If you’re like me, it’s one more day until Christmas week. The week starting with selection Sunday and ending with 16 teams remaining for the chance to win it all is my favorite week of the year (much to the chagrin of my wife and kids – even my 13 year old son thinks I’m nuts).
This year seems about as clear cut as I’ve ever seen. The teams that are going to get at large bids have separated themselves from the teams that aren’t more than usual, according to my formula. Only one team not in my projected field (Illinois St) is close enough to have a legit argument. While this isn’t necessarily an “exciting” finish to the selection process, I’m happy about it because there is something nice about a clear cut decision process. I think there’s a good chance that the committee will agree (as will many of the other bracketologists out there, with the exception of Joe Lunardi, who has gone ape crazy on the ACC, and still has 7 loss UNC as the #2 overall seed and 18-14, RPI 84 Syracuse (2-11 in road neutral games) as the 4th to last team in – let’s hope the committee isn’t drinking what Joey Brackets is serving up).
I’ll be analyzing the upcoming selection over the next 30 or so hours and posting here and on Twitter. You can send me any questions via Twitter @MikeReganNC.
A few notes on my projected field:
- The team assumed to get the automatic bid for each conference is the highest team in the ratings currently eligible for the bid. In other words, it isn’t necessarily the team with the best conference record.
- There will likely be one or more bids stolen by conference tourney winners this week that wouldn’t have received an at large bid otherwise. So if a team is one of the last 4 in now, they will likely need to improve their profile to receive an at large bid on Selection Sunday.
- There is significant separation between a few of the teams ranked next to each other. Please look at the Index output linked below to see how close/far teams are from each other. A difference of 1.00 between teams ranked next to each other is average.
Full numerical output of the Regan Index using games through 3-10-2017
The projected field as of March 11, 2017 (in order from left to right on each seed line.) Assumed automatic bids are the team from each conference that is highest in the index.
|4||West Virginia||Butler||Florida St||Purdue|
|5||Notre Dame||Virginia||Cincinnati||Iowa St|
|7||Michigan||St Mary’s CA||Maryland||Vanderbilt|
|9||Wichita St||Miami FL||Virginia Tech||VCU|
|10||Seton Hall||Xavier||South Carolina||MTSU|
|11||Marquette||Michigan St||Wake Forest||Rhode Island/USC|
|12||Kansas St./Providence||UNC Wilmington||Nevada||UT Arlington|
|14||Winthrop||Akron||CS Bakersfield||FL Gulf Coast|
|15||Iona||Northern Kentucky||UC Irvine||Jacksonville St|
|16||North Dakota||S Dakota St||Tx Southern/NC Central||TX A&M CC/Mt St. Mary’s|
|Last 4 BYES||South Carolina||Marquette||Michigan St||Wake Forest|
|Last 4 IN||Rhode Island||Kansas St.||Providence||USC|
|1st 4 OUT||Illinois St.||Georgia||Clemson||Illinois|
|2nd 4 OUT||Syracuse||Indiana||California||Iowa|