Friday, March 15, 2019
March 15 Bracket Update
This will probably be my final update before Sunday's "final exam." Some decisions I've made since last time:
I've evicted St. John's from my bracket. Yes, 3-1 vs Villanova and Marquette is impressive. And the VCU win looks better too. But if I had a committee spot, I'd be seeing the 2-5 finish, the lousy performance against Marquette in their own backyard last night, and an unimpressive NET compared to some other bubblers and thinking this may have once been a tourney-worthy team, but not anymore.
They aren't quite equivalent, but some might say "Why Texas but not Indiana?". Well, Texas lost to a better team in more of a "road" environment yesterday. And Texas has four wins against top 4 seeds in the bracket (albeit, Indiana has three). Personally, I don't think either will make it in the end, and Texas is my last team in right now. But Texas is also a dozen points higher in NET and has Indiana whipped in SOS, plus they're noticeably higher than them in the other ranking systems. Texas has the better argument, at least between these two teams. Might not keep them in though. I can't imagine that the Committee will let in a 16-16 team as an at-large, despite the profile.
I have NC State in as an 11 right now, despite them having the worst non-con SOS in all of D-I. Doesn't putting them in but kicking Texas out reward weak scheduling? Does the Committee think about that?
And I've added Belmont. I won't lie, I'm glad to do this. I've harped a lot about how mid-majors usually get the shaft from the Committee. But if they're going to pay attention to their new NET rankings, Belmont should get an at-large. Furman's a little higher in NET and has the better "best" win, but Belmont has the superior non-con SOS and is slightly better in Q1+Q2 games. Had Villanova finished among the top four seeds, I might've given Furman this spot. But I like Belmont's profile a little better overall.
I need to research why some folks are putting Arizona State in as a rising 10 seed. A 67 NET, a 71 SOS, and two Q-4 losses? Must be the wins over Kansas, Mississippi State and Washington. I've heard that they value big wins more than they ding you for bad losses, but still.
I'm not penalizing Texas Tech for losing to the Mountaineers. They're still a 3 as far as I'm concerned. It would take some shuffling for TTU to lose enough ground to fall to a 4, especially since I thought they'd be worthy of a 2 if they won the Big 12 tournament.
Syracuse holds their 9-seed, I think. Buffalo's ceiling is probably a 6 if they win out and their floor is probably a 7 at this point.