As it turns out, moving Michigan State late was a miss, as the committee kept Gonzaga on the top line as the fourth No. 1 seed. Gonzaga was likely rewarded for their No. 2 NET ranking and win over Duke, even with Michigan State finishing with 13 Quadrant 1 wins. Even Tennessee ranked higher than Michigan State on the seed list, allowing them to stay away from Duke and be placed in the South region with Virginia (which was the closest region anyway to Tennessee).
As far as the bubble is concerned, that was a late switch I did get correct, as St. John’s ended up as the final team in the field, while North Carolina State wasn’t even among the first four out. In the end, the Johnnies’ NET ranking did not hurt them as the focus seemed to be on Quadrant 1 wins, of which St. John’s had five, compared to just three for North Carolina State, with only one coming against a tournament team in Auburn.
BELMONT IS IN THE FIELD!
I’ve never been happier to have been wrong about a team. It is very exciting to see Belmont in the field. The committee liked how Belmont made the most of their opportunities, with their two Quadrant 1 wins over Murray State and Lipscomb. In fact, had Oregon not won the Pac-12, Belmont would’ve been among the last four byes group and UNC Greensboro, believe it or not, would’ve been the last team in.
In the end, the last four in were Belmont, Temple, Arizona State and St. John’s, while the first four out were UNC Greensboro, Alabama, TCU and Indiana.
With the new era of the NET ranking and no idea how the committee would deal with the new rankings and data, I’m happy to have only missed one team in the field. I had TCU in over Belmont. I ended up with 67 teams correctly selected, 38 of those teams correctly seeded and another 24 teams within one seed line. I missed four teams by two seed lines (Buffalo, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall and Iowa) and one team by three lines (Syracuse).
Overall, I am happy with my performance, I’m happy I made the right call to move St. John’s in and happy to have been wrong about Gonzaga as a top seed and Belmont in the field.
Also, for comparison’s sake, here is the NCAA seed list alongside where I had the teams ranked in my final seed list.
Final seeds list vs. final projection
|49||New Mexico State||49|
|66||Prairie View A&M||65|
|65||North Dakota State||67|
|68||North Carolina Central||68|
This has been a fantastic season and another successful one, my ninth year doing bracketology. Stay tuned to see how I fared compared to the other bracketologists on the Bracket Matrix.