Wednesday Bracket / Thoughts

St Mary’s in the 8-9 game:

The most recent AP poll has the St Mary’s Gaels at 13th in the country while riding a whopping 16-game winning streak, but that isn’t enough to keep St Mary’s from a current spot in the 8-9 game. St Mary’s finds themselves down at an eight seed because of this profile:


Look at that non-conference strength of schedule; 184th in the country. While they did get a home win over New Mexico State, they also lost on a neutral court to Georgia. More costly, they were beaten by a hapless Washington State squad on a neutral floor. Yes, 21-2 is a great record. But Randy Bennett didn’t do his team any favors by scheduling a weaker non-conference slate than a team like St Mary’s should be playing.

Nebraska isn’t in the field, and they aren’t that close:

Some Huskers fans are dumbfounded that their team is 8-4 in the Big Ten, but still out of the bracket. Frankly, they aren’t that close to being in right now. Let’s take a look at the resume:


From just a quick glance, there is a glaring lack of Tier 1 victories. The Huskers haven’t won a Group 1 game at any point this season. Obviously, the lack of bad losses is good. But on Selection Sunday, it comes down to beating quality teams. And the Huskers simply haven’t been able to do that at the rate of an NCAA at-large team. An even bigger issue may be the lack of quality win opportunities in the future. Even if Nebraska wins all of their remaining regular season games, they still project to have zero Group 1 wins entering the Big Ten tournament in Madison Square Garden. If the Huskers can go 13-5 in the Big Ten or better, they will get a strong look from the committee. Anything less (even 12-6), and it’s likely the NIT. As mentioned regarding St Mary’s, the Huskers weren’t done any favors by their OOC SOS (a horrid 268).

EAST

1 Virginia
16 Arkansas Pine Bluff / New Orleans

8 Arkansas
9 Providence

5 Seton Hall
12 Buffalo

4 Kentucky
13 ETSU

6 Miami
11 Marquette / S Carolina

3 Oklahoma
14 Louisiana

7 Florida
10 Syracuse

2 Xavier
15 Wagner

WEST

1 Kansas
16 NC A&T / Long Beach St

8 St Mary’s
9 Houston

5 Wichita State
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Michigan State
13 Wright State

6 Louisville
11 Texas A&M / Kansas St

3 Arizona
14 Bucknell

7 TCU
10 Michigan

2 Clemson
15 Charleston

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 Harvard

8 Texas
9 USC

5 N Carolina
12 Mid Tenn

4 Tennessee
13 Belmont

6 Arizona St
11 Butler

3 Texas Tech
14 Rider

7 Florida State
10 Washington

2 Duke
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Purdue
16 UNC Asheville

8 Nevada
9 Gonzaga

5 Ohio State
12 New Mexico St

4 W Virginia
13 S Dakota St

6 Creighton
11 Georgia

3 Cincinnati
14 Vermont

7 Rhode Island
10 NC State

2 Auburn
15 Montana

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