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WBE Bracketology

It’s a personal tradition of mine to uselessly post my own bracketology picks, mostly because I spend so much time thinking about the Bubble over the final couple of days it seems like a waste not to put that thinking to some kind of use.

I see the final bubble breaking down like this:

IN

1. Cal. It would be totally unprecedented to leave the Pac-10 regular season champion out of the NCAAs, but the Bears’ resume is paper-thin, and without the Pac-10 name-brand probably wouldn’t be any better than …

2./3.Utah St./UTEP. Nearly identical “we crushed everyone in our so-so conference but didn’t do much outside of it” resumes. The Aggies did a little bit more outside of it, though, so I’ll be seriously disappointed if the Miners get in first on C-USA’s alleged strength alone.

4. Florida. Last team in. Not as many big wins as Illinois, not as strong in-conference as Va. Tech, but fewer bad losses than the former and much stronger out-of-conference showing than the latter.

OUT

5. Illinois. 5-9 against the top 50’s not bad, but only one other top-100 win and 4 losses outside that top 100.

6. Mississippi St. If the “eye test” is applied both the Illini and Bulldogs get in on the strength of their double-OT defeats, but the botto mline to me is: 2 top 50 wins, only one of them during the regular season. I don’t think it’s enough.

7. Virginia Tech. No. 340 nonconference schedule and much worse average RPI win/average RPI loss numbers than the other power-conference bubble teams. 10-6 in the ACC doesn’t go as far as it used to.

That said: it’s a much, much harder to parse these final few teams than it is most years and it won’t surprise me to see any team on this list or any team out. I’m hoping Utah St. is spared the snub–the Aggies are veteran snubees and deserve a break–but they also didn’t schedule hard enough and should have won last night.

Anyways, the WBE bracket

MIDWEST

Oklahoma City

1. Kansas vs.
16. Robert Morris

8. Northern Iowa vs.
9. Florida St.

Spokane

5. Georgetown vs.
12. Cornell

4. Tennessee vs.
13. Murray St.

Buffalo

6. BYU vs.
11. Missouri

3. Pitt vs.
14. Houston

Providence

7. Texas vs.
10. Minnesota

2. Temple vs.
15. Morgan St.

EAST

Jacksonville

1. Duke vs.
16. East Tennessee St.

8. Gonzaga vs.
9. Louisville

New Orleans

5. Texas A&M vs.
12. Utah St.

4. Vanderbilt vs.
13. Wofford

Milwaukee

6. Butler vs.
11. Siena

3. Purdue vs.
14. Ohio

Providence

7. Richmond vs.
10. San Diego St.

2. West Virginia vs.
15. Vermont

EAST

New Orleans

1. Kentucky vs.
16. Lehigh

8. Clemson vs.
9. Oklahoma St.

Spokane

5. Maryland vs.
12. Florida

4. Michigan St. vs.
13. New Mexico St.

Jacksonville

6. Xavier vs.
11. Old Dominion

3. Villanova vs.
14. Sam Houston St.

Oklahoma City

7. UNLV vs.
10. Washington

2. Kansas St. vs.
15. Montana

SOUTH

Buffalo

1. Syracuse vs.
16. Winthrop/Arkansas-Pine Bluff

8. Wake Forest vs.
9. Saint Mary’s

San Jose

5. Wisconsin vs.
12. UTEP

4. Baylor vs.
13. Oakland

San Jose

6. Marquette vs.
11. Cal

3. New Mexico vs.
14. UC-Santa Barbara

Milwaukee

7. Notre Dame vs.
10. Georgia Tech

2. Ohio St. vs.
15. North Texas

One note: I tried to follow all the NCAA’s bracketing procedures save for the maddening “no Sundays for BYU” requirement … but I probably made some mistakes here and there. C’est la vie.

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