On the final day of the year, the Mountain West is the second-ranked conference in the country, ahead of all power conferences besides the Big Ten. Six teams from this mid-major are in my bracket projections this week, and eight of the nine member schools are above .500. Keep an eye out for this league in 2013.
As always, I am not trying to guess how teams will finish the year. I am simply seeding them based on their current resumes.
I like to break teams down into three categories:
1. Wallflowers are bubble teams, because everyone wants to get into the Big Dance, but not all have the guts to ask a girl out onto the dance floor.
2. An Elite team that is safely in the field is "Dancing with a Hottie."
3. A school in the middle is "Dancing with Its Sister."
For two of the past three years, my final bracket projections have been more accurate than those of ESPN's Joe Lunardi, and I had the most accurate projections in the country in 2011.
I'll begin with the two First Four at-large-bid games:
(11a) Pittsburgh vs. (11b) BYU
(12a) Maryland vs. (12b) Texas A&M
First Seven Teams Out: Iowa State, Ole Miss, La Salle, Iowa, Seton Hall, Marquette, Arizona State
The projections are presented in slideshow format, with each major conference receiving its own slide.
First up is the ACC.