There have been lots of changes since the last rankings update. I had planned on putting stuff up on Saturday AND Sunday, but got side-tracked by day-drinking on Saturday and a hangover yesterday. It happens. Also, I am now deeply immersed in South Park: The Stick of Truth. Absolutely hilarious game. Anyway, no one cares about that so I’ll get to the point.
5 teams have officially punched their ticket to the dance: Mercer, Coastal Carolina, Harvard, Eastern Kentucky and Wichita St. Stony Brook (or Albany, but whatever) replaced Vermont, Wofford (or Western Carolina) replaced Davidson and the Horizon’s automatic qualifier will either be Wright St. or Milwaukee. Green Bay took a tumble, dropping 12 spots since the last rankings. They are now slotted in the Last Four In, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them passed by some of the bubble teams with games left to play.
The biggest change, in my opinion, came at the top. Villanova is now the #1 team in the EPW rankings. Please understand, this does not mean that Villanova is the best team in the nation. It means that Villanova has performed the best relative to expectations, which is how I believe the tournament should be seeded. While they have one more loss than my #2, Florida, they’ve played a harder schedule. If Villanova can win the Big East tournament, and avenge the two beatings they took from Creighton, I truly believe they should be the #1 overall seed. I don’t think the committee will agree, but I think we all know that my opinion is way more important.
One more note before I provide the updated data is on Wichita St. The Shockers are the #5 team in EPW, meaning they would not be considered a 1-seed in the tournament. I think a reasonable argument can be made that Arizona, Florida, Villanova and Syracuse should be the four 1-seeds if they all win their respective conference tournaments. The chances of the tournaments playing out like that are small, so I don’t expect this to be an issue, but it is something to think about over the next week. Being undefeated should not be an automatic 1-seed.
1: Villanova, Florida, Arizona, Syracuse
2: Wichita St., Wisconsin, San Diego St., Kansas
3: Michigan, Creighton, Virginia, Iowa St.
4: Duke, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Michigan St.
5: Louisville, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Connecticut
6: Oklahoma, VCU, Ohio St., George Washington
7: New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Texas, Gonzaga
8: Memphis, Harvard, UCLA, Oregon
9: Kentucky, Stephen F. Austin, Baylor, SMU
10: Colorado, Southern Miss, Arizona St., Toledo
11: Xavier, Iowa, Providence, Nebraska
12: Saint Joseph’s, Oklahoma St., (Dayton/Florida St.), (Green Bay/Stanford)
13: North Dakota St., Louisiana Tech, North Carolina Central, Delaware
14: Iona, Boston University, Georgia St., New Mexico St.
15: Mercer, UC Irvine, Eastern Kentucky, Stony Brook
16: Robert Morris, Wright St., (Wofford/Weber St.), (Coastal Carolina/Texas Southern)
Last Four In: Dayton, Florida St., Green Bay, Stanford
First Four Out: Kansas St., BYU, Missouri, St. John’s
Next Four Out: Arkansas, California, Tennessee, Minnesota [4 states…weird]