Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve all officially made it into the month of March. The selection of the 68 teams in the tournament is a mere 11 days away. And still, there are many unanswered questions regarding this year’s March Madness. Below are new Armchair Brackets, accurate for games all the way through February.
Well even after two losses by number one seeds, the top line remains the exact same. North Carolina (25-6) lost a very low scoring affair with Virginia (20-9) on Monday, but still had done enough that I didn’t feel they’d fall and be replaced by Oregon (26-4) or UCLA (26-3). The much bigger number one upset, however, was Gonzaga’s (29-1) stunning home loss to a not-too-shabby BYU team. Still, the evisceration Gonzaga was handing out to the rest of the WCC was drawing serious national attention. While the Zags are still probably the West’s top seed, they do have to worry a teensy bit now. Plus, they lost their chance to join the history books with an undefeated regular season. Despite all this, I somehow doubt the Zags will be an easy out in a couple weeks time.
Near the bottom of the bubble, there were certainly quite a few losses. TCU (17-12) has simply lost too many games in a row to be in the bracket right now. Even though they barely lost to West Virginia (23-7) and they still have a solid chance for a W versus Kansas State (17-12), the Horned Frogs are now in trouble. They were replaced by Vanderbilt (16-14). Before you close the browser in outrage at the thought of a 14 loss team getting in, the Commodores have a stack of great wins, an absolutely brutal schedule, and happen to look like they’re peaking. Still, the Tuesday loss to Kentucky (25-5) seriously hurt, and now they need to beat Florida (23-6) to stay in the bracket.
Just outside the brackets are Wake Forest (16-12), TCU, Houston (20-8), and Georgia Tech (17-13). Further down the bubble, in the range of teams who are essentially out but not by much, are Rhode Island (19-9), Indiana (16-14), Georgia (17-12), and UCF (19-10). I mostly added the Knights of Orlando because they beat Cincinnati (25-4) on Saturday. Will they get an at-large bid? Very likely no. But they’re not a complete non-entity.