The 2023 NCAA Tournament is approaching quickly. The NCAA Selection Committee uses various metrics and tools (including NET Rankings) to evaluate which teams should make the Big Dance and how each team should be seeded.
One of the tools that amateur bracketologists can use to determine the quality of teams is the “BPI,” or Basketball Power Index. ESPN analytics is the primary driver of the BPI, and it is designed to measure team strength and be a predictor of future performance.
While using various systems is the best way to determine a team’s seed, what would a hypothetical bracket look like using only the Basketball Power Index (BPI)?
2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket Using BPI Rankings
\Please note: Teams in BOLD are conference champions and the automatic qualifier for their respective league. This bracket reflects results for games played through March 6, 2023.
|Seeds||Teams, Ranks, and Conferences|
|1-seeds (1-4)||Houston (1/AAC), Tennessee (2/SEC), Alabama (3/SEC), UCLA (4/PAC-12)|
|2-seeds (5-8)||UConn (5/Big East), Texas (6/Big 12), Purdue (7/Big Ten), Gonzaga (8/WCC)|
|3-seeds (9-12)||Kansas (9/Big 12), Creighton (10/Big East), Baylor (11/Big 12), Arizona (12/PAC-12)|
|4-seeds (13-16)||Kentucky (13/SEC), Arkansas (14/SEC), Saint Mary’s (15/WCC), Marquette (16/Big East)|
|5-seeds (17-20)||Maryland (17/Big Ten), Texas A&M (18/SEC), Indiana (19/Big Ten), West Virginia (20/Big 12)|
|6-seeds (21-24)||Iowa State (21/Big 12), Xavier (22/Big East), San Diego St. (23/MWC), Duke (24/ACC)|
|7-seeds (25-28)||Auburn (25/SEC), Virginia (26/ACC), Rutgers (27/Big Ten), Kansas St. (28/Big 12)|
|8-seeds (29-32)||TCU (29/Big 12), Illinois (30/Big Ten), Iowa (31/Big Ten), Michigan State (32/Big Ten)|
|9-seeds (33-36)||Miami (33/Big Ten), OK State (34/Big 12), Memphis (35/AAC), Northwestern (36/Big Ten)|
|10-seeds (37-40)||Liberty (37/ASUN), Providence (38/Big East), North Carolina (39/ACC), MS State (40/SEC)|
|11-seeds (41-45) – lowest two are in First Four game||Ohio State (41/Big Ten), NC State (42/ACC), Florida Atlantic (43/CUSA), Oregon (44/PAC-12), Boise State (46/MWC)|
|12-seeds (46-50) – lowest two are in First Four game||Sam Houston State (45/WAC), Dayton (50/A10), Yale (51/Ivy), Texas Tech (47/Big 12), Florida (48/SEC)|
|13-seeds (51-54)||Drake (54/MVC), Iona (59/MAAC), Charleston (62/CAA), Toledo (79/MAC)|
|14-seeds (55-58)||Marshall (81/Sun Belt), Oral Roberts (87/Summit), Furman (91/Southern), UMass-Lowell (94/AE)|
|15-seeds (59-62)||UC-Irvine (95/BW), Colgate (97/Patriot), Montana State (110/Big Sky), Youngstown State (115/Horizon)|
|16-seeds (63-68) – lowest four are in First Four games||UNC-Asheville (138/Big South), North Carolina Central (152/MEAC), Grambling (196/SWAC), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (217/Southland), Morehead State (243/OVC), Wagner (280/NEC)|
Houston, Tennessee, Alabama, and UCLA remain the number one seeds, with the Cougars staying at No. 1 overall.
Purdue, UConn, Texas, and Gonzaga form a strong group of two seeds. The Big 12 places seven teams in the top 28 and three in the top eleven. The Big Ten has strong representation, with nine teams in the field.
One of those nine is the Ohio State Buckeyes. They continue to be well-regarded by analytics systems, but the Buckeyes need to win games at some point. They are nowhere near an actual NCAA Tournament bid. The same could be said for Oregon and Florida. Both teams find themselves on this bracket, but barring a late run, they will not be called in less than a week on Selection Sunday.
Suppose you don’t count established programs from mid-major leagues like Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, and Gonzaga. In that case, the top mid-major teams in the BPI teams are Liberty at No. 37, Florida Atlantic at No. 43, Sam Houston at No. 45, Dayton at No. 50, and Yale at No. 51.
The BPI has a higher regard for the latter three, putting them several spots higher than Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin’s rankings. One of the more polarizing advanced metric teams is Liberty. BPI is higher on them than the other two, and Sagarin has them much lower. The Eagles lost in the Atlantic Sun tournament and likely will not be dancing.
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