Protected Seed Summary (Teams 1-16)
We saw some shuffling in the Top 8 after Tennessee manhandled a Reid Travis-less Kentucky squad, and Michigan State lost to Indiana (again). The net effect was Tennessee jumping up to the final 1-seed. The main reason for this is the real lack of bad to go along with the quality wins. The Vols do not have the quantity of big wins as UNC or Kentucky, but the Vols have really done nothing wrong. Their three losses came away from home and all against current protected seeds, its as clean of a resume as you can find. Meanwhile, the Spartans slide down to the 8th overall position, and remain a 2-seed for now.
Houston’s loss dropped them down a few spots, but they remain a 3-seed. LSU’s resume just keeps getting better after a win at Alabama. Tigers are an amazing 8-1 in true road games this year. I struggled with Kansas or Texas Tech for a 3-seed. This ultimately went to Texas Tech. I think Kansas has a better body of work to date, but the injury concern I think is enough to be debated in the committee room to push Kansas to the 4-seed line. Marquette joins them there after a surprising home loss to Creighton over the weekend. The final spot now belongs to Kansas State by a narrow margin. Another road win last night for the Wildcats against a team in the field (TCU) was enough to get them above Virginia Tech for today
Middle of the Field (Teams 17-40)
I’ve noticed Cincinnati creeping up into the 6-seed range in other brackets, however I am not ready to put them ahead of Nevada or Buffalo just yet. I am impressed with the quantity of road victories for both the Bulls and Pack to go along with strong metrics. Auburn is up to the last 7-seed after a home win against Mississippi State. The Tigers are tough to place due to a real lack of away wins. A win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa tonight can help that a bit. UCF’s win at Houston was a big time needle mover. The Knights now can back up their metrics (NET #30) a bit more and have moved to a 9-seed.
Bubble Trouble (41-49, and Knocking on the Door)
TCU lost again last night, and at home. They are slipping fast and their current roster is shorthanded with no chance for the missing players to return. TCU-Texas this weekend could be a real bubble burster for the loser. Seton Hall is also hanging by a thread after losing at Georgetown. As you’ll see by the Seed List graphic, the Big East is all over the bubble picture. The reality is we may only see one of them actually get in, and today that would barely be the Pirates.
The Rest (49-68)
This part of the bracket will become a lot more clear throughout the week. Championship Week is underway! Libscomb and Liberty both advanced to the A-Sun Semi’s last night. Tonight the much anticipated OVC Tournament kicks off with early round action, and we have several others starting as well. Colgate and Campbell won tiebreakers after their final game to suddenly steal the 1-seed in their respective conference tournaments.
SEED LIST 1-68