Saturday, March 10, 2012

Projecting the Tournament Field

Here is what I think the NCAA tournament field looks like as of this morning. I bold automatic bids that are already decided, and I italicize teams that only get in if they win their conference tournament.

1 Seeds- Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Missouri

2 Seeds- Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State

3 Seeds- Baylor, Michigan, Marquette, Wisconsin

4 Seeds- Indiana, Georgetown, Wichita State, Florida State

5 Seeds- Cincinnati, Louisville, Creighton, Vanderbilt

6 Seeds- Notre Dame, Florida, Murray State, Memphis

7 Seeds- San Diego State, Temple, Purdue, St Marys

8 Seeds- UNLV, Iowa State, New Mexico, Gonzaga

9 Seeds- Kansas State, St Louis, Alabama, Southern Mississippi

10 Seeds- Uconn, Colorado State, VCU, Harvard

11 Seeds- West Virginia, Xavier, Long Beach State, Texas

12 Seeds- South Florida, Virginia, Cal, Seton Hall/NC State

13 Seeds- Drexel/BYU, Arizona, New Mexico State, Akron

14 Seeds- Davidson, South Dakota State, Belmont, Montana

15 Seeds- Detroit, Loyola (MD), Long Island U, Stony Brook

16 Seeds- UNC Ashville, Lehigh, Norfolk State/Western Kentucky, Lamar/Mississippi Valley State

Last 7 In:

South Florida



Seton Hall



NC State

First 7 Out:


Mississippi State

Oral Roberts



Ole Miss


I listed last 7 in, in the order I have them, and first 7 out in the order I have them. I chose 7 because I could see the committee having any one of these teams in or out. I ranked them based on how the committee would evaluate them based on their body of work, but there are a lot of close calls. I though Mississippi State was locked in heading into this week, but a disastrous loss in the first round of the SEC tournament, along with the atrocious basketball they played late this season has me thinking they will miss.

Now lets look at it a different way. I think Oral Roberts, Tennessee, Iona, Mississippi State and Washington should be out at this point (though I would not be surprised if the committee gave any of them a bid). If Marshall wins today in the CUSA title, they earn the automatic bid, and one of the last teams in gets bounced. If Marshall has a strong showing against Memphis in the finals and loses close I could see them jumping NC State or BYU for that final bid.

Ole Miss also may be able to play their way in with a win today and a good showing against UK in the SEC title. If UK does not make the SEC title, I think Ole Miss needs to win the SEC tournament to get a bid. Still a nice run at the end of the season for Andy Kennedy's squad that looked dead to rights a few weeks ago.

I think the winner of tonight's Big East Championship can get a 4 seed. I certainly believe Louisville will be a 4 seed with a win tonight, but if the Bearcats win tonight they will have more good wins than any team in the country not named Michigan State. That has to mean something. Combined with a Big East Championship, and a recent win over the number 2 overall seed in the tournament I think that will be enough to overcome the non-conference faults on the schedule, both strength of schedule and performance (well realistically if those were not there a 2 seed would be in play).

UK is locked into the overall number 1 seed, and I think Syracuse is locked into the number 2 overall seed. Any of the next 6 could end up with those final two one seeds. If Michigan State wins the Big 10 tournament, I think one will be theirs (based on how many great wins they have). If Ohio State wins I think they will need a Missouri loss to Baylor or someone other than Duke/UNC winning the ACC for them to get up to a 1 seed. A win likely keeps Missouri on the 1 line unless UNC wins the ACC AND Michigan State wins the Big 10. (I hope this all makes sense)

I may try to break it all into a bracket tomorrow, I may just give seeds. We will see.

Go Bearcats!

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