The bracket is back after a bit of a hiatus due to the Big Ten Tournament. Lots of changes since we last did this one. This includes all games that finished as of 11:15 PM on Monday 3/5. All we’re waiting on is St. Mary’s, and a loss there would probably only drop them a seed line, so we’ll just run with this.
Last Four In: Oklahoma State, USC, UCLA, Louisville
I’m expecting this group to be incredibly fluid throughout the next five days, because there are hardly any margins separating these teams (or, for that matter, the teams above them and below them). Oklahoma State is impossible to ignore, given their Kansas sweep and overall profile. USC and UCLA have just the right combo of power ratings and not-terrible wins to boost them above some of their competition. Louisville really needs to not lose against Florida State, and then also hope that the teams below them on the bubble don’t win more impressive games than that.
Last Four Out: Syracuse, Alabama, LSU, Providence
Syracuse needs to win games as well, and they may end up with a slightly easier path to getting into the field than Louisville. Alabama needs to show a pulse, first and foremost. Then win a game of import away from Tuscaloosa. LSU needs to go on a run. Providence is an odd team to figure – they might be safely in, they might be this far out. I am very unimpressed with their overall profile. Three losses in Tier 4, including one just a couple weeks ago at home, plus a composite power ranking that just doesn’t look favorable versus the teams they are competing against.
Next Four Out: Boise State, Utah, Penn State, Mississippi State
Penn State did themselves some favors in the Big Ten tournament, but not enough favors. Now they sit for a week while teams get to impress the committee. Boise State better hope that they just win the Mountain West.