Talk to the Palm: Bracketology mailbag answers where teams could be heading for the NCAA Tournament

Welcome to the latest edition of the Talk to the Palm Bracketology mailbag.  Sorry for the delay this week. The forces of evil have been busy in my life the last couple of days and this had to get pushed back.

We have some good questions again this week, so let’s get right to them.

Q: How come Florida State gets sent west every year? – @Ben_Stana and @BillyMa02540202

A: Ideally, that would not happen. The Seminoles have been bracketed in the West region in each of the last three tournaments and actually made the trip out there in the last two. It is in fact one of the bracketing principles not to move teams out of their natural region repeatedly. However, especially at the top, balancing the bracket and conference separation rules will always get precedent.

If you don’t see FSU out West in my bracket now, it is not because of this question alerting me to this principle. It had to do with Maryland losing and falling behind FSU on the two-line.

Next, we deal with the angst of San Diego State fans over the thought of not being in the West region.

Q: What has to happen for SDSU to get 1 in the West? — @TREddy7
Q: Should SDSU lose on purpose so they can be the 2-seed in the West? — @ChrisDHatfield

A: Second question first. I would never recommend losing on purpose. I can’t imagine a coach doing that. How do you even do that legitimately? “Hey, let’s take a bunch of bad shots and throw the ball away whenever we can!”  If you want to lose, just forfeit.

That said, as things stand right now, another loss may very well get that job done.

As for becoming the top seed in the West, that will likely require the Aztecs winning the MWC tournament, ideally beating Utah State to do so, and getting some help from Gonzaga.

Q: Is the A-10 definitely a two-bid league? — @timo424

A: No, it is definitely a one-bid league, unless it’s not. If someone other than Dayton wins the conference tournament, then it is definitely a two-bid league. A couple of teams still have at-large possibilities, so it could even be a three-bid league.

Q: Which are the top five teams that are glad we are using the NET vs the RPI and the other way around? — @mikezor052588

A: Here are the top five relevant teams benefitting most from the NET.

  1. Texas Tech (21 NET, 68 RPI)

  2. Purdue (32 NET, 77 RPI)

  3. Stanford (25 NET, 56 RPI)

  4. Michigan (24 NET, 50 RPI)

  5. Ohio State (15 NET, 39 RPI)

And the top five suffering from the NET

  1. Arizona State (49 NET, 21 RPI)

  2. Auburn (35 NET, 8 RPI)

  3. Virginia (48 NET, 22 RPI)

  4. Cincinnati (50 NET, 28 RPI)

  5. Rhode Island (56 NET, 35 RPI)

Don’t let this list fool you.  A vast majority of the non-majors are hurt by the NET.  The two that are the best at-large candidates from that crowd are Northern Iowa (36 NET, 19 RPI) and East Tennessee State (41 NET, 27 RPI).

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