Gonzaga is the No. 1 overall seed in the 2022 men’s tournament, to the surprise of nobody. (Here’s a printable bracket if you’re still into that sort of thing.) The Bulldogs did end up with a difficult draw, but if ever they were going to get over the hump and win a title, this would seemingly be the year.
The difference in efficiency margin in the Pomeroy Ratings between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Arizona is larger than the margin between Arizona and No. 14 Purdue. Nobody’s been on the Zags’ level this year.
Arizona, Kansas, and Baylor earned the other No. 1 seeds. Duke is the two-seed in Gonzaga’s region and probably the only ACC team that will do any damage in this tournament. UNC earned an eight-seed in Baylor’s region, and Virginia Tech is the 11 in that region. Miami is the 10-seed in Kansas’ region, while Notre Dame is an 11 that will play Rutgers in Dayton.
Wake Forest didn’t make the field, and was not even among the Last Four Out. The Deacs ended up looking very similar to NC State in 2019—both teams deserving, but both made into an example because of their terrible non-conference strength of schedule.
The committee still has no clue how to properly value NET, which remains a good proxy for the Pomeroy Ratings. The idea that a team like Rutgers (77 NET/74 KenPom) can get into the field on the strength of some good wins strikes me as totally ridiculous, but bad losses don’t seem to matter at all. Anyway.
I have created a bracket challenge group at ESPN:
Name: BTP The Tourney Pool
Group ID: 4494760