The lesson I’m quickly learning with Bracket Matrix is that you basically have a full day wait to see how games truly effect seedings. For example, the current rankings you’ll see have Saturday’s results included (for the most part) but it doesn’t appear that Sunday’s results were factored in for most bracketers. It’s annoying, but we’ll keep these as up to date as we can.
That said, today’s bracket was the first time we see the scenario we’ve been dreading: a three seed outside of the East. Let’s dive in to talk through how this can happen and start seriously debating how important the East Region is.
Villanova Bracket Watch: 3/7 Update
|1 Seeds||Baylor (1)||Gonzaga (2)||Arizona (3)||Auburn (4)|
|2 Seeds||Kentucky (6)||Wisconsin (8)||Kansas (5)||Duke (7)|
|3 Seeds||Villanova (9)||Tennessee (11)||Purdue (10)||Texas Tech (12)|
|4 Seeds||Illinois (15)||UCLA (14)||Arkansas (16)||Providence (13)|
Seeding Rules That Caused Shifts
- Kentucky could not be in the East because of Auburn
- Texas Tech could not be in the South because of Baylor, couldn’t swap with Tennessee because of Kentucky, and couldn’t swap with Purdue because of Kansas. Texas Tech moves to East, Villanova moves to South
- Illinois could not be in the Mid-West because of Purdue
Overall True Seed Changes From Since Saturday (no bracket watch on Sunday)
- Baylor (1): Up One
- Gonzaga (2): Down One
- Kentucky (6): Up One
- Duke (7): Down One
- Villanova (9): Up One
- Purdue (10): Down One
- Tennessee (11): Up One
- Texas Tech (12): Down One
Impact on Villanova
So here we are, proof that even having the top overall 3 Seed still doesn’t guarantee the Wildcats a spot in the East Region because geography won’t trump some of the other seeding rules. Specifically, the issue is that there are two conferences (Big 12 and SEC) that are likely to both have three teams in the Top 3 Seeds. That forces a lot of shifts on those seed lines while keeping the regions somewhat equal and without moving teams up and down a seed line.
And this brings us to the BIG Question. Would you rather have a 2 Seed outside of the East and play teams like Wisconsin, Purdue, Tennessee, and Texas Tech in the Sweet Sixteen OR would you rather have a non-guaranteed shot at the East but have to face a Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, or Wisconsin?
I had previously been on the 3-Seed with a shot at Philly train, but I’m starting to turn. And the reason isn’t because of facing a 2 seed vs a 3 seed, it’s facing a 6 seed vs a 7 seed in the second round. Right now the Bracket Matrix projected 6 seeds are Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, and Iowa. Those are Top 25 schools. The 7 seed is a step down with USC, Colorado State, Seton Hall, and Murray State.
At the end of the day, being in Philly doesn’t matter if you don’t make it to Philly. I’m all for the easiest path to the second weekend, and that means cheering on Nova for a 2 seed. How do they get it? They’ll likely need to at least make the BET Championship game.
We’ll see if this logic holds up as Championship week unfolds, but for now I’m officially on Team 2 Seed.