College Basketball: Schmolik 64 Bracket Predictions Update (3/4/13)

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College Basketball: Schmolik 64 Bracket Predictions Update (3/4/13)
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Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the latest update for the 2013 Schmolik 64. At the end of the regular season, I will pick a complete NCAA bracket with the teams I think belong in the NCAA field and where they should be seeded. Up to then, there will be updates to see where your team stands if the season ended today (records as of Sunday, March 3, 2013). After the list, I will give some reasons why certain teams were chosen or not chosen and why they were seeded where they were.

Since in many low-to-mid-major conferences regular-season play has concluded, I am seeding a complete 68-team bracket for the first time this season.

Dates:

Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 21-23, Fri/Sun March 22-24

Regionals: Thur/Sat March 28-30, Fri/Sun March 29-31

MIDWEST REGIONAL (Indianapolis, IN - Fri/Sun)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(1) Indiana (25-4) vs. (16) Play In Game C Winner

(8) Notre Dame (22-7) vs. (9) California (20-9)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(5) St. Louis (23-5) vs. (12) St. Mary's (25-5)

Which of these teams is most deserving of a No. 1 seed?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

(4) Kansas State (23-5) vs. (13) Akron (22-5)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(6) Minnesota (20-9) vs. (11) Temple (21-8)

(3) Florida (23-5) vs. (14) Valparaiso (23-7)  

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat

(7) Illinois (20-9) vs. (10) San Diego State (18-8)

(2) Louisville (24-5) vs. (15) Robert Morris (22-9)


SOUTH REGIONAL (North Texas, TX - Fri/Sun)

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat

(1) Miami (23-5) vs. (16) Play In Game A winner

(8) Oklahoma (19-9) vs. (9) Oregon (23-6)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(5) Butler (21-7) vs. (12) Play In Game D winner

(4) Syracuse (22-7) vs. (13) Louisiana Tech (25-3)

Of the Last Four In, who least deserves to make the field?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Auburn Hills, MI - Thur/Sat

 

(6) UNLV (21-7) vs. (11) Cincinnati (20-9)

(3) Michigan (23-5) vs. (14) Davidson (22-7)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(7) UCLA (22-7) vs. (10) Wichita State (24-7)

(2) Kansas (25-4) vs. (15) Montana (18-6)

 

WEST REGIONAL (Los Angeles, CA - Thur/Sat)

Salt Lake City, UT - Thur/Sat

(1) Gonzaga (28-2) vs. (16) Long Beach State (15-11)

(8) Colorado State (20-7) vs. (9) Missouri (21-8)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) North Carolina (20-8) vs. (12) Play In Game B winner

(4) Arizona (23-6) vs. (13) Stephen F. Austin (20-3)

Salt Lake City, UT - Thur/Sat

Does Kentucky belong in the NCAA field?

Submit Vote vote to see results

(6) Wisconsin (20-9) vs. (11) La Salle (20-7)

(3) New Mexico (25-4) vs. (14) Stony Brook (22-6)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(7) NC State (21-8) vs. (10) Belmont (22-6)

(2) Georgetown (23-4) vs. (15) Princeton (15-9)

 

EAST REGIONAL (Washington, DC - Thur/Sat)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(1) Duke (25-4) vs. (16) Mercer (19-10)

(8) Creighton (24-7) vs. (9) Pittsburgh (23-7)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) Oklahoma State (22-6) vs. (12) Boise State (18-8)

(4) Ohio State (21-7) vs. (13) Bucknell (24-5)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(6) Virginia Commonwealth (23-6) vs. (11) Middle Tennessee (27-4)

(3) Marquette (21-7) vs. (14) South Dakota State (19-9)

Auburn Hills. MI - Thur/Sat

(7) Memphis (25-4) vs. (10) Colorado (19-9)

(2) Michigan State (21-7) vs. (15) Niagara (18-12)

Final Four Matchups: Midwest Regional Winner vs. South Regional Winner, West Regional Winner vs. East Regional Winner

FIRST FOUR (Dayton, OH)

Tue. March 19

Game A (South No. 16 seed): Norfolk State (19-10) vs. Charleston Southern (14-11). Winner plays No. 1 seed Miami in Lexington, KY

Game B (West No. 12 seed): Villanova (17-12) vs. Southern Mississippi (20-7). Winner plays No. 5 seed North Carolina in San Jose, CA

Wed. March 20

Game C (Midwest No. 16 seed): Northeastern (19-11) vs. Southern (18-9). Winner plays No. 1 seed Indiana in Dayton, OH

Game D (South No. 12 seed): Tennessee (17-11) vs. Virginia (20-9). Winner plays No. 5 seed Butler in Austin, TX

Bids By Conference

Big East: 8 (1 First Four)

Big Ten: 7

 

A-10: 5 

MWC: 5

Pac-12: 5

ACC: 5 (1 First Four)

Big 12: 4

SEC: 3 (1 First Four)

MVC: 2

WCC: 2

C-USA: 2 (1 First Four)

Remaining Bids: 20 

Analysis

As always, RPI numbers are courtesy of CBS Sports.com.

Congratulations to Gonzaga for being ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls today.

However, they are only ranked ninth in the RPI. The only other conference rival ranked in the RPI Top 50 is St. Mary's. Gonzaga has only three wins versus the RPI Top 25, with the highest being No. 18 Kansas State. Meanwhile, Indiana has seven wins versus the RPI Top 25, the most of any team. That is why they are the No. 1 overall seed in this bracket.

That being said, you have to give credit for Gonzaga this season. They have lost just two games in a season in which no other team has lost fewer than four games. Gonzaga still may have to win the WCC Tournament to maintain their No. 1 seed. There are plenty of teams in other conferences ready to take Gonzaga's spot if Gonzaga falls.

Despite losing to Virginia, Duke still has the overall No. 1 RPI ranking and a claim to a No. 1 seed. They beat Miami and Louisville this season.

Finally, Miami wins the final No. 1 seed. Georgetown and Kansas both lead their conferences. But I felt Georgetown's non-conference schedule (ranked No. 187) hurt their chances. Miami currently leads the ACC by two games over Duke and defeated them by a large margin. The Hurricanes also beat Michigan State in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. As for Kansas, their loss to TCU really hurt their chances. 

New Mexico is a very interesting case. They clinched the Mountain West Conference's regular-season championship. They are ranked second in overall RPI and first in conference RPI. But they are hurt by only three RPI Top 25 wins. Another candidate for a No. 2 seed is Florida. They currently have just one RPI Top 25 win. I felt Michigan State and Louisville were stronger No. 2 seeds than Florida and New Mexico. 

Near the bottom of the bracket, it was hard to overlook Southern Mississippi's RPI (No. 34). Virginia earned their spot with a win over RPI No. 1 ranked Duke. Villanova has wins over Louisville, Marquette, and Syracuse.

As for the SEC, they have four teams ranked between No. 51 and No. 60. Of these four teams, only Tennessee has a win over Florida. They've also beaten Kentucky and split with Alabama. The Volunteers were swept by Mississippi, but Mississippi's resume was hurt badly by a loss to Mississippi State (ranked No. 226).

Kentucky (RPI No. 51, the highest RPI to not receive a bid) is hurt by head-to-head losses to both Alabama and Tennessee (they lost to Tennessee by 30 points). They will also be judged more in their last few games without Nerlens Noel, who is out for the season. The Wildcats have a big chance to make noise this Saturday at home against Florida.

Arkansas also has wins over Florida and Kentucky, but an RPI of 80 is too low for consideration. So is Iowa (No. 86), even though they may finish at .500 in the Big Ten.

With so many bubble teams, the SEC Tournament looks to be big in who gets in from the SEC. 

Compare my bracket to CBS Sports Bracketology and many others at Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix.

Remember to comment! If you think a team or teams that are out should be in or teams are in should be out, let me hear from you!

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