Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22, 2017

Purdue and Iowa both pulled off overtime wins last night, effectively knocking Penn State and Indiana out of at-large contention.  The Big Ten is now looking at likely just seven teams in the big dance, unless Illinois makes a run as the eighth.

The Gophers have their second to last road game of the season tonight at Maryland.  The nice thing about this game and the season finale at Wisconsin is that a loss doesn't do a lot of damage to the resume, but a win is a huge boost.  The real pressure for Minnesota is to avoid resume-crushing losses in their final two home games against Penn State and Nebraska.

The other Big10 game tonight is Michigan @ Rutgers - a major trap game for the Wolverines coming off the loss to Minnesota on Sunday.  A loss would be their second outside the top-100 and would place them back on the bubble they recently climbed their way above.

Elimination games tonight: Vanderbilt @ Tennessee, DePaul @ Georgetown, Oregon State @ Stanford

This bracket is created as if today were Selection Sunday, not a forward looking projection.

1's: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2's: North Carolina, Louisville, Duke, Florida
3's: Florida State, Arizona, Oregon, Kentucky
4's: Butler, Purdue, UCLA, Creighton
5's: Notre Dame, Maryland, Cincinnati, Wisconsin
6's: Minnesota, West Virginia, Virginia, Saint Mary's
7's: Xavier, SMU, USC, Miami (FL)
8's: Virginia Tech, Northwestern, South Carolina, Oklahoma State
9's: Iowa State, Dayton, VCU, Michigan
10's: Arkansas, Michigan State, Kansas State, Marquette
11's: Seton Hall, California, TCU, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Wichita State
12's: Middle Tennessee, UNC Wilmington, New Mexico State, UTA
13's: Nevada, Vermont, Monmouth, Valparaiso
14's: Princeton, Belmont, Akron, UNC Asheville
15's: Florida Gulf Coast, Bucknell, Furman, North Dakota State
16's: North Carolina Central, Eastern Washington, Texas Southern, UC Irvine, New Orleans, Mount Saint Mary's

FFO: Illinois, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Ole Miss
NFO: Alabama, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Rhode Island

Others still in contention for At-Large bid:
I tweaked my process here for at-large contention after doing some further research on previous years' selections.  I learned that top-100 wins is a significantly stronger indicator than sub-100 losses.  In particular, at least three top-100 wins are needed for an at-large bid, which I believe has happened just once: 2015 Oklahoma State.
(<14 losses, Top-150 SOS, >2 top-100 wins)
9. Clemson
10. Syracuse
11. Providence
12. Indiana
13. Georgia
14. Ohio State
15. Iowa
16. Texas Tech
17. Texas A&M
18. Auburn
19. Colorado
20. Boise State
21. Colorado State
22. Stanford
23. Charleston
24. San Diego State
25. Fresno State
26. BYU
27. New Mexico
28. La Salle

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