Bracketology: Don’t sleep on Xavier

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Don’t sleep on X.  That would be Xavier.  The Musketeers have an opportunistic stretch ahead. Navigate it successfully, and X will remain squarely in the hunt for a No. 1 seed.  To date, the Musketeers are 9-3 vs. Quadrants 1 and 2 on the new RPI breakdown sheets.  They own a Top 15 strength of schedule, and the metrics coincide with their profile.  That stretch we spoke of?  It includes these four games in a row: at Butler, at Creighton, Seton Hall, Villanova.  Winning three of those would be strong.  Win all four?  That would be enough to place Xavier front and center in the top-seed discussion.

The middle of the bracket remains very unsteady in terms of seeding.  The bubble isn’t overly deep, but the margins between those teams is thin.  February should be fun.

UPDATED: February 2, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Missouri vs. SMU | East Region
  • Kansas State vs. Virginia Tech West Region
  • HARVARD vs. NC A&T | East Region
  • FL-GULF COAST vs. ARK-PINE BLUFF | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

EAST Boston SOUTH – Atlanta                        
Pittsburgh Charlotte
1) VILLANOVA 1) VIRGINIA
16) HARVARD / NC A&T 16) FL-GULF CST / ARK-PB
8) TCU 8) Michigan
9) NC State 9) Butler
Dallas Boise
5) RHODE ISLAND 5) West Virginia
12) LOYOLA-CHI 12) MIDDLE TENNESSEE
4) Clemson 4) Tennessee
13) BUFFALO 13) E. TENNESSEE ST
Detroit Dallas
6) Louisville 6) Gonzaga
11) Missouri / SMU 11) Houston
3) Michigan State 3) Texas Tech
14) VERMONT 14) S.F. AUSTIN
Nashville Pittsburgh
7) Creighton 7) Miami-FL
10) USC 10) Arkansas
2) AUBURN 2) Xavier
15) RIDER 15) WILLIAM & MARY
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Wichita Detroit
1) KANSAS 1) PURDUE
16) WAGNER 16) UNC-ASHEVILLE
8) Florida State 8) Arizona State
9) Alabama 9) Texas
Boise San Diego
5) Florida 5) North Carolina
12) LOUISIANA 12) NEW MEXICO ST
4) Ohio State 4) Kentucky
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) BELMONT
Nashville Wichita
6) SAINT MARY’S 6) Seton Hall
11) Kansas St / Virginia Tech 11) Texas AM
3) CINCINNATI 3) Oklahoma
14) WRIGHT STATE 14) MONTANA
San Diego Charlotte
7) NEVADA 7) Wichita State
10) Providence 10) Washington
2) ARIZONA 2) Duke
15) UC-SANTA BARBARA 15) BUCKNELL

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Virginia, Purdue, and Kansas

Last Four Byes (at large): Washington, USC, Houston, Texas AM

Last Four IN (at large): Kansas State, Missouri, SMU, Virginia Tech

First Four OUT (at large): Marquette, Boise State, South Carolina, Georgia

Next four teams OUT (at large): Syracuse, Western Kentucky, UCLA, Utah

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): VIRGINIA, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Louisville, Miami-FL, Florida State, NC State, Virginia Tech

SEC (7): AUBURN, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri

BIG 12 (7): KANSAS, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, West Virginia, TCU, Texas, Kansas State

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

Big 10 (4): PURDUE, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan

American (4): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston, SMU

Pac 12 (4): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington, USC

West Coast (2): SAINT MARY’S, Gonzaga

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

Atlantic 10 (1): RHODE ISLAND

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), S.F. Austin (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), William & Mary (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.