If there are two things that college basketball fans love, they're KenPom numbers and bracketology. The first give an objective measure of where the team sits at the present moment, and the second opens up the path to the end goal, i.e., playing meaningful games late into March. It seems like an obvious move, then to combine the two.
First, some procedural stuff that you're probably assuming. The team with the top KenPom rating in each conference gets the automatic bid. The at-large bids and first/next four out are then filled in with the remaining teams, again in descending order of KenPom rating. From there, everyone gets dumped into the s-curve and then the bracket. I did a little bit of shuffling to keep conference opponents from facing off in the first two rounds; other than that, it's pretty straightforward. If I missed something, let me know in the comments.
Anyway, here's the s-curve:
|The KenPom S-curve 11/26|
|4||North Carolina||San Diego St.||Ohio St.||Michigan St.|
|11||Kansas St.||Nebraska||Creighton||St. John's|
|12||Richmond||Texas A&M||Oregon||Notre Dame|
|13||Northeastern||Green Bay||Georgia St.||New Mexico St.|
|14||Florida Gulf Coast||Murray St.||UC Santa Barbara||Wofford|
|15||Toledo||Denver||Vermont||Stephen F. Austin|
|16||NC Central||Coastal Carolina||Lafayette||Eastern Washington|
|16||St. Francis NY||Texas Southern|
|First 4 out||BYU||California||Indiana||Tulsa|
|Next 4 out||Dayton||Northern Iowa||SMU||Butler|
And here's how it looks in bracket form
Some notes and thoughts:
-KenPom really likes the Big 10 right now, giving them ten teams in the tournament plus Indiana on the bubble.
-The Big East has six teams in and Butler lingering in the next four out.
-The American has only UConn and Memphis in and Tulsa (!) on the bubble; heck of a football conference though.
-Xavier had been in the play-in game before opening up a can on Murray State the other night.
-Three of the top five seeds are from the ACC.
I feel like a nine is just about right for Xavier right now, but they've already been shooting up the KenPom rankings and other ratings systems both objective and otherwise. The Big East is looking up at only the Big 10, Big 12, and ACC in terms of teams in the tournament right now; I can see anywhere between 3 and 6 teams from the league ending up in the real thing when March rolls around. What do you think?