The First 6 out.
California, TCU, Wake Forest, Rhode Island, Illinois, Georgia Tech
Yes, Illinois and Gather Ye Wins are on the bubble.
What mid-majors stand a chance of an at-large bid without winning conference tourney?
St. Mary’s, Cinci, and SMU are all but locks.
VCU/Dayton should both get in, they play each other Wednesday which will be huge towards an auto bid.
Wichita State/Illinois State – I can’t see Illinois State getting in without winning the MVC Tournament. They’re my last team in, any loss would drop them and surely at large bids will get stolen. There is always a chance the committee sees it differently than me, as they snuck in Tulsa last year against everyone’s judgement.
Middle Tennessee and UNC Wilmington unfortunately have next to no shot. Any loss they have would almost certainly be a triple digit RPI/KenPom loss and that doesn’t look good on the ole resume.
What is the most difficult part of the bracket to seed?
ALL OF IT. The difference between teams is usually grey. If I had to choose, it’d be the 13 seeds or later. Unfortunately, I get stuck basing most of these on numbers and rarely the eye test as it’s next to impossible to watch UC Irvine in the Midwest.
When you get to the last few at-large bids, what criteria do you use to separate teams?
When trying to decide between the last team and the first team out, I will check out the results of both teams and look at close wins/losses. Is one team lucky or unlucky? Did one of them win 5 games by 1 point or lose 5 games by 1 point. If that’s not the case, I look at KenPom. KenPom is the best predictor in my opinion.
What would BYU have to do to get in the tournament?
Win the conference championship, they don’t have a shot at an at large bid
Is Northwestern safe?
No. If they lose out, they have a chance of getting in, but they’d have to hold their breath in Evanston.
What do you make of USC?
KenPom hates them, RPI loves them. The committee loves RPI. They have to beat the Washington schools next week to remain solidly in, if they lose one of those, things could get a little choppy for the Fighting Enfield’s.