Going into today, the biggest question was whether Louisville or Indiana would be the overall No. 1 seed. Great arguments can be made either way. Indiana won the Big Ten outright and had some very strong road wins. Louisville won a share of the Big East regular-season title and won the conference tournament in spectacular fashion. Both resumes are impressive. Indiana led the Midwest Region in our early morning update and ultimately the Hoosiers stayed put. If the Selection Committee ranks Louisville above them, I have no issues. It was a coin-flip. As for the rest of the top line, Duke and Kansas join the Hoosiers and Cardinals. Gonzaga had a stellar season and was also deserving of a No. 1 seed. Miami-FL was in the mix, too. But there are only four spots available.
FINAL 2013 BRACKET PROJECTION | March 17 – 5:00 p.m. ET
FINAL S-CURVE Rankings | March 17 – 5:25 p.m.
Ole Miss earned its ticket by beating Florida in the SEC title game. It took what could have been a tough decision out of the Committee’s hands. It’ll be interesting to see how the Committee handles this year’s group of bubble teams. Every resume has holes. It would be great to see the Committee reward Middle Tennessee. In a tough call, MTSU is one of our first team’s out. We’ll all know soon enough.
It’s been another great season, and the tournament is sure to provide us with excitement, great games, and remarkable story lines. Thanks for your continued interest. The journey is what makes it fun and worthwhile.
With Louisville’s win over Syracuse on Sunday and Indiana’s loss to Wisconsin, that scenario is up for debate. Both the Cardinals and Hoosiers would relish the opportunity to go through Indianapolis. It will come down to this: the team that ends up higher on the Selection Committee’s final seed list gets first choice. Indiana won the regular-season Big Ten title and should be a No. 1 seed regardless. Same for Louisville after sweeping through the Big East tournament.
Selection Morning Bracket Update (March 17) | 1:30 a.m.
There are two No. 1 seed spots remaining with three teams realistically in the mix: Duke, Gonzaga, and Kansas. Based on pure profile metrics of quality wins, etc. the edge would have to go to Duke and Kansas. At the same time, Gonzaga successfully navigated a strong non-conference slate and survived the West Coast Conference without a loss.
If there’s a game that matters today, it’s the SEC title matchup between Ole Miss and Florida. Are the Rebels already in or do they need to beat Florida today? Guess is the Selection Committee has already made that decision. If not, then one spot remains open. Which of the bubble teams might get that spot is highly subjective. For a variety or reasons, it would be rewarding for the Committee to recognize Middle Tennessee State on its excellent season.
We’ll have our final bracket projection this afternoon.
If anything, Friday complicated an already complicated bubble picture. The SEC could end up with five teams or two. Both are in play at this point. How will the NCAA Selection Committee handle Middle Tennessee State and Saint Mary’s? And how will they compare those teams against La Salle, Boise State, and even Oklahoma? These are questions we can try to answer, but none of us has a vote that matters.
Heading into action on Saturday, there are three particular wildcards in play: Southern Mississippi, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Any of those could still earn automatic bids to the Field of 68. And that might be what it takes. Vanderbilt is more of a longshot, but the Commodores are a victory over Ole Miss from playing for an SEC title. We’ve seen this type of mayhem before. We also can’t completely forget about Akron should the Zips lose in the Mid-American championship game to Ohio. Clear as mud, right?
March 16 Bracket update | 10:50 a.m.
March 16 Bubble Banter update | 9:00 a.m.
March 16 s-curve update | 11:30 a.m.
We’re going to start here for now: the Last 5 IN today are Boise State, Tennessee, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, and Middle Tennessee. The First Five OUT are Ole Miss, Kentucky, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Virginia. All of these resumes have issues. Which issues the collective Committee values more could help shape the final at-large spots. Tomorrow is a new day. We’ll review everything again and see how it looks.
Enjoy the games. Selection Sunday is almost here.
Several bubble teams ended their seasons – and likely their NCAA tournament aspirations – on Thursday. That’s good news for those bubble teams who either didn’t play, or those like Iowa State, that posted important victories. Today might be even an more important day. The SEC quarterfinals are full of bubble action: Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Ole Miss take to the court. Two of those probably survive. At least that’s the way it looks right now.
March 15 Bracket Projection | 11:30 a.m. ET
March 15 s-curve update | 7:20 a.m. ET
As of this morning, this is where I believe we stand: Last 5 IN … Oklahoma, Boise State, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, Kentucky | First 5 OUT … Virginia, Middle Tennesse State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Iowa.
Beyond the bubble, several important seeding games are on tap today. Louisville (vs. Notre Dame) and Georgetown (vs. Syracuse) are still battling for a potential No. 1 seed. Kansas, New Mexico, Miami-FL, and the Big Ten heavyweights also take the floor. Here’s to another great day of college hoops.
Today may end up being a critical juncture for several teams. While the Selection Committee does not over-value what it sees in the final few days of a long season, a team’s entire resume has to be examined. So what happens today (and Friday) still matters.
March 14 S-curve (seed list) | March 14, 7:45 a.m.
Not much has changed at the bottom of the bracket or the seed list. That probably won’t be the case by Saturday morning. Our Last 5 IN today: Boise State, Iowa State, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, Kentucky. The First 5 OUT: Virginia, Baylor, Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss, Alabama. Teams chasing include: Iowa, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Xavier and Arizona State.
Duke, Indiana, Gonzaga, and Louisville continue to lead the bracket. At this point, Duke and Indiana likely have No. 1 seeds locked up. Gonzaga is in good shape, too. Which leaves one – possibly two – spots up for grabs. Guess is that if Louisville or Georgetown wins the Big East title, the Cards or Hoyas will grab a top seed, the other will be a No. 2. If Kansas rolls through the Big 12 tournament, we can’t eliminate the Jayhawks from that conversation either. Then you have a second Big Ten team, potentially Michigan or Michigan State. Miami-FL would be a wildcard. But for all of that to unfold, someone would have to pass Gonzaga on the seed list (s-curve).
Enjoy a great day of college hoops!
In November, the Louisville Cardinals were projected to be a No. 1 seed when the NCAA tournament began. Now, less than a week until Selection Sunday, the Cardinals have reclaimed their spot on the top line. Louisville sits as the fourth No. 1 seed, heading to the South Region. Duke (East), Indiana (Midwest), and Gonzaga (West) are in front of the Cards. The race isn’t over, though. Kansas, Georgetown, New Mexico, and a second Big Ten team could still claim a spot on the top line. It’s going to be an important week for both the top and bottom of the bracket.
Speaking of the bubble, Kentucky is the final at-large team on the board today. They are joined in the First Four by Saint Mary’s, La Salle, and Iowa State. The margin between these teams, and those around them, is minimal. If we see an upset or two this week, the last few spots could change several times between now and Sunday. Which conference tournaments are most likely to produce a surprise winner? On the surface, it looks like the Atlantic 10, SEC, or the Pac-12. While Memphis has dominated Conference USA, the Tigers haven’t wrapped up the automatic berth. Any stumble would likely claim an at-large spot.
As for seeding, the middle of the bracket is an interesting adventure. One could almost throw names in a hat (for say, seeds 7-10) and line them up that way. Again, we could see some shifting on those lines, both due to resume adjustments and for geography. For all practical purposes, teams in the 8/9 games are essentially the same. More updates this week. Enjoy the final ride to March Madness.
Saturday, the buzzer-beaters, close finishes, and general Madness arrived in full force. Which begs the question: After all of that, where do we stand as far as the bubble and top seeds? Well, here you go …
Last 5 IN … Temple, Saint Mary’s, La Salle, Iowa State, Kentucky
First 5 OUT … Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Baylor, Iowa
No. 1 seeds … Duke (East), Gonzaga (West), Indiana (Midwest), Louisville (South). The loss at Kansas – combined with Louisville’s win over Notre Dame – dropped the Jayhawks to No. 5. Georgetown, New Mexico, and Michigan State are in spots 5-8 on the curve entering today.
March 10 s-curve | 7:45 a.m.
The race, however, is far from over. Conference tournaments could play a huge role in deciding the final few at-large spots. We also have not yet had a conference tournament winner that might take an at-large spot away. Creighton and Wichita State both reached the Missouri Valley final. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are in the West Coast final. Belmont beat Murray State to capture the Ohio Valley’s automatic bid. That’s not to say a potential bid-stealer won’t appear this coming week.