When I started working on my bracket update for this week, I tried to stop myself from peeking at the NCAA Tournament Committee’s preview of what teams would comprise the top 4 seed lines if the season ended today. I wanted to trust my own process for looking at teams and crunching the numbers, and for the most part, I came to many of the same conclusions. Having produced my own rankings, I did take a look at what the Committee was thinking and made a few slight adjustments to my bracket. A lot of these came down to the Committee’s bracketing procedures, so in the end my top 4 seed lines look pretty similar to the Committee’s.
One thing that I have noticed is that RPI (finally) seems to have lessened in importance for the Committee. Where I have tended to use it as a very strong predictive metric in the past, I will have to play around with adjusting it, and giving more weight to newer metrics such as Strength of Record (SOR).
Bracket through 2/11: 2018_02_12 bracket
1 seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas
2 seeds: Purdue, Auburn, Duke, Cincinnati
3 seeds: Michigan St., Texas Tech, Clemson, North Carolina
4 seeds: Tennessee, Ohio St., Arizona, Texas A&M
5 seeds: Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Gonzaga
6 seeds: Florida, Wichita St., Nevada, TCU
7 seeds: Kentucky, St. Mary’s, Arizona St., Creighton
8 seeds: Alabama, Missouri, Butler, Florida St.
9 seeds: Miami-FL, Arkansas, Michigan, Houston
10 seeds: Seton Hall, Texas, Louisville, Virginia Tech
11 seeds: USC, Middle Tennessee St., Kansas St., UCLA (play-in), St. Bonaventure (play-in)
12 seeds: Syracuse, Vermont, New Mexico St., Marquette (play-in), Baylor (play-in)
13 seeds: South Dakota St., Loyola-Chicago, Louisiana-Lafayette, East Tennessee St.
14 seeds: Belmont, College of Charleston, Rider, Montana
15 seeds: Northern Kentucky, UNC Asheville, UC Santa Barbara, Bucknell
16 seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, Wagner, Nicholls St. (play-in), Harvard (play-in), Savannah St. (play-in), Grambling (play-in)