It’s Tuesday, and that means it is time to talk Bracketology. Louisville impressed in two road wins last week and the Cards have solidified themselves as contenders for a 1 or 2 seed. Plenty of highly ranked teams are losing, and Louisville has not lost in a month. Last Week, we broke down Louisville’s NCAA Tournament resume.
In the past week, Louisville earned another quadrant 1 win with its road victory over NC State. As things currently stand on February 4th, Pittsburgh has moved up to 75th in the NET rankings, which means that Louisville now owns four quad 1 wins, and they have a winning record of 4-3 in those games.
Along with Pitt, NC State is barely hanging on at 69th. If either of those teams sink below 75 on Selection Sunday in six weeks, the road wins against those two will be classified as quad 2 wins. On the surface, those are not thought of as “good” wins, but the quadrants matter; and having a winning record in quadrant 1 games is a big deal if you want to compete for a top seed. Michigan moved up to 31, so that home win could potentially move back into the quad 1 range if the Wolverines crack the top 30.
Louisville only has two definite quad 1 games remaining. While the resume does not include a bunch of great wins, the Cards don’t have a bad loss. By not losing, Louisville has quietly moved up the rankings and up the projected seed lists. The consensus right now is that Louisville projects as a 2 seed. Some outlets have them only one or two spots away from a one seed. If Louisville keeps winning, other teams will lose games and the Cards could have a real shot at competing for a 1 seed at the ACC tournament.
Bracket Projections as of 2/4/2020 (Links Included)
ESPN: 2 seed in the Midwest playing UC Irvine
CBS: 2 seed in the East playing Little Rock
FOX: 2 seed in the West playing South Dakota State
SB Nation: 2 seed in the South playing South Dakota State
USA Today: 4 seed in the South playing Liberty
TeamRankings: 2 seed (5th overall seed)
Bracket Matrix Aggregator: 2 seed (7th overall)
Locks: Louisville, Florida State, Duke
On the Bubble: Virginia, Syracuse, NC State, Virginia Tech
Probably Out: Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
The ACC has perennially been among the two or three best conferences in the nation. This year, they might struggle to get four teams in the Big Dance. Virginia is probably the bubble team with the best chance. The others have plenty of work to do if they want to hear their names called on Selection Sunday. The three locks are in a good position to earn a top four seed. Even if two or three other teams sneak in, those teams will likely be in the 9-11 seed range.
On Saturday at 12:30 on CBS, the D1 Men’s Basketball committee will unveil its top 16 teams through this point in the season. This is now the fourth year the NCAA will do the midseason bracket reveal. Right now, we have a pretty good idea of where Louisville stands, but on Saturday we will know for sure.