After a fun day of basketball on Friday, we’re locked and loaded for the last 30 or so hours of action. We’ve had a couple of changes since yesterday, so let’s get right to it.
Last Four In: St. Mary’s, UCLA, Baylor, USC
Alabama moves out of the Last Four In and safely into the field with their neutral court demolition of Auburn, and that ends up pushing St. Mary’s down into the Last Four In. At this point, I think St. Mary’s (and St. Bonaventure, for that matter) are safe in the field — we’re just nitpicking resumes for the final couple of spots. For the last three spots, you’ll notice that USC moved back in as the last team in the field. Much as I’m not excited about USC’s resume, I think the argument is there for them to get in ahead of Marquette. Better power numbers, more Tier 1 and Tier 2 wins, comparable strength of schedule, and USC has advanced to the Pac 12 Title Game, while Marquette lost early. I also think that Arizona State has likely fallen out of the Last Four In.
First Four Out: Marquette, Arizona State, Louisville, Syracuse
All of these teams have the same thing in common – they can no longer help themselves.
Next Four Out: Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Mississippi State
No changes here.
- It’s incredibly close between UNC, Duke, and Xavier for the 4-5-6 spots in the S-curve. UNC is a tough sell to me personally as a 1 seed because of their nine losses, but they have an objectively better resume than Xavier, and they’ve beaten Duke two out of three times. So I’ve got them fourth, Xavier fifth, and Duke sixth, which ends up working well for bracketing purposes
- What to do with Michigan State? Do we seed them on their power numbers (among the best in the country) or on their Tier 1 wins (far fewer than the teams around them)? I’ve still got them (barely) as a 3 seed, but wouldn’t be shocked to see them as a 4.
- Auburn probably should fall to a 4 seed.
- I’m not sure how secure Nevada really is at this point. Their resume is a mixed bag at best. Only one win against an at-large caliber team, but their power numbers are strong. They look a lot like St. Mary’s and St. Bonaventure right now, with the notable exception that they won the MWC regular season title while the other two did not.