On Sunday Michigan’s win over Connecticut added to the craziness of doing a bracket at this point. After a wild weekend, I decided that my bracketology update was so big that I needed to break it down in a blog to make all the updates make sense.
For instance, how do I explain seeding Purdue (4 seed) and West Virginia (5 seed) after their recent slides? Remember, my bracketology is based on if the season ended today. If the season were to end today, neither the Boilermakers or Mountaineers have played very well down the stretch. The Boilermakers started out undefeated (and were a 1 seed in my last update) and have a win over WVU, but have lost to Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Northwestern since. WVU slides a bit farther with losses to Purdue, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. Both teams would be top five seeds for sure if the season ended today, but their seeded lower than most would have them in my bracket due to their recent slides.
But those two teams aren’t the biggest storylines in my bracketology. Connecticut (8 seed) and North Carolina (8 seed), two traditional powerhouses, are the big stories. Neither team feels comfortable dwith what their NCAA Tournament resume show right now. Both could very realistically miss the Big Dance.
The Huskies have lost three straight games–all to teams that look like NCAA Tournament squads–while the Tar Heels have lost three of four (including one to Chattanooga). Combined the two teams are 23-12. At this point, you could combine the records of a lot of teams and get a better win percentage than that. As always these teams played good teams out of conference, but that hasn’t really helped their computer numbers.
Here’s a breakdown of everything else to discuss with today’s bracket:
#1 Seeds: The number one seeds are very easy to pick out at this point. Texas, Kentucky, Kansas, and Syracuse would be the 1s if the season ended today. Only Villanova (16-1, 5-0) would have an argument about being left off of the #1 line right now.
Pittsburgh on the Rise: The Panthers were a fringe bubble team in my mind to begin the year, but now they are an easy top three seed. Pittsburgh (15-2, 5-0) is tied for the lead in the Big East and has wins over Syracuse, Cincinnati, Connecticut, and Louisville.
BYU Could Be Extremely High Seed: The Cougars are a 5 seed at this point and could continue to rise. Imagine a Cougars team that ends with one or two losses that ends up winning both the Mountain West regular season title and conference tournament title. That could in turn earn BYU an unconventional high seed for a mid major.
Where Would Butler Be? Imagine for a second that you don’t see the word “Butler” on the Bulldogs jersey. With the resume Butler has, would any other mid major (without the preseason expectations the Bulldogs had) be in the field? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that Butler, a team that has been under-seeded the last three years, could be over-seeded this year. For some reason I get the feeling that everyone is giving the Bulldogs credit for accomplishing less than what they have other the last few years. In turn, I kept with my thought process and over-seeded them as a 6.
Any Other Questions? Please post them and let me know.