Sunday, March 16, 2014

From 351 to 68: Final. Final.

I started to do seeds, and then I realized that the bottom of the bracket is such a mess that how they committee slides the 11 16-seeds around will impact everything else as they avoid rematches and such. I do think Michigan gets the fourth #1 seed, even with today's loss, but I'm not terribly confident about that.

Oh, a bit of business left on the table: I wrote earlier this week that we didn't know what Kansas would be without Joel Embiid. The team had actually played three times without him, though none of those games were against tournament-caliber teams. It's clear, looking at those three plus Kansas' Big 12 tournament, that they are a substantially worse defensive team without Embiid. I can't imagine a 15-seed picking off Kansas, but that second game, next weekend, may be substantially more competitive than it might otherwise have been.

Here's my final field:

Automatic Bids (32):
Virginia (Atlantic Coast), SUNY-Albany (America East), Louisville (American), Saint Joseph's (Atlantic N), Mercer (Atlantic Sun), Providence (Big East), Weber State (Big Sky), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Michigan State (Big Ten+2), Iowa State (Big 12-2), Cal Poly - SLO (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Tulsa (Conference USA), Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Horizon), Harvard (Ivy), Manhattan (Metro-Atlantic), Western Michigan (Mid-American), North Carolina Central (Mid-Eastern Athletic), Wichita State (Missouri Valley), New Mexico (Mountain West), Mount St. Mary's (Northeast), Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Westwood CC (Pac-12), American (Patriot League), Florida (Southeastern), Wofford (Southern), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic), Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt), North Dakota State (Summit League), New Mexico State (Western Athletic), Gonzaga (West Coast):

On the Board (36):
Kansas, Villanova, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Massachusetts, Saint Louis, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Memphis, Kansas State, Iowa, Southern Methodist, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, George Washington, Creighton, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Baylor, San Diego State, Arizona, Tennessee, Duke, Virginia Commonwealth, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Brigham Young, Colorado, Stanford, Arizona State, Xavier, Dayton, Nebraska.

Last Four Byes:
Southern Methodist, Brigham Young, Colorado, Stanford

Last Four In: Arizona State, Xavier, Nebraska, Dayton

First Four Out: Wisconsin-Green Bay, Louisiana Tech, North Carolina State, Florida State

Next Four Out: Southern Mississippi, California, Minnesota, St. John's

I'm not confident the last two slots, but the only team in my last eight I can see taking a spot is Green Bay. I would not be surprised if that happened, although I think Dayton and Nebraska are a tick ahead of the Phoenix.