More likely than not, Seton Hall looks like they will be locked into an 8-9 game after Sunday’s dust settles but with multiple unknown variables, the question of where they will end up remains open-ended.
Of course the Hall has a chance to drop down to a 10-seed, after all ESPN has them against Michigan in Indianapolis and BracketMatrix has the Pirates as the top 10-seed, but that seems unlikely compared to the eight different spots allocated for 8- and 9-seeds.
As a rule of thumb, all seven through nine seeds are dictated by which schools will end up as 1- and 2-seeds since they get locations preferable to them. For example: ESPN currently has Arizona in Salt Lake City, Kentucky in Indianapolis, Oregon in Sacramento, and Duke in Greenville, South Carolina.
That said, it appears Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga are the favorites to snag 1-seeds with the four aforementioned schools waiting in the wings as 2s.
Edit: CBS has Duke replacing UNC as a 1-seed after their late night win against Notre Dame.
With those eight schools established, here are the eight potential locations you may be flying (or driving) to later this week: Buffalo, NY; Milwaukee, WI; Orlando, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; Greenville, SC; Indianapolis, IN; Tulsa, OK; Sacramento, CA
Pairing that list against the likely 1-seeds, Villanova will be in Buffalo, Kansas in Tulsa, North Carolina in Greenville, and finally Gonzaga in Salt Lake City — or potentially Sacramento.
Going a step forward, Seton Hall can’t be paired with Villanova due to conference affiliation, leaving the remaining three (or four) spots as potential destinations with Greenville as the most geographically-preferable.
Where do you think and/or want the Hall to end up? Leave a note in the comments. In my opinion, going out west in the pod which includes a 1-seeded Gonzaga would seem unusually cruel given what transpired on last Selection Sunday.
Even though Seton Hall will be in the field, I thought it would be interesting to take another look at their body of work since it hasn’t really mattered much after beating Georgetown and Butler. Here it is:
Record: 21-11 (10-8)
Last ten games: 7-3
Non-Conf SoS: 210
vs RPI top-50: 4-7
vs RPI top-75: 8-9
Record away from home: 9-9
Notable wins away from home: @ Butler (14); vs. South Carolina (44 — w/o best player); vs. California (55 — Rabb limited, Rooks out); vs. Marquette (59 — BET)
Sub-100 losses: vs. Stanford (101); at St. John’s (138)
For argument’s sake, I compared the Hall to 24-win Maryland, who are around the 7-seed line, to see if they are generally worthy of moving up a spot.
Record: 24-8 (12-6)
Last ten games: 4-6
Non-Conf SoS: 113
vs RPI top-50: 5-4
vs RPI top-75: 8-5
Record away from home: 11-3
Notable wins away from home: @ Minnesota (19); @ Michigan (38); @ Northwestern (48); vs. Kansas State (58);
Sub-100 losses: @ Penn State (102); Nebraska (107)
Based on those metrics, which I came up with on the fly, Maryland clearly gets the edge on paper for getting a better seed.
How about looking in the rear view at projected 10-seed Oklahoma State?
Record: 20-12 (9-9)
Last ten games: 6-4
Non-Conf SoS: 47
vs RPI top-50: 3-10
vs RPI top-75: 6-11
Record away from home: 9-7
Notable wins away from home: @ West Virginia (23); @ Wichita State (29); @ Kansas State (58)
Sub-100 losses: @ Texas (155)
Side-by-side, there isn’t that much between the Cowboys and Seton Hall — so perhaps a 10-seed is still very much in play.
Well, hopefully I’ve given everyone enough to chew on for Selection Sunday. Please feel free to discuss the conference championship games set to air, anything I may have missed or got wrong above, and of course all things related to Seton Hall in the comment section below.