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NCAA Tournament 2017: STL Bracketology Selection Sunday Edition

Where’s Virginia in our final Bracketology of the season?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Practice Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Selection Sunday is finally upon us. The day before all work productivity shuts down across the country for a whole week while all of America pours over scores, analytics, and bloviation from talking heads trying to gain an edge filling out their brackets. Before you think about filling out your bracket, here’s one final look at what it might like come Sunday afternoon.

East Regional

1. Villanova (1)
16. UC Davis / South Dakota State

9. South Carolina
8. Miami

5. Notre Dame
12. Princeton

13. Vermont
4. Iowa St

3. Louisville
14. Troy

11. Seton Hall
6. Minnesota

7. Creighton
10. Vanderbilt

15. Kent State
2. Oregon

West Regional

1. Gonzaga (4)
16. North Dakota

9. Dayton
8. Arkansas

5. Wisconsin
12. UNC Wilmington

13. New Mexico State
4. Florida St

3. Baylor
14. Florida Gulf Coast

11. Providence / VCU
6. SMU

7. Saint Mary's
10. Wake Forest

15. Jacksonville State
2. Arizona

Midwest Regional

1. Kansas (2)
16.New Orleans

9. Marquette
8. Virginia Tech

5. Virginia
12. Middle Tennessee

13. East Tennessee State
4. Butler

3. Florida
14. Iona

11. Michigan St / TCU
6. Cincinnati

7. Maryland
10. Kansas St

15. Northern Kentucky
2. UNC

South Regional

1. Duke (3)
16. Mount Saint Mary's / Texas Southern

9. Northwestern
8. Oklahoma St

5. Purdue
12. Nevada

13. Bucknell

3. WVU
14. Winthrop

11. Rhode Island
6. Michigan

7. Wichita St
10. Xavier

15. North Carolina Central
2. Kentucky

Last Four In - Michigan State, Providence, VCU, TCU
First Four Out - Syracuse, Clemson, USC, Illinois State

Bracket Thoughts

  • The popular thought this morning is that Villanova, Kansas, Duke, and Gonzaga are the four number one seeds. However, you could make a case that UNC or Kentucky could also lay claim to one of those spots. In fact, Duke, Gonzaga, UNC, and Kentucky were in almost a dead heat in my final ranking for spots 3-6. I ended up going with the Blue Devils based on their similar numbers and best two of three mark against the Heels. Then I landed on Gonzaga for their overall record (despite the BYU loss) and quality wins in the non-conference. You could make a case for the Bulldogs to be a two seed and I wouldn't argue. In fact, I noted that back on Feb 11th when I had them as the final number one seed but noted, in my volume based ranking, they could easily be passed by other teams due to the lack of opportunities to amass quality wins. Kentucky is interesting, and while their record is gaudy, their quality wins aren't near the same level as the other three teams in consideration. Honestly, I’d probably rank them Duke, UNC, Gonzaga, Kentucky but I figure the committee won’t put two ACC teams on the top seed line.
  • The ACC leads the way in my bracketology with nine bids to the dance. This falls just short of the projections of 10, maybe 11. However, both Syracuse and Clemson were among my first four out. Had each of them won their ACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Miami and Duke respectively, I think they’d both be hearing their names called early Sunday evening.
  • Our beloved Hoos were a tough team to peg this season. They come out as a five seed here, but there is a chance they could fall to a six seed given that four teams around them in their seed line are playing each other for conference championships. That includes three, six seeds, Michigan, SMU, and Cincinnati two of which play each other for the American Athletic Championship. I wouldn't be surprised if one of those teams knocks the Hoos down a line.
  • Several teams helped their cause immensely by playing well in conference. Duke, obviously jumped to a one seed, while Arizona got a two. Further down though, Iowa State was looking like a five or six and is now a four while TCU’s upset win over Kansas probably got them in the field.
  • There are some intriguing matchups I’ve noted. On Wednesday, Marquette will take on their former coach, Buzz Williams, and his Hokies in an 8/9 matchup. But it's potential second round games that are most intriguing. There’s a potential father-son Pitino matchup as Louisville is a three and Minnesota is a six in the East. Virginia could square off against Butler in a rematch of a solid Round of 32 game a year ago. In the same Midwest Region, UNC and Maryland could reignite an old ACC rivalry. And finally, the South is loaded. Chris Collins and Northwestern could face off against his former coach and mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Michigan’s John Beilein could be matched with his former team, West Virginia and finally Kentucky might get a date with the team no top seed wants to see on their portion of the bracket, Wichita State. Just three years ago, Kentucky “upset” number one Wichita State ending the Shockers’ undefeated season. While Kentucky wasn't a top team that year, they were probably better than an eight seed and proved it by advancing all the way to the Championship game.

There you have it. Agree? Disagree? Who’s too high? Who’s too low?