Friday, February 17, 2017

Committee Makes Their Say, Michigan Makes Their Move

Six days ago, we witnessed history. For the first time, the Selection Committee unveiled an early look at the top 16 teams and what region they would currently be slotted in.

As a refresher, here was that list.

1. Villanova
2. Kansas
3. Baylor
4. Gonzaga
5. North Carolina
6. Florida State
7. Louisville
8. Oregon
9. Arizona
10. Virginia
11. Florida
12. Kentucky
13. Butler
14. West Virginia
15. UCLA
16. Duke

This list showed that top-50 wins and RPI are still an important factor. Head-to-head was also taken into account, since the full set of information was obviously not readily available.

From this list to our current projection, the biggest change is Duke is up to No. 8 overall. The Blue Devils seemed to have finally get things together and are rolling, winning six straight to move to 9-4 in ACC, in a three-way tie for second place with Florida State and Louisville, one game behind North Carolina.

All four teams sit on the two line. Of those teams, the toughest game this weekend belongs to the Tar Heels, who host Virginia Saturday, while the Blue Devils host Wake Forest, Louisville entertains Virginia Tech and the Seminoles visit Pittsburgh.

The ACC also sees a key bubble battle pitting Miami against Clemson. The Tigers especially need this one. Already sitting with nine ACC losses, a couple more could likely relegate Brad Brownell's crew to the NIT.

One bubble that helped their case this week was Michigan, scoring a huge win over Wisconsin Thursday night. Using the numbers from CBS, the Wolverines are now 17-9, RPI 54, NCSOS 92. They have home wins in conference over Wisconsin and fellow bubble team Michigan State. But the signature win to boost them even more is that 22-point victory over SMU in the 2K Classic. The Wolverines are currently projected as a No. 10 seed. They get another shot at a signature win when they head to Williams Arena on Sunday to take on Minnesota.

A light schedule on Friday is highlighted by VCU's trip to Richmond and Cal's trek to Stanford.

Saturday sees a bevy of games with a lot of bracket implications, including Wichita State hosting Northern Iowa, Seton Hall hosting Villanova and a battle of No. 1 seeds with Kansas at Baylor.

Other games of note:


Notre Dame at North Carolina State, 12:00, ESPN
Tulsa at Cincinnati, 12:00, ESPNU
Florida at Mississippi State, 2:00, ESPN
Kansas State at Texas, 2:00, Longhorn Network
Texas Tech at West Virginia, 2:00, ESPN2
St. Bonaventure at Dayton, 2:00, NBCSN
Colorado at Oregon, 3:00, FOX
Michigan State at Purdue, 4:00, ESPN
Pacific at Gonzaga, 4:00
Rhode Island at George Mason, 4:00, NBCSN
Ole Miss at Arkansas, 6:00, SECN
Kentucky at Georgia, 6:00, ESPN
Rutgers at Northwestern, 6:00, ESPNU
TCU at Iowa State, 6:00, ESPNews
SMU at Houston, 6:00, ESPN2
Xavier at Marquette, 8:00, CBSSN
South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 8:30, SECN
USC at UCLA, 10:00, Pac-12 Network
Saint Mary's at BYU, 10:00, ESPN2


Maryland at Wisconsin, 1:00, CBS
DePaul at Butler, 1:30, FS1
Georgetown at Creighton, 3:30, FS1
Syracuse at Georgia Tech, 6:30, ESPNU

With that, here's your updated bracket projection.

Last Four Byes: Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, TCU
Last Four In: Wichita State, Kansas State, Clemson, Georgia Tech
First Four Out: Marquette, Providence, Wake Forest, Tennessee
Next Four Out: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Rhode Island

Conference Breakdown

ACC - 10
Big 12 - 7
Big Ten - 7
Big East - 5
Pac-12 - 5
SEC - 4
American - 2
Atlantic 10 - 2
Missouri Valley - 2
West Coast - 2
One-bid leagues - 22

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