Thursday, March 2, 2017
Rapid Bracket Analysis- 2 MAR
Well, Xavier is still an NCAA-eligible team that will be considered by the committee, but I cannot imagine them looking past the fork sticking out of their back. With so much praise being heaped on how well Carrington and Delgado are playing for Seton Hall, Marquette's unconscious shooting, and Providence's... ability to play 40 minutes better than the other team, Xavier has no buzz, and beating DePaul by 50 twice is not going to change that. They beat Butler, then we can talk about them getting their 10 seed back. Seton Hall is in the best shape to sneak in instead, but last night belonged to the Demon Deacon's (and Northwestern, but different level of the bubble). The committee will want an excuse to get some good airtime for one of the top big men in the country, so the play-in game is fitting. The bracket shifts 5 seeds to accommodate the extra ACC team, with UVA going to the South and SMU heading west. Houston jumps over to the 12 line to grab Syracuse, while Providence gets Wake. URI is the big beneficiary, riding into a bye on the 11 line, and 7 seeds Creighton and Dayton flop regions to balance the A-10 and Big East teams.
One other bracketing note. As the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, and Big East crowd the field, all attempts to avoid conference rematches will be taken. Region semifinals are the earliest they can meet, but in these cases, I have aligned lower seeded teams (i.e. 12 Syracuse, 9 Miami; 10 MSU, 11 Northwestern) basically requiring upsets to occur to make it happen. Favorites should be expected to play through the rest of the country. The closest instance I have is 1 UNC and 5 UVA... and that is the conference finals, and would be fun again.