A new bracket is up this morning, which is my first after the selection committee revealed its top 16 on Saturday.

One of the most important things that came out of that is that strength of schedule matters. A lot. That has always been true, but it seemed to get emphasized on Saturday. Another thing that got emphasized is that there is still a lot of basketball left to play, so things will change, maybe dramatically so.

Gonzaga was the fourth overall No. 1 because of a weaker schedule. UCLA was comfortably below Oregon, which it just beat on Thursday to split the home-and-home with the Ducks, Arizona and Kentucky, which the Bruins beat at Rupp Arena - all because of strength of schedule. Florida was a three-seed, and higher in the 1-68 ranking than Kentucky, because of strength of schedule.

So, this new bracket reflects some of that. Teams like St. Mary's, SMU and Cincinnati are still down a little bit from where you might think because of strength of schedule. St. Mary's is one loss to someone other than Gonzaga from finding themselves in danger of missing the tournament.

It can even affect power conference teams. The SEC has very little quality beyond its top three. Florida's and Kentucky's schedule strengths are not going to get better.

Of course, there are ways to overcome a relatively poor non-conference schedule. Quality wins helps a lot. West Virginia's overall schedule isn't much better than those teams, but they beat both Baylor and Kansas.

However, if you are a fan of a team outside of the six power conferences and you hear the committee chairman talking a lot about strength of schedule, you should be worried. It negatively affected Gonzaga and Cincinnati in the 1-16 revealed on Saturday. It figures it will affect teams down the bracket as well. And for those teams, if they don't already have higher quality wins, there is almost no chance to get them now.

Specifically, if you are a Wichita State fan, Saturday was not a good day for you at all. The Shockers' overall (162) and non-conference strength of schedule (205) are both relatively poor and unlikely to get better. That slim chance for an at-large bid got slimmer. The at-large quality team in the bracket with the lowest SOS is UCLA at 104.

Sunday was a good day for Northwestern though. The Wildcats took a huge step toward its first ever NCAA tournament appearance by winning at Wisconsin 66-57. Northwestern pulled that off with leading scorer Scottie Lindsey still sidelined with mononucleosis. Before that, the Wildcats best win was at Dayton, and I have been saying they would be very uncomfortable on selection Sunday if that were still true then. Problem solved. It would take a pretty significant slide to knock the Wildcats out now.