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:
- After a big win over Duke on Thursday night, I have Virginia in my field for the first time all season It is now time to forgive a team that lost three games early to CAA opponents. The Cavaliers have wins over Wisconsin, North Carolina, and North Carolina State to go along with their win over the Blue Devils. Virginia is now a #10 seed in my field.
- The other team that rocketed into my field over the past week was Tennessee. The Volunteers’ victory over shorthanded Florida on Tuesday night moved them into the final spot in my field.
- Saint Mary’s stays in my bracket despite not having the overall profile of a NCAA at-large team. How will the committee see the Gaels? Does it matter that they look like a NCAA Tournament team? Unless Gonzaga slips up in the WCC Tournament, this debate will go down to the wire on Selection Sunday (and maybe after it).
- I’ve argued many times this year that a crazy chain of events would have to take place for Gonzaga to get a No. 1 seed. Well, that crazy chain of events has happened. The Bulldogs are now No. 3 on my seed list. New Mexico, with 16 wins against the RPI top 100, is another unusual suspect to keep an eye on. Eleven teams can still get No. 1 seeds as of today.
- The Duke-Miami (FL) game on Saturday will be for a No. 1 seed. The Hurricanes are there for now, but that slot might as well say “Duke/Miami”. The winner will be there after Saturday.
LAST FOUR IN: Villanova, Temple, Saint Mary’s, Tennessee
FIRST FOUR OUT: Boise State, Mississippi, Alabama, Baylor
NOTE: Projected conference champions (or auto bid winners) are in capital letters.
(full bracket after the jump)