Bracketology: NCAA tournament projection as of March 15, 2024

  • 03/15/2024 12:11 pm in

Thursday was a wild day of conference tournament action, so between that, a postgame show after the IU game, and the fact that I am under the weather, this won’t get into a ton of detail. I will be scrubbing multiple sections of the bracket over the next couple of days, which will likely lead to some minor tweaks.

As for the bubble, many teams near the cut line won yesterday, which is good for them… but not for Indiana State. Based on how things are shaping up, a couple of deserving teams will be left out.

Here’s a quick refresher about how the NCAA selection committee classifies wins based on the NET rating:

· Quad 1: Home vs. teams ranked 1-30 / Neutral vs. teams ranked 1-50 / Road vs. teams ranked 1-75
· Quad 1A: Home vs. teams ranked 1-15 / Neutral vs. teams ranked 1-25 / Road vs. teams ranked 1-40
· Quad 2: Home vs. teams ranked 31-75 / Neutral vs. teams ranked 51-100 / Road vs. teams ranked 76-135
· Quad 3: Home vs. teams ranked 76-160 / Neutral vs. teams ranked 101-200 / Road vs. teams ranked 136-240
· Quad 4: Home vs. teams ranked 161-351 / Neutral vs. teams ranked 201-351 / Road vs. teams ranked 241-351

The Bracket

The projections below are based on all games played through March 14, 2024. Following the bracket, I included some quick notes on the last four in and first four teams out.

Indianapolis – March 22/24 Memphis – March 22/24
1) Purdue 1) Houston
16) Norfolk St. / Wagner 16) Longwood
8) Dayton
8) Florida
9) Florida Atlantic 9) Northwestern
Spokane – March 22/24 Omaha – March 21/23
5) Utah State
5) South Carolina
12) South Florida 12) James Madison
4) Alabama 4) Duke
13) Samford 13) VCU
Pittsburgh – March 21/23 Pittsburgh – March 21/23
6) Nevada 6) Clemson
11) Virginia 11) New Mexico / St. John’s
3) Creighton 3) Kentucky
14) Charleston 14) Morehead State
Memphis – March 22/24 Indianapolis – March 22/24
7) Gonzaga 7) Washington State
10) Mississippi State 10) Drake
2) Baylor 2) Marquette
15) Sam Houston
15) Quinnipiac
Charlotte – March 21/23 Brooklyn – March 22/24
1) Tennessee 1) Connecticut
16) Grambling / Montana St. 16) Stetson
8) Texas 8) Colorado State
9) Nebraska 9) TCU
Spokane – March 22/24 Salt Lake City – March 21/23
5) San Diego State 5) BYU
12) McNeese State 12) Grand Canyon
4) Kansas 4) Auburn
13) Vermont 13) UC Irvine
Brooklyn – March 22/24 Omaha – March 21/23
6) Texas Tech 6) Wisconsin
11) Seton Hall / Texas A&M
11) Princeton
3) Illinois 3) Iowa State
14) Akron 14) Oakland
Salt Lake City – March 21/23 Charlotte – March 21/23
7) Saint Mary’s 7) Boise State
10) Oklahoma 10) Michigan State
2) Arizona 2) North Carolina
15) South Dakota State 15) Colgate

Last Four In:

St. John’s: The predictive metrics are great and the Red Storm have 10 wins in the top two quadrants. On the other hand, just one of those wins is against a team safely in the field. Beating UConn today would seal the deal, but they are not safe yet.

Seton Hall: While the Pirates have five Q1 victories, they are just 11-12 in non-Q4 games thanks to a relatively poor non-conference strength of schedule. They are outside the top 60 in three of the four team sheet metrics, though, so it will be a long couple of days of waiting.

New Mexico: After beating Boise State early Friday morning, the Lobos now have six wins against the field, which is more than most bubble teams can claim. Still, they have a Q4 loss and a poor non-con SOS, but they are 23rd in the NET as of today.

Texas A&M: The Aggies now have five Q3 losses after Memphis fell on Thursday and there isn’t much precedent for a team like that making the field. At the same time, they are 12-8 in the top two quadrants and challenged themselves in the non-conference.

First Four Out:

Colorado: The Buffs have great metrics, but I struggle to get past the fact that they have just one win against the field (Washington State). They are also 2-5 in Q1 and rank 261st in non-con SOS. They are a team I want to take a closer look at.

Providence: The Friars are much closer to the cut line after beating Creighton. They’ve picked up four of their six wins over teams in the at-large field or the first four out after the Bryce Hopkins injury, so that should no longer be a major talking point. Providence now has six Q1 victories, but they are just 9-12 in non-Q4 games.

Indiana State: Between the chaos in the A-10 and other bubble teams winning, Thursday did not go well for the Sycamores. Their lone Q1 win came at Bradley and even though the metrics are good, I struggle to see them making it now.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers essentially knocked Wake out of the bubble picture on Thursday. They are now 9-8 in the top two quadrants, but just two wins are over teams in the at-large field. A strong road record certainly helps, but they have two Q3 losses and rank 344th in non-con SOS.

Conference Breakdown:

Big 12 (9): Baylor, BYU, Houston, Iowa St., Kansas, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech

SEC (8): Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M

Big Ten (6): Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin

Mountain West (6): Boise State, Colorado St., Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah State

Big East (5): Connecticut, Creighton, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

ACC (4): Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia

American (2): Florida Atlantic, South Florida

Atlantic 10 (2): Dayton, VCU

Pac-12 (2): Arizona, Washington State

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s*

America East: Vermont

Atlantic Sun: Stetson*

Big Sky: Montana State*

Big South: Longwood*

Big West: UC Irvine

Coastal: Charleston*

Conference USA: Sam Houston

Horizon: Oakland*

Ivy: Princeton

MAAC: Quinnipiac

MAC: Akron

MEAC: Norfolk State

Missouri Valley: Drake*

Northeast: Wagner*

Ohio Valley: Morehead State*

Patriot: Colgate*

Southern: Samford*

Southland: McNeese State*

SWAC: Grambling

Summit: South Dakota State*

Sun Belt: James Madison*

WAC: Grand Canyon

* – Automatic Bid

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