Following Kansas State's overtime win Tuesday over in-state rival Kansas, we have a new overall No. 1 seed. Purdue is now the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket projection.
The Boilermakers have seven Quadrant 1 wins, the most of any team. The Jayhawks also have seven Quad 1 wins and that is a big reason why Kansas is still on the top line of the bracket as the No. 4 overall seed.
Alabama is now No. 2 overall, while Houston remains No. 3. The Crimson Tide have one more loss than the Cougars, but have played a significantly better schedule and are the only team to beat them, having done so at Houston.
Kansas State jumps up to the top No. 2 seed on the strength of that win over Kansas. The head-to-head result with Kansas – a win in overtime at home – is not enough to override the strength of the Jayhawks' overall resume.
Bracketology top seeds
Check out Palm's latest bracket, full field of 68 and all the teams on the bubble on the Bracketology hub.
At-large bids hard to come by
There are still five Big 12 teams in the top 16 of the updated bracket and there was almost a sixth. I believe that by the time we get to March, things will have sorted themselves out to the point where there are no more than four teams from a conference in the top 16.
This looks like a rough year in terms of at-large bids outside of the six major conferences. I do have four teams from the Mountain West in this bracket. That league is far and away the best of the non-majors this season in terms of potential tournament teams. After that, I have two each from the West Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference (with UCF among the first four out.)
That is only five at-large teams. Typically there are seven or eight from outside the major conferences.
The Atlantic 10, which is usually good for a couple of at-large teams, looks like a one-bid conference this season.
Of course, this does not include any conference tournament upsets that could create an at-large spot for a non-major conference that will not show up in any projected bracket until that upset happens.
FAU builds resume on NET results
One team I get asked about often is FAU. Specifically, why are the Owls so high in the NET rankings? FAU is 15th in the NET this morning after losing three spots following a 19-point win at UTSA. One of, if not THE biggest factor in the NET is margin of victory. The Owls rank tenth in scoring margin this season in games against Division I opponents. Obviously, a team's record and strength of schedule are very important as well.
Kansas is the only team in the top 10 of the NET that ranks behind FAU in scoring margin. The Jayhawks are 19th in scoring margin and still very strong in the Net (No. 6) because they have the top rated schedule.
The Owls' schedule figures to soften some as they go through conference play, but if they can continue to put up big numbers on the scoreboard, that NET ranking may not drop very far.
FAU is No. 11 in the bracket but keep in mind that a good NET ranking does not guarantee anything when it comes to selection and seeding.