With 10 days from the end of the selection, Sunday, the race for the final seed of the n ° 1 is in full swing.
While Gonzaga and Baylor are the locks to secure the top seeds and Michigan likely have a win on a similar footing, Illinois’ recent emergence as a possible seed may not hold up.
The most dangerous contenders for the No.2 line are also Big Ten from Ohio State and Iowa. The SEC Alabama force also has a chance to steal a No.1 seed.
The Buckeyes (18-7, 12-7) have seven wins in Quadrant 1, including a head-to-head victory over Illinois and a top 25 on the calendar. However, they lost three in a row. A home game against Illinois on Saturday could make the difference.
The Hawkeyes (18-7, 12-6) have an interesting case as their NET score is 6. NCAA implemented NET to measure more prowess in the game. With National Player of the Year Contestant Luka Garza in the middle, Iowa is a force in that regard. Right now, it’s the 260 strength of the non-conference schedule that keeps Iowa from having a serious argument.
BUBBLE WATCH: Michigan-Michigan State plays for more than bragging rights
SEC regular season champion Crimson Tide (20-6, 15-2) has seven wins in Quadrant 1 and is a legitimate contender to be a seed. One issue holding Bama back is a Quadrant 3 loss to West Kentucky at home. WKU sits at a NET score of 76. If the Hilltoppers improved to place in the top 75 in NET scores, that would show up as a loss in Quadrant 2 on Tide’s profile. Alabama won’t have as many chances to win Quadrant 1 in the SEC tournament as the Big Ten teams in their tournament, but it could benefit from the weakness of Illinois, Ohio State or the ‘Iowa.
While the No. 3 seeds Florida State and Villanova haven’t played as many games and could potentially reach the No. 1 line if there was more time or a fairer balance of games played in a season affected by COVID -19, they are unlikely to be positioned as a No.1 seed that crashes into the gate.
On the bubble line, Michigan state jumped onto the pitch thanks to its Connecticut colleague’s victory over Seton Hall, which propelled the Pirates and Spartans to the No.12 seed in the play-in. .
The NCAA tournament kicks off March 18.
No. 1 seeds
Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Illinois
Last four in
Boise State, Georgia Tech, VCU, Michigan State
The first four out
Seton Hall, Duke, Syracuse, St. John
Next four releases
Southern Methodist, Memphis, State of Utah, Saint Louis
Others considered for general offers: Stanford.
On the support of life: State of North Carolina, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Georgia, Ole Miss, Richmond, Indiana.
Multi-offer conferences: Big Ten (9), Big 12 (7), ACC (7), SEC (6), Big East (4), Pac-12 (4), Mountain West (3), Atlantic 10 (2), American Athletic ( 2), Missouri Valley (2), West Coast (2).
Leaders or highest NET of the projected single-entry conferences – (20 in total): America East – Maryland-Baltimore County, Atlantic Sun – Liberty, Big Sky – Eastern Washington, Big South – Winthrop, Big West – UC Santa Barbara, CAA – Northeastern, C-USA – Alabama-Birmingham, Horizon – Cleveland State, MAAC – Siena, MAC – Toledo, MEAC – Norfolk State, Northeast – Bryant, OVC – Belmont, Patriot – Navy, Southern – UNC Greensboro, Southland – Abilene Christian, SWAC – Prairie View A&M, Summit – South Dakota, Sun Belt – Texas State, WAC – Grand Canyon.
- Forbidden to participate: State of Alabama, Alabama A&M, State of Delaware, Auburn, Arizona.
- Transition schools, not eligible for the tournament: Cal Baptist, North Alabama, Merrimack, Dixie State, Tarleton State, Bellarmine, UC San Diego.
- COVID-19[female[feminine: Ivy League, Bethune-Cookman, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Howard, Maine.
NCAA Tournament Language Explanation:
- NET stands for NCAA Evaluation Tool, which is the barometer of the selection committee. It includes match results, schedule strength, match location, scoring margin (capped at 10 points per game), and the offensive and defensive effectiveness of the net.
- Quadrant 1 wins: home games against 1 to 30 NET teams; Games on neutral sites vs 1-50 NET; Away games against 1-75 NET
- Quadrant 2 victory: home games against NET 31-75; Games on neutral sites against 51-100 NET; Away games against 76-135 NET
- Quadrant 3 victory: home games against 76-160 NET; Games on neutral sites against 101-200 NET; Away games against 136-240 NET
- Quadrant 4 wins: home games against 161+ NET; Games on neutral sites against 201-plus NET; Away games against more than 241 NET
To note: Most of the statistical data comes from WarrenNolan.com. NET rankings (NCAA Evaluation Tool) are also a point of reference.
About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the pitch since 2005 on its website, Bracket WAG. He joined USA TODAY in 2014. In his eighth season as a National Bracketologist, Mast has finished as one of the top three bracketologists in the last seven follies of March. He has also predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 selection committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson