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Latest Bracketology also Serves as Florida State Rooting Guide

Who are the Seminoles competing with for a protected seed?

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With Wednesday night’s destruction of Miami, FSU remained on the two or three seed line in most brackets.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Seminoles as a 3 seed facing FGCU.

Jerry Palm over at CBS slots Florida State as a 2 seed paired up with East Tennessee State.

SI’s Michael Beller lists FSU as a 3 seed facing New Mexico State, but that’s as of Monday the 30th.

Even Team Rankings, which is a forward looking projection based on thousands of simulations, shows a three seed as the most likely outcome for the Seminoles. (Team Rankings also gives FSU a 100% chance of making the Dance, a 7.7% of reaching the Final Four, and a 1.1% chance of taking home the hardware).

More important than the specific seed right now is that the ‘Noles remain in great shape for a top 4 seed, commonly referred to as a “protected seed.” The NCAA works hard to “protect” the highest seeded teams with preferred geographic locations, meaning Florida State would almost assuredly be sent to Orlando if they can land a top 4 seed.

Of course, NCAA Tournament seeds are not earned in a vacuum. While FSU continuing to pile up wins is obviously the biggest factor, losses by other teams competing for the coveted protected seeds helps provide more margin for error.

Bracket Matrix, which takes the consensus of 96 (and always adding more) different brackets, currently puts Florida State as the 10th best seed average at 3.02. The nine teams ahead of FSU on the S-curve are (in order):

Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga, Louisville, Arizona, Kentucky (I don’t agree with this one at all, but whatevs), North Carolina, and Virginia.

The 10 teams below FSU—so down through the 5 seed line, which is non-protected—are:

West Virginia, Oregon, Butler, Wisconsin, UCLA, Cincinnati, Creighton, Duke, Maryland, Florida.

So which of those teams can realistically lose this weekend? Lots.

UK plays at UF tonight at 8:15 on ESPN, so one of those has to lose (hold your nose and root for the Gators since we already beat them). Another guaranteed loss comes when Arizona plays at Oregon at 4:00pm on ESPN.

Other games to watch are:

  • Maryland at home against Purdue (Go Boilermakers)
  • Xavier at Creighton (Go Xavier)
  • UVA at Syracuse (Go Cuse)
  • Oklahoma State at West Virginia (Go Cowboys)
  • Iowa State at Kansas (KU doesn’t lose at home, but go Cyclones)
  • K-State at Baylor (Go Wildcats)
  • Notre Dame at UNC (moved to Sunday and Greensboro due to a water problem in Chapel Hill. Go Irish, both for NCAAT help and ACC standings)
  • Indiana at Wisconsin (Sunday; Go Hoosiers)

As you can see, most of the contenders play at home this weekend—so upsets my by more limited than last week. But college basketball always provides plenty of madness, so there’s sure to be a couple helpful results.