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College Crosse Bracketology 6.0: Is that your final answer?

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SELECTION SUNDAY IS TODAY!

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Preview David Wallace-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our sixth and final edition of College Crosse’s Bracketology series for the 2018 season! Last time we left you, Rutgers reappeared as the final team in prior to conference championship games.

Here are the 20 remaining NCAA teams that I think still have a chance for making the NCAA Tournament. The ones with stars won their conference tournament AND earned an AQ. Sorry Notre Dame, but you don’t get a star because of the ACC.

Automatic Qualifiers

There are only nine AQs, and you can thank the ACC for the odd number (please find a sixth team). Here are the nine AQ teams in.

2018 Bracketology Automatic Qualifiers 6.0

Team Conference Record RPI SOS 1-5 Ws 6-10 Ws 11-20 Ws 21+ Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Team Conference Record RPI SOS 1-5 Ws 6-10 Ws 11-20 Ws 21+ Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Albany America East 14-2 2 6 1-0 (Maryland) 1-1 (Cornell) 3-0 (Syracuse, Vermont twice) UMBC (42) Maryland (1) Yale (6), UMBC (42)
Johns Hopkins Big Ten 11-4 3 8 1-1 (Maryland) 1-1 (Virginia) 4-1 (Syracuse, Rutgers, Ohio State twice) North Carolina (23), Penn State (22) Maryland (1) Penn State (22), North Carolina (23)
Loyola Patriot League 12-3 7 10 1-1 (Johns Hopkins) 0-1 2-1 (Navy, Georgetown) NA Johns Hopkins (3) Virginia (10), Bucknell (16)
Cornell Ivy League 12-4 9 13 0-1 1-1 (Yale) 2-0 (Penn, Syracuse) Colgate (40), Princeton (27) Syracuse (11), Penn (14) Princeton (27), Colgate (40)
Georgetown Big East 12-4 12 17 0-0 1-2 (Denver) 3-0 (Robert Morris, Villanova twice) Drexel (37), Marquette (24) Denver (8) Marquette (24), Drexel (37)
Robert Morris NEC 12-4 17 35 0-0 0-0 0-2 Bryant (34), Saint Joseph's (31) NA Saint Joseph's (31), Bryant (34)
UMass CAA 12-4 21 51 0-1 0-1 0-0 Army West Point (39), Harvard (30) NA Harvard (30), Army West Point (39)
Richmond SoCon 11-5 29 34 0-2 0-1 1-0 (Bucknell) UMBC (42), Furman (56) Bucknell (16), North Carolina (23) UMBC (42), Furman (56)
Canisius MAAC 8-8 49 61 0-1 0-0 0-1 Dartmouth (59), Colgate (40), Hobart (54), Detroit Mercy (46), Quinnipiac (53), Monmouth (58) Detroit Mercy (46) Quinnipiac (53), Hobart (54), Monmouth (58), Dartmouth (59)

Dating back to yesterday’s projection, we had five different AQs (Big Ten, Big East, Ivy League, MAAC, and NEC). We had a bid stealer in Georgetown beating Denver, and Cornell shut down any fear of missing out with a dominant win over Yale this afternoon.

So with these changes to the AQs, that shifts most of the old winners to the at-large pool.

At-Large Candidates

Eight more teams will be picked to join the nine automatic qualifiers. Most of the spots are sealed up, but there’ll be some fighting for the final spot.

2018 Bracketology At-Larges 6.0

Team Conference Record RPI SOS 1-5 Ws 6-10 Ws 11-20 Ws 21+ Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Team Conference Record RPI SOS 1-5 Ws 6-10 Ws 11-20 Ws 21+ Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Maryland Big Ten 12-3 1 4 2-2 (Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins) 0-0 5-1 (Navy, Penn, Villanova, Rutgers twice) NA NA Albany (2), Johns Hopkins (3), Ohio State (19)
Duke ACC 13-3 4 16 1-1 (Notre Dame) 3-0 (Denver, Loyola, Virginia) 0-2 NA NA Notre Dame (5), Syracuse (11), Penn (14)
Notre Dame ACC 9-5 5 3 1-2 (Duke) 3-0 (Denver, Virginia twice) 1-1 (Ohio State) North Carolina (23), Michigan (25) Duke (4) Syracuse (11), North Carolina (23), Michigan (25)
Yale Ivy League 13-3 6 5 1-0 (Albany) 1-1 (Cornell) 2-2 (Penn twice) NA Albany (2) Cornell (9), Villanova (13), Bucknell (16)
Denver Big East 12-3 8 20 0-2 0-0 3-1 (Ohio State, Georgetown, Villanova) NA NA Georgetown (12), Villanova (13), Ohio State (19)
Virginia ACC 12-5 10 7 0-4 1-0 (Loyola) 2-1 (Vermont, Syracuse) NA Loyola (7) Syracuse (11)
Syracuse ACC 8-6 11 2 2-2 (Duke, Notre Dame) 1-2 (Virginia) 0-2 NA Duke (4), Notre Dame (5), Virginia (10) Rutgers (15), Navy (18)
Villanova Big East 10-5 13 22 0-1 1-1 (Yale) 1-2 (Penn) Brown (33) Yale (6) Brown (33)
Rutgers Big Ten 9-6 15 12 0-3 0-0 2-1 (Robert Morris, Syracuse) Army West Point (39), Princeton (27) Syracuse (11) Princeton (27), Army West Point (39)
Bucknell Patriot League 11-4 16 31 0-0 2-0 (Loyola, Yale) 0-2 Richmond (29), Boston University (32) Yale (6), Loyola (7) Navy (18), Richmond (29), Boston University (32)
Ohio State Big Ten 8-7 19 18 1-3 (Maryland) 0-1 1-0 (Rutgers) Marquette (24), Towson (26) Maryland (1), Rutgers (15) Marquette (24), Towson (26)

With Georgetown and Cornell winning, it swallows up two potential bubble teams from moving on. Instead of four teams for two spots, you now have three teams for one spot.

Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Yale, Denver, Virginia, and Syracuse should all feel absolutely safe at this point. There’s not question about one of those teams not making the tournament. I don’t think Ohio State has a shot of making the tournament.

So it’s down to Villanova, Rutgers, and Bucknell for one spot.

Bracketology Prediction 6.0

Before I unveil what I have, here’s the rundown for creating the bracket. The cliff-notes from the NCAA are below:

  • Eligibility and availability of student-athletes for NCAA championships
  • Won-lost record
  • Strength of schedule index [based on team’s 10 highest rated contests; (2 games against the same opponent will count as two contests)]
  • Results of the RPI
  • Record against ranked teams 1-5; 6-10; 11-15; 16-20; 21+
  • Average RPI wins (average RPI of all wins)
  • Average RPI loss (average RPI of all losses)
  • Head-to-head competition
  • Results versus common opponents
  • Significant wins and losses (wins against teams ranked higher in the RPI and losses against teams ranked lower in the RPI)
  • Location of contests

For the final time, here we go:

Last Four In: Denver, Syracuse, Virginia, Villanova
First Four Out: Bucknell, Rutgers, Ohio State, Navy

There’s a lot of questions.

First, who should be #1? Maryland losing opens this question up for a team like Albany to maybe steal. Is it likely? I don’t think so.

Second, who gets the final seed? Cornell may have gone from bubble to host. With their RPI going up to nine, that should propel them to leapfrogging Cuse and hosting a game in Ithaca.

Third, who gets the final spot between Bucknell, Rutgers, and Villanova?

Pros about Bucknell: Best record out of the group (11-4), and two wins over Yale and Loyola in the RPI top 10, the most out of the three teams (Nova has one, Rutgers has none)
Cons about Bucknell: SOS is hideous (31) and the BU end of season loss could derail any chance of getting in

Pros about Rutgers: Best SOS (12) and best pairing of RPI & SOS in the group
Cons about Rutgers: 9-6 record the worst in the trio and the Army West Point loss from earlier in the season could bring them down

Pros about Villanova: Highest RPI out of the three teams (13), and they beat Yale
Cons about Villanova: SOS of 22 isn’t the best and that Brown loss isn’t good

Each team has their strengths and weaknesses with their resume. None of these teams have played each other this season as well.

In the end, I have Villanova barely getting in over Bucknell. The SOS is better for Nova, and despite having a worst loss in Brown than Bucknell’s two, that’s also the only significant loss the Wildcats have. The Bison have three (Navy, Richmond, BU).

This will be fun. And watch and react live as we do as well. We’ll get things started at 8 PM on our Facebook page.