Selection Sunday Bracket

There won’t be an NCAA tournament this year, but here’s a Selection Sunday bracket anyways to give everyone an idea of what might have been. If you want to skip to the bracket below, please scroll down. But this bracket will give you some insight into why teams were placed where they were.

One Seeds

Kansas is the easy choice for one overall. They were 1st in quadrant one wins, KPI, SOR, BPI, Sagarin, and Ken Pom. I suspect Bill Self would’ve chosen Omaha to Houston as the path to the Final Four, so Kansas is the one in the South. If Baylor failed to win the Big XII tournament, Gonzaga would’ve jumped them to two overall, but Baylor’s 11 quadrant one wins and victories away from home over Kansas and Villanova are too hard to ignore. Dayton rounds out the top four, despite a lack of wins over tournament-quality competition. They pass the eye test to go along with a KPI ranking of third and 13-2 record vs. the top two quadrants. Baylor goes to the Midwest, Gonzaga to the West, and Dayton to the East.

2 through 4 seeds

The fifth overall selection is Florida State. Despite some so-so efficiency metrics, the ACC Champions went 14-5 vs. the top two quads and swept Louisville. Two-loss San Diego State was uninspiring over the last few weeks of the season, but those dominant wins against Creighton, Iowa, and BYU aged well. Co-BIg East Champions Villanova and Creighton round out the two line. Villanova racked up 10 quadrant one wins (including Kansas) and the number 4 rating in KPI. Creighton won at Seton Hall and Villanova, earning 9 total quadrant one wins. FSU goes to the Midwest (as overall one Kansas can’t draw them in the South), San Diego St goes West, Villanova goes East, and Creighton goes to the South.

Duke, Michigan St, Seton Hall, and Kentucky are the three seeds. The Blue Devils had some ugly losses, but they beat Kansas on a neutral court and Michigan St on the road. Speaking of the Spartans, their efficiency metrics are great and they finished the season strong, taking home a share of the Big Ten title. Seton Hall grabbed a share of the Big East crown and they beat Maryland and Villanova, along with some other strong road wins. Kentucky rounded out the three line with a great record and an excellent performance against quadrant 1-A, but some disappointing losses to go along with a stunning home defeat to Evansville. Michigan State and Kentucky switched regions because the Midwest and South regions needed to be competitively balanced (they were not within five overall seed totals of each other).

Four and Five Lines

Pac-12 champion Oregon, Big Ten co-champ Maryland, Louisville, and Big Ten co-champ Wisconsin made up the four line. Louisville could not head to the Midwest and Indianapolis because Florida State was already there from the ACC. So Wisconsin moved to that region.

The five line is headed by Ohio State, a team that started the season very strong and picked their play back up later on. Their season-ending loss to Michigan State prevented them from moving onto the four line over Wisconsin. Butler had ten quad one wins, making them an easy selection for the five line. Auburn’s excellent record and mediocre efficiency metrics resulted in a strong resume ending up as a five seed. BYU was slated for a five seed until they fell to St Mary’s in the WCC Tournament. That loss allowed West Virginia to move into the 20th overall seed. The Mountaineers have great efficiency metrics. Although their offense struggles for long stretches, a season-ending home win over Baylor and a neutral court win over Ohio State add legitimacy to the overall profile. Ohio St goes to Omaha, Butler to Tampa, and Auburn and WVU to pods in Sacramento and Spokane.

Six, Seven, and Eight Seeds

BYU is the overall 21 seed in the bracket, making them the best six. But because BYU will not play on Sundays, they had to be in either the South or the Midwest with a Thursday-Saturday pod. Rather than bump WVU down to a six, top 7 seed Iowa moves up. Virginia ended the season well and finished with some good wins, but they still had mediocre efficiency numbers and a historically inept offense for a team that defensively efficient. Penn State could have been higher, but a poor SOS and a bad loss to Northwestern moved them to the six line. Michigan was the final six seed. Their profile was more fitting of a seven seed, but that blowout neutral court win over Gonzaga had serious staying power.

Besides BYU, Houston, Illinois, and Providence round out the seven line. Houston lacked strong wins, but their overall numbers suggest a seven seed and a good one at that. Both Illinois and Providence could have find themselves down on the eight line but Illinois had a solid collection of wins and Providence had excellent wins to go with 4 bad losses.

Arizona heads the eight seeds, going to Spokane despite a lot of missed opportunities during the season. Colorado ended with three bad losses, but played a tough schedule. The Buffs had some strong wins, including Dayton on a neutral court. St Mary’s was really solid this year, but not spectacular. An eight seed is appropriate for them, as it is for an LSU team that had 12 quadrant one or two wins but a lack of truly marquee wins.

Nine and Ten Seeds

USC did not have good efficiency metrics, but they were an impressive 17-9 vs. the first three quadrants. They topped the nine seeds and were followed by Oklahoma, who had five quadrant one wins and an excellent victory at West Virginia. Marquette and Arizona State, with five quadrant one wins each, were 35 and 36 overall. The ten line consists of Rutgers, Utah State, East Tennessee State, and Florida, in order. The Scarlet Knights had only two road victories, but one was a big one over Purdue. Utah State had a marquee win over San Diego St to boost their profile, ETSU won at LSU, and Florida had five quadrant one wins to go with no bad losses.

The Bubble

Indiana struggled on the road and was just 4-10 vs. quadrant one, but they did still have the 29th best Strength of Record. That would be just enough. They couldn’t go to Cleveland due to Iowa and Michigan State being there, so they head to Greensboro. Wichita State was swept by Cincinnati and lacked eye popping wins, but KPI, Strength of Record, and Sagarin all placed the Shockers 30th or 32nd. They were solid enough. Texas Tech rounds out the 11 seeds that avoided the First Four. Beating Louisville on a neutral court was their only glamorous win, but this team was just plain good. Despite a mediocre record and so-so schedule strength, they are one of the best 36 non-automatic qualifiers.

The First Four games would involve #44 Richmond vs. #45 NC State for an 11 seed and #46 UCLA vs. #47 Cincinnati for a 12 seed in the Mick Cronin Bowl. Richmond was a solid 14-7 vs. quadrants 1, 2, and 3 to go with a neutral court win over Wisconsin. NC State beat Duke by 22 and tallied four total quadrant one wins. Every major metric would indicate that UCLA should miss the field, but six quadrant one wins and a really strong performance down the stretch under a new coach would be just enough. Cincinnati gets the last bid after sweeping Wichita State and earning the top seed in the AAC. Despite four bad losses, they were 29th in KPI.

One-Bid Leagues

Stephen F Austin heads up the 12 seed AQ spots after losing just three times to go with a win at Duke. Liberty and Yale join them, edging out Akron, Vermont, New Mexico St, and North Texas. The 14 line is headed by 7-loss Belmont, followed by CAA Champion Hofstra, Bradley, and Eastern Washington. The fifteens are North Dakota St, UC Irvine, Little Rock, and Northern Kentucky, and the sixteens are Winthrop, Siena, Boston U, Prairie View A&M, Robert Morris, and NC Central, in order.

The Selection Sunday Bracket

SOUTH

1 Kansas
16 Boston U / Prairie View
(Omaha, NE)
8 Colorado
9 Marquette

5 Ohio St
12 SFA
(Omaha, NE)
4 Louisville
13 Vermont

6 Iowa
11 Wichita St
(Cleveland, OH)
3 Michigan St
14 Belmont

7 BYU
10 East Tenn St
(St Louis, MO)
2 Creighton
15 N Dakota St

EAST

1 Dayton
16 Siena
(Cleveland, OH)
8 LSU
9 Arizona St

5 Butler
12 Liberty
(Tampa, FL)
4 Maryland
13 Akron

6 Michigan
11 Texas Tech
(Greensboro, NC)
3 Duke
14 Eastern Washington

7 Illinois
10 Utah St
(Albany, NY)
2 Villanova
15 Northern Kentucky

MIDWEST

1 Baylor
16 Winthrop
(St Louis, MO)
8 St Mary's
9 USC

5 Auburn
12 UCLA / Cincinnati
(Sacramento, CA)
4 Wisconsin
13 New Mexico St

6 Virginia
11 Indiana
(Greensboro, NC)
3 Kentucky
14 Bradley

7 Houston
10 Rutgers
(Tampa, FL)
2 Florida St
15 Little Rock

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 Robert Morris / NC Central
(Spokane, WA)
8 Arizona
9 Oklahoma

5 West Virginia
12 Yale
(Spokane, WA)
4 Oregon
13 North Texas

6 Penn St
11 Richmond / NC State
(Albany, NY)
3 Seton Hall
14 Hofstra

7 Providence
10 Florida
(Sacramento, CA)
2 San Diego St
15 UC Irvine

Thanks for following along this year!