On Saturday, the Selection Committee released the first early bracket of the season. It revealed some things people agreed on and others that people didn’t.
The Number One seeds consisted of Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas, and San Diego State University, in that order. Baylor received the overall No. 1 seed and was slotted to go to Houston. The second #1 seed, Kansas, jumped ahead of Gonzaga thanks to its strong schedule and quality wins, despite three losses. They would be in the midwest region in Indianapolis. Gonzaga was next up, and they were placed in the West region in Los Angeles. This left San Diego State University, the final #1 seed team, stranded to go East in New York. The committee believed that the quality of Gonzaga’s wins outweighed their single loss, putting them ahead of the undefeated Aztecs.
The first #2 seed goes to Duke. With wins over Kansas and Michigan State, they could have been a one seed. The losses to Stephen F. Austin and Clemson cripple that. Next up for the Two seed is Dayton. A surprise team this season with only two losses, but both in overtime. Another ACC team came in as a Two seed, Louisville. Lastly, another surprise for aa No. 2 seed, West Virginia. They got some of their swagger back, but losses at Kansas State and St. John’s can be crucial.
Maryland, Florida State, Seton Hall, and Villanova, in that order. Maryland leads the Big Ten and has a good resume, but two occurrences of back-to-back losses hurt them. Florida State a surprising ACC contender with decent wins. Seton Hall leads the Big East but with losses to Iowa State and Xavier, they’re on a leash. Villanova, the final No. 3 seed, is 1-1 against Kansas and Baylor. Not too shabby.
Auburn, the best No. 4 seed, would be higher if they had another quality win. Oregon, Butler, and Michigan State all recieve the other #4 seeds.
The Current Bracket
South Region in Houston: #1 Baylor, #2 Louisville, #3 Seton Hall, #4 Auburn
Midwest Region in Indianapolis: #1 Kansas, #2 Dayton, #3 Florida State, #4 Michigan State
West Region in Los Angeles: #1 Gonzaga, #2 West Virginia, #3 Villanova, #4 Oregon
East Region in New York: #1 San Diego State University, #2 Duke, #3 Maryland, #4 Butler
Collin Speicher Bracketology
This season, I haven’t been convinced by one team to be crowned Champion in March. I’ve been impressed by some teams and disappointed by others. There is a lot to take into consideration and still plenty of basketball left in the college basketball season prior to March, but here is my first ever Bracketology prediction.
- Baylor. They are the best team in the country and have control over their own destiny. As long as they don’t slip up and Kansas doesn’t win the regular season and the Big 12, this is theirs for the taking.
- Gonzaga will earn the second #1 seed with ease.
- The third No. 1 seed will go to the ACC Champion. Louisville, Duke, and Florida State are all great teams this year and it will come down to the conference tournament to decide this seed.
- Lastly, San Diego State University. The only undefeated team left in the country.
- With the impact of the Big 12, Kansas will be the best #2 seed. There is the possibility that Baylor and Kansas both earn #1 seeds, but Kansas would need to win out the rest of the season.
- The same impact from the ACC Tournament will impact this scenario, the runner up will be a two seed. Either Louisville, Duke, or Florida State.
- For the third No. 2 seed, I really like Dayton. Like the committee said, their losses have come in overtime and Obi Toppin could be your National Player of the Year.
- The final Number two seed may shock some people, but the Auburn Tigers get it from me. They haven’t had those quality wins, but they play as a team and Bruce Pearl has changed their mentality a whole 180. I am excited to see how they do.
- Seton Hall. They are the leaders of the Big East, which is one of the best conferences in the country this year. They’ve had tough losses, but if they can stay strong this month and in the Big East tournament, they are a lock for the best #3 seed.
- Maryland. A very impressive team this year that has the potential to make a run. My one concern is that if they get shaky, it continues to take a toll. Your examples are the two times they lost back-to-back.
- The third team in the ACC. The ACC is not nearly as competitive as in recent years, but the top three is a race that everyone should keep an eye on.
- West Virginia. Bob Huggins has gotten the team back to gritty defense and attack at all costs on offense. They don’t have a real true win and the losses hurt, but most games they are winning by double-digits.
- As long as Auburn wins out, I think the SEC deserves a #4 seed. The runner up for that conference will take this one, whether that is LSU or Kentucky, we will find out.
- Penn State. I really like the Nittany Lions and they have shocked me this season. They had a bad skid in the middle of the season, but they have also beaten some quality teams in Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State. The Big 10 is one of the better conferences in the country this year, take that into consideration as well.
- Oregon. This may be high for the Ducks, but don’t forget that they were one of the best at the beginning of the season. If they can find their groove, Pritchard catches fire, and they run through the Pac 12 tournament, they can be dangerous.
- Villanova. I don’t think they really deserve this seed in relation to the other teams in the Big East, but they do have wins against Kansas and Butler, and their losses have all come to good competition.
The official Selection Sunday show will be on Sunday, March 15th. Will your team make the tournament? Will they earn a top seed? We’ve got 33 days until we find out![ditty_news_ticker id=”2491″]