Bracketology Update 2/11: What We Learned From the Selection Committee on Saturday

After a few weeks of nothing but speculation, the bracketology landscape became a bit clearer on Saturday when the NCAA Selection Committee released its top 16 teams through this point in the season.

This gives us a pretty good idea about how the committee has evaluated certain teams and their resumes. It is less than five weeks until Selection Sunday. There is plenty of time for things to change, but historically the majority of the top ranked teams in this bracket reveal have remained in the top 16 on Selection Sunday. Louisville has won 10 straight games and could make its way into the one seed conversation if any of those teams lose some games over the next month.

In addition to seeding the teams, the committee revealed where teams would be placed in the bracket right now.

It was no surprise that Louisville landed on the 2-line. It may have been a bit surprising though to see another ACC team ranked above them. Why is Louisville ranked behind Duke? Duke and Louisville have the same overall record. Both have one really solid win; Duke beat Kansas and Louisville beat Duke. Louisville’s win came on the road while Duke’s came on a neutral court. Duke has two bad losses and Louisville has none. It likely came down to Duke’s ranking according to various metrics. By almost any metric you use (KenPom, Sagarin, etc.), Duke is is a definite top 5 team and Louisville is a lower end top 10 team. Those rankings can change before Selection Sunday, but when deciding between two teams with similar records/resumes, it is pretty clear that the committee will choose the team that is rated better analytically.

The committee only releases its top 16 teams, but the reveal makes the job of a bracketologist much easier. Projections are a bit more accurate and consistent this week.

 Bracket Projections as of 2/11/20:

ESPN: 2 seed in the South playing South Dakota State
CBS: 2 seed in the South playing UC Irvine
FOX: 2 seed in the South playing Murray State
SB Nation: 2 seed in the South playing Bowling Green
USA Today: 2 seed in the South playing Little Rock 2 seed in the South playing Murray State
TeamRankings: 2 seed (5th overall)
Bracket Matrix Aggregator: 2 seed (6th overall)


ACC Bracketology:

The ACC got three teams into the top 16 on Saturday. That was to be expected. As for the rest of the conference, there is not much to be excited about. Virginia is the only other ACC team projected into the field by any bracketology projection. The Cavaliers have been playing well lately, but they are still firmly on the bubble with a month to go. Barring a late season surge from a middling team, its looking like the ACC is a four bid league this season.

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