Friday, February 8, 2019

Volunteers Slip to the 2 Line

As the major conferences slug it out, strength of schedule improves more for some than others.  Surprisingly, Tennessee falls to the 2 line despite a 17 game win streak.  Again, strictly formulaic.  As of today, the model projects the top 48 seeds (listed below) as making the tournament whether they win their conference or not.  The bottom 20 are automatic qualifiers that won't make it unless they win their respective conferences.  

Bubble Talk
The last two at-large bids would go to newcomers Creighton and Temple.  And because of the way the numbers fall, the last four would all play-in on the 12 line.  The model indicates both Wofford and Lipscomb would get in as at-larges regardless of whether they stumble in their conferences.  Toledo comes out of nowhere to join the field.  San Francisco, Indiana, Saint Mary's and Arkansas are the first four out.  Arizona State, Nebraska, Florida, Butler, Seton Hall, wherefore art thou?

My field prognostication as of today is as follows:
#1 seeds: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, North Carolina
#2 seeds: Michigan, Tennessee, Kansas, Kentucky
#3 seeds: Michigan State, Purdue, Houston, Nevada
#4 seeds:  Louisville, Villanova, Iowa State, Wisconsin
#5 seeds:  LSU, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Texas Tech
#6 seeds:  Maryland, Buffalo, Washington, Auburn
#7 seeds:  Mississippi State, Marquette, Kansas State, Iowa
#8 seeds:  Cincy, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas
#9 seeds:  Wofford, VCU, St. John's, Baylor
#10 seeds:  Syracuse, Lipscomb, Ohio State, Alabama
#11 seeds:  Utah State, Clemson, Minnesota, Mississippi 
#12 seeds:  play-in: Toledo / UCF, play-in: Creighton / Temple, Davidson, Yale
#13 seeds:  Belmont, Hofstra, New Mexico State, Vermont
#14 seeds:  UC Irvine, Radford, Old Dominion, Northern Kentucky
#15 seeds:  Montana, Bucknell, Loyola-Chicago, Texas State
#16 seeds:  South Dakota State, Rider, play-in:  Sam Houston State / Prairie View, play-in:  Norfolk State / Robert Morris

First 4 Out:  San Francisco, Indiana, Saint Mary's, Arkansas

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