Inside the Bracket

Bracket Notes and Seed List 02.25.19

Protected Seed Summary (Teams 1-16)
Kentucky has moved onto the 1-seed line, and fourth overall in seeding position. This was a tough decision because Michigan St. (5) now has a signature win and 11 Quadrant one victories. The difference for me was the two bad losses for the Spartans against Illinois and at home against Indiana. Of course, this was all made possible because Tennessee lost again, this time at LSU.

Houston is slowly climbing their way up the S-Curve, and they are now on Michigan’s heels. Wolverines need to hold serve to stay in the 2-seed area. The Cougars big opportunity comes in the season finale at Cincinnati, if they win that and take home the AAC tournament, it will be really hard to keep them off of the 2- seed line.

Kansas took a step backwards after falling badly to Texas Tech. They still have the nice wins from earlier this season, but there are several yellow and red flags pertaining to the current Jayhawks. Post-injury they haven’t been able to win the signature games and have a couple of bad results to boot. This could raise a lot of questions in the committee room. I have the Jayhawks now at 14th overall. Meanwhile, rival Kansas State has snuck in this week at 16th overall.

Middle of the Field (Teams 17-40)
Nevada leads things off at #17. There has been plenty of chatter about the Pack and how to seed them. On the positives side, Nevada has 12 wins away from home (tied for the most nationally). They also play in rowdy environments every where they go and I believe the committee respects this to a degree. Their NCSOS rating is better than teams like Kansas St, Iowa St, and Maryland. So given the data points to actually compare them to a power conference team, Nevada is still holding strong. The Bracket Reveal show two weeks ago had them #14 overall and this is a small deviation from that.

Villanova picked a bad time to start struggling. They’ve now lost three straight against St. John’s, Georgetown, and Xavier. No bueno. They have slipped into the 7-seed area and need to right the ship quickly.

TCU made a big leap up to the #34 spot overall after completing the season sweep of Iowa State. Horned Frogs fans can begin to sleep a little better for now.

Bubble Trouble (41-49, and Knocking on the Door)
Minnesota’s loss to Rutgers and Seton Hall’s recent funk has entered both squads into this uncomfortable danger zone. Meanwhile Florida, is passing teams like the Gophers and Pirates due to gathering a signature win at LSU. The reality is we are likely to see a few bids taken away from a couple of these teams due to conference tournament winners snagging auto bids. So if you are a bubble team in this area, there is no such thing as “safe.” The cutoff line will be very fluid during Championship Week, just as it has all season here at

The Rest (49-68)
The UC-Irvine Anteaters have not lost since the first Black and Blue Game vs. LBSU on January 16th. That is now nine wins in a row. They also have wins at Saint Mary’s and at Texas A&M to support their resume strength. UCI has played their way up to the 13-seed line and are increasingly are looking like a team you don’t want to see in the dance.

Wright State got some serious help over the weekend when already-eliminated Cleveland State stunned Northern Kentucky. This broke the tie for first in the Horizon League and has the Raiders in line to be the top seed during Motor City Madness.


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