Bracket update: Jan 14
Resumes are starting to take shape. The top 15-20 teams in our seed list are all in good shape at this point of the season. The bubble is large and teams move up and down each week as they add quality wins. The sorting statistic the NET still fluctuates quite a bit after each result.
Our group always starts fresh each week and applies NCAA criteria as if the season ends with every update. We do not add any predictive results to our rankings. So with all this in mind, here are a few observations.
We have six teams that are in consideration for the top seeds. Our main discussing for the week was between Gonzaga and Kansas. There was a good argument for each of these teams but we ultimately selected Gonzaga because their loss was in game 3 of 3 days in the Battle of the Atlantis and was without a key player due to injury. Kansas lost at home to a solid Baylor team but that was loss number 3 overall.
We currently have 11 BIG 10 teams in the field. We believe they all meet the criteria. Conference affiliation does not matter, meaning that the selection committee does not have set number of teams allowed per conference. However, this conference will be a grind and we believe that at least 1 or 2 of those 11 teams may not end up in the tourney come March
We have 90 teams in consideration for 68 spots. The bubble consists of 18 teams in bracket ( seeds 8-11) and 22 teams out of our bracket. 32 teams receive automatic bids as conference winners. We operate that 22 of those auto bids are from 1 bid conferences in most years. That leaves 10 auto bids and 36 at large bids available. In theory the top 46 teams in the NET should be in consideration. The NET however, is not a standings board and the quality of wins based on the quad system plays a huge part in the actual selection and seeding. Usually less than 5 teams in the top 40 don’t make the tourney. The rest are in a NET range of 41-75.
Tough decisions for us on the bubble at this point include:
Virginia, St John’s, Georgetown, Virginia Tech out
VCU, Houston, NC State, Xavier in
With 22 teams out but in consideration, scoreboard watching is a must. Teams can go on a winning streak and improve their resume and move up the bubble in no time.
Last year Belmont earned an at large berth as a mid major program. We are looking closely to those types of team this year. Right now East Tennessee St and Furman wll be teams to watch.