"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

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

This hurts, but we gotta talk about it

This isn't the #mubb pod we wanted to talk about but it's the pod we have to have. We talk about the disappointing finish to an otherwise spectacular season and how we process our feelings. We also look toward the offseason and the next season which has the potential to break the #ScrambledEggs optimism scale. Tough but as always enjoy! https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/s6kceg/ScrambledEggs_Editted_032223.mp3

Sunday, March 19, 2023

What is at stake today when Marquette plays Michigan State today

A spot in the Sweet 16 is the most obvious thing on the line when Marquette takes on Michigan State. Here are some other things at stake…

Marquette has never beaten Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament. MSU beat MU in the 1959 regional semifinals and the 2007 first round.

The Golden Eagles have never beaten Tom Izzo. Marquette has played the legendary coach twice. The aforementioned first-round victory in 2007 was a teacher vs. student showdown. Izzo easily defeated his former assistant, Tom Crean, 61-49. Although, Marquette did not have Jerel McNeal available. Marquette also lost in the 2014 Orlando Classic to the Izzo-led Spartans.

This Golden Eagles team has a chance to be the first squad in program history to win 30 games.

Shaka Smart has only won one second-round game. That victory came when he guided VCU to the Final Four in 2011. He led the Rams to three more appearances in the second round from 2012-2014.

If Marquette wins today, it would be the most wins in a season Shaka has had.

Marquette has never beaten a seven seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Tyler Kolek needs 10 more assists to break Tony Miller’s single season record of 274. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

The biggest demon has been exorcised and we gotta react

#mubb has won when it matters for the first time in a decade, you bet your bottom dollar we're gonna react to it. We talk the game, the bracket, vibes, and the fighting Joey Hausers. Enjoy! https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/7p3siq/ScrambledEggs_Editted_031723.mp3

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Why not us and why not now??!?

Join us while we splash around in the good vibes pool for #mubb. We talk record seeding in NCAA tournament for MU as well as first round match up against Vermont. We also revisit the joy of MSG and talk about the sliding doors that got us here. Last we talk overall bracket and try to wrap our heads around "is this really a chance to go F4 and beyond?" Enjoy! https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/k8gcuv/ScrambledEggs_Editted_031323.mp3

Sunday, March 12, 2023

2023 Bracketology Final

Selection Sunday is here, and so is our final S-Curve and bracket projection. Very few changes this week, including for the team most of our readers take interest in. A few final thoughts:

  • Gonzaga and Marquette remain on the 3-line behind Baylor. While I do feel Baylor might not be as deserving of that spot, the Selection Committee voted the top two lines on Wednesday and historically they don't make changes on Saturday night regardless of results. I would be happy to be wrong and see Marquette (or even the Zags) land on the 2-line, but if I'm making a projection based on their history, I don't think it will change.
  • Tennessee/UConn for the last 3/first 4 and Florida Atlantic/Arkansas for the last 7/first 8 were some of the most difficult decisions. I stuck with Tennessee because of the trend mentioned above. I went with FAU over Arkansas because last year I underestimated Murray State's seed, and FAU is basically Murray State with a better NET. While my number has them lower, there is historical precedent that I'm working off of.
  • The bubble came down to four teams for two spots. NC State, Pittsburgh, Nevada, and Oklahoma State were the last teams truly considered. I went with both of the ACC teams. The Wolfpack have the metrics and no real disqualifying factors. Pitt has some great wins, including away from home which the Selection Committee showed a preference for. If I were making the call, I would have Nevada in, but I have overestimated the Mountain West in the past and their bad losses have mounted recently. Oklahoma State at 18-15 simply doesn't have enough good. They went 0-8 against the protected seeds in the Big 12 and no team has got in with 15 losses that didn't also have at least 19 wins. Just not enough there.
  • If there are any surprise inclusions, it might be Clemson, who has a nice top of the resume but a ton of bad losses (like last year's first team out, Dayton) or New Mexico, who has great top-end wins but just took too many hits down the stretch. I don't expect any of the top-44 teams to miss. Maybe a Providence or Utah State falls to Dayton, but I strongly expect them to be in the field.
  • Finally, regarding Marquette, sticking with them to Columbus as my expectation. If they do get up to the 2-line, Des Moines is still possible, but Columbus has felt most likely. If nothing else, this team thrives on feeling slighted, so being a line lower than fans expect might continue to fuel their "F*** 'em" attitude.

Here is the final S-Curve and bracket. We don't expect any changes regardless of the results in the American and Big 10 Tournaments.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Eve of Madness

Marquette's celebration is underway as UConn falls at the Garden

Photo by John Minchillo | AP Photo

With Selection Sunday just one day away, it's time to look at what the field looks like a day before the official bracket comes out, and covering a few discussion points.

Marquette in the Big East Final

For the first time in quite awhile, Marquette has taken over as the presumptive Big East Champion. While Marquette fans will certainly hope this means ascension to the 2-line, I'm still pessimistic on that. The 1's and 2's were voted on by the Selection Committee on Wednesday. In order to change that, 7/12 voters would have to agree to rescrub one of the last 2-seeds. Arizona is still alive, so they aren't likely going anywhere, and if a team were scrubbed off the 2-line, it would probably be Baylor. But then we get to metrics and knowing that all of the WCC games mattered. If anyone moves up to the 2-line, it would more likely be Gonzaga.

Bid Thieves and the Bubble

Right now, we feel pretty good about everyone through Rutgers at #44. Nevada and Pitt are both in position to be knocked out by a team like UAB, Vanderbilt, or Ohio State. We added Vandy to the Still Considering list, but they feel a lot like Texas A&M last year, whose SEC Tourney run was too little, too late. If there's any team not on here that might sneak in, New Mexico is a team with some awesome Q1A wins that the Committee might surprise us with. If any bid thieves do make it in, expect them to show up on the 11-line (like Virginia Tech last year) with Providence and USC most likely to fall to Dayton.

Autobid Rescrub

We did a deep dive into the 12-16 lines again with most of the automatic bids awarded. If there are unexpected winners, most likely the underdog would go to the same seed as the current favorite. The 16-seeds felt very secure. The toughest decisions were the last 15 (Kennesaw, Colgate, UCSB considered) and the last 13 (Furman and Louisiana). If there are unexpected winners here or if UAB is a bid thief, don't be surprised to see Charleston pushed up to the 11 line if that becomes necessary.

Here's the updated S-Curve:

Friday, March 10, 2023

Dreaming of a Marquette March

The good news, we know Marquette will be in the NCAA Tournament, and they look to have solidly locked up a 3-seed. With that in mind, we're going to dig into the teams Marquette might see the first weekend and see who would give the staff nightmares and which teams they are dreaming of playing. Let's dig in:

 Greg Williams traded his St. John's gear for nearly identical Louisiana gear

Photo by Benjamin Massey | Louisiana Athletics


Nightmare: Louisiana

Marquette has six losses all year long, and four of those came to teams ranked in the top-30 of Offensive Rebounding Rate. This isn't just a team that does damage inside, though, the Ragin' Cajuns are top-50 in 3PFG%. They are also anchored by down-transfers. Big man Jordan Brown came from Arizona, wing Terence Lewis from North Texas, and guard Greg Williams came from St. John's, where he once scored 17 points in a win over Marquette. Don't be mistaken, if this game happens, this is still a game where Marquette will be favored, but Louisiana has some high-major talent and their strengths are areas where they can take advantage.

Dream: Vermont

The Catamounts are always an upset darling, but they haven't played a top-100 kenpom team since December and went 0-5 against such opposition, losing by an average of 18 points. They are terrible on the offensive glass and the worst defensive team in the mix for a 14-seed. Vermont has stayed close to NCAA opponents in recent years, but John Becker is 0-4 in Thursday/Friday NCAA games and this doesn't look like the year he breaks that streak.

Buzz Williams' intensity level hasn't diminished since leaving Marquette

Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel | USA Today Sports


Nightmare: Texas A&M

If nothing else, Marquette fans would be terrified just of the idea of facing Buzz again. As sweet as the victory would be, it would be equally crushing to see a season end to the man who brought Marquette to three consecutive second weekend trips a decade ago. On the court, it would be a tough matchup. A&M is top-10 in offensive rebounding and has a wealth of physical bigs they could throw at Oso Ighodaro. They aren't a great shooting team, but they out-physical teams on the glass to create second chances. Defensively, they will challenge you inside and dare you to beat them at the arc. This is a tough matchup physically for Marquette and psychologically for Marquette fans.

Dream: TCU

Honestly, I'm not sure there is a dream 6-seed, but the team that Marquette matches up best with is the Horned Frogs. Offensively, they don't rebound as well as the others on that line, they are a poor three-point shooting team, and their health questions could make them vulnerable. Defensively, they aren't great at stopping teams inside the arc, so Marquette's bread and butter offense takes advantage of their weakness. How the Big 12 teams will be seeded will be interesting, but if the choice is Duke's wealth of offensive rebounders or Oscar Tshiebwe, TCU seems like the most attractive option.

Nevada big man Will Baker once played for Shaka Smart at Texas
Photo from Nevada Athletics


Nightmare: Pittsburgh

The team best built to outscore their opponents on the 11-line are the Pitt Panthers. They can put four shooters around their rim-protecting big and can beat you in multiple ways. They are comfortable playing through either of their two point guards, Jamarius Burton or Nelly Cummings, run a tight, established rotation, and know their roles. In addition, no Marquette fan wants to send fan favorite Greg Elliott home. Pitt is prone to the occasional blowout loss and it's certainly a team Marquette would be favored against. However, they have played 10 games decided by 4 points or less, so this is a team that knows how to keep it tight down the stretch and have the ability to make for a nervy final few minutes for any team they come up against.

Dream: Nevada

The Wolfpack is fine, but not great in any regard. They have good size across the board, but don't take advantage on the offensive glass and aren't an outstanding shooting team. Defensively, they slow the pace but again don't have a calling card. They're just kind of okay at everything. But where they aren't okay is away from home. Per T-Rank, Marquette is the 7th best team in the country in road/neutral games while Nevada is 64th. It seems unlikely they would last to even play a 3-seed, but if they did, don't expect this to be a Sweet 16 team no matter who they face.

A few notes on where we stand. The 1's and 2's were voted on Wednesday. It is very unlikely those will change, which is why we feel confident about the placing of Purdue on the 1-line and keeping Gonzaga and Marquette on the 3-line. Most of the seeding feels set, but we are still looking at the last 4-seed (Virginia, San Diego State, Miami, Iowa State all considered), the last 6-seed (Texas A&M, Northwestern, Creighton), and whether Florida Atlantic can win Conference USA and move up to the 7-line.

On the bubble, it came down to 6 teams for the final three spots. We looked at Rutgers, Nevada, Pittsburgh, Clemson, NC State, and Oklahoma State. Teams like Wisconsin and Michigan largely played themselves out of contention, which opened the door for Rutgers. Nevada stayed in despite their loss because of the overall body of work. Oklahoma State was knocked out because they simply didn't have enough wins to offset their 15 losses (no team with 15 losses has ever got in with fewer than 19 wins). That left one spot for the three ACC teams. Each of them had positives. Clemson was 4-0 against NC State and Pitt, but their #333 NCSOS is simply awful. NC State had a slightly better NCSOS, but we couldn't justify putting them in over a Clemson team that beat them three times. That left Pitt, who had mediocre metrics, but 4 Q1 wins (more than NC State) and only 2 losses outside Q1+2 (to Clemson's 4). Pitt was the least offensive of the three. That said, keep an eye out for bid thieves, because a surprise win in Conference USA, the American, or any of the high-major conferences could shrink the field and knock those last four in to the other side of the bubble.

Apologies for no bracket today, but the snow day in Milwaukee means it's hard enough getting this out with two kids here that were supposed to be in school. Here's the current S-Curve:

Thursday, March 09, 2023

BE Champs, Lots of Awards, and Meaningful March games

Welcome back to the unofficial podcast of your Big East Champion #mubb! We have a wide ranging podcast for you this week. We talk championship and Big East awards and recognition. We then talk about the Big East Tournament and how much we really should or should not care about it. We then turn to the tournament everyone cares about, NCAA and where MU may end up seeding wise, etc. Get ready for the serious basketball games and enjoy! https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/65cwzu/ScrambledEggs_Editted_030823.mp3

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Scrubbing the Top-16 and Beyond


Alabama won in November, but Houston has moved up to the overall 1-Seed

Photo by Bob Levey | Getty Images

This week we go down the top-4 seed lines going team-by-team with explanations as to why everyone lands where they do. There's a change at the end of the 1-line, a difficult decision at the end of the 2, and reasoning why these teams are where they are. Finally, we look at the last teams in and why they landed where they did, inside and out.


  • 1. Houston: Do wins or losses matter more? Historically, the answer has always been wins. The Cougars have the best record in the country, the best Q1 win percentage, the best Q1+2 win percentage, and are tied for the best RAP (Resume average And Predictive Average) Score. Typically, the Predictive metrics have more influence on seeding and Houston is #1 in all three predictive metrics. They also have more Q1+2 Away wins than any other team fighting for the top line. Houston is tied for the most road wins in the country while also being undefeated on the road. Houston did better in the opportunities they had than either #2 Kansas or #3 Alabama. They do have a Quadrant 3 loss, but considering how well they did in the first two quadrants that 13-1 winning record offsets the one bad loss. Looking at #2, Houston has a better winning percentage (or more wins with an equal undefeated percentage) in Quadrant 1A, Quadrant 1B, Quadrant 2A, and Quadrant 2B than #2 Kansas does. Since the week of the Top-16 Reveal, Houston is the only team that was on the top line that has not taken a single loss. If wins matter more, Houston's record at the top of the resume should put them atop the S-Curve.
  • 2. Kansas: The Jayhawks are the popular pick to be #1 overall and they were our leader until the latest scrub. They have a record 15 Quadrant 1 wins and winning records in every sub-quadrant, which is not the case for #3 Alabama. Against the nation's toughest schedule, Kansas answered the bell repeatedly. Because they were behind Houston at the Reveal and have lost since, it's hard to put them ahead of the Cougars, but their top-of-the-resume work is better than anyone else. Both Alabama and Kansas have taken knocks since the reveal, but Alabama's poor play even in victories pushes Kansas ahead.
  • 3. Alabama: The Tide are tied for the best Resume Average and RAP Score. Those numbers give them clear separation from #4 UCLA and #5 Purdue. Their 9 Q1 wins, win at #1 Houston (the best win any team can claim), and 16-5 Q1+2 record with no losses outside Q1 is what you want in a 1-seed. This is where the divide is between the clear and definite 1-seeds and the teams fighting to join them on the top line.
  • 4. Purdue: The Boilermakers have 9 Q1 wins to UCLA's 7, 16 Q1+2 wins to UCLA's 15, and have done so against a tougher schedule. That's the rationale I think the Selection Committee will use, but it's not the real reason Purdue lands on the 1-line. It's because one of the 1-seeds has to play on Friday to accommodate the play-in game on Wednesday. Houston, Kansas, Alabama, and UCLA, by virtue of playing in Birmingham, Des Moines, and Sacramento, will all be playing on Thursday. That means someone from the 2-line has to come up to be the last 1-seed. Purdue should be the top 2-seed, but because of bracketing, they land as the last 1-seed and the Selection Committee will justify their inclusion in that spot.


  • 5. UCLA: The Bruins have the best RAP Score by far of any remaining teams. There's a strong case for them as the last 1-seed, but it's impossible due to bracketing, so they get the top 2-seed. There is a gap between them and the rest of the 2-line.
  • 6. Texas: The biggest difference between the Longhorns and #7 Baylor are the metrics, where they have the same Resume average of 6.0 but Texas has a better Predictive Average (7.3 to 12.7) and RAP Score (6.65 to 9.35). Both have 11 Q1 wins, 15 Q1+2 wins, and zero losses outside the first quadrant, but Texas has the better winning percentage in those areas.
  • 7. Baylor: Baylor is neck and neck with Texas. While #8 Gonzaga has a better RAP Score and Predictive Average, the 11 to 5 Q1 win disparity, 15 to 10 Q1+2 win disparity, and no losses outside Q1 while Gonzaga has a Q3 loss keeps Baylor ahead.
  • 8. Arizona: This is one of the most difficult decisions so far. The positives for Arizona are the 8-2 Q1 record, the 10.6 RAP Score (ahead of #9 Marquette-15.1 and #10 Kansas State-16.1), and knowing the Selection Committee had them #6 at the Reveal. The 4 losses in Q2 is a problem, but they already had 3 of those at the Reveal and were still well ahead of the teams they are competing with. Wins trump losses in this case. It gets much more interesting if they are scrubbed against Gonzaga, who is metrically superior in every regard, but it feels like Gonzaga was too far back to land this high.

Tyler Kolek has led Marquette to the top of the 3-line
 Photo from Marquette Athletics


  • 9. Marquette: It's close with #10 Kansas State, but Marquette's edge in Q1A (4-3 to 4-5) and having added a Q1A road win (at Creighton) mitigates the advantage at the Top-16 Reveal. Marquette hasn't lost since the week of the Reveal while K-State has two losses. And while Marquette's worst loss is a Q3 loss to bubble team Wisconsin, K-State's worst loss is at Butler, a team below .500 and not even in NIT consideration. This is a place where the Quadrants say one thing, but anyone looking at the actual result (especially considering K-State's 12-point loss at Butler compared to Marquette's 16-point win in the same building) will again mitigate the impact of those losses. Finally, Marquette's outright Big East Championship is an extra feather in the cap compared to the Big 12 3-seed.
  • 10. Kansas State: Kansas State has just 3 road wins all year, but two of them are at Texas and Baylor, teams on the 2-line. Their 9 Q1 wins is the most of any team not already in the field. The drawback is neither their Resume nor Predictive averages are as good as #11 Gonzaga, but the value placed on true road wins at the Reveal keeps the Wildcats ahead.
  • 11. Gonzaga: The drawback for the Zags is starting further back than the competition. They have RAP Score edge not just on every team left in the field, but also the three teams ahead of them. However, since the Reveal the only real win of substance they added was St. Mary's at home. Even if they win the WCC Final, that is a neutral court win and wouldn't seem to tip the scales more than the Alabama and Xavier wins they already have on neutral courts. Their placement here seems secure, but the only reason to move them up is metrics for a Committee that clearly placed value on the true road wins Gonzaga just doesn't have.
  • 12. Tennessee: It's another razor-thin decision between #12 Tennessee and #13 UConn. The Volunteers have the slightly better RAP Score (9.25 to 9.65), the slightly better Q1 record (7-6 to 6-6), and the slightly better best road win (NET 46 Mississippi State to 59 Florida). The real deciding factor was record against the field. Tennessee is 9-6 while UConn is just 5-5. In addition, we know Tennessee was a 3 at the Reveal while UConn was outside the Top-16, so it's a much higher hill to climb for the Huskies. It's possible the Zakai Zeigler injury will knock them down, but they did already beat Arkansas without him, so we aren't going to punish them for that just yet.


  • 13. Connecticut: Metrically, UConn's 9.65 RAP Score is far better than anyone else at this point (Xavier is next best at 16.85). Their 4 Q1A wins are as many or more than anyone else being considered here but they also have just one loss outside Q1, which is fewer than #14 Xavier, #15 Indiana, or #16 St. Mary's. UConn is the last team in contention for a 3-Seed, while everyone behind them seems capped at a 4.
  • 14. Xavier: Since the Reveal, Xavier has added their two best road wins, Q1 results over Providence and Seton Hall. Their 13-6 Q1+2 record is better than #15 Indiana or #16 St. Mary's. They have the highest remaining RAP Score. While the recent news of Zack Freemantle's surgery isn't helpful, they have already shown their ability to succeed without him.
  • 15. Indiana: The Hoosiers are largely held aloft by their sweep of Purdue, though true road wins at Xavier and Illinois are also incredibly valuable. That overall body of work has them ahead of #16 St. Mary's, who has zero Q1 road wins. One word of warning for the Hoosiers, no team with 11 losses has reached the 4-line since 2016 Iowa State. Without a Big 10 title, that would describe Indiana. Sheer volume of losses could see them fall to a 5 behind a team like Virginia or San Diego State.
  • 16. St. Mary's: Winning the WCC Tournament would likely secure this spot. St. Mary's win over San Diego State compares favorably to #17 Virginia's Baylor win, and the Gonzaga win St. Mary's has is much better than anything else on the UVA resume. Metrically, the Gaels also have a better RAP Score than #18 San Diego State or #19 Kentucky, and it leans on their better Predictives, which are more seed dependent.

Jalen Pickett & Penn State are on the right side of the bubble

Photo from Penn State Athletics

The Bubble

  • 40-Utah State: Only 1 Q1 win, but 9-5 v Q1+2 and a stellar 21-5 v Q1-3 while being better in both Resume and Predictive averages than anyone else on the bubble.
  • 41-Mississippi State: The Marquette win is huge and everything else is good enough. With virtually everyone having fatal flaws, the Bulldogs simply don't.
  • 42-Penn State: Two wins over the field in the past week moved them up significantly. 5 Q1 wins, 6 v the field, and metrics that finally match an at-large pedigree. They just avoid Dayton.
  • 43-Nevada: Their opportunities are few, but 4 Q1 wins, 8-7 v the top two quadrants, and 17-9 v the top three separates them from the field, especially with zero Q4 losses.
  • 44-NC State: Their resume is not great. The numbers check out, but 2 Q1 wins and 7-9 v the top two quadrants isn't exciting. Zero losses in Q3/4 helps, but if there are bid thieves they are in danger.
  • 45-Wisconsin: This is the team I just can't get out of the bracket. 6 Q1 wins, 5 against the field's top-40, and 3-2 against other bubble teams. Their resume numbers are good enough, but barely. They could play their way out with an early loss in the Big 10 Tourney.
  • 46-Arizona State: The last team in is only here because of the half-court buzzer beater over Arizona. They have multiple losses in the Q1A, Q1B, Q2A, and Q2B, but their only loss outside that is a true road loss in Q4. This is another team that could play their way out.
  • OUT-Pittsburgh: Rescrubbing, their resume is not very good. 7/10 losses are to non-tourney teams and their Resume Average isn't good enough to prop up two barely Q1A wins. They are close enough that if there are no bid thieves and someone in the final few spots plays their way out, Pitt could still sneak in.
  • OUT-Rutgers: Last year they got in with a similar Resume average and Q1 win total, but most of those wins were Q1A, whereas this year they only have 2 located there. They have been a different team since losing Mawot Mag, and that has to matter.
  • OUT-North Carolina: 1-9 vs Q1 really says it all, but it was more palatable when they were perfect in Q2. They are 1-3 in Q2 since February 1, and that 7-12 Q1+2 record isn't good enough. They need the ACC Tourney title to get in.
  • OUT-Oklahoma State: While their quadrants look similar to West Virginia on the 8-line, the computer numbers aren't enough and 5 of their 9 Q1+2 wins are against teams outside the at-large pool. Ultimately, 15 losses (which they will have without the auto-bid) are too many for a team without much of a margin to start with.

Here's the complete S-Curve as it stands:

Thursday, March 02, 2023

First Week Bid Thieves


Oral Roberts star Max Abmas is no stranger to March success

Photo by Maddie Meyer | Getty Images

March is finally here. We greet the month with a Marquette team that has already secured a Big East title, a head coach that is going to win the Big East Coach of the Year and possibly the National award as well, and the likely Big East Player of the Year in Tyler Kolek. It's the time when college basketball boasts the most excitement, the most drama, and the best month in all of sports.

This is also the time of year that fills bubble teams with dread as potential bid thieves stand at the ready to steal bids expected to go to teams that are just trying to stay alive. This week we will focus on a few teams that have some bid thief potential, though this feels like a relatively safe year for bubble teams, at least until we get to full-on Championship Week. Here are the teams programs on the bubble should be rooting for to win their tournament so they can't sneak in through an unexpected at-large bid, focusing in particularly on two teams with at-large aspirations and one that might unexpectedly cut nets:

Unlikely Candidates: Liberty (2-Seed, ASUN), Sam Houston (2-Seed, WAC), Bradley (1-seed, MVC), Kent State (2-Seed, MAC)

We're mentioning these teams because they all have some criteria that might get them a brief glance from the Selection Committee, but none of them look to have the profiles of at-large teams. First of all, all of these teams have sub-70 Resume Averages and the record for the lowest Resume Average ever for an at-large was 57.5 for Rutgers in 2022. Liberty's predictive metrics are the best of this bunch, but they have no Quadrant 1 wins and 3 losses outside the first two quadrants. Sam Houston has a pair of Quadrant 1 wins, but those are both against teams projected out of the field and they have two bad losses to offset that. Bradley was the best team in the Missouri Valley, but has zero Q1 wins and went just 2-6 against the first two quadrants. Finally, Kent State put scares into Houston (lost 49-44) and Gonzaga (lost 73-66) but they still lost those games and went 0-4 against the top two quadrants. None of these teams have enough.

Charleston (2-Seed, CAA)

Record: 27-3

Resume Average: 52.0

Predictive Average: 64.0

Quadrant Records: 0-3 Q1 / 1-1 Q2 / 9-2 Q3 / 16-0 Q4

Championship Game: March 7

At a glance, the lack of quality wins looks disqualifying, but that might be deceptive. If Charleston wins their first two games, they will finish at worst 29-4. Since the field expanded to 65, no team has been left out of the at-large field with 29 or more wins. Charleston's metrics aren't great, but the resume average of 52.0 is better than the 52.5 typically needed and well ahead of last year's Rutgers. And while they did lose their biggest game at North Carolina, it's some of the wins they got that are worth looking at. They beat Virginia Tech in their home MTE. They beat Chattanooga. They tried to schedule up, playing A-10 teams Richmond and Davidson in addition to Mountain West team Colorado State, and they won all of those games. All five of those teams played in the NCAA Tournament last year. This is a team that tried to play tough competition and won those games, but due to misfortune all the tourney teams they scheduled (including UNC) finished well below expectations. If the games listed above had held quadrants from last year, Charleston would be 2-1 in Q1 and 4-0 in Q2 with two Q3 losses. That would likely have them in the field, and when the Selection Committee debates their resume, may be discussed. If Charleston makes the CAA Final and loses, don't be shocked if they still sneak into the field.

Oral Roberts (1-Seed, Summit)

Record: 23-4

Resume Average: 62

Predictive Average: 64.3

Quadrant Records: 0-4 Q1 / 1-0 Q2 / 5-0 Q3 / 17-0 Q4

Championship Game: March 7

The Resume Average would indeed be unprecedented, but there are just seven teams in the entire NCAA with zero losses outside Quadrant 1. Those teams are projected 1-seed Alabama, 1-seed Kansas, 2-seed UCLA, 2-seed Texas, 2-seed Baylor, (oddly) 9-seed Missouri, and Oral Roberts. So five of the six teams with loss profiles like ORU are likely to be on the top two seed lines and the other is also a projected single-digit seed. In addition, ORU boasts a star in Max Abmas who has NCAA experience, having led 15-seed Oral Roberts to a Sweet 16 in 2021. That said, we are very hesitant to recommend a team primarily on their loss profile. 2019 UNC-Greensboro similarly had zero losses outside Q1 and they even boasted two Q1 victories, but they were still left out of the field. ORU might get some sentimental consideration, but they're a long shot to get in if they don't win the Summit automatic bid.

BYU (5-Seed, WCC)

Record: 17-14

Resume Average: 123.5

Predictive Average: 80.0

Quadrant Records: 1-6 Q1 / 2-3 Q2 / 5-4 Q3 / 7-1 Q4

Championship Game: March 7

BYU is more of a true bid thief than the ones above in that they would be stealing a bid by winning their conference tournament. St. Mary's and Gonzaga are locks to make the NCAA Tournament, so the question becomes who has the best chance to win the WCC other than them and get the league a third bid? The popular pick will be Loyola Marymount, who beat both of those teams this year, but BYU will be the betting favorite over LMU and the WCC powers are less likely to see BYU coming. While LMU got those two big wins, they also lost to both of those teams by double-digits. Every game BYU played with the big boys was within single-digits and BYU aslso beat LMU by 28 in their most recent encounter. The structure of the WCC Tournament makes any bid thief incredibly unlikely, but if there is one, watch out for the Cougars.

We'll have more potential bid thieves next week when the big boys get started, but for now, let's get on to the S-Curve and new Bracket:

Multibid Leagues

Big 10: 9

Big 12: 7

SEC: 8

ACC: 5

Big East: 5

Pac-12: 4

Mountain West: 3

American: 2

WCC: 2