NCAA – Chris’ 2019 NCAA Tournament Final Field Projection + Mock Bracket

America East – Stony Brook*
AAC – South Florida*, Memphis
A10 – Saint Louis*
ACC – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Virginia, [3] Florida State, Duke, Virginia Tech, NC State, Louisville, Clemson, Notre Dame
A-Sun – Lipscomb*
Big 12 – [3] Kansas*, [3] Oklahoma State, [4] Texas Tech, West Virginia, Texas
Big East – Xavier*, Georgetown
Big Sky – Northern Colorado*
Big South – Radford*
Big Ten – Penn State*, [4] Rutgers, [4] Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa
Big West – Cal State Fullerton*
CAA – Hofstra*
C-USA – North Texas*, Florida Atlantic
Horizon – Milwaukee*
Ivy – [3] Brown*, Harvard
MAAC – Monmouth*
MAC – Bowling Green*
MVC – Loyola Chicago*
Mountain West – Boise State*
NEC – Central Connecticut State*
OVC – Belmont*
Pac-12 – [1] Stanford*, [2] UCLA, [2] USC, [4] Washington, Washington State, Cal, Arizona, Colorado
Patriot – Navy*
SEC – [1] South Carolina*, [2] Arkansas, Texas A&M, Florida, Vanderbilt
SoCon – Samford*
Southland – Lamar*
SWAC – Prairie View A&M*
Summit – South Dakota State*
Sun Belt – South Alabama*
WCC – [2] BYU*, Santa Clara, Pepperdine
WAC – Seattle*

Last Five IN – Colorado, Notre Dame, Florida Atlantic, Harvard, Iowa
Last Nine OUT – TCU, Tennessee, Yale, Georgia, Utah, Columbia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Oregon State

The Palo Alto-Columbia quadrant winners would play each other in the final four, as would the Chapel Hill-Charlottesville quadrant winners.

Palo Alto Quadrant

[1] Stanford vs Northern Colorado
Michigan vs Bowling Green
[4] Washington vs Seattle
South Florida vs Florida Atlantic

[2] USC vs Pepperdine
Florida vs Clemson
[3] Florida State vs South Alabama
Santa Clara vs Cal

Columbia Quadrant

[1] South Carolina vs Samford
NC State vs Georgetown
[4] Texas Tech vs Arizona
Louisville vs Xavier

[2] UCLA vs Cal State Fullerton
Hofstra vs Stony Brook
[3] Brown vs Central Connecticut State
Washington State vs Texas

Chapel Hill Quadrant

[1] North Carolina vs Radford
Vanderbilt vs Lipscomb
[4] Wisconsin vs Milwaukee
Duke vs Colorado

[2] BYU vs Boise State
Saint Louis vs Iowa
[3] Kansas vs South Dakota State
Notre Dame vs Loyola Chicago

Charlottesville Quadrant

[1] Virginia vs Navy
Penn State vs Harvard
[4] Rutgers vs Monmouth
Virginia Tech vs West Virginia

[2] Arkansas vs Prairie View A&M
Memphis vs Belmont
[3] Oklahoma State vs Lamar
Texas A&M vs North Texas

NCAA – Chris’ 2019 Bracketology v6.0

* = projected automatic bid winner
[ ] = projected national seed

AAC (1) – Memphis*
ACC (9) – [1] North Carolina*, [2] Florida State, [1] Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, NC State, Louisville, Clemson, Notre Dame
America East (1) – Stony Brook*
Atlantic 10 (1) – Saint Louis*
A-Sun (1) – Lipscomb*
Big 12 (5) – [4] Oklahoma State*, [3] Texas Tech, Kansas, Texas, West Virginia
Big East (2) – Xavier*, Georgetown
Big Sky (1) – Montana*
Big South (1) – High Point*
Big Ten (5) – [4] Rutgers*, [3] Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa
Big West (1) – Cal State Fullerton*
CAA (1) – Hofstra*
C-USA (1) – Florida Atlantic*
Horizon (1) – Milwaukee*
Ivy (1) – [3] Brown*
MAAC (1) – Monmouth*
MAC (1) – Bowling Green*
Missouri Valley (1) – Loyola Chicago*
Mountain West (1) – Boise State*
NEC (1) – Central Connecticut State*
OVC (1) – Southeast Missouri State*
Pac-12 (8) – [1] Stanford*, [2] USC, [2] UCLA, Washington State, [4] Washington, Cal, Arizona, Colorado
Patriot (1) – Navy*
SEC (7) – [1] Arkansas*, [2] South Carolina, [4] Texas A&M, Florida, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tennessee
SoCon (1) – Samford*
Southland (1) – Lamar*
Summit (1) – Denver*
Sun Belt (1) – South Alabama*
SWAC (1) – Howard*
WAC (1) – Seattle*
WCC (4) – [3] BYU*, Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Portland

Last Five In – Portland, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, Georgia
Last Nine Out – Alabama, Baylor, Ole Miss, Harvard, Oregon State, South Florida, San Francisco, Yale, Columbia

National Seeds

1 – North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Stanford
2 – UCLA, USC, Florida State, South Carolina
3 – BYU, Brown, Texas Tech, Wisconsin
4 – Rutgers, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Washington

Also Considered – Duke, NC State, Kansas

Pod Projections

Chapel Hill – North Carolina, South Carolina, Brown, Texas A&M
Charlottesville – Virginia, Florida State, Wisconsin, Rutgers
Fayetteville – Arkansas, UCLA, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State
Palo Alto – Stanford, USC, BYU, Washington

NCAA – Chris’ Infamous 2019 Conference Tournament Week Bubble Cheat Sheet

Here’s my annual look at what your favorite bubble teams need heading into the last eight days of matches to get them into the NCAA Tournament. As always, this is at best an educated guess.

Anyone currently ranked 1-25 is considered a “lock”. Anyone currently ranked below #62 almost assuredly needs an automatic bid.

Rank School Notes
26 Cal Has the strength in wins to survive two losses, if it came to that.
27 Colorado Pressure likely off after beating Washington. Only danger would be with two losses, but even so, odds of missing out are low
28 West Virginia RPI rank is fine, but their profile of big results stinks (1 RPI Top 50 win). Beating Kansas would end doubt, but they may squeak through even with loss.
29 Santa Clara Have the results to survive last week setbacks, but they’ll probably power through to two wins.
30 Clemson Taking at most one more loss, and that would be against strong opposition. Could be in running for seed with a few wins.
31 Michigan RPI rank is solid, but results vs. big teams is middling. Might be time to sweat if upset by Maryland.
32 Florida Atlantic FIU decimated their RPI. I don’t think they could survive losing before the C-USA Tournament final and may still need auto bid.
33 Georgetown Don’t have many big wins to bolster resume. Leaning towards being safe, but opponent in BE semi-final will be vital.
34 Notre Dame Draws more impressive than wins but still probably enough to survive loss vs North Carolina.
35 Iowa Should have enough in the big results column to survive a loss to Penn State if it happens.
36 Vanderbilt Wins over bubble rivals Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia might make all the difference. Loss on Tuesday could make them sweat.
37 Alabama Sinking like the Titanic. Another loss to Auburn on Sunday likely dooms them.
38 Penn State The Hofstra win might be what gets them in. Go figure. Haven’t had a meaningful result in ages, so beating Iowa wouldn’t hurt.
39 Harvard Just one RPI Top 50 win (Yale) and lost title hopes this weekend. Almost no chance unless committee favors Ivy’s conference RPI
40 South Florida No significant results vs Top 50 opposition. Pretty much needs to win the AAC Tournament.
41 Arizona Non-Conference RPI is almost laughably bad but strong collection of league wins means there’s no real pressure.
42 Yale Losing to Columbia certainly didn’t help. Have to beat Brown in the regular season finale…and do a lot of hoping.
43 Texas Likely has the wins (Washington, Kansas) to survive an early Big 12 Tournament exit.
44 Portland Tough because remaining games are nothing but RPI downside. Likely comes down to if committee values draw with Washington at all.
45 Oregon State Non-conference profile is killing them. Win vs USC (or maybe a draw) helps their case. But may not have results without it.
46 Saint Louis No results vs Top 50 RPI teams = no chance at an at-large.
47 Pepperdine With their profile of results, only way they don’t make it is if they fall out of bubble range which might take two losses.
48 Xavier Great story but with no RPI Top 50 results, they aren’t making it without the auto bid.
49 Tennessee Will be a controversial but not totally surprising pick if they make it with results vs Florida (W), South Carolina (D). Might have too many adverse results vs bubble rivals
50 Columbia Beating Yale helps. Beating Harvard next week would be better but still not likely enough.
51 Monmouth Does have win over Texas, but that’s probably not enough in the unlikely event of not winning the MAAC Tournament.
52 Ole Miss Need at least one win in Orange Beach, maybe two. It’s curtains with a loss to Mississippi State.
53 Baylor Likely in with win vs Texas Tech. If not…does the committee value the draw with USC? Bubble win vs West Virginia might be huge.
54 Georgia Could complete the Greatest Escape with a win against South Carolina. Even if they lose, they might have a sliver of hope given recent results vs Arkansas & Florida.
55 Milwaukee No results vs RPI Top 50 Teams, so no chance for at-large.
56 DePaul Going to be an interesting case. If they beat Villanova on Sunday. Has wins vs Kansas & Georgetown. Lose on Sunday though, and it’s all a moot point.
57 Ball State No results vs RPI Top 50 Teams, so no chance for at-large.
58 San Francisco So close, yet so far against BYU. Likely needs to beat Santa Clara in the finale…and maybe Pepperdine before that.
59 Furman No results vs RPI Top 50 Teams, so no chance for at-large.
60 Oregon Has to win last two to even get eligible for at-large. Considering that involves beating UCLA, it’s not likely but would see them in with a real chance if it happens.
61 TCU Brutal non-conference results strike again. Has to beat Texas on Sunday, may need to get to final to stay in RPI range.
62 Wake Forest Finished under .500, so not eligible for at-large.

NCAA – Chris’ NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch v5.0

This is the final edition of Bubble Watch. My famous bubble “cheat sheet” will likely be posted within the next week.

AAC

LOCK – Memphis
BUBBLE – South Florida

Memphis won both games against the AAC’s Texas schools to all but wrap up their bid. They’re hopes for a seed aren’t exactly being helped by the league’s meh-ness this year though. The Tigers have also played just two teams in the RPI Top 30, beating South Florida and losing to Kansas.

South Florida should be safe barring two meltdowns in their next two, and even that might not be enough to scuttle their hopes. USF probably doesn’t want to press their luck though, as their profile of big results is not good at all. Taking care of UCF in Orlando on Halloween would prevent any frightful scenarios in the AAC Tournament.

Atlantic 10

BUBBLE – Saint Louis

Saint Louis had to sweat a little bit in their regular season finale but still wrapped up a title with a dramatic win at George Washington. The Billikens will need three more of those to punch their ticket and potentially give someone a tough time in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

ACC

LOCK – North Carolina, Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Duke, Louisville
BUBBLE – Clemson, NC State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Boston College

There’s not been a ton of movement in the ACC’s bubble picture. Florida State’s odds of a #1 seed have dipped though, as the Noles now have H2H losses against rivals North Carolina and Virginia. Virginia Tech, Duke, and Louisville are also all in the battle for seeding. Clemson’s a lock in all but name right now and probably is in with a win or loss against Boston College in the regular season finale.

NC State has won two straight to ensure they aren’t going to run afoul of the under .500 cutline and basically wrapped a bid up with a win over Notre Dame on Sunday. The Irish haven’t won in four matches but probably have just enough on their profile to not worry about the bubble.

Wake Forest would have to beat Notre Dame in the regular season finale and then hope for a miracle with a record of 7-7-4. They got in in similar circumstances last year but also had a much better resume. With a win over Santa Clara and draws against Virginia and NC State though, the Demon Deacons aren’t totally out of it. Boston College also needs a miracle that would begin with beating Clemson in the regular season finale. But BC’s non-conference slate likely consigns them to no NCAA Tournament regardless.

Big 12

LOCK – Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas
BUBBLE – West Virginia, Texas, TCU, Baylor

The bubble picture in the Big 12 is still a little murky. The top trio of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Kansas are all safely in the field at this point, but they don’t seem particularly capable of rising to the top two lines in seeding given shaky non-conference resumes. Whoever emerges as Big 12 Tournament champs figures to have a decent case for a seed though (if it’s from that three).

West Virginia’s RPI may be reasonable, but dig a little deeper into their profile and there’s reason to worry. This WVU side’s best win in the RPI is a road victory against fellow bubble team Texas. There’s also a head-to-head loss to Baylor to worry about. There’s a real chance that WVU could miss out if they have back-to-back losses to close out their season before the NCAAs. TCU is in dire straits as well, though that’s more based on their RPI ranking than resume, as they do have a win at Texas Tech and draws with Oklahoma State and Kansas. The match vs WVU on Halloween could be an elimination game.

Texas’ RPI ranking isn’t great, but they have wins against Washington and Kansas, which really helps their cause. Baylor hasn’t been great in the league and is really hoping that the draw against USC looks good in the committee’s eyes. The Bears do have head-to-head wins against West Virginia and TCU, but beating Oklahoma State in the regular season finale would be a huge boost. Continue reading

NCAA – Chris’ 2019 Bracketology v5.0

* = projected automatic bid winner
[ ] = projected national seed

AAC (2) – Memphis*, South Florida
ACC (9) – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Virginia, [2] Florida State, [4] Virginia Tech, [3] Duke, Louisville, Clemson, NC State, Notre Dame
America East (1) – Stony Brook*
Atlantic 10 (1) – Saint Louis*
Atlantic Sun (1) – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 (6) – Oklahoma State*, [3] Texas Tech, Kansas, Texas, TCU, West Virginia
Big East (2) – Xavier*, Georgetown
Big Sky (1) – Sacramento State*
Big South (1) – High Point*
Big Ten (5) – [3] Wisconsin*, [4] Rutgers, Michigan, Iowa, Penn State
Big West (1) – Cal State Fullerton*
CAA (1) – Hofstra*
C-USA (1) – Florida Atlantic*
Horizon (1) – Milwaukee*
Ivy (1) – [4] Brown*
MAAC (1) – Monmouth*
MAC (1) – Bowling Green*
MVC (1) – Loyola Chicago*
Mountain West (1) – Boise State*
NEC (1) – Central Connecticut State*
OVC (1) – Southeast Missouri State*
Pac-12 (8) – [1] Stanford*, [2] USC, [2] UCLA, [2] Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Cal, Colorado
Patriot (1) – Navy*
SEC (5) – [1] Arkansas*, [3] South Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee
SoCon (1) – Samford*
Southland (1) – Lamar*
SWAC (1) – Howard*
Summit (1) – South Dakota State*
Sun Belt (1) – South Alabama*
WCC (4) – [4] BYU*, Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Portland
WAC (1) – Seattle*

LAST IN – West Virginia, Portland, TCU, Penn State, Georgetown

LAST OUT – Alabama, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Baylor, Harvard, Oregon State, Yale, Boston College, Ball State

NCAA – Chris’ NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch v4.0

Through October 20’s matches…

AAC

BUBBLE – Memphis, South Florida

The bubble ranks of the AAC have been thinned out dramatically over the past few weeks. SMU was the first to fall, with a loss to Cincinnati pushing them out of range. While the Mustangs still have Memphis to play, they also have two more RPI killing games against Tulsa and Houston. UCF suffered back-to-back scoreless draws against Temple and UConn at home, ending their fleeting at-large hopes as well.

Memphis keeps rolling along and probably would’ve eased into lock status if not for a bad draw at East Carolina. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they have Houston and Tulsa as two of their last three, so they might just be looking to stay in the RPI Top 30 at the moment. South Florida has three on the road to close out the regular season and would be well advised to take care of business. USF has just a win at Wake Forest in terms of RPI Top 50 results, meaning they are still very much in danger. The Bulls can’t endure a sour end to the regular season, which would potentially make the AAC a single bid league.

Atlantic 10

BUBBLE – Saint Louis

Saint Louis is probably cursing the weather in Fairfax, as it forced an early end to their match against league bottom feeders George Mason, locking them into a 0-0 draw and ending their perfect run in the A10. For practical purposes, it really didn’t affect their almost non-existent hopes for an at-large bid. The A10 title essentially comes down to the match against fellow league leaders George Washington on Sunday.

ACC

LOCK – North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Clemson
BUBBLE – Notre Dame, NC State, Wake Forest, Boston College

Movement’s afoot in the ACC, not all of it good for the league’s hopes on the bubble. The good news is that there are three legitimate contenders for a #1 seed, with Virginia’s huge win on the road against Florida State pushing it to the top line for now, though it might be a tough call if they stay out of the top two in the league standings. The likes of Duke, Virginia Tech, Louisville, and Clemson are all safely in the field and battling for seeding down the stretch.

Things get a little more fraught at this stage. Notre Dame is probably in for all intents and purposes with their win at Michigan coupled with a draw at Louisville and a decent RPI. One more win would likely put them over the top. That win should be attainable, because two of their last three are against strugglers NC State and Wake Forest. I noted that NC State just needed to avoid a major screwup down the stretch to probably be safe. Well, they lost to Pittsburgh, which counts as a major screwup. The Wolfpack are largely riding their win over Georgetown and draw with Virginia at this point, though as long as they don’t lose all the rest of their games, they should be OK.

Wake Forest is looking increasingly cooked. They lost to Virginia Tech, which puts them under .500 with Pittsburgh approaching on Thursday. That’s an absolute must win for eligibility purposes, but Wake is in a position where they need another result against either Florida State or Notre Dame to stay at .500. Given their current form, it doesn’t look likely. Boston College is paying the price for their non-conference schedule, coming into the final weeks with zero RPI Top 50 wins. They have three chances to do so down the stretch. Bad news? Those three chances are at the Virginia schools and home to Clemson. A win likely helps their cause immeasurably, but they could easily lose all three matches.

Atlantic Sun

DANGER – Florida Gulf Coast

FGCU lost their unbeaten mark in A-Sun play with a loss to Liberty on Sunday. That has more league title ramifications than RPI ramifications, other than perhaps pushing the Eagles off the bubble a little sooner than hoped for. They’ll clinch at least a share of a league title this weekend provided they don’t slip up against a woeful Stetson side.

Big 12

LOCK – Kansas
BUBBLE – Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Texas, Baylor, TCU
DANGER – Oklahoma

There are increasing red flags around the Big 12 as some of the bubble contenders spring some leaks. On the right side of the bubble, Kansas will be looking to solidify their hopes of a national seed, but desperate West Virginia and TCU sides are looming this week, which could prove tricky. Oklahoma State is in a great position to wrap up the league title but may struggle for seeding traction thanks to their non-conference slate. Texas Tech’s form has become a bit erratic, which might keep them in the limbo of not good enough for a seed but too good to face real bubble trouble.

There are questions everywhere after that trio. West Virginia’s RPI is solid, but their actual profile looks like that of a team wheezing to the line. They have just one RPI Top 50 win, that at Texas, which may not be enough. Beating Kansas on Thursday would be a huge relief, but WVU may need to win their last three in the regular season to feel comfortable. Texas has their wins over Washington and Kansas in their back pocket, meaning they’ll likely bee on the right side of the bubble, barring a disaster.

There are more worries for Baylor, who had a great draw with USC but who have few notable wins. Crucially, they have head-to-head wins over TCU and West Virginia though. TCU seemingly saved their season with a win over Texas Tech in Lubbock on Friday, but they followed that up by losing to Baylor, 4-0, at home, which put them back into trouble. Oklahoma looks like they’re just about done despite having a win at Arkansas in the opener. Their RPI ranking is trending in the wrong direction, and they probably need to beat Oklahoma State and Texas to stay in contention. Continue reading

NCAA – Chris’ 2019 Bracketology v4.0

* = projected automatic bid winner
[ ] = projected national seed

America East (1) – Stony Brook*
AAC (2) – Memphis*, South Florida
Atlantic 10 (1) – Saint Louis*
ACC (9) – [2] North Carolina*, [2] Florida State, [1] Virginia, [2] Duke, [4] Virginia Tech, [3] Louisville, [3] Clemson, Notre Dame, NC State
A-Sun (1) – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 (5) – Oklahoma State*, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor
Big East (1) – Georgetown*
Big Sky (1) – Montana*
Big South (1) – High Point*
Big Ten (5) – [4] Wisconsin*, Rutgers, Michigan, Iowa, Penn State
Big West (1) – Cal State Fullerton*
CAA (1) – Hofstra*
C-USA (1) – North Texas*
Horizon (1) – Milwaukee*
Ivy (1) – [3] Brown*
MAAC (1) – Monmouth*
MAC (1) – Bowling Green*
MVC (1) – Loyola Chicago*
Mountain West (1) – Boise State*
NEC (1) – Bryant*
OVC (1) – Southeast Missouri State*
Pac-12 (9) – [1] Stanford*, [1] USC, [4] Washington, Washington State, [3] UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Oregon State, Colorado
Patriot (1) – Navy*
SEC (7) – [1] Arkansas*, [2] South Carolina, Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt
SoCon (1) – Samford*
Southland (1) – Lamar*
SWAC (1) – Howard*
Summit (1) – South Dakota State*
Sun Belt (1) – South Alabama*
WCC (3) – [4] BYU*, Pepperdine, Santa Clara
WAC (1) – Seattle*

LAST IN – Vanderbilt, Baylor, Ole Miss, Colorado, Oregon State

LAST OUT – West Virginia, TCU, Portland, Harvard, Providence, Utah, San Francisco, Florida Atlantic, Yale, Boston College, Tennessee

NCAA – Chris’ NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch v3.0

(Through October 13th’s matches…)

AAC

Bubble – Memphis, South Florida, SMU, UCF

Memphis is probably safe despite taking a tumble in the RPI, but it’s not exactly a sure thing. There’s a ton of downside left in the regular season schedule with Houston and Tulsa likely to drag their RPI down, even if the Tigers win. And they better win, because there’s not much in the way of great wins on their schedule other wise, with the win at South Florida their best on the season.

USF is coming off their bye week, meaning they have five matches left, none of which are against anyone in the RPI Top 70. The Bulls had two shots at big non-conference wins and lost both, against Florida and Texas Tech, a partial explanation as to why they’re so far down in the RPI right now. They should be able to sweep through the remaining AAC schedule save for the rivalry against UCF. If they stumble though, it could put their at-large hopes in danger, an unthinkable proposition given how much talent returned coming into the season.

SMU and UCF’s hopes are hanging by a thread. SMU wasn’t in a great position to begin with given how their non-conference schedule hasn’t exactly panned out for them. Losing to UConn crushed their RPI, and they’ve won just one of five. UCF does have a big win against Florida if they can manage to get back onto the bubble. But that looks iffy given that four of their last five are against some of the league’s lesser lights. Running the table heading into the AAC Tournament would help, but the Knights may need the auto bid.

Atlantic 10

Bubble – Saint Louis, La Salle

Despite looking to be the cream of the crop in the A10 again this season, Saint Louis isn’t going to be contending for an at-large bid in all likelihood. They had three chances at RPI Top 50 wins and lost them all, though by narrow margins. The Billikens have just one win over and RPI Top 100 team, achieved last time out against La Salle. The Explorers are hanging onto the tail end of the bubble despite being 7-6-1, but other than a win against Florida Gulf Coast, their bubble profile isn’t great.

ACC

Lock – Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Louisville
Bubble – NC State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Boston College

Obviously a lot to unpack. Let’s divide it into tiers:

#1 Seed Candidates – Florida State looked to be in a good position for a top seed, but that eroded a bit with the loss to Virginia. They now have losses to Virginia, USC, and UCLA, which could be crucial during seeding. The results they get against North Carolina and Duke could be vital for any #1 hopes. North Carolina has a lot of solid results in their favor but are hurt by not playing Virginia in the regular season while also having a head-to-head loss against Arkansas. They may need to run the table to be totally secure for a #1. Virginia’s odd in that they have three draws, including a big blemish against Wake Forest. But the head-to-head win against FSU helps, and so is being unbeaten. It’s difficult to envision the league not getting at least one #1 seed, and it’ll come from these three.

Other Seed Candidates – The next group probably has limited hopes for a #1 seed but will be aiming for a #2 and hosting rights on the second weekend of the NCAAs. Duke’s win against Clemson was big, but they also have a ton of draws on their resume which weighs their case down a bit. Clemson is beginning to slide, having lost four of five and needs to run the table considering they’re going to take a huge RPI hit with the lesser lights of the league coming up. Virginia Tech is in a bit of the same boat, having gone winless in five, but the schedule should lighten up a little bit. Louisville is the true dark horse, with big matches still remaining, but their non-conference RPI may ultimately do them in.

Should Be Safe, But… – NC State has a great RPI to go with a pretty middling record. That RPI will likely come down a bit in the next few weeks given the opposition, but beating Pittsburgh and Syracuse would put them at 8-4-4 and clear of the .500 cutline. As long as they avoid a shock defeat against the two aforementioned opponents, they should be fine. There’s little glamorous about Notre Dame’s resume, though the win at Michigan looks better and better. There’s very little downside left on their schedule though, and a few upsets might get them in national seed territory.

Legitimate Danger – Wake Forest is creaking at 5-5-4 and are currently winless in ACC play and in their last eight overall. The match at Syracuse should have been a gimme but ended in defeat, while the Demon Deacons also somehow drew with Boston College despite having tons of chances. Realistically speaking, they need one upset, at least, to keep their hopes alive given the .500 cutline. Boston College doesn’t have that worry, but their RPI is tanking thanks to their awful non-conference RPI. They get a murderous run-in in the ACC, with North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Clemson. Their resume is paper thin right now, with zero RPI Top 50 wins, so they need an upset. Or more.

Atlantic Sun

Bubble – Florida Gulf Coast

The Eagles look to be headed towards another Atlantic Sun title, but they’ve had more formidable squads in the past, as evidenced by their up and down non-conference season. The’ve failed to multiple goal defeats to the two RPI Top 50 teams they’ve played, Florida and Michigan, but still have some nice wins against Ball State and Creighton. That won’t be enough for an at-large bid though.

Big 12

Lock – Kansas, Texas Tech
Bubble – Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

I highly doubt that anyone would’ve had Kansas and Texas Tech as the two locks for this league right now, but here we are. The Jayhawks have managed to get past their loss against DePaul, though they missed a chance at a “big” win against Texas Tech on Sunday. There’s not a lot of upside left on the schedule though, so they may need to keep winning to get a national seed. Texas Tech has one befuddling loss on the season (to New Mexico) but has been steady since. However, their non-conference RPI isn’t great, and they have even less upside left on the schedule than Kansas.

The rest of the usual suspects in the Big 12 right now range from “getting more confident” to “seriously sweating” in terms of their at-large hopes. Oklahoma State have won three in a row in the league after a rough start and will be hoping that Penn State continues to improve to make that non-conference win look better. West Virginia is beginning to stabilize in the RPI after looking to be in serious danger, as most of their losses have come against top teams. Their big wins category is looking pretty vacant right now though, so they really need something against Oklahoma State and/or Kansas.

Things get seriously shaky after that. Baylor may not even make it to .500 at just 6-4-3 right now, with their win against West Virginia their first over and RPI Top 50 team all season. Texas looked to be one of the teams to beat in the Big 12 after winning their first three but have lost back-to-back against West Virginia and Oklahoma State. They may need three wins in four to truly feel confident going into the Big 12 Tournament. Oklahoma has a huge win in their back pocket against Arkansas from the beginning of the season but have struggled for traction since, eating some potentially fatal losses to Creighton and SMU. TCU might be the mystery team, as their RPI has submarined in recent weeks. A truly dreadful non-conference RPI is a big culprit, but a 2-1-1 start in league play hasn’t been enough to boost them. The Horned Frogs may need three wins at the very least to start to rebound up the ladder, but they might need more with zero RPI Top 50 wins to their name right now. Continue reading

NCAA – Chris’ 2019 Bracketology v3.0

* = projected automatic bid winner (more league leaders now with most leagues at halfway point)
[ ] = projected national seed

America East (1) – Albany*
AAC (1) – Memphis*
Atlantic 10 (1) – Saint Louis*
ACC (9) – [2] Florida State, [2] North Carolina*, [1] Virginia, [3] Duke, [2] Clemson, [4] Virginia Tech, [3] Louisville, NC State, Notre Dame
Atlantic Sun (1) – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 (5) – [4] Kansas*, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas
Big East (2) – Georgetown*, Villanova
Big Sky (1) – Eastern Washington*
Big South (1) – High Point*
Big Ten (5) – [4] Wisconsin, Rutgers, Michigan*, Iowa, Penn State
Big West (1) – Hawaii*
CAA (1) – Hofstra*
C-USA (2) – Florida Atlantic, Charlotte*
Horizon (1) – Milwaukee*
Ivy (1) – [4] Brown*
MAAC (1) – Monmouth*
MAC (1) – Bowling Green*
MVC (1) – Loyola Chicago*
Mountain West (1) – Boise State*
NEC (1) – Fairleigh Dickinson*
OVC (1) – Southeast Missouri State*
Pac-12 (9) – [1] Stanford*, [1] USC, [3] UCLA, Washington State, Washington, Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Oregon State
Patriot (1) – Navy*
SEC (6) – [1] Arkansas, [2] South Carolina*, Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama, Ole Miss
SoCon (1) – Furman*
Southland (1) – Lamar*
SWAC (1) – Howard*
Summit (1) – Denver*
Sun Belt (1) – South Alabama*
WCC (3) – [3] BYU*, Pepperdine, Santa Clara
WAC (1) – Utah Valley*

Last Five IN – Oregon State, Colorado, Penn State, Cal, Santa Clara
Last OUT – San Francisco, Wake Forest, Baylor, South Florida, West Virginia, Utah, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Oregon, Illinois, Yale, Mississippi State, Columbia