NCAA Tournament Projections As of Feb. 25

As we move even closer to Selection Sunday, we sometimes get so focused on the Q1 (and Q2) wins, SOS and all the metrics that we forget about the smaller factors that the committee looks at to pick one team over another. Today, let’s examine the factors that can either send a team dancing or to the NIT.

Road Record

Frankly, it seems like road record does not come into play as much as it used to. That might be because there are far more neutral-site games that come into play when computing this factor. But in a close decision, road record can make the difference. One team that comes to mind in this category is Rutgers. Already with a resume that is tough to analyze, the Scarlet Knights are only 3-9 away from home and may need to win a few road games to get in the field.

 Head-to-Head Matchup

A factor that rarely comes into play but can be something to examine in a close call is head-to-head matchup. Certainly, when two conference foes are vying for a spot, this is something that is compared, but occasionally a non-conference game is affected. It’s important to note that just because one team has an advantage over another in this area, it does not automatically give them the edge in the bracket.

High-Quality Wins

Looking at Q1 and Q2 wins is fine, but if you don’t drill down to see how good each win is, you are missing the bigger picture. Top 10 and Top 25 wins carry more weight with the committee, and a good example this year is Duke, who has wins over the #1 and #3 teams in the NET rankings.

Injuries

You may notice a talented team lost three games in a row to lesser opponents and wonder, “What happened?” You might take a closer look and see if a key player was missing from the lineup. With Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn missing chunks of time, the committee will take his absence and any losses into consideration. On the opposite end of the injury spectrum is BYU, who had some big wins early in the year when they were at full strength but have not played as well since injuries have affected their roster.

Don’t forget it’s less than a week until our Mock Selection Committee convenes to put together the field of 68. And you can join in and watch all the proceedings March 3-6. Follow us on Twitter, and we will post all the links so that you can register for this exciting event.

LAST FOUR IN: San Diego State, SMU, Rutgers, Loyola
FIRST FOUR OUT: Oregon, Memphis, Indiana, BYU
NEXT FOUR OUT: Florida, VCU, St. Bonaventure, Dayton

CONFERENCES WITH MULTIPLE BIDS
BIG TEN: 8
BIG EAST: 7
BIG 12: 6
SEC: 6
ACC: 5
MW: 4
WCC: 3
PAC-12: 3
AAC: 2
MVC: 2