Bracketology, One Month to Go- 2/15/19

-Jim Root

Beware the Ides of February! Wait that’s not it. Just avoid Valentine’s Day, I guess (sorry, happy couples). February 15th brings us another day closer to Selection Sunday (which so happens to be on St. Patrick’s Day this year), so here’s a hearty brew of Bracketology to wet your whistle. A few thoughts first:

-I largely reorganized the top of my S-Curve to match that of the committee. Virginia lost vs. Duke but then won at UNC, so keeping them at 3. Kentucky and Michigan both lost, but it didn’t move them enough to have UNC (who also lost, as mentioned) or Sparty up past them. LSU is the big mover in that area of the bracket - that tends to happen when you win on the road against a top 8 team, even if it comes via divine (referee) intervention.

-Even though Gonzaga now brings a Thursday site to the 1-line, I’m keeping both 16-seed play-in games at Friday sites, mainly because I care about the little guy and don’t want to make them travel cross-country after the First Four game in Dayton.

-Taking a (very implied) cue from the committee, I tried to factor non-conference SOS more and more into seeding, both as a primary factor and a tiebreaker. That seemed to be the case in the Top 16, at least to my eye.

-Choose Your Own Adventure at the bubble. I have some flimsy defense for where I have these teams, but at this stage, it’s like Pin the Bid on the Donkey - no one has enough quality wins or strong enough numbers to differentiate themselves. I wouldn’t be that surprised at all to see NC State outside the bracket, what with their single Q1 win and horror show NCSOS, despite having them *gulp* seven spots from the cutline. No one below them is safe, either.

-San Francisco’s demise as even a semi-viable bubble candidate makes me sad, it really does, but there is NOTHING there to look at. Zero Q1 wins, 1-5 vs. Q1/Q2, a Q3 loss, 52 in the NET, 277th NCSOS…I’m really not sure beating Gonzaga would even get them there.

-I kept stomping on the cockroad that is Indiana, but that disgusting little “4-9 in the Big Ten” bug kept crawling back into my field. I just don’t know how you keep them out right now with their 3 wins over the Top 16 (Marquette, Louisville, @ Sparty). Hopefully they’ll take care of this for us and either rattle off a few wins, or flush themselves right down the toilet.