#1 Seeds: North Carolina, Memphis, and UCLA are clear #1 seeds. The fourth #1 seed is not as clear. Tennessee didn’t make it to their conference tournament final, so I expect the committee to go with the winner of the Big 12 final, Kansas.
Automatic Bids (31): Memphis, North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Drake, Butler, Davidson, UNLV, Temple, Kent State, Western Kentucky, George Mason, Boise State, Oral Roberts, San Diego, Cornell, Siena, Cal State Fullerton, Winthrop, Portland State, UMBC, Belmont, Austin Peay, Mount St. Mary’s, Mississippi Valley State, Coppin State, Texas-Arlington, American
Locks (27): Tennessee, Georgetown, Texas, Duke, Stanford, Louisville, Xavier, Notre Dame, Washington State, Michigan State, UConn, Marquette, Clemson, Purdue, Gonzaga, Indiana, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Southern Cal, Texas A&M, BYU, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, St. Mary’s, Kansas State, South Alabama
St. Joe’s: The Atlantic 10 Conference looked like a three or four bid league for much of the year. The big question was which teams would make it from that conference. UMass, Dayton, and Rhode Island once looked like they would be the teams getting at-large bids while Xavier was the favorite to win the conference. After Temple won the conference tournament, Xavier gets in with an at-large bid and St. Joe’s is another possibility. I see St. Joe’s getting an at-large bid. They have wins over Xavier twice, Villanova, Temple, UMass, and Siena and they have nine true road wins.
Kentucky: The Wildcats are an interesting case. They had a terrible start, but I think they finished strong enough to get in. They went 12-4 in the SEC, and posted wins over Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Arkansas. They are solidly in the tournament to me, but because their resume is so weird the committee could leave them out if they want to penalize Kentucky for all the nonconference losses.
Illinois State: I think Illinois State is in with a 13-5 record in an underrated Missouri Valley Conference. Certainly this isn’t the MVC of the last two years, but Illinois State won at Southern Illinois, at Creighton, and reached the Missouri Valley Conference championship game. I have them in the tournament, but they do lack some real signature wins, which could hurt them.
Miami (FL): The Hurricanes are probably in, which is remarkable after their 2-6 start in the ACC. They have a nice non-conference win at Mississippi State, but they also picked up conference wins over Duke and Clemson.
Arizona: Most people have Arizona in, but I think they are not as safe as it may seem. They are credited with playing a really tough schedule, but I don’t like to give credit to teams just for playing a tough schedule. Anybody can just go out and lose to tough teams. Arizona did pick up win at UNLV, at Houston, and against Texas A&M. Those aren’t great but they are pretty good. They also swept Washington State and beat Southern Cal. Losses to Washington and Virginia are bad, but the rest of their losses were to good teams. I don’t know how much the committee will take into account the injuries that Arizona had, but I do know that Georgia once made the tournament with 14 losses and a really good strength of schedule.
Arizona State: I think if Arizona is in, then Arizona State also must be in. The Sun Devils swept Arizona, and their best non-conference win was against Xavier which is better than any win Arizona had. Arizona State also beat Stanford and Southern Cal, and they finished higher in the standings than Arizona.
Oregon: Just like Arizona State, I think Oregon has to be in as a package deal with Arizona. The Ducks swept Arizona, but also won at Kansas State and against Arizona State and Stanford. Their only bad loss in conference was to Washington. Now that Georgia beat Arkansas, their is one less bid and the Ducks are my last team in. The committee could go with Baylor or Villanova over the Ducks.
Villanova: I am willing to bet that the committee leaves Villanova out, but I think that is a mistake. They have better wins than the teams I am leaving out. Villanova won at Temple, and they have conference wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Connecticut. Everything I just wrote about Villanova was prior to Georgia beating Arkansas in the SEC championship, which just happened. Georgia’s win gives the Bulldogs an automatic bid and takes away an at-large bid that must be used for Arkansas now. Therefore, I took Villanova out. To be fair, Villanova did have some bad losses to DePaul, Cincinnati, and Rutgers.
Baylor: I have the Bears out, but I think they are the team that I will be wrong about. I took Villanova over them. Baylor’s best win is a neutral court win over Notre Dame back in November. Their only good conference wins were over Kansas State and Texas A&M once. They lost to Colorado in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.
UMass: The Minutemen were 7-3 in their last ten games, which is good. The problem I have is that UMass didn’t post the quality wins that I would like to see. Their best non-conference win was at Syracuse, and their best conference win was at Dayton.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have a good chance of getting in, because one of the people on the selection committee is from Ohio State. My problem with Ohio State is that the entire weight of their resume rests on their wins at home against Purdue and Michigan State. Those are good wins, but they are easily negated by losses to Michigan and Iowa.
Virginia Tech: Despite Seth Greenberg’s thinking his team should be in by having a good performance against North Carolina, the committee only sees it as a loss. The Hokies only have the one win over Miami. The rest of their resume is not good.
Virginia Commonwealth: The Rams are the last team I could see the committee possibly giving a bid to. They have ten road wins, including one road win over Maryland. The only problem is that Maryland win is their best win and it is not so great.
1 seeds: Memphis, North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas
2 seeds: Tennessee, Texas, Georgetown, Wisconsin
3 seeds: Duke, Stanford, Louisville, Xavier
4 seeds: Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Washington State, Drake
5 seeds: Michigan State, UConn, Marquette, Clemson
6 seeds: Purdue, Butler, Gonzaga, Indiana
7 seeds: Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Southern Cal, Texas A&M
8 seeds: BYU, UNLV, Oklahoma, Davidson
9 seeds: Mississippi State, St. Mary’s, Arkansas, Kansas State
10 seeds: St. Joe’s, South Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois State
11 seeds: Miami (FL), Arizona, Arizona State, Temple
12 seeds: Kent State, Georgia, Oregon, Western Kentucky
13 seeds: George Mason, Boise State, Oral Roberts, San Diego
14 seeds: Cornell, Siena, Cal State Fullerton, Winthrop
15 seeds: Portland State, UMBC, Belmont, Austin Peay
16 seeds: Mount St. Mary’s, Mississippi Valley State, Coppin State, Texas-Arlington, American
Last four in: Arizona, Arizona State, Illinois State, Oregon
Last four out: Villanova, Baylor, UMass, Ohio State
Next four out: Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, New Mexico, Maryland
Next four out: Syracuse, Dayton, UAB, Houston
Bold = Conference Champion
* = Projected Conference Champion