BracketBot: February 3, 2019

Seed List:

1: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, Tennessee
2: Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, North Carolina
3: Kansas, Virginia Tech, Nevada, Houston
4: Purdue, Marquette, Iowa State, Villanova
5: Wisconsin, LSU, Texas Tech, Cincinnati
6: Louisville, Auburn, Mississippi State, Kansas State
7: Syracuse, Maryland, Florida State, Baylor
8: Iowa, Buffalo, Washington, Oklahoma
9: Texas, TCU, UCF, Arizona State
10: Minnesota, Ohio State, St John’s, Alabama
11: Indiana, Nebraska, VCU, Ole Miss, Florida
12: Seton Hall, Butler, Wofford, Lipscomb, New Mexico State
13: Old Dominion, Vermont, Hofstra, UC Irvine
14: Drake, N Kentucky, Murray State, South Dakota State
15: Yale, Montana, Texas State, Bucknell
16: Radford, Abilene Christian, Rider, Texas Southern, Sacred Heart, Norfolk State

A note on the seed list: the four at-large teams that would be sent to the First Four are split between two seed lines, and split the same way along conference lines (Ole Miss & Florida, Seton Hall & Butler). It’d have to be done differently in a real bracket so that those matchups aren’t intra-conference, but I’m keeping them this way for the seed list itself because that’s how BracketBot is viewing these teams right now.

Three new teams in this update, partly because I made some slight tweaks to how teams were selected today, but also because there were some embarrassing losses near the bubble yesterday. NC State was absolutely pathetic in a 47-24 loss to Virginia Tech (not a typo), and San Francisco’s at-large hopes may have taken their final hit after losing to St. Mary’s for their second straight loss. They were both near the cut line, so both drop out. I’m curious to see how NC State’s performance yesterday is viewed by other prognosticators – BracketBot was already lower on them than most, but as you’ll see they didn’t drop extremely far out, they could definitely still get in.

We’ve got some big changes at the top, with both Michigan and Michigan State losing in the last few days. BracketBot was definitely in the minority in having Tennessee slated as a 2 seed rather than a 1, but there’s no doubt now that they would be on the top line if the tournament bracket was coming out today. Gonzaga is up there on the top line as well, having not yet suffered any WCC hiccups. They’ll probably need to go undefeated through conference play in order to stay on the top line, but that might be more likely than not.

The new teams in this bracket on the at-large side are both from the state of Indiana. First, the Hoosiers, who finally stopped their lengthy losing streak in emphatic fashion, knocking off Michigan State on the road yesterday. They took the long tumble from a 6-seed to completely out during the month of January – maybe February will see them rise all the way back up. Butler picked up a nice win over Seton Hall, but they also benefit from the slight formula change and from there being one more at-large spot to fill.

Finally, on the AQ side, BracketBot has made a change for the MEAC. North Carolina A&T had been the favorite to win the conference tournament all season, but scored just 39 points yesterday in a pretty terrible loss to Florida A&M. So they’re out, and Norfolk State is now the projected winner of that conference. Both teams had been undefeated in conference play, so no big deal there. Either one will probably have to play against another 16 seed just for the right to face off with one of the country’s top teams.

Last Four Byes: St John’s, Alabama, Indiana, Nebraska
Last Four In: Ole Miss, Florida, Seton Hall, Butler
First Four Out: Temple, Toledo, Arkansas, NC State
Next Four Out: Clemson, St Mary’s, Davidson, Creighton

Bids by conference:
Big Ten 10, Big XII/SEC 8, ACC 7, Big East 5, AAC 3, Pac-12 2

Full bracket: Arizona State and Minnesota were swapped in order to make this bracket work, ASU becoming a 10 and Minnesota a 9. In addition, as mentioned before, Butler went up to the 11 line, swapping with Florida, in order to avoid intra-conference matchups in the First Four.

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