Tournament / Bubble Picture

We are now officially four weeks from Selection Sunday. 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 8 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

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

LOOKING SOLID – These 23 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Ohio St – 1
Texas Tech – 1
Clemson – 2
Creighton – 2
Duke – 2
Tennessee – 2
West Virginia – 2
Alabama – 3
Arizona State – 3
Arkansas – 3
Butler – 3
Cincinnati – 3
Florida – 3
Kentucky – 3
Miami – 3
Missouri – 3
Oklahoma – 3
Providence – 3
Seton Hall – 3
Texas A&M – 3
Wichita State – 3
Florida State – 4
TCU – 4
Rhode Island – 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, Boise St, New Mexico State, Western Kentucky, Marquette, Houston, Washington, SMU, Kansas State, Gonzaga, UCLA, Colorado, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, Oklahoma 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, Ole Miss, Tulane, Iowa State, Stanford, Memphis, and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 31 teams from 7 conferences are Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, or in Good Shape. That means there are only thirteen bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

Bracket Preview Reaction

The Last One Seed:

As mentioned on this site, there were three locks for one seeds (Virginia, Villanova, and Xavier), and one wildcard West one seed. That ended up going to Purdue. While it’s understandable to see why they are there, it’s a bit surprising they could lose to both Ohio State and Michigan State and still get a one seed. This isn’t a bad selection from the committee, as that last one seed was completely up for grabs.

Duke as a Two:

What?! What has Duke done to get a two seed over Texas Tech? They have more losses than them and three less G2 wins. Texas Tech also has the best win – at Kansas. This selection shows how important out of conference scheduling is. That seems to be the only reason Duke is on the two line.

New Podcast:

Check out the Bracket Talk link on the right side of the site or search BracketWAG on Apple Podcasts for a live Bracket reaction pod.

Sunday’s Bracket – Bracket Preview Edition

Wake up! It’s Bracket Preview Sunday!

Whew… what a Saturday of college hoops! We had tons of upsets that impacted the top of the bracket. But after some time to take it all in, we have three one seeds who will definitely be on the top line today (Villanova, Virginia, and Xavier), as well as one wildcard one seed in the West.

Here are my projections for how the four regions will shake out today:

EAST – 1 Villanova 2 Kansas 3 Clemson 4 Ohio St


WEST – 1 Texas Tech 2 Purdue 3 Duke 4 Texas A&M


SOUTH – 1 Virginia 2 Auburn 3 Cincinnati 4 Oklahoma


MIDWEST – 1 Xavier 2 Michigan State 3 UNC 4 Tennessee

The final one seed spot was not decided until after Texas Tech’s visit to Manhattan to play Kansas State. But I know pretty much everyone expects Michigan State to get a one, but I think Texas Tech is as good of a team as them, and they have a better resume. I’m calling for an upset – Texas Tech over Michigan State for the one line.

What’s odd is teams as far down as the four line actually have a reasonable argument for the one line, as Ohio State is the outright Big Ten leader with wins over both Purdue and Michigan State. Basically, I won’t be shocked if any team on the two line is determined to be the one seed in the West.

Here is the full bracket:

EAST

1 Villanova
16 UNC-Asheville

8 Florida
9 Virginia Tech

5 West Virginia
12 MTSU

4 Ohio St
13 S Dakota St

6 Arizona St
11 Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Louisiana

7 Missouri
10 Butler

2 Kansas
15 UCSB

WEST

1 Texas Tech
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 Seton Hall
9 Washington

5 Arizona
12 New Mexico St

4 Texas A&M
13 Vermont

6 Alabama
11 Syracuse / UCLA

3 Duke
14 Montana

7 Creighton
10 Texas

2 Purdue
15 Rider

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Ark Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 TCU
9 Providence

5 Kentucky
12 Buffalo

4 Oklahoma
13 Belmont

6 Miami
11 Michigan

3 Cincinnati
14 Charleston

7 Florida St
10 Nevada

2 Auburn
15 Wagner

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 FGCU

8 St Mary’s
9 Houston

5 Rhode Island
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Tennessee
13 ETSU

6 Wichita State
11 Louisville / USC

3 North Carolina
14 Wright St

7 Gonzaga
10 Arkansas

2 Michigan State
15 Bucknell

Friday Bracket

 

The ACC and the First Four:

Currently, the last four teams in the bracket are all from the ACC: Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, and NC State.  Obviously, there is no more interesting conference as far as bubble teams goes.

EAST

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Nicholls St

8 Texas
9 Washington

5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Michigan State
13 S Dakota St

6 Seton Hall
11 Virginia Tech / Louisville

3 Cincinnati
14 Murray St

7 Wichita St
10 Arkansas

2 Texas Tech
15 UCSB

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Ark Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 Alabama
9 Butler

5 Arizona
12 MTSU

4 Ohio State
13 ETSU

6 St Mary’s
11 Houston

3 Duke
14 Louisiana

7 Florida St
10 Kansas St

2 Auburn
15 Rider

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 Gonzaga
9 TCU

5 Miami
12 Buffalo

4 Oklahoma
13 Charleston

6 Creighton
11 NC State / Syracuse

3 Tennessee
14 Wright St

7 Providence
10 Michigan

2 Clemson
15 Wagner

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 UNCA

8 Arizona St
9 Florida

5 Rhode Island
12 New Mexico St

4 West Virginia
13 Vermont

6 Texas A&M
11 UCLA

3 UNC
14 Montana

7 Missouri
10 Nevada

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

Kansas vs Purdue

Ohio State won at absolutely thrilling game in West Lafayette last night to move to the top of the Big Ten, giving Purdue their first loss since the Battle for Atlantis . It seems like Purdue should be able to take that loss and stay comfortably on the one line. But I am not so sure.

The Boilermakers find themselves down at 12 in the RPI, which is very low for a team competing for a one seed. They also have five Group 1 wins, but only two of those are against teams that appear to be solidly in the field.

Kansas, on the other hand, is 6th in RPI with the top strength of schedule in all of college basketball. They have eight Group 1 wins and five Group 2 wins, and they’re first in college basketball’s toughest conference.

This one is a tough choice, but I think Kansas’s superior resume wins out slightly over Purdue’s superior efficiency and record.

I predict Kansas will be the one seed in the West and Purdue will be the two seed in the Midwest when the Selection Committee releases their current top four seeds on Saturday.

Also, check out the new podcast (see link on the right or search “BracketWAG” on Apple’s Podcasts app.

New Bracket

EAST

1 Virginia
16 Ark Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 Alabama
9 Butler

5 Seton Hall
12 MTSU

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Texas
11 Houston / Louisville

3 Tennessee
14 Louisiana

7 Missouri
10 Michigan

2 Kansas
15 UCSB

WEST

1 Xavier
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 Texas A&M
9 Gonzaga

5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Oklahoma
13 Belmont

6 Creighton
11 Virginia Tech / Kansas St

3 Michigan St
14 Wright St

7 Providence
10 Arkansas

2 Duke
15 Wagner

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 FGCU

8 Florida St
9 Arizona St

5 Ohio State
12 Buffalo

4 UNC
13 ETSU

6 URI
11 Syracuse

3 Texas Tech
14 Montana

7 Wichita St
10 TCU

2 Auburn
15 Bucknell

MIDWEST

1 Purdue
16 UNCA

8 Washington
9 Florida

5 Miami
12 New Mexico State

4 West VA
13 Vermont

6 St Mary’s
11 NC State

3 Cincinnati
14 Charleston

7 Nevada
10 USC

2 Clemson
15 Rider

Monday Bracket

No changes from yesterday except Seton Hall drops to a five and Kentucky rises to a four.

EAST

1 Virginia
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 St Mary’s
9 Florida

5 UNC
12 Buffalo

4 Kentucky
13 Vermont

6 Texas
11 NC State

3 Cincinnati
14 Wright St

7 Nevada
10 Gonzaga

2 Kansas
15 Bucknell

WEST

1 Auburn
16 Ark-Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 Florida St
9 Texas A&M

5 Rhode Island
12 MTSU

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Ohio State
11 Arkansas

3 Oklahoma
14 Montana

7 Providence
10 Michigan

2 Duke
15 UC Davis

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Missouri
9 Arizona St

5 West Virginia
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Tennessee
13 Belmont

6 Creighton
11 Virginia Tech / Kansas St

3 Michigan St
14 Charleston

7 Butler
10 TCU

2 Clemson
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Purdue
16 UNC Asheville

8 Washington
9 Louisville

5 Seton Hall
12 New Mexico State

4 Miami
13 ETSU

6 Alabama
11 Houston / St Bonaventure

3 Texas Tech
14 Louisiana

7 Wichita St
10 USC

2 Xavier
15 Rider

Super Bowl Sunday Bracket / Thoughts / Podcast

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and there is a new bracket below. Also, there is a new podcast recapping Saturday’s surprising action (https://bracketwag.podbean.com/).

The Fourth Overall One Seed:

It’s obvious that Virginia, Villanova, and Purdue are in position for one seeds. But that fourth one seed isn’t so obvious. For now, Auburn gets the slight advantage over Xavier due to one less loss, sole possession of first in a very strong SEC, and a better eye test (following Xavier’s near loss at home to Georgetown). That said, this thing is wide open and a reasonable argument could be made for different teams in this spot.

How High Can Cincinnati Go?

Cincinnati is having arguably their best season since Bob Huggins roamed the floor, reaching Super Bowl Sunday with only two losses. That said, can they get a one seed? Probably not. First off, they played an average OOC SOS. For a team outside of the Power Six, their OOC SOS would likely have to be better than that (like Gonzaga last year). In addition, the Bearcats’ two toughest OOC games were at Xavier and Florida on a neutral floor. There is no shame in losing either, but they lost both, which leaves them with zero wins against teams solidly in the field. Even if Cincinnati wins out from here, a two seed will likely be their plateau.

EAST

1 Virginia
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 St Mary’s
9 Florida

5 UNC
12 Buffalo

4 Seton Hall
13 Vermont

6 Texas
11 NC State

3 Cincinnati
14 Wright St

7 Nevada
10 Gonzaga

2 Kansas
15 Bucknell

WEST

1 Auburn
16 Ark-Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 Florida St
9 Texas A&M

5 Rhode Island
12 MTSU

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Ohio State
11 Arkansas

3 Oklahoma
14 Montana

7 Providence
10 Michigan

2 Duke
15 UC Davis

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Missouri
9 Arizona St

5 West Virginia
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Tennessee
13 Belmont

6 Creighton
11 Virginia Tech / Kansas St

3 Michigan St
14 Charleston

7 Butler
10 TCU

2 Clemson
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Purdue
16 UNC Asheville

8 Washington
9 Louisville

5 Kentucky
12 New Mexico State

4 Miami
13 ETSU

6 Alabama
11 Houston / St Bonaventure

3 Texas Tech
14 Louisiana

7 Wichita St
10 USC

2 Xavier
15 Rider

Tournament Picture Update

TOURNEY BOUND – These 6 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

Villanova, Duke, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, and Purdue

LOOKING SOLID – These 17 teams will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Auburn – 2
UNC – 3
Clemson – 3
Oklahoma – 3
Tennessee – 3
Kentucky – 3
Arizona – 4
West Virginia – 4
Michigan State – 4
Ohio State – 4
Seton Hall – 4
Creighton – 5
TCU – 5
Louisville – 5
Cincinnati – 5
USC – 5
Miami – 6

GOOD SHAPE: These 8 teams should be dancing, but they’re a long ways away from locking up a bid:

Arkansas, Wichita State, Florida, Texas, Rhode Island, Nevada, Butler, Alabama

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:

Providence, Arizona State, Michigan, St Mary’s, Texas A&M, Syracuse, Boise St, Florida State, New Mexico State, Western Kentucky, Missouri, Marquette, Houston, South Carolina, Washington, SMU, Kansas State, Georgia, Gonzaga, UCLA, Colorado, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, and LSU

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

Buffalo, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Maryland, Wyoming, Loyola-Chicago, UCF, Boston College, BYU, Ole Miss, Tulane, Iowa State, Baylor, Stanford, Memphis, Minnesota and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 29 teams from 7 conferences are Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, or in Good Shape. That means there are only fifteen bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

 

Friday Bracket

Shelby and I have a new podcast, available on iTunes.  And here is today’s bracket:

EAST

1 Virginia
16 Wagner

8 Butler
9 Michigan

5 Seton Hall
12 Buffalo

4 Kentucky
13 ETSU

6 Ohio State
11 Virginia Tech / Kansas St

3 Cincinnati
14 Wright St

7 Rhode Island
10 Florida State

2 Xavier
15 Rider

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Ark-Pine Bluff / New Orleans

8 Alabama
9 Arizona St

5 Creighton
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Michigan State
13 S Dakota St

6 TCU
11 NC State / Georgia

3 Arizona
14 UCSB

7 St Mary’s
10 Washington

2 Clemson
15 UNC Asheville

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 Harvard / NC A&T

8 Texas
9 Texas A&M

5 Miami
12 MTSU

4 Tennessee
13 Belmont

6 Florida
11 Houston

3 Texas Tech
14 Louisiana

7 Wichita State
10 Missouri

2 Duke
15 Bucknell

MIDWEST

1 Purdue
16 FGCU

8 USC
9 Arkansas

5 West Virginia
12 New Mexico State

4 UNC
13 Vermont

6 Louisville
11 Gonzaga

3 Oklahoma
14 Charleston

7 Nevada
10 Providence

2 Auburn
15 Montana