Luckily, tempo free data is becoming more popular. If you doubt this, consider that Ken Pomeroy was able to quit his job and move to kenpom.com on a full time basis. His ratings closely mirror the Vegas line (or the opposite I guess, since his lines are available before the Vegas line), so I wanted to look at the West and see how it would look if tossed RPI out the door, as well as the dumb-scheduling rules like teams from the same conference not meeting prior to the Sweet 16.
(1) Gonzaga vs (16) Southern
No change. This is going to be exciting!
(2) Ohio State vs (15) Harvard
Currently Ohio State gets Iona, which is ranked 10 spots higher in the Pomeroy's. Shouldn't matter to a team as good as the Buckeyes.
(3) Pittsburgh vs (14) Iona
Pitt fans, have a legitimate gripe. They are currently 7th at kenpom.com but somehow drew an 8-seed. No team rated that high has ever been seeded so low. Of course, if they advance and then knock off Gonzaga in what will essentially be a coin flip game in Vegas, then the media will point fingers at the Zags with all their I-told-you-so glory.
(4) Wisconsin vs (13)Boise State/(13) La Salle
Sure, I hate play-in games, but at least they got this one right. Wisconsin is rated No. 9 by Pomeroy, quickly turning the real life bracket into a bit of a nightmare for the Zags.
(5) New Mexico vs (12) Belmont
Somehow, even in fake brackets, the mid-majors keep playing each other before they get a chance to take on a power conference team.
(6) Arizona vs (11) Iowa State
See New Mexico vs Belmont.
(7) Notre Dame vs (10) Ole Miss
Now this is a matchup that I would like to see. Marshall Mathers Henderson against a Catholic school. It would be like an early episode of Happy Days.
(8) Kansas State vs (9) Wichita State
Wichita State is another team which would remain exactly where they are in real life, but they'd get a much more favorable opponent. The Zags and the Shockers should be pissed.