Due to a certain disappointing football game, I'm a little late this week with the update. It was painful to watch.
Just a brief word about my methodology. I re-seed the bracket each week without much regard to where they were seeded or ranked last week - it's like a blank slate. To me, the bracketing principles force me to do it that way. Things don't happen in a vacuum. A team might do nothing wrong in a given week to drop a seed line, yet may get dropped because other teams did big enough things to surpass them. Same's true for teams moving up the list... maybe they had no big wins, but teams just ahead of them fell behind them. It's like a spiderweb. So please judge me on how THIS week's bracket looks, not how it looks compared to what I did last week. Better yet, don't judge.
I am looking forward to this weekend's Selection Show, and to learning what factors were most important to them. I'm hoping it will help me build a better bracket.
This week's team on the rise is Oklahoma State, up three seed lines from a play-in game to a solid 8. When you've won 5 straight including a big win at Morgantown, you move up the ranks.
I think Butler's fall from a 3 to a 6 is more dramatic because I had them maybe a little too high as a 3 before. Not many teams can say they beat Arizona AND Villanova, and the wins against Northwestern and Cincy look better all the time. Still, I bet this team tops out at about a 5 unless they somehow sweep Villanova and go really deep into the BET.
Miami's fall to a play-in game is hard to explain too. That big W against UNC isn't really offset by any ugly losses, though their non-con schedule was pretty weak. Their last three losses were to Florida State, Duke and rising Wake Forest, so those aren't "bad" by any stretch. But they're also not on any kind of a roll. With games against the Seminoles, Cavs and Cardinals yet to come, they'd better win against the Techs and Clemson if they want to feel safer on Selection Sunday.
Still no Syracuse, but I see them as a bubble team worthy of consideration. The BC, UConn and St. John's losses are really dragging them down. I'm less worried about what they do with Louisville (just playing the Cardinals twice helps their SOS) and more concerned with how they handle the road games against Pitt, Clemson and Georgia Tech, the latter two of which are fellow bubble teams. I'll push Clemson out if Syracuse wins tomorrow, but I won't necessarily put the Orange in their place. Yet.
Here's the weekly bracket. Check out other amateur (and professional) bracket projections at www.bracketmatrix.com.