RTC Bracketology: Selection Sunday (Morning)Posted by Daniel Evans on March 17th, 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.
NOTES FROM THIS UPDATE:
- Louisville is the new No. 1 overall seed in my bracket after dominating Syracuse to win the Big East Tournament Saturday night. Duke slides to a No. 2 seed after Kansas won the Big 12 Tournament. The Blue Devils have the better wins, but I’d rather put a team that was a double champion (regular season & conference tournament champion) above a team that didn’t win either one in the ACC. I feel like Duke has consistently been given the benefit of the doubt due to Ryan Kelly’s injury, but the Blue Devils’ second loss to Maryland showed that this team can lose to bad teams even with Kelly in the lineup.
- Although the graphic below does not reflect it, the brackets should be set up to allow for a true national title game, meaning Louisville (the top overall seed) and Gonzaga would not meet until the national title game. Louisville (MW) and Kansas (S) would have their regions matched up and so would Gonzaga (W) and Indiana (E).
- Mississippi reached the SEC Tournament final by defeating Vanderbilt on Saturday. I have the Rebels as my last team out of the field. Ole Miss lost to Kentucky (my last team in) head-to-head (although Nerlens Noel was playing) and lacks the great win the Wildcats have (Florida). Fortunately for the Rebels, they get a chance to change that later this afternoon against Florida. If Andy Kennedy’s team wins that game, we won’t have to worry about their bubble popping because they will already be in the NCAA Tournament field.
- I also still have Tennessee in. The Volunteers defeated Kentucky by 30 in their last meeting and have the best wins in the SEC outside of Florida’s. Although Mississippi swept the Vols, Tennessee lacks the awful losses that the Rebels have (South Carolina, Mississippi State). Besides, if Ole Miss and Vanderbilt were playing in a normal game on a weeknight, nobody would care (like when they played on January 15 — nobody cared then that the Rebels won). Just because the Rebels won in the SEC Tournament semifinals, it does not guarantee them a bid and it doesn’t mean more than their earlier win over Vanderbilt. In my opinion, the Rebels need to win the SEC Tournament to secure a bid.
- Tomorrow, look for teams like Baylor, Maryland, and Middle Tennessee to start getting tossed around as names to replace Ole Miss and other teams near the bottom of the bracket. I think the Blue Raiders have the best shot out of those three to get in, based off the Selection Committee’s decision to place VCU, UAB, Iona, and BYU in the field in First Four games the last two seasons.
- This is not my final update, although my final update may look a lot like this. A lot just depends on how I’m feeling later today. I know that sounds silly, but I trust my gut when it comes to Selection Sunday.
LAST FOUR IN: Saint Mary’s, La Salle, Tennessee, Kentucky(last team in)
FIRST FOUR OUT: Mississippi (first team out), Middle Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia
NEXT FOUR OUT: Southern Miss, Massachusetts, Baylor, Iowa
NOTE: Projected conference champions (or auto bid winners) are in capital letters.
(full bracket after the jump)