Bracketeering No. 6: Atlantic Ten and Mountain West Represent
I don't agree with some pundits that Kentucky should move down to the two seeds. True, they haven't had a monster schedule - yet - but their lone loss came on the road in conference play against a South Carolina team that really isn't bad, especially when you consider they've dealt with injuries and suspensions. However, Villanova takes over as the overall no. 1 seed.
The big story in this week's bracket projection is the seed breakdown. The Big 12 and Big East continue to lead with seven teams a piece but the Atlantic 10 and ACC are tied for second with six teams each. The A-10 has several teams with strong RPIs and overall records. They deserve strong representation as does the Mountain West, which gets four teams in this week. The Big 10 and SEC get five in, and it was close for each conference on that fifth team.
The last four to get invites were San Diego State(top 40 RPI, beat New Mexico, only bad loss was to Wyoming), Richmond(tied for 3rd in the A-10, good RPI, beat Missouri and Florida), Illinois(tied for 2nd in Big 10, beat Clemson and Vanderbilt) and Florida (beat Michigan State and Florida State, 3rd in the SEC East).
The first four on the outside lookin in were Virginia(RPI in the 90s), Tulsa(lost badly to Nevada and Nebraska), Mississippi State(lost to Rider, Western Kentucky and Arkansas) and Wichita State(outside of Northern Iowa they have no strong wins).
There are some rivalry games in the first round that probably won't happen in the real bracket but would be fun to watch.
1 Villanova(Big East) v. 16 Lafayette(Patriot)
2 Purdue(Big 10) v. 15 Coastal Carolina(Big South)
3 Texas(Big 12) v. 14 Kent State(MAC)
4 Northern Iowa(MVC) v. 13 Western Carolina(Southern)
5 Tennessee(SEC) v. 12 San Diego State(MWC)
6 Florida State(ACC) v. 11 Florida(SEC)
7 Rhode Island(A-10) v. 10 St. Mary’s(Big West)
8 Clemson(ACC) v. 9 Oklahoma State(Big 12)
1 Syracuse(Big East) v. 16 Arkansas State(Sun Belt)
2 Duke(ACC) v. 15 Stony Brook(America East)
3 Kansas State(Big 12) v. Northern Colorado(Big Sky)
4 Vanderbilt(SEC) v. 13 Louisiana Tech(WAC)
5 New Mexico(MWC) v. 12 Illinois(Big 10)
6 Ohio State(Big 10) v. 11 Louisville(Big East)
7 UAB(Conference USA) v. 10 Charlotte(A-10)
8 Baylor(Big 12) v. 9 Maryland(ACC)
1 Kansas(Big 12) v. 16 Play-In Winner
2 West Virginia(Big East) v. 15 Sam Houston State(Southland)
3 Temple(A-10) v. 14 Oakland(Summit)
4 Butler(Horizon) v. 13 Old Dominion(CAA)
5 Pittsburgh(Big East) v. 12 Richmond(A-10)
6 Wisconsin(Big 10) v. 11 Texas A&M(Big 12)
7 Wake Forest(ACC) v. 10 UNLV(MWC)
8 Ole Miss(SEC) v. 9 Cornell(Ivy)
1 Kentucky(SEC) v. 16 Jacksonville(Atlantic Sun)
2 Michigan State(Big 10) v. 15 Morgan State(MEAC)
3 Georgetown(Big East) v. 14 Pacific(Big West)
4 Brigham Young (MWC) v. 13 Siena(MAAC)
5 Georgia Tech(ACC) v. 12 Murray State(OVC)
6 Gonzaga(WCC) v. 11 Dayton(A-10)
7 Missouri(Big 12) v. 10 California(Pac-10)
8 Xavier(A-10) v. 9 Cincinnati(Big East)
Play-In Game: Robert Morris(Northeast) v. Alabama State(SWAC)
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