NCAA Tournament Betting: First Four Teams Out

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 17, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

With Selection Sunday now one month away, projecting the field for the NCAA Tournament is still a bit dicey, but here are our predicted first four teams out as of February 17th.

We are now one month away from Selection Sunday for the 2014 NCAA Tournament on March 16th, and obviously a lot can still happen between now and then that can affect who goes or does not go to the NCAA Tournament. Naturally though, that does not deter us from making our NCAA Basketball picks on who will or will not make the NCAA Tournament.

What we are specifically trying to project here is who will be the first four teams to fail to make the cut and thus not be selected to the tournament. Bear in mind that if there are some upsets in the conference tournaments by teams that would not qualify for the Big Dance otherwise, that would increase the likelihood of the teams we predict to be the first four teams out indeed not making the tournament as each upset in a conference tournament would steal an at-large berth from a bubble team.

So to be entirely accurate, we are actually taking about the first four at-large possibilities here that we feel are not likely to make the tournament as of this time, without regard to us getting some help from conference tournament upsets.

We realize that it is still a difficult task on the NCAA Basketball odds to predict the first four teams out with any degree of accuracy with a full month to go before Selection Sunday, which coincides with the end of all of the conference tournaments, but hey, that does not stop us from trying!

So without any further ado, here are our predictions as of February 17th for the first four teams out for the NCAA Tournament field.

First Four Out
Oregon Ducks: When we selected the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament, our choice for the very least team in came down to these Ducks and the St. Joseph’s Hawks. One thing that the selection committee considers when making its choices is how a team has performed recently, and the 13-0 start by the Ducks this season has already been long forgotten due to a dismal 4-8 record in Pac-12 play. Yes, that still leaves Oregon at 16-8 overall and the Ducks can still get to 20 wins, but remember that the Pac-12 is deep this season and the fact that the Ducks 12-0 non-conference record came vs. a schedule ranked just 233rd in non-conference SOS hurts the Ducks when compared to other more deserving Pac-12 teams.

Baylor Bears: Continuing our theme of penalizing teams that got off to fast starts but do not have the good recent form that the committee looks for, the Bears were 12-1 at the end of the non-conference portion of their schedule but have gone on to go 4-8 in conference play! Also, the fact that two of those conference wins came vs. a TCU team that is 0-12 inside the Big 12 hurts Baylor’s cause, as the Bears have continually come up short when given opportunities to impress the committee. The Bears’ best conference win was probably a double-overtime triumph over Kansas State, and while the Wildcats have a nice team that is ranked 38th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, having that as your statement win is probably not enough in a deep Big 12 that probably has six teams right now more deserving of an NCAA Tournament bid than Baylor.

Florida State Seminoles: To give you an idea of just how liquid a situation it is to predict the first four teams out with one month ago, the Seminoles could conceivably jump from this list to possibly one of our last four teams in after tonight when they play a pseudo BracketBuster game vs. the North Carolina Tar Heels at home. But since we are making our predictions before that game, we could only use Florida State’s body of work up to this point and this is another team that had been spinning its wheels as of late. The Seminoles are just 6-7 inside the ACC and they are a poor 2-5 in the last seven games with the two wins coming vs. a couple of conference lightweights in Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Yes, the Noles have faced a strong schedule ranked an excellent eighth in SOS, but that gets offset by losses to the Miami Hurricanes and Clemson Tigers at home in Tallahassee, as neither of those teams will sniff the Big Dance without some upsets in the ACC Tournament.

Richmond Spiders: The Atlantic 10 is the highest ranked mid-major in the country according to the Pomeroy Ratings, but still, how many bids will the committee give this conference? After all, Saint Louis, Massachusetts and VCU will certainly get in the Big Dance and George Washington looks to be in great shape as a fourth A-10 team. Remember also that we have St. Joseph’s as out final team in the tourney as of now to make five Atlantic 10 teams, which would probably make the Spiders victims of a numbers game where the committee would not like to embarrass a major conference too badly by giving a mid-major six bids. Richmond could use a big road win to get in the committee’s good graces as all of the Spiders’ bigger wins this season have come at home, but unfortunately they will not get that opportunity in the regular season with three remaining road games at George Mason, Rhode Island and Dayton, game where they have more to lose by losing than they have to gain by winning.

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