2. The Big Ten has been down this year, and the Selection Committee took notice. No Big Ten school got better than a 4 seed. Purdue, the Big Ten regular season champ, picked up the 4, while the league's co-runners-up, Maryland and Wisconsin, received 6 and 8 seeds, respectively. Confusingly, both Minnesota (5) and Michigan (7) were awarded lower seeds than Wisconsin. The Wolverines at least won the conference tourney and finished 2-1 versus the Badgers this season. Minnesota, on the other hand, finished a game behind Wisconsin, failed to advance as far in the conference tourney, and lost twice to the Badgers.
3. Coming into the tournament as the defending champ with the fewest losses since '92 Duke, Villanova gets rewarded with...Wisconsin as its 8 seed. The Badgers are the strongest 8 seed since Kentucky in '14. That year the Wildcats knocked off 1 seed Wichita State in the Round of 32.
4. Speaking of Wichita State and Kentucky, the Shockers are an extremely strong 10 seed. First Gregg Marshall's squad will need to get past A-10 regular season champion Dayton, but Kentucky could be looking at Ken Pomeroy's 8th ranked team nationally in the Round of 32.
5. The Selection Committee did Kentucky no favors, placing the Cats in a region that includes both North Carolina and UCLA. While the Tar Heels likely will have to contend with either Kentucky or UCLA to advance to the Final Four, the top half of the South Region sets up nicely for Roy Williams' squad. RBP ranks the Heels' 4 (Butler), 5 (Minnesota), and 8 (Arkansas) seeds as the weakest at each of those positions across the entire bracket.
6. Given their overall records, Vanderbilt (4 games over .500) and Michigan State (5 games over .500) have no business being 9 seeds, even in a weak field. Both should have been headed to Dayton to play their way into the Field of 64.
7. The Selection Committee released its 1-68 rankings of the tourney field. Comparing those rankings to RBP's rankings (see previous post), we can see who the Committee is overvaluing and undervaluing. The Selection Committee is overvaluing -- Vanderbilt (+13), Michigan State (+13), Minnesota (+12), Butler (+11), and Seton Hall (+8). It is undervaluing -- Wichita State (-13), Wisconsin (-12), Middle Tennessee (-12), Nevada (-8), and Vermont (-8). RBP and the Selection Committee agreed on Villanova (1), ETSU (52), South Dakota State (64), and Mount St. Mary's (68).
8. Here are the teams included in RBP's preseason top 25 that did not make the tourney -- Indiana (4), Syracuse (14), California (17), Connecticut (21), Texas (22), and Texas A&M (24).
9. With a healthy Chris Boucher, Oregon comes out of the Midwest and is RBP's pick for the title. Without Boucher, the Ducks' third leading scorer and the Pac-12's top shot blocker, the Ducks will be hard-pressed to advance beyond the Sweet 16.