Bracketology 2017: February 23

True Seed List 

1: Kansas, Villanova, Gonzaga, North Carolina
2: Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida, Kentucky, Butler
4: Florida St., Duke, West Virginia, Purdue
5: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, SMU
6: Minnesota, Iowa St., Saint Mary's, Maryland
7: Virginia, Dayton, Creighton, Virginia Tech
8: Oklahoma St., VCU, Northwestern, Miami FL
9: South Carolina, USC, Michigan, Arkansas
10: Xavier, Michigan St., Marquette, Syracuse
11: Providence, Wichita St., California, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech, Illinois St.
12: UNC Wilmington, Vermont, Middle Tennessee, Nevada
13: Akron, UT Arlington, Monmouth, Valparaiso
14: Princeton, Belmont, UNC Asheville, Bucknell
15: Florida Gulf Coast, Cal St. Bakersfield, East Tennessee St., North Dakota St.
16: North Dakota, North Carolina Central, New Orleans, Texas Southern, Mt. St. Mary's, UC Irvine

In this bracket: Syracuse, East Tennessee State

Out this bracket: Kansas State, Furman

The Bubble: To me, this was one of the clearest cut-offs for a bubble in quite a while.  Obviously that will change.  In the end, I took Syracuse, Providence, Cal, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech and Illinois St over TCU, Kansas St. and Wake Forest.

Kansas took over the #1-overall seed after Villanova's loss to Butler.  The Wildcats only slid to the #2-overall seed with the loss, still staying a spot above Gonzaga.  Meanwhile, Butler is up to a 3-seed with the sweep of 'Nova and could be playing for a 2-seed.

North Carolina is pretty solidly the fourth 1-seed now after their win over Louisville on Wednesday.  That slot was much of of a toss up on Monday than it was today.

Syracuse jumps from OUT to the last 10-seed by beating Duke, giving them another top-flight ACC win. 

Minnesota has moved a lot as of late as well, all the way up to a 6-seed.  They aren't too far from their ceiling, though.

Next bracket: Monday, February 27. 


Bracketology 2017: February 20

True Seed List 

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina
2: Louisville, Baylor, Oregon, Arizona
3: UCLA, Duke, Florida, Kentucky
4: Florida St., West Virginia, Purdue, Wisconsin
5: Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Cincinnati, SMU, Creighton, Northwestern
7: Iowa St., Saint Mary's, Minnesota, Dayton
8: VCU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma St., South Carolina
9: Xavier, USC, Miami FL, Michigan
10: Arkansas, Michigan St., Georgia Tech, California
11: Marquette, Wichita St., Illinois St., Providence, Kansas St., Seton Hall
12: UNC Wilmington, Middle Tennessee, Akron, Nevada
13: UT Arlington, Vermont, Monmouth, Valparaiso
14: Belmont, Princeton, UNC Asheville, Bucknell.
15: Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, Cal St. Bakersfield, North Dakota St.
16: North Carolina Central, New Orleans, Texas Southern, Mount St. Mary's, North Dakota, UC Irvine

OUT THIS BRACKET: Syracuse, TCU, Weber State, UC Davis

IN THIS BRACKET: Marquette, Kansas State, North Dakota, UC Irvine

On the bubble: The bubble has begun to shrink as of late, with a smaller group of teams remaining in debate as teams either win to sure up their status or loss to eliminate themselves.  In the end, I took, Arkansas, Michigan State, Georgia Tech , Providence, Illinois St., Kansas State and Seton Hall over Syracuse, TCU, Wake Forest, Texas Tech and Tennessee.  I do not think anyone outside of that list should get consideration at this stage.

The battle for the fourth 1-seed is very much up for grabs with Baylor's two-loss week.  In the end I took the ACC leaders - North Carolina - over Louisville, Oregon, Baylor or Arizona.  This blind resume test shows just how close it is:

The current bracket would have Richard Patino's Minnesota team in the same Indianapolis pod as Rick Patino's Louisville.  Turner/CBS would have a field day with that, obviously. 

The ACC sits at 10 bids - which seems like a possible number for them to achieve at this point.  Marquette playing their way back in gives the Big Easy 7 bids, while the Big 12 and Big Ten each have 6.

Florida State falls to a 4-seed after losing back-to-back road games.  The big deal here is that a top-4 seed likely puts them in Orlando on opening weekend.  Anything below that and it's luck of the draw.

Next Bracket: Thursday, February 23

 


Bracketology 2017: February 16

True Seed List 

Note - a few teams had to shift a seed in the actual bracket to avoid conference match-ups.  The list below is their "True Seed", meaning where they would live if not for those conflicts.

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2: North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida St., Duke, Florida
4: Kentucky, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia
5: Butler, Purdue, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Cincinnati, SMU, Creighton, Northwestern
7: Virginia Tech, Saint Mary's, Iowa St., USC
8: Xavier, South Carolina, Dayton, VCU
9: Miami FL, Minnesota, Oklahoma St., Arkansas
10: California, Wichita St., Michigan, Michigan St.
11: Illinois St., Syracuse, Providence, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech, TCU
12: Middle Tennessee, Akron, Vermont, UNC Wilmington
13: Nevada, Valparaiso, Monmouth, Belmont
14: Princeton, UT Arlington, UNC Asheville, Bucknell
15: Cal St. Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, North Dakota St., Mount St. Mary's, North Carolina Central
16: Texas Southern, New Orleans, Weber St., North Carolina Central

 

OUT THIS BRACKET: Kansas State, Wake Forest, Boise St., New Mexico St.

IN THIS BRACKET: Providence, Seton Hall, Nevada, Cal State Bakersfield

On the bubble: While some teams have clearly played themselves in and out of the bubble, a small group still remains very fluid.  In the end, I took Michigan, Michigan St., Illinois St., Syracuse, Providence, Georgia Tech, TCU and Seton Hall over Texas Tech, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Tennessee and Rhode Island.  There is very much an opportunity to play your way into the field as the end of the bubble is pretty weak right now.

Baylor's loss to Texas Tech shrinks the gap between the Bears and the 2-seed line quite a bit, but not enough to bump them, yet.  A loss to Kansas this weekend and a win by UNC over UVA may do it.  Speaking of Texas Tech, the Red Raiders are moving in the right direction with that win, but need to reach .500 in conference, which still requires a 4-1 finish.

Duke moves up to a 3-seed after last night's win at Virginia.  They're playing great basketball right now and a 2-seed is not out of the question if they stay hot.

Kansas holds strong as the #2 overall seed behind Villanova.  I still have Gonzaga slotted at #3 overall based on the committee's standings released on Saturday.

Indiana isn't even in the picture anymore after falling to 5-9 in Big Ten play last night.  Those wins over Kansas and UNC seem like seasons ago.

The ACC leads all conferences with 10 bids.  I still expect them to only get 9 in the end.  The Big Ten gets seven teams in, while the Big East and Big 12 get six apiece.

Next Bracket: Monday February 20.


Bracketology 2017: February 13

True Seed List 

Note - a few teams had to shift a seed in the actual bracket to avoid conference match-ups.  The list below is their "True Seed", meaning where they would live if not for those conflicts.

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2: North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida St., Virginia, Kentucky
4: Florida, Duke, West Virginia, Wisconsin
5: Butler, Purdue, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Creighton, Cincinnati, SMU, Northwestern
7: Xavier, South Carolina, Saint Mary's, Virginia Tech
8: USC, Dayton, Iowa St., VCU
9: Minnesota, Miami Fl, Oklahoma St., TCU
10: Kansas St., California, Michigan, Wichita St.
11: Michigan St., Arkansas, Wake Forest, Illinois St., Syracuse, Georgia Tech
12: Middle Tennessee, Akron, Vermont, UNC Wilmington
13: Valparaiso, Boise St., Monmouth, Belmont
14: UT Arlington, New Mexico St., Princeton, Bucknell
15: UNC Asheville, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, North Dakota St.
16: Texas Southern, Weber St., North Carolina Central, Mount St. Mary's, UC Davis, New Orleans

Out This Bracket: Indiana, Marquette, Seton Hall, Nevvada, Arkansas St., Winthrop, Sam Houston St.
In This Bracket:  Michigan, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Boise St., UT Arlington, UNC Asheville, New Orleans

The Bubble: There was a lot of losing among bubble teams over the weekend, which caused a few teams to shift out.  Michigan played itself in with two impressive wins last week. In the end, I also choose Michigan State, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Illinois State, Syracuse and Georgia Tech over Marquette, Seton Hall, Tennessee and Rhode Island.

The Selection Committee's Top 16 Preview did cause the baseline to be readjusted quite a bit.  Namely, Villanova moves into the #1 overall seed and the Committee inexplicably had Gonzaga at the #4 spot.  I put the Zags above Baylor after their road win at Saint Mary's.   Wisconsin moved down both because of the committee leaving them out of their top 16, then their loss last night to Northwestern in a win that all but clinched a tournament bid for NU - who are sitting comfortably as a 6-seed.

One last thought on the committee:  UCLA being ranked seven spots behind Oregon, despite just having beat the Ducks, losing in Eugene on a buzzer beater and winning in Rupp is a joke.  Major recency bias there with Oregon's win over Arizona.  That's a concern heading into the stretch run.  It will be interesting to see how much feedback from the hoops community causes them to readjust over the next month.

There are 11 ACC teams in the field, but that is very fluid as three of those teams are in the last four in.  Because of that, I had to give Wake Forest the bye and move Arkansas back into the First Four to avoid conference conflicts.  I still think the ACC's final number will be 9 teams - and I'll still be surprised if Arkansas can manage to make the cut.  I was at their game at LSU this weekend and they struggled for the first 25 minutes before finally taking the lead.

Next bracket will be this Thursday, February 16.

 


Bracketology 2017: Selection Committee Top 16 Prediction

Tomorrow at 12:30 ET on CBS, the NCAA Selection Committee will unveil it's top 16 teams for the first time ever.  I'm all for some level of transparency from the Committee, so this look will be an interesting preview into what factors they may be weighing when they reconvene in March.
 
So, when the Committee releases it's top 16 tomorrow, here's what I expect to see:
  1. Gonzaga
  2. Villanova
  3. Kansas
  4. Baylor
  5. North Carolina
  6. Arizona
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Florida State
  9. Louisville
  10. Oregon
  11. Virginia
  12. UCLA
  13. West Virginia
  14. Cincinnati
  15. Kentucky
  16. Florida
 

Bracketology 2017: February 9

Seed List

1: Gonzaga, Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina
2: Baylor, Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon
3: Louisville, Florida St., UCLA, Virginia
4: West Virginia, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Florida
5: Purdue, Butler, Duke, Xavier
6: Creighton, SMU, Notre Dame, Saint Mary's
7: Maryland, South Carolina, USC, Dayton
8: VCU, Northwestern, Kansas St., Miami Fl
9: Iowa St., TCU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma St.
10: Minnesota, Indiana, California, Wichita St.
11: Syracuse, Michigan St., Marquette, Seton Hall, Arkansas, Illinois St.
12: UNC Wilmington, Middle Tennessee, Akron, Belmont
13: Vermont, New Mexico St., Monmouth, Valparaiso
14: Nevada, Florida Gulf Coast, Arkansas St., Winthrop
15: Princeton, Bucknell, Furman, Texas Southern
16: North Dakota St., Sam Houston St., North Carolina Central, Weber St., UC Davis, Mount St. Mary's

Out This Bracket: Wake Forest, East Tennessee State, UNC Asheville, New Orleans
In This Bracket: Illinois State, Winthrop, Furman, Sam Houston State

The Bubble: Not a lot of in-and-out movement, but a fair amount of seed shifting around the bubble.  I took Indiana, Cal, Syracuse, Michigan St., Marquette, Seton Hall, Arkansas and Illinois St. over Tennessee, Michigan, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Rhode Island.

Gonzaga still remains the clear-cut #1 overall seed heading into Saturday's showdown at Saint Mary's, where ESPN College GameDay will be.  

I still kept North Carolina on the one seed line as I suspect the committee will reward the ACC Champs.  That's over Baylor, but the margin there is razor thin.

Arkansas is a sinking ship, barely making the cut after losing to Vanderbilt and Mizzou recently.

Those in charge of running the Orlando pod should be very happy, as it looks very likely that both Florida and Florida State will play opening weekend there.  Florida Gulf Coast would have a good chance at joining as well.

Northwestern's loss to Illinois slides the Cats back to a 8 seed, but they're still fairly comfortably in right now, eyeing their first bid in school history.

Nine ACC schools made the field this bracket, followed by the Big Ten and Big 12 with seven each, then the Big East with six.

The Selection Committee will preview their Top 16 teams on Saturday at 12:30 ET on CBS.  I'll release an updated Top 16 at 10 ET followed by the next bracket on Monday, February 13.


Bracketology 2017: February 6

Seed List

1: Gonzaga, Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina
2: Louisville, Baylor, Wisconsin, Arizona
3: Oregon, Florida St., UCLA, West Virginia
4: Virginia, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Florida
5: Purdue, Butler, Duke, SMU
6: Xavier, Maryland, South Carolina, Creighton
7: Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Iowa St.
8: Kansas St., USC, Dayton, VCU
9: Virginia Tech, Miami FL, Michigan St., Oklahoma St.
10: Arkansas, Indiana, Minnesota, California
11: Marquette, Wichita St., TCU, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Seton Hall
12: Akron, Middle Tennessee, Valparaiso, Nevada
13: UNC Wilmington, East Tennessee St., Belmont, New Mexico St.
14: Monmouth, Arkansas St., Florida Gulf Coast, Princeton
15: Vermont, UNC Asheville, Bucknell, Weber St.
16: North Dakota St., New Orleans, UC Davis, North Carolina Central
 
A lot of shake-up at the top, but one thing remains clear - the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the #1 overall seed now and should be in everyone's bracket.
 
Florida and Kentucky both move to the 4-seed line (Kentucky down, Florida up) after Saturday's lopsided content.  I was tempted to put the Gators higher, but their overall resume simply doesn't warrant them leaping over any teams above them currently on the S-curve.
 
North Carolina make it's first appearance on the 1-seed line in quite some time.  They still remain the favorites in the nation's strongest conference.  There's going to have to be a lot of attrition to keep an ACC team from getting a top seed.
 
After looking like bubble teams before the weekend, Kansas State and Iowa State move to the 8 and 7 seed lines, respectively.  K-State has a monster opportunity against a Kansas team that was blindsided on Saturday against the Cyclones.

The ACC gets back to 10 teams for the first time in a couple brackets after Wake Forrest and Syracuse made the cut - though both just barely.  The Deacons and Orange were joined by Seton Hall and Minnesota who both returned to the bracket after some time on the bad side of the bubble.  The Pirates were my last team in, which was largely aided my Wichita State's win over Illinois State, which switched the Shockers from an at-large bid to an auto-bid, freeing up a spot.

In total on the bubble, I took Indiana, Minnesota, Cal, Marquette, TCU, Syacuse, Wake and Seton Hall over teams like Tennessee, Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, Iowa or Michigan.

Next bracket comes out Thursday, February, 9.

 

 


Bracketology 2017: February 2

Seed List

1: Gonzaga, Kansas, Villanova, Baylor
2: Arizona, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky
3: West Virginia, Virginia, UCLA, Wisconsin
4: Cincinnati, Florida St., Oregon, Purdue
5: Creighton, Maryland, Duke, Florida
6: Butler, South Carolina, SMU, Notre Dame
7: Northwestern, Xavier, Saint Mary's, USC
8: Dayton, VCU, Virginia Tech, Arkansas
9: Iowa St., Indiana, Kansas St., Miami Fl
10: Middle Tennessee, Michigan St., Akron, Marquette
11: Oklahoma St., TCU, Tennessee, California, Clemson
12: Wichita St., Georgia Tech, Illinois St., Valparaiso, UNC Wilmington
13: Nevada, East Tennessee St., Arkansas St., New Mexico St.
14: Monmouth, Princeton, Florida Gulf Coast, Vermont
15: Belmont, UNC Asheville, Bucknell, Weber St.
16: North Dakota St., Sam Houston St., North Carolina Central, UC Irvine, Texas Southern, Mount Saint Mary's
 
Analysis to come

 


Bracketology 2017: January 30

Seed List

1: Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas, Villanova
2: Arizona, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky
3: West Virginia, Virginia, UCLA, Cincinnati
4: Florida St., Butler, Wisconsin, Maryland
5: Duke, Florida, Purdue, Oregon
6: Creighton, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Saint Mary's
7: South carolina, Xavier, SMU, USC
8: Iowa St., Virginia Tech, Dayton, VCU
9: Miami Fl, Kansas St., Marquette, Arkansas
10: Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Seton Hall
11: Akron, California, Michigan St., Texas Tech, Indiana
12: Utah, Clemson, Nevada, Illinois St., Valparaiso
13: UNC Wilmington, East Tennessee St., UT Arlington, New Mexico St.
14: Monmouth, Princeton, Florida Gulf Coast, Vermont
15: Belmont, UNC Asheville, Bucknell, North Dakota St.
16: Weber St., Sam Houston St., North Carolina Central, UC Irvine

Bullets:

  • Out This Bracket: TCU, Michigan, Georgia Southern, Winthrop
  • In This Bracket: VCU, Michigan State, UT Arlington, UNC Ashville
  • Even more movement took place after another unpredictable weekend. Winning on the road in the ACC seems like a monumental task for anyone.  Miami and Georgia Tech were big winners, each picking up huge home wins.  The Yellow Jackets are suddenly in good position after knocking off their third upper-tier ACC team.
  • Also big movers this week is VCU after a decisive home win against A10 leader Dayton.  The Rams are now tied for conference lead on losses.
  • Creighton moves back up to a 6 six after getting right against Depaul.  I expect them to settle in around that mark after a volatile week.
  • Only 9 ACC teams are in right now after NC State gets bumped.  The Big Ten is close behind with 8, though Minnesota and Indiana could easily fall out.
  • On the bubble, I took Minnesota, Seton Hall, Cal, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Indiana, Clemson and Utah over NC State, Wichita State, Wake Forest, Pitt, Tennessee Oklahoma State, Richmond and Rhode Island.
  • Housekeeping:
    • Teams are selected and seeded based on an "If the season ended today" scenario.  This is not a projection of where I think they will end up, but where think they'd be based on season-to-date showings.  Doing it this way lets us track a team's stock as the season progresses.
    • Automatic bids are awarded to the team KenPom projects to win the regular season.  We'll keep it that way though January, before flipping over to the teams in first place in the conference standings.

Bids By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference: 9
Big Ten Conference: 8
Big 12 Conference: 6
Big East Conference: 6
Pac-12 Conference: 6
Southeastern Conference: 4
American Athletic Conference: 2
Atlantic 10 Conference: 2
West Coast Conference: 2
America East Conference: 1
Atlantic Sun Conference: 1
Big Sky Conference: 1
Big South Conference: 1
Big West Conference: 1
Colonial Athletic Association: 1
Conference USA: 1
Horizon League: 1
Ivy League: 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: 1
Mid-American Conference: 1
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: 1
Missouri Valley Conference: 1
Mountain West Conference: 1
Northeast Conference: 1
Ohio Valley Conference: 1
Patriot League: 1
Southern Conference: 1
Southland Conference: 1
Southwestern Athletic Conference: 1
Sun Belt Conference: 1
Summit League: 1
Western Athletic Conference: 1


Bracketology 2017: January 26

Seed List

1: Baylor, Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas
2: Butler, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida State, West Virginia, Virginia
4: Purdue, Louisville, Wisconsin, Oregon
5: Cincinnati, Duke, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Florida, South Carolina, Saint Mary's, Xavier
7: Iowa State, USC, Northwestern, SMU
8: Indiana, Dayton, Kansas St., Creighton
9: Virginia Tech, Marquette, Arkansas, Minnesota
10: Utah, Miami, Seton Hall, Texas Tech
11: California, North Carolina State, TCU, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennssee
12: Nevada, Illinois State, UNC Wilmington, Akron
13: Valparaiso, Monmouth, New Mexico State, East Tennessee St.
14: Georgia Southern, Princeton, Florida Gulf Coast, Vermont
15: Belmont, Winthrop, Bucknell, North Dakota State
16: Mount Saint Mary's, North Carolina Central, UC Irvine, Sam Houston State, Weber State, Texas Southern

Bullets:

  • A lot of shake up a the top after five teams on the top two lines of Monday's bracket lost.  I moved Baylor to the number one overall seed, though Gonzaga has a claim to it as well.  Florida State falls to the 3-seed line after taking it on the chin in Atlanta last night.
  • Creighton has slid big time.  The Jays are now an 8 seed and need to show signs of life.
  • Housekeeping:
    • Teams are selected and seeded based on an "If the season ended today" scenario.  This is not a projection of where I think they will end up, but where think they'd be based on season-to-date showings.  I expect Gonzaga to fall as their strength of schedule weakens, while Michigan St. should rise as they get healthy and win games in the B1G.  Doing it this way lets us track a team's stock as the season progresses.
    • Automatic bids are awarded to the team KenPom projects to win the regular season.  We'll keep it that way though January, before flipping over to the teams in first place in the conference standings.
  • The bubble remains very, very fluid.  In the end, I took Seton Hall, Texas Tech, Cal, NC State, TCU, Michigan and Georgia Tech over Clemson, Wake forest, VCU, Houston, Georgia and Rhode Island.

Bids By Conference:
Atlantic Coast Conference: 11
Big 12 Conference: 6
Big Ten Conference: 7
Big East Conference: 6
Pac-12 Conference: 6
Southeastern Conference: 4
American Athletic Conference: 2
Atlantic 10 Conference: 1
West Coast Conference: 2
America East Conference: 1
Atlantic Sun Conference: 1
Big Sky Conference: 1
Big South Conference: 1
Big West Conference: 1
Colonial Athletic Association: 1
Conference USA: 1
Horizon League: 1
Ivy League: 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: 1
Mid-American Conference: 1
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: 1
Missouri Valley Conference: 1
Mountain West Conference: 1
Northeast Conference: 1
Ohio Valley Conference: 1
Patriot League: 1
Southern Conference: 1
Southland Conference: 1
Southwestern Athletic Conference: 1
Sun Belt Conference: 1
Summit League: 1
Western Athletic Conference: 1