Seedings Update, 26th February

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Followup to this post.

This is not based on the polls, or one somebody's bracket. It is based on the Selection Committee's interim rankings, released before the games of the 11th of February. It is looking at how those 16 teams have performed since then and attempting to guess where the committee would rank them today based on recent results.

All the #1-3 seeds in the tournament are likely to come from these 16 teams. Outside these 16, there are only three teams in the latest AP top 25 that haven't lost in the last two weeks -- SMU, Notre Dame, and Wichita State. Those teams might contend for a 4 or 5 seed, but are unlikely to get higher than that, and everyone else behind these 16 teams has taken losses, and so is unlikely to push for a high seed.

How Have They Done Since Then?

NEUTRAL/SLIGHTLY DOWN #1 Villanova. Four comfortable wins (Creighton, @Seton Hall, @Xavier, @DePaul, all but DePaul are good teams). Lost at home to Butler (a 3 or 4 seed).

UP #2 Kansas. Close escapes at Texas Tech, at home against WVU, and at Baylor. Comfortable wins against TCU and at Texas.

DROPPING LIKE A ROCK #3 Baylor. W TCU, L @TTU, L Kansas, W Oklahoma, L @Iowa State. Not going so well. All the losses were close and to pretty good teams, but lose 5 out of 8, you don't stay a #1 seed.

SLIGHTLY DOWN #4 Gonzaga. Good win at St Mary's, three joke wins against bad teams, and a very damaging home loss to a not-that-good BYU team.

DEFINITELY UP #5 North Carolina. Wins @NCSU, UVA, Louisville, @Pitt. All of these were comfortable wins, two against top teams. I thought the committee had these guys rated too high but they look pretty smart right now, UNC has been very impressive.

DOWN #6 FSU. Double digit losses at ND and Pitt, easy win over BC, close escape at Clemson. Unimpressive the last two weeks.

SLIGHTLY DOWN #7 Louisville. Close wins Miami, @Syracuse, VaTech, double-digit loss at UNC. All those opponents are good teams.

DEFINITELY UP #8 Oregon. Comfortable wins @USC, Utah, Colorado, close wins @Cal and @Stanford. Two road wins at tourney teams. The committee has a history of valuing regular season major conference champions, and we have that now.

SLIGHTLY DOWN #9 Arizona. Wins Cal, @WSU, @Uw, USC. Home loss to UCLA. Two home wins over tourney teams, and the loss wasn't a particularly bad one. Lost sole possession of the conference title.

DADDY, HAVE WE HIT THE BOTTOM YET? #10 Virginia. Losses @VaTech, Duke (double digits), @UNC (by 24), Miami. Beat a bad NCSU team. UNC is coming to town, they'll get a chance to rescue their reputation a little bit with a win.

NEUTRAL #11 Florida. Comfortable wins TAMU, @Auburn, Sakerlina, close win at MissSt, lost by 10 at Kentucky.

DEFINITELY UP #12 Kentucky. Comfortable wins @Alabama, Tennessee, @Mizzou, Florida, close win at Georgia (who had a key injury, UK was lucky in this one).

SLIGHTLY UP #13 Butler. L @Providence, two easy wins against bad teams, superb win at Villanova.

SLIGHTLY UP #14 WVU. Comfortable wins KSU, Texas Tech, Texas, lucky escape at TCU, close loss at Kansas.

DEFINITELY UP #15 UCLA. Home blowouts OSU & USC, comfortable win @ASU, great win at Arizona.

DOWN #16 Duke. Close home wins Clemson & Wake Forest, 10 point win at UVA, then close losses at Syracuse and Miami.

The Jscot Guess

This is not a projection of final seedings, which will almost certainly be different after conference tourneys.

  1. Kansas. Locked in to one of the four #1 seeds, and odds-on favourite to be the #1 overall seed, unless half their team is arrested the night before their conference tourney.
  2. North Carolina. A close call between #2 & 3. I think UNC is a #1 seed unless they lose twice.
  3. Villanova. Also probably a #1 seed unless they lose twice, but a loss at Georgetown this week could be interesting.
  4. Oregon. A very close call between #4 & 5, but strength of schedule, RPI, & comparative results against AZ (who was without Trier when they played the Zags) are all in our favour.
  5. Gonzaga. Definitely still in the hunt for a #1 seed, but not if they lose again. Remember, they were only seeded #4 when they were still unbeaten.
  6. Louisville. I don't think the committee will knock them down much for the loss at UNC. So even though I said they were "down" they stay high in the rankings. But there's now a big gap between them and the top five. Even if they win out I don't think they get a #1 seed without some help.
  7. Kentucky. Nice win against Florida. Still not entirely persuasive, but they've been putting games in the W column.
  8. Baylor. Chances of a #1 seed are gone, they are probably borderline between a 2 and a 3 seed.
  9. Arizona. If they beat UCLA in the conference tourney, they'll probably be back up to a 2 seed even if they lose to us in the final.
  10. UCLA. Definitely improved their standing. They've started playing defense sometimes.
  11. FSU. Very close call between 11-14. These guys could drop a lot further with another loss.
  12. Florida. I think there is no shame in a loss at Kentucky, I'll keep them just ahead of Butler and WVU.
  13. Butler. The win at Villanova helps more than the loss at Providence hurts.
  14. WVU. Close loss at KS doesn't hurt much, but narrow escape at TCU doesn't help much.
I'm not sure how much the last two losses hurt Duke. I think a win at UNC and/or a good tourney run keeps them in the top four seeds. UVA is out of the high seeding picture. Purdue was looking good but just lost at Michigan. Perhaps this is where SMU and Cincy slot in. I don't think either is a threat to break the top 12.

I think the 14 teams numbered above include everyone who still has a chance at a top 3 seed. That's all I care about, because we're locked into at least a #2 seed unless we lose to OSU and then lose to another bad team in the conference tourney.

Remaining Games Before Conference Tourneys

I've put some of the games in bold. These are games where one of the contenders for a high seed might be considered at real risk of a loss, either because they play a real quality opponent or because they play a good team on the road.

Syracuse @ Louisville
Butler @ Xavier

WVU @ Baylor

Oklahoma @ Kansas

FSU @ Duke
Vandy @ Kentucky

Arkansas @ Florida
Louisville @ Wake Forest

Iowa State @ WVU

Villanova @ Georgetown
Kentucky @ TAMU
Notre Dame @ Louisville
Florida @ Vanderbilt
Seton Hall @ Butler
Arizona @ ASU
Miami @ FSU
Baylor @ Texas
Kansas @ OkSt
Oregon @ OSU
Duke @ UNC

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