The following are my important updates to the below bracket as of 8:00 PM Pacific on 5/23.
2. Oregon State
4. Florida State
7. Miami (Florida)
The Cavaliers picked up a big win over North Carolina tonight. Group that with Oregon State's loss at USC and the two flip for the top national seed. Florida has moved up two spots thanks to consecutive wins against South Carolina and Mississippi State. Mississippi jumps into the final national seed spot after a big win over Vanderbilt and a bad Houston loss against Connecticut. Indiana is my first team out right now, followed by Houston, Cal Poly, and South Carolina.
Other Regional Hosts (In Order)
11. Cal Poly
12. South Carolina
15. Oklahoma State
LSU and Texas move in while Louisville and Rice move out. The Cardinals and Owls are just outside the Top 16 along with TCU.
Last Four In: San Diego State, West Virginia, Long Beach State, New Mexico
First Four Out: North Carolina, Duke, Old Dominion, Stanford
Next Four Out: Tennessee, Evansville, Cal State Fullerton, NC State
|Field of 64 Projections (May 21)|
1. Oregon State* (1)
4. Sacramento State*
2. UC Irvine
San Luis Obispo Regional
1. Cal Poly*
4. South Dakota State*
3. Arizona State
1. Virginia (2)
4. William & Mary*
3. Old Dominion
1. South Carolina
4. Wright State*
3. North Carolina
1. Florida State (3)
4. Saint Louis*
1. Louisiana-Lafayette* (4)
4. Jackson State*
3. Dallas Baptist*
2. Texas A&M
1. Florida* (5)
4. Florida Gulf Coast*
2. Sam Houston State*
3. West Virginia
1. Vanderbilt (6)
4. Southeast Missouri State*
2. Indiana State
3. Georgia Tech
1. Oklahoma State*
3. New Mexico
Coral Gables Regional
1. Miami (Florida)* (7)
4. Western Carolina*
2. Mississippi State
4. Stony Brook*
3. San Diego State
1. Indiana* (8)
4. Ball State*
2. Texas Tech
3. Long Beach State
LAST FOUR IN: Old Dominion, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Long Beach State
FIRST FOUR OUT: Stanford, Duke, Tennessee, Evansville
NEXT FOUR OUT: Illinois, NC State, Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara
- Oregon State moves into the number one national seed spot after two wins against Washington. The Beavers now have series wins over Stanford, Oregon, and Washington, and single wins against Nebraska, Indiana, Arizona State, and Sacramento State. They should hold this spot with a couple of wins in Los Angeles this weekend.
- The Corvallis Regional I have concocted looks pretty enticing. I have UC Irvine coming in as the two seed, WCC regular season champion Pepperdine as the three, and a rematch with the Hornets coming in as the four seed. The Waves will make the tournament no matter what happens in their conference tourney this week.
- It came down to Indiana and Cal Poly for the final national seed, and the Hoosiers got the nod. They are finishing strong, having won 17 of their last 19, and got a big two wins at Louisville last week. Their RPI is also surprisingly high at #4, 12 spots higher than the Mustangs are.
- For the Pac-12, we have two regional hosts (Oregon State and Washington), two teams locked into the field (Oregon and Arizona State), and one on the wrong side of the bubble (Stanford). Stanford ranks 44th in the RPI, which isn't bad, but could drop this weekend with three games against Utah. A sweep there will be crucial in order to offset the negatives. The Ducks are the only other Pac-12 team with a shot of hosting. They'll need a sweep of California in order to have a shot.
Virginia (vs Maryland on 5/22, vs North Carolina on 5/23, vs Florida State on 5/24)
Four teams have a chance of jumping Oregon State in the national seed standings, and Virginia headlines the group. The Cavaliers face three NCAA Tournament teams over the next three days, then the ACC Championship on Sunday if they do well enough.
Florida State (vs North Carolina on 5/21, vs Maryland on 5/23, vs Virginia on 5/24)
The Seminoles have the same matchups as Virginia, just spread out over four days instead of three. They'll need to win all four games they might play in Greensboro in order to claim one of the top two national seeds.
Louisiana-Lafayette (Eight team double elimination bracket, open with ULM on 5/21)
The probability that the Ragin' Cajuns earn one of the top three seeds is very small, but there is a chance if they get through the Sun Belt Tournament unscathed and teams in front of them falter. They open with 22-34 Louisiana Monroe today.
Florida (12 team double elimination bracket, open with Kentucky on 5/21)
The Gators took home the regular season SEC title and now look to do the same in their conference tournament. I think they still have a shot at the top national seed, but a 4-0 record in Hoover this week is crucial.
What To Watch For (Bubble style):
Georgia Tech (vs Miami on 5/21, vs Duke on 5/22, vs Clemson on 5/23)
The Yellow Jackets are currently on my last four in list, and they need to win a pair of games in Greensboro to stay there. Their meeting with Duke on Thursday could decide who gets the ACC's final spot.
North Carolina (vs Florida State on 5/21, vs Virginia on 5/23, vs Maryland on 5/24)
The Tar Heels have won four of their last six but still need a couple more in the ACC Tournament to stay on the right side of the bubble. That's going to be tough with two top three teams back-to-back.
Long Beach State (3 games vs UC Irvine, 5/22-5/24)
My last team into the field has a three game set with the top 25 Anteaters to close the season. Long Beach State can make sure their name is called on Monday with a couple of wins.
Stanford (3 games at Utah, 5/23-5/25)
The Cardinal took care of business yesterday while others around them did not, moving them to just outside the field of 64. I still think they need a sweep in Salt Lake City though due to the Utes poor record.
Duke (vs Georgia Tech on 5/22, vs Miami on 5/24)
Having lost six of its last nine, Duke could see its season end in Greensboro if it doesn't pick up wins in both of these games. Big wins against Virginia and North Carolina (3) earlier in the season is the only thing saving the Blue Devil résumé.
Check back Friday for an updated look at my bracket, and on Sunday for my final projections before Selection Monday.