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When it comes to the field of 68 some will use the eye test; others focus on win/loss record. There are math guys who delve into advanced statistics to create complex valuations of teams like they’re commodities openly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and there are committee members trained to focus on current form. Of course no single approach is 100% accurate however none of these methodologies trump the processes employed by oddsmakers who are reminded daily (by their balance sheets) if teams are rated correctly. Put all of these individuals in one room and you’ll get 100 different permutations of how the field of 68 should look on March 16th. Vegas Bracketology isn’t concerned with modern convention. Resume building wins? Who cares. Record over the last 10 games? Nope, mnimal importance. Instead the focus right here and now for our purposes is on who would be favored over who on a neutral court and by how many.
“Iowa stinks!” Yes, I’ve heard this discourse from everyone over the last 3 weeks since unveiling the first edition of the bracket. How surprised were people when Iowa was listed as a 1 seed when we published Vegas Bracketology 1.0? Clay Travis, yes that guy, picked up the phone from his hotel room on vacation to make sure I hadn’t compromised the integrity of my article (or lost my mind) with a major slip-up. Clearly this team doesn’t pass the eye test right now and quite frankly they’ve shown the inability to close tight games but the metrics still say they’re very much a top ten caliber team. Why do I trust these numbers so much? They were the exact same statistics predicting Syracuse’s downfall long before the media realized scoring 55 points a night doesn’t make you elite. They’re the same numbers that told us St Louis, ranked #10 in the AP at the time, was being over valued given their power profile and back to back losses later (including one as 14 pt favorites against Duquesne) the process is validated. Oddsmakers don’t have the luxury of over reacting to one result; knee jerk decisions cost sportsbooks heaps of cash. You hear all the time in sports teams are what their record says they are but if you truly believe that, you’ve never tried to make a buck by beating the pointspread.
Remember when reviewing our Vegas seeds it’s not going to resemble Joe Lunardi or Jerry Palm’s bracket, IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO! We’re providing a different way to evaluate teams. When you’re filling out pesky brackets on selection Sunday, you’ll be thankful this article is here for a free consultation.
Teams on the rise
Teams on the decline
Listed below are the top 16 seeds in our Vegas Bracketology in a side by side comparison of how they’ve moved the last 3 weeks. The future price listed is the current number courtesy of the LVH.
See how congested the top 16 teams really are in the eyes of Vegas
|Futures||Today||Last week||2 Weeks Ago|
|#11||20-1||Wisconsin||Wichita St||Ohio St|
|#13||50-1||Ohio St||Ohio St||UCLA|
Seeds listed from strongest to weakest
*Please note these rankings were established before Monday night’s results. Pittsburgh and Xavier will see their stock tumble a bit while Oklahoma St continues to work back inside our Vegas top 25.
#1: Florida (SEC), Duke (ACC), Louisville (AAC), Virginia (ACC)
#2: Arizona (Pac 12), Kansas (Big XII), Iowa (Big Ten), Creighton (Big East)
#3: Syracuse (ACC), Villanova (Big East), Wisconsin (Big Ten), UCLA (Pac 12)
#4: Ohio St (Big Ten), Wichita St (MVC), Michigan (Big Ten), Pittsburgh (ACC)
#5: Cincinnati (AAC), Michigan St (Big Ten), Kentucky (SEC), VCU (A-10)
#6: North Carolina (ACC), SMU (AAC), Gonzaga (WCC), Iowa St (Big XII)
#7: Uconn (AAC), Tennessee (SEC), San Diego St (MWC), St Louis (A-10)
#8: Oklahoma St (Big XII), New Mexico (MWC), Memphis (AAC), Oklahoma (Big XII)
#9: Harvard (Ivy), Arizona St (Pac 12), Oregon (Pac 12), Stanford (Pac 12)
#10: Florida St (ACC), Utah (Pac 12), Baylor (Big XII), Texas (Big XII)
#11: BYU (WCC), Xavier (Big East), Kansas St (Big XII), St Johns (Big East)
#12: Maryland (ACC), George Washington(A-10), Marquette (Big East), UMASS (A-10)
#13: Louisiana Tech (C-USA), Green Bay (Horizon), Vermont (CAA), North Dakota St (Summit)
#14: Georgia St (Sun Belt), Iona (MAAC), New Mexico St (WAC), Santa Barbara (Big West)
#15: Stephen F Austin (Southland), Buffalo (MAC), Mercer (A-sun), Belmont (OVC)
#16: NC Central (MEAC), Boston Unviersity (Patriot), Dekaware (CAA), Weber St (Big Sky), Robert Morris (NEC), Southern (SWAC), Charleston Southern (Big South)
First 4 out:
Minnesota, Arkansas, Clemson, Indiana
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