After a somewhat crazy Thursday, the bubble continues to shift in multiple directions. And with Villanova’s stunning loss to Seton Hall, the final No. 1 seed slot is wide open as action resumes throughout the college hoops landscape. Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Virginia all take to the hardwood with their eyes on the top of the East Region. We also can’t completely eliminate teams like Syracuse.
Quick notes about today’s (March 14) bracket update …
Florida State slides into the final at-large spot. One could go any number of directions among the bubble contenders, but the Seminoles have a couple of small advantages: non-conference wins over two tournament teams (VCU, Massachusetts) and a road win at Pittsburgh. As a side note, FSU lost to Michigan by two and Florida by one in its pre-conference slate. By comparison, Providence and Minnesota have done their best work at home and neither has two NCAA-level non-league wins. We’ll see how the Seminoles fare moving forward. Next up: Virginia. It’s Moving Day – Part II on the bubble.
Missouri and Minnesota have statement opportunities today. The Tigers play Florida; Minnesota plays Wisconsin.
Seton Hall joins the Bid Thief Watch. If the Pirates upset Providence they will be one victory from an automatic bid.
Southern Methodist (SMU) remains on the right side of the bubble, but the Mustangs could be closer to the edge than many think. A horrible non-conference schedule could be even more in play after Thursday’s loss to Houston. SMU is just 4-6 vs. Top 100 RPI teams (albeit four good wins) and owns a victory at Connecticut. But they’ve also lost to South Florida, Temple, and the aforementioned Cougars. SMU ended the season losing three straight.
Arkansas falls into the First Five OUT after losing to South Carolina. Cal remains in that group as well following its loss to Colorado. While both likely need help to re-enter the bracket. Let’s wait until more resumes are complete before casting a final decision.
Teams in CAPS represent AUTOMATIC bids. 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)
BYU vs. Tennessee | South Region
SMU vs. Florida State | East Region
Alabama State vs. Weber State | Midwest Region
MT ST. MARY’S vs. COASTAL CAROLINA | East Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
SOUTH – Memphis
WEST – Anaheim
16) Utah Valley
8) Kansas State
8) George Washington
5) Ohio State
12) BYU / Tennessee
4) Michigan State
13) S.F. Austin
13) NORTH DAKOTA ST
6) New Mexico
10) Arizona State
10) Saint Joseph’s
15) Stony Brook
EAST – New York
MIDWEST – Indianapolis
1) WICHITA STATE
16) CO CAROLINA / MT ST. MARY’S
16) Weber State / Alabama State
8) Oklahoma State
5) North Carolina
12) Louisiana Tech
4) San Diego State
6) Saint Louis
11) SMU / Florida State
3) Iowa State
14) EASTERN KENTUCKY
14) Georgia State
NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida remains the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Wichita State, and Villanova.
Last Five teams in (at large): Xavier, SMU, Tennessee, BYU, Florida State
First Five teams out (at large): Providence, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, California
Next five teams out (at large): Southern Miss, Illinois, Green Bay, Georgetown, St. John’s
Breakdown by Conference …
Big 12(7): Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State