March 11, Late Evening Update
Great weekend for the bubble teams, with almost zero stolen bids shrinking the bubble. On behalf of bubble teams everywhere, many thanks to Middle Tennessee, Nevada, the top tier of the AAC for making their finals, the top of all the major conferences for snuffing out teams like TCU and Alabama by the semis at the latest. Even the A-10, a perennial bid thief, behaved versus its own history and looks poised to get either 2 or 3 teams in depending on tomorrow’s VCU/URI final.
The top lines got easier with Duke winning the ACC, and the real trouble picking where teams get slotted starts around #12, the final 3-seed. I’ve got 6 teams stacked right on top of each other for spots 12-17, with Florida State just getting the nod over Iowa St/WVU and Butler moving to the back of that group and the top 5 seed for now. I’ll spend a little more time on that tomorrow.
The middle tier has a ton of intrigue as well. There are a handful of teams that could range from a 6 to a 12 depending on what the committee prioritizes. Wichita St and St Mary’s are computer rankings darlings with sparse big wins (though plenty of blowout wins), while teams like Vanderbilt have a great set of overall wins but also test the committee’s mettle by positioning themselves as the first ever 15-loss at large team. Within this tier it becomes a solve for who you want to win a comparison and I can almost without fail put together a “blind resume” comparison that solves for that answer. I’ll make this my reminder to ignore blind resumes posted with selective data and without context in the future.
Ok, no more words: with about 18 hours to go, here’s a good look at where we stand.
|4||Florida||Purdue||West Virginia||Iowa St.|
|7||Michigan||Maryland||Oklahoma St.||Saint Mary’s|
|8||Virginia Tech||Dayton||Wichita St.||Miami FL|
|10||Michigan St.||Wake Forest||South Carolina||Northwestern|
|11||Kansas St.||Xavier/Providence||VCU||Middle Tennessee|
|13||Princeton||East Tennessee St.||Bucknell||New Mexico St.|
|14||Northern Kentucky||Iona||Florida Gulf Coast||Winthrop|
|15||UC Irvine||Texas Southern||Kent St.||Troy|
|16||Mount St. Mary’s||South Dakota St.||Jacksonville St.||North Dakota|
|16||New Orleans||NC Central|
|Last Four In||First Four Out||Second Four Out||Four More|
|34||Seton Hall||85.22||49||Illinois St.||121.67|