Bracketology: Sorting out the mess …
Look at the latest bracket projection and ask, does Michigan (or Arizona, South Carolina, Maryland, Wisconsin, UNLV, Rhode Island) really deserve an at-large spot? It’s a tough one to answer. Pick apart the schedules, wins, losses, records, road games, power numbers, league marks, etc., and you’ll find arguments either way. One thing to note … no team exists in a vacuum. Their current standing is both a reflection of their own performance and those of other teams. Teams can look better (or worse on the s-curve) based on how well they rank against teams around them.
The March 6 bracket update is now available in Bracketology.
To further emphasize the carnage surrounding bubble teams, consider that the last five in, last five out, and next five in line could all switch places pretty quickly. I’m not sure there’s ever been a year where conference tournaments and the final weekend of the regular season mean so much.
That said, the latest projection is our attempt to decipher the details and provide some minor forecasting at how we see the weekend ahead moving forward. Since most of the final teams under consideration all lack road wins (except Virginia Tech), the overall number of quality wins and strength of schedule took priority – with the exception of South Carolina, which barely stayed in (with no Top 50 RPI wins) because of a 9-6 league mark in the SEC. And that isn’t saying a whole lot.
With Selection Sunday just over a week away, this bracket is more “as of today” than any to date. But we’re still incorporating expections into our final at-large spots and league tournament winners. Trying to project SEC teams is almost comical.
Ultimately, I would expect to see a handful of upsets in league tournments such as the Horizon, West Coast, or even the Mountain West. The Atlantic 10 is often unpredicatable. And if Creighton reaches the MVC final, the Blue Jays would be right in line for at-large consideration. This could easily squeeze out a few lesser deserving at-large candidates. You can follow bubble teams in Bubble Banter.
Have thoughts? Send me a Rebound – Dave the Bracketguy.