorado

Sixteen Seeds- Boston U, UNC Ashville, Texas Southern/Arkansas Little Rock, Mcneese State/Bethune Cookman

Ohio State and Kansas both make good cases for the overall number one seed. I think at this point it is Ohio State's to lose. I think if Pitt were to win the Big East tournament and neither OSU or Kansas won their tournaments Pitt could still get the overall number 1. To me those are the only three contenders for that spot.

I have Duke slightly ahead of North Carolina, but because I had them 5 and 6 overall and North Carolina won the ACC outright I went ahead and made North Carolina the highest 2 seed. BYU could fall a couple seed lines if their play seems to really have diminished in the Mountain West tournament. As of right now their resume is too impressive to do that. BYU is 9-1 against the RPI top 50, and 5-0 against the RPI top 25. I still think if they look really impressive in the Mountain West tournament they have an outside shot at a number 1 seed.

Kentucky is the first team whom I seeded higher than I initially expected to. They struggled in true road games inside the conference, but their overall profile is really good. They are 12 in the RPI and have non-conference wins over Washington, Louisville (projected 3 seed by me) and Notre Dame (projected 1 seed by me). They were also in the very difficult SEC East and racked up some good wins there.

I have Purdue and Wisconsin both as 4 seeds, whomever makes the finals of the Big 10 (if either do) will have a good shot at a 3 and an outside shot at a two. Purdue for example has a nice split with Wisconsin and Ohio State, but outside of that their wins just do not hold up with the teams I have above them (including a WVU team that they lost to). Wisconsin essentially has the same resume though they are a few spots lower in the RPI and have 1 more loss.

On to the Bearcats. I have them as the to 6 seed at the moment. A loss to South Florida tonight could put them in the 7/8 range given how little respect they seem to have been given at times nationally. Short of that I think a 6 seed is very safe and they could very easily play their way up. Their overall resume compares very well to all of the 4 and 5 seeds (I debated putting them above Vanderbilt for the last 5 seed). If they were to make a run to the finals their resume would compare very well to all the 2 and 3 seeds. The Big East tournament will be a great opportunity for the Cats and really the only risk would be dropping a seed line with a loss to South Florida (and I really do not expect a team playing this well to do that).

I have UCONN above the Bearcats despite finishing behind them in the Big East on the strength of their great non-conference profile and their win in Cincinnati. UCONN's overall body of work is really quite impressive even if I do not necessarily think they are as good of a team as some of the squads they are seeded with.

I will definitely have an updated bracket with full projections (even the futile attempt to predict match-ups and regions) at the very least on the morning of Selection Sunday. And as conference tournaments move along I may have some other thoughts to add.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mark, I don't see a representative from the Big West in your brackets.