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The most important decisions facing the selection committee

Sometime before 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will email a full bracket to CBS to reveal it on the selection show.

Here is an overview of the most important decisions the committee will have to make between now and then:

1. Who will join Gonzaga and Arizona as the No. 1 seeds?

The chaos in the SEC Tournament this week worked in favor of the Big 12. With neither Auburn nor Kentucky even making the SEC title shot, Kansas and Baylor now look all but certain to join Gonzaga (26-3 ) and Arizona (31-3) on the first seeded line of the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas enters the draft Sunday with 12 wins in Quadrant 1, the most of any college basketball team. The Big 12 Tournament champion Jayhawks are 20-6 in the top two quadrants, three combined victories against Baylor and Texas Tech and a single loss against a team that is not guaranteed to make the NCAA tournament.

Baylor fell behind Kansas in the pecking order when it pulled out of the Big 12 tournament in the quarterfinals last Thursday, but the Bears still have a strong enough resume to hold off all other opponents. Texas Tech in the league, they are 18-6 against the top two quadrants, including marquee non-conference wins over Villanova and Michigan State.

Kansas (28-6, 14-4, NET: 7, KenPom: 6)

Q1 record: 12-5

Q2 record: 8-1

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: Baylor, Texas Tech (2), Texas, Michigan State

Losses: Dayton, to Texas Tech, Kentucky, to Texas, to Baylor, to TCU

Baylor (26-6, 14-4, NET: 5, Ken Pom: 4)

Q1 record: 10-5

Q2 record: 8-1

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: Kansas, Villanova, Michigan State, Texas (2)

Losses: Kansas, Alabama, Texas Tech (2), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

If Kentucky or Auburn had won the SEC Tournament, either would likely have passed Baylor to claim the final No. 1 seed. The Tigers fell in the quarterfinals to Texas A&M and the Wildcats lost a semifinal to Tennessee, plunging the two into a pool of six teams vying for four spots on the No. 2 seed line.

Kentucky’s rout of Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse probably won’t come into play because the Wildcats never closed the recovery gap between themselves and the Jayhawks. It’s the same with Auburn, which has fallen behind both Kansas and Baylor in fading to the finish line with four losses and one overtime victory in its last nine games.

Kentucky (26-7, 14-4, NET: 5, KenPom: 3)

Q1 record: 9-7

Q2 record: 5-0

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: at Kansas, Tennessee, Alabama (2), LSU

Losses: Duke, at Notre Dame, at Auburn, at LSU, Tennessee (2), at Arkansas

Auburn (27-5, 15-3, NET: 12, Ken Pom: 10)

Q1 record: 8-4

Q2 record: 7-1

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: Kentucky, Alabama (2), LSU, Murray State

Losses: UConn, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M

2. Where will Duke start Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament?

Only once in Mike Krzyzewski’s illustrious career has Duke landed an NCAA Tournament seed of No. 3 or lower and still made it to the Final Four.

The Blue Devils may have to repeat that feat this year to give Krzyzewski the retirement gift he covets.

Virginia Tech’s 82-67 upset over Duke in Saturday night’s ACC title game doomed the Blue Devils’ hopes of securing a No. 2 seed. 3 series after Villanova won the Big East Tournament and Tennessee and Purdue both advanced to their respective conference title games.

While Duke has knocked Gonzaga and Kentucky out of the league this season, the rest of the Blue Devils resume isn’t exactly inspiring. their.

Duke (28-6, 16-4, NET: 11, KenPom: 9)

Q1 record: 6-2

Q2 record: 6-3

Losses in Q3 or Q4: 1 (Virginia)

Best wins: Gonzaga, Kentucky, at North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest (2)

Losses: to Ohio State, Miami, to Florida State, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

Compare Duke’s resume to the teams he’s competing against to join Kentucky and Auburn on the No. 2 starting line. You’ll find that Tennessee has more brand wins and no losses outside of the first quadrant. also a shade lower than those of Villanova and Purdue.

Tennessee (25-7, 14-4, NET: 8, KenPom: 10)

Q1 record: 10-7

Q2 record: 5-0

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: Arizona, Kentucky (2), Auburn, LSU, Arkansas

Losses: at Kentucky, Villanova, Texas Tech, at Texas, at LSU, at Arkansas, at Alabama

Villanova (26-7, 16-4, NET: 6, KenPom: 12)

Q1 record: 7-6

Q2 record: 10-1

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: Tennessee, Connecticut (2), Providence (2), Creighton (2)

Losses: Baylor, UCLA, Purdue, UConn, Creighton, Marquette (2)

Purdue (27-6, 14-6, NET: 13, KenPom: 14)

Q1 record: 8-5

Q2 record: 6-1

Losses in T3 or T4: 0

Best wins: Villanova, Iowa (2), Illinois (2), Ohio State, North Carolina, Michigan State

Losses: Wisconsin (2), Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers

Tennessee and Purdue will both get one more chance to add to their resumes on Sunday in their respective conference tournament title games. The Vols meet Texas A&M and the Boilermakers face Iowa on Fire.

3. Which teams from the ACC bubble will be on the field?

Even though the ACC has many of the biggest brands in college basketball, this year’s league might be the worst it’s ever been. even North Carolina was pretty ordinary in Hubert Davis’ first season.

The upshot is that teams with garish ACC records aren’t as confident as they usually would be on Sunday’s draft. While Duke is on course for a No. 2 seed, North Carolina and Miami are likely to slip into the field and Virginia Tech has the automatic bid, the ACC’s other two NCAA Tournament contenders have reason to be concerned whether they’ll hear their names called.

The most intriguing case is Notre Dame, which stunned Kentucky in December and then went 15-5 in the ACC but has an oddly empty resume. The Irish (22-10) are a measly 4-9 in Q1 or Q2, meaning they have less than half the number of wins in the top two quadrants as many bubble teams. Eighteen of their 22 wins this season have come in quadrants 3 or 4.

Wake Forest have won 23 games and gone 13-7 in ACC play this season, but the Demon Deacons’ case is as fragile as Notre Dame’s. They have fewer Quadrant 1(1) wins than losses in quadrant 3 (2). The non-conference schedule also gives the committee an easy excuse to exclude them.

If the selection committee keeps its word that it ignores the conference record, then Notre Dame could be Sunday’s surprise shutout at Louisville a year ago. Wake Forest also looks likely to fall in a few places. of the cut line of the selection committee.

4. Does the victory of a bubble team count more than its bad defeats?

Earlier this week, Tom Burnett was asked if he gives more importance to brand wins or bad losses when evaluating teams. selection for the tournament.

Burnett’s criteria look encouraging for this year’s bubble team with the weirdest resume Rutgers (18-13) has as many Quad 1 wins as probably No. 1 seed Arizona , but the Scarlet Knights have a collection of hideous early-season losses. their profile like an anchor.

Last November, Rutgers lost three straight to DePaul, Lafayette and UMass, all of them outside the NET top 100. Lafayette’s loss was particularly damaging as it came at home to a 20-game losing streak ranked 300 or less in most major metrics.

Add in a Quadrant 3 home loss to Maryland, and it’s easy to see why Rutgers is a dismal 78th in the NET rankings and 53rd or worse in every metric that appears on the roster sheets the selection committee receives. a threat to land one of the last general offers with wins over every potential Big Ten NCAA Tournament team – Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana and Michigan.

Can a team with 12 wins in one of college basketball’s top conferences be kicked out of the NCAA Tournament? Ultimately, it’s a close call, which is why Rutgers is a good bet to be one of four bubble teams sent into the top four to fight their way into the main field.

The Rutgers aren’t the only bubble team with a mind-boggling combination of big wins and bad losses. Dayton (23-10) is an impressive 8-6 in games in quadrants 1 and 2, including a neutral-court win over Kansas, but the Flyers also have four Quadrant 3 and 4 losses to LaSalle, Lipscomb, UMass Lowell and Austin Peay.

5. Where should Houston be ranked?

The toughest selection decision the committee faces could be Houston’s place in the table. The Cougars are ranked in the top six in the nation in key predictive metrics, but have a resume that’s nowhere near as close. Well.

As Houston enters Sunday’s American Athletic Conference title game with a sparkling 28-5 record, the Cougars still have just one victory in Quadrant 1. They went 0-3 against the other league powerhouses Memphis and SMU and haven’t beaten a single NCAA tournament-caliber team in non-conference play.

Houston earned its only Quadrant 1 win last December in Fort Worth against a 15-game losing streak from Oklahoma State that is ineligible for this year’s NCAA Tournament. neutral site must rank in the top 50 to count as a quadrant 1 match. ‘NET ranking is exactly #50.

How is Houston ranked third in the NET and fifth in KenPom despite a lack of marquee wins? The answer is the Cougars are 27-1 in non-quadrant 1 games and have erased some respectable opponents, from the Oregon to Virginia via Butler to Cincinnati.

Houston didn’t receive a top-four seed three weeks ago in the NCAA’s mid-season selection panel reveal That probably won’t change even if the Cougars beat Memphis in the game for the Sunday’s conference tournament title. a #5 or #6 seed when the support is unveiled.

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