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Bracket Bits: Sizing up the race for No. 2 Seeds

Dave2015We haven’t seen a change on the No. 1 seed line for more than a month, so let’s take a closer look at some teams in the race for the No. 2 seed line …

Dayton – The Flyers boast a 27-2 record heading into action tonight against Rhode Island.  Those two losses came in overtime to Kansas and Colorado.  With a 10-2 record against Quadrants 1/2 and Top 50 schedules (both overall and non-conference, Dayton can likely lock up a two seed by finishing a perfect Atlantic 10 campaign.
Schedule: at URI, George Washington

Seton Hall – The Pirates are an impressive 15-7 against Quads 1/2 with 10 Quadrant 1 wins.  SHU’s NET win average is under 100, which is difficult to achieve and made possible by a Top 20 schedule.  The caveat here is that the Big East provides the Pirates both a platform to grab a two-seed or take a minimal stumble.
Schedule: Villanova, at Creighton

Florida State – The Seminoles own a sweep of Louisville and non-conference wins over Florida, Purdue and Tennessee.  An ACC title of some sort would help.  They close with Notre Dame and Boston College, perhaps giving them an inside track for at least a tie.  Overall, FSU is 13-5 against Quads 1/2 with six true road wins.
Schedule: at Notre Dame, Boston College

Kentucky – Tuesday’s surprising home loss to Tennessee could complicate things for the Wildcats in this sense: It makes it easier for someone to pass them on their way home. That said, UK has wrapped up another SEC title in convincing fashion and boasts non-conference wins over Louisville and Michigan State.  As for the loss to Evansville, it’s probably a mute point unless the Cats stumble coming in.

Louisville – The Cardinals lead the Atlantic Coast Conference and claiming an ACC title (and/or conference tourney title) would help their case, especially as this year’s league isn’t as deep.  The challenges are a pair of losses to Florida State and an overall lack of marquee wins.  On the plus side, most of the advanced metrical models like the Cards.
Schedule: at Virginia

Duke – Like most teams this season, the Blue Devils have had a couple of hiccups.  Then again, few teams boast non-conference wins over Kansas and Michigan State, the latter in East Lansing.  The Blue Devils lost to Louisville at home in the team’s only regular-season meeting, while beating Florida State.  Like FSU and U of L, winning an ACC title of some sort would be a nice resume addition.
Schedule: North Carolina

Maryland – The Terrapins’ lead in the Big Ten race has dissipated after back-to-back losses to Michigan State (home) and Rutgers (road).  A Big Ten title (or at least a share of the title) would help an overall resume that lacks some firepower at the very top.  We see what they can get done in Indianapolis.
Schedule: Michigan

Michigan State – Don’t look now, but Michigan State has won four straight and can claim at least a share of the Big Ten title this weekend.  Thanks to an early win at Seton Hall, MSU’s profile is gaining steam again.  Their metrics remain strong, so a solid to strong finish could certainly put Sparty in position to be a two-seed.
Schedule: Ohio State

Creighton – An awkward loss at St. John’s notwithstanding, the Bluejays are 8-7 vs. Quad 1 and 13-7 against Q’s 1/2 – including three road wins in Quad 1-A.  They also boast non-conference wins over Texas Tech, Arizona State and Oklahoma.
Schedule: Georgetown, Seton Hall

Villanova – The Wildcats have put together a strong campaign behind a Top 10 schedule, including a one-point win over Kansas. It’s worth noting here that Nova’s worst loss is to surging Providence, a Top 50 NET team.  Once again, the Wildcats have been consistently good from November through February.
Schedule: at Seton Hall, at Georgetown

Oregon – Maybe a bit of a long shot, but if Oregon manages to grab at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title or rolls to a Pac-12 tourney championship, it could rekindle aspirations.  Let’s not forget that the Ducks own non-conference wins over Seton Hall, Michigan and Houston.
Schedule: California, Stanford

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