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2016 NCAA Tournament: STL Bracketology

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With only conference tournaments left to be played, Virginia still looks to be in good shape for a number one seed. But there are several other teams lurking.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it last week, this bracket is built giving a numerical score to each team's resume utilizing both KenPom and the RPI. Virginia's wins over Clemson and Louisville actually propelled the Hoos into the number two overall spot (well behind Kansas, but now well ahead of Villanova and Oklahoma).

For those that question the validity of projecting number one seeds without all the games being played, I understand. However I like to think of this exercise as identifying those teams that control their own destiny. Win, and they won't move from this spot. Lose, and they're at the mercy of those around them.

Now, on to the bracket

Midwest Regional

Seed Team (overall rank)
1 Kansas (1)
16 Austin Peay / Hampton
9 Cincinnati
8 Oregon State
5 Iowa
12 San Diego State
13 Iona
4 Texas A&M
3 UNC
14 Stony Brook
11 Vanderbilt
6 California
7 Texas Tech
10 St. Mary's
15 UNC Asheville
2 Michigan State

East Regional

Seed Team (overall rank)
1 UVA (2)
16 Bucknell / Florida Gulf Coast
9 St. Joseph's
8 USC
5 Kentucky
12 Arkansas-Little Rock
13 Hawaii
4 Iowa State
3 Indiana
14 UNC Wilmington
11 Wichita State
6 Baylor
7 Notre Dame
10 Connecticut
15 UAB
2 Xavier

South Regional

Seed Team (overall rank)
1 Villanova (3)
16 Wagner
9 Colorado
8 Dayton
5 Texas
12 Syracuse / Gonzaga
13 Yale
4 Purdue
3 Utah
14 Akron
11 Michigan
6 Seton Hall
7 Wisconsin
10 Valparaiso
15 New Mexico State
2 Miami

West Regional

Seed Team (overall rank)
1 Oklahoma (4)
16 Texas Southern
9 South Carolina
8 Providence
5 Arizona
12 Stephen F. Austin
13 Northern Iowa
4 Duke
3 Oregon
14 Chattanooga
11 Tulsa / Florida State
6 Maryland
7 Butler
10 Pittsburgh
15 Weber State
2 West Virginia

Legend: Bold - ACC Teams Italics - Earned automatic bid

Last Four In: Tulsa, Florida State, Syracuse, Gonzaga

First Four Out: Virginia Commonwealth, Temple, Florida, St. Bonaventure

Bracket thoughts

- While this is an objective analysis of team's resumes, I do weigh the KenPom resume more than the committee might, or more than others. Therefore, Wichita State is in the field at present time. However, should a couple more teams boost their resumes over the next week, the Shockers could fall from these ranks.

- UNC is a third seed at this point, and behind Miami as the second ACC team. Once you peel back the onion, it isn't that surprising why. Their 7 wins in KenPom "A" games is tied for eighth best in the country, and of those, only three were wins against Top 25 opponents, which is tied for 11th. On the RPI side of the ledger it's even worse as their three RPI top 50 (all RPI top 25 though) puts them 30th in the country. I have heard a lot of chatter that for UVA to earn a number one seed they have to finish as well or better than the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament, however despite what ESPN wants you to believe, I'm not sure that's the case.

- FSU is still hanging around in this bracket. Just as with Wichita State, it is likely a factor of my utilization of KenPom where the Seminoles rank 48th and have a solid resume. However their other numbers leave a bit to be desired. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if come Selection Sunday, we aren't even talking about the Seminoles, rather Georgia Tech or (cough, cough) Virginia Tech for at-large consideration.

- Michigan State will be very interesting to watch this week as well. The eye test, KenPom, and the polls all love the Spartans. However, their resume isn't the greatest. 6-4 in both KenPom "A" games and against the top 50 RPI, with one loss outside the Top 100 in each ranking isn't exactly stellar. But what I am really looking at is their RPI of 15. If the committee really utlizes RPI as much as we are led to believe, I find it hard to believe that they're even in the conversation at this stage of the game. Teams from outside the top 10 RPI don't usually make a case for a number one seed. Even two years ago, UVA's RPI the morning of selection Sunday was 11. They beat Duke for the ACC Tournament title then needed of perfect storm of losses ahead of them to earn that final one seed. For Michigan State, they'd likely need to win the Big Ten tournament and have none of UVA, Villanova, Oklahoma, UNC, and/or Miami win their respective tournaments. That's a tall task, but when it comes to the madness and the whims of the committee, nothing ever surprises me.