Top Seeds: I would have Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, and Pittsburgh at the top line, with San Diego State as the top #2 seed. I know some, like Lunardi, think Notre Dame will get a #1. I’ll lay out my regions for the top 6 seeds (I’m not going to pick particular matchups). I disagree with some brackets that have Connecticut as a #2. They were 8-9 against tourney teams before the Big East run, and are now 12-9 (6-3 in close games). That is more a profile of a #4 seed, but I moved them to 11 on my S-curve. I’ve got North Carolina and Texas, who both reached conference finals and were projected higher than UCONN before, as my other #2 seeds.
BYU: I think their performance without Davies drops them to a #4. I think that Kentucky winning the SEC also insured the drop.
#5 seeds through #8 seeds: I dont see much separation, and I see lots of disagreement in other brackets. I think there is a dropoff from #4 to #5, and think you could have any number of things. Personally, I would seed Utah State higher than where I project (which is still a little higher than most, who have them at 8), because of the relative dropoff to the #5 seed line anyway. I’ll reiterate, these are my guesses about what the committee will do, not what I would do. I would have Washington higher than a #7 based on the eye test and Ken Pomeroy’s numbers for example.
Bottom of At-Larges: My last 4 in are Virginia Tech, Alabama, Clemson and USC, which means I have Georgia, St. Mary’s, and Harvard out. These are my guesses on what the committee will do, not what I would do necessarily. I think they will see Georgia’s poor record against other tourney teams, and Alabama’s better record, and write off the weak non-conference and let a team that went 12-4 and reached the semis in. I think Clemson would be out if I were picking, but I think the committee puts them in on the strength of the win over BC. USC is my last team in, based on quality wins, over St. Mary’s, because of the ability to win good games. I’m with Jay Bilas, and I think the committee goes with teams that have shown they can win against good competition, and forgive some bad losses here.
Here are my seeds (*= automatic bid recipient):
#1: Ohio State*, Kansas*, Duke*, Pittsburgh
#2: San Diego St.*, Notre Dame, Texas, North Carolina
#3: Florida, Purdue, Connecticut*, Kentucky*
#4: BYU, Louisville, Syracuse, Wisconsin
#5: West Virginia, Arizona, St. John’s, Texas A&M
#6: Cincinnati, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Xavier
#7: Washington*, Georgetown, UNLV, Utah State*
#8: Old Dominion*, Missouri, Temple, George Mason
#9: Penn State, Villanova, Gonzaga*, UCLA
#10: Michigan, Marquette, Illinois, Butler*
#11: Michigan State, Tennessee, Richmond*, Colorado
#12: Florida State, Memphis*, Virginia Tech vs. USC, Clemson vs. Alabama
#13: Belmont*, Oakland*, Princeton*, Bucknell*
#14: Long Island*, Morehead State*, Indiana State*, Wofford*
#15: St. Peter’s*, Akron*, Northern Colorado*, Boston University*
#16: UC-Santa Barbera*, Hampton*, UNC-Asheville* vs. Alabama State*, Arkansas-Little Rock* vs. Texas-San Antonio
PROJECTED TOP SIX SEEDS BY REGION
- Notre Dame
- West Virginia
- Kansas State
- Ohio State
- North Carolina
- St. John’s
- San Diego State
- Texas A&M
[photo via Getty]