NCAA Bracketology Update: A Familiar Face Returns
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.
|54||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||9.18||25.0-5.0||91.7%||11|
|13||Wichita State Shockers||16.12||25.3-4.7||91.7%||12|
|43||Virginia Commonwealth Rams||10.22||23.9-7.1||89.9%||12|
|58||North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks||8.6||23.1-5.9||86.5%||12|
|99||New Mexico State Aggies||4.74||22.0-5.0||82.3%||14|
|66||Nevada Wolf Pack||7.54||23.2-7.8||77.3%||12|
|107||North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs||4.02||20.9-8.1||76.9%||14|
|18||Oklahoma State Cowboys||15||18.7-11.3||74.9%||7|
|65||East Tennessee State Buccaneers||7.77||21.4-7.6||72.1%||14|
|119||Florida Gulf Coast Eagles||2.86||19.4-7.6||64.4%||15|
|36||Miami (FL) Hurricanes||11.49||19.2-10.8||63.9%||8|
|50||Illinois State Redbirds||9.74||23.1-5.9||62.1%|
|31||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||11.81||16.9-13.1||60.3%||9|
|53||Seton Hall Pirates||9.26||18.4-11.7||59.4%||9|
|39||Texas Christian Horned Frogs||11.04||18.3-11.7||57.2%||11|
- The list is pretty much unchanged from last week's iteration, but two new teams made the cutoff that weren't there last week.
- The Wichita State Shockers (13th in nERD) are up to 91.7% to make the tournament after having won 9 straight games to get to 24-4. They grade out in the 97th percentile in offensive rating in the nation and in the 99th percentile on defense. Last week, they trounced Loyola (IL) (99th in nERD) 81-64 and Southern Illinois (163rd) 87-68. That's really no surprise, though, as they rank 16th in net rating and 3rd in margin of victory in this successful transition season.
- Our 47th-ranked team, Arkansas, is just 3-3 in their past six games but has followed up a two-game skid with two straight wins. Their losses in this stretch at Oklahoma State (18th in nERD), at Missouri (158th), and versus Vanderbilt (60th) have been combatted by wins against Alabama (61st), at LSU (164th), and at South Carolina (27th).