So I spent the entire day watching College Basketball and as a result I have a full breakdown for you guys. Here is my bracket followed by some analysis:
1: Duke, Indiana, Gonzaga, Kansas
2: Miami FL, Louisville, Florida, Georgetown
3: New Mexico, Michigan, Kansas State, Michigan State
4: Syracuse, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Arizona
5: Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Marquette, UNLV
6: Virginia Commonwealth, Oregon, Butler, Saint Louis
7: Minnesota, UCLA, North Carolina State, Notre Dame
8: Colorado State, Memphis, San Diego State, Illinois
9: Cincinnati, Missouri, Creighton, California
10: UNC, Oklahoma, Saint Mary’s, Colorado
11: Wichita State, Virginia, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee
12: Belmont, Temple, La Salle, Boise State, Iowa State, Villanova
13: Akron, Bucknell, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin
14: Valpariaso, South Dakota State, Harvard, Davidson
15: Stony Brook, Montana, Long Beach State, Northeastern
16: Robert Morris, Niagra, Mercer, Southern, High Point, Norfolk State
First Five Out: Ole Miss, Tennessee, Baylor, Maryland, Southern Miss
Next Five Out: BYU, Massachusetts, Arizona State, Iowa, Alabama
Third Five Out: Arkansas, Charlotte, Denver, Providence, Indiana State
Also Considered: LSU, Air Force, Stanford, UCF, Wyoming, Xavier, Texas A&M, New Mexico State, Saint Johns
So, I have gotten rid of my “Fourth Five Out” category as there are few enough teams with a shot to where it doesn’t really make sense. “Third Five Out” will be leaving soon. Here is some bubble analysis as we move forward.
The way that I see it, there are currently 15 available at large-spots and 40 teams going for those spots. Now, I know 40 seems like a lot but I believe these are the only 39 teams that could fill the spots no matter what happens. Obviously this list will only shrink from here. If a team is not on this list, they will not get an at-large spot barring an apocalypse.
The 15 spots available are all the spots on the 9 line through the 12 line taking away spots currently held by Creighton, Middle Tennessee, and Belmont (they are in as conference champions and should they lose will be added to the at-large pool along with the teams currently on the 13 line Akron, Bucknell, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin)
Here is some analysis of those bubble teams:
Cincinnati and Missouri are in. I just have them on this “bubble analysis” for the sake of keeping the nine line involved. 13 Spots Left.
California has been playing so well lately and they beat a fellow bubble team in Colorado today. If they keep playing this well, they could end as high as a 6 seed. 12 Spots Left
UNC, Oklahoma, Saint Mary’s, Colorado: UNC is just starting to play well and they are really starting to look like a tournament team. Oklahoma won a good one today against fellow bubble team Iowa State. Colorado is now on the bubble after dropping their game against California today. Saint Mary’s may be closer to the bubble then the other teams on this line, but I don’t see how you can leave a five loss team that has beaten Creighton, swept BYU, and hasn’t lost to a team that isn’t Gonzaga since December. 8 Spots.
Wichita State, Virginia, Kentucky: Wichita State is in free-fall. They lose to Evansville in a big upset and then lose to a good Creighton team. They need to make the conference tournament finals against Creighton or they are in big trouble. Virginia has a crazy profile. Great top wins, terrible top losses. But in the tournament they will be playing someone good and they have proven they can beat the top. I have Kentucky higher than most but I believe they can still win. It was a tough loss for them today but they will turn it around. Wins against Missouri, Tennessee, Ole Miss, A&M, LSU, and Maryland as well as no bad losses keeps them in for now. 5 Spots
Temple: They were out of my bracket in mid February but after winning five in a row (including wins against fellow bubble teams UMass, La Salle, and Charlotte) is enough to keep them safe for now. 4 Spots Remaining.
La Salle: Killed in their game today. With the exception of the loss to Temple hasn’t lost since January and still has a profile that features wins against VCU, Butler, and Villanova. They are the fourth to last team in the field.
Boise State: As much as I wanted Boise State to be in the field, until today I couldn’t do it because they had no wins that made me trust they could perform in the tournament. Today, they proved they could by handling Colorado State pretty handily. Welcome to the right side of the bubble Broncos. Won’t you stay awhile?
Iowa State: Well this is sad. Two losses in a row brings Iowa State close to the cut line. Their sweep of Baylor is looking less and less impressive and their best non-conference win is BYU. They better hope Kansas State keeps things up as that win is the only thing holding their profile together (and a win against Oklahoma if you count that).
Villanova: I really couldn’t tell you if I want Villanova to make the tournament or not. Clearly they can beat the good teams but they have also proven they can lose. I just don’t understand. But they are the Big East and have three great wins so they will make it…unless they lose again, which will happen, so I’m not really sure what to say or think. But as of now, they are my last team in.
Ole Miss, Tennessee, Baylor, Maryland, Southern Miss: The first five out features an Ole Miss team in free fall (yeah I overuse that term but when you lose to Mississippi State I think it applies), a Tennessee team that was hot until they played Georgia…yeah…a Baylor team in free fall (that one was just for kicks but at the same time it they have lost four of their last five), a Maryland team that seems to think that if they alternate wins and losses everything will be okay, and a Southern Miss team that wishes it didn’t have to play Memphis twice a year.
That’s it for now. I could analyze the rest but I’ll get to them if I think they are significant. Excited for more basketball tomorrow!