Friday, February 3, 2012

Bracketography: Top 8 seeds remain unchanged


As will likely be the case for duration of the season, teams on the top four lines have such solid resumes that it would take some bad losses (read: sub-150 RPI losses) to dampen their respective seeds. I'm probably in the minority here, but I still like Kansas' overall profile better than Syracuse's. Even with the loss - which came on the road against an underrated and tournament-bound Iowa State team if the field was selected today.

*As per most bracket projections, this would be my projected field if the season ended today. Thankfully, that's not the case because the final 8-10 teams are still poor excuses for the "recent need" for expansion.

Biggest Risers: Michigan (No. 5 to No. 3) and Illinois (No. 9 to No. 7) were both beneficiaries of the strong Big Ten. Both have overall strong resumes and big wins (Michigan against projected No. 5 seed Indiana and Illinois against projected No. 3 seed Michigan State) were big resume builders.

Biggest Fallers: UConn (No. 6 to No. 8) and Seton Hall (No. 7 to No. 9) both have been hanging their respective hats on November and December. Recently, both teams have been terrible. UConn has lost four in a row while Seton Hall has lost five straight. The one solution: have the teams play one another. Ironically, that's exactly what'll happen tomorrow as Seton Hall visits UConn.

LAST 4 TEAMS IN: Arizona, Iowa State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame

LAST 10 TEAMS OUT: Texas, New Mexico State, Colorado State, Mississippi, Northwestern, Dayton, George Mason, Stanford, Oregon, VCU, Northern Iowa, Pittsburgh.

NOTES: Notre Dame, thanks in large part to a win at UConn, jumped into this week's field. Marshall fell out of the field along with Dayton. Last week, Dayton was the A-10 representative and also would have been in the field as an at-large. I might have over seeded Dayton (No. 9) last week as the Flyers resume just isn't that strong. La Salle took over the A-10's auto-bid this week.

Texas is an interesting case. The Longhorns don't have many signature wins (Temple would be the big one with a road game at UCLA being No. 2). However, Texas hasn't lost to any terrible teams and the brutal part of the Big 12 schedule (@ Missouri, @ Kansas State, vs. Kansas, vs. Iowa State, @ Baylor, vs. Missouri) is finished. A 1-5 record in that stretch is bad, but most bubble teams wouldn't get more than one victory. I fully expect Texas to win its next five games before a home date against Baylor. That doesn't mean Texas will be in the projected field by then as only a home game against Kansas State would be a noteworthy victory. Nevertheless, Texas will be in that "Last Four In" or "Last Four Out" discussion from now until Selection Sunday.

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