Wow, some weekend, huh? With Butler shocking Gonzaga, and Syracuse doing the same to Louisville – change has come. Meanwhile in the Big Ten, Michigan State and Michigan made large statements in the rock fight that is the Big Ten chase. 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. I know UConn is not eligible – but I rank them anyway because I am lazy and it is a “should” field.
REGION A: (Top overall seed, #2 seed is 8th ranked team)
- (1) Duke v (16) NC Central/Southern
- (8) Oklahoma v (9) Connecticut
- (4) Oregon v (13) Charlotte/Iowa
- (5) Cincinnati v (12) Kentucky
- (2) New Mexico v (15) Davidson
- (7) Marquette v (10) North Carolina
- (3) Minnesota v (14) Harvard
- (6) UNLV v (11) Illinois
REGION B: (4th overall seed, #2 seed is 5th ranked)
- (1) Michigan v (16) Niagara
- (8) Kansas State v (9) Memphis
- (4) Wichita State v (13) Akron
- (5) Ohio State v (12) LaSalle
- (2) Kansas v (15) Weber State
- (7) Missouri v (10) Oklahoma State
- (3) Miami-FL v (14) North Dakota State
- (6) VCU v (11) Rutgers
REGION C: (2nd overall, #2 is 7th)
- (1) Arizona v (16) Mercer/Charleston Southern
- (8) Notre Dame v (9) Bucknell
- (4) Butler v (13) San Diego State/BYU
- (5) North Carolina State v (12) Louisiana Tech
- (2) Louisville v (15) Stony Brook
- (7) Wyoming v (10) Wisconsin
- (3) Gonzaga v (14) Bryant
- (6) Colorado State v (11) Pittsburgh
REGION D: (3rd overall, #2 is 6th)
- (1) Florida v (16) Long Beach State
- (8) Middle Tennessee State v (9) UCLA
- (4) Indiana v (13) Southern Miss
- (5) Michigan State v (12) Temple
- (2) Syracuse v (15) Northeastern
- (7) Belmont v (10) Iowa State
- (3) Creighton v (14) Valparaiso
- (6) Ole Miss v (11) Colorado
- With the loss to Syracuse, Louisville drops to a #2 – but with both them and Syracuse at #2, the Big East and Big Ten both look very strong.
- Florida’s crushing of A&M and Mizzou were striking – hard to envision them getting much of a test in the SEC, though Kentucky is back in the draw after a 2-0 week.
- I’d call MTSU a bit overseeded myself along with Ole Miss, but Belmont has shown to be pretty darn good. Notre Dame is probably a bit underseeded.
- The teams that just missed the cut? Indiana State, Saint Mary’s, Baylor and Southern Miss … Xavier, Georgetown, Maryland and Virginia next beyond that.