The teams in ALL CAPS are the projected conference champions. They are either currently the first place team, or in a tie for first place via the loss column.
-The locations of where the teams on the top four lines will be sent are in (parenthesis).
-I didn’t bother bracketing the teams. Honestly, it is normally a timing issue, but it is also an issue of tedium. I know that it is fun to look at this in bracketed format, but I don’t think it tells you anything that simply listing the rankings doesn’t tell you. If anything, it is less precise because you have to move teams up and down seed lines to meet the bracketing rules.
-I am not necessarily trying to guess the committee, but merely evaluate teams the way I think they should be evaluated based on the criteria the committee looks at.
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-NOTES ON THE SEED LIST ARE LOCATED BELOW
1. MIAMI, FL (Austin TX) (Arlington, TX)
2. INDIANA (Dayton, OH) (Indianapolis, IN)
3. Michigan (Auburn Hills, MI) (Washington DC)
4. Michigan State (Auburn Hills, MI) (Los Angeles, CA)
5. SYRACUSE (Philadelphia)
6. Duke (Philadelphia)
7. FLORIDA (Austin)
8. ARIZONA (Salt Lake City)
9. GONZAGA (San Jose)
10. KANSAS STATE (Kansas City)
11. Kansas (Kansas City)
12. Pittsburgh (Dayton)
13. Wisconsin (Salt Lake City)
14. BUTLER (Lexington)
15. Louisville (Lexington)
16. NEW MEXICO (San Jose)
20. Oklahoma State
21. Notre Dame
22. Ohio State
24. San Diego State
26. Colorado State
30. Saint Louis
31. NC State
32. WICHITA STATE
37. La Salle
38. Boise State
39. North Carolina
40. Indiana State
43. MIDDLE TENNESSEE
46. Saint John’s (First Four)
47. Iowa State (First Four)
49. Kentucky (First Four)
50. Ole Miss (First Four)
52. STEPHEN F AUSTIN
54. LOUISIANA TECH
58. WESTERN ILLINOIS
63. UNC ASHEVILLE
64. STONY BROOK
65. NIAGARA (First Four)
66. LONG BEACH STATE (First Four)
67. NORFOLK STATE (First Four)
68. SOUTHERN (First Four)
NEXT IN LINE:
-Baylor, Saint Mary’s, Villanova, Wyoming, South Dakota State, Virginia, Charlotte, Stanford, Texas A&M, Maryland, Arizona State, Murray State, Air Force, Southern Miss, Lehigh, Ohio U, Florida State, BYU, Alabama
-I broke protocol by sending Louisville and Butler to Lexington even though Wisconsin was higher on the S Curve. The reason is that I think the committee tries to keep as many teams as close to home as possible, and they will sometimes break the seed list ranking if they can keep more than one team closer to home by doing it.
-My last three at-large teams are SEC teams, which would create an SEC match-up in the First Four. Therefore, Missouri was moved up and Saint John’s was moved down.
-I’m still not sure what to do with Ohio State. I have them at #22, which is a #6 seed. On paper, their best win away from home is Washington on a neutral floor, and their best true road win is probably Purdue. All the teams around them have done more than that, so I could make a case for having them much lower. Having said that, they lost on the road to Michigan State, Duke and Michigan by a combined total of 10pts, so they can definitely play on the road. It is a shame that their season opener against Marquette was cancelled. It could have given them a notable win away from home and made a world of difference. They still have several chances remaining, but until they get at least one strong road win I’m hesitant to move them up.
-Louisville has had leads late in the game in all of their losses with the exception of Villanova. In their five game epic overtime game against Notre Dame, they led at the end of regulation, and in the final minute of the first four overtimes. They’re having trouble closing out opponents and until they get that figured out it’s going to be hard for me to consider them national title contenders.
-The actual committee probably won’t like Belmont, Middle Tennessee, Akron and Stephen F Austin as much as I do. I think Belmont is the best team out of those four, but on paper they’re hurting. They have a decisive win against Middle Tennessee, a win at Stanford (who has just one other home loss), and a win at Eastern Kentucky (who has no other home losses), so there is some indication there that they are a solid team, but it doesn’t jump out at you right away. Hopefully the committee sees what I see if Belmont ends up stubbing their toes in the OVC Tournament.
-With the exception of their one loss to Northwestern State, SFA has been blowing through Southland play. Their only other loss on the season was to Texas A&M. They have a good win against Oklahoma, and a bunch of decisive wins against sub-100 teams. Again, hopefully they win the Southland Tourney and it’s not an issue.
-There are three Big Ten teams with #1 seeds. Not only is this within the rules, there is precedence for this. We saw three Big East teams earn #1 seeds in 2009.
-I’m really holding my nose with the inclusion of Saint John’s, but I think they stink less than the teams I left out.