One Seed Odds

We are getting close to Selection Sunday, which means the group of one seed contenders is shrinking.

Here are the one seed odds of the realistic contenders:

VIRGINIA – 99% – The Hoos have two losses and eight Quadrant 1 wins. They’re basically a shoe in for the one line.

VILLANOVA – 93% – This isn’t a guarantee, but Jay Wright’s guys have eight Quadrant 1 wins, seven Quadrant 2 wins, and a sweep of Xavier. It will be a real surprise if they don’t end up as the one seed in the East.

XAVIER – 67% – The closing stretch is more than manageable, but it also means any loss before the Big East final could be very costly. Winning out through the Big East final will get them on the one line, but it might be a tough sell if Villanova beats them for a third time.

KANSAS – 66% – Bill Self’s guys are focused on winning a 14th straight Big XII Championship. If they do, they’ll likely get a third straight one seed. In their way, though, is a very hard trip to Lubbock to play Texas Tech and a trip to Stillwater, which has been close to an automatic loss for KU in recent years.

AUBURN – 41% – If Auburn can win both the SEC regular season and tournament, it will be very hard to keep them from being, at worst, fifth overall. Whether they rise above that may depend on how Xavier and Kansas do. More likely, Auburn isn’t going to make it to Selection Sunday with only four losses.

TEXAS TECH – 27% – The Red Raiders are currently on the three line, but their closing stretch includes Kansas at home and West Virginia on the road. In other words, there is ample time to significantly beef up the profile. Even with a potential regular season Big XII Championship, though, a tourney title is likely necessary to get all the way up to the one line.

DUKE – 26% – Coach K’s team is lurking just close enough to the one line to get there. But without an ACC tournament title, it’s hard to see that happening. Even with a tournament championship, they might need to win out.

MICHIGAN STATE – 25% – The Big Ten Champions are still suffering from a lack of quality wins. They must win out through the Big Ten tournament or it won’t happen. Even then, they still might only be looking at four Quadrant 1 wins, which would be historically low for a one seed. This could easily be one of the most griped about seeds in years if Michigan State enters the NCAAs as a two seed with only three losses.

PURDUE – 25% – The Boilermakers are far from out of this, despite a recent tough patch. What could help Purdue is drawing both a strong Big Ten semis and final opponent to bolster an already strong resume. Without a Big Ten tournament title, though, the one seed dream appears remote.

NORTH CAROLINA – 17% – Nobody is talking about UNC as a one seed, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds. They already own nine Quadrant 1 wins and their closing stretch is very tough. That means they can really add to an already nice resume. It probably won’t happen, but it could still happen for the reigning champs.

ALL OTHERS – 14% combined

Tuesday Bracket

No major changes. Oklahoma drops to an 8 and Seton Hall moves to 7. Miami moves to an 8 and Providence moves back to a 9 .

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Southern / FGCU

8 Oklahoma
9 Providence

5 West Virginia
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Louisiana

6 Rhode Island
11 Syracuse

3 Texas Tech
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Florida

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Savannah St / Nicholls St

8 Creighton
9 Virginia Tech

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Missouri
11 NC State / Texas

3 Michigan St
14 Wright St

7 Michigan
10 Butler

2 UNC
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 UNCA

8 Florida State
9 Nevada

5 Alabama
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Arkansas
11 Baylor / UCLA

3 Cincinnati
14 Rider

7 Seton Hall
10 St Bonaventure

2 Duke
15 UCSB

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Penn

8 Miami
9 TCU

5 Kentucky
12 Buffalo

4 Wichita State
13 ETSU

6 Gonzaga
11 Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Charleston

7 Houston
10 St Mary’s

2 Auburn
15 Wagner

Magic Numbers (to clinch NCAA bids)

It’s Magic Number time! Last year, all 68 NCAA teams were correctly picked on this site and 67 of the 68 were placed exactly on their seed line or within one line of their actual seed. So we can identify with reasonable precision where your team stands in the pecking order and we can now see a regular season path to the NCAAs as an at-large for every team with realistic hopes of a bid.

These teams are NCAA locks:

Virginia, Villanova, Duke, UNC, Kansas, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Tennessee, Wichita State, Auburn, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Xavier

Some teams are still alive but not mentioned below because they cannot win enough games before their conference tournament to clinch a bid, even if they would very likely make the tournament by winning out in the regular season (for example, LSU will very likely make the field if they win their last four regular season games). Other teams mentioned below will very likely make the field with one less win than asked for, but they wouldn’t be absolute locks without other teams faltering.

Here is the number of remaining REGULAR SEASON games your favorite team needs to win to clinch a tournament bid (factoring in strength of remaining schedule):

American

Houston – 3

ACC

Clemson – 1
Florida State – 2
Miami – 3
Louisville – 3
Virginia Tech – 3
Syracuse – 3
NC State – 4

Atlantic 10

Rhode Island – 3

Big XII

TCU – 2
Baylor – 3
Kansas State – 3
Oklahoma – 3
Texas – 3

Big East

Creighton – 2
Seton Hall – 2
Providence – 3
Butler – 3

Big Ten

Michigan – 1

Mountain West

Nevada – 4

Pac-12

Arizona – 1
Arizona State – 3
UCLA – 3
USC – 3
Washington – 4

SEC

Alabama – 1
Arkansas – 1
Kentucky – 1
Missouri – 1
Texas A&M – 1
Florida – 2
Georgia – 3
Mississippi St – 4

West Coast

Gonzaga – 2

Monday morning bracket

 

The Backlog in the Big East:

Today’s bracket features a rare procedural change in seeding.  Because the Big East has Villanova and Xavier on the one line and the Big East plays a double round robin schedule, no other Big East schools can be in their 4-team pod. With Michigan’s win over Ohio State prompting a move for the Wolverines down to the seven line, Seton Hall moved into an eight, where Creighton already resided.  That means Villanova, Xavier, Creighton, and Seton Hall all go to different regions to avoid playing each other.  Nine seed Providence then had to drop to a ten to avoid either a first round rematch against Creighton or Seton Hall or a second round battle with Villanova or Xavier.  This generously gives true ten Florida a bump to the nine line.

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Southern / FGCU

8 Seton Hall
9 Florida

5 West Virginia
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Louisiana

6 Rhode Island
11 Syracuse

3 Texas Tech
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Providence

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Savannah St / Nicholls St

8 Creighton
9 Miami

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Missouri
11 NC State / Texas

3 Michigan St
14 Wright St

7 Michigan
10 St Bonaventure

2 UNC
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 UNCA

8 Florida State
9 Nevada

5 Alabama
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Arkansas
11 Baylor / UCLA

3 Cincinnati
14 Rider

7 Oklahoma
10 Butler

2 Duke
15 UCSB

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Penn

8 TCU
9 Virginia Tech

5 Kentucky
12 Buffalo

4 Wichita State
13 ETSU

6 Gonzaga
11 Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Charleston

7 Houston
10 St Mary’s

2 Auburn
15 Wagner

Tournament / Bubble Picture

A lot of teams are creeping towards lock status. Keep in mind, how many wins a team needs to become a lock isn’t just based on their current resume, but the potential bad losses and good wins that remain on their future schedule. So a team like Rhode Island might need to win more games than Seton Hall to lock a bid since Seton Hall has a much more difficult remaining schedule. With that in mind, the bubble has now trimmed itself and we have five distinct categories of teams: Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, Truly Bubbly, and Longshots.

Let’s break down each category.

TOURNEY BOUND – These 14 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

Villanova, UNC, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, Auburn, Duke, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Wichita State, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Purdue

LOOKING SOLID – These 21 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Michigan – 1

Alabama – 1
Arkansas – 1
West Virginia – 1
Arizona – 1
Clemson – 1
Missouri – 1

Texas A&M – 1
Kentucky – 1
Creighton – 2
Butler – 2

Seton Hall – 2
Florida State – 2
TCU – 2
Oklahoma – 2

Providence – 3
Arizona St – 3
Gonzaga – 3
Miami – 3
Houston – 3
Rhode Island – 3

TRULY BUBBLY – These teams represent the “true bubble.” Some will play themselves in comfortably, some will play themselves out, and some will stay on the bubble all the way through the Selection Show:

Louisville, Texas, Florida, USC, Nevada, St Mary’s, Syracuse, Marquette, Washington, Kansas State, UCLA, Georgia, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, Penn State, Baylor, and LSU

LONGSHOTS – These teams aren’t totally out of it, but their bubble is on the verge of being popped:

South Carolina, Buffalo, Colorado, Loyola-Chicago, Western Kentucky, Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 35 teams from 8 conferences are Tourney Bound or Looking Solid. That means there are only nine bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

Sunday Bracket

The Depth of the Big XII:

Kansas completed another big comeback against West Virginia, Texas picked up a huge road win at Oklahoma, Kansas State beat Iowa State, Baylor beat league leader Texas Tech, and TCU defeated Oklahoma State at home. All told, it was a great day for Big XII bubble teams (giving the conference eight tournament teams), and also gives the league a new number one seed – Kansas.

The Five Teams Just Out of the Field:

LSU has a whopping seven Quadrant 1 wins, but a poor RPI and 11 losses.  Washington has four Quadrant 1 wins, including at Kansas, but they have really bad predictive-based metrics for a tournament contender (averaging about 110th in the country).  Marquette has three road wins against RPI top 40 foes, but their 15-11 record leaves a bit to be desired.  Utah has a decent collection of wins and  a solid record, but they were destroyed by UNLV early in the season and that could be a differentiator.  And Georgia has a great collection of wins, but still has three bad losses to keep them just out of the field.

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Southern / FGCU

8 Providence
9 Michigan

5 West Virginia
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Louisiana

6 Rhode Island
11 Syracuse

3 Texas Tech
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Florida

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Savannah St / Nicholls St

8 Creighton
9 Miami

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Missouri
11 NC State / Texas

3 Michigan St
14 Wright St

7 Seton Hall
10 St Bonaventure

2 UNC
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 UNCA

8 Florida State
9 Nevada

5 Alabama
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Arkansas
11 Baylor / UCLA

3 Cincinnati
14 Rider

7 Oklahoma
10 Butler

2 Duke
15 UCSB

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Penn

8 TCU
9 Virginia Tech

5 Kentucky
12 Buffalo

4 Wichita State
13 ETSU

6 Gonzaga
11 Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Charleston

7 Houston
10 St Mary’s

2 Auburn
15 Wagner

Saturday Morning Bracket

The only impact on the bracket was Saint Bonaventure getting closer to a bid by beating Rhode Island, moving them out of the First Four and dropping Rhode Island to a six (Wichita State moved up).

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Ark Pine Bluff

8 Arkansas
9 Michigan

5 Oklahoma
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Charleston

6 Rhode Island
11 Louisville / Washington

3 Michigan State
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Kansas State

2 Cincinnati
15 Northern KY

WEST

1 Auburn
16 FGCU

8 Seton Hall
9 Nevada

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Kentucky
11 St Bonaventure

3 N Carolina
14 ETSU

7 Providence
10 Virginia Tech

2 Kansas
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Florida State
9 Houston

5 Missouri
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Alabama
11 NC State / UCLA

3 Texas Tech
14 UCSB

7 Creighton
10 St Mary’s

2 Duke
15 UNC Asheville

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Nicholls St / NC A&T

8 TCU
9 Florida

5 Wichita State
12 Buffalo

4 West Virginia
13 Louisiana

6 Gonzaga
11 Texas

3 Clemson
14 Rider

7 Miami
10 Butler

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

Tournament / Bubble Picture

A lot of teams are creeping towards lock status. Keep in mind, how many wins a team needs to become a lock isn’t just based on their current resume, but the potential bad losses and good wins that remain on their future schedule. So a team like Cincinnati might need to win more games than Providence to lock a bid since Providence has a much more difficult remaining schedule. With that in mind, the bubble has now trimmed itself and we have four distinct categories of teams: Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, Truly Bubbly, and Longshots.

Let’s break down each category.

TOURNEY BOUND – These 9 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

Villanova, UNC, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Purdue

LOOKING SOLID – These 26 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Duke – 1
Ohio St – 1
Tennessee – 1
West Virginia – 1
Alabama – 2
Arizona – 2
Arkansas – 2
Cincinnati – 2
Clemson – 2
Creighton – 2
Missouri – 2
Providence – 2
Wichita State – 2
Arizona State – 3
Butler – 3
Florida – 3
Florida State – 3
Kentucky – 3
Miami – 3
Oklahoma – 3
Seton Hall – 3
Texas A&M – 3
Gonzaga – 4
TCU – 4
Rhode Island – 4
Houston – 5

TRULY BUBBLY – These teams represent the “true bubble.” Some will play themselves in comfortably, some will play themselves out, and some will stay on the bubble all the way through the Selection Show:

Louisville, Texas, USC, Nevada, Michigan, St Mary’s, Syracuse, Marquette, Washington, Kansas State, UCLA, Colorado, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, Penn State, Baylor, and LSU

LONGSHOTS – These teams aren’t totally out of it, but their bubble is on the verge of being popped:

South Carolina, Buffalo, Georgia, Oregon, Maryland, Wyoming, Loyola-Chicago, UCF, Boston College, BYU, Iowa State, Stanford, Western Kentucky, Boise State, New Mexico State, SMU, Oklahoma State, and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 35 teams from 8 conferences are Tourney Bound or Looking Solid. That means there are only nine bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

Friday Bracket

Auburn vs Purdue for the one line:

All indications from the selection committee on Sunday were that the four one seeds, including overall four Purdue, were “solid.” But things can change quickly, and Auburn adding a win over Kentucky gave the Tigers a very strong argument for the one line, as they were able to best Purdue in strength of schedule, number of losses, and Quadrant 1 wins, while matching the Boilermakers’ 11 total Quadrant 1 and 2 wins. But last night’s loss by Purdue to Wisconsin seals it. The Boilermakers drop from the one line and Auburn moves up.

A Strong Bubble:

It seems every year now, the media starts talking about how weak the bubble is. This year, the cutline looks like a monster. Look at some of the teams hovering on the bubble: Virginia Tech (four Quadrant 1 wins, including at Virginia), NC State (five Quadrant 1 wins, including at UNC), Kansas State (four Quadrant wins and four Quadrant 2 wins), Texas (five Quadrant 1 wins), Washington (five Quadrant 1 wins), and LSU (five Quadrant 1 wins). A plethora of quality wins are there for bubble teams and that usually isn’t the case. We are likely going to see at least three teams with 5 or more Quadrant 1 wins get their bubble popped on Selection Sunday, and it is rare to see teams with those kind of quality wins headed to the NIT.

West Virginia replaces Oklahoma on the four line:

Losing at Texas Tech isn’t a bad loss for Oklahoma, but they were already the worst-rated four seed by the committee on Sunday. Meanwhile, West Virginia is now at six Quadrant 1 wins, rather than the five they had on Sunday. With a season sweep of Oklahoma, the Mountaineers replace their Big XII brethren as the sixteenth overall seed in the bracket.

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Ark Pine Bluff

8 Arkansas
9 Michigan

5 Oklahoma
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Charleston

6 Wichita St
11 Louisville/ St Bonaventure

3 Michigan State
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Kansas State

2 Cincinnati
15 Northern KY

WEST

1 Auburn
16 FGCU

8 Seton Hall
9 Nevada

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Kentucky
11 Washington

3 N Carolina
14 ETSU

7 Providence
10 Virginia Tech

2 Kansas
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Florida State
9 Houston

5 Missouri
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Alabama
11 NC State / UCLA

3 Texas Tech
14 UCSB

7 Creighton
10 St Mary’s

2 Duke
15 UNC Asheville

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Nicholls St / NC A&T

8 TCU
9 Florida

5 Rhode Island
12 Buffalo

4 West Virginia
13 Louisiana

6 Gonzaga
11 Texas

3 Clemson
14 Rider

7 Miami
10 Butler

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

Monday Bracket

Welcome, Bonnies!

Saint Bonaventure is new to the bracket this week, thanks to three straight weeks of unbeaten basketball and some upheaval around the cutline.  While their spot in the bracket is tenuous, they do have three Group 1 wins, eight wins away from home, and the 50th-best out of conference strength of schedule.  For now, it’s just enough to get a First Four bid.

The First Four OUT of the Field:

LSU, NC State, USC, and Temple are just out of the bracket. LSU and NC State have great wins, but poor results-based metrics.  Temple has great wins, but way too many losses for a team in the AAC.  And USC’s profile doesn’t have great metrics or quality wins, which makes it just bland enough to leave them out.

Here is the new bracket following Sunday’s action / Bracket Preview:

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Ark Pine Bluff

8 Florida
9 Providence

5 West Virginia
12 Mid Tenn

4 Tennessee
13 Charleston

6 Wichita St
11 Louisville

3 Michigan State
14 Murray St

7 Alabama
10 Texas

2 Cincinnati
15 Northern KY

WEST

1 Purdue
16 FGCU

8 Butler
9 Virginia Tech

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Arizona St
11 Arkansas

3 N Carolina
14 ETSU

7 Seton Hall
10 Houston

2 Kansas
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Florida State
9 Michigan

5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Miami
11 St Bonaventure / UCLA

3 Texas Tech
14 UCSB

7 Missouri
10 Washington

2 Duke
15 UNC Asheville

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Nicholls St / NC A&T

8 TCU
9 St Mary’s

5 Rhode Island
12 Buffalo

4 Oklahoma
13 Louisiana

6 Gonzaga
11 Syracuse / Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Rider

7 Creighton
10 Nevada

2 Auburn
15 Bucknell