Bracketology: Wichita State pushing toward No. 1 seed
Alongside Syracuse, Wichita State is one of two unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. The Shockers’ resume speaks for itself - a Top 10 RPI, Top 50 non-conference strength of schedule, and an 11-0 record away from home. Given WSU’s remaining Missouri Valley Conference schedule, it’s likely the Shockers will enter the MVC tournament with a perfect record. Regardless of the league, that’s impressive.
So what’s keeping Wichita State off the top line?
Not much at this point. When it comes to separating teams at the very top (or at the cut-line) the margins are often small. And there are only four No. 1 seed slots available, which means someone has to be No. 5 on the s-curve. As of today, that’s Wichita State. By comparison, here are the records of the current No. 1 seeds vs. Top 100 RPI opponents: Syracuse (12-0), Arizona (12-1), Kansas (15-5), Florida (8-2). Wichita State is 5-0. Again, these are small differences sometimes - particularly with respect to Florida - but something the Selection Committee has to evaluate.
The other two-seeds today stack up like this against the Top 100: Michigan State (10-4), Villanova (10-2), San Diego State (6-1). If there’s a reason why Wichita State and San Diego State remain two-seeds on Selection Sunday (even if they keep winning), it won’t be because they are not worthy. It’ll be because the other teams, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, are more worthy. And keep in mind, only one No. 1 seed (Louisville) made the Final Four last April, so while earning at No. 1 seed is noteworthy, it doesn’t necessarily equate to March success. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Shockers or Aztecs in an Elite 8 or Final Four showdown.
Enjoy another week of college hoops.
UPDATED: February 10, 2014
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings with RPI as a tiebreaker for teams with the same number of losses. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)
- BYU vs. Missouri | West Region
- LSU vs. Georgetown | South Region
- SOUTHERN vs. HIGH POINT | East Region
- ROBERT MORRIS vs. DAVIDSON | Midwest Region
BRACKET PROJECTION ...
|EAST - New York||WEST - Anaheim|
|1) SYRACUSE||1) ARIZONA|
|16) SOUTHERN / HIGH POINT||16) UTAH VALLEY|
|8) Memphis||8) Oklahoma State|
|9) Geo Washington||9) Xavier|
|5) Oklahoma||5) Wisconsin|
|12) GREEN BAY||12) BYU / Missouri|
|4) Kentucky||4) Creighton|
|13) IONA||13) MERCER|
|6) Louisville||6) Connecticut|
|11) Tennessee||11) Arizona State|
|3) MICHIGAN||3) Iowa State|
|14) NORTH DAKOTA ST||14) UC-SANTA BARBARA|
|7) New Mexico||7) North Carolina|
|10) California||10) Minnesota|
|2) VILLANOVA||2) SAN DIEGO STATE|
|15) VERMONT||15) NC-CENTRAL|
|SOUTH - Memphis||MIDWEST - Indianapolis|
|1) FLORIDA||1) KANSAS|
|16) WEBER STATE||16) DAVIDSON / ROB MORRIS|
|8) Kansas State||8) GONZAGA|
|9) Stanford||9) VCU|
|5) Iowa||5) Ohio State|
|12) Georgetown / LSU||12) TOLEDO|
|4) SAINT LOUIS||4) Virginia|
|13) DELAWARE||13) BELMONT|
|6) Texas||6) Massachusetts|
|11) Providence||11) SOUTHERN MISS|
|3) Duke||3) CINCINNATI|
|14) S.F. AUSTIN||14) GEORGIA STATE|
|7) UCLA||7) Pittsburgh|
|10) SMU||10) Colorado|
|2) WICHITA STATE||2) Michigan State|
|15) AMERICAN||15) YALE|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Syracuse is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Kansas, and Florida.
Last Five teams in (at large): Providence, Georgetown, BYU, Missouri, LSU
First Five teams out (at large): Florida State, Ole Miss, St. Joseph’s, St. John’s, Dayton
Next five teams out (at large): Richmond, Indiana, Clemson, Arkansas, Louisiana Tech
Breakdown by Conference ...
Big 12 (6): Kansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas
Pac 12 (6): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, California, Stanford, Arizona State
Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
ACC (5): Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia
American (5): Louisville, Memphis, Connecticut, Cincinnati, SMU
Big East (5): Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Georgetown
SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, LSU
Atlantic 10 (4): Massachusetts, VCU, Saint Louis, Geo Washington
Mountain West (2): New Mexico, San Diego State
West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU
Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State
Conference Automatic Qualifiers ... Southern Miss (C-USA), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), American (Patriot), North Dakota State (Summit), Green Bay (Horizon), Davidson (Southern), Utah Valley (WAC), Iona (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Toledo (MAC), Mercer (A-Sun), Yale (IVY), UC-Santa Barbara (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Vermont (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), High Point (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Southern (SWAC)