You can see my previous bracketology here. This one will be shown both by conference and at the bottom by seed line for the reader.
As far as local teams goes, Duquesne is the 9th team in the field for me. It’s not a lock, but a relatively good position overall. West Virginia is solidly in the field. With a decent Big 12 tournament showing, there’s a chance the Mountaineers get a top 4 seed and a potential two home games in the NCAA tournament.
By conference, with notes. RPI is in parentheses.
Locks – None
Bubble – 3
Duquesne (23) fell back to on the bubble after a loss at Saint Bonaventure. A win Friday against Fordham/UMass/LaSalle is likely a must. A win Saturday should secure a berth, and even with a loss Saturday the Dukes have a high probability of a bid, though it’s not guaranteed.
GW (38). Getting Jonquel Jones back, or any sign of life that she would play again this season, would be a welcome sign. Right now, they’re on the last four in list. Yet, if Jones doesn’t come back you can bet the committee will take note of her injury. Beating Dayton is likely a must.
St Bona (30). Despite the #30 RPI, the Bonnies have a problem with quality wins. They have two – Duquesne and James Madison. The GW win is tainted as an OT win without Jonquel Jones, as is the win at Dayton – the Bonnies only top 100 road win – without 40% of Dayton’s starting lineup. They definitely need a win over VCU in the tourney, and perhaps more. Two bad road A-10 losses are hurting the Bonnies.
Outside chance, keep an eye on – Saint Louis (54)
Locks – 1 – UConn
Bubble – 2
Memphis’s late run going 9-2 to end the year is helping the conference. It’s saving both South Florida and Temple’s worst loss as now at RPI 102, and possibly looking even better than that.
South Florida (27). Color me confused why everyone loves South Florida’s resume. Let’s compare to a team like Duquesne for a second, given it’s a Pittsburgh site. While I think both get in provided they don’t lose early in their tournies, I don’t see too much of a difference even if you take away USF’s three likely losses against UConn twice and at Baylor.
South Florida vs. the top 25: 1-4 (1-1 if you exclude the three previously mentioned), 26-50: 1-1, 51-100: 5-2, 101+: 14-1
Duquesne vs. the top 25: 0-0, 26-50: 2-5, 51-100: 6-1, 101+: 16-0
There’s not too much difference there for me, particularly if Oklahoma State falls out of the top 25 with a loss to their in-state rival in the Big 12 tournament.
Temple (66). The Owls are one of only a small handful of teams on the bubble with two top 25 wins, beating Florida and South Florida. They also beat fellow bubble mate Villanova for a third top 50 win. The problem is they haven’t done much else, suffering one bad loss to #191 SMU and going 2-3 against teams 51-100 while others have went 5-2 or similar. A win over Tulsa is a must, and the South Florida game will be big for the Owls.
Locks – 4 – Notre Dame, Louisville, Florida St, Syracuse
Bubble – 2.
Miami (33). A win over the Pitt/UNC winner probably gets them in, but a loss could be damaging for a team with only two top 50 wins (though they did beat #51 Duke), no top 25 wins and one bad loss.
NC State (49) gets the Virginia Tech/BC winner then Syracuse. A win over the play-in winner is a must, and a victory over Syracuse should put them in. A loss to Syracuse and they’re waiting for other teams.
Likely out – Duke (51) – Duke currently has only 3 top 100 wins and desperately needs wins, despite a borderline top 50 RPI from a Power 5 conference. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they drew the #8 seed for the ACC Tourney, which means their first game will be against Virginia which won’t help much followed by playing Notre Dame. They’re likely out despite once being in the top 10 in the country.
Locks (5): Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma St, West Virginia, Oklahoma
Bubble: Kansas St (46). They’re in a relatively tough spot. Despite a relatively high RPI for a Power 5 team, the Wildcats only have five top 100 wins. An upset win over WVU probably puts them in, but a loss and they’ll be sweating on Selection Monday.
High Probability of a bid: Seton Hall. Their bid will become almost assured should they beat Marquette.
Villanova (48). Nova is one of the few teams on the bubble with three top 50 wins and a whopping 10 top 100 wins, something only 15 other schools have. The problem ? They have losses to a ton of bubble teams out-of-conference. NC St, GW, Temple, and St Mary’s all beat Villanova. However, their best wins stack up favorably against the rest of the bubble (DePaul, Seton Hall, Penn, and St John’s twice). Bad losses to Creighton twice and Xavier along with St. John’s falling in their last regular season game hurt Nova, but a second place finish in the round-robin Big East certainly helps.
St John’s (56). Again, three quality wins (South Florida, Seton Hall twice). Yet, two head scratching losses in their last three games to end the year is hurting the chances of the Red Storm. They have to pretty much beat Georgetown. The DePaul game afterward may determine their fate.
Locks – 3: Maryland, Ohio St, Michigan St
Indiana (40). It sickens me to put Indiana here, as they got the luxury of their five Big 10 doubles being Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. Not a single one of those teams is in the top 60 RPI, but Indiana will likely skirt to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of a 4th place finish in the Big 10. They’re in for now, but certainly not a lock.
Rutgers (51) has a hard road after only getting one top 50 win thus far. A play-in win over Nebraska won’t help them much, then they get a likely game against Ohio State. I just think that they don’t have enough big wins for the committee to put them in should they lose to Ohio State.
Purdue (58) gets the Penn St/Illinois winner before getting Michigan State. Beating Sparty will virtually assure Purdue of an at-large, but a loss will leave them sweating depending on what else happens.
Minnesota (76) gets the Northwestern/Wisconsin winner before Indiana. The Indiana game may very well be a play in-out game for Minnesota.
Keep an eye on Iowa (63). The Hawkeyes will have a must-win game against Michigan in the 8-9 game before playing Maryland. I can’t see them beating Maryland to dance, though they will certainly be in consideration with an upset win over Maryland.
Locks: Arizona St, Oregon St, Stanford, UCLA
Close, but not a lock: Washington. A win over a 7-22 Colorado team in the first round would virtually assure the Huskies of a bid.
Bubble: USC (55). A win over #10 UCLA is among the bubble’s best, but a 1-6 finish to the regular season leaves them with work to do. A Washington St win would be a slight boost, but they may also need to beat Oregon St.
Oregon (73). Disregard the RPI for a second (hurt by their doubles in conference play), and look at the rest of who the Ducks played and where did they play them and Oregon’s resume looks bubblicious. A win over Arizona and loss to UCLA in the Pac 12 tourney probably leaves them barely out, but it will put them in the conversation.
Locks – 8: South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Florida, Mississippi St, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri
Bubble: Auburn (64). I don’t see them getting in without a win over Mizzou. A win there before being a sacrificial lamb to South Carolina will put them on the bubble and will depend on what else goes on.
Virtual Lock: BYU (15). Despite the computers loving BYU, they have only one big win, though it was over A&M. I still think they’re in if they beat the play-in winner.
St. Mary’s (50). The problem here is they only have one top 50 win, over Nova. It’s probably not enough unless they beat BYU in the final.
Santa Clara (66). They have perhaps the best win of the year by anyone not named UConn with their victory at Stanford. With only one other top 50 win to their credit, however (#50 St Mary’s), they’ll likely need to beat BYU in the semis to have a shot at an at-large.
Other potential bid thieves
UTEP (22). While they have the computer RPI, their two top 50 RPI wins with two losses outside the top 50 isn’t pretty should they lose in their tourney. They’d be on the bubble with a loss in either the semifinals or finals.
Green Bay (20). While the computers love Green Bay, I don’t see them getting a bid if they’d lose in the Horizon Tourney, as they’d be without a top 50 win but then have at least two, and possibly three, losses outside the top 100.
Notes on the bracket.
While I have Green Bay and UTEP on the #10 line both as at-larges currently, they both are possible to lose at-large status with a loss in their tournaments.
My bracket by seed line:
1: UConn (3), Notre Dame (1), South Carolina (4), Baylor (2)
2: Texas (6), Arizona St (8), UCLA (10), Ohio State (5)
3: Kentucky (12), Stanford (7), Oregon St (9), Louisville (14)
4: Oregon St (9), Texas A&M (17), Florida (18), Maryland (11)
5: DePaul (19), Oklahoma St (24), Georgia (26), West Virginia (29)
6: Florida St (13), Syracuse (16), Oklahoma (35), Mississippi St (28)
7: Michigan St (21), BYU (15), Seton Hall (36), Tennessee (27)
8: Missouri (41), Washington (31), Miami (33), South Florida (25)
9: Duquesne (23), Indiana (40), Green Bay (20), St Bonaventure (30)
10: St John’s (56), Kansas St (46), UTEP (22), Temple (66)
11: USC (55), NC State (49), Purdue (58), Princeton/Penn winner
12: Colorado St, James Madison, Arkansas St, Ohio
13: Florida Gulf Coast, Albany, South Dakota St, Cal-Riverside
14: Chattanooga, Army, UT-Martin, Northern Iowa
15: New Mexico St, Quinnipiac, Liberty, Montana St
16: Hampton, Central Arkansas, Sacred Heart, Texas Southern
Last four IN: Purdue, NC State, USC, Temple
First four OUT: Purdue (58), George Washington (38), Villanova (48), Auburn (64)
Second four OUT: Princeton/Penn loser, St Mary’s (50), Minnesota (76), Oregon (72)
Keep an eye on: Santa Clara (67), Duke (51), Rutgers (54), St Louis (53), Iowa (63)