Bracketology: Kentucky, Florida State pushing for No. 1 seeds

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Although this week’s No. 1 seeds remain intact, Kentucky and Florida State are pushing for slots on the top line of the bracket.  One could make the case for dropping Baylor after the Bears’ loss at West Virginia, but the seed list doesn’t always work the same as a poll.  Baylor’s resume is still quite strong, and a lone loss in Morgantown doesn’t change that – much the same as Villanova’s loss at Butler last week didn’t drop the Wildcats from the overall No. 1 seed position.  That said, resumes are still very much a recurring work in progress.

It’s no surprise that the cutline is quite fluid.  With another full slate of games tonight, the bottom of the bracket might look different if we updated it again tomorrow.  The process slows in mid-February and resumes become more complete.

As a reminder, conference champions are determined by league standings until Championship Week.  In the event of a tie in the loss column, the automatic bid for the bracket is awarded to the team with the best RPI at the time of publication.  To an extent, this helps simulate some variances that occur in the process.  For example, Illinois State and Wichita State are both unbeaten (5-0) in the Missouri Valley.  Largely due to non-conference schedule strength, Illinois State’s RPI is distinctly better than Wichita State’s this morning.  Thus, ISU earns the auto bid from the Valley (similar to what might happen in a league tournament, per se).  As a result, Wichita State joins the at-large pool for consideration.  It’s also why Florida is listed as the auto bid instead of Kentucky.

Enjoy another busy weekend of college hoops.

UPDATED: January 12, 2017

Regarding bracketing principles, 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)

  • Marquette vs. Kansas State | East Region
  • Rhode Island vs. Texas Tech South Region
  • UC-IRVINE vs. WEBER STATE | Midwest Region
  • FDU vs. DELAWARE STATE | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York                     MIDWEST – Kansas City
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) KANSAS
16) FDU / DELAWARE ST 16) UC-IRVINE / WEBER ST
8) USC 8) Northwestern
9) South Carolina 9) Pittsburgh
Orlando Sacramento
5) Purdue 5) Wisconsin
12) Marquette / Kansas St 12) BOISE STATE
4) Virginia 4) OREGON
13) VERMONT 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Buffalo Indianapolis
6) FLORIDA 6) CINCINNATI
11) NC-WILMINGTON 11) TCU
3) West Virginia 3) Louisville
14) GA-SOUTHERN 14) E. TENNESSEE ST
Orlando Salt Lake City
7) Maryland 7) Virginia Tech
10) Seton Hall 10) VCU
2) FLORIDA STATE 2) Creighton
15) PRINCETON 15) RIDER
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Sacramento Tulsa
1) UCLA 1) Baylor
16) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 16) NEW ORLEANS
8) Iowa State 8) MICHIGAN STATE
9) Indiana 9) Dayton
Milwaukee Milwaukee
5) Notre Dame 5) Arizona
12) OAKLAND 12) ILLINOIS STATE
4) Butler 4) Minnesota
13) FLA GULF CST 13) AKRON
Greenville Greenville
6) Saint Mary’s 6) Xavier
11) MID TENNESSEE ST 11) Rhode Island / Texas Tech
3) North Carolina 3) Duke
14) BELMONT 14) NC-ASHEVILLE
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
7) SMU 7) Clemson
10) Arkansas 10) Illinois
2) GONZAGA 2) KENTUCKY
15) NORTH DAKOTA ST 15) BOSTON UNIV

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA

Last Four Byes (at large): Seton Hall, Arkansas, Illinois, TCU

Last Four IN (at large): Rhode Island, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Marquette

First Four OUT (at large): Miami-FL, Michigan, Wichita State, Houston

Next four teams OUT (at large): NC State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, California

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): FLORIDA STATE, Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Northwestern, Indiana, Illinois

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

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Creighton, Butler, Xavier, Seton Hall, Marquette

SEC (4): FLORIDA, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas

Pac 12 (4): OREGON, UCLA, Arizona, USC

Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, Rhode Island

American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (1): ILLINOIS STATE

Mountain West (1): BOISE STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Oakland (HORIZON), New Orleans (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Delaware State (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Boston University (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)