Monday, March 13, 2017
5-8 seeds, more analysis
5 SEEDS: 8 points
ME: Notre Dame, Wichita State, Butler, Iowa State
FIELD: Notre Dame, Iowa State, Virginia, Minnesota
Analysis: Iowa State and Notre Dame played their way up last week. Virginia certainly has slumped the last month, but the advanced metrics say they are much closer to top seed performance than where I had them (6). Minnesota is a slight reach here, but acceptable based on their finish. The Shockers just opened as a 6 point favorite despite getting the 10 seed shaft and that is already surging upwards, which shows what the public thought of that decision. Has a 10 seed ever been a 6-7 point favorite before. This was just reckless and irresponsible and the Kentucky boosters will not let them forget it if it derails them
6 SEEDS: 8 points
ME: Cincinnati, Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota
FIELD: Cincinnati, Southern Methodist, Creighton, Maryland
Analysis: Cinci was good. The Jays made a passionate run late, but really don’t have the weapons for a second weekend run. The committee did pit Dana Altman against his former club if they even survive that long. The problem I have is that I actually watch the games. Maryland has not been very good this year. They are the poster child for an overrated Big 10. Turgeon would be on the hot seat if not for miracle wins over American, Georgetown, Richmond, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Michigan State. 12 loss team in disguise here, and not sure what alternate reality they are 2 lines better than Wisconsin, though wounded Xavier may be a fair matchup.
7 SEEDS: 7 points
ME: Virginia Commonwealth, Saint Mary’s, Michigan, Creighton
FIELD: Saint Mary’s, Michigan, Dayton, South Carolina
Analysis: Given how far the committee dumped Wichita State, it’s amazing they let the Gaels hang on this despite getting swept by Gonzaga 3-0. They must have a very high opinion of the Zags. Michigan played their way up to this line, because as of 2 weeks ago, they were barely in at all. I had Dayton on the 7 line until the Davidson loss, dropping them behind VCU in the A-10 pecking order. South Carolina has not been the same since their 4OT loss to Alabama at home. 2 of their 3 wins were against MSU, who is not playing any postseason basketball. As much as I love Sin-D, the Cocks look more like a 9-10 seed across the board, weaker than other SEC fodder Arkansas and Vanderbilt.
8 SEEDS: 1 point
ME: Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State, Dayton, Oklahoma State
FIELD: Arkansas, Wisconsin, Miami, Northwestern
Analysis: So far, the committee had been pretty solid, but here is where things begin to get a little wacky. If Northwestern was really this safe as an 8 seed, why was the Michigan game so critical? And how do they get on the same line as Wisconsin, a team that out played them all season, and recently clobbered them on a neutral floor. The Badgers hit a slump, but nothing more severe than NW. These teams are 4 lines apart. Miami snuck into this spot. I was holding them as a 9 and VT as a 10 until the final numbers came out. Arkansas has been cruising the 8/9 line since recovering from the Missouri loss.