It's February, and just about every conference has played at least half its league schedule. Even the most avid non-travelers have encountered enough true road games to be properly evaluated.
So why are there so many "outliers" across the nation? Typically there'd be two or three teams generating most of the bracket debate at this time of year. Instead, we have two or three times that number whose Selection Sunday fate could very well defy conventional wisdom.
I can't tell you the number of times over the past week somehow has asked, "What will the committee do about (fill in the blank)?" So let's fill in some of those blanks:
Wisconsin Badgers: The Badgers have outrageously good non-RPI numbers (Pomeroy No. 4, Sagarin No. 8). But a program whose RPI is often built by crafty nonconference scheduling is going the other way in 2012. Wisconsin has already lost four home games -- the equivalent of 5.6 RPI losses -- and is going to pay a seeding price because of it. The Badgers are a No. 4 seed in today's bracket but will be hard pressed to stay there with four of their next five away from Madison (including games at Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State). Then again, maybe home-away-from-home is the way to go for this year's Badgers.
To see read about how the committee will handle Pitt, Notre Dame, Murray State and others, become an ESPN Insider!