Bracketology 11/26/18

After a busy feast week, there's a lot of changes in this week's seed list. The headlining change is Gonzaga moving up to the #1 overall seed after going 3-0 in Maui, including a win over Duke. I debated a lot between Gonzaga and Kansas for the #1 overall spot but ultimately went with the Zags. With games against Tennessee and North Carolina coming up, plus a significantly improved WCC, they'll have plenty of opportunities to prove they deserve the top overall seed.

The other big storyline I've been following is the demise of the mid-tier conferences. The Missouri Valley and Atlantic 10 have had horrible starts to the season- in the Valley, Loyola and Southern Illinois were supposed to carry the flag for the league and neither have looked like at-large teams. A-10 teams have been losing buy games left and right, including some really bad losses to the likes of Hampton and Longwood. The highest rated A-10 team in Kenpom is Davidson at 79- that would've been pretty unthinkable 5 years ago. The Mountain West and West Coast look like better bets for multiple bids- the WCC in particular looks quite strong with San Diego, San Francisco, St. Mary's, BYU and Loyola Marymount all having at least some at-large potential.

The Big Ten/ACC challenge kicks off tonight with Nebraska/Clemson and BC/Minnesota. After a disastrous 3-11 showing last year that coincided with only 4 NCAA tournament bids, the Big Ten figures to do much better this year as the middle of the league looks very strong. UNC/Michigan is the headliner but a lot of these games could matter come Selection Sunday

1: Gonzaga, Kansas, Duke, Virginia
2: Nevada, Michigan, North Carolina, Michigan State
3: Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Florida State
4: Auburn, Kansas State, Texas, Iowa
5: Oregon, Purdue, Wisconsin, Villanova
6: Ohio State, St. John's, Indiana, Clemson
7: Mississippi State, Houston, Texas Tech, Syracuse
8: Nebraska, Iowa State, Buffalo, UCLA
9: TCU, Washington, Arkansas, Marquette
10: LSU, West Virginia, Arizona State, Furman
11: Creighton, Florida, Butler, (Minnesota/Cincinnati)
12: (UCF/Arizona), Loyola Chicago, Saint Louis, Montana
13: Western Kentucky, UC Irvine, South Dakota State, Northeastern
14: Lipscomb, Belmont, Harvard, New Mexico State
15: Rider, Georgia Southern, Northern Kentucky, Radford
16: Lehigh, Stephen F. Austin, (St. Francis PA/Stony Brook) (Texas Southern/Bethune Cookman)

First Four Out: Maryland, NC State, Oklahoma, Connecticut
Next Four Out: Providence, Northwestern, Miami (FL), Louisville

Also Considered: USC, San Francisco, San Diego State, San Diego, Oregon State, Seton Hall, Loyola Marymount, BYU, Notre Dame, DePaul

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