Sunday, March 5, 2017

March 6 Bracket Update

Not a lot of movement at the top of the bracket this week. Hard to penalize Duke for losing at UNC. My first problem came at the 4-line, where WV, Florida and FSU all split their games while Purdue and Virginia swept theirs. Despite the committee seeming to think less of the Big 10 this year, I put Purdue in the last 4-spot over Virginia, but I suppose it could go either way. I guess whatever the numbers say, a power conference champ should get a protected seed before a team that finished tied for fifth. The Big 10 DOES have 7 tournament quality teams, after all.

I was ready to bump Dayton to a 7 (probably at Creighton's expense) before they lost their finale. Miami might've fallen some but their losses were to tournament teams, and the teams around them also lost.

I have what're probably two semi-controversial teams in the field. Rhode Island is my last team in. The bubble teams did themselves no favors, and URI just keeps taking care of their business. I also kept Illinois State in. I think both of these teams will fall out by next Sunday night, unfortunately, but today I think they deserve to be in. Poor Xavier. Their win vs DePaul may have stopped their skid, but I think the teams I put in ahead of them are more deserving... today. Xavier should beat DePaul again in the BET opening round, but I'm not seeing them beat Butler. Not sure that's enough to get them in. Xavier and Illinois State have similar RPI. X has 7 top 100 wins, I-state just 2. Somehow I think that'll sway the committee. It worked for Syracuse last year and probably will again this year.

This week will be tough. It's hard not to overreact on moving teams up and down the S-curve as they win or lose conference tournament games. One thing I've heard said over and over is that nothing happens in a vacuum. That's why, for instance, I left Miami an 8 despite two losses. Neither of their losses were bad (or unexpected), and the teams near them all lost, so they held their ground. But down on the bubble, Cal and other teams played their way out, at least in my book.

I think the 1's are all locked unless UNC suffers an early ACC loss AND Oregon wins the Pac 12 tournament. If that happens, I think Oregon will slip by them. Not seeing Louisville or Baylor or Kentucky getting a 1. I also think (and my final bracket will reflect it) that the committee will make Gonzaga the 4th #1 seed, even if Oregon passes UNC, so they are not a lock for San Jose. They may be sent to Memphis.

Hoping to post some updates during the week, including which Bubble teams have the best chance to get some needed wins. I'll have my "final exam" bracket submitted to the Matrix late Sunday afternoon. Constructive criticism welcome on Twitter at @chris17thseed.

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