NCAA tournament brackets for 2016 come out on March 13. Can the Oregon Ducks be a No. 1 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament following a victory in the Pac-12 Championship Game? The Oregon Ducks beat the Utah Runnin Utes 88-57 on Saturday, March 12, to clinch the Pac-12 Tournament. The one-sided game may have shown how good Oregon has become this year. But will it be enough for the NCAA Selection Committee?
When it comes to 2016 NCAA tournament resumes, the Oregon Ducks now have a regular season Pac-12 title and a conference tournament championship. Oregon has non-conference wins against Baylor, Fresno State, and Alabama, as well as three victories over 26-8 Utah. Following the three additional wins from the Pac-12 Tournament, Oregon is now 28-6 overall this year.
In the updated version of the bracketology report from Joe Lunardi, Oregon remains a No. 2 seed in the 2016 NCAA tournament brackets. Lunardi has the Ducks playing in Spokane, Washington, for the first two rounds of the tournament, possibly allowing the school to have a lot of local fans in attendance. The West Regional would be in Anaheim, California, so all games would at least be on the west coast for the Ducks.
The report from ESPN.com states that the four better schools in college basketball are Michigan State, Virginia, Kansas, and North Carolina this season. Michigan State is 28-5 and playing in the Big Ten tournament championship game on Sunday, March 13, while the other three schools have finished their seasons. Kansas won the Big 12 Tournament to finish 30-4, North Carolina won the ACC Tournament to finish 28-6, and Virginia lost the ACC title game to finish 26-7.
There aren’t going to be many Oregon Ducks fans that will be pleased if their school is seeded behind the Virginia Cavaliers when the 2016 NCAA tournament brackets come out. It’s still possible that the NCAA Selection Committee views things a little differently than Joe Lunardi, but he has been doing this for years. As for the other potential No. 2 seeds, they are currently Xavier, Villanova, and Oklahoma.
If Lunardi does predict the NCAA tournament field correctly, Oregon has a tough region. Currently, it would be Michigan State at No. 1, Oregon at No. 2, Miami at No. 3, Texas A&M at No. 4, and Duke at No. 5. In the second-round game Oregon is up against Weber State. The winner of that game will play against the winner of the Wisconsin vs. St. Bonaventure game winner. To make it to the Final Four, the most likely scenario would have Oregon up against Miami and then Michigan State, unless upsets were to take place.
So did the Oregon Ducks do enough to earn a No. 1 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament? In a ranking of conference RPI, the Pac-12 comes in only behind the Big 12. The Pac-12 also ranks second-highest in strength of schedule. This present a statistic claiming that the Pac-12 was the second-best conference overall, giving teams trying to make the tournament a very strong case. This is something that the NCAA Selection Committee will definitely review.
In the updated college basketball RPI, the Oregon Ducks rank second in the nation. Only the Kansas Jayhawks have a better RPI mark and those numbers came out before Oregon won the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Ducks should look even better when the RPI list is updated, giving the school an even stronger resume to become a No. 1 seed.
When everything boils down to just the results on paper and the stats that serve to rank every college basketball school, the Oregon Ducks come out as the second strongest team in the nation. Oregon won the Pac-12, won the Pac-12 Tournament, and has earned a spot as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Will they get the honor on Selection Sunday?
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