Bracket Preview Predictions
Today is a big day, not only because there is a good amount of games on but I think maybe, more importantly, the NCAA Tournament committee will release their Top-16 teams in College Basketball. For this article, I will list the teams in seed order and give an explanation of why that team is seeded there. Here are my official Bracket Preview Predictions.
The Cavaliers own the number one ranking in the NET Rankings, which is one reason they are here. The other of course being that they have six quadrant one wins, which is the most for a team ranked in the Top-5 of the NET. The committee also will look at the Cavaliers one loss being a two-point loss at Duke and they will not knock them for that.
The Blue Devils look like the best team in the sport but looking like the best team, being the best team, and having the best resume are different things. The Blue Devils resume only features five Quadrant one wins, which is good but it is not six like Virginia has. They also rank 3rd in the NET Rankings and have a Quadrant two loss, while Virginia only has a loss to Duke. I think you can make a valid argument that the Blue Devils have the best team in the sport but to be the number one overall seed, you need to have the best resume and Duke doesn’t have that.
The Volunteers have a very good overall resume, which is a large part why they ranked number one int the country right now. That being said, being ranked number one doesn’t make you the number one overall team in the Bracket Preview. The Volunteers only have four Quadrant one wins and only ranked fourth in the NET, which doesn’t usually lead teams to being the number one overall seed. That being said with only one loss, a good schedule, and a win over Gonzaga, the Volunteers are pretty clearly a number one seed
The fourth number one seed is the toughest to figure out as there are three teams that have a good shot at that position but I think the Bulldogs might be the team who winds up getting that last spot. The Bulldogs rank number two in the NET, which is pretty good, they have four Quadrant one wins and they have a win over Duke which the committee will value more than others. It also helps that the Bulldogs have looked the part as they are blowing teams out right now in WCC play.
The Wolverines were under heavy consideration for a number one seed but the fact they rank four spots lower in the NET with only five Quadrant one wins. Their wins over Villanova and North Carolina are impressive, it might be impressive enough to get a one seed but I will lean with the Bulldogs on this one.
The Wildcats pretty clearly have one of the top-six resumes in the sport as they rank 5th in the NET and have six Quadrant one wins. The Wildcats have a shot to be on the one line come the Bracket reveal but I think they fall short on two accounts. One they have three losses, which is more than any other team ahead of them and two their loss to Duke in the Champions Classic still could leave a sour taste in the committee’s mouth. They could end up being on the one line but I would take both Gonzaga and Michigan before taking Kentucky right now.
The Tar Heels are a team that has the combination of quality wins and metric ratings in the NET, which has them pretty comfortably on the two line. The Tar Heels rate 8th in the NET Rankings, have five Quadrant one wins and they have a win over Gonzaga, a current projected one seed. The Bracket Preview Show will be interesting in some facets but the seeding of North Carolina won’t be one of them.
The Spartans have not played well as of late, losing their last three games but they do still have nine Quadrant one wins, which will get them on the two line. Other schools that compare in the amount of Quadrant one wins rate lower in the NET Rankings and in some instances have more losses, I think it will be safe to say that the Spartans will be a two seed in this Bracket Preview.
The Cougars possess one of the more interesting resumes in the country as they rank seventh in the NET Rankings, have four Quadrant one wins and only have one loss. The problem is that their best win right now is a home win against LSU and while they have seven Quadrant two wins and have played a good schedule, not having a signature win keeps them off the two line I think.
The Badgers have a good overall resume as they have a good ranking in the NET at number 12 and they have seven Quadrant one wins. I think that winds up landing them on the three line, which is a good placement for the Badgers.
The Boilermakers, like Wisconsin, are pretty comfortabl on the three line as they have a good NET ranking at 11 and 6 Quadrant one wins. Like
The Jayhawks have maybe the weirdest resume as they have played by far the best schedule in the country, rank number one in the old RPI, and have eight Quadrant one wins, yet they rank 18th in the NET. To make matters even more difficult, their best wins of the season came when Center Udoka Azubuike was on the court, which is no longer the case. It would be hard to punish Kansas too much, so I think in the end the Jayhawks will get a three seed.
The Golden Eagles have put together a really solid resume, despite a recent loss to St. John’s as they are 19-4 with 7 Quadrant one wins. They rank lower in the NET rankings than you would like as they only rank 21 but their overall body of work should get them on the four line.
The Hokies have an interesting resume that could find them anywhere from a 3 to not being seeded in the Bracket preview show but ultimately I think they end up on the four line. The Hokies are just 3-4 against Quadrant one opponents which isn’t great but their NET Ranking is 10, which helps make up for it. I am not sure what they will do with Virginia Tech but having them as a four seed is a good bet.
The Cyclones might be the best team in the Big 12 but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily have the highest seed amongst Big 12 teams. The Cyclones ranking of 13 almost will help secure at least a four seed, while five Quadrant one wins is good enough to land them on the four line. I think this team could wind up being on the two or three line when all is said and done but for now they are a four seed.
The Cardinals came in with very little preseason expectations, so being picked to be on the Bracket Preview show would show the great success of Chris Mack in year one. The Cardinals rank 14th in the NET rankings, which is good. Their 4-5 record against Quadrant one opponents is good too but I think the thing that pushes them over the top is that they have a win at North Carolina, which is extremely impressive.
The Wolf Pack are 22-1, which is impressive but the thing that keeps them off the Bracket Preview show will be the fact that one they have 0 Quadrant one wins to date and two they have the worst loss of anyone else competing for a Top four seed. They could end up hearing their name called on the Bracket Preview show but I think it is more likely that isn’t the case.