Now that it’s February, we’re officially a month away from March Madness. That means it’s time to unveil the first edition of our Bracket Scouting, where we’ll take a conference-by-conference look at where teams stand in regards to their NCAA Tournament hopes.
For our first edition, we’re focusing on the top six conferences in kenpom.com’s conference rankings: the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. We’ll expand the focus to more teams and conferences in the coming days and weeks.
There are four categories in which we placed teams.
Here’s how we’re defining each category.
Lock = These teams could lose literally every single game from today until Selection Sunday and we think they’d still make the NCAA Tournament.
Pencil them in = These teams will probably make the NCAA Tournament but we suggest you use pencil, not pen, when writing their names among the 2019 NCAA Tournament field – for now. If they keep winning, they’ll likely become locks soon.
Work to do = Pretty simple definition. These teams need to add wins, both in terms of quantity and quality, to make the NCAA Tournament. The amount of “work to do” varies from school to school.
Auto-bid or bust = This is also pretty self-explanatory. These teams better win their conference tournament if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.
As the season progresses, teams can move between categories but decisions to put teams in the “Lock” category are final. We believe they’re safe regardless of what happens between the decision and Selection Sunday.
Locks: Virginia, Duke
Pencil them in: North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech
Work to do: Florida State, NC State, Syracuse, Clemson
Auto-bid or bust: Georgia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Miami (FL)
We’re putting Virginia (20-1) and Duke (19-2) at lock status for the debut of Bracket Scouting. If both schools lost the rest of their regular season games, here’s how their resumes would look entering the ACC Tournament, broken down by quadrant. Of course, they play each other on Saturday, so we’ll give Virginia the win because the Cavaliers have a 65 percent chance of victory, according to kenpom.com.
- Quadrant 1: 6-6
- Quadrant 2: 6-0
- Quadrant 3: 2-3
- Quadrant 4: 7-0
- Quadrant 1: 5-7
- Quadrant 2: 5-2
- Quadrant 3: 5-2
- Quadrant 4: 4-1
The Hokies were the beneficiaries of the worst offensive performance since the addition of the shot clock to college basketball as they picked up their first Quadrant 1 win of ACC play in a 47-24 win at NC State on Saturday.
Somehow in the ACC, which has five teams ranked in the top 15 of the NET and nine in the top 75 (the cutoff for a Quadrant 1 road win), it took Virginia Tech (18-3) its ninth conference game to earn such a win.
The Hokies can add another on Monday, when Louisville comes to town. Eight of Virginia Tech’s 18 wins fall under Quadrant 4.
The Tar Heels are slightly better than a .500 team in Quadrant 1 games with a 5-4 record after their 79-69 win at Louisville on Saturday and they’ll only have four more opportunities in the regular season, based on the latest NET rankings.
Three of those four are against Virginia and Duke, including home games against each. North Carolina has a fairly manageable remaining schedule with six of its next 10 games in Chapel Hill and road games against Wake Forest, Clemson and Boston College. The Heels haven’t suffered a loss outside of Quadrant 1.
The Cardinals’ six-game winning streak in ACC play finally came to an end on Saturday against the Tar Heels and like five of their six losses on the season, the game falls under Quadrant 1.
Louisville had the third-toughest non-conference strength of schedule, according to its official NCAA team sheet, and an overtime loss at Pittsburgh is its only Quadrant 2 loss.
The Cardinals’ next three games – at Virginia Tech, at Florida State and home against Duke – will play a significant role in whether they contend for a top-four, protected seed or fall to the No. 5 to No. 7 seed range.
An impressive start to the season that saw the Seminoles get off to a 12-1 start with their only loss coming to Villanova on a neutral floor quickly eroded as they dropped four of their first five in ACC play.
Florida State’s only Quadrant 1 wins of the season were in late November against LSU and Purdue, which is a bit concerning if you’re evaluating the Seminoles like you would a stock. They have five more Quadrant 1 opportunities in the regular season, including two this week at Syracuse on Tuesday and at home against Louisville on Saturday.
Can we all agree to never speak of the Wolfpack’s 24-point performance again? Deal? Deal.
NC State’s home loss to undermanned Virginia Tech immediately dropped the Wolfpack 12 spots on kenpom.com and their adjusted offensive efficiency ranking plummeted 32 spots.
Luckily for them, the damage to their resume is marginal. That game is simply a Quadrant 1 loss, which dropped their Quadrant 1 record to 1-5. That’s where their home loss to Virginia in overtime last week could come back to bite them. A home win over Auburn is the only positive mark in that quadrant.
NC State’s next four games are at North Carolina, at Pitt, home against Syracuse and at Duke.
Then it’s home against Boston College and Wake Forest, at Florida State, home against Georgia Tech and at Boston College. That puts a sense of urgency on the next two weeks for the Wolfpack to pick off at least one of North Carolina, Pitt or Duke on the road at the risk of its Quadrant 1 record dropping to 1-8.
It just feels like this Syracuse team is bound for the bubble again, right? The Orange have danced around the bubble in the last four seasons, having earned a No. 10 seed, a No. 11 seed and missed the tournament twice in that stretch. Of course, Syracuse self-imposed a postseason ban in 2015 but it had an 18-13 regular season record and lost eight of its final 11 games that season.
Syracuse has two losses in each of the first three quadrants and it had road wins at Duke and Ohio State for a 2-2 record in Quadrant 1. The Orange host Florida State and Boston College this week, then they’ll host Louisville, Duke and Virginia in the span of two and a half weeks later in the season.
Even with Quadrant 3 home losses to Old Dominion and Georgia Tech, Syracuse has enough bites at the Quadrant 1 apple that it should stay on the right side of the bubble if it wins one or two of those games.
This season has slowly slipped away from Clemson but the Tigers can still salvage it in the form of an NCAA Tournament berth. There was a five-point loss on a neutral court to Creighton, followed by a two-point loss at home to Nebraska. Poor late-game free throw shooting left the door open for NC State’s Braxton Beverly to hit a game-winning three at the buzzer two weeks ago.
Now it’s February 3 and Clemson doesn’t have a single Quadrant 1 win and just a 3-2 record in Quadrant 2.
As of Sunday, the Tigers are the seventh team out of the NCAA Tournament, according to Bracket Matrix.
At the minimum, Clemson needs to win five of its 10 remaining regular season games to enter the ACC Tournament at 18-13 overall (8-10 ACC) and hope that it can make a run in Charlotte.
Pencil them in: Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech
Work to do: Oklahoma, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Texas
Auto-bid or bust: Oklahoma State, West Virginia
Despite Kansas having slightly better than a .500 record since center Udoka Azubuike suffered a season-ending injury, the Jayhawks entered Sunday tied with Michigan State for the most Quadrant 1 wins in the country (8). Through Saturday’s games, the average NET ranking of Kansas’ opponents is No. 1 in the country so it has faced the toughest schedule nationally up to this point in the season.
A road game at Kansas State on Tuesday probably means more in terms of the conference standings than Kansas’ resume as the Jayhawks try to keep their Big 12 regular season title streak alive but a loss would drop their road record to 1-6 this season.
This could be the first season since 2009 that Kansas doesn’t earn a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
All three of the Cyclones’ Quadrant 1 wins have come since January 2 (a potential fourth Quadrant 1 win against Oklahoma State just moved to Quadrant 2 after the Cowboys dropped outside of the top 75), which means Iowa State is trending in the right direction. A home win over Kansas and road win at Texas Tech are especially strong.
Eight of the Cyclones nine remaining regular season games are against opponents that rank in the top 45 of kenpom.com and the NET, including a road game at Oklahoma on Monday and a home game against TCU on Saturday. Iowa State and Kansas are projected to share the Big 12 regular season title with a 12-6 record, according to kenpom.com, which would almost guarantee the Cyclones a top-four seed.
The Red Raiders have the biggest disparity in the Big 12 between their play on offense and defense. As of Sunday afternoon, they rank 107th in adjusted offensive efficiency and third in adjusted defensive efficiency.
In their last four losses, they’ve averaged just 58.5 points per game. Their next three games at home against West Virginia, then on the road against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is almost as favorable of a three-game stretch as possible in the Big 12 with the three opponents sitting in the bottom three spots in the standings. If Texas Tech can win all three, as its favored on kenpom.com, it’ll hit the 20-win mark heading into a three-game homestand against Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma State.
If you’re a believer of the Ewing Theory – in short, when a team improves after losing its best player – then you’ll want to pay close attention to the Sooners down the stretch. After losing do-it-all point guard Trae Young, who led the NCAA in points and assists per game last season, Oklahoma is currently projected to earn a higher seed than last season.
The Sooners were a No. 10 seed last year and the Bracket Matrix currently has them projected as a No. 6 seed, two spots away from a No. 5 seed. But that trajectory could quickly change after Oklahoma lost at home to Baylor by 30 points, then at last-place West Virginia last week. A two-game homestand against Iowa State and Texas Tech offers potentially a pair of Quadrant 1 wins or a four-game losing streak entering a road game at Baylor on February 11.
The Wildcats are starting to play like the team that was ranked No. 12 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll after they made the Elite Eight last season. Kansas State has won its last six games in Big 12 play and it’ll enter a home game with Kansas on Tuesday with a share of the conference lead.
Kansas State still has to play Kansas and Baylor twice each and it’ll play both schools for the first time this week, which means we’ll know quickly whether the Wildcats have what it takes to contend for the Big 12 title as they continue to shake off an uninspiring non-conference slate.
The Horned Frogs had a rough go of it last week, losing at Texas Tech by 19 and at Baylor by 26. TCU is just 1-5 in Quadrant 1 after the loss to the Bears and its only win was earlier in the season at home against Baylor, which just makes the top-30 cutoff for a Quadrant 1 home win at No. 29.
Texas and Oklahoma earned No. 10 seeds last season after going 8-10 in conference play so TCU’s best hope of making the NCAA Tournament might be following a similar path as a double-digit seed that wins just enough games in the competitive Big 12 to earn an at-large bid.
Two of its next five games are against Oklahoma State, including a home game against the Cowboys on Wednesday, which is a welcome sight when looking to ditch a two-game losing streak.
How unusual of a story is it that Baylor guard Makai Mason dropped 30 against the Bears in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and now he’s dropping 40 for them? He made 9-of-12 threes against TCU on Saturday to score a career-high 40 points as Baylor won its sixth straight game and shares the conference lead with Kansas State.
Baylor would be in the NCAA Tournament field if the regular season ended today but the Bears are still washing off the stench of a non-conference resume that includes two Quadrant 4 home losses, even if they weren’t at full strength for their season-opening loss to Texas Southern. They’re one of the best turnaround stories of the season as they’ve become a more three-point oriented group since losing starting forward Tristan Clark.
Here’s your reminder that 15 losses is the most ever for a team that received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns’ 10 losses rank as the third-most in the conference behind Oklahoma State and West Virginia’s 12 apiece.
Texas has several good – no, really good – wins over North Carolina, Purdue and Kansas, and its 4-5 record in Quadrant 1 games is an encouraging sign but the Longhorns’ 12-10 record puts them at the heart of the bubble conversation going forward. Texas is projected to go 5-4 in its nine remaining regular season games, according to kenpom.com.
If the Longhorns don’t make the tournament, that would be the second time in four seasons under Coach Shaka Smart that they didn’t qualify for the field of 68.
Pencil them in: Villanova
Work to do: St. John’s, Seton Hall, Creighton, Butler
Auto-bid or bust: Georgetown, DePaul, Providence, Xavier
If it weren’t for the Pac-12 potentially being a one-bid league, the Big East would probably take the cake as the power conference with the strangest NCAA Tournament outlook. The conference has two teams that will almost certainly make the field in Marquette and Villanova. We’ll put Marquette at lock status.
Here’s what Marquette’s resume would look like if the Eagles lost the rest of their regular season games:
- Quadrant 1: 6-6
- Quadrant 2: 3-4
- Quadrant 3: 3-2
- Quadrant 4: 7-0
Even after a disappointing 9-4 non-conference record, Villanova has a fairly strong resume and it’ll probably reach lock status in the not-too-distant future.
But after the top two teams in the Big East, there’s a huge drop-off.
Marquette is a projected No. 3 seed on Bracket Matrix and Villanova is a projected No. 5 seed but the next team is St. John’s, which is currently the final No. 10 seed on the site. Seton Hall is a No. 11 seed while Creighton and Butler are among the First Four Out. Six of the conference’s 10 teams are 4-5 or 4-6 in conference play. Providence is 3-6 and Xavier is 3-7.
So it’s anyone’s guess as to which teams – and how many – make the NCAA Tournament. It’s hard to imagine fewer than four teams from the Big East making the tournament because somebody has to finish above .500 in the conference, right? Bueller?
Things could get really weird if the only future losses suffered by Marquette and Villanova are to each other and the rest of the conference cannibalizes itself.
The Wildcats’ non-conference record was one of the worst by a defending national champion since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. It was certainly understandable for Villanova to take a step back after winning two of the last three national championships and losing its top four scorers from last season to the NBA.
Now Villanova, Coach Jay Wright and fifth-year senior Phil Booth are saying, “Not so fast.”
The Wildcats have won 10 in a row, they’re alone in first place in the Big East and they have a top-10 offense that is starting to resemble ones from recent memory in regards to their three-point shooting. Almost 55 percent of Villanova’s shots in Big East play are from behind the arc, where the Wildcats are shooting 39.1 percent.
St. John’s, Seton Hall, Creighton, Butler, Georgetown, DePaul, Providence, Xavier
Perhaps the fairer way to sort these teams would be St. John’s/Seton Hall as teams that would probably make the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today, Creighton/Butler as teams that Bracket Matrix has among the First Four Out, Georgetown/Providence as teams among Others Receiving Votes on Bracket Matrix and DePaul/Xavier as teams that aren’t anywhere near the NCAA Tournament picture.
However, all of these schools are within 1.5 games of each other in the Big East standings so they’re almost all a strong close to the regular season away from being in the NCAA Tournament picture.
The best-case scenario for St. John’s, which probably has the conference’s third-best resume as of Sunday, might be playing in an 8/9 game in the first round.
To play Devil’s Advocate, even last-place Xavier at 11-12 is, say, six wins in its final eight games from entering the Big East Tournament at 17-14 and then being two or three wins away from a potential bid.
Is that unlikely? Of course.
Impossible? We’re not going to go there.
Welcome to the Big East in 2019.
Locks: Michigan, Michigan State
Pencil them in: Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa
Work to do: Nebraska, Minnesota, Ohio State, Indiana
Auto-bid or bust: Rutgers, Northwestern, Illinois, Penn State
We wrote extensively on Sunday about the chances of the Big Ten realizing its potential of sending 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament. It’s not impossible, especially after Indiana’s win at No. 6 Michigan State on Saturday, but the margin for error is significantly thinner than it was a month ago after a rough January for Ohio State, Indiana and Nebraska.
We’re putting the two Michigan schools as the conference’s two locks as of Sunday. Here’s what the Wolverines’ resume would look like if they lost the rest of their regular season games.
- Quadrant 1: 5-8
- Quadrant 2: 6-3
- Quadrant 3: 2-0
- Quadrant 4: 7-0
Here’s what the Spartans’ resume would look like if they lost the rest of their regular season games:
- Quadrant 1: 8-7
- Quadrant 2: 4-5
- Quadrant 3: 1-1
- Quadrant 4: 5-0
The Boilermakers’ profile has risen dramatically in the last month. They’ve won seven straight games, their win over Michigan State established them as legitimate Big Ten title contenders and their win over Minnesota Sunday gave them a share of the conference lead with Michigan and Michigan State.
After a 6-5 start that may have left some Purdue fans wondering if an NCAA Tournament berth was in the cards this season, the Boilermakers have ridden the nation’s third-most efficient offense and the Big Ten’s most turnover-prone defense to a projected top-four seed.
The Badgers are riding a five-game winning streak that started with them handing Michigan its first loss of the season. After a 3-3 start to Big Ten play, they’re now 8-3 and in sole possession of fourth place, which would give them a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament if the regular season ended Sunday.
Wisconsin has a monumental four-day stretch coming up in which it travels to Ann Arbor, then hosts Michigan State. If it pulls off the sweep, it’ll enter the fray as a Big Ten regular season title contender.
The Terrapins are firmly a second-tier team in the Big Ten, having lost three of their last four after winning seven games in a row. They fell short of marquee wins against Virginia, Purdue and Michigan State but they still have two games against Michigan and they’ll host Purdue on February 12.
A top-four finish in the Big Ten isn’t out of reach and there appears to be a drop-off in the Big Ten standings from Maryland to the likes of Iowa and Minnesota.
All five of Iowa’s losses fall in Quadrant 1, where the Hawkeyes have a 3-5 record. Their 74-59 win against Michigan Friday was their best of the season and one that could provide some insurance as five of their next nine games are on the road.
Iowa’s adjusted defensive efficiency in Big Ten play ranks last in the conference at 108.9 points allowed per 100 possessions, but the team’s top-10 offense has kept it in almost every game this season against opponents not named Michigan State.
As we wrote at the end of January, Nebraska’s season has the potential to fall apart quickly after the season-ending injury to forward Isaac Copeland as the Huskers try to navigate a difficult schedule to close the regular season. They’ve lost five in a row and seven of their last nine but we think they can stay in the NCAA Tournament picture if they can win six of their final nine games.
The Gophers missed out on a huge opportunity Sunday at Purdue, whom they led by 13 with 14 minutes to play before falling 73-63. Minnesota is just 3-4 in Quadrant 1 games and 2-2 in Quadrant 2, so a road win against Purdue could’ve provided some wiggle room on the bubble.
This is a big week for the Gophers with a home game against Wisconsin Wednesday as they pursue a regular season sweep of the Badgers, then they travel to Michigan State for a game Saturday. A pair of losses would drop Minnesota to 6-7 in the Big Ten and 3-6 in Quadrant 1, so a split would be useful.
Of the three Big Ten teams that started the New Year ranked but fell apart in January, Ohio State is in the best shape. We set the Buckeyes’ “magic number” at five wins in their final 10 regular season games for them to make the NCAA Tournament.
The concern for them, other than Kyle Young’s absence with a stress fracture, is that they’re fairly pedestrian in too many statistical categories in Big Ten play. They turn the ball over on more than 20 percent of their possessions (the second-worst rate in the conference), they’re not dominant on the boards and their 35.6 three-point field goal defense ranks 10th in the conference.
Man, that was a gutsy win by the Hoosiers on Saturday night in East Lansing. We’re still not totally sure how they pulled that off, considering Indiana’s All-Big Ten-caliber forward Juwan Morgan only played 13 minutes before leaving with an injury and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston had 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Indiana’s uncharacteristically good three-point shooting (10-of-20) and Michigan State’s uncharacteristically bad free throw shooting (8-of-22) obviously played huge roles in the outcome.
Indiana struggled through a recent seven-game losing streak and we found data that shows why Hoosier fans should be patient in Year 2 of the Archie Miller era but they may not have to wait until 2020 for their team’s next NCAA Tournament appearance. Assuming Morgan returns to the floor soon, we think Indiana might be just five wins away from making the tournament.
Work to do: Washington, Arizona State, Arizona
Auto-bid or bust: Oregon State, USC, Oregon, UCLA, Utah, Stanford, Colorado, Washington State, California
If Washington wins the Pac-12 Tournament, this could be a long offseason for the Pac-12 and the other 11 schools in the conference. Bracket Matrix only has two Pac-12 schools in the field as of Sunday: No. 8 seed Washington and No. 11 seed Arizona State, so maybe every school besides those two should be in the “auto-bid or bust” category.
There isn’t another Pac-12 school among the first eight teams left out of the field, so the Sun Devils could be a loss or two away from leaving the Huskies as the only team from the conference that’s projected to make the tournament.
The Huskies have won 11 in a row and they have a three-game lead in the Pac-12 at 9-0 in conference play but they’re just 2-3 in Quadrant 1 and 2-1 in Quadrant 2. Fourteen of their wins fall in Quadrant 3 or Quadrant 4, so while Washington doesn’t have a bad loss, it doesn’t have great wins either.
The only remaining Quadrant 1 opportunities it has in the regular season are this week at Arizona and Arizona State.
The Sun Devils are 3-1 in Quadrant 1, which is an admirable record for an at-large hopeful. But they’re 5-3 in Quadrant 2 and 1-2 in Quadrant 3, which could wind up costing them a spot in the NCAA Tournament, especially if they add more losses to those categories.
Arizona State has four more Quadrant 1 opportunities left on its schedule, including three road games against Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona to close the regular season, that could allow for significant resume improvement but there are also several landmines in the Pac-12, especially Washington State (No. 230 NET) and California (No. 270).
Arizona is 1-5 in Quadrant 1 and 3-3 in Quadrant 2. A neutral-court win over Iowa State in the Maui Invitational is a marquee win that has aged well but the Wildcats have lost eight of their 12 games against teams ranked in the top 100 on kenpom.com. That’s not the mark of an NCAA Tournament team.
Locks: Tennessee, Kentucky
Pencil them in: LSU
Work to do: Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas
Auto-bid or bust: South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Dare we ask if the SEC is a basketball conference? Of course not, but it does have eight teams in the latest projected NCAA Tournament field, according to Bracket Matrix.
Tennessee is a legitimate national contender and it might earn a No. 1 seed.
Kentucky’s not far behind, either. They’re both locks in our eyes.
If the Vols lost the rest of their regular season games, this is what their resume would look like:
- Quadrant 1: 4-7
- Quadrant 2: 6-1
- Quadrant 3: 4-3
- Quadrant 4: 5-0
Here’s what Kentucky’s resume would look like if it lost the rest of its games.
- Quadrant 1: 6-8
- Quadrant 2: 3-4
- Quadrant 3: 4-1
- Quadrant 4: 5-0
The Tigers are tied with Kentucky for second in the SEC and they had won 10 straight prior to a one-point loss at home to Arkansas Saturday. They ranked third in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency in SEC play, giving them a well-rounded statistical profile outside of their three-point shooting and two-point defense.
LSU only plays Tennessee and Kentucky once apiece this season and it hosts the Volunteers so it has a favorable conference schedule.
After a 12-1 start, Mississippi State has proven to be a .500 team in SEC play. The Bulldogs won at in-state rival Ole Miss Saturday for their fifth Quadrant 1 win of the season. Their 5-2 record in the top quadrant is in a great position for an at-large berth and their home games against LSU and Kentucky this week give them the chance to add to it.
The Tigers are an intriguing case where advanced metrics love them, as shown by their No. 13 ranking on kenpom.com, but they’re 1-5 in Quadrant 1 games. Can you be a great team if you rarely beat great teams?
Auburn let an opportunity for a marquee win at home against Kentucky slip away in mid-January but the Tigers still have several big games remaining, starting Saturday at LSU.
Since cracking the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in six seasons and debuting at No. 18, Ole Miss has lost five of its last six and the Rebels are on a four-game skid. There’s since been a course correction as they’ve trended closer to their preseason projection of last in the SEC.
However, all hope is not lost. This team can still make the NCAA Tournament in the first year of Coach Kermit Davis’ tenure, which would undoubtedly be a successful season. All of Ole Miss’ seven losses are in Quadrant 1 so if they can split their 10 remaining conference games, the Rebels should remain in the NCAA Tournament picture.
The Crimson Tide are a No. 11 seed in the latest Bracket Matrix projection and if they just sneak into the NCAA Tournament, they’ll likely have to credit their 77-75 home win over Kentucky as a primary reason.
Alabama’s resume isn’t great – 3-5 in Quadrant 1, 4-1 in Quadrant 2, 3-2 in Quadrant 3 – but there’s enough good there and the team’s remaining schedule is favorable, starting with a home game against Georgia Wednesday, that it can reasonably expect to stay on the right side of the bubble.
The Gators earned the very last No. 11 seed on Bracket Matrix in Sunday’s update so they’re the very definition of a bubble team. Florida’s barely above .500 at 12-9 but seven of its nine losses fall in Quadrant 1. Road trips to Auburn and Tennessee this week might drop the Gators’ record to just one game above .500 when they return to Gainesville to host Vanderbilt, so they desperately need a couple good wins while avoiding bad losses.
Arkansas is one of six SEC teams tied for fifth with a 4-4 conference record but the Razorbacks will likely be left out of the NCAA Tournament at their current trajectory. They’re just 1-5 in Quadrant 1, 2-1 in Quadrant 2 and they have two Quadrant 3 losses.
Their wins over Indiana and LSU are their only wins over teams that would receive at-large consideration.