BracketBot: March 17, 2019 (morning)

Seed List:

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

Starting to look really final now. This is not the last update, I’ll run the numbers one more right before the Selection Show starts, but here is my current stream-of-consciousness:

– No changes on the 1 line, with Duke holding serve to win the ACC and Michigan State advancing to play Michigan Sunday. You have to think whoever wins the Big Ten title on Sunday is going to get a #1 seed, with the loser getting a 2

– I do agree with the ‘Bot in saying that Gonzaga will wind up with a #1 seed; selection committees of the past have not had any qualms rewarding a clearly elite team from a smaller conference in this way. Lotta people going around saying that Gonzaga’s lost their edge from playing WCC teams for so long, but you have to remember that they were beating most of them by 30-plus

– That probably means no #1 seed for Tennessee, even if they blow Auburn out of the water, but honestly that’s fine with me. Tennessee is clearly one of the best 8 teams, but I personally think clearly not one of the best four

– Given the information that’s being spread about by the members of the committee going into tomorrow, you really get the feeling that a 16-16 Texas team is not going to be looked upon kindly. That’s something that the committee never has to consider (a .500 team is almost always clearly undeserving of an at-large tournament bid), and so it was never something I accounted for them doing. So, for today, and going forward into next year, I’ll have BracketBot penalize teams a little bit extra if their overall record is .500 or worse – seems reasonable. Texas drops out, and I really think they probably won’t make it

– The fluctuation of teams near the bottom of the bracket continues, this time with Ole Miss surpassing Temple to get in at the very bottom. I literally didn’t change any of the parameters pertaining to either of these teams, and they didn’t play yesterday, they’re just close enough that wins and losses by other teams affect the résumés of these two. We’ll see how this afternoon’s games affect those two

– Of course, we had one more bid get stolen today with Oregon winning the Pac-12 tournament, which means a 3-bid Pac-12 is now the most likely scenario. If you were a reader of Season Sim posts throughout the winter, you’ve seen this play out before. Lotta reactionaries out there saying that the Pac-12 should have no chance at three bids, but you have to remember that this process is about rewarding teams, not conferences

– So Ole Miss replaces Temple, and Oregon replaces Texas, but we also had a number of bids switch in non-at-large-land. Davidson made it back into the bracket for precisely one day before getting flattened by Saint Louis – now SLU is looking to be favored in the A-10 title game against St Bonaventure. The Billikens would be a 14 seed in my estimation, while the Bonnies would probably be a 15, but as mentioned above I’ll show you something concrete after the last few games are decided.

– Georgia Southern was BracketBot’s perhaps unpopular pick to win the Sun Belt, and they lost to UT-Arlington in the Sun Belt semifinals. Georgia State, the #1 seed, was the next-most-likely to win it, and they did make the final, so they’re penciled in there as a 14 seed. You may remember the Georgia State Panthers from the upset they pulled a few years ago as a 14 seed against Baylor (with coach Ron Hunter famously falling out of his courtside chair in celebration, having injured himself just a few days before), so I’d like to see them get a 14 again and scare somebody

– There were minor upsets in the final of both of the primarily HBCU conferences, as we saw Prairie View A&M win the SWAC and NC Central win the MEAC, instead of Texas Southern and Norfolk State respectively. I’d expect both will be sent to Dayton for play-in matchups, but I hope they don’t play each other, that’s always a bummer when the SWAC and MEAC champs essentially have to battle for one spot

Last Four Byes: Baylor, TCU, Arizona State, Florida
Last Four In: Clemson, Ohio State, NC State, Ole Miss
First Four Out: Temple, Belmont, Creighton, Texas
Next Four Out: St John’s, Indiana, UNC Greensboro, Toledo

Bids by Conference:
ACC 9, Big Ten 8, Big XII/SEC 7, Big East/AAC/Pac-12 3, WCC/MWC/A-10 2

Full bracket:

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