We've pushed this feature from Wednesday to Thursday this week (I'm sure you all were in a dither yesterday afternoon) because Xavier played on Wednesday. It's a good thing we did, because the Muskies' win over Providence rocketed them from 17th to 16th on the s-curve. A one-position leap isn't superficially that significant, but it puts Xavier into what the NCAA refers to as the protected seeds.
Any team on the top four lines is - or is supposed to be - given geographic protection, meaning that Xavier wouldn't have to fly across the country to play Gonzaga in Spokane or head up to Brooklyn to take on Stony Brook. If you find yourself in the top four lines, the NCAA is going to try to put you somewhere where the crowd won't be geographically predisposed to supporting your opponent. Drop below that level and you might end up taking on Dayton at home or in Columbus (just for example). Anyway, here's the s-curve:
|2||North Carolina||West Virginia||KENTUCKY||Oklahoma|
|4||Iowa St.||Xavier||Maryland||WICHITA ST.|
|8||Florida||SAINT JOSEPH'S||California||Seton Hall|
|10||Saint Mary's||Dayton||Texas Tech||Utah|
|11||Butler||ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK||Kansas St.||Creighton|
|13||MONMOUTH||STONY BROOK||UNC WILMINGTON||AKRON|
|14||STEPHEN F. AUSTIN||CHATTANOOGA||SOUTH DAKOTA ST.||SAN DIEGO ST.|
|15||CAL ST. BAKERSFIELD||UAB||WEBER ST.||BELMONT|
|16||TEXAS SOUTHERN||BUCKNELL||NORTH FLORIDA||UNC ASHEVILLE|
|First 4 out||UCLA||Princeton||Providence||South Carolina|
|Next 4 out||BYU||Pittsburgh||LSU||Colorado|
And here's the bracket:
It's more or less what you would expect. With a system like Pomeroy's teams from the big conferences will sort of percolate towards the top as long as they acquit themselves well, even if they're not winning a ton of games. That's why you have your occasional 17-10 Creighton team or 15-11 K State sneaking in here while they're still fighting to get onto the bubble in most other bracketologies. On the flip side, a 21-win team from a mid-major conference (Dayton, for instance) is going to get a solid single-digit in real life but will be starting from behind the eight-ball on our list. Such are the vagaries of tempo-free rankings systems.