2016 NCAA Tournament Projections – Selection Sunday Edition

See FULL BRACKET here:

NCAA basketball tournament bracket FINAL

 

1 Kansas Oregon Michigan State Villanova
2 Xavier Oklahoma Virginia North Carolina
3 Miami FL Texas A&M Utah West Virginia
4 Arizona Indiana Seton Hall Kentucky
5 St Joseph’s Duke Iowa State Purdue
6 Texas Maryland Baylor California
7 Connecticut Notre Dame Iowa Dayton
8 Wisconsin Butler VCU Cincinnati
9 Gonzaga Texas Tech Oregon State USC
10 Colorado St Bonaventure St Mary’s Providence
11 Monmouth / San Diego State Hawaii (Big West) Temple Wichita State / Hofstra
12 Northern Iowa (MVC) Little Rock (Sun Belt) UNC-Wilmington (CAA) Chattanooga (SoCon)
13 Stony Brook (America East) Stephen F Austin (Southland) Fresno State (MWC) Yale (Ivy)
14 Buffalo (MAC) South Dakota State (SUM) Green Bay (HOR) Iona (MAAC)
15 Cal St Bakersfield (WAC) Weber State (Big Sky) Hampton (MEAC) Middle Tennessee (C-USA)
16 Austin Peay (OVC) / Holy Cross (NEC) UNC-Asheville (Big South) Fairleigh Dickinson (NEC) FGCU (A-Sun) / Southern (SWAC)

Last Four BYES:  Colorado, St Bonaventure, St Mary’s, Temple

Last Four IN:  San Diego State, Monmouth, Wichita State, Hofstra

First Four OUT:  Tulsa, Michigan, Syracuse, South Carolina

Next Four OUT:  Pittsburgh, Valparaiso, George Washington, Long Beach State

Bids by conference:  Big 12 (7), Pac 12 (7), Big Ten (6), ACC (5), Big East (5), Atlantic 10 (4), American (3), CAA (2), MAAC (2), MVC (2), MWC (2), SEC (2), WCC (2)

 

The common theme among the final teams in my bracket was rewarding teams who were exceptional in conference play.  St Bonaventure tied for the A-10 title; Temple won the AAC outright; St Mary’s the WCC; San Diego State the Mountain West; Wichita State the Missouri Valley and Monmouth the MAAC.

The final team in my bracket is Hofstra, which is probably not a commonly shared pick in most brackets.

In the non-conference schedule, Hofstra beat Florida State in the Paradise Jam and won at St Bonaventure (a 10 seed in my bracket).

More notably, Hofstra tied for the league title in the CAA, which has the 9th-highest conference RPI of all 32 leagues.  Generally, conferences rated that high get multiple teams in.  Also, just two of the CAAs 10 teams are below 160 in the RPI. Hofstra went 14-4 in the league, a very respectable accomplishment.  It lost in overtime to UNC Wilmington, the team it tied with for first place, in the CAA Tournament Final.

It is a resume fairly similar to that of the 2006 George Mason team, which earned one of the final at-large bids and turned it into a Final Four appearance.  It is also comparable to that of 2011 VCU, another Final Four team from the CAA (at the time) as an at-large.  We’ll see if the committee allows the chance for history to repeat.

 

 

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