Here we are once again. Selection Sunday is upon us. For this bracket I did a complete scrub of all the seeds. I also started taking into account the fact that some major conference teams can make offers to host that the NCAA just can’t turn down. In the back of my head the Iowa quote about making a competitive offer keeps coming up. The Hawkeyes are definitely in the field in my opinion — they just have so many good wins it’d be hard to turn them down — but for the first time I have them playing Round 1 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
It’s not all land of milk and honey for Big Ten fans though. In this update I’ve moved Northwestern down to the NIT and Marshall up to the NCAA tournament. Yes, the Thundering Herd didn’t leave a great impression in the end, but then again neither did the Wildcats. Marshall has better wins and more of them, even if it does have some questionable losses along the way as well. (Decide for yourself here.) I’m on record of saying I think Minnesota, seeded fourth here, has a 70 percent chance of getting in.
It’s not going to make me a popular dude around here (and I sincerely hope I’m wrong), but I’m sticking with Iona out, Drexel in. It conveniently gives Stony Brook a very soft landing spot in the bracket.
The bottom of the bracket has been completely redone as well. There are now two Missouri Valley Conference teams chilling down there. Northern Iowa was the LAST at-large team I took into the field. The first five teams out are: Wyoming, George Mason, Buffalo, UCLA, Weber State. That’s in order. Teams like Penn and Wagner follow a little further down the road.
I switched two true seeds. Washington was a five, but I swapped them to a four so that they could host Nevada in the first round. Akron moved down to the five line, which conveniently allowed them to play a relatively local game against Minnesota. Finally, St. Bonaventure is the only team that’s playing today that could screw up the bracket. If the Bonnies win, it forces me to make a tough decision between Seton Hall, South Florida and Drexel, which I think are the final three teams into the NCAA field right now.
1. N.C. State
8. Savannah State
5. Middle Tennessee St
3. Saint Joseph’s
2. Mississippi State
7. Northern Iowa
8. Stony Brook
5. Oral Roberts
6. St. Bonaventure
2. Miami (FL)
7. Illinois St
2. Ole Miss
Note: If the committee decides to take any of the first five out over the teams seeded in the six and seven lines I’ll completely get it. Also, I think that Massachusetts vs. Oregon is about the dumbest thing I could come up with, but I’m not quite sure how to fix it. I guess Massachusetts vs. Bucknell is a little better and then Ole Miss vs. Oregon.