Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projections – Monday, Jan. 14

    In this week’s bracket, when a one-seed is dropped to a two-seed, it’s always a good time to explain the differences between a bracket and a poll. With a

    January 14, 2019

    In this week’s bracket, when a one-seed is dropped to a two-seed, it’s always a good time to explain the differences between a bracket and a poll. With a poll, a team rarely loses its spot in the rankings if it didn’t lose. The exception would be if a team below them knocks off the number one team in the country or if, despite going undefeated that week, the team looks so bad that a drop is necessary.

    The weekly bracket update is much different. You must remember that we are looking at a team’s complete resume, not just that week’s result. And a team’s resume may change a great deal from week to week, sometimes without the team even playing.

    So is the case this week as we saw a change with Virginia moving to a one-seed and Tennessee dropping to a two-seed. The Volunteers actually had a very good week. They went on the road and came home with two wins over teams who, while they aren’t in the field, are still on the bubble and could work their way back in the field.

    And while it is extremely close between Virginia and Tennessee, I gave the edge to Virginia for two reasons. One, the Cavaliers’ strength of schedule has improved greatly as they have moved into conference play. This is a result of playing better competition and the fact that teams they have previously beaten have improved their resumes, which improves Virginia’s SOS. Secondly, Virginia is not only winning and staying unbeaten but blowing out the competition, and looks every bit of a one-seed.

    Tennessee was not only passed (barely) by Virginia, but is being pushed by the next number two-seed, Michigan State. The Spartans continue to look impressive, but they face a huge road test this week as they travel to Nebraska. Gonzaga disposed of the biggest threat within their conference on Saturday, knocking off San Francisco on the road. The Zags are now primed to run the table in the WCC. The fourth two-seed is Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders continue to roll in the Big 12.

    The middle of the bracket continues to shift with Marquette, Louisville, Maryland and Purdue all moving up. Kansas State moved out of the play-in game by going to Ames and defeating Iowa State. And guess what? Once again, Syracuse is squarely on the bubble.

    A note about the automatic bids. In each conference, the team currently leading the league standings was given the automatic bid. Ties were broken using NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool), giving the auto bid to the team with the highest NET ranking.


    VCU, Syracuse, Texas, Temple


    Cincinnati, Butler, Washington, Missouri


    Dayton, Florida, Creighton, Vanderbilt



    Big Ten (10)

    ACC (8)

    Big 12 (7)

    SEC (7)

    Big East (4)

    AAC (3)

    Pac-12 (2)

    A-10 (2)

    Mountain West (2)


    From here until the end of February I will have a new updated bracket posted every Monday. In March there will be new brackets several times a week. Follow my updates throughout the season @tkbrackets.


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