This past week of college basketball saw six top teams fell on Saturday. Kansas, West Virginia and Baylor all suffered home losses to unranked opponents while Arizona and Kentucky were dealt humbling losses at Oregon and Florida, respectively. Syracuse also bolstered its perplexing resume with a home win over Virginia. The Big 12 as a conference benefited greatly from the upsets, as three of its bubble teams gained signature wins that will headline resumes in March.
Even with the upsets, the scene at the top of the bracket projection has not changed much. The familiar faces remain on the one and two lines, while teams like Virginia, Louisville and Florida State continue to rearrange themselves in the three-to-four seed range.
This weekend will mark the first time the selection committee announces the bracket’s top 16 teams, an attempt to capture some of the buzz that the college football playoff generates throughout the season. While we will get a glimpse into what the selection committee is thinking right now, it would probably be more interesting to see the last 16 at large teams in the field. Nonetheless this release should highlight some major differences between the way the selection committee ranks teams on their seed list and the way the poll voters rank teams on their weekly ballots.
A few teams in particular generate specific interest with regard to the top 16 release. Butler has scuffled a little bit of late and has subsequently slid in the voter polls. However, the Bulldogs still boast a strong RPI rating and have one of the most impressive lists of wins in the country. From the Big Ten, Wisconsin and Maryland are sporting impressive win-loss records, but are lacking in the RPI and strength of schedule departments. Wisconsin is an interesting case with the Badgers ranked in the top seven in the polls but 17 in most RPI systems. The Badgers' place on the seed list will likely fall closer to their RPI number than their poll rankings. On the whole it will be interesting to see and note how much the selection committee deviates from the RPI (and also what factors cause that deviation).
Follow @ScoutBrackets on Twitter to stay up to date on all of the bracket-impacting games and catch the reaction from the top 16 release this weekend.
Teams with projected automatic bids are listed with the conference in (parentheses)
|1. Villanova (Big East)||1. Kansas (Big 12)|
|16. Mount Saint Mary's (NEC) vs. North Carolina Central (MEAC)||16. Sam Houston State (Southland)|
|8. Kansas State||8. Northwestern|
|9. Miami (Fl)||9. California|
|5. Duke||5. Creighton|
|12. Middle Tennessee (CUSA)||12. Akron (MAC)|
|4. Cincinnati (AAC)||4. Wisconsin|
|13. Vermont (America East)||13. Belmont (Ohio Valley)|
|6. Notre Dame||6. Purdue|
|11. Tennessee vs. Michigan State||11. Syracuse vs. Arkansas|
|3. Butler Bulldogs||3. Arizona|
|14. Valpariaso (Horizon)||14. Princeton (Ivy)|
|7. Maryland||7. South Carolina|
|10. Iowa State||10. Illinois State (MVC)|
|2. North Carolina (ACC)||2. Louisville|
|15. Bucknell (Patriot)||15. Winthrop (Big South)|
|1. Baylor||1. Gonzaga (WCC)|
|16. Weber State (Big Sky)||16. Texas Southern (SWAC) vs. UC Davis (Big West)|
|8. Virginia Commonwealth||8. Seton Hall|
|9. Minnesota||9. TCU|
|5. Xavier||5. West Virginia|
|12. UNC Wilmington (CAA)||12. Monmouth (MAAC)|
|4. UCLA||4. Virginia|
|13. New Mexico State (WAC)||13. Boise State (MWC)|
|6. Dayton (Atlantic-10)||6. USC|
|11. Indiana||11. Marquette|
|3. Florida (SEC)||3. Kentucky|
|14. Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun)||14. Arkansas State (Sun Belt)|
|7. SMU||7. Saint Mary's|
|10. Wichita State||10. Oklahoma State|
|2. Florida State||2. Oregon (Pac-12)|
|15. Furman (Southern)||15. North Dakota State (Summit)|