We’re two weeks from Selection Sunday and we’ve got a long way to go.
Championship Week is going to be fun and tension-filled. As this juncture, as many as 15 at-large spots remain uncertain. That’s a high number entering March. Here’s what we do know. Barring an unexpected turn of events, Florida and Arizona will be No. 1 seeds. Although the Gators retain their overall No. 1 seed today, the Wildcats may pass them soon. Either way, it’s about time to lock them in to the South and West regions.
Today’s bracket is also quite unsettled when it comes to the seed list. The first four lines (s-curve spots 1-16) are pretty solid. The middle tier could fluctuate greatly depending on conference tournament results. Teams are that tightly bunched. As for the bubble, it continues to move and shift. Depending on which resume criteria or metrics you prefer, the final teams in and first teams out could be ranked in a variety of orders. Every Selection Committee member will have his or her own viewpoint. Hopefully, a few things will clear between now and March 16.
It’s also worth mentioning the potential for bid thieves – a surprise team winning its conference tournament. For example, if Wichita State were to lose in the Missouri Valley tourney, there would be one less at-large bid available. We saw this happen at the SEC tournament a year ago.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride.
UPDATED: March 3, 2014
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings with RPI as a tiebreaker for teams with the same number of losses. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
Missouri vs. Oregon | Midwest Region
Colorado vs. Tennessee | West Region
ALABAMA STATE vs. FLA GULF COAST | South Region
WEBER STATE vs. HIGH POINT | Midwest Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
SOUTH – Memphis
WEST – Anaheim
16) FLA GULF COAST / ALABAMA ST
16) UTAH VALLEY
12) SOUTHERN MISS
4) North Carolina
4) Michigan State
13) NORTH DAKOTA ST
6) NEW MEXICO
11) Colorado / Tennessee
3) Iowa State
14) S.F. AUSTIN
14) BOSTON UNIVERSITY
7) Kansas State
EAST – New York
MIDWEST – Indianapolis
1) WICHITA STATE
16) ROBERT MORRIS
16) WEBER ST / HIGH POINT
8) Arizona State
9) George Washington
12) GREEN BAY
12) Missouri / Oregon
4) San Diego State
6) SAINT LOUIS
11) Oklahoma State
14) GEORGIA STATE
7) Ohio State
10) Saint Joseph’s
NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida remains the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Wichita State, and Kansas.
Last Five teams in (at large): BYU, Colorado, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee
First Five teams out (at large): Dayton, Providence, Georgetown, Nebraska, Minnesota
Next five teams out (at large): Florida State, St. John’s, LSU, Clemson, Marquette
Breakdown by Conference …
Big 12(7): Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State
Conference Automatic Qualifiers … Southern Miss (C-USA), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), Boston University (Patriot), North Dakota State (Summit), Green Bay (Horizon), Davidson (Southern), Utah Valley (WAC), Iona (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Toledo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (A-Sun), Harvard (IVY), UC-Irvine (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Vermont (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), High Point (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Alabama State (SWAC)