As promised, here’s our next edition of the Bracket Report. We will be updating the bracket and S-curve every day this week, in order to get a better handle on the tournament field. We didn’t have a *huge* amount of changes from last time, but there were a few. Here’s the bracket:
UPON CLOSER EXAMINATION: After going through the resumes several times, I finally decided to sit Texas down, replacing them with Miami. It’s a bad batch of accomplishments in the last four in, but I ever-so-slightly favor what the Hurricanes have done. Victories against Duke and Florida State stand out in that group. Texas’s resume is a slightly worse version of Seton Hall’s, and that’s not a great recipe.
SORRY DRAGONS: I still don’t like Drexel, despite the obscene amount of love being shown for the Dragons on Twitter and SportsCenter last night. Have they had a great run the last two months? Sure they have. But it’s disingenuous of ESPN to put up Drexel’s resume “since January 4th”, as they did last night. Are we going to cherrypick the best two months of each team’s schedule? If so, then others did more against much better competition with their two months than did Drexel. If not, then we have to consider the bad losses at the start of the season, as well as the complete lack of any victories against decent teams in the out of conference section of the schedule. And with all that said…I won’t be surprised if the committee puts Drexel in. We’ve seen these situations happen in past years, and in trying to predict the committee’s approach, you have to consider Drexel (and other teams like them).
AUTO BID CARNAGE: We lost both Oral Roberts and Denver last night, and that could be a shame for both conferences. It’s almost certainly a shame for the Sun Belt, who has now lost its two best teams (the Pioneers and Middle Tennessee State) and finds itself staring down the barrel of a 16 seed, rather than the 13 or 14 seed they’d likely have received. As for the Summit League, they’ve still got a chance at decent seeding with South Dakota State. Elsewhere, the MAAC saw its seeding tumble with the loss of Iona in the semifinals, and the Gaels aren’t likely to factor into at-large discussion. Loyola does have a road win vs Bucknell, which should keep them out of the play-in game, but that’s about the extent of what the Greyhounds can hope for.
REORDERING THE SEEDS: After taking a closer look at the seeds, I’ve dropped Iowa State and Mississippi State down a couple lines, while increasing the standing of Vanderbilt and Baylor. We’ve also seen some of our previous 16 and 15 seeds rise up a bit, as witnessed by Montana and Belmont going up a full line from a week ago this time.