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NCAA tournament bracketology: Teams are hunting for games to boost profiles

Whilst it could now not get as a lot consideration, any other nonleague recreation scheduled at the fly for this week will have vital bracket implications. Western Kentucky (15-Four) heads to Houston on Thursday, and the Hilltoppers already personal a triumph at Alabama. Tack on a high-profile victory in opposition to a projected No. Three seed, and their at-large profile would fortify significantly as a backstop in case they don’t win the Convention USA match.

The concept that of nonconference pairings set past due within the season isn’t a brand new one. It’s been not up to a decade because the loss of life of the Bracket Busters, a made-for-TV tournament that helped a number of groups fortify their at-large resumes. Amongst them: George Mason, which gained at Wichita State in 2006 and later snagged probably the most ultimate at-large berths within the box. VCU did the similar factor in 2011 after profitable at Wichita State. Each the Patriots and Rams would advance to the Ultimate 4.

Ahead of bloated leagues and TV calls for, it wasn’t too unusual to look intersectional video games not up to a month earlier than Variety Sunday. In 2001, Maryland confronted Oklahoma at the ultimate Saturday of February. A yr later, Cincinnati and Wake Woodland performed in early February. Now, with 20-game league schedules and convention tv networks, the ones types of pairings so deep within the season are uncommon.

Striking scheduling need commercials on social media will have to be an only-in-a-pandemic construction. But there’s some price to no less than a handful of late-season nonconference video games.

Marquette-North Carolina and particularly Western Kentucky-Houston have the prospective to persuade how the bracket is built in mid-March. In contrast to maximum November and December video games, they are going to be performed when informal lovers are no less than beginning to concentrate on the game. Nobody will have to need a repeat of the way a lot of this season has spread out, however the go back of the random February nonconference recreation is in truth price wearing into subsequent yr.

Box notes

Final 4 incorporated: Indiana, Seton Corridor, Stanford, Colorado State

First 4 at the out of doors: Drake, Minnesota, Richmond, Connecticut

Subsequent 4 at the out of doors: Duke, Utah State, Western Kentucky, Syracuse

Convention name: Large Ten (nine), Large 12 (7), Atlantic Coast (6), Southeastern (6), Percent-12 (Five), Large East (Four), Atlantic 10 (Three), Mountain West (Three), American Athletic (2), West Coast (2)

Transferring in: Furman, Maryland, St. Bonaventure, Wichita State

Transferring out: Connecticut, Minnesota, UNC Greensboro, Utah State

Bracket projection

West vs. East, South vs. Midwest

(1) WEST COAST/Gonzaga vs. (16) NORTHEAST/Bryant-SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC/Prairie View A&M

(eight) LSU vs. (nine) MISSOURI VALLEY/Loyola Chicago

(Five) Virginia Tech vs. (12) Colorado State/Stanford

(Four) Creighton vs. (13) MID-AMERICAN/Toledo

(Three) West Virginia vs. (14) ATLANTIC SUN/Liberty

(6) Wisconsin vs. (11) AMERICAN ATHLETIC/Wichita State

(7) Colorado vs. (10) Louisville

(2) Iowa vs. (15) AMERICA EAST/Vermont

It’s simple to determine why Loyola Chicago’s metrics are so favorable even supposing it owns only one Quadrant 1 victory. Of the Ramblers’ 19 triumphs, 16 have come by way of double-digit margins. … Colorado State hasn’t performed since Feb. 6, and treading water isn’t very best. However the Rams haven’t misplaced a lot — two house video games in opposition to suffering New Mexico, one in opposition to Northern Colorado and a two-game swing to stand a Nevada workforce that’s led to complications for others within the Mountain West. …

Wichita State has gained 5 in a row, together with an disillusioned of Houston, and now leads the American by way of a recreation within the loss column. … Louisville is in a difficult spot, conserving no Quadrant 1 victories in past due February. The Cardinals have been obliterated by way of North Carolina, 99-54, coming off a long pause, and should not have a very easy end. … Iowa’s second of reality for its hopes of touchdown a place at the most sensible line is in truth a two-parter inside the subsequent week: Journeys to Michigan (Thursday) and Ohio State (Sunday) supply precisely the alternatives the Hawkeyes will have to crave at this level.

(1) Ohio State vs. (16) WESTERN ATHLETIC/Grand Canyon

(eight) Oregon vs. (nine) MOUNTAIN WEST/San Diego State

(Five) Arkansas vs. (12) HORIZON/Wright State

(Four) Kansas vs. (13) SOUTHERN/Furman

(Three) Houston vs. (14) CONFERENCE USA/North Texas

(6) Texas Tech vs. (11) Saint Louis

(7) Clemson vs. (10) Rutgers

(2) SOUTHEASTERN/Alabama vs. (15) SUMMIT/South Dakota State

No matter doubt there may be about San Diego State’s postseason potentialities may also be spoke back with this week’s two-game set with Boise State. A break up will cause them to laborious to dislodge from the at-large box. … Arkansas simply helps to keep piling up victories. The Razorbacks (17-Five) are Four-Four in Quadrant 1 video games and Four-Four at the highway. … Kansas has defeated everybody within the Large 12 once or more, apart from for Baylor and Texas. That’s who the Jayhawks shut their convention agenda with this week. …

No matter faint hope Houston had of touchdown a No. 1 seed almost definitely dissolved when it misplaced to Wichita State. Nonetheless, it’ll finally end up a No. 2 or No. Three seed if it wins out. … It’s an enormous seven-day stretch for Saint Louis, which stays one of the tricky groups to evaluate. The Billikens (11-Four) talk over with VCU on Tuesday, host Richmond on Friday and shut out the common season in opposition to Massachusetts on Monday.

(1) BIG 12/Baylor vs. (16) MID-EASTERN/North Carolina A&T-METRO ATLANTIC/Siena

(eight) Brigham Younger vs. (nine) Xavier

(Five) PAC-12/Southern California vs. (12) Indiana/Seton Corridor

(Four) Tennessee vs. (13) BIG SOUTH/Winthrop

(Three) ATLANTIC COAST/Florida State vs. (14) SOUTHLAND/Abilene Christian

(6) Missouri vs. (11) Maryland

(7) Oklahoma State vs. (10) St. Bonaventure

(2) Illinois vs. (15) BIG SKY/Jap Washington

Baylor will get again to paintings in the end; its Tuesday date with Iowa State is its first recreation in 3 weeks. … Winthrop is the highest seed within the Large South match after wrapping up the common season at 20-1. The Eagles gained’t have to depart campus in any respect all over the league match. …

Maryland’s four-game profitable streak over 8 days — capped by way of a victory at Rutgers — vaults the Terrapins into the sphere. Their profile is nearly similar to the Scarlet Knights’. … The nearer you take a look at St. Bonaventure’s profile, the simpler it seems. The Bonnies haven’t any inexplicable losses, are above .500 clear of Olean and are above .500 (Four-Three) in video games in opposition to the highest two quadrants.

(1) BIG TEN/Michigan vs. (16) SUN BELT/Texas State

(Five) Texas vs. (12) OHIO VALLEY/Belmont

(Four) Virginia vs. (13) BIG WEST/UC Santa Barbara

(Three) Oklahoma vs. (14) PATRIOT/Colgate

(6) Purdue vs. (11) ATLANTIC 10/Virginia Commonwealth

(7) Boise State vs. (10) North Carolina

(2) BIG EAST/Villanova vs. (15) COLONIAL/James Madison

Michigan hasn’t clinched a No. 1 seed, however its paintings since coming back from a covid pause — wins at Wisconsin and Ohio State sandwiched round a defeat of Rutgers — definitely supplies some insulation. The Wolverines get Iowa at house on Thursday. … How the committee treats Belmont, proprietor of a 21-game profitable streak and a 24-1 document, shall be interesting. That is going for whether or not the Bruins win the Ohio Valley or now not. …

Every other interesting seeding dialogue may happen round Colgate, which is 11-1 and is 13th within the NET, however has solely performed 3 different Patriot League groups (Military, Boston College and Holy Pass). Additionally price declaring is Army (13-2), which is 82nd within the NET however did play a truncated nonconference agenda. The Midshipmen can be a ambitious convention match impediment for the Raiders. … Boise State did itself a global of excellent in sweeping Utah State at house ultimate week. The Broncos’ sequence at San Diego State this week almost definitely comes to a decision the Mountain West.

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