Friday, March 9, 2018

Final Weekend Upon Us

Cincy moves up to the 2 line in place of Purdue.  

Bubble Talk
Focusing on 12 teams that I truly believe are on the bubble.  Given the numbers, 6 are in and 6 are out.  This is my current rank order:  Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Syracuse, Middle Tennessee State, Louisville, Washington, ASU, Marquette, Oregon and Baylor.  Kansas State picks up a nice win against TCU yesterday to bolster its resume.  Alabama with a nice win against TAMU to get to a very solid 6-6 in Quadrant 1 games.  Syracuse with an ugly 3-8 record in Q1 games but a win against Louisville helps.  MTSU with a very shaky loss yesterday.  Can they get an at-large?  3-3 in Q1 games but best wins this season are against Old Dominion, Murray State and Western Kentucky (twice).  Louisville 0-11 vs. RPI top 50.  People still talking ASU but Washington has a better argument (20-12 overall vs 20-11 for ASU, 3-5 in Q1 vs. 3-4 for ASU, but Washington beat ASU head to head and has a better signature win at Kansas).  Oregon is the only team on the wrong side of the bubble that can continue to make noise in its conference tournament. 

My field prognostication as of today is as follows:

#1 seeds:  Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier
#2 seeds:  Duke, North Carolina, Auburn, Cincinnati
#3 seeds:  Purdue, Michigan,  Michigan State, Tennessee
#4 seeds:  Wichita State, Texas Tech, Gonzaga,  Clemson
#5 seeds:  Houston, Arizona, West Virginia, Ohio State
#6 seeds:  Miami (FL), Nevada, Arkansas, Florida 
#7 seeds:  Seton Hall, Kentucky, Texas A&M, TCU
#8 seeds:  Missouri, Creighton, Rhode Island, UCLA
#9 seeds:  USC, Florida State, Providence, Butler
#10 seeds:  St. Bonaventure, Saint Mary's, VA Tech, NC State
#11 seeds:  Texas, Kansas State, play-in:  Oklahoma / Alabama, play-in:  Syracuse  / Middle Tennessee State
#12 seeds:  Loyola-Chicago, New Mexico State*, Western Kentucky*, South Dakota State
#13 seeds:   Buffalo*, Murray State, College of Charleston, UNC Greensboro
#14 seeds:  Vermont*, Louisiana-Lafayette*, Bucknell, Montana* 
#15 seeds:  Wright State, UC Santa Barbara*, Iona, Lipscomb 
#16 seeds:  Harvard*, Radford, play-in:  SF Austin* / LIU Brooklyn, play-in: Hampton* / Prairie View*  
First Six Out:   Louisville, Washington, Arizona State, Marquette, Oregon, Baylor

* presumed automatic qualifiers

Bracket Matrix
Check this site out.  Great compilation of expert and amateur bracket projections.