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Bracket Bits: Kansas building another strong resume

December 24, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015

Despite some slim margins, the Kansas Jayhawks are once again building a strong resume. Heading into Christmas, KU already has victories over West Virginia, Creighton and Texas Tech (the Red Raiders on the road). All three of those teams could end up as Top 4 seeds. The Jayhawks also own a win over Kentucky, but the Wildcats have stumbled out of the gate – so we’ll think of that as a wait-and-see type result. KU’s only loss is to Gonzaga.

Villanova is on its way too, after an early loss to Virginia Tech – and the Hokies appear stronger than we thought. The Wildcats have won 6 straight, including road wins at Texas and Marquette.

More Bracket Bits:

  • Team resumes remain scattered; schedules have been interrupted and changed due to the pandemic.  Beyond fewer data points, non-conference evaluation is going to be tough for the committee.  Some teams will have played multiple out-of-league games; others may have only one or two data points (or none).  
  • Then there are teams like Marquette, which stands at 5-5 as of this posting, with wins over Wisconsin and Creighton (on the road).  The Golden Eagles often look the part, but results are obviously mixed.
  • The Top of the Big 12 is incredibly strong – Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia and Texas Tech could all be second weekend teams (depending on how the bracket looks), with Baylor and Kansas shaping up as serious title contenders.
  • The Big Ten remains the deeper league and will likely to get the most at-large bids.  Is there a Final Four team in the group?  That’s tougher to answer.  Iowa is explosive, but questions remain about the Hawkeyes’ defense.  We also have some early questions about Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan State.  Maybe those will change, but there are a handful of other really good teams that could impact the B10 title chase and eventual seeding.
  • Other than Notre Dame, Duke’s best win is Coppin State.  Kentucky’s best (and only win) is Morehead State.  Anyone predict those scenarios a month into the season?

Best wishes for a healthy and safe Christmas.  More frequent updates will begin as we head into 2021.

Bracketology: Kansas grabs overall No. 1 Seed

February 24, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Following its win at Baylor, Kansas grabs the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket update.  That said, it’s basically semantics. Kansas continues to lead the Midwest Region and Baylor the South Region.  The margin between the two is more of a 1-A and 1-B approach.

Bracketology

The biggest surprise of the weekend was San Diego State losing at home to UNLV.  For now, the Aztecs hold onto their No. 1 seed in the East.  Maryland could have made a strong case had the Terrapins won at Ohio State on Sunday.  Either way, the door is now open for a Big Ten, Big East, or ACC champion to potentially overtake SDSU. Dayton is squarely in the mix, too.

As for the Bubble, the Providence Friars and UCLA Bruins have both recovered from challenging starts to emerge as serious at-large contenders.

 

Quick Takes: Creighton making its case for protected seed

February 13, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Overshadowed this season a bit by the likes of Seton Hall, Villanova and even Butler, the Creighton Bluejays are building their own case for a protected seed in March.  With a road victory at Seton Hall on Wednesday, the Bluejays now own road conquests over both the Pirates and Villanova.  In all, Creighton picked up its seventh Quadrant 1 victory, six of those away from Omaha.

With three weeks and conference tournaments ahead, the jockeying for protected spots along the Seed List is likely to be fierce.  Creighton has placed itself squarely in that conversation.

Related, the Big East has separated itself into he haves and have-nots … Seton Hall, Villanova, Butler, Creighton and Marquette are clearly tournament teams (without some type of closing disaster).  Which leaves Xavier and Georgetown (realistically right now) as options for teams six and/or seven from the league. Read more…

Bracketology: Selection Committee tabs Gonzaga for West Region

February 10, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015There’s been a lot of discussion about whether Gonzaga or San Diego State would be the No. 1 seed in the West Region if today were Selection Sunday.  We got a glimpse into how the Selection Committee would handle that debate on Saturday, and the Committee placed Gonzaga in the West – with San Diego State slotted to the East Region.

Bracketology

Overall, there were no surprises on the top line, with Baylor entrenched as the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas.  The Bears would lead the South, with KU in the Midwest.  That’s how the bracket here has looked for about three weeks.

In all, 15 of the 16 top four seed lines in Friday’s bracket projection were the same as those revealed by the Selection Committee (with a couple variations in the order).  The one difference … Kentucky was No. 16 on the Seed List here; Michigan State was the Committee’s No. 16 team (the final No. 4 seed) before games this past weekend. Read more…

Bracketology: Top seeds remain in place

January 24, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s been a while since we could say this:  All four No. 1 seeds remained in place between bracket updates: Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas and San Diego State.

Bracketology

Elsewhere, more than a handful of teams still have significant resume questions.  And several current bubble teams have important showdowns this weekend – including key matchups in the Big 12 / SEC Challenge.

On a closing note … remember that the Selection Committee evaluates a team’s entire profile, from beginning to end.  How a team performed in its last ten games is no longer an official criteria (although each Committee member may have his or her own perspective on its importance).  So while Ohio State and Michigan, as examples, have both struggled of late, each team’s early wins remain relevant considerations with regard to team sheet evaluation.