USA TODAY Sports Bracketology: Gonzaga falls to No. 2, opens No. 1 to Pac-12 team – USA TODAY
Gonzaga’s stunning loss to BYU doesn’t just ruin a perfect season. It likely ruins the chances of notching a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament now.
Previously the fourth best No. 1, the ‘Zags (29-1, 17-1) fell to the No. 2 line after losing their first game of the season on Saturday. As stated before, Gonzaga’s rÃ©sumÃ© isn’t underwhelming by any stretch, sporting wins against Arizona, Florida and Iowa State in non-conference play.
But due to the weaker-than-usual West Coast Conference this season (the Bulldogs beat San Diego by 58 points last week), a loss to any team not named Saint Mary’s makes Gonzaga’s road back to the No. 1 line pretty arduous now. It’s possible to get back, but would take other teams slipping and obviously a WCC tourney title on behalf of Mark Few’s group.
BUBBLE WATCH: Saturday’s winners and losers
So now to the more intriguing debate. Which teamÂ replaces Gonzaga in the West Region? While Saturday’s top-five showdown between UCLA and Arizona had a Final Four feel to it, the Pac-12 team with the most impressive rÃ©sumÃ© is Oregon (26-4, 15-2), which has a top-five RPI and is 11-1 against teams in the RPI top-100.
Of the other No. 2 seeds, Baylor and Louisville both have six losses that are hard to work with. UCLA and Kentucky jumped to No. 3 seeds after their marquee wins, againstÂ Arizona and Florida respectively. But neither sport a profile worthy of No. 1, even if they looked title-ready on Saturday.
âº No. 1 seeds:Â Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina and Oregon
âºÂ Last four in:Â Vanderbilt, USC,Â Wichita State, California
âºÂ First four out:Â Illinois, Georgia, Rhode Island, Clemson
Moving in:Â CSU Bakersfield
Moving out:Â New Mexico State
âº Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order):Â Wake Forest, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio State
âº On life support:Â Pittsburgh, Houston, Ole Miss, TCU, Kansas State, Alabama
âº No longer considered for at-large:Â UConn, Texas, Charleston, New Mexico, Boise State, LaSalle, Davidson, Chattanooga, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, BYU, Oklahoma, Charleston, Nebraska, Temple, North Carolina State, Stanford, Nevada, Texas A&M, Memphis, Utah, Auburn, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Penn State
MORE COLLEGE HOOPS
âº Multi-bid conferences:Â ACC (9), Big TenÂ (7), Big East (7), Big 12 (5) Pac-12 (5), SEC (5), A-10 (2), AACÂ (2), MVC (2), WCC (2).
âº Or highest RPI from projectedÂ one-bid conferences – (23 total):Â Vermont (America East), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun),Â North Dakota (Big Sky), UNC-AshevilleÂ (Big South), UC Irvine (Big West), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA),Â Valparaiso (Horizon), Yale (Ivy League), Monmouth (MAAC), Akron (MAC), N.C. Central (MEAC), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), Nevada (Mountain West), Mount Saint Mary’s (Northeast), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Bucknell (Patriot), East Tennessee StateÂ (Southern), New Orleans (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), South Dakota (Summit), Texas-Arlington (Sun Belt), CSU BakersfieldÂ (WAC).
- Banned from participating:Â Hawaii, Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State, Savannah State, Northern Colorado
- Transition Schools, ineligible for the tourney:Â Abilene Christian (Southland), Grand Canyon (WAC), Incarnate Word (Southland), Massachusetts-Lowell (American East) Â Â
Note:Â All RPI and statistical data is used fromÂ WarrenNolan.com.
About our bracketologist:Â Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 and has finished as one of the top 5 national bracketologists for his website,Â Bracket W.A.G.Â Heâs predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on TwitterÂ @BracketWag.
NCAA TOURNAMENT BUBBLE TEAMS