Following a wild few days of college basketball, it's going to be a nerve-wracking Selection Sunday for a lot of teams on the bubble. Thankfully, Shaka Smart and the Longhorns will not be one of those teams. They can do that thing where they sit and clap modestly when their name and opponent are announced.
Okay, so we're in. Now where are we gonna get seeded, and who might we play?
Good questions, and we're blessed in 2016 to have a veritable army of bracketologists out there who obsess over these very questions. And we are doubly blessed to have the Bracket Matrix, which serves as a repository for all the bracket projections out there, allowing us to see where any given team is being seeded within each bracket projection and sourcing a consensus bracket based on the average for each team across all brackets.
Texas appears on each of the 101 bracket projections tracked by Bracket Matrix and presently slots in as a #6 seed in the consensus bracket. The overwhelming majority of bracket projections foresee the Longhorns receiving a #6 seed, while about a quarter of the projections have us getting either a #5 or #7 seed. A pair of optimists see us winding up on the #4 line.
Depending how the Selection Committee perceives the strength of the Big 12 conference versus other leagues, my best guess is that we're closer to a #5 than we are a #7. Our strength of schedule rates among the Top 5 most challenging in the country, and we have some elite wins to show for it (UNC, OU, WVU twice, ISU, Baylor). With only one bad loss (at TCU), the worst you can say about our resume is that we had a pretty mediocre stretch to open the year. And that matters much, much less than what's happened the last two months.
Alright, we're looking good for a #5-7 seed. Who are Texas' likely opponents?
Back to the Bracket Matrix and a look at the consensus projected #10-12 seeds heading into Sunday.
Projected #12 seeds: Chattanooga, South Dakota St, Yale, Northern Iowa
Projected #11 seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, Temple, San Diego State, St. Mary's, St. Bonaventure, Gonzaga
Projected #10 seeds: South Carolina, Wichita St, Pittsburgh, VCU
Some of those match ups would be better than others for Texas, but there are some very dangerous opponents in that group -- including Shaka Smart's VCU.
Tune in to the Selection Show on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm CT on CBS.