RTC Bracketology: March 9 EditionPosted by Daniel Evans on March 9th, 2013
Daniel Evans (@bracketexpert) is RTC’s new resident bracketologist. According to Bracket Matrix, he ranks as one of the top bracketologists among those who have produced brackets for more than three years, including two seasons with perfect bracket projections. He updates the field daily on his site, Bracketology Expert, and will be producing a weekly bracket update here at RTC on Fridays. RTC Bubble Watch will publish on Sunday nights and Thursday afternoons for the rest of the season.
New in This Update:
- As the start of major conference tournaments near, the bubble is starting to take shape. In my Bubble Watch column on Friday, I added Creighton, North Carolina, and Illinois to my growing list of NCAA Tournament locks. In other words, this is a scary time for bubble teams.
- Kentucky is one of the more interesting bubble cases this season. The Wildcats have not been the same without Nerlens Noel, considering they lost to Tennessee by 30 and fell to Georgia on Thursday night. The ‘Cats probably need a win against Florida on Saturday to get into the field as an at-large, barring a trip to the SEC Tournament final.
- Meanwhile, Tennessee survived at Auburn on Wednesday to stay in my field. Virginia wasn’t as lucky against Boston College, but the Cavaliers stay in my field as the last team in. Virginia has six good wins and seven bad losses. If a couple of teams lose in their conference tournaments (Belmont, Middle Tennessee, Creighton), the Cavaliers and teams around them on my S-curve will be sweating on Selection Sunday.
- The race for No. 1 seeds continues to be a headache. Gonzaga appears locked in, barring a loss in the WCC Tournament. If the Bulldogs lose, I’m not sure what the committee will do with them. Indiana and Duke also appear to be No. 1 seeds right now, with the Blue Devils the strongest of the No.1 profiles. Duke hasn’t just been good with Ryan Kelly, they’ve been undefeated. Indiana has hit a rocky stretch, but the Hoosiers still have the look and overall profile of a No. 1 seed. Georgetown’s loss to Villanova on Wednesday makes me more confident that Kansas is the final No. 1 seed. Louisville is the team to watch. The Cardinals are on the move and Florida isn’t too far behind (only two losses when completely healthy).
- I will be updating this bracket more frequently during the upcoming week, so be sure to stay tuned for that. Eight days before Selection Sunday, I’m waiting for the madness to begin. Saturday should be a great start.
BID STEALERS TO WATCH:
- Murray State (OVC — Belmont is a bubble team)
- Indiana State & Illinois State (MVC — Creighton & Wichita State are probably in)
- Loyola Marymount & BYU/San Diego (WCC – Gonzaga is a lock. Saint Mary’s may be in either way).
This file was set for publishing before the BYU-San Diego game went final on Friday night.
LAST FOUR IN: Saint Mary’s, La Salle, Tennessee, Virginia
FIRST FOUR OUT: Mississippi, Alabama, Baylor, Kentucky
NEXT FOUR OUT: Arizona State, Southern Miss, Providence, Maryland
NOTE: Projected conference champions (or auto bid winners) are in capital letters.
(full bracket after the jump)
Conference Roundup: Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (5), Pac-12 (5), ACC (5), Atlantic 10 (5), Mountain West (5), SEC (3), Missouri Valley (2), West Coast (2)
(differences between S-curve and actual bracket seeding are the result of changes to prevent procedural errors)
- 1s: Duke, Gonzaga, Indiana, Kansas
- 2s: Florida, Louisville, New Mexico, Michigan
- 3s: Michigan State, Miami, Georgetown, Marquette
- 4s: Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas State, Syracuse
- 5s: Wisconsin, Unlv, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis
- 6s: Oklahoma State, Ucla, Notre Dame, Butler
- 7s: Oregon, Vcu, N. C. State, North Carolina
- 8s: Illinois, San Diego State, Missouri, Memphis
- 9s: Colorado State, Creighton, Oklahoma, Villanova
- 10s: California, Wichita State, Minnesota, Cincinnati
- 11s: Colorado, Temple, Boise State, Iowa State
- 12s: La Salle, Saint Mary’s, Belmont, Tennessee, Virginia, Middle Tennessee
- 13s: Akron, Louisiana Tech, Bucknell, Davidson
- 14s: South Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, Valparaiso, Princeton
- 15s: Stony Brook, Montana, Long Beach State, Mercer
- 16s: Niagara, Robert Morris, Northeastern, Charleston Southern, Southern, Norfolk State