Don't tell me it's too early to do this. Lunardi is gonna do a 2012 hoops bracketology the moment the current tournament ends. I can do what I want.
How this works: Here are the selection criteria. Six conferences have autobids: the America East, CAA, ECAC, Ivy, MAAC, and Patriot. The Big East gets theirs next year (not that the eventual champ will need it) and the NEC is a brand-new conference so I think 2013. Honestly, this is kinda just plug-and-chug with the numbers that the NCAA, but it takes some fiddling to get the geography right, and some guesswork as to which numbers they'll like better when there are deadlocks.
Also keep in mind that this isn't a prediction, it's an if-today scenario. And, autobids are handed out based on who has the best record so far, or in case of a tie, highest RPI. So:
Yes, the "first four out" section (or as I like to call it: Hokieland) is loaded with ranked heavyweights. That's why bracketology is not a prediction. If I had to pick the biggest surprise of the four it'd probably be 6-1 Maryland, their RPI weighed down by a truly assy non-conference schedule. My committee of one frowns upon loading their schedule with lightweights like Detroit and Bellarmine. MCLA teams (club lacrosse for the uninitiated) beat Detroit and Bellarmine. Like many teams, the toughest is yet to come for Maryland, but it's not a stretch to say they could be left out if they can't get at least one signature win in ACC play (and they already lost to Duke) or against the Hop. That's why it's called a bubble. Still, UMass and Hofstra can't be complacent.
I'm'a do this every Sunday, because it's fun.