Bracket Watch: Can Duke, Florida State improve their position in the field?
Every day through Selection Sunday we’ll update our Bracket Watch, giving you an up-to-date field of 68. Each of those columns will begin with a look at the games that night relevant to seeding at the top and in the middle of the field. While the Bubble Watch covers the back end of the field, the Bracket Watch will focus on the teams that are safely in the dance, and what they stand to gain—or lose—every time they take the floor.
Tuesday’s seeding games (all times Eastern, locks are italicized)
Florida State at Duke, 7 pm
The Blue Devils still have plenty of time to work their way up the field, especially with a trip to North Carolina looming this weekend, but this could be a real prize for Florida State. The Seminoles own six top-25 wins, and a 9-2 record against the top 50. If they win out, and Duke beats North Carolina on Saturday, the Seminoles will earn a share of the ACC regular season championship. If they do that and go on to win the ACC tournament, they could sneak onto the top line.
Indiana at Purdue, 7 pm
Purdue can’t increase its tournament profile on Tuesday, but a loss would certainly indict its case for one of the top-16 seeds. If any Big Ten team is likely to be seeded fourth or better in a region, it’s the Boilermakers, but even they might be a longshot. While they’re 6-4 against the RPI top 50, just one of those wins came against a top-25 team (Notre Dame). Given that we already know the committee is down on the Big Ten, as indicated by the absence of the conference in the midseason reveal three weeks ago, Purdue still may have work to do to be among the field’s top-16 teams.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky, 9 pm
Vanderbilt fans should jump over to the Bubble Watch to see what’s at stake for the Commodores. Kentucky has its sights set on a No. 2 seed, with the top line likely out of reach. If the Wildcats move up to a 2-seed, they’d have a shot at staying as close to home as possible, which, this season, is the South Region, hosted in Memphis. Vanderbilt gave Kentucky all it could handle the first time the teams met, with the Wildcats pulling out an 87-81 win in Nashville. If Kentucky is going to reach its seed ceiling, it likely cannot lose the rest of the way, including in the SEC tournament.
Last Four In
First Four Out
Next Four Out
2017 NCAA Tournament
|1 Kansas||Villanova 1|
|16 North Dakota/Mount St. Mary’s||New Orleans/Texas Southern16|
|8 Dayton||Michigan 8|
|5 Purdue||Notre Dame 5|
|12 East Tennessee State||UNC-Wilmington12|
|4 Virginia||West Virginia4|
|13 Belmont||Nevada 13|
|6 Iowa State||Southern Methodist 6|
|11 Marquette||Seton Hall/Illinois State11|
|3 Florida State||Arizona 3|
|14 UNC-Asheville||Monmouth 14|
|7 South Carolina||Saint Mary's 7|
|10 Michigan State||VCU 10|
|15 South Dakota||Akron 15|
|1 Gonzaga||North Carolina1|
|16 NC Central||UC-Irvine16|
|8 Virginia Tech||Oklahoma State8|
|9 Wichita State||Northwestern 9|
|12 Princeton||California/Georgia Tech 12|
|4 Duke||Florida 4|
|13 UT-Arlington||Vermont 13|
|6 Creighton||Wisconsin 6|
|11 Syracuse||Middle Tennessee11|
|14 Valparaiso||Bucknell 14|
|7 Maryland||Miami 7|
|10 Providence||USC 10|
|2 Oregon||Baylor 2|
|15 Florida Gulf Coast||Cal State Bakersfield15|