Bracketology: Why Dayton jumps up to a No. 1 seed after San Diego State’s loss and how it can stay there

For the first time in a month, we have a new No. 1 seed. San Diego State lost to Utah State in the final of the Mountain West Tournament and has fallen down to a No. 2 seed. The Aztecs are replaced on the No. 1-line by Dayton in Sunday’s Bracketology.


The Flyers have dominated the Atlantic 10 and have a better overall schedule and better losses. Dayton lost to Kansas and Colorado, each on a neutral floor and each in overtime. The Aztecs have better wins with victories over Big East regular-season champion Creighton, BYU and Iowa. It’s not an easy call for the committee, and Dayton has to win out in the Atlantic 10 Tournament to stay there.

Top seeds in Palm’s Bracketology

Belmont also returns to the NCAA Tournament, this time as an automatic qualifier after beating Murray State to win the Ohio Valley Conference.

There was some shuffling all over the bracket as well, as you might imagine after a full slate of Saturday games. This was especially true at the bottom. 

Bad day for Lone Star State teams on the bubble: Both Texas and Texas Tech lost Saturday and fell out of the bracket. Both teams are in the “first four out” group. Texas suffered its worst loss of the season, getting blown out by Oklahoma State at home. That was after a five-game winning streak that followed the Longhorns’ previous worst loss of the season.

The Red Raiders, who played in last year’s NCAA Tournament title game,  gave Kansas a pretty good fight, but fell short. They are now 18-13 on the season and just 10-13 vs teams above Quadrant 4.

These two meet in a Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal. Let’s just call that an elimination game.

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Rutgers earns a big road win: The Scarlet Knights picked up a huge overtime win at Purdue, just their second away from home this season, and moved into the bracket. Cincinnati did as well, benefiting from the losses by the Texas schools.

There are only eight days to go, but a lot can happen in just those eight days.

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