Mistersuits from BYOBracket here, participating in the Bracket Project Matrix for the third year. Here’s a quick summary for everyone as we close the book on the conference regular season title and turn our focus towards the post season:
Bracket Matrix Top Seeds 3/4
Arizona 1.00 [—]
Florida 1.00 [—]
Wichita 1.07 [+0.08]
Kansas 1.69 [-0.01]
Syracuse 1.70 [-0.48] X
Villanova 1.91 [+0.24]
Wisconsin 2.06 [+0.25] X
Duke 2.30 [+0.20]
Virginia 2.72 [+0.81]
Michigan 2.83 [+0.51]
Creighton 2.92 [-0.70] X
Iowa State 3.44 [-0.04]
SanDiego St 3.94 [+0.40]
Cincinnati 4.17 [-0.20]
Michigan St 4.22 [-0.62]
UNC 4.55 [New]
The bracket matrix has matured to the point where the composite matrix is essentially the best “bracketologist” around. Last year it correctly predicted the top 16 teams, and at their exact seeding placement with the exception of Michigan which the matrix predicted as a 3-seed and Marquette which it placed as a 4-seed.
It’s safe to say the NCAA underseeded Michigan last year, but the concept of finishing 5th place in it’s conference was tough to overcome – even though one layup going in or out didn’t make Michigan a fundamentally different team in any way.
This year there won’t be any such misgivings as Michigan has won the B1G regular season title, but the final games and B1G Tournament will have an impact on the tournament seeding to come.
Michigan’s possible seed range at this point is 2 to 4 depending on outcomes of remaining games. Lose out and Michigan will be a 4-seed depending on how many losses teams around them sustain. Winning one more game all but assures them of a 3-seed.
The first three teams on the S-Curve in no particular order are Arizona, Florida and Wichita State. That fourth one seed is officially up for grabs given Syracuse’s late season collapse. Kansas is getting all the hype for it, but there are probably at least four other teams under consideration.
At this point in the season there are eight teams all competing for five slots - the last one-seed and the two-seeds: Kansas from the B12, Duke, Syracuse, and Virginia from the ACC, Michigan and Wisconsin from the B1G and Villanova from the Big East.
Creighton has all but taken themselves out of consideration for a 2-seed with their last two losses but they can get back in it if they run their conference tourney. Iowa State, Michigan State, and Saint Louis meanwhile have all cleared space “underneath” Michigan’s seed line. In other words, Michigan is much closer to a 2-seed than they are to a 4-seed. Michigan would need to lose twice more in a row to fall to a four seed and even then not likely. The matrix is lagging from tonight’s outcomes in which Michigan won by 30 while Syracuse, ISU, and Creighton all lost.
Michigan sits at 12th in the RPI with a very realistic shot of jumping ISU, Creighton, and Syracuse in the morning. Michigan has the fourth most wins against Top-50 RPI opponents behind Arizona, Kansas and Wisconsin. Michigan has “injury” considerations that the committee will deliberate on as they evaluate their entire body of work, if it comes down to it the 6-4 start versus the 16-3 finish will make the difference to push them up to the 2-line.
Now if we want to wax 2014-poetically here are your dream scenarios / rooting interests:
Kansas loses one of it’s remaining two regular season games they are resting starters for, they also lose in the B12 tournament.
Duke loses to UNC to end the regular season and loses in the ACC semis.
Syracuse loses at FSU in the regular season finale and loses in the ACC semis.
Virginia loses at Maryland to end the regular season and to North Carolina in the ACC tournament.
Villanova is upset by Xavier and then bows out in the Big East semifinals.
Wisconsin loses in the B1G quarterfinals to an upstart B1G bottomdweller.
Michigan beats Indiana and wins the B1G tournament.
Under these conditions Michigan would easily be the “hottest” team passing the eye test, RPI test, and SOS test amongst the eight contenders for the final one seed.
Also, root for the opportunity to play OSU in the BTT, not only because Michigan would destroy the Buckeyes but also to prevent a possible Round-of-32 tournament matchup possible under the new, relaxed conference seeding rules.