Rock-M-Tology, 3-11-13

Notes:

  • This week, I'm comparing my bracket to that of Mr. Bracketology himself, Joe Lunardi. (He finally has a Monday update, so it's finally a relevant comparison.)
  • All told, our rankings/seedings aren't that far apart ... except when it comes to Wisconsin. My numbers hate the Badgers compared to whatever Lunardi's using.
  • The goal for the week: another Rock-M-Tology on Thursday, followed by the final update on Sunday.

Who's overrated?

The Pac-12 - I barely had California in the Field of 68, and Lunardi has the Golden Bears as a 9-seed. I had Oregon only slightly safer, and Lunardi has also has the Ducks as a 9. Of course, on the flipside, I have Arizona safely on the 4-line, and Lunardi has them a 5. So really it's just two teams that have me confused.

Wisconsin (21-10) - Actually, the Badgers might just be underrated by me. Regardless, they're very confusing. They lost to every decent team they played in non-conference (at Florida, vs Creighton, at Marquette, Virginia at home), and they lost by 13 to Purdue at home. And they barely beat Penn State this weekend. That screams "8-seed!" to me. But then there's the matter of them winning at Indiana, beating Ohio State and Minnesota and sweeping Illinois. I still think 4 is far too high for them, but I acknowledge that if the committee indeed weights good wins more than losses, they could be in good shape.

Villanova (19-12) - A minor quibble here, but the Wildcats are my last team in the field, and Lunardi has them an 11-seed, safely out of the Last Four In.

Baylor (17-13) - Honestly, I have no idea why they're even a "First Four Out" team.

Who's underrated?

Boise State (21-9) - At 9-7 in the Mountain West, with wins over Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV (and Creighton in non-conference), I think the Broncos should be semi-safe at the moment, not among the Last Four In. The Mountain West has been absurdly strong this year, and despite an atrocious non-conference slate, BSU should be more comfortable than it actually is.

St. Mary's (26-5) - It's minor, but I have SMC on the 8-9 line, not as a teetering 10.

San Diego State (21-9) - When I initially laid out the numbers, I had them as a 7-seed, not a 9. So basically, the Pac-12 is overrated, and all the other western conferences are underrated. Not quite what I expected from these numbers, but we'll go with it.

Middle Tennessee (28-5) - The Blue Raiders just saw a 17-game winning streak end in the Sun Belt semis at the hands of Florida International, and Lunardi has them in his First Four Out. Come on. They're 28-5, they're No. 31 in Pomeroy's rankings, they're No. 28 in RPI, and they beat Ole Miss. Of their five losses, three were to likely tourney teams (Florida, Akron, and Belmont, all on the road), and a fourth was in overtime on the road (Arkansas State). They've earned a shot in the First Four if nothing else.

Last Few In

Names in italics would be among the last in without their conference's automatic bid.

Boise State (19-9)
Temple (23-8)
La Salle (21-8)
Oregon (23-8)
Middle Tennessee (28-5)
Kentucky (21-10)
California (20-10)
Villanova (18-12)
Bucknell (26-5)

First Few Out

Virginia (21-10)
Tennessee (19-11)
Southern Miss (21-8)
Iowa (20-11)
Ole Miss (23-8)
Stanford (18-13)
Baylor (17-13)
New Mexico State (20-10)

By Conference

8 - Big East
6 - Big Ten
5 - Atlantic 10, Big 12, Mountain West, Pac-12
4 - ACC
3 - SEC
2 - Missouri Valley, Sun Belt, WCC

The Bracket

FIRST FOUR (in Dayton)

Middle Tennesse vs. Villanova
Kentucky vs. California

Mount St. Mary's vs. Southern
Northeastern vs. Liberty

EAST REGIONAL (in Washington, DC)

1 Duke vs. 16 N.C. Central
8 Minnesota vs. 9 St. Mary's
in Lexington

5 Kansas State vs. 12 Middle Tennessee / Villanova
4 Syracuse vs. 13 Stephen F. Austin
in Austin

6 Pittsburgh vs. 11 Temple
3 Michigan State vs. 14 Davidson
in Auburn Hills

7 UCLA vs. 10 Iowa State
2 New Mexico vs. 15 Vermont
in Salt Lake City

WEST REGIONAL (in Los Angeles)

1 Gonzaga vs. 16 Pacific
8 Notre Dame vs. 9 Missouri
in San Jose

5 Butler vs. 12 Bucknell
4 Arizona vs. 13 Akron
in Salt Lake City

6 UNLV vs. 11 Belmont
3 Ohio State vs. 14 Harvard
in Philadelphia

7 North Carolina vs. 10 Oklahoma
2 Georgetown vs. 15 Florida Gulf Coast
in Philadelphia

MIDWEST REGIONAL (in Indianapolis)

1 Indiana vs. 16 Northeastern / Liberty
8 N.C. State vs. 9 Colorado
in Dayton

5 VCU vs. 12 Oregon
4 Marquette vs. 13 Valparaiso
in San Jose

6 Colorado State vs. 11 La Salle
3 Florida vs. 14 South Dakota State
in Austin

7 Creighton vs. 10 CincinnatI
2 Kansas vs. 15 Florida International
in Kansas City

SOUTH REGIONAL (in Arlington)

1 Louisville vs. 16 Mt. St. Mary's / Southern
8 San Diego State vs. 9 Illinois
in Dayton

5 St. Louis vs. 12 Kentucky / California
4 Oklahoma State vs. 13 Louisiana Tech
in Kansas City

6 Wisconsin vs. 11 Boise State
3 Michigan vs. 14 Weber State
in Auburn Hills

7 Memphis vs. 10 Wichita State
2 Miami vs. 15 Iona
in Lexington

My At-First-Glance Final Four

Duke-Georgetown-Indiana-Michigan

Second glance: Syracuse-Ohio State-Florida-Louisville

Missouri's inevitable path to destiny (ahem)

Notre Dame-Gonzaga-Arizona-Georgetown-Duke-Indiana. Let's do it.

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