Bracketology - 3.8.17

Clean off your dancing shoes, Mount Saint Mary's, Northern Kentucky and South Dakota State. Welcome back, Gonzaga.

Outside of yesterday's four automatic bids, the only game of note was really the ACC 1st Round game between Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech. Despite a RPI near 90, Georgia Tech's big wins were still keeping the Yellow Jackets in the bubble discussion. However, losing a nailbiter to Pitt sealed the deal and Georgia Tech has no hope of a NCAA Tournament bid. 

FINAL NO. 1 SEED: It's Gonzaga's. Plain and simple, Gonzaga will be a No. 1 seed out west. Don't let anyone tell you UCLA can steal it by winning the Pac-12 Tournament or that other Westerners like Oregon and Arizona have a shot. Gonzaga locked it up with its 32-1 record and pair of WCC titles this season. Oh, and Gonzaga beat Arizona, Florida, et. al outside of conference. 

LAST FOUR IN: Syracuse, Illinois State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest
FIRST FOUR OUT: Iowa, Rhode Island, C
alifornia, Kansas State
NEXT FOUR OUT: Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Houston

STAYIN' ALIVE: Notice how Clemson isn't listed as a "First Four Out" or "Next Four Out" team? Well, that's because, contrary to what some experts might tell you, a team that went 6-12 in the ACC is not going to nab an at-large bid. Clemson has to win the ACC's auto-bid. In doing so, it will have to build on its win over NC State as Duke is up next. The road to an automatic bid would look like: Duke-Louisville-North Carolina-Florida State. Clemson would have earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning five games in five days against that group.

ILLINOIS STATE: Continue to watch the Redbirds in many brackets. A good point was made on Twitter: While Illinois State has a decent resume, many lesser mid-major resumes have been NIT bound in recent years. In a year like this, when so many major conference teams have the ability to notch key upset wins in conference tournaments, Illinois State will have to sit back and watch, clinging to a spot. If the Redbirds get in, it'll likely be in a First Four game. If not, it'll be clear the committee favored the "Top 50 RPI wins" stat which, unfortunately, is built to kill mid-majors.


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