Happy Selection Sunday! Before the Selection Show this evening at 6:00pm, let’s take a final look at a few of the things we currently know:
- The field of 68 is set. The committee met yesterday and finalized the teams that will be playing in the NCAA tournament. The only potential change to the field would occur if Davidson upsets Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament this afternoon. In that case, Davidson would become an automatic qualifier, and Rhode Island would have the resume to receive an at-large bid, therefore knocking off one of the teams currently sitting on the very edge of the bubble. In short, every bubble team should be rooting for Rhode Island this afternoon.
- There are a lot of teams on the bubble. The eight teams currently in Joe Lunardi’s ‘last four in’ and ‘first four out’ are Texas, Oklahoma, Saint Mary’s, Arizona State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Baylor, and Oklahoma State. Four out of those eight teams should make the field tonight, unless, again, Davidson upsets Rhode Island, in which case only three of those eight teams will likely make the field.
- The committee apparently focused on Quadrant 1 wins and road wins specifically this season. Quadrant 1 wins are the NCAA’s ‘new toy’, an interesting new metric that identifies quality opponents. A Quadrant 1 win would come from a win that occurred against a 1-30 RPI ranked opponent at home, a 1-50 RPI ranked opponent on a neutral court, or a 1-75 RPI ranked opponent in a true road game. The committee also assesses Quadrant 2, 3, and 4 games for bad losses in a team’s full body of work.
- We have a pretty good idea of who will be receiving the top seeds. Virginia is almost guaranteed to receive the #1 overall spot in the tournament, granting them the top seed and a preferable region to play in. The other #1 seeds will likely end up going to Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier. The top seeds aren’t as clear-cut as they’ve been in previous seasons thanks to the increased parity in college basketball this season, but these teams appear to be the consensus among most bracket experts.
- No matter what the committee does, this whole tournament is fool proof. The committee could make some crazy decisions on the bubble, or ridiculously over-seed or under-seed teams. It doesn’t matter. This tournament is insanely fun and unique. The bracket will be chaotic. There’s no doubt about it.
Buckle up. This is going to be a wild ride.