Bracket Watch: Clemson's updated NCAA Tournament projections


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Bracket Watch: Clemson's updated NCAA Tournament projections

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament projections were left largely unchanged by the overtime loss at Florida State on Wednesday.

Projected as high as a 2-seed earlier in the week, the NCAA Selection Committee’s No. 9 overall ranking and 3-seed mock Sunday adjusted those calls, and that’s where the Tigers (20-5, 9-4) find themselves with five conference games to go.

CBS sends Clemson to Wichita, Kansas, in a West region with Auburn, Texas Tech and Arizona as the other top seeds. ESPN matches up Clemson and College of Charleston in the Midwest region in Dallas. USA TODAY projects a more favorable location for Clemson and College of Charleston, in Charlotte. The Bracket Matrix average overall is holding Clemson steady as a 3-seed.

The Tigers will have to use some opportunities ahead to improve the resume to stay in those top-four seeds.

Clemson owns six wins over teams ranked in the KenPom efficiency ratings top-50, but against the NCAA’s RPI Group 1*, they are currently 3-5 ahead of hosting RPI No. 6 Duke on Sunday (1 p.m./ACC Network). In the overall metrics average the committee uses, Brad Brownell’s group is 13.2, which is a little lower than its peers in the top-3 projected seeds.

In the road ahead, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index projects a 3-2 finish out of Duke (39.8 percent win chance), at Virginia Tech (47.5 win chance), Georgia Tech (93.3 win chance), Florida State (73.2 win chance) and at Syracuse (56.3 win chance). At least 12 ACC wins would put the Tigers in a good spot for a top-four ACC Tournament seed and double-bye in a 2-5 group in the standings separated by one game.

Clemson NCAA Tournament profile
Record: 20-5 (9-4 ACC)
RPI: 7
Metrics average**: 13.2
Strength of Schedule: 24
Record v. RPI Group 1: 3-5
Average RPI of Wins: 120
Average RPI of Losses: 28
Bad losses (150+ RPI): None
Record v. current KenPom top-50: 6-3
Top-25 ranked wins (at the time): No. 22 Florida (71-69 at neutral site), No. 18 Miami (72-63), No. 19 UNC (82-78).
Road/neutral record: 7-5
Last 10: 6-4
*Home 1-30 RPI rank, neutral site 1-50 rank, away 1-75.
** NCAA Tournament Selection Committee average of result-based metrics RPI, KPI, and ESPN Strength of record plus predictive-based metrics of ESPN BPI, KenPom and Sagarin.

NCAA Metrics average (Top-3 projected seeds from NCAA 2/11)
1. Virginia - 1.3
2. Villanova - 2.8
3. Duke - 5.3
T-4. Xavier - 7
T-4. Cincinnati - 7
6. Purdue - 7.3
7. Michigan State - 7.8
8. Texas Tech - 8.2
9. North Carolina - 8.7
10. Auburn - 9.1
11. Kansas - 9.3
12. Clemson - 13.2

(Tournament profile per WarrenNolan, KenPom and ESPN)

ACC Standings (as of 2/16)
SCHOOL CONF CPCT. OVERALL PCT. STREAK
Virginia 13-1 0.929 24-2 0.923 W1
Duke 9-4 0.692 21-5 0.808 W2
Clemson 9-4 0.692 20-5 0.800 L1
North Carolina 9-5 0.643 20-7 0.741 W4
Louisville 8-5 0.615 18-8 0.692 W2
Miami 7-6 0.538 18-7 0.720 L2
Virginia Tech 7-6 0.538 18-8 0.692 L1
NC State 7-6 0.538 17-9 0.654 W1
Florida State 7-7 0.500 18-8 0.692 W1
Syracuse 6-7 0.462 17-9 0.654 L1
Boston College 6-7 0.462 16-10 0.615 W2
Notre Dame 5-8 0.385 15-11 0.577 L1
Georgia Tech 4-9 0.308 11-15 0.423 L4
Wake Forest 3-11 0.214 10-16 0.385 W1
Pittsburgh 0-14 0.000 8-19 0.296 L14

ACC Tournament matchups (as of 2/16)
(In Brooklyn’s Barclays Center)
March 6 (Tuesday)
Noon ET - (12) Notre Dame vs. (13) Georgia Tech; 2 p.m. - (10) Syracuse vs. (15) Pittsburgh; 7 p.m. - (11) Boston College vs. (14) Wake Forest.
March 7 (Wednesday)
Noon - (8) NC State vs. (9) Florida State; 2 p.m. - (5) Louisville vs. (12) Notre Dame/(13) Georgia Tech; 7 p.m. - (7) Virginia Tech vs. (10) Syracuse/(15) Pittsburgh; 9 p.m. - (6) Miami vs. (11) Boston College/(14) Wake Forest.
March 8 (Thursday)
Noon - (1) Virginia vs. Wednesday noon game winner; 2 p.m. - (4) North Carolina vs. Wed. 2 p.m. winner; 7 p.m. - (2) Clemson vs. Wed. 7 p.m. winner; 9 p.m. - (3) Duke vs. Wed. 9 p.m. winner.
March 9 (Friday)
7 p.m. - Thursday afternoon session game winners; 9 p.m. - Thursday evening game winners.
March 10 (Saturday)
8:30 p.m. - ACC Championship
(Games will be on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and also ACC Network; times are approximate).

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