Here’s the bracket update for 1-29-16:
And the full S-Curve:
I felt like winning at Providence was the high-level win Xavier needed to bump up to the 1 line. Villanova squeaks it out over Kansas due to slightly better numbers and wins. North Carolina probably doesn’t quite have the wins of a top seed yet, but I have a hard time seeing the committee bumping down a team that has lost once while at full strength.
I was just as surprised as you to have Oregon at #6 overall, but the Ducks’ resume is no joke: #3 RPI, #3 SOS, #10 NCSOS, 3-1 vs RPI top 25, 9-1 (!!!) vs RPI top 50 – those numbers are worthy of the top line, but I knocked them down to a 2 due to no truly “elite” wins and a couple shaky road losses.
Iowa and Virginia have the top-shelf wins to stay up on the 2-line. Michigan State does too, but their numbers are weaker.
Kentucky fans will probably continue to be upset with me, as I’ve shipped them off to Spokane for several brackets in a row. They have a chance to really push up the seed list with a road test in Lawrence today, though. Prove me wrong Wildcats!
One interesting thing about the regions – despite being completely balanced on a “true seed” basis, the South looks absolutely stacked. UNC, Kansas, Maryland, and Kentucky (plus a Duke and UConn matchup in the first round!) is about as blue-bloody of a region as you can get, and I’m sure the howls about how difficult that region is would be loud.
A great example of how to NOT follow a big win from Temple! A loss at East Carolina knocks them right back to the fringe of contention.
Florida and Texas Tech continue similar fades – they scheduled fantastically, but they just aren’t winning important games, especially away from home. The Gators have a big chance against West Virginia, while the Red Raiders have a can’t-lose matchup at Arkansas.
All of my last four in could be characterized as “barely hanging on” – as mentioned about Gonzaga last week, they’re in a soft patch of the schedule with very little to gain. Alabama, Clemson, and Arizona State are clinging to their excellent groups of wins, but other factors (overall record, NCSOS, etc.) are major detractors.
I love the Beavers, but Oregon State’s resume just isn’t good enough at this point. Getting blown out in Tempe was not a good look.
And don’t look now, but my home state Wisconsin Badgers are surging – #66 RPI, #6 SOS, #34 NCSOS, 4-4 vs RPI top 50 and 6-5 vs RPI top 100 are all positives; the only thing holding them back is their baffling home losses to Western Illinois (who is now 7-12, 0-8 in the Summit) and Milwaukee. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Badge.
This weekend brings a ton of huge games for bubble teams, so this picture will surely look different come February 1st (!!!!). 43 days from Selection Sunday!