- Ky McKeon
For those new to the site, my buddy James and I are the resident 3MW bracketologists and will be updating our fields of 68 throughout the year. Jimmy recently posted his updated bracket here, so naturally I had to follow suit because I crave attention and acceptance...
This is my first bracket update of the 2017-18 season, making it more of a rough calibration of where teams stand versus a pinpoint accurate exercise. Seed lines will no doubt change rapidly during the last month and a half of the season, but for now let's dive into the details...
- I think a lot of people may be surprised at North Carolina occupying a spot on the 2-line despite a perceived so-so start to the year. But the Heels are 9-3 in Column 1 & 2 games, which ties them for most C1/C2 victories with Clemson, Kansas, and Xavier. The committee weighted good wins over most everything else last season, so racking up those W's in those first two columns will mean a high seed come March.
- Looking back on this, it's pretty clear I over-seeded Texas Tech a tad - especially given Oklahoma and West Virginia have arguably the better resume. Tech scores higher in the advanced stat rankings (7th per KenPom), but their strength of schedule could hurt their seed come March. OU's 5 Column 1 wins are tied for 3rd most with Villanova and Clemson (Purdue leads that metric with 7; Kansas is 2nd with 6).
- The SEC is freaking tough to seed. Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida are all currently jumbled on the 4 and 5 lines. This is the best SEC we've ever seen (at least in its current state), proven by the fact they have nine teams in the bracket
- NC State just sneaks into the field with 3 wins vs. the RPI Top 25 - an elite number at this juncture.
- I'm shocked Maryland and Baylor aren't in this field, but their resumes just aren't that good. The Terps are 0-6 vs. Column 1 opponents while the Bears are just 1-5. Given that, I awarded a team like Boise State that, while 0-1 vs. Column 1, is a sparkling 4-1 against Column 2 competition and the second best team in a good Mountain West. I think the Committee will lean more favorably towards mid-majors this season.
- Hey look! Kansas is playing Bucknell!