Beef’s Bracketology, February 17, 2020 Edition

The “little guys” picked up two bids this week at the expense of the Southeastern Conference. Is that likely? Well, the argument is there. Will it likely stay that way? The way 2019-2020 has gone, it’s doubtful. Can it end this way? Maybe and let’s hope so.

The Southern Conference picked up one of those two bids, as East Tennessee State’s computer numbers just continue to soar. The Buccaneers grab an at-large as Furman is still the leader and controlling the automatic. Ironically, as far as computer numbers are concerned, Furman would be the third best team from the SoCon, trailing ETSU and also UNC-Greensboro. UNC-Greensboro is having a near stellar season as ETSU, with a 19-6 record overall and 12-2 in conference. Right now they sit just outside the “first eight out” list.

The other mid-major bid taker this week is Utah State. No, they haven’t beaten San Diego State yet. Nobody may do that until the tournament, even then, who knows? The Aztecs are that good. But the Aggies of USU’s computer numbers are much like that of ETSU. The only thing hold them back from being securely in the field is a mediocre 4-6 record vs. Quadrants 1 & 2. This is why a win over San Diego State would be optimal.

Other mid-majors are pushing close to the at-large field also, provided they didn’t win their conferences and would suddenly become bid poachers. Northern Iowa is already in this group and they would likely be an 11-seed just on their own merit. They are currently seeded there because of that resume, but would not fall if the automatic tag wasn’t there. Yale and Liberty are within striking distance of doing the same thing, although losing in the conference tournament finals with the work they have left to do would possibly leave them just a bit short.

For those unfamiliar with my SKiN Rankings, it’s a metric I’ve created using equal parts of the Sagarin Rating(S), KenPom Ranking(K) and the NCAA NET Rankings(N). I use these as a general guide to both selecting and seeding teams. As the season goes along and gets closer to the end of the season, I’ll start incorporating each tracked team’s conference record and record vs. Quadrant 1 & 2 teams. This early in the season, it’s way more information than I feel like tracking, so I pass on it. But as teams start weeding each other out come mid-February and the tracked list shrinks, it’s a little more manageable and much less tedious.

Multiple Bids By Conference

  • 10, Big Ten
  • 6, Big East
  • 5, Big XII
  • 5, Pacific Twelve
  • 4, Atlantic Coast
  • 4, Southeastern (down 2)
  • 3, American
  • 3, West Coast
  • 3, Atlantic Ten
  • 2, Mountain West (up 1)
  • 2, Southern (up 1)

Last Four Teams In, With Byes

  • Xavier, Florida, Virginia, East Tennessee State

Last Four Teams in, Play-In Games

  • Richmond, Arizona State, Indiana, Utah State

First Eight Teams Missing The Cut

  • North Carolina State, Virginia Commonwealth, Mississippi State, Alabama, Stanford, Arkansas, Purdue, Minnesota

Link to Beef’s Bracket for February 17, 2020

Link to SKiN Rankings for February 17, 2020