NCAA Tournament Notebook: March 14th

While our attention will be on NC Central’s championship run, Syracuse also opens up their NCAA Tournament with a play-in game against Arizona State in Dayton tonight. With the Orange being among the last teams selected for the field of 68, many will try to turn tonight’s result into a validation or indictment of their inclusion.

It’s certainly an understandable take, but one of the most important lessons ever taught to me about the NCAA selection process is that the committee isn’t there to pick teams who can win the tournament. They’re tasked with picking teams who deserve to be there based on their resume. Argue all you want about whether or not Syracuse deserved to be in the tournament, but leave the outcome of the game out of it.

HOWEVER, would it not be an interesting shift to see the committee use predictive analytics to pick the field moving forward? Sources like KenPom, Bart Torvik, TeamRanking, and even our very own Bracketologist Jon Pence have fascinating approaches towards assigning probabilities. Would the tournament be more interesting if a program took the automatic bids and seeded them along with the remaining “most likely to win the tournament” teams?

By the way, using KenPom would have put Notre Dame and Louisville in the field while Syracuse would have been out.

ncaa regions, by nba prospects

Using NBA DraftNet:

East Region: (2 lottery, 2 first round, 6 second round)

  • 9th – Collin Sexton, Alabama
  • 10th – Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  • 19th – Daniel Gafford, Arkansas
  • 24th – Landry Shamet, Wichita State
  • 41st – Jalen Brunson, Villanova
  • 44th – Keenan Evans, Texas Tech
  • 46th – Kelan Martin, Butler
  • 52nd – Jalen Hudson, Florida
  • 56th – Donta Hall, Alabama
  • 59th – Jevon Carter, West Virginia

West Region: (1 lottery, 3 first round, 3 second round)

  • 3rd – Michael Porter, Missouri
  • 17th – Robert Williams, Texas A&M
  • 26th – Jontay Porter, Missouri
  • 29th – Moritz Wagner, Michigan
  • 43rd – Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
  • 54th – Theo Pinson, North Carolina
  • 60th – Joel Berry, North Carolina

South Region: (5 lottery, 2 first round, 5 second round)

  • 1st – DeAndre Ayton, Arizona
  • 5th – Mo Bamba, Texas
  • 11th – Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  • 12th – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
  • 14th – Lonnie Walker, Miami
  • 15th – Khyri Thomas, Creighton
  • 30th – Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky
  • 37th – Kendall Stephens, Nevada
  • 39th – Kerwin Roach, Texas
  • 42nd – Rawle Alkins, Arizona
  • 48th – Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
  • 55th – Allonzo Trier, Arizona

Midwest Region: (5 lottery, 3 first round, 5 second round)

  • 2nd – Marvin Bagley, Duke
  • 4th – Jaren Jackson, Michigan State
  • 7th – Wendell Carter, Duke
  • 8th – Trae Young, Oklahoma
  • 13th – Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  • 16th – Gary Trent, Duke
  • 25th – Grayson Allen, Duke
  • 28th – Omer Yurtseven, NC State
  • 32nd – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas
  • 34th – Trevon Duval, Duke
  • 36th – Austin Wiley, Auburn
  • 38th – Devonte Graham, Kansas
  • 47th – Kenrich Williams, TCU