Bracket Math: Michigan jumps up

Wolverines replace Gators as No. 1 seed; several SEC teams on bubble

Updated: February 27, 2013, 12:32 PM ET
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN Insider

Tim Hardaway Jr.Greg Bartram/USA TODAY SportsTim Hardaway Jr., John Beilein and Michigan are back on the top line.

This edition of Bracket Math includes games through Tuesday, Feb. 26. Rankings reflect an up-to-date S-curve from yours truly, posing as one hypothetical member of the NCAA men's basketball committee.

Notes on the "new" math:

• It counts as a routine night when only two of our projected No. 1 seeds lose. Tuesday, it was Indiana (at Minnesota) and Florida (at Tennessee). The Hoosiers had such a gap on the rest of the field that they retain the No. 1 overall seed in Bracket Math. The Gators, on the other hand, were a very shaky entry on the top line and have fallen all the way to No. 11 on the S-curve (and a No. 3 seed). Michigan replaces Florida as the fourth No. 1 seed in this edition.

• On the bubble, we suddenly have a cluster of SEC teams. Two of the "Last Four In" (Kentucky and Ole Miss) are joined by two of the "First Four Out" (Tennessee and Alabama). Unusually, Alabama -- which sits alone in second place in the conference -- is the lowest rated of the group. The reason is that the Crimson Tide have played the weakest SEC schedule of the group and also have six losses to teams outside the consideration pool, which is more than the other three combined.

• Most impactful Wednesday games: Michigan (at Penn State), Akron at Ohio, Charleston Southern (at Gardner Webb), Georgetown (at UConn), Miami (versus Virginia Tech), Bucknell (versus American), Kentucky (versus Mississippi State), Ole Miss (versus Texas A&M), Colorado at Stanford, Arizona State (at UCLA).

• Most impactful Thursday games: Detroit at Temple, Robert Morris at Bryant, Stony Brook at Boston University, Mercer at Florida Gulf Coast, Southern at Texas Southern, Niagara (versus Rider), California (versus Utah), South Dakota State (at Nebraska Omaha).

The Bracket

This is where I believe teams would fall if Selection Sunday were today. Remember, the S-curve flows left to right, then right to left, then back again as you read down the chart. (Note: Teams in ALL CAPS are current conference leaders.)


To read about why Michigan is in position to grab a No. 1 seed, and to see how the latest S-curve breaks down, sign up for ESPN Insider today.

Joe Lunardi | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com