【r88 đổi thưởng】The biggest questions facing the 2023 NCAA men's selection committee
Selection Sunday is finally here. The day 363 college basketball teams circle on their calendar at the start of a season -- and the day millions of fans around the country get ready to fill out brackets.
But we're not quite ready for that yet. The NCAA tournament selection committee has a few hours left to whittle down the field to 68 teams and get them in the right order.
Given the lack of bubble teams making deep runs in their conference tournaments, the field itself is nearing some sort of consensus. There are only one or two teams not in the majority of brackets that should feel any sort of optimism about their chances.
There has also been plenty of movement closer to the top of the bracket, with battles heating up for the top seeds.
How will the committee sort through the issues at the top of the bracket and shuffle through the teams around the cut line? Here are the biggest questions the members have to answer:
1. Which team gets the final 1-seed?
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Three of the four 1-seeds seem set in stone, in some order (another debate we'll get to in a minute): Alabama, Kansas and Houston. The Cougars are No. 1 in the NET, BPI, KenPom and Sagarin, with a 14-1 record in Quadrant 1 and 2 games entering Saturday. Alabama has hovered near the top of the rankings all season, and seems to have righted the ship since a couple of hiccups toward the end of the regular season. And Kansas has 17 Quadrant 1 wins entering the weekend and ranks No. 1 in ESPN's strength of record.
After UCLA's loss to Arizona in Saturday night's Pac-12 title game, Purdue should feel good about its chances to land the final 1-seed. UCLA has played as well as anyone in the country down the stretch, while Purdue looked like the best team in college basketball for the first three months. UCLA has the edge in the metrics, while Purdue has a better collection of wins and more Quadrant 1 victories. Purdue could seal it with a win in the Big Ten title game, but the Boilermakers are likely getting a 1-seed either way.
Before we move on, a quick dark horse mention for Texas. The Longhorns are still likely behind the Bruins and Boilermakers for the final 1-seed, but they have the second-most Quadrant 1 wins in the country and blew out Kansas twice in the past eight days. Worth a brief discussion, at the very least.
UCLA's Adem Bona leaves game not moving arm
UCLA big man Adem Bona leaves the game with an apparent arm injury.
2. Who is the overall 1-seed?
The final 1-seed is a little more meaningful than the first 1-seed, but it's a debate nonetheless. On paper, it's hard to argue with Kansas having the strongest résumé in the country. The Jayhawks have a ridiculous 17 Quadrant 1 wins and 21 Quadrant 1 and 2 wins -- both three more than anyone else in college basketball. Kansas doesn't have the best predictive metrics, though, which is where Houston enters the discussion.
The Cougars have a clean sweep across the board at No. 1 in the predictive metrics, but they don't have nearly the same depth of quality wins as the Jayhawks.
What about Alabama? The Crimson Tide are right behind Kansas from a résumé perspective and in the top three of every predictive metric. They also have a better collection of wins than Houston. Do Kansas' Big 12 title game loss and the potential injury to Houston star Marcus Sasser give Alabama the edge?
3. Which team is sending the biggest gift basket to Dusty May?
Entering Saturday, there were five potential bid thieves. Ohio State: Lost to Purdue. Cincinnati: Lost to Houston. Vanderbilt: Lost to Texas A&M (more on the Dores in a second). Tulane: Lost to Memphis. And finally, UAB: Lost to FAU.
Usually, there are at least one or two bid thieves in the bracket: A year ago, Richmond won the Atlantic 10 tournament on Selection Sunday, and therefore relegated a bubble team to the NIT. Nothing will happen this season, however. So which team was rescued by Saturday's run of results? Arizona State? NC State? Pittsburgh? Rutgers? Oklahoma State? Nevada? We'll find out soon.
Just one more thing: VCU likely needs the Atlantic 10 automatic bid to have any chance at playing next week -- despite winning the league by three games and making a run to the title game. Our Bubble Watch upgraded the Rams to the bubble on Saturday, but it's hard to envision the committee picking a team with zero Quadrant 1 wins, 22 of 26 wins against Quadrants 3 and 4 and poor predictive metrics. Other bubble teams can root for VCU just for security purposes, but it's unlikely to impact the number of available bids.
4. How much did Vanderbilt's SEC tournament run matter?
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Had the Commodores knocked off Texas A&M in their SEC semifinal, this might be a longer conversation. As it stands, after the 12-point loss, it seems unlikely Jerry Stackhouse's team will hear its name on Selection Sunday. Since the start of February, the Dores have played better than nearly every bubble team from a qualitative perspective, winning 10 of their last 12 games -- including over Kentucky (twice), Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State.
They were also 10-12 prior to that run, and even during their winning streak suffered a bad loss at LSU. Their NET and predictive metrics are really poor, and they have three Quadrant 3 and 4 losses. Texas A&M went a step further than Vandy in the SEC tournament last season and still didn't make the 2022 tournament. It's hard to see a bid happening this year for the Commodores.
5. How does the committee view the ACC, Big 12 and Mountain West conferences?
Conference affiliation is not supposed to be overtly referenced in the committee room, but there are certainly some questions on how the strength -- or lack thereof, in one instance -- of these three leagues will be discussed.
The ACC not possessing its usual strength isn't a secret: It ranks No. 7 in the NET and No. 7 at KenPom, its lowest ranking since the KenPom database started in 1997. The lack of great teams gave the league's bubble teams fewer chances at Quadrant 1 wins, while the slew of mediocre squads toward the bottom meant any loss cratered a résumé. None of NC State, Pittsburgh, Clemson or North Carolina has a perfect résumé, and a general lack of impressive wins across the board could be an issue.
The Mountain West's potential NCAA teams all have impressive metrics, but their good wins come almost entirely from within the league. San Diego State's best nonconference win is against Ohio State, Boise State's is against Texas A&M, Utah State's is Oral Roberts and Nevada's is Sam Houston State. These teams will have to hope the committee is impressed by the league.
As for the Big 12, it will be interesting to see how the committee views all the Quadrant 1 chances. Of the six teams with 10 or more Quadrant 1 wins, four are from the Big 12. Bubble team Oklahoma State has six Quadrant 1 wins -- but the Cowboys had 18 opportunities. Iowa State might be a good indicator of the committee's opinion of the league, though. The Cyclones have 13 losses and are .500 against Quadrants 1-3, but they could push for a top-four seed because they have 10 Quadrant 1 wins.
6. How does the committee handle UCLA's injuries?
UCLA has been playing arguably the best basketball in the country over the past six weeks, winning 12 games in a row before losing in the Pac-12 title game to Arizona. But the Bruins lost starting forward Jaylen Clark for the season last week to an Achilles injury, and starting center Adem Bona went down with an injury in Friday's semifinal, although the school said Bona is expected to return next week. UCLA obviously isn't as strong when it isn't at full strength, but it will be interesting to see whether the committee factors that into its discussion on where the Bruins land in the field.
It's important to note UCLA beat Arizona in the regular-season game after Clark left early. Then the Bruins handled Colorado and Oregon by double digits without him in the Pac-12 tournament before leading the Wildcats for most of the way on Saturday night without both Clark and Bona.
7. Which metrics matter most this year?
The committee takes a million factors into consideration when debating seed and selection, from Quadrant 1 wins to Quadrant 4 losses to predictive metrics to strength of schedule numbers. But each person in that room will put more weight on certain things.
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When it comes to the bubble, Nevada is a prime example. The Wolf Pack are No. 37 in the NET, 4-5 against Quadrant 1 and 8-8 against Quadrants 1 and 2. But they also have two Quadrant 3 losses, both coming in the past two weeks, and a poor predictive metrics profile.
How will the committee compare their résumé to, say, that of Oklahoma State, which has excellent predictive metrics and six Quadrant 1 wins but is 6-12 in Quad 1 games, 10-14 in Quad 1 and 2 games and has 15 total losses? The résumés have very little overlap, so what will the committee value most when it comes to picking one or the other?
8. What does the committee do with Rutgers?
Rutgers had one of the strangest résumés of anyone on the bubble last year, and that might be the case again. Last year, it had an unparalleled collection of great wins but three really bad losses and horrendous metrics. This year, it has very solid metrics: No. 40 in the NET, top-40 across the board from a predictive perspective. And the Scarlet Knights are 10-10 in Quadrant 1 and 2 games. On the flip side, they have four Quadrant 3 losses, a nonconference SOS in the 300s and a 5-8 record away from home. And here's the other factor: Rutgers is just 3-7 since Mawot Mag was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The Scarlet Knights' road win at Purdue in early January might be the trump card that gets them in, but it will be close.