Nate Silver and I had two of the only brackets with Oklahoma winning today, as they kick off the “Best Non-ACC Elite 8” against Oregon shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern. Kansas plays Villanova after that game. Then the second “ACC Tournament” continues Sunday with North Carolina vs. Notre Dame and Syracuse vs. Virginia and top 10 Value Add player Malcolm Brogdon.
Big 12. Buddy Hield was the National Player of the Year on the Breitbart Sports All-American team. The Big 12 has the second best mark in the tournament at 8-5, and wins by Oklahoma and then by Kansas would give the conference a guaranteed mark of 11-6 and team in the championship game to take on the remaining ACC team, which will be 19-6 at that point no matter which ACC teams win against each other the rest of the way.
Big East. Villanova has looked very good and the Big East is the only other conference with a winning record in the tournament. Not only that, but two of their losses have been strong showings, with Butler going into the last minute with a chance to stun Virginia and Xavier leading in the last minute against Wisconsin. An upset of Villanova today and then against Oklahoma in the Final Four would let the Big East stake the claim to second best conference this year rather than the Big 12.
The Pac-12 can only become a fourth conference with a winning record if Oregon wins three straight to take the title.
|Entering Elite 8||56||56||50%|
Regardless, the ACC’s addition of Notre Dame, Syracuse, and a Louisville team that was not eligible has left it the best overall conference by far unless you factor that they do have a few really bad teams (www.kenpom.com rates the Big 12 as slightly better top to bottom).
It took a last second shot by Notre Dame to keep Stephen F. Austin from being the first 14-seed to make the Sweet 16 since 1997, and a late comeback by Syracuse to beat Gonzaga in a battle of double-digit seeds, but those wins guaranteed that even if dominant UVa and UNC teams falter, it will be to a fellow ACC member and the conference will play for the national title.
If Kansas wins the title, the Breitbart All-American bracket would finish with 42 correct picks, but even if they are upset by Villanova today the bracket would finish the best of the 10 featured with 39 correct picks.
|Correct So Far||56||39||36||36||35||35||34||34||33||32||31|