Today's the day.
First, sorry I haven't posted the last several days. You may have heard that a tornado came through the heart of Atlanta. Between huddling in our closet during two tornado warnings and keeping an eye on the deadly storms to our north and south, I've been focused on things other than basketball. Thankfully, there was no damage where I am, but it was certainly a scary few days.
As of Sunday morning, the CTD four No. 1 seeds are (in order) Memphis, UNC, Tennessee and Kansas. UCLA and Kansas are essentially tied for the last slot with 15.93 seed points, so CTD thinks there are five teams worthy of a #1 seed. I think that Memphis, UNC and UCLA are locks, so the fight will be for that last slot. Before my last bracket, I'm planning to estimate the coaches poll, so that may move the Vols out of the top 4.
On the bubble side of things, our last four in are Dayton, Mississippi State, Villanova and New Mexico. The first four out are Oregon, Syracuse, Ohio State and UMass. Illinois and Georgia could crash the dance today with wins in their respective conference finals, forcing out up to two of those last teams in.
A few other selection and seeding notes:
The last No. 1 seed: Even if Texas wins, they probably won't move up to a No. 1 seed in our model. With a late start, the committee may have a contingency set up with the Big XII champ as the last No. 1, so that may be a miss for us if Texas defeats Kansas.
Big Mo: There are a few cases where the committee will consider the unquantifiable "momentum," both in good and bad ways. As I mentioned before, that's a factor CTD can't model, so we may miss some of those. After winning the Big East, Pitt exemplifies positive momentum. As of Sunday morning, CTD has them up to the No. 5 line, pending my updated estimate of the coaches poll. I expect they'll be in the Top 25, so that may move them up to a No. 4. Quite a difference from their outlook after losing Mike Cook for the year and Levance Fields for a chunk of it. Vanderbilt is going in the other direction - since their win over Tennessee, they've struggled. They're the first No 5 seed on our board; it wouldn't surprise me if they stay there, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them move down to a 6 either.
(Mid-)major trouble: I'm also a little worried about how CTD handles the mid-major champs, especially Butler and Drake. As of Sunday morning, Butler is a No. 3 and Drake is a No. 4. Butler has no Top 25 wins and is only 2-1 against the RPI Top 50, but the model seems to be giving more weight to their #10 coaches poll ranking and lack of bad losses. Over the last 8 years, the 10th ranked team in the coaches poll has received worse than a #4 seed only twice - Marquette in 2002 and Wisconsin in 2004. Last year, Southern Illinois (another mid-major) received a 4-seed. Drake is a little more tricky they're 7-1 against the RPI Top 50 (better than, for example Louisville's 7-4 and Stanford's 7-6). Unfortunately, they don't have the same quality wins as either. I'd expect each Butler and Drake to move down one seed line from where CTD has them.
Expect one more update before the selection show and my guess at the regions and pod sites for the top 4 seed lines.