FINAL BP68

The most controversial pick in my bracket is going to be UT-Arlington in over Kansas State. I've detailed just why Syracuse should not be in this bracket, but I think that UT-Arlington will be rewarded for a very difficult non-conference strength of schedule. Illinois State is the “mid-major resume” that many are focusing on, but the fact is that UT-Arlington played a significantly tougher non-conference schedule and has the better premier win (at Saint Mary's). The bad losses, historically, just don't matter much. There's a history of the Selection Committee making a statement about non-conference strength of schedules, and if they do this season then they'll reward UT-Arlington (non-conference RPI SOS of 38) and punish Kansas State (non-conference RPI SOS of 228).

Other than the bubble, the public discussion always focuses on the 1 seeds. To me, it's between Kentucky and Duke. I understand that North Carolina won the ACC regular season title while Duke was 5th, but the fact is that the ACC schedule is very unbalanced (and North Carolina had a much softer schedule than Duke). Duke/Kentucky is a 50/50 pick, and I went with the better wins and better league with Duke. If it's Kentucky, I won't complain.

1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
1. Kansas
1. GONZAGA (WCC)
1. DUKE (ACC)

2. KENTUCKY (SEC)
2. North Carolina
2. ARIZONA (PAC-12)
2. Baylor

3. Oregon
3. Louisville
3. UCLA
3. Florida State

4. Butler
4. West Virginia
4. Notre Dame
4. Florida

5. IOWA STATE (BIG 12)
5. Virginia
5. SMU (AAC)
5. Purdue

6. MICHIGAN (BIG TEN)
6. Wisconsin
6. Minnesota
6. Cincinnati

7. Maryland
7. Creighton
7. Saint Mary's
7. Arkansas

8. Vanderbilt
8. Michigan State
8. Oklahoma State
8. WICHITA STATE (MVC)

9. South Carolina
9. Northwestern
9. Virginia Tech
9. RHODE ISLAND (ATLANTIC TEN)

10. Dayton
10. VCU
10. Miami FL
10. Xavier

11. Wake Forest
11. Seton Hall
11. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (CONFERENCE USA)
11. USC
11. Providence

12. Marquette
12. UT-Arlington
12. NEVADA (MOUNTAIN WEST)
12. UNC-WILMINGTON (COLONIAL)
12. BUCKNELL (PATRIOT)

13. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
13. PRINCETON (IVY LEAGUE)
13. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
13. EAST TENNESSEE ST (SOCON)

14. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)
14. IONA (MAAC)
14. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)
15. NORTHERN KENTUCKY (HORIZON)

15. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)
15. KENT STATE (MAC)
15. TROY (SUN BELT)
15. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (SUMMIT)

16. NORTH DAKOTA (BIG SKY)
16. MOUNT ST MARY'S (NEC)
16. JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC)
16. NEW ORLEANS (SOUTHLAND)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)
16. UC-DAVIS (BIG WEST)

If I missed somebody on the bubble, these are the most likely teams:
Syracuse, Kansas State, Illinois State, California

Other more distant possibilities – that could possibly get a bid but probably shouldn't:
Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, TCU, Alabama, Georgia, BYU

About the Author: Taylor Coburn

Hi my name is Taylor C Copburn I love to play the odds and beat the point spread on NFL, NCAA and NBA games. Breaking down the risk value and finding the angle to collect on my wagers.

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