College Championship Week Computer Rankings

A LOOK AT CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK COMPUTER RANKINGS FOR THE MAJOR CONFERENCE CONTENDERS

The five major college basketball conferences begin their tournaments in a matter of minutes! Here's a quick look at respected computer rankings from Ken Pomeroy of kenpom.com and Jeff Sagarin of USA Today in the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, and Pac 12 conferences. We'll look at the contenders in each league...meaning teams who are either good enough to be locks for the Big Dance already, or "bubble" teams looking for deep runs.

ACC Contenders
#1 seed North Carolina: #5 in Pomeroy, #5 in Sagarin
#2 seed Virginia: #1 in Pomeroy, #3 in Sagarin
#3 seed Miami: #12 in Pomeroy, #13 in Sagarin
#4 seed Notre Dame: #38 in Pomeroy, #36 in Sagarin
#5 seed Duke: #20 in Pomeroy, #14 in Sagarin
#6 seed Virginia Tech: #67 in Pomeroy, #68 in Sagarin
#7 seed Clemson: #51 in Pomeroy, #53 in Sagarin
#8 seed Pittsburgh: #43 in Pomeroy, #35 in Sagarin
#9 seed Syracuse: #41 in Pomeroy, #41 in Sagarin

Virginia could only manage a #2 seed even though the computers have them as best in the league. Interesting that Notre Dame snared a top four seed despite barely making the top 40 in the computers. Duke's obviously a dangerous #5...but it would seem very difficult for a 5-6 man rotation to win that many back-to-backs! Pittsburgh and Syracuse are both on the Dance bubble right now...while teams seeded better than them (Virginia Tech and Clemson) are probably NIT bound. Note that it usually takes "top 50" to get into the Dance because so many of the 68 spots are taken by auto-qualifiers from smaller leagues. Keep that in mind as we run through the other conferences.

Big 12 Contenders
#1 seed Kansas: #2 in Pomeroy, #1 in Sagarin
#2 seed West Virginia: #6 in Pomeroy, #6 in Sagarin
#3 seed Oklahoma: #7 in Pomeroy, #7 in Sagarin
#4 seed Texas: #28 in Pomeroy, #29 in Sagarin
#5 seed Baylor: #26 in Pomeroy, #28 in Sagarin
#6 seed Iowa State: #18 in Pomeroy, #22 in Sagarin
#7 seed Texas Tech: #36 in Pomeroy, #39 in Sagarin

Wow...three teams in the top seven! The computers have a history of overrating this conference. It's possible that's happened again. It wouldn't be a shock to see any (or all) of the first three underachieve postseason expectations...while any of the rest are capable of getting hot and going deep. Should be a great tournament with thrillers each day. All seven of these teams seem safely in the Dance right now. Nobody else in the league has a real shot to get in without running the table in Kansas City. And, how do you run THAT table if you're not already pretty good?!

Big 10 Contenders
#1 seed Indiana: #9 in Pomeroy, #9 in Sagarin
#2 seed Michigan State: #3 in Pomeroy, #2 in Sagarin
#3 seed Maryland: #24 in Pomeroy, #20 in Sagarin
#4 seed Purdue: #16 in Pomeroy, #10 in Sagarin
#5 seed Iowa: #17 in Pomeroy, #16 in Sagarin
#6 seed Wisconsin: #27 in Pomeroy, #31 in Sagarin
#7 seed Ohio State: #63 in Pomeroy, #60 in Sagarin
#8 seed Michigan: #54 in Pomeroy, #37 in Sagarin

Indiana stormed to the regular season title even though Michigan State is rated as a national Final Four team by the computers. Maryland has closed poorly, but still earned a #3 seed despite possibly being the sixth or seventh best team in "neutral site" form. We'll see. Michigan is right on the bubble in Joe Lunardi's most recent posts. Ohio State has a chance to make some headlines.

SEC Contenders
#1 seed Texas A&M: #21 in Pomeroy, #18 in Sagarin
#2 seed Kentucky: #8 in Pomeroy, #11 in Sagarin
#3 seed South Carolina: #52 in Pomeroy, #48 in Sagarin
#4 seed LSU: #82 in Pomeroy, #74 in Sagarin
#5 seed Vanderbilt: #23 in Pomeroy, #19 in Sagarin
#6 seed Georgia: #68 in Pomeroy, #67 in Sagarin
#7 seed Ole Miss: #65 in Pomeroy, #70 in Sagarin
#8 seed Florida: #44 in Pomeroy, #38 in Sagarin

Texas A&M was able to hold off Kentucky for the top seed. But, that came on a tie-breaker from an overtime home win in the only meeting between those two. The computers have Kentucky as a clear favorite. Bracketology is a real mess here...with Vanderbilt and Florida showing so much better in the computers than LSU, Georgia, and Ole Miss. Given A&M's late season inconsistency, it's possible Kentucky is the only true top 20 team in the SEC this season. Wasn't all that football money supposed to help the basketball teams in this conference?

PAC 12 Contenders
#1 seed Oregon: #14 in Pomeroy, #21 in Sagarin
#2 seed Utah: #25 in Pomeroy, #23 in Sagarin
#3 seed California: #22 in Pomeroy, #25 in Sagarin
#4 seed Arizona: #13 in Pomeroy, #12 in Sagarin
#5 seed Colorado: #61 in Pomeroy, #52 in Sagarin
#6 seed Oregon State: #59 in Pomeroy, #59 in Sagarin
#7 seed USC: #53 in Pomeroy, #49 in Sagarin

Similar story here in the Pac 12, depending on the distrust you might have for either Oregon or Arizona as a neutral court threat this month. Both can be great at home. Neither has any more home games. USC has been a huge disappointment down the stretch, while Cal's been a pleasant surprise. If the computers were in charge of the brackets, the Pac 12 wouldn't be well-represented at all.

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We'll keep this report up here on the website for a few days so you can refer to it as needed during opening round action. Look for previews of marquee matchups Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the NOTEBOOK once these great events have winnowed themselves down to the cream of the crop.

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