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Bracketology: Florida moves up to No. 1 overall seed

Feb 24, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT

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Florida has not lost a college basketball game in almost three months.  Only undefeated Wichita State owns a longer streak.  So it’s no surprise that both the Gators and Shockers remain No. 1 seeds in today’s bracket.  Given back-to-back losses by Syracuse, it’s also not surprising to find Florida as the top overall seed with Arizona, Wichita State, and Syracuse next in line.

If Kansas wins its remaining regular season games or wins the Big 12 Tournament next month (or both), the Selection Committee will have some difficult decisions to make about the four No. 1 seeds – assuming all finish strong.  The Jayhawks have played an incredible 21 games against the RPI Top 100.  That’s impressive, even if you’re not a fan of the formula.  Kansas has won 15 of those games – with more Top 100 games on tap.  At some point, we may also have to factor in Wisconsin or Michigan.  Few teams had a better non-conference season than the Badgers.  In other words, the race for No. 1 seeding is far from over.

Today’s seeding curve hit a proverbial snag at about No. 27 – which is right in the middle of the seven-seed line.  From that point, until the final few teams IN, we find a glob of teams with more interesting profiles – positives, negatives, and a bunch of stuff in-between.  Which basically means those spots, along with the those along the cutline, are very much in a state of flux.  Unless we have a few conference tournament upsets, we could be in for a very interesting Selection Sunday.

Enjoy your week of hoops!

UPDATED: February 24, 2014

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings with RPI as a tiebreaker for teams with the same number of losses. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).

Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Providence vs. Dayton | Midwest Region
  • Missouri vs. Georgetown | West Region
  • ALABAMA STATE vs. WEBER STATE | Midwest Region
  • ROBERT MORRIS vs. HIGH POINT | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

SOUTH – Memphis MIDWEST - Indianapolis                
Orlando St. Louis
1) FLORIDA 1) WICHITA STATE
16) ROB MORRIS / HIGH POINT 16) WEBER ST / ALABAMA ST
8) Connecticut 8) SMU
9) VCU 9) Arizona State
Spokane Spokane
5) North Carolina 5) Louisville
12) BYU 12) HARVARD
4) Iowa State 4) VIRGINIA
13) MIDDLE TENNESSEE 13) DELAWARE
San Antonio Raleigh
6) Texas 6) Oklahoma
11) St. John’s 11) Providence / Dayton
3) San Diego State 3) Michigan State
14) NEW MEXICO ST 14) WESTERN MICHIGAN
Milwaukee St. Louis
7) Massachusetts 7) Stanford
10) Colorado 10) GONZAGA
2) Wisconsin 2) KANSAS
15) GEORGIA STATE 15) NC-CENTRAL
EAST – New York WEST – Anaheim
Buffalo San Diego
1) SYRACUSE 1) ARIZONA
16) VERMONT 16) DAVIDSON
8) George Washington 8) Memphis
9) California 9) Pittsburgh
Orlando San Diego
5) Ohio State 5) Kentucky
12) GREEN BAY 12) NORTH DAKOTA ST
4) CINCINNATI 4) SAINT LOUIS
13) BELMONT 13) IONA
Buffalo Raleigh
6) UCLA 6) NEW MEXICO
11) Saint Joseph’s 11) Missouri / Georgetown
3) Villanova 3) Duke
14) MERCER 14) S.F. AUSTIN
Milwaukee San Antonio
7) Kansas State 7) Iowa
10) Xavier 10) Baylor
2) MICHIGAN 2) CREIGHTON
15) BOSTON UNIVERSITY 15) UC-SANTA BARBARA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Wichita State, and Syracuse.

Last Five teams in (at large): Saint Joseph’s, Missouri, Providence, Dayton, Georgetown

First Five teams out (at large): Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oregon, Richmond

Next five teams out (at large): Florida State, Nebraska, LSU, Minnesota, Southern Miss

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 12 (6): Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor

Pac 12 (6): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, California, Stanford, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (6): Massachusetts, VCU, Saint Louis, George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, Dayton

Big East (6): Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown

Big Ten (5): Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin

ACC (5): Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia

American (5): Louisville, Memphis, Connecticut, Cincinnati, SMU

SEC (3): Kentucky, Florida, Missouri

Mountain West (2): New Mexico, San Diego State

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU

Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State

Conference Automatic Qualifiers … Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), Boston University (Patriot), North Dakota State (Summit), Green Bay (Horizon), Davidson (Southern), New Mexico State (WAC), Iona (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Western Michigan (MAC), Mercer (A-Sun), Harvard (IVY), UC-Santa Barbara (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Vermont (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), High Point (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Alabama State (SWAC)

  1. fnc111 - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Michael Sam is a gay man.

    • packergator - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Right – your point being…?

      • namriverrat69 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        Sounds like an immature homophobe.

  2. florida727 - Feb 25, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    I’m a Florida fan, but I think Wichita State deserves the overall #1 seed based solely on the fact that they’ve beaten everyone put in front of them. The case for Florida, I guess, is that their only losses came early in the season, and both were on the road at tough places to play… at Wisconsin by 6, and at UConn by 1 at the buzzer, they got Napier-ed (so have a lot of other teams). You can criticize WS’s schedule, but if they’re a fraud, it’ll be exposed come tournament time… THEN they can be criticized. What I do like about the Gators is that they typically play great defense, so even on an off shooting night, they’ll still at least have a chance to win. Bad sign? In their last 6 games, the Gators have trailed at the half in 4 of them and been tied in the other 2. Eventually, if you play with fire long enough, you get burned. March is a bad time of the year to play with matches.

  3. packergator - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    florida727 – I don’t take too much from how an elite team plays in late February; the 2006 and 2007 Gators played poorly then too. I do think the lack of consistent shooting is a concern for them. The #1 ranking is a nice fringe benefit, but doesn’t mean much to me; I’d much rather see them win the SEC tournament to prove their dedication to winning in March.

    I’d give WS a #1 seed, but I don’t know about the overall #1 seed, especially if Florida and/or Arizona win their regular season and tournament championships.

    • florida727 - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      That’s a good point. Arizona gets overlooked, especially on the east coast, because their games are played late so we don’t get to watch them much. But if you listen to the ‘experts’ (and I use that term loosely), that’s the team nobody’s going to want to play.

      • namriverrat69 - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        Arizona’s only two loses by 2 and 3 points respectively came on the road right after losing Brandon Ashley, a huge part of their team. There was a period of adjustment and in the last two games they’ve played great basketball. Like Florida they play great defense. A lot can be said about being undefeated from a weaker conference. I’m reminded of BYU coming from a weaker conference years ago winning a national championship in football. The difference is the NCAA Tournament. Someone needs to go on a 6 game winning streak. Of all the top teams, I would think that Wichita State would be the least likely to do that but it seems there is a regular Cinderalla team and this could be their year.

        I like Florida and their program but growing up in Tucson back in the 50s and 60s, my heart always roots for my Cats. Good luck Gators. A Florida vs Arizona final would be the absolute best. No disrespect meant to all the other great teams.

      • namriverrat69 - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:35 AM

        If you would like to see a team like Arizona play just record it and watch it the next day and you can make up your own mind on how good they really are. My brother-in-law and other people do it all the time.

    • florida727 - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      After a closer look at the bracket, did you notice he puts both UConn and Wisconsin in the same region with Florida? The only two teams to beat the Gators so far this season :) Who says the seeding committee wouldn’t have a sense of humor if this projection were to hold true?

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