BracketBot: March 16, 2019

Seed List:

1: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, Michigan State
2: Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee
3: Houston, Kansas, Texas Tech, Florida State
4: LSU, Purdue, Wisconsin, Auburn
5: Kansas State, Buffalo, Virginia Tech, Villanova
6: Marquette, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Maryland
7: Nevada, Mississippi State, Washington, Wofford
8: Louisville, VCU, Utah State, UCF
9: Minnesota, Oklahoma, Iowa, Seton Hall
10: Syracuse, Florida, TCU, Baylor
11: St Mary’s, Arizona State, Texas, New Mexico State
12: Murray State, Clemson, Davidson, Ohio State, Temple, NC State
13: UC Irvine, Vermont, Liberty, Yale
14: Old Dominion, Northeastern, N Kentucky, Georgia Southern
15: Montana, Colgate, Abilene Christian, Bradley
16: Gardner-Webb, North Dakota State, Texas Southern, Fairleigh Dickinson, Iona, Norfolk State

Here we are, the day before Selection Sunday. Things are starting to look and feel very real – these pieces are looking more and more locked into place. Several changes today:

– first, the number of available at-large bids has shrunk by 1! VCU’s loss to Rhode Island has moved them down from a 7 to an 8 seed, and it’s also ensured that the A-10 will be a two-bid conference. For now, Davidson looks like the most likely winner (Dayton would’ve been but they also lost today) so they enter as a projected 12 seed. The A-10, though, is one of the tournaments that doesn’t finish until Selection Sunday itself, so Davidson will need to win twice more. The team taking the hit today is Ole Miss, now out of this projected field.

– the margins between the teams lobbying for 1 seeds are so, so tight. Anyone listed on the 1 or 2 lines could still get a 1 seed for sure, with the possible exception of North Carolina, eliminated from the ACC tournament by Duke Friday in the semifinals. Saturday’s games to watch in this vein will include: Kentucky vs. Tennessee in a huge SEC semifinal matchup, with the winner still alive in the 1-seed race; Michigan and Michigan State trying to reach the Big Ten title game, facing Minnesota and Wisconsin respectively; and the ACC tournament final between Duke and Florida State – a win for Duke would see them stake their claim to be #1 overall.

– speaking of Florida State, the Noles took a huge step up yesterday, becoming the first non-Duke team to beat Virginia this season. I had kinda just assumed Virginia would win relatively comfortably, FSU would lock themselves into a 4 seed and UVA would be #1 overall, but in fact it was Florida State that won fairly comfortably. They become a 3-seed. I don’t know if it’s too late for them to vault up to the 2 line – it would require them to beat Duke and get some help. Still, what a finish to the season for them as they were totally under most people’s radar all year.

Last Four Byes: TCU, Baylor, Arizona State, Texas
Last Four In: Clemson, Ohio State, Temple, NC State
First Four Out: Ole Miss, Oregon, Belmont, Memphis
Next Four Out: Creighton, St John’s, Nebraska, Indiana

Bids by Conference:
ACC 9, Big XII/Big Ten 8, SEC 6, AAC 4, Big East 3, Pac-12/MWC/WCC/A-10 2

Full bracket:

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