Hello, college basketball/Big Ten fans!
Welcome to this week's Schmolik 64 Update!
|Fri/Sun March 24-26|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||16|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||12||Kent State||16-4|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||11||Nevada||16-6|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||10||North Carolina||15-7|
|Midwest Regional||Kansas City|
|Fri/Sun March 24-26|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||16|
|8||San Diego St||16-5|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||12||VCU||17-6|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||11|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||10||NC State||18-5|
|West Regional||Las Vegas|
|Thur/Sat March 23-25|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||16||Milwaukee||13-7|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||12||Liberty||16-5|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||11|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||10||Michigan State||14-8|
|East Regional||New York|
|Thur/Sat March 23-25|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||16||Southern||10-10|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||12||Oral Roberts||16-4|
|13||UC Santa Barbara||16-3|
|Fri/Sun March 17-19||11||Arkansas||15-7|
|Thur/Sat March 16-18||10||Missouri||17-5|
|First Four Games|
|Tue March 17||16||Fairleigh Dickinson||12-10|
|Dayton||MW||Maryland Eastern Shore||10-8|
|Wed March 18||16||Southeast Missouri||11-11|
|Tue March 17||11||Kentucky||15-7|
|Wed March 18||11||USC||16-6|
Bids By Conference:
Big Ten: 9 (Purdue Boilermakers, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Illinois Fighting Illini, Maryland Terrapins, Northwestern Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans, Wisconsin Badgers)
Big 12: 9 (Everyone but Texas Tech!)
ACC: 7 (Va, Duke, Mia, Clem, Pitt, UNC, NCSt)
SEC: 6 (Ala, Tenn, Aub, Ark, Mo, Ky)
Big E: 5 (Xav, Marq, Conn, Prov, Creig)
Pac 12: 3 (Ariz, UCLA, USC)
MWC: 3 (SDSt, Nev, BSU)
WCC: 2 (Gonz, St. M)
One Bid: 24
Highest NET left out: Utah State (32), Ohio State (36), New Mexico (37), Florida (41), Memphis (42). NET Data courtesy of WarrenNolan.com.
I usually start with a blank slate each week, I don't move teams up and down from previous brackets.
Kansas had a big week since the last bracket, winning at Kentucky and avenging the earlier loss to Kansas State and moved back up to the #1 line and #2 overall seed behind our (Big Ten's) own Purdue. Kansas and Purdue lead the nation with nine Quad 1 wins each. Despite being #1 in the NET, Houston has just four Quad 1 wins and has a Quad 3 loss which hurts their overall profile compared to other #1 seed candidates. It looks like Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State are competing for 1st/2nd round games in Des Moines, the top two will likely play there. Iowa State, I assume really wants to play there. Unfortunately for Houston, Baylor, Texas, and TCU, the closest 1st/2nd round site to Texas this year is probably Birmingham.
The Big 12 had a huge week. I don't know if I've ever put nine out of ten teams in a conference in a bracket before. One of the big reasons was the Big 12-SEC Challenge, the final one. Alabama, undefeated in the SEC, lost 93-69 at Oklahoma, who is 2-7 and 9th in the Big 12 out of 10 teams. The Big 12 placed three teams (Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas) on the #3 line as well as Kansas, Iowa State (#2), and TCU (#4 seed). Because of this, Virginia got stuck in the West Regional to go along with Iowa State.
Wisconsin's win at Ohio State got them in and knocked the Buckeyes out. Wisconsin has the lowest NET for an at large team in this field, #68. Last year, Rutgers got in the NCAA Tournament with a NET of #77 so a low NET isn't necessarily a deal breaker, especially if a team has plenty of Quad 1 wins, Rutgers had six.
Clemson's NET is 65, they are hurt by two Quad 4 losses as well as a Quad 3 loss suffered Tuesday. Clemson currently leads the ACC but in the loss column is tied with Virginia and UVa's NET is higher so they are considered the ACC's automatic bid in my book now.
For the third week in a row, Utah State has the highest NET for a team left out of my field. They currently have no Quad 1 wins, the highest ranked team that has no Quad 1 wins. They also have two Quad 4 losses, the highest ranked team with Quad 4 losses. Clemson (#65) is the next highest ranked team with two Quad 4 losses. They practically knocked out New Mexico this week (head to head win). Unfortunately for New Mexico, they only play Utah State once. New Mexico has three Quad 1 wins. You can argue that New Mexico belongs in the field over Utah State because a home win doesn't necessarily mean that USU is better but for now I'll leave them both out. The Mountain West is becoming a log jam.
Compare my bracket to other brackets across the internet at the Bracket Matrix.