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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Predicting the Field

When the Selection Committee puts together their field they first start by ranking teams on an S-curve from 1-68.  After that each team is placed into regions in attempt to give the higher seeded teams favorable courts to play on all the while keeping each region is fair.  Below is my S-curve ranking (I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Ohio St. beats Penn St. today in the Big Ten Final).  Further explanation and a bracket will follow.




1. Ohio St. 2. Kansas 3. Duke 4. Pittsburgh
8. Connecticut 7. San Diego St. 6. North Carolina 5. Notre Dame
9. Texas 10. BYU 11. Louisville 12. Florida
16. Wisconsin 15. Syracuse 14. Kentucky 13. Purdue
17. St. John's 18. Arizona 19. Vanderbilt 20. West Virginia
24. Xavier 23. Texas A&M 22. Kansas St. 21. Cincinnati
25. Temple 26. Georgetown 27. UNLV 28. Washington
32. Gonzaga 31. George Mason 30. Florida St. 29. UCLA
33. Missouri 34. Utah St. 35. Marquette 36. Old Dominion
40. Tennessee 39. Villanova 38. Butler 37. Richmond
41. Illinois 42. Michigan St. 43. Michigan 44. Colorado
48. Penn St. 47. Virginia Tech 46. St. Mary's 45. Clemson
49. Alabama 50. Memphis 51. Belmont 52. Oakland
56. Morehead St. 55. Bucknell 54. Indiana St. 53. Princeton
57. Akron 58. N. Colorado 59. Wofford 60. Long Island
64. UNC-Asheville 63. Boston 62. UC-Santa Barbara 61. St. Peter's
65. Hampton 66. AR-Little Rock 67. Texas-San Antonio 68. Alabama St.
  The teams in bold are the teams bubble teams I believe will be selected. Now, just because a team falls in as a 5 on the S-curve doesn't mean they'll be given a 5 seed.  There are regulations the committee must follow. For example no teams from the same conference can meet prior to the sub-regional final. This year that will be impossible due to the Big East having 11 teams in the field but you won't be seeing #4 Kentucky and #5 Vanderbilt duke it out to make the Sweet 16. If a team lines up in a way that would break this rule the committee will first try to place the worse seeded team in a different region. If this is still not possible then that team will swap seeds where the next available spot is.  With that being said, the most difficult thing to predict is which region each team will be seeded. Here's my two cents:

1 SEEDS
Ohio St. (East)
Kansas (Southwest)
Duke (Southeast)
Pittsburgh (West)
2 SEEDS
Notre Dame (East)
North Carolina (Southwest)
Connecticut (Southeast)
San Diego St. (West)
3 SEEDS
Florida (East)
BYU (Southwest)
Louisville (Southeast)
Texas (West)
4 SEEDS
Kentucky (East)
Wisconsin (Southwest)
Syracuse (Southeast)
Purdue (West)
5 SEEDS
Vanderbilt (East)
Saint John's (Southwest)
Vanderbilt (Southeast)
Arizona (West)
6 SEEDS
Kansas St. (East)
Cincinnati (Southwest)
Texas A&M (Southeast)
Xavier (West)
7 SEEDS
Washington (East)
UNLV (Southwest)
Temple (Southeast)
Georgetown (West)
8 SEEDS
Gonzaga (East)
George Mason (Southwest)
UCLA (Southeast)
Florida St. (West)
9 SEEDS
Marquette (East)
Utah St. (Southwest)
Missouri (Southeast)
Old Dominion (West)
10 SEEDS
Richmond (East)
Villanova (Southwest)
Butler (Southeast)
Tennessee (West)
11 SEEDS
Michigan (East)
Colorado (Southwest)
Michigan St. (Southeast)
Illinois (West)
12 SEEDS
Clemson (East)
Memphis (Southwest)
Penn St. vs. Saint Mary's (Southeast)
Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (West)
13 SEEDS
Morehead St. (East)
Belmont (Southwest)
Oakland (Southeast)
Bucknell (West)
14 SEEDS
Indiana St. (East)
Akron (Southwest)
Princeton (Southeast)
Northern Colorado (West)
15 SEEDS
Boston (East)
UNC-Asheville (Southwest)
Wofford (Southeast)
Long Island (West)
16 SEEDS
Alabama St. vs. Texas-San Antonio (East)
Hampton vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (Southwest)
Saint Peter's (Southeast)
UC-Santa Barbara (West)

Don't get too hung up on the regions. Placing teams in regions is a science I'm still struggling to grasp. Instead pay more attention to the sub-region each team is placed in and hope your team gets a favorable match-up.
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