Purdue is at the top of this week's Bracketology NCAA Tournament bracket projection. The Boilermakers have the most Quad 1 and 2 wins at this point of the season, but their lone loss to Northwestern is not holding up as well as expected. 

Arizona has dropped off the top line from the last bracket three weeks ago to a No. 2 seed after losses to Purdue, FAU and Stanford, while undefeated Houston has moved up to the top line.

Kansas and UConn remain the other No. 1 seeds in the bracket.

Bracketology top seeds

Check out Palm's latest bracket and full field of 68 at the Bracketology hub.

Numbers starting to matter more

As I mentioned in the last Bracketology column, computer rankings are still pretty sketchy at this time of year. That is especially true of the ones heavily dependent on margin of victory. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the NET, which does not make any accommodation for not having enough games to make much sense. That is unlike, which still has some prior season data influencing the rankings. That should go away before too long.

So, I caution you as I always do this time of year not to start worshiping computer rankings yet. Give it another month.

For example, here is a comparison of the schedules and results in quadrants for Iowa State and Kansas State. Somehow, one of them is 86 spots higher in the NET and 57 spots higher in KenPom than the other.


Iowa State is No. 8 in the NET while Kansas State is No. 94 in large part due to having four overtime wins among its 10 total victories. The Wildcats are also 94th in scoring margin, while the Cyclones are second behind BYU and just ahead of Houston. Those are currently the top two teams in the NET.

FAU going up and down 

FAU, currently a No. 4 seed,  is having a somewhat disjointed season. For every good thing the Owls do, they do something just as bad. FAU, a Final Four team last season, could be making a push for the top of the bracket, but a home loss to Bryant and a loss at Florida Gulf Coast last week makes it hard to seed the Owls much higher than where I have them.

How Illinois is evaluated

Illinois, a No. 3 seed in the bracket projection, is going to have to play without its star Terrence Shannon, Jr. after he was suspended indefinitely following his arrest on a rape charge in Kansas. From a seeding perspective, the selection committee treats games played without notable players the same as any others. A little more weight is given to how the team performed with the roster it would take to the NCAA Tournament. The Illini beat Northwestern by 30 in their first game without Shannon. Friday's game at No. 1 Purdue figures to be a little tougher.

Note: The Bracketology schedule for the rest of the season is that there will be new brackets on Mondays and Fridays except for next Monday because of the College Football Playoff championship game.