Inside the Bracket

ITB: January 29, 2018

           Biggest Jumps

  • Virginia's marquee road win over Duke propels them above Villanova for the time being. UVA's resume currently includes four Super Wins over the RPI Top 11. And their lone loss was in Morgantown, very respectable. I think it is enough to push them in front of Villanova and Purdue if the Tournament started today.
  • Auburn will not stop winning, and they have landed themselves into the #7 slot on the Seed List. Good for a number two seed and headed to Nashville/Atlanta. Which would be major for the Tigers if they can maintain this level of play.
  • Texas Tech capitalizes on another Quadrant 2 loss for North Carolina, and sneaks onto the three seed line, #12 overall. The Red Raiders picked up another Quality road win at South Carolina on Saturday.
  • Kentucky had a massive come from behind road win at West Virginia over the weekend. The Wildcats are still a little thin on Quadrant 1 wins (2), and land at #17 on the Seed List (5 seed).
  • Arkansas hung on for a narrow victory against Oklahoma State. The Razorbacks compared to some others in this range stand out for now with two Top 10 wins over Oklahoma and Tennessee.
  • Florida State avenged a loss to Miami and moved up to a number eight seed. They now have significant home wins against UNC and Miami to go along with road wins at Florida and Virginia Tech.
  • NC State made the biggest splash over the weekend with a road "Super Win" at UNC. The Wolfpack skyrocketted past teams like Providence, Washington, Nevada and others with a win of this magnitude to go along with the home wins over Duke and Clemson. The Pack are in comfortabally with a nine seed today.
  • Washington moved up a bit to a Number 10 seed over the weekend. Little of that had to do with UW's blowout win over WSU. More significant was the rise of Virginia Tech, USC, and Kansas. Helping improve the quality of wins and reducing a negative impact of the Hokies loss.
  • Virginia Tech's huge week with wins over UNC and at Notre Dame have vaulted them to barely inside the bubble for today. NonConf SOS is 295 still and if I were a Hokies fan, I'd be very concerned about that.

    Farthest Drops
  • West Virginia dropped to a 3 seed today after the weekend home loss to Kentucky. But the bigger concern is the Mountaineers RPI is all the way down to #34.
  • North Carolina went 0-2 last week including a tough loss at home to rival NC State. North Carolina's strong wins keep them in Protected seed land and #13 on the Seed List.
  • TCU had by far the furthest drop out of any of the teams today. The loss at Vanderbilt (#122) ruined a clean resume for the Horned Frogs. Additionally, Nevada/SMU/West Virginia all lost last week, which weakens the Frogs good wins a bit. After a full reevaluation, TCU land at #31 on the Seed List (8 seed).
  • Marquette had two golden opportunites last week against Xavier and Villanova and couldn't get the win in either. The losses dont kill them, but their loss total is now 8. I have them as the final 10 seed today.
  • Notre Dame has lost five straight including a home loss to the Hokies over the weekend. The injury to Bonzi Colson has been too much to overcome recently in ACC play. As a result the Irish RPI is down to #78. They are now on the outside looking in.
  • Missouri has been free falling as well, a road loss by double digits at Mississippi State wasn't a good look for the Tigers. They are now out of the field. Another big week as they travel to Alabama and host Kentucky this week.
  • Texas A&M is ice cold. Losers of seven of thier last nine games, the Aggies are clearly not playing like a tournament team. This resume can be rectified but they need to find some wins quickly.

          Most Intriguing Matchups

  • South Regional: Potential 2nd Round matchup between Auburn and Miami. Two schools who were at the center of the FBI Investigation at the beginning of the season would find themselves playing each other with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
  • East Regional: Michigan State vs. Loyola-Chicago. Red hot Loyola returning to Boise (where they were spanked by Boise State) to face a Michigan State team trying to overcome turmoil.
  • Midwest Regional: Potential 2nd Round matchup between Purdue and Saint Mary's. The big men Jock Landale and Isaac Haas going at each other would be a must watch.
  • West Regional: Potential Sweet 16 matchup of Arizona vs, Kansas in Los Angeles. Arizona may actually be favored in Vegas if this game happened.

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