NCAA Bracketology Update: Miami Makes a Move
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.
|57||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||8.78||24.5-5.5||89.39%||10|
|46||Illinois State Redbirds||10.14||22.4-6.6||88.17%||11|
|58||North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks||8.74||23.3-5.7||87.42%||10|
|48||Virginia Commonwealth Rams||9.97||23.3-7.7||87.17%||12|
|91||New Mexico State Aggies||5.26||22.7-4.3||86.81%||13|
|66||Nevada Wolf Pack||7.64||23.3-7.7||77.41%||12|
|111||North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs||3.58||20.6-8.4||72.26%||14|
|64||East Tennessee State Buccaneers||7.77||20.8-8.2||67.59%||14|
|31||Texas Christian Horned Frogs||11.67||19.1-10.9||66.77%||7|
|21||Oklahoma State Cowboys||14.68||17.9-12.1||64.11%||8|
|38||Miami (FL) Hurricanes||11.25||19.1-10.9||62.37%||8|
|52||Seton Hall Pirates||9.39||18.4-11.6||60.44%||9|
|118||Florida Gulf Coast Eagles||2.89||18.9-8.1||57.61%||15|
|34||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||11.6||17.0-13.0||57.41%||8|
- UNC-Asheville (111th in nERD) has won six straight games and 11 of their past 12. Last week, they bested the High Point Panthers (254th) 74-71 and the Winthrop Eagles (125th) 104-101 in double overtime. A week ago, Winthrop owned a 61.52% chance to reach the tournament, but that dropped to just 24.11%. The Bulldogs took over as the most-likely team from the Big South to reach the Big Dance as a result.
- Seton Hall (52nd in nERD) is just 3-5 in their past eight games, but their schedule isn't exactly easy. Last week, though, they beat Georgetown (56th) on the road 68-66 in overtime as well as Providence (63rd) at home 72-70 in overtime.
- Princeton (93rd in nERD) was projected for a 15 seed last week but had just a 42.61% chance to secure a tournament spot. They've improved their odds to 62.26%. They've reeled off nine straight wins, and their three games last week were all road tilts. They beat Dartmouth (314th) 69-64, Harvard (133rd) 57-56, and Penn (181st) 64-49.
- Along with Winthrop, three teams left the list who made the cut last week. Clemson's chances dropped from 58.12% to 45.04% after an 0-2 week. Arkansas also dropped two games last week and saw their odds plummet from 76.05% to a scant 22.49%. Southern Methodist no longer made the cut but only because they climbed into the top 25 this past week. Their odds sit at 93.62%.