NCAA Bracketology: Which Unranked Teams Will Get In?
One of the best parts of March Madness is the build up, the road to get in. Even if some schools get slotted into an ill-fated 16 seed, an NCAA Tournament berth can be historic for programs with a lacking track record.
Of course, some schools -- power conference teams and teams firmly in the AP Top 25 -- are pretty much shoo-ins to lock up a spot even before guaranteed bids are earned or conference tournaments start.
These are the schools without an AP rank during the season with at least a 50% chance shot to make the tournament, per our algorithm. nERD indicates expected point differential compared to an average team.
|45||North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks||10.05||24.5-4.5||93.44%||11|
|26||Southern Methodist Mustangs||13.53||24.1-6.9||88.70%||9|
|52||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||9.07||24.4-5.6||88.23%||12|
|85||New Mexico State Aggies||5.54||22.8-4.2||87.28%||12|
|40||Illinois State Redbirds||10.70||22.0-7.0||83.15%||12|
|65||Nevada Wolf Pack||7.71||23.4-7.6||78.56%||12|
|31||Marquette Golden Eagles||12.55||19.6-10.4||65.35%||10|
|60||East Tennessee State Buccaneers||8.50||20.6-8.4||60.66%||14|
|33||Texas Christian Horned Frogs||11.84||18.4-11.6||60.14%||9|
|37||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||11.46||17.1-12.9||58.83%||8|
|124||Florida Gulf Coast Eagles||2.69||18.7-8.3||55.03%||15|
|25||Oklahoma State Cowboys||13.63||16.7-13.3||52.04%||10|
- The North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks are 20-2 and 45th by our nERD rating (and 44th per KenPom.com). With the College of Charleston Cougars ranking 100th by nERD, UNC Wilmington has a massive lead over the second-best team in the Colonial Athletic Conference in terms of efficiency.
- The Southern Methodist Mustangs rank 26th by nERD, second in the American Athletic Conference behind the Cincinnati Bearcats (18th). We project SMU for a 9 seed this year. They're the fifth-slowest team in the nation, per our metrics.
- The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are 8-0 in Conference USA play and 18-3 overall. They rank 52nd by nERD and 48th according to KenPom. They're looking to build on their performance last year, when they defeated Michigan State as a 15 seed.
- In the WAC, the New Mexico State Aggies are 6-0 and 19-2 overall. They do rank just 85th by nERD, but that's a massive jump on the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, the second-best team in the conference, who rank 134th by nERD.
- The Dayton Flyers rank 30th according to our metrics and have an 83.64% chance to go dancing, which they've done three years in a row.