Sunday, March 13, 2011

Selection Sunday Bracketology

By Nate Noy

Selection Sunday is finally here, feels better than Christmas as a kid for some of us. As with most people trying to predict the field, I’ve gone back and forth on a number of teams this week (as I’m sure the actual Committee has as well). My goal in this is to predict the maximum number of teams in the field, NOT to make a statement as to which teams are most deserving. That said, there are a few teams at the bottom of the bracket that I believe the Committee will put in that should not be there and vice versa, but the GOAL is to accurately predict what the Committee does.

By winning yesterday, I anticipate Penn State to make it now. I also think Harvard takes an at-large even though they lost to Princeton (don’t discount the head-to-head victories over Colorado and BC).

I’ve also decided to leave Marquette out of my final bracket; I REALLY hope the Committee makes a stand today and does not place an 11th-place team in their conference that lost their last game by 25 in the tournament. Most everyone else that predicts the bracket still has them in, and I can easily see how the argument can be made Marquette is one of the best 37 at-large schools in the country (Sagarin rating of 30 helps that argument), but the politics of the money involved should not be written off. If I miss on Marquette so be it, but I truly believe a number of people in the room will argue strongly that this team has to be left out.

Impact of today’s games:

Big Ten
If Ohio State wins I believe they will be the #1 overall, if they lose then it will be Kansas. Penn State should still get in with a loss, and I believe their win yesterday drops Alabama from the tournament.

Two teams playing for seeding, I think the winner should be on the 3-line; if UK loses, they likely stay on the 4-line. A Florida loss and they may remain on the 3 as well. The 2 line seems a little out of reach for either team.

I believe Duke is playing for a #1 seed today and UNC should be on the 2 line win or lose. A Duke loss opens the debate between ND, Pitt, UNC, Duke, and SDST; in my mind, a Duke loss restores Notre Dame to the 1 line and puts both Duke and UNC on the 2. A UNC loss should push Duke to the 1 line, UNC could still drop as low as the 3 line if they get hammered, but I think the 2 line is safe for them.

Well, I had Richmond in my bracket all week, and I was hoping for this matchup. Dayton is not a threat for an at-large if they lose, Richmond will still get serious consideration even with a loss. If Dayton wins, it may force a last minute adjustment by the Committee; I’m sure they are pulling for Richmond to avoid that headache.

Yesterday’s most significant impact:
UConn should be no worse than a #3, and I think the 2 line is their destination after such an impressive 5-day run. Louisville should still be safely on the 3 line.
Texas drops to the 3 line with the loss.
Harvard replaces Missouri State as an at-large.
Penn State replaces Alabama.
Utah State should be no worse than a 6 in my mind. I’ve seen others putting them on the 10 line; they were 30-3 with an RPI of 18 and they are Top-25 in both polls. Anything short of the 6 line will be a sham.
San Diego State: as I said yesterday, the winner of BYU/SDST should be a #2. Some out there are predicting a #1, which is possible, but only if Duke gets whacked today. I think they are safely on the 2. BYU looked so bad that I have to drop them back to the 4 line. Bama also looked bad, but the reason I’m dropping them is more that Penn State won than that them getting crushed by UK.

Final Bracket projection to follow shortly.

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