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Rock-M-tology: FINAL EDITION (updated)

UPDATE, 4:30pm - Alright, I broke the port-o-nail we were using to hammer in the wood floor, so...hooray!  Done for the day!  And back in time to redo the bracket to account for a) Mississippi State being in, and b) Louisville being closer to Dayton than Miami (I initially sent them to Miami because they were as close as anybody else, but as a #1 seed, that probably wasn't the correct logic.

Also, consider this your Selection Show open thread.  It's so much more fun when you know Mizzou's name is going to pop up at some point, isn't it???

I'm out most of the afternoon (got a new house to hammer on for a while), so just in case I don't get back in time, I'm going to crank this out now.  This post is based on the assumption that Tennessee will beat Mississippi State today.  If Mississippi State wins, replace St. Mary's with them.

Last 8 7 In

To me, there are three teams fighting for one spot, and I cannot for the life of me figure out where the committee might be leaning.  I believe Mississippi State made my SMC/Creighton/PSU comparison below moot, but I'll leave it up just in case

San Diego State
Boston College

First 8 9 Out

St. Mary's
Penn State

Arizona (UPDATE, 11:47am - I skipped right over Arizona when I first wrote this out)
New Mexico

St. Mary's vs Creighton vs Penn State

RPI: Creighton 40, St. Mary's 48, Penn State 70 Rating: St. Mary's 60, Creighton 65, Penn State 78

Win %: St. Mary's .800, Creighton .788, Penn State .667

Last 12: Creighton 11-1, St. Mary's 8-4, Penn State 6-6

Wins vs Top 50 (vs Top 25 is worth 1, vs 26-50 is worth 0.5): Penn State 5.0, St. Mary's 1.5, Creighton 1.0

Losses to #101+ (vs 101-200 is worth 0.5, 201+ is worth 1): Penn State 0.5, St. Mary's 1.0, Creighton 1.0

Road/Neutral Court Wins (Road is worth 1, Neutral is worth 0.5): St. Mary's 10.5, Creighton 9.5, Penn State 6.0

Best Wins: Penn State (Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois twice), St. Mary's (Utah State, Providence), Creighton (Dayton, Northern Iowa)

Worst Losses: St. Mary's* (UTEP), Penn State (Iowa, Rhode Island), Creighton (UALR, Drake)

* Looking only at losses with Patty Mills.  They lost to Portland and Santa Clara without him.

Penn State has played a ton more good teams and have beaten a handful of them, but is that alone enough?  They have the worst RPI of the three, the worst KenPom rating.  They're the worst in the last 12, and their losses are really as bad as either SMC or CU.

I think St. Mary's should be in for one simple reason: a) neither Creighton nor Penn State has distinguished themselves enough to snatch a spot away, and b) they're 20-3 and a sure-fire tourney team with Patty Mills.  The committee takes that into account a lot, and I think they should here too. 

I'll be shocked if any other bubble team (Arizona, UAB, Auburn, New Mexico, UNLV) gets in, but I won't be shocked if Creighton or PSU gets in over SMC (or, really, Maryland or SDSU, even though I have SDSU safely in).  My choice, however, for now is the Fightin' Randy Bennetts.

And if Mississippi State beats Tennessee, this argument is probably moot.  Which brings up another possible variable: right now I only have two SEC teams in, which is insane.  Don't be surprised if Tennessee beats MSU and a team like Auburn or Florida or South Carolina gets in just to give the SEC 3.  Whereas the Big Ten played things just right in regard to the middle teams beating the higher teams just enough to get a bunch of squads in, the SEC did it backwards--every middle SEC team has lost a LOT of games recently, aside from Auburn, who lost a ton before the homestretch.

I should also mention that while I think both St. Mary's and Creighton are out now, I'm really hoping one of them gets in over a major conference team simply because I accidentally watched about 45 seconds of Gameday this morning, and that's all it takes to remember how snobbish and arrogant just about everybody at the WWL is toward mid-major teams despite the fact that, as I proved in a previous Roundtable (scroll about halfway down), mid-majors in the 10-12 slots do better than major conference teams almost every single year.

One of these years, I want to nail all 65 teams (I've gotten 64 three times and 64.5 once when I narrowed the last spot down to Northern Iowa and Buffalo and actually forgot to pick one before the selection show--UNI got in), but if I miss 65 because SMC or Creighton got in over Maryland or Boston College or one of the Big Ten teams I have in, I'll happily accept that.

Anyway, on to the bracket.

By Conference

Big East - 7
ACC - 7
Big Ten - 7
Big 12 - 6
Pac-10 - 5
Atlantic 10 - 3
Mountain West - 3
West Coast - 2 1
Horizon - 2
SEC - 2 3

The Bracket

I finally broke down and ended up giving three Big East teams 1-seeds.  I don't like doing it, and I thought Michigan State and maybe Memphis had as much claim to a 1 as one of them, but then Michigan State lost to Ohio State.  In the end, UNC and Louisville are definite 1's, and the other two will go to State, Memphis, UConn and/or Pitt.

And if Duke gets a 1 by winning the ACC Tourney, I'm going to laaaaaaaugh and laugh.

OU still very much deserves a 2, by the way.

South Regional (Memphis)

1 North Carolina v. 16 Alabama State
8 Oklahoma State v. 9 Siena
in Greensboro

5 West Virginia v. 12 Western Kentucky
4 Washington v. 13 VCU
in Portland

6 Utah v. 11 Boston College Mississippi State
3 Villanova v. 14 Robert Morris Rock M U
in Philadelphia

7 Butler v. 10 Minnesota
2 Oklahoma v. 15 Portland State
in Kansas City

West Regional (Glendale, AZ)

1 Pittsburgh v. 16 Play-In Winner (Morehead State / Chattanooga)
8 Ohio State v. 9 Utah State
in Dayton

5 Arizona State v. 12 Cleveland State
4 Wake Forest v. 13 Northern Iowa
in Boise Miami

6 Xavier v. 11 St. Mary's Boston College
3 Kansas v. 14 Stephen F. Austin
in Minneapolis Boise

7 Tennessee v. 10 California
2 Michigan State v. 15 East Tennessee State
in Minneapolis

Midwest Regional (Indianapolis)

1 Louisville v. 16 CS-Northridge
8 Texas A&M v. 9 Dayton Temple
in Miami Dayton (can't have Dayton playing in Dayton)

5 Illinois v. 12 USC
4 Florida State v. 13 American
in Boise

6 LSU v. 11 Michigan
3 Missouri v. 14 Binghamton
in Kansas City Minneapolis

7 Marquette v. 10 BYU
2 Duke v. 15 Cornell
in Greensboro

East Regional (Boston)

1 UConn v. 16 Radford
8 Clemson v. 9 Temple Dayton
in Philadelphia

5 UCLA v. 12 Wisconsin
4 Gonzaga v. 13 North Dakota State
in Portland

6 Purdue v. 11 Maryland
3 Syracuse v. 14 Akron
in Miami

7 Texas v. 10 San Diego State
2 Memphis v. 15 Morgan State
in Dayton Kansas City

My At-First-Glance Final Four

Villanova, Michigan State, Louisville, Memphis

Second glance: North Carolina, Pitt, Missouri???? (okay, Duke), UConn

Missouri's inevitable path to destiny (ahem)

Binghamton Fightin' Kornheisers, LSU, Duke, Louisville, UConn, UNC