Last Friday, the NCAA announced that it would do away with the geographic priority normally given to bracketing the tournament. With the entire tournament being played in the Indianapolis area, there is no point in considering geography this season. Therefore, they will stick more strictly to the S-Curve ranking of the teams Nos. 1-68. That means you would see the overall No. 1 seed in the same region as the overall No. 8 seed, which would be a No. 2 seed. The No. 2 overall seed would be paired with the No. 7 and so on. This is often called snaking the bracket.
However, the NCAA is still keeping all of the conference separation rules in place, meaning there will be some deviation from the snake, possibly even among the top two seeds in the regions.
I have already been applying these principles in my brackets since the initial announcement that the tournament would be in one city. It seemed obvious that the NCAA was going to come to this decision eventually.
Bracketology top seeds
TThe teams on the top line of the bracket remain the same after Michigan's loss to Minnesota over the weekend. The Wolverines dropped to the No. 3 overall seed, but still remain a No. 1 seed in their region.
The biggest mover of the weekend was Virginia, which entered the bracket as a No. 5 seed after being one of the first four out Friday. The Cavaliers picked up their first win of any quality over the weekend, but it was an emphatic 85-50 victory over Clemson. Even with that, you would not see that much movement in a bracket this late in a normal season. However, this bracket is based on a total of 1779 games played. In a normal season, we reach that number about a week before Christmas.
While the reigning champion has joined the fray, North Carolina dropped out. The Tar Heels picked up their fifth loss of the season at Florida State on Saturday.
Two other big names are still nowhere to be found. Duke is still out after getting the weekend off. At 5-3 and with no quality wins, they have a ways to go before seeing the field. Kentucky is even farther away after a loss at Auburn on Saturday. That dropped the Wildcats to 4-8. They still have 14 regular season games left, but will have to win 10 of them to be above .500 entering the SEC Tournament.