What a night!

The bracket will be coming later, but some thoughts on a crazy Wednesday:

-Kansas beats TCU to tie UCLA’s record of 13 straight conference championships. Meanwhile, Villanova lost at home to Butler. This solidifies Kansas as the overall one and puts Butler on the verge of a protected seed.

-Syracuse drilled a three at the buzzer to down Duke. The loss likely prevents Duke from making a late run at a one seed.  More importantly, it moves Syracuse into the field. I suspect they’ll be getting a bid on Selection Sunday.

-Minnesota is now a lock after winning at Maryland. Both teams will end up somewhere between the five and eight lines. My guess is 6 or 7 for both.

-UNC beat Louisville pretty easily in Chapel Hill. UNC moves up to the overall three. The Cards remain a two.

-Oregon won at Oregon after a Dillon Brooks three-pointer with .2 seconds left. They are putting together and very solid resume, and it could be argued that they should be above Gonzaga for the last one. I am keeping Gonzaga there for the moment.

-Providence scored a huge win in Omaha, knocking off Creighton. The Friars move in for now, and my guess is they’ll stay there.

-Oklahoma State and DePaul won at Kansas State and Georgetown, respectively. Georgetown is now in longshot territory, while Kansas State moves out (where they will likely stay, in my opinion). Both teams really needed to win.

-Seton Hall scored a home win over Xavier. The Musketeers should make the field, but their seed will be mediocre. The Pirates will likely be a nine seed at best, but they will probably make the field.

2/22 Bracket

-Virginia Tech is two wins from locking up a tournament bid after beating Clemson by one for the second time this season. Meanwhile, Clemson is in serious trouble at just 4-11 in ACC play.

-Northwestern is still in good shape, but they have little margin for error. Illinois, though, is back in the hunt for a bid.

-Georgia Tech couldn’t afford a home loss to NC State, so they’re replaced by Tennessee.

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 NORTH DAKOTA / NC CENTRAL

8 VIRGINIA TECH
9 ARKANSAS

5 VIRGINIA
12 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

4 BUTLER
13 AKRON

6 WISCONSIN
11 WICHITA STATE

3 FLORIDA STATE
14 VALPO

7 MINNESOTA
10 KANSAS STATE

2 ARIZONA
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

SOUTH

1 BAYLOR
16 NEW ORLEANS / MOUNT ST. MARY’S

8 SOUTH CAROLINA
9 DAYTON

5 CREIGHTON
12 UT ARLINGTON

4 UCLA
13 VERMONT

6 IOWA STATE
11 TENNESSEE / MARQUETTE

3 FLORIDA
14 BELMONT

7 XAVIER
10 MICHIGAN

2 LOUISVILLE
15 FGCU

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 MIAMI
9 VCU

5 CINCINNATI
12 UNC WILMINGTON

4 WEST VIRGINIA
13 PRINCETON

6 MARYLAND
11 CAL / CLEMSON

3 KENTUCKY
14 BUCKNELL

7 SMU
10 MICHIGAN STATE

2 NORTH CAROLINA
15 FURMAN

WEST

1 GONZAGA
16 UC IRVINE

8 USC
9 NORTHWESTERN

5 NOTRE DAME
12 NEVADA

4 PURDUE
13 MONMOUTH

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 SETON HALL

3 DUKE
14 UNC ASHEVILLE

7 SAINT MARY’S
10 TCU

2 OREGON
15 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

2/21 Bracket

Weekend + Monday thoughts:

– Iowa State is guaranteed a winning Big 12 record, and the neutral site win over Miami is looking better. There is no conceivable way for them to miss the in NCAA tournament. They are now a lock and they move up to a six.

-Kansas and Villanova are going to be on the one line. Both can afford two more losses and still be completely safe on the one line. If either loses three, then it will get close. Even then, I suspect both would still land on the one line. In other words, Kansas and Villanova are going to be one seeds this year.

-Kansas has overtaken Villanova for the overall one seed. That’s not because of Villanova failing in any way. It’s because Kansas has added wins over West Virginia and at Baylor in the last week, while their previous wins away from home over Duke and Kentucky keep looking better. Kansas has a whopping FIVE wins over teams on the first four lines, with three of them away from home. Villanova’s schedule hasn’t even afforded them the chance to win games like that, let alone actually doing it. Despite one more loss, Kansas has proven there is a distinction between them and other protected seeds. And that won’t go unnoticed by the committee.

-Baylor sticks as my final one over UNC. I don’t feel great about leaving Baylor on the one line after two losses this week, but they simply have done more than UNC this season. If Kansas really is the overall one seed, then Baylor shouldn’t be punished too heavily for being swept by them. Remember, Baylor still has wins over Louisville and Oregon in the non-conference. Those could prove vital, as all of those teams have their eyes set on the one line.

-I wouldn’t go as far as locking any teams up just because they are in the top eight lines, but I am confident every team seeded eighth or better will be dancing. And every team on the nine line has a better than 50% chance of joining them. However, the bubble is getting very weak from the ten line on down. If your team is seeded tenth or worse, there are stronger reasons not to include them than the include them. But the field needs 68 teams and I don’t expect many (if any) bid thieves this year. 4-10 in conference and 14-13 overall is good enough, with this weak bubble, to be right on the cut line.

-Virginia has now lost four straight. They stayed as my last four until the home loss to Miami. Now they are down to a five. While they aren’t playing well, remember it’s the whole season. The Cavs still have a sweep of Louisville and four additional top 50 wins.

-Meanwhile, Miami’s road win at UVA makes them a likely tournament team. Just avoiding a collapse is all they need.

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 NORTH DAKOTA / NC CENTRAL

8 NORTHWESTERN
9 ARKANSAS

5 PURDUE
12 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

4 BUTLER
13 AKRON

6 WISCONSIN
11 WICHITA STATE

3 FLORIDA STATE
14 VALPO

7 MINNESOTA
10 KANSAS STATE

2 ARIZONA
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

SOUTH

1 BAYLOR
16 NEW ORLEANS / MOUNT ST. MARY’S

8 SOUTH CAROLINA
9 DAYTON

5 VIRGINIA
12 UT ARLINGTON

4 UCLA
13 VERMONT

6 IOWA STATE
11 GEORGIA TECH / MARQUETTE

3 FLORIDA
14 BELMONT

7 XAVIER
10 MICHIGAN

2 LOUISVILLE
15 FGCU

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 MIAMI
9 VCU

5 CINCINNATI
12 UNC WILMINGTON

4 WEST VIRGINIA
13 PRINCETON

6 MARYLAND
11 CAL / CLEMSON

3 KENTUCKY
14 BUCKNELL

7 SMU
10 MICHIGAN STATE

2 NORTH CAROLINA
15 FURMAN

WEST

1 GONZAGA
16 UC IRVINE

8 USC
9 VIRGINIA TECH

5 NOTRE DAME
12 NEVADA

4 CREIGHTON
13 MONMOUTH

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 SETON HALL

3 DUKE
14 UNC ASHEVILLE

7 SAINT MARY’S
10 TCU

2 OREGON
15 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

NEXT FOUR OUT: GEORGETOWN, TENNESSEE, VANDERBILT, PITTSBURGH

Tournament Picture

A lot of teams are “moving up” a category as the regular season is nearly done, meaning there are less chances to take on costly losses.

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (6) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke

Big XII (4) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State

Big East (3) – Villanova, Butler, Creighton

Big Ten (4) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

Others (1) – Gonzaga

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks:

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (2) – Virginia Tech, Miami

Big XII (1) – Oklahoma State

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (1) – Northwestern

Pac-12 (1) – USC

SEC (1) – South Carolina

WCC (1) – Saint Mary’s

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (3) – VCU (the profile is more bare than you would think, but some close wins will likely get them in), Dayton (not in bad shape with plenty of top 100 wins, but the lack of top 50 wins keep the Flyers from feeling comfortable), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they have; the loss to Fordham puts them on their last legs)

ACC (4) – Clemson (lots of solid wins over other bubble contenders, and the win over Wake Forest gets them back towards the cut line), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (is on the radar because of a strong start to the year, and the win over Florida State has them right back in the chase), Georgia Tech (the OOC portion of the schedule was bad, but the Jackets have great wins over Florida State and North Carolina to get them squarely in the mix)

Big XII (3) – Kansas State (near the cut line because of a very weak non-conference slate, but the wins over West Virginia and at Oklahoma State and Baylor really help), Texas Tech (despite wins over Baylor and West Virginia, the Red Raiders are nearly done; they will fall off the page if they don’t win their last three regular season games), TCU (lacks marquee wins, and suffered a really damaging home loss to Oklahoma State that they desperately needed)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (really benefits from the win over Creighton because they were lacking high quality victories, but still not much that sticks out), Marquette (may regret playing so many RPI 200+ teams, but still right on the bubble), Providence (may be able to overcome some bad losses with a strong finish, but it’s not looking great)

Big Ten (6) – Michigan (has a middling profile that should put them near the cut line, but likely just on the right side of the bubble), Indiana (is just about done, barring an epic run), Illinois (has a decent profile, but may be done in by the home loss to Winthrop and too many losses to other bubble teams, Nebraska (has pretty much ruined an excellent non-conference schedule and a good start to conference play; hanging by a thread), Michigan State (has decent computer numbers that makes a so-so team likely to make the tournament), Penn State (is unlikely to overcome a couple bad OOC losses, but they have done enough to stay on the page for now)

Pac-12 (2) – Utah (is only on here because winning out until the PAC-12 final might be enough), California (has a nice win at USC and a solid profile overall)

SEC (6) – Vanderbilt (is almost .500 overall, but is under consideration because of a great OOC schedule and a win at Florida), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that likely won’t get it done, which includes a blowout home loss to Alabama), Arkansas (a couple bad losses, but they also have a handful of good wins and their numbers are solid), Ole Miss (has a great non-league slate but no great wins to get them in serious consideration), Tennessee (the Vols find themselves close to the cut line), Alabama (is only on here because of the win at South Carolina)

Others (6) – UNC-Wilmington (is probably done already), Middle Tennessee (has some good wins, but still probably needs the auto bid), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and only Wichita State as a top 50 win, so it likely won’t happen), Wichita State (has excellent efficiency numbers, but didn’t do anything notable in the OOC except lose to competitive teams), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St), UT-Arlington (it’s a longshot, but if the committee loves Saint Mary’s, then a road win over the Gaels might do it; but this is a REAL longshot)

2/20 Bracket

Selection Sunday is less than three weeks away, so the bracket is really starting to take shape. Before we get into the bracket, a few thoughts:

-Kansas and Villanova are going to be on the one line. Both can afford two more losses and still be completely safe on the one line. If either loses three, then it will get close. Even then, I suspect both would still land on the one line. In other words, Kansas and Villanova are going to be one seeds this year.

-Kansas has overtaken Villanova for the overall one seed. That’s not because of Villanova failing in any way. It’s because Kansas has added wins over West Virginia and at Baylor in the last week, while their previous wins away from home over Duke and Kentucky keep looking better. Kansas has a whopping FIVE wins over teams on the first four lines, with three of them away from home. Villanova’s schedule hasn’t even afforded them the chance to win games like that, let alone actually doing it. Despite one more loss, Kansas has proven there is a distinction between them and other protected seeds.  And that won’t go unnoticed by the committee.

-Baylor sticks as my final one over UNC. I don’t feel great about leaving Baylor on the one line after two losses this week, but they simply have done more than UNC this season. If Kansas really is the overall one seed, then Baylor shouldn’t be punished too heavily for being swept by them. Remember, Baylor still has wins over Louisville and Oregon in the non-conference. Those could prove vital, as all of those teams have their eyes set on the one line.

-I wouldn’t go as far as locking any teams up just because they are in the top eight lines, but I am confident every team seeded eighth or better will be dancing. And every team on the nine line has a better than 50% chance of joining them. However, the bubble is getting very weak from the ten line on down. If your team is seeded tenth or worse, there are stronger reasons not to include them than the include them. But the field needs 68 teams and I don’t expect many (if any) bid thieves this year.  4-10 in conference and 14-13 overall is good enough, with this weak bubble, to be right on the cut line.

-Virginia has now lost four straight. They stayed as my last four until the home loss to Miami. Now they are down to a five. While they aren’t playing well, remember it’s the whole season. The Cavs still have a sweep of Louisville and four additional top 50 wins.

-Meanwhile, Miami’s road win at UVA makes them a likely tournament team. Just avoiding a collapse is all they need.

 

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 NORTH DAKOTA / NC CENTRAL

8 NORTHWESTERN
9 ARKANSAS

5 PURDUE
12 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

4 BUTLER
13 AKRON

6 WISCONSIN
11 WICHITA STATE

3 FLORIDA STATE
14 VALPO

7 IOWA STATE
10 MICHIGAN

2 ARIZONA
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

SOUTH

1 BAYLOR
16 NEW ORLEANS / MOUNT ST. MARY’S

8 SOUTH CAROLINA
9 DAYTON

5 VIRGINIA
12 UT ARLINGTON

4 UCLA
13 VERMONT

6 MINNESOTA
11 GEORGIA TECH / MARQUETTE

3 FLORIDA
14 BELMONT

7 XAVIER
10 KANSAS STATE

2 LOUISVILLE
15 FGCU

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 MIAMI
9 VCU

5 CINCINNATI
12 UNC WILMINGTON

4 WEST VIRGINIA
13 PRINCETON

6 MARYLAND
11 CAL / CLEMSON

3 KENTUCKY
14 BUCKNELL

7 SMU
10 MICHIGAN STATE

2 NORTH CAROLINA
15 FURMAN

WEST

1 GONZAGA
16 UC IRVINE

8 USC
9 VIRGINIA TECH

5 NOTRE DAME
12 NEVADA

4 CREIGHTON
13 MONMOUTH

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 SETON HALL

3 DUKE
14 UNC ASHEVILLE

7 SAINT MARY’S
10 TCU

2 OREGON
15 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

NEXT FOUR OUT: GEORGETOWN, TENNESSEE, VANDERBILT, PITTSBURGH

2/16 Bracket

MIDWEST

1 KANSAS
16 UC DAVIS / NC CENTRAL

8 USC
9 SAINT MARY’S

5 CREIGHTON
12 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

4 VIRGINIA
13 BELMONT

6 WISCONSIN
11 SYRACUSE / KANSAS STATE

3 ARIZONA
14 PRINCETON

7 MINNESOTA
10 CLEMSON

2 FLORIDA STATE
15 FURMAN

WEST

1 GONZAGA
16 WEBER STATE / MOUNT ST. MARY’S

8 DAYTON
9 CAL

5 NOTRE DAME
12 UT ARLINGTON

4 WEST VIRGINIA
13 VALPO

6 OKLAHOMA STATE
11 GEORGETOWN / MICHIGAN

3 DUKE
14 UNC ASHEVILLE

7 VIRGINIA TECH
10 TCU

2 OREGON
15 FGCU

EAST

1 VILLANOVA
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

8 SMU
9 VCU

5 MARYLAND
12 AKRON

4 UCLA
13 VERMONT

6 CINCINNATI
11 WICHITA STATE

3 KENTUCKY
14 COLORADO STATE

7 SOUTH CAROLINA
10 MICHIGAN STATE

2 LOUISVILLE
15 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

SOUTH

1 BAYLOR
16 NEW ORLEANS

8 NORTHWESTERN
9 SETON HALL

5 PURDUE
12 UNC WILMINGTON

4 BUTLER
13 MONMOUTH

6 XAVIER
11 MIAMI

3 FLORIDA
14 BUCKNELL

7 IOWA STATE
10 ARKANSAS

2 NORTH CAROLINA
15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

NEXT TWO OUT: GEORGIA TECH, PROVIDENCE

Tournament Picture

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (6) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke

Big XII (3) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia

Big East (2) – Villanova, Butler

Big Ten (1) – Wisconsin

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

Others (1) – Gonzaga

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks:

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (1) – Virginia Tech

Big XII (2) – Iowa State, Oklahoma State

Big East (2) – Xavier, Creighton

Big Ten (3) – Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota

Pac-12 (1) – USC

SEC (1) – South Carolina

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (3) – VCU (the profile is more bare than you would think, but some close wins will likely get them in), Dayton (not in bad shape with plenty of top 100 wins, but the lack of top 50 wins keep the Flyers from feeling comfortable), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they have; the loss to Fordham puts them on their last legs)

AAC (1) – Houston (a longshot that desperately needs quality wins)

ACC (5) – Clemson (lots of solid wins over other bubble contenders, and the win over Wake Forest gets them back towards the cut line), Miami (the win over UNC is the only thing that pops, but this is a solid profile overall), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (is on the radar because of a strong start to the year, but the home loss to Virginia Tech makes this a longshot; not enough ACC wins), Georgia Tech (the OOC portion of the schedule was bad, but the Jackets have great wins over Florida State and North Carolina to get them squarely in the mix)

Big XII (3) – Kansas State (near the cut line because of a very weak non-conference slate, but the wins over West Virginia and at Oklahoma State and Baylor really help), Texas Tech (a very poor out of league schedule means they need to finish really strong, despite wins over Baylor and West Virginia), TCU (lacks marquee wins, and suffered a really damaging home loss to Oklahoma State that they desperately needed)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (really benefits from the win over Creighton because they were lacking high quality victories), Marquette (may regret playing so many RPI 200+ teams, and dropping the Butler home game), Providence (may be able to overcome some bad losses with a strong finish)

Big Ten (7) – Michigan (has a middling profile that should put them near the cut line), Indiana (is just about done), Illinois (has a decent profile, but may be done in by the home loss to Winthrop and too many losses to other bubble teams), Northwestern (will likely have their first tournament appearance upcoming), Nebraska (has pretty much ruined an excellent non-conference schedule and a good start to conference play; hanging by a thread), Michigan State (has decent computer numbers that makes a so-so team likely to make the tournament), Penn State (is unlikely to overcome a couple bad OOC losses, but they have done enough to stay on the page for now)

Pac-12 (4) – Utah (is barely hanging on the bubble with an awful OOC slate and a neutral loss to San Francisco), California (has a very nice win at USC and a solid profile overall)

SEC (6) – Vanderbilt (is only under consideration because of a great OOC schedule and a win at Florida), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile, which includes a blowout home loss to Alabama), Arkansas (has a home loss to Mississippi State and a lack of great wins, but their numbers are solid), Ole Miss (has a great non-league slate but no great wins), Tennessee (the Vols find themselves close to the cut line), Alabama (is only on here because of the win at South Carolina)

Others (5) – St. Mary’s (should be fine if they avoid bad losses), UNC-Wilmington (is probably done already), Middle Tennessee (has some good wins, but still probably needs the auto bid), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and only Wichita State as a top 50 win, so it likely won’t happen), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St)

Monday Bracket

 

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Weber State / Mt St Mary’s

8 Oklahoma State
9 VCU

5 Purdue
12 UNC-Wilmington

4 UCLA
13 Vermont

6 Wisconsin
11 Mid Tennessee

3 Kentucky
14 UNC-Asheville

7 USC
10 Tennessee

2 Louisville
15 Furman

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 NC Central / UC Davis

8 Iowa St
9 Cal

5 Creighton
12 Nevada

4 West Virginia
13 New Mexico St

6 Cincy
11 Michigan

3 Virginia
14 Valpo

7 SMU
10 Wake Forest

2 Oregon
15 Bucknell

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 New Orleans

8 Virginia Tech
9 Michigan State

5 Notre Dame
12 Wichita State

4 Butler
13 Belmont

6 Maryland
11 Seton Hall / Syracuse

3 Florida
14 Arkansas State

7 Northwestern
10 TCU

2 UNC
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 TX Southern

8 Dayton
9 Saint Mary’s

5 Xavier
12 Akron

4 Duke
13 Monmouth

6 South Carolina
11 Miami / Georgia Tech

3 Arizona
14 Princeton

7 Minnesota
10 Kansas State

2 Florida State
15 N Dakota St

NEXT TEAM OUT: Georgetown

Bracket Reactions & New Bracket

Well, I ended up beating Shelby (of Bracket WAG) in our early release competition all because I had Butler at a four seed, and he had them at five.  That said, I had West Virginia at a six instead of a four so I kind of lucked into the victory considering he had them at a closer five seed. He also nailed Oregon at a two whereas I had them at a three.

BRACKET REACTIONS

-The committee likes the Big XII.  The efficiency metrics will tell you it is the Big XII, and not the ACC, that is America’s best league. And the committee seemed to hold the league in high regard. I had Kansas and Baylor at two and three overall, like the committee. But I had WVU all the way down at a six.  The committee putting them at four shows the Big XII gauntlet is getting respect, which is great news for the Iowa State, K-State, TCU, and Oklahoma State crowds.

-The Big Ten isn’t very strong this year, and the committee recognizes that.  Michigan State, Minnesota, and Northwestern are good teams.  But without something more in non-conference play, Wisconsin and Purdue aren’t worthy of the top two lines and won’t be getting there.

-The SEC has two three seeds (Florida and Kentucky).   That is a good sign for teams like Tennessee and Arkansas that are hoping to make the field.

And now, the new bracket:

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Weber State / Mt St Mary’s

8 Oklahoma State
9 Virginia Tech

5 Purdue
12 UNC-Wilmington

4 UCLA
13 Vermont

6 Cincinnati
11 Mid Tennessee

3 Kentucky
14 UNC-Asheville

7 USC
10 Tennessee

2 Louisville
15 Furman

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 NC Central / UC Davis

8 Iowa St
9 Cal

5 Creighton
12 Nevada

4 West Virginia
13 New Mexico St

6 Xavier
11 Michigan

3 Virginia
14 Valpo

7 SMU
10 Wake Forest

2 Oregon
15 Bucknell

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 New Orleans

8 VCU
9 Michigan State

5 Notre Dame
12 Wichita State

4 Butler
13 Belmont

6 Maryland
11 Seton Hall / Syracuse

3 Florida
14 Arkansas State

7 Dayton
10 TCU

2 UNC
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 TX Southern

8 Northwestern
9 Saint Mary’s

5 Wisconsin
12 Akron

4 Duke
13 Monmouth

6 South Carolina
11 Miami / Georgia Tech

3 Arizona
14 Princeton

7 Minnesota
10 Kansas State

2 Florida State
15 N Dakota St

NEXT TEAM OUT: Georgetown

Pre-Top 16 Bracket

Tomorrow, the selection committee will unveil their current top 16 seeds. My good friend, Shelby Mast of USA Today bracketology fame, and I are conducting a friendly competition to see who can better predict the committee’s top 16 seeds. The scoring system is three points for having a team in the top 16, three points for exact seed, and one point for a line off.

Here is what I expect the top four seeds to look like:

1 – Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga

2 – UNC, Florida State, Virginia, Louisville

3 – Arizona, Duke, Oregon, UCLA

4 – Florida, Kentucky, Butler, Wisconsin

And now for the full bracket:

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Weber State / Mt St Mary’s

8 TCU
9 Virginia Tech

5 Xavier
12 UNC-Wilmington

4 Wisconsin
13 Vermont

6 Maryland
11 Miami FL

3 Duke
14 UNC-Asheville

7 Minnesota
10 California

2 North Carolina
15 Furman

WEST

1 Gonzaga
16 NC Central / UC Davis

8 Oklahoma St
9 Seton Hall

5 Purdue
12 Nevada

4 Butler
13 New Mexico St

6 Saint Mary’s
11 Michigan / GA Tech

3 Arizona
14 Valpo

7 USC
10 Michigan State

2 Virginia
15 Bucknell

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 New Orleans

8 Dayton
9 Tennessee

5 Cincinnati
12 Wichita State

4 Kentucky
13 Belmont

6 W. Virginia
11 Clemson / Syracuse

3 Oregon
14 Arkansas State

7 SMU
10 Iowa State

2 Florida State
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 TX Southern

8 VCU
9 Northwestern

5 Creighton
12 Akron

4 Florida
13 Monmouth

6 Notre Dame
11 Mid Tennessee

3 UCLA
14 Princeton

7 South Carolina
10 Kansas State

2 Louisville
15 N Dakota St

What I’m Watching For Tomorrow:

-Where is Gonzaga ranked among the one seeds? I feel confident the Zags will get a one seed, but they couldn’t be ranked anywhere from one to four. If it’s four, they likely can’t stay a one seed if they lose a game.

-How are the top of the SEC and Pac-12 being compared? Florida and Kentucky have better metrics, but UCLA won at U.K. and the PAC-12 teams are finally healthy. By the narrowest of margins, I decided on Oregon and UCLA for three seeds over the two SEC schools. We will see what the committee says.

-Is West Virginia included? If so, expect a bump for Big XII teams.

-If Butler isn’t a top 16 seed, then the Big East probably isn’t very highly thought of by the committee.