Bracket Watch: Will Clemson’s last-minute losses bump them out of the bracket?
On Monday, I asked my Twitter followers whether they’d be OK handing out an at-large berth right now to Clemson, a Top 40 team on KenPom but one that’s now just 13-11 overall and 3-9 in the ACC. Their overwhelming response: No way!
I agree in theory. And yet the Tigers are still my first team out of the field. Which speaks to how deceiving the bubble picture is at this point in the season. By the time the conference tournaments end, a team with Clemson’s profile would not be close to getting in. But right now the field is very much still open.
Clemson is not the only team that’s faded after a strong start — you’ll notice Indiana no longer appears in my bracket; Pittsburgh was part of it not too long ago. But I’m still waiting on a new wave of contenders to step up in their place.
One possibility: Texas Tech. The 17-9 Red Raiders stunned projected No. 1 seed Baylor on Monday for their fourth win over an RPI Top 50 foe (West Virginia, TCU and Kansas State are the others.) But it’s going to take a heck of a finish for Tech to overcome a non-conference schedule ranked in the 300’s nationally.
A reminder: Selection Sunday is March 12, and the tourney begins March 14. The Final Four is April 1-3 in Phoenix.
* — Denotes projected conference champion, automatic berth
This edition’s bracket is East vs. South and Midwest vs. West in the national semifinals, based on the order of my No. 1 seeds.
|16||Mount St. Mary’s*/UC Davis*|
|4||West Virginia||at Buffalo|
|16||New Orleans*/Texas Southern*|
|13||Cal State Bakersfield*|
|6||Saint Mary’s||at Indianapolis|
|7||Xavier||at Greenville, SC|
|15||Florida Gulf Coast*|
|6||Notre Dame||at Salt Lake City|
|1||Gonzaga*||at Salt Lake City|
|6||South Carolina||at Greenville, SC|
|7||Virginia Tech||at Sacramento|
|15||North Dakota State*|
LAST FOUR IN: Syracuse, Cal, Wake Forest, Arkansas
FIRST FOUR OUT: Clemson, Providence, Texas Tech, Seton Hall
NEXT FOUR OUT: Indiana, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Georgia
MULTIPLE BID CONFERENCES: ACC (10), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (5), Pac-12 (5), SEC (5), A-10 (2), American (2), WCC (2)