Weekly Bracketology 01.23.12Posted by rtmsf on January 23rd, 2012
Zach Hayes is RTC’s official bracketologist.
Last Four In: Iowa State, NC State, Mississippi, New Mexico
Last Four Out: Oregon, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Stanford
Automatic bids: Boston University, Dayton, Florida State, Kansas, Belmont, Syracuse, Weber State, UNC-Asheville, Long Beach State, Michigan State, George Mason, Southern Miss, Cleveland State, Harvard, Iona, Akron, Norfolk State, Creighton, San Diego State, LIU Brooklyn, Murray State, California, Bucknell, Kentucky, Davidson, Texas-Arlington, Mississippi Valley State, Oral Roberts, Middle Tennessee, St. Mary’s, Nevada.
Bids per conference: Big East (8), Big Ten (7), SEC (7), ACC (5), Big 12 (5), Atlantic 10 (4), Conference USA (4), MWC (3), WCC (3), MVC (2).
The first three #1 seeds were fairly clear: Syracuse, Kentucky and Missouri. The Orange take hold of the #1 overall seed line despite Saturday’s loss due to superior computer numbers and more top-100 wins. The final #1 seed battle between Kansas and Ohio State was tight, but the Jayhawks head-to-head victory win in December acted as the tiebreaker. Also aiding Kansas was an undefeated conference mark (Michigan State garnered the Big 10 auto bid due to the RPI tiebreak). It’s worth noting that Missouri could be hurt down the road by their #264 non-conference SOS. The Tigers have two decent wins against Cal and Illinois pre-Big 12 play.
Other teams that could be hurt by the non-conference SOS: Virginia, Kansas State, New Mexico, Mississippi State and, the worst culprit of them all, Cincinnati. We saw last season how much the committee can value this number. Ask Tad Boyle and Colorado.
The bubble is still forming. It’s much too early to look seriously as top-25, top-50 or top-100 wins as a raw number because the RPI is still sorting itself out. The individual resumes were almost indecipherable. Therefore, I had to resort to more rudimentary tactics like conference record. Basically, if a team was around the bubble and had just one quality win, they earned a spot in this bracket.
Amazingly, one Pac-12 team is in the bracket (California due to the auto bid) and four Conference USA teams got in. Do I expect this to happen in seven weeks? Of course not. Stanford and Oregon were around the bubble and I anticipate two of Southern Miss, Marshall, UCF and Memphis to fall short. The committee always says they judge each team’s resume as if they’re an independent.