"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Bracketology: Selection Sunday Final

Our final submission is ready to go. Due to Iowa State moving up, Marquette lands in the West with North Carolina, Baylor, and Kentucky as the other protected seeds. Golden Eagle fans may not love seeing Michigan State across the pod from them, but Sparty would have to win two games (Mississippi State, Washington State) to play Marquette due to the bubble chaos forcing MSU to Dayton.

Where We're Prepared to be Wrong:

  • Iowa State as a 1-seed: They have a viable case due to their 10 Q1 wins, but the NCSOS is an anchor so we're sticking with UNC.
  • Illinois/Kansas/Duke/Auburn: This was a really tough scrub that changed multiple times. These teams seem likely to straddle the 3/4 lines, but the order is up in the air.
  • Indiana State: Selection Committee chair Charles McClelland mentioned they were considering the injury to Jayson Kent in their losses to Southern Illinois and Illinois State. Those are the Sycamores only losses outside Q1, but their 1-5 Q1 record might be enough to keep them out anyway. If they're out, Oklahoma and Virginia are the closest teams to the field. It's worth noting that Michigan State looks to be safer than some of the other bubble teams, and their resume is heavily dependent on their Q1 win over Indiana State. Hard to have one of those teams in without the other.
  • Big East Bubble: I love the Big East, so I'd love for it to be a 6-bid league, but I don't see it. All three bubble teams have resume averages at 53 or below, which would be the second worst ever for any of them to get in. Had the bubble not shrunk I think two or maybe all three get in, but with the stolen bids, it seems unlikely the league gets more than 3.
  • St. Peter's Destination: If Purdue, who was knocked out by NEC Champion Fairleigh Dickinson last year, faced the NEC Champion that knocked them off as a 15-seed two years ago it would be objectively hilarious. Bracketing rules prevented it in our scenario, but we'd love to see the Committee put them in.
Here's our best estimation of what the S-Curve and bracket will look like:

Multibid Leagues
Big 12: 8
SEC: 8
Big 10: 6
Mountain West: 6
ACC: 4
Pac-12: 4
Big East: 3
AAC: 2
A-10: 2
Missouri Valley: 2
WCC: 2

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