If I said Iowa State was squarely in the tournament last week, they are now what can be described as “definitively in” the Big Dance. That sentence is surely a surreal one to read after the atrocity that was last season, and should be celebrated by Cyclone fans on Selection Sunday.
Speaking of that, Iowa State has games remaining that will impact their ultimate seed and destination in the coming weeks, so lets dig into where they stand as of now and where they may end up.
Net Ranking: 36 (down from 34)
9-7 in Quad 1 games
2-2 in Quad 2 games
1-0 in Quad 3 games
8-0 in Quad 4 games
Kenpom: 31 (down from 28)
BPI Seed Rank: 41 (down from 26)
SOS Rank: 23
Creighton (64 NET, 66 Kenpom)
Oklahoma State (54 NET, 51 Kenpom)
TCU (52 NET, 53 Kenpom)
Kansas State (61 NET, 56 Kenpom)
#25 Xavier (neutral)
#9 Memphis (neutral)
#25 Texas Tech (home)
#21 Texas (home)
Oklahoma State (road)
Kansas State (road)
West Virginia (74 NET, 69 Kenpom), home
Kansas State (63 NET, 57 Kenpom), road
Oklahoma State (54 net, 51 Kenpom), home
Baylor (6 NET, 4 Kenpom), road
Bracket Matrix: 8 seed (top 8 seed), seed score of 7.4 (up from 7.98).
(http://www.bracketmatrix.com/) is a great resource, as they essentially assemble all seed projections from every bracket-making service and compile them into a master matrix.
CBS Bracketology: 7 seed (2nd 7 seed per bracket matrix) in the East Region playing 10 seed Davidson, matched up with Wisconsin.
ESPN Bracketology: 7 seed (seed rank unknown) in the Midwest Region playing 10 seed North Carolina, matched up with Kentucky.
Iowa State seems slated to play in either the East or Midwest Region, with Indianapolis and Milwaukee being the destinations that frequently pop up. It seems that if they do stay a 7 seed, Indy is the most likely destination, while a 6 seed opens up a real possibility of playing in Milwaukee. Keep an eye on Fort Worth as another possible destination as well.
Prediction as of 3/1:
If the Cyclones split this week’s action, they will likely remain in the 7 seed range, and may sneak up to a 6 seed in some, as we are seeing over at Bracket Matrix. A win over 51st in the NET Oklahoma State will be a nice win, but certainly not a Q1 win. While there are ways they could win that game that would help their metrics, the goal should be a win no matter how it is achieved.
The game against Baylor is a different animal altogether. Baylor is certainly very good, and may be playing for a share of the league title if TCU wins 1 of 2 against KU this week. That said, the Bears are banged up, and Iowa State gave them a good fight in Ames. The goal here should be a close loss. A loss is probably expected, but finding a way to be in the game late would be huge for the Cyclones.
Unfortunately for a shot at a 5 or 6 seed, the recent chaos inside the top 10 gave some programs very good wins, and has moved several teams ahead of the Cyclones at this point.
Yes, we dropped in the rankings after two wins, including a Quad 1 road win.
The likes of Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State, LSU, Marquette, and USC are all teams slated ahead of the Cyclones, so it’s fine to wish bad things upon them, in my opinion. Iowa State is in the dance regardless at this point, but dropping both contests probably moves the back to the 8 line, despite the Baylor game being a Quad 1 road game.
With TCU’s home win against Kansas, Iowa State is now likely locked into the 6 seed in Kansas City, which is the late game most likely against Texas Tech. If TCU drops their last two games @KU and @WVU and Iowa State wins out, Iowa State would then move back up to the 5 seed.