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ATR: Morning update – Selection Sunday

It’s finally here.  Selection Sunday.  One wild ride ends and another is about to begin.  Here are some quick takes as we enter the day, and some thoughts on the tight bubble picture …

  • Mississippi State is the only wildcard left.  They have to win to get in.  The final bubble team – whomever that is – will be rooting hard for Rocky Top Tennessee today.
  • Akron (MAC), Morgan State (MEAC), Alabama State (SWAC), Cal-Northridge (Big West), Temple (Atlantic 10), and Utah State (WAC) all locked up automatic bids.  Utah State’s victory relieves some real pressure on the Committee to make a tough decision with the Aggies.
  • Louisville locked up a No. 1 seed by winning the Big East tourney and Big East regular season titles. Indianapolis or Memphis?  That’ll be a subjective call for the Committee.
  • Southern Cal took an at-large spot after a stirring rally to beat Arizona State.  That spot may very well have belonged to Arizona.
  • I won’t be shocked if Memphis is a No. 1 seed in the West, but clearly the body of work favors Connecticut.  The only real argument is whether you believe the loss of Jerome Dyson has hindered the Huskies to a point they are no longer the same team.

What about the Bubble?  How do you decide among Creighton, St. Mary’s, San Diego State, Penn State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Dayton, Arizona, and Auburn?  It comes down to what each individual person values most.  What’s most important?

  • Road wins?  Eliminate Arizona, Maryland, and perhaps Wisconsin
  • Quality wins?  Favors Penn State, Arizona, Maryland (Top 50)
  • Schedule strength? Favors Wisconsin and Arizona
  • Last 12 games?  Favors Creighton (11-1), San Diego State (8-4), Auburn (9-3)
  • In-conference SOS?  Favors Maryland (9), Auburn (33), Wisconsin (47)
  • Adjusted Scoring Margin?  Favors San Diego State (9.5), Auburn (8.8). Creighton (8.5)
  • Number of sub-100 wins?  Hurts Dayton (18), Penn State (15), St. Mary’s (21), Creighton (17), Auburn (15)
  • Consistency?  Favors Creighton, St.Mary’s, Dayton

That’s how cloudy it is.  And it might simply come down to an “eye test.”  Who do you think is better?  Nothing is more subjective than that.  Our final bracket will reflect how we view it, not necessarily what we think the Committee will do.  – Dave the Bracketguy.

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