CBT BRACKETOLOGY: SPARTY MOVES UP, BID THIEVES LURK

(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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After one of the wildest days in a wild season of college hoops, the bubble remains a mess, the top line in question, and five bid thieves have gathered like vultures awaiting a meal on an unsuspecting bubble team that could be kicked to the curb.  We even have a new No. 1 Seed: Michigan State. With one day to go, welcome to Chaos Central.

The makeup of the final eight or so teams in the field could easily change between now and Sunday afternoon.  That’s where the bid thieves come into play.  Either Memphis or Tulane will play for the American Conference’s automatic bid on Sunday.  Davidson knocked off St. Bonaventure Friday and is a win over VCU away from doing the same in the Atlantic 10. We also have LSU and Georgia playing in the semifinals of the SEC after the Bulldogs toppled South Carolina for a third time.

However unlikely, there are three potential at-large bids that could be taken away.  That thought won’t calm any nerves among those anxiously awaiting the Selection Committee’s final decisions tomorrow evening.

Among the biggest questions: Will the Committee reward Saint Mary’s for a WCC regular-season title despite a schedule heavy on RPI lightweights?  Will the Committee extend courtesy to Wichita State for a dominant four-game margin in the Missouri Valley?  And what about Monmouth?  The Hawks did everything right except lose three games to sub-200 RPI teams.  And those questions don’t account for remaining uncertainties about teams like Michigan, Syracuse, or Vanderbilt.

Bracket Update: March 12, 2016

Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid. The other automatic bids are noted by the highest remaining seed in the conference tournament (as eligible). Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. 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)

  • Wichita State vs. Saint Mary’s | East Region
  • VCU vs. Monmouth | South Region
  • HOLY CROSS vs. FLA GULF COAST | Midwest Region
  • FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON vs. JACKSON STATE | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTChicago SOUTH Louisville                           
Des Moines Raleigh
1) Kansas 1) Virginia
16) HOLY CROSS / FLA GULF CST 16) AUSTIN PEAY
8) USC 8) Oregon State
9) Saint Joseph’s 9) Butler
Oklahoma City Providence
5) Duke 5) Maryland
12) Ark-Little Rock 12) CHATTANOOGA
4) Purdue 4) Kentucky
13) IONA 13) Stony Brook
Providence St. Louis
6) Iowa 6) Baylor
11) GONZAGA 11) VCU / Monmouth
3) Miami-FL 3) Xavier
14) Middle Tennessee 14) S.F. Austin
Spokane Brooklyn
7) Providence 7) Colorado
10) South Carolina 10) Pittsburgh
2) Oregon 2) West Virginia
15) Weber State 15) GREEN BAY
WEST – Anaheim EAST – Philadelphia
St. Louis Brooklyn
1) Michigan State 1) Villanova
16) Hampton 16) FDU / JACKSON ST
8) Texas Tech 8) Wisconsin
9) Cincinnati 9) St. Bonaventure
Denver Denver
5) Arizona 5) Iowa State
12) NORTHERN IOWA 12) Akron
4) Texas AM 4) California
13) NC-WILMINGTON 13) YALE
Spokane Des Moines
6) Notre Dame 6) Texas
11) San Diego State 11) Wichita St / Saint Mary’s
3) Utah 3) Indiana
14) Hawaii 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Oklahoma City Raleigh
7) Dayton 7) Seton Hall
10) Temple 10) Connecticut
2) Oklahoma 2) North Carolina
15) New Mexico State 15) UNC-ASHEVILLE

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Virginia, Villanova, Michigan State. Next in line: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia

Last Four Byes (at large): Cincinnati, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, South Carolina

Last Four IN (at large): Wichita State, VCU, Monmouth, Saint Mary’s

First Four OUT (at large): Michigan, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Florida

Next four teams OUT (at large): Valparaiso, George Washington, Georgia, Tulsa

Breakdown by Conference …

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, USC, Oregon State

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

ACC (6): NORTH CAROLINA, Virginia, Miami, Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh

Big 10 (6): INDIANA, Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence, Butler

Atlantic 10 (4): DAYTON, Saint Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, VCU

American (3): TEMPLE, Cincinnati, Connecticut

SEC (3): KENTUCKY, Texas AM, South Carolina

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

MAAC (2): IONA, Monmouth

West Coast (1): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Iona (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Green Bay (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Austin Peay (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Holy Cross (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Jackson State (SWAC)