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Half-baked NCAA Tournament seed analysis

I'm finally beginning the slow transition back into a normal state of mind, and the way I can tell is that the more I think about it, the more optimistic I feel about our NCAA Tournament seed.

I think right now there are nine teams guaranteed to sit above us on the proverbial S curve, regardless of what happens over the next two days. Those teams are:

  1. North Carolina
  2. Memphis
  3. Duke
  4. UCLA
  5. Tennessee
  6. Texas
  7. Kansas
  8. Georgetown
  9. Wisconsin.
This leaves - again, in my mind - nine teams to battle for the last three No. 3 seeds. Those team are (RPI in parentheses):
  1. Xavier (8)
  2. Drake (10)
  3. Louisville (13)
  4. Michigan State (14)
  5. Butler (16)
  6. Indiana (17)
  7. Stanford (18)
  8. Washington State (20)
  9. Purdue (39)
Connecticut and Notre Dame would have been on this list had they won, but well, they didn't. Same for Vanderbilt. Marquette, Pitt and West Virginia all have impressive RPI's, but there's no way they leapfrog us even with a Big East Tournament title. So we're basically jostling for position with eight other teams, a number that takes us from the second spot in the third line all the way down to the first spot in the fifth line.

As far as our biggest competition goes, well...

Xavier: Might already have a three seed locked down, but all but ensures one with a win over St. Joe's tonight.

Stanford: Definitely earns a three with a Pac-10 tourney title, and probably gets one with a win over Wazzou tonight.

Indiana: A Big Ten Tournament title does the trick, anything less and their future is less certain.

Purdue: See Indiana.

Drake: In the clubhouse with an impressive conference tournament championship, but history tells us that these mid-major giants with solid RPI's generally don't make it above the fourth line.

Butler: See Drake.

Washington State: A Pac-10 championship win over UCLA might be enough to jump them a couple of rows up to a three, but anything else and they have no shot.

Michigan State: They're likely a low five or a high six right now, which means they need both a Big Ten championship and a little help from the teams in front of them to have a chance at landing a three.

So there's something, I guess. A lot is going to happen starting in about 30 minutes, but I can't foresee any scenario in which we don't end up being a three, four or five.

Go teams playing the teams we just talked about!