The 2022 NCAA Tournament will include, for the 12th straight year (and the 11th straight tournament), 68 college basketball teams, 36 of which will earn at-large bids. And for the 11th straight tournament, the lowest-ranked at-large teams will open March Madness at the First Four in Dayton.
With Selection Sunday just a few days away, let’s compare the NCAA Tournament résumés for two bubble teams. First, the quadrant records and road record for the two teams (as of Friday, March 11).
And compare seven notable metrics for the two teams.
Who are the teams? And how should they be ranked by the committee?
Team A: Wake Forest
Team B: Indiana
As of Friday, Indiana should be higher. And by extending its season with a win over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, the Hoosiers shouldn’t fall below Wake Forest, who lost to Boston College in the ACC Tournament on Wednesday.
While the Hoosiers have an atrocious road record (3-8) and have similar results metrics (KPI and SOR) and records in the first two quadrants, they have one fewer Quadrant 3 loss and are far better in Opponent NET and Sagarin.
The advantage in Opponent NET (66 vs. 94) is particularly notable because the committee gives more weight to that metric than the NET itself.
The two teams are among the Last Four In and First Four Out in many Bracketology projections, including Joe Lunardi’s projections from Friday. Lunardi has both teams among his Last Four In, with Wake Forest two spots ahead – and Xavier in the middle – of Indiana.
The gap is bigger in Bracket Matrix‘s aggregate of 133 projections. Wake Forest, the highest-ranked 12-seed, appears in 104 of those projections, while Indiana, second-ranked among the First Four Out, appears in only 36 projections.
MORE: Download a printable 2022 NCAA Tournament bracket