Inside the Bracket: Ten new at-large teams would be “IN” to start December
It’s a new month: let’s take a sneak peak at where we stand as it relates to the bracket. Since our preseason projection, 10 new at-large teams have entered the current Field of 68. All 10 were ranked below No. 50 on the s-curve to start the season – which is the general (average) cut line for at-large teams. There are always exceptions as the final s-curve is put together.
Who are the 10 new teams? Here you go (alphabetical order): Alabama, Boise State, California, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Oregon State, Wichita State, and Xavier. Of those, Xavier and Oregon State rank among the Last 5 IN for December 1.
Which 10 teams did they replace? Teams moving “OUT” of the preseason bracket to make room for the new at-large candidates: Arkansas, Iowa, Northern Iowa, Saint Louis, South Florida, St. Mary’s, Stanford, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Of those, Stanford is among the Next 5 OUT.
Note: When we release the full s-curve this season, keep in mind that in terms of at-large bids, there is a gap which accounts for the automatic qualifiers. If team No. 50 is the final at-large team, No. 69 would be the first team “Out” so to speak. But there’s not really 18 spots between them.
It’s still early and the s-curve remains very fluid. We’ll plan for an actual bracket update the week or so before Christmas. As for other changes, four new teams are projected as automatic qualifiers on the s-curve. Those teams include George Mason, Pacific, Bucknell, and Middle Tennessee State. Let’s see what happens over the next couple of weeks.