Well, with the conference season starting in earnest now, and finally having a couple of minutes to actually writer about the power rankings which are faithfully updated (well, semi-regularly), we can unveil the first 68 team “should” field. I won’t spend any time pondering the integrity of seeding and regional rules (i.e. not too many teams form one conference in one region etc). Consider this a pure S-curve of the field. For automatic bids, I’m going with the best record OR highest ranking in a tie.
REGION A: (Top overall seed, #2 seed is 8th ranked team)
- (1) Duke v (16) NC Central or Southern
- (8) Boise State v (9) Texas A&M
- (4) Oregon v (13) Baylor/Wisconsin
- (5) Butler v (12) Pittsburgh/Saint Louis
- (2) Minnesota v (15) Harvard
- (7) Cincinnati v (10) Colorado
- (3) Gonzaga v (14) Davidson
- (6) Missouri v (11) Middle Tennessee
REGION B: (4th overall seed, #2 seed is 5th ranked)
- (1) Florida v (16) Florida-Gulf Coast
- (8) UNLV v (9) San Diego State
- (4) NC State v (13) Akron
- (5) Virginia Commonwealth v (12) Louisiana Tech
- (2) Indiana v (15) Bryant
- (7) Wyoming v (10) Colorado State
- (3) Miami-FL vs (14) North Dakota State
- (6) Michigan State v (11) Iowa State
REGION C: (2nd overall, #2 is 7th)
- (1) Louisville v (16) Pacific/Charleston Southern
- (8) Oklahoma State v (9) Illinois
- (4) Wichita State v (13) Belmont
- (5) Oklahoma v (12) Bucknell
- (2) Arizona v (15) Weber State
- (7) UConn v (10) Kansas State
- (3) Syracuse v (14) Iona
- (6) Notre Dame v (11) Temple
REGION D: (3rd overall, #2 is 6th)
- (1) Kansas v (16) Northeastern
- (8) Ole Miss v (9) Memphis
- (4) New Mexico v (13) Stephen F Austin
- (5) Ohio State v (12) Charlotte
- (2) Michigan v (15) Wright State
- (7) Marquette v (10) BYU
- (3) Creighton v (14) Stony Brook
- (6) UCLA v (11) LaSalle
- After Duke’s loss to NC State (the preseason favorite to win the ACC), it is tempting to move them from #1. But the Louisville-VCU-Minnesota gauntlet only looks more impressive now. Losing a tough roadie is hardly enough to move them from #1.
- While there is no Big Ten team at the top, clearly with a pair of #2s, as well as Ohio State and Michigan State having a ton of upside left, this is going to be a great conference race.
- Florida might end up being in the best position to secure a top seed though, with Kansas … I just don’t see where either team is going to get tested much in the SEC and Big 12 respectively.
- Yes, this field missed Kentucky and North Carolina. Right now, neither of those teams deserves to be in.