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Baylor Basketball: Bracketology Update

Selection Sunday is coming

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Features Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We’re less than a week from Selection Sunday, so let’s take a look at Baylor’s tournament profile.

Bracketmatrix is a collection of 87 different bracketologist. All 87 have Baylor in the field. The Bears average the final No. 8 seed. That leaves Baylor easily in the field.

Even if chaos strikes and several teams steal bids, the Bears will make it. There are too many teams below Baylor, and especially teams with huge problems on their resume.

Baylor has a weird profile. The Bears have two quadrant four (the worst quadrant) losses. Baylor also could be viewed better than some of their worst moments because Mario Kegler didn’t play against Texas Southern, and Makai Mason has been limited or out for some of Baylor’s losses. But Mason has missed several games, including the Kansas game. If he doesn’t play in Kansas City, or misses a game, then maybe the committee moves Baylor slightly down.

36 teams appear on all 87 brackets. The ACC, Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, Big East, Mountain West Conference and American have multiple teams in those spots. If any of those teams win their conference tournament, then their won’t be bid thieves from those leagues.

The West Coast Conference (Gonzaga), Atlantic-10 (VCU), MAC (Buffalo) and PAC-12 (Washington), all have teams that will get at-large bids. In the Mountain West, Nevada and Utah State will get bids, even if neither wins the conference tournament.

Even if we get five bid thieves from those leagues, and a thief from the Big East (a non-Villanova, Marquette or St. John’s champion), and someone from the American (not Houston, Cincinnati or UCF), we’d still only have seven new teams added to the field (and Texas, Temple and ASU are in on the matrix). Let’s add even more chaos and say Texas wins the Big 12, and say Indiana make the Big Ten final. That still puts Baylor three teams above the cut line. And all those events won’t happen.

Barring something absolutely insane, Baylor will be in the field. Barring something absolutely crazy, Baylor will not have to play in the first four. There are too many teams with worse profiles to jump Baylor.

My guess is that Baylor ends up a No. 9 seed or the highest 10 seed with a loss against Iowa State. With a win, I think they’ll be a No. 8 seed. And with two wins, I think they’ll be a No. 7. If Baylor wins the Big 12 Tournament, I would guess they’ll get a No. 6 seed.

This is a different bubble year. The NET has replaced the RPI, and we have a few weird profiles. But too many teams have significant flaws for Baylor to be at risk of missing the tournament. Texas and Indiana have 15 and 14 losses, respectively. North Carolina State played a bad non-conference schedule (based on the metrics the committee uses). St. John’s, Arizona State and Temple played in weak leagues.

Baylor’s most important task is getting as healthy as possible. This team started 9-6 and 1-2 in the league. They weren’t close to the bubble two months ago. And on Selection Sunday they shouldn’t be either because they’re safely in the field.