Bracket Watch: Which Teams Will Be The First Four?
It’s Selection Sunday! After a long, four-month march, we’re now at the best day of March. Briefly, there were interesting decisions both at the top of the bracket and at the cutline. I ultimately went with Louisville as my No. 1 overall seed, a smidge ahead of Indiana, but if the committee goes the other way, that’s perfectly understandable. Same with Duke and Kansas at Nos. 3 and 4. Gonzaga, a lot of people’s choice to be a 1-seed, doesn’t have the overall resume strength of those four, and it’s questionable whether they’re even ahead of New Mexico. That said, if Gonzaga gets a 1, good for them. The Bulldogs are a very strong team and it would be good for smaller-conference hoops.
The cutline discussion is about as dull as any year in recent memory. It feels like there’s even a pretty significant gap between La Salle and Mississippi and the other two First Four teams. What that means is it comes down to three teams for two spots: Tennessee, Saint Mary’s and Middle Tennessee State. The Vols get in thanks to the quality of their wins. Flip a coin for the “good team/empty profile” final spot, although the Gaels’ resume is basically a stronger proxy of the Blue Raiders’.
We’ll see if anything that happens on Sunday afternoon changes the final picture, but this is how things stand right now.
|2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket|
*Designated auto-bid winners from each conference.
Note: Villanova/Colorado and Cincinnati/Wichita State switched 9/10 seeds to satisfy bracketing rules.
Last four in: La Salle, Mississippi, Tennessee, Saint Mary’s
Last four out: Middle Tennessee State, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland
New at-large teams in: None
Old at-large teams out: None
Bids by conference: Big East (8); Big Ten (7); Pac-12, Mountain West, Big 12 and Atlantic 10 (5); ACC, SEC (4); Missouri Valley and West Coast (2)