Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16, 2014 - Update #2

I'm very surprised how many ESPN & CBS pundits have penned Michigan into the #1 line, some saying they'll get it even if they lose to State today. The two reasons I've been hearing this morning for giving Michigan a #1 are their Big Ten regular season win, and 10 top-50 wins (3rd in the nation). I think both of these reasons are misguided. Jamie Zaninovich (selection committee member) said last week that the committee really doesn't consider finishing position in either conference regular season or tournament. They look at who you beat and where you beat them. Beyond that, other accolaides are really just fluff. Regarding Michigan's top-50 wins, I brought it up before, and I'll say it again...four of those wins are against Nebraska and Minnesota - 48th and 50th, respectively. So, the Wolverines have 6 top-47 wins - tied for 10th in the field (Kansas has 12). I believe the committee is too smart to rely so heavily on the arbitrary Fifty number; they'll consider each team's entire body of work. If Michigan wins today, and gets a #1 seed, I won't be surprised...all I'm saying is that it's far from the sure thing that the TV analysts will have you believe.

I currently give the nod to Kansas for the final #1 seed, by a very close margin over Wisconsin and Villanova based on the Jayhawks' incredibly tough schedule, number of quality wins, and lack of bad losses. Really, the #4 through #13 overall seeds are separated by very, very close margins.

Some have Louisville (my #13) as a possible #1 seed, but I'm having trouble placing them above any of my #3 seeds, based on their overall resume, and definitely not above any of the twos.  Syracuse has struggled of late, but still has a boatload of quality wins (6 top-40, 11 top-65).  Same for Creighton, Duke, and Virginia.

It will be interesting to see how high St Joseph's moves after winning the Atlantic 10.  I've got them up to a #7, but it may be a bit reactionary to move them up past George Washington and Baylor, who both may have better overall resumes.

Here's where I have things as of 3pm, with three contingencies below.

1's: Florida, Wichita State, Arizona, Kansas 
2's: Wisconsin, Villanova, Michigan, Iowa State
3's: Virginia, Duke, Creighton, Syracuse 
4's: Louisville, San Diego State, New Mexico, VCU
5's: Massachusetts, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Michigan State 
6's: UCLA, Kentucky, Saint Louis, Ohio State 
7's: Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Saint Joseph's 
8's: Baylor, George Washington, Texas, Memphis 
9's: Gonzaga, Colorado, Kansas State, Dayton 
10's: Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Providence 
11's: Stanford, Nebraska, Xavier, Iowa, SMU 
12's: BYU, Tennessee, North Dakota State, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin 
13's: Manhattan, Delaware, Western Michigan, New Mexico State 
14's: Tulsa, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette 
15's: North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Weber State 
16's: Wofford, Albany, Mount Saint Mary's, Coastal Carolina, Cal Poly, Texas Southern 

FFO: Minnesota, Florida State, Missouri, California 
NFO: Georgetown, Saint John's, Illinois, Green Bay

Contingency #1:
If Michigan State holds on to beat Michigan, the Spartans will move up to the final #4 seed and VCU will fall to the first #5 seed ahead of UMass.  Michigan will fall to the first #3 seed, with Virginia sliding up to the final #2 seed behind Iowa State.

Contingency #2:
If Michigan comes back to beat State, the Wolverines will move up to the first #2 seed, ahead of Wisconsin.  Michigan State will remain in the same position.

Contingency #3:
If Kentucky come back to bead Florida, they will move up to a #5 seed, ahead of UNC.  If Michigan State loses, they would drop to the first #6 seed.  If they win, then UNC will drop to the first #6 seed.

No contingency is needed for a Florida win over Kentucky as it would not change my current seeding.

As soon as the last two games go final, I'll publish my final predictions and email them to Bracket Matrix so they can be recorded and scored.

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