Monday, February 25, 2019

Bracketology (2/25/2019)

With only 2 weeks left of the regular season, I would think all teams seeded on the 1 through 8 lines are essentially locks at this point, with the exception of Wofford. The Terriers do have a great shot at obtaining the 1st ever at-large bid from the SoCon as long as they win out the regular season. Even if they were to lose on the road this week and then lose in the SoCon Championship Game to one of the other Top 4 teams, they may still be able to sneak in.

Let's take a look at the last 8 in and first 7 out and figure out what they most likely need to do to sneak in as an at-large bid:

Florida: Go at least 2-2 to close out the regular season. If one of those 2 wins is against LSU or at Kentucky they will increase their chances further.

NC State: They could really use a marquee road victory (their best two wins are at home vs Syracuse and Auburn). They have a road game at Florida State this week which is a huge opportunity. Lose that and they still probably have a decent chance though as long as they avoid losing to Georgia Tech/Boston College and not suffering a bad loss in ACC Tourney.

Minnesota: Losers of 6 out of 7 and trending the wrong direction. However, they still have 2 shots at marquee wins with Purdue coming to the Barn and then at Maryland in the season finale. One would think they need to win 2 of their last 3 games or they will have work left to do in the Big Ten Tourney to get in. Their other game is at Northwestern this week. Remember also that Minnesota is only 1-8 in true road games.

Seton Hall: The Pirates most likely need to get to 9-9 in league play (which means finishing 2-1) or they will have work to do in the Big East Tournament to have a chance for an at-large bid. It won't be easy with their remaining 3 games at Georgetown and home vs Marquette and Villanova. 

Alabama: The Tide need to at least make it to 9-9 in conference, which means going 2-2 down the stretch. The toughest teams left on their schedule are home games against LSU and Auburn. But road games at South Carolina and Arkansas won't be easy for them.

Temple: Ideally going 4-0 down the stretch would be best for them, but 3-1 might be enough. They have a chance at a Q1 road win at Memphis on Tuesday. Also Q2 opportunities at Uconn and home vs UCF.


UCF: With one of the more difficult remaining schedules in the country, the opportunities are there for the Knights. One would think they might need to go 3-1 down the stretch, but 2-2 may suffice. 3 of their 4 games are on the road at South Florida, Houston, and Temple with the lone home game coming vs Cincinnati. If they can win 2 of the 3 games against Houston, Temple, and Cincy they would put themselves in a very good position.

Arizona State: With so many bad losses already, the Sun Devils may find it best to sweep the 3 game road stretch to end the season. However, if they can go 2-1 against the Oregon schools and Arizona on the road, that may be enough as long as they avoid losing 1st round of Pac-12 Tournament. However, if they only go 1-2 down the stretch, they probably need to win the Pac-12 Tournament to end up making it.

Utah State: The Aggies need to win their last 3 games to have a realistic shot at getting in as an at-large. That means taking down Nevada this coming Saturday.

Butler: Finishing the season 3-1 to make it to 9-9 in Big East play seems the only way Butler has a chance to get in without winning the Big East Tournament. It won't be easy with two games remaining against Providence, home vs Xavier, and at Villanova.

Georgetown: Similar scenario as the Bulldogs, they likely need to finish 3-1 in order to get to .500 in conference to have a realistic shot. Remaining games include two vs Depaul, home vs Seton Hall, and at Marquette. 

Furman: Avoid a bad loss on the road at Samford or Chattanooga this week. Ideally they would want to beat Wofford in SoCon Semifinals, and then they may have a shot at an at-large even if they lose in the SoCon Championship. The SoCon may even have an outside shot at 3 bids if Furman defeats Wofford in the SoCon Semifinals and then either ETSU or UNC-Greensboro defeats Furman in the Championship Game. Highly unlikely but not completely far-fetched! These teams need to avoid bad losses this week first though before any of that would even be possible.

UNC-Greensboro: Similar setup, avoid a bad loss this week at The Citadel and at Mercer. They are positioned to be the 2 seed in SoCon Tourney, so likely wouldn't have a shot at Wofford until the final then. Defeating ETSU or Furman in the semifinals still probably isn't enough to get in as an at-large. Wofford is the marquee win that SoCon teams need to boost their resume.

Indiana: Pretty simple for the Hoosiers, go 4-0 to finish the regular season to get to 8-12 in conference play or else win the Big Ten Tournament. Going 4-0 down the stretch would give them victories against Louisville, Marquette, Wisconsin, Michigan State twice, and Butler. It'd be difficult to leave out a team with those caliber of wins given how weak the Bubble is this year.

Clemson: The Tigers most likely need to go 3-1 to close out the season and may still need to do work in the ACC Tournament. However, they have 2 golden chances at home for marquee wins over North Carolina and Syracuse. Their road games are against bottom feeders Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. 


Here is my current seed list:


1's: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, Kentucky

2's: Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan
3's: Houston, Purdue, Marquette, Kansas
4's: LSU, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Nevada
5's: Kansas State, Maryland, Florida State, Iowa State
6's: Louisville, Buffalo, Villanova
Iowa
7's: Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Mississippi State, Washington
8's: St John's, Baylor, Mississippi, Wofford
9's: Texas, Syracuse, TCU, Auburn
10's: Ohio State, Oklahoma, VCU, Florida
11's: NC State, Minnesota, Seton Hall, Alabama*, Temple*
12's: UCF*, Arizona State*, Lipscomb, Davidson, Vermont
13's: Hofstra, Murray State, New Mexico State, Yale
14's: UC Irvine, Old Dominion, Texas State, South Dakota State
15's: 
Radford, Montana, Drake, Northern Kentucky
16's: Bucknell, Sam Houston St, Texas Southern*, Rider*, St. Francis PA*, Norfolk State*
denotes play-in game

Last 4 Byes: Florida, NC State, Minnesota, Seton Hall
Last 4 in (in order): Alabama, Temple, UCF, Arizona State (last team in)
First 7 out: Utah State, Butler, Georgetown, Furman, UNC Greensboro, Indiana, Clemson

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FINAL Bracketology Update - Selection Sunday 3/17/2019

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