Monday, February 19, 2018

Bracketology: Bonnies score big win, Jayhawks back to top line

For most of the season, the Atlantic 10 conference was looking like a one-bid conference, dominated by Rhode Island. But thanks to their win over the Rams during weekend, St. Bonaventure has climbed into the top 30 of the RPI and into today's bracket projection.

If you recall, two seasons ago, the Bonnies finished the season among the RPI top 30. But they're lack of non-conference success likely held them out of the field. This season, they're in the top 30, but have non-conference road victories over MAC leader Buffalo, who is also in the top 30, as well as, and maybe more importantly, Syracuse, who is also in today's projection after their win at Miami. The Bonnies are among the last four byes in this update, while Syracuse is projected for Dayton.

Also in the field is LSU. Sure, their RPI is low (No. 75), but they have time to improve that. Their inclusion is due to the fact that it is very hard to ignore their seven quadrant one victories, including season-sweeps of Arkansas and Texas A&M. Their win over Houston is also looking better and better. They do have a quadrant three loss against Stephen F. Austin, but the seven quadrant one wins and eight quadrant one and two wins will outweigh that loss. As long as the Tigers stay the course, they could sneak into the field.

Auburn surprisingly dropped one at South Carolina over the weekend. That, coupled with Kansas' come-from-behind victory over West Virginia, puts the Jayhawks and their nine quadrant one wins back on the top line, along with Virginia, Villanova and Xavier..

Kansas also has more combined quadrant one and two wins than any other team, with 16. Kansas is 9-4 against quadrant one and 7-1 against quadrant two. And they've pulled back to a tie with Texas Tech atop the Big 12 standings, with both at 10-4. The Red Raiders won in Lawrence, but the teams meet again in Lubbock on Saturday. Kansas hosts Oklahoma tonight.

Here now is your full bracket update.

Last Four Byes: Butler, North Carolina State, Baylor, Providence
Last Four In: St. Bonaventure, Washington, Syracuse, LSU
First Four Out: UCLA, Kansas State, USC, Temple
Next Four Out: Georgia, Louisville, Utah, Marquette

Conference Breakdown

ACC - 9
SEC - 9
Big 12 - 7
Big East - 6
Big Ten - 4
American - 3
Pac-12 - 3
Atlantic 10 - 2
West Coast - 2
One-bid leagues - 23

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