Bracketology 2014 – The Final Prediction, Sunday, March 16, 2014

Click here to see what the bracket will look like when it’s released tonight

Teams in all caps have auto bids into the tournament. Lower cased teams have earned at large bids.

Without any bubble teams playing today, there was no movement on the bubble on Selection Sunday.

Last Four In Byes

Pittsburgh (25-9, RPI: 39, SOS: 59) – Pittsburgh did enough in the ACC Tournament beating North Carolina and continuing to pass the eye test to lock themselves up for the tournament. It might not be the seed they would have wanted a few weeks ago, but at least they’re in.

Arizona State (21-11, RPI: 44, SOS: 52) – The Sun Devils were unable to grab a win in the Pac-12 Tournament and as a result they find themselves closer to the cut line than they may have liked. However, they’re still safe for when the bracket is released.

Xavier (21-12, RPI: 47, SOS: 26) – Xavier’s game against Marquette was a must win for the Musketeers and they did what they needed to do to get the job done. They have the numbers and they’ve amassed a few quality wins to get an at large bid.

Southern Methodist (23-9, RPI: 53, SOS: 114) – At one point, SMU was close to being a lock. But then they dropped their final two regular season games and lost in the their first game of the AAC Tournament to lowly Houston. Their full body of work should still put them in, but they’ve fallen from near lock to the bubble.

Last Four In

Nebraska (19-12, RPI: 48, SOS: 29) – The Huskers’ win in their final regular season game against Wisconsin was huge. Without that win, Nebraska would have had to have done some damage in the Big Ten Tournament to get into the tournament. Instead, the win over the Badgers replaced the potential win against Ohio State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament and Nebraska still finds themselves in the Big Dance.

BYU (23-11, RPI: 31, SOS: 25) – BYU is the perfect example of why mid-major schools need to schedule tough out of conference. The Cougars have a non-conference SOS of four which has helped keep their overall SOS high, too. They went out and challenged themselves and, even more importantly, won some of those games. Despite Kyle Collinsworth’s injury, BYU should be rewarded for their efforts.

Tennessee (21-12, RPI: 42, SOS: 23) – Tennessee did what other SEC bubble teams didn’t; they went out and scheduled somebody. The Volunteers played Wichita State, Virginia, North Carolina State and Xavier twice in the non-conference. They only beat Virginia and Xavier once, but even just having those other games on the schedule does wonders for a team’s resume. That’s what really separates them from Missouri and Arkansas.

Dayton (23-10, RPI: 43, SOS: 63) – There are some holes in this resume, such as the three losses to teams outside of the top 100 and lackluster computer numbers, but that’s why they’re the last team in and not safer. What Dayton does have, though, is wins over Gonzaga, George Washington, Massachusetts, Saint Louis on the road when they needed a win, a victory over fellow bubble darling California on a neutral court and five more wins over the RPI top 100. In addition, they have a 7-4 road record. These are what put the Flyers over the edge and keep them in the field, even if just barely.

First Four Out

California (19-13, RPI: 63, SOS: 36) – What California has going to it is a handful of very quality wins, most notably the win against Arizona on Feb. 1. However, since that win, Cal has only won four games. They’ve only managed five top 100 wins all season and have the a 5-6 road record. The numbers aren’t good enough to overcome all of that, so the Bears will have to spend their postseason in the NIT.

Minnesota (20-13, RPI: 50, SOS: 9) – The Gophers’ SOS is great. It’s especially high due to playing in the Big Ten, but their non-conference SOS is 50, so they scheduled only alright outside of their conference. They played Syracuse and Arkansas, but lost to both. While they did manage wins over Florida State and Richmond, neither team has been too impressive this season. Minnesota is a good example of how far good scheduling will get you. At a certain point you need to actually win those games, and going 2-8 against the top 50 doesn’t count very much for winning those games. Going 3-7 on the road doesn’t help, either.

Florida State (19-13, RPI: 54, SOS: 33) – Florida State picked up a couple of nice wins against Massachusetts and VCU in the non-conference. Their problem is that when conference play came around, they managed one quality win over Pittsburgh. Otherwise, for the most part, they beat who they were supposed to and lost to who they were supposed to. That’s the perfect formula to get yourself left out of the tournament.

Southern Miss (27-6, RPI: 33, SOS: 131) – Southern Miss is BYU without the tough schedule. They have similar RPIs, both experienced a few bad losses  and both are solid, capable teams. However, BYU knew they wouldn’t get the challenge they needed in their conference so they scheduled well out of conference. Southern Miss chose to rely on the C-USA to provide them with enough competition and they took the wrong gamble. They played nobody and will be penalized by missing the tournament.

Next Four Out

Missouri (22-11, RPI: 49, SOS: 66) – With the strength of the SEC this season it might as well been a mid-major. Tennessee scheduled out of conference, gave themselves a chance to get quality wins and bettered their computer numbers. Missouri didn’t, and now they’re finishing the season with a 2-4 mark against the top 50. That simply isn’t enough to get them a bid.

Arkansas (21-11, RPI: 75, SOS: 92) – If you think some of these other teams scheduled poorly out of conference, just wait until you hear Arkansas’ non-conference SOS: 205. Need I say more? If you want to make the tournament you need to schedule like it.

North Carolina State (21-13, RPI: 56, SOS: 34) – The win against Syracuse did enough to get the Wolfpack into the next four out. What NC State did the rest of the season is what will keep them here. They’re 3-9 against the top 50, they’re numbers are okay and they’ve got some questionable losses on their resume. They’ll be on the outside looking in tonight.

St. John’s (20-12, RPI: 67, SOS: 51) – I feel like a broken record saying it, but St. John’s is another example of why you have to schedule someone to get a bid. The Red Storm have a non-conference SOS of 140. You can’t control your conference’s strength, but you can control your non-conference schedule, and St. John’s failed to impress. Wisconsin and Syracuse were on the schedule, but they lost to both, leaving them with a 2-9 mark against the top 50. Enjoy the NIT, St. John’s. It’ll be just like your non-conference all over again.

Per Conference

Big 12 – 7 (Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State)

A-10 – 6 (VCU, Saint Louis, Massachusetts, George Washington, St. Joseph’s, Dayton)

Big Ten  – 6 (Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska)

Pac-12 – 6 (Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, Stanford, Arizona State)

AAC – 5 (Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Memphis, Southern Methodist)

ACC – 5 (Virginia, Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburgh)

Big East – 4 (Villanova, Creighton, Xavier, Providence)

SEC – 3 (Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee)

Mountain West – 2 (San Diego State, New Mexico)

WCC – 2 (Gonzaga, BYU)


1. Florida

2. Arizona

3. Wichita State

4. Michigan

5. Kansas

6. Iowa State

7. Wisconsin

8. Virginia

9. Villanova

10. Louisville

11. Michigan State

12. Duke

13. Creighton

14. Cincinnati

15. UCLA

16. Syracuse

17. San Diego State

18. Oklahoma

19. Ohio State

20. Connecticut

21. North Carolina

22. VCU

23. Kentucky

24. New Mexico

25. Baylor

26. Saint Louis

27. Texas

28. Massachusetts

29. Memphis

30. Oregon

31. George Washington

32. Colorado

33. St. Joseph’s

34. Gonzaga

35. Kansas State

36. Stanford

37. Oklahoma State

38. Iowa

39. Pittsburgh

40. Arizona State

41. Xavier

42. Providence

43. Southern Methodist

44. Nebraska

45. BYU

46. Tennessee

47. Dayton

48. Harvard

49. Tulsa

50. North Dakota State

51. Stephen F. Austin

52. Manhattan

53. Western Michigan

54. Delaware

55. Mercer

56. North Carolina Central

57. New Mexico State

58. Eastern Kentucky

59. Louisiana-Lafayette

60. American

61. Milwaukee

62. Weber State

63. Wofford

64. Coastal Carolina

65. Albany

66. Mount St. Mary’s

67. Texas Southern

68. Cal Poly

Justin Meyer
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Justin Meyer

Editor-In-Chief at The Left Bench
Justin co-founded The Left Bench in 2013, and ever since nothing was the same. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio, who has transplanted to the University of Maryland for college. He watches more college basketball than any one person should and is admittedly a 20-year-old curmudgeon.
Justin Meyer
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About Justin Meyer 209 Articles
Justin co-founded The Left Bench in 2013, and ever since nothing was the same. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio, who has transplanted to the University of Maryland for college. He watches more college basketball than any one person should and is admittedly a 20-year-old curmudgeon.