Bracket Reactions

You can see my final bracket below and the reasons for including or not including some bubble teams (both written before the Selection Show).

Things the committee got right:

Syracuse – The committee agreed with me that Syracuse’s wins were too good to not include them (neither of us had them in the First Four, either).

Michigan – The committee liked them having no bad losses, yet four very good wins.  Both of us had them in the First Four on the 11 line.

Vanderbilt – You would think I wouldn’t put them here since I had them out and the committee had them in, but they were my last team out and I had them in entering the day.  Vandy finished the season on a hot streak (ignoring the bad Tennessee loss) and they had double digit wins over Kentucky and Texas A&M after playing one of the nation’s best OOC schedules.

Wichita State – We both barely had them in because they are just plain an NCAA tournament team.  The resume wasn’t as good as the team, and the committee recognized that.

Oregon State – Most bracketologists didn’t buy this team, but I always did.  They loaded up on quality wins over great teams and avoided bad losses. That’s why both the committee and me had them at the seven line.

Things the committee messed up:

The Big XII – Iowa State as a four?! Yeah they had a nice resume, but Texas finished above them in a true round robin and Baylor not only swept them and finished with the same round robin record but also beat Texas in the Big XII tournament while Iowa State lost to Oklahoma.  How did Iowa State finish above both of those teams? And how is West Virginia behind Oklahoma? They made the Big 12 title game by beating Oklahoma AFTER they had already finished a game above OU in the round robin Big XII. They just seemed to ignore the round robin element entirely.

Kentucky and Texas A&M – I had the winner of the SEC title game as a three and the loser a four.  I was shocked when the committee ignored the result of the game and gave A&M the three over Kentucky. Results on the court matter.

Tulsa – What? They had three losses to sub-100 teams, a mediocre RPI and SOS, and an eye test that doesn’t do much.  Losing as badly as they did to Memphis should’ve eliminated them.

Providence – It seems beating Butler in the Big East tournament didn’t mean much.  After the win at Villanova earlier in the year, I thought they had done enough to move up to the seven line.  UNC getting them as a nine is unfair to both teams.

 

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Bracket Reactions

2016 Final Bracket Projection

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 Southern / Fla Gulf Coast

8 St. Joseph’s
9 Wisconsin

5 Cal
12 Northern Iowa

4 Indiana
13 Yale

6 Iowa St
11 Michigan / Florida

3 Miami
14 Stony Brook

7 Iowa
10 St Bonaventure

2 Villanova
15 Green Bay

WEST

1 Michigan State
16 Fairleigh Dickinson / Holy Cross

8 Colorado
9 Butler

5 Baylor
12 Fresno State

4 Seton Hall
13 Hawaii

6 Arizona
11 Syracuse

3 Kentucky
14 Middle Tennessee

7 Texas Tech
10 Gonzaga

2 Oregon
15 Weber State

EAST

1 North Carolina
16 Hampton

8 UConn
9 USC

5 Duke
12 South Dakota State

4 Purdue
13 Iona

6 Notre Dame
11 Little Rock

3 Utah
14 Buffalo

7 Providence
10 VCU

2 West Virginia
15 UNC-Asheville

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Austin Peay

8 Dayton
9 Pitt

5 Maryland
12 Chattanooga

4 Texas A&M
13 UNC-Wilmington

6 Texas
11 Temple / Wichita State

3 Xavier
14 SF Austin

7 Oregon State
10 Cincinnati

2 Oklahoma
15 Cal-State Bakersfield

2016 Final Bracket Projection

My Bubble Picks

I’ve been doing brackets for years and don’t ever remember a more up in the air bubble than this. But, choices must be made.  Here are my final picks for at-larges:

In:

Syracuse – It seems most have them out, but they have some GREAT wins at Duke and over Texas A&M on a neutral floor.  5 top 50 wins against this kind of bubble is very good, even though the bad losses and high RPI (70) are killers.

Michigan – I don’t like putting a team in with only four top 100 wins, but they did beat four very good teams (and two were on neutral floors over Indiana and Texas).  A huge plus? No bad losses, which every other bubble team has.

Temple – They swept UConn and Cincy during the regular season and they also have a win over SMU.  Most think they’re safe, but I have them in the First Four.  They could easily be snubbed.

Florida – They were swept by Vandy, but they had the fourth toughest non-conference schedule and that destruction of West Virginia left an impression.  By avoiding bad losses (for the most part), they’ve distinguished themselves just enough.  Like I’ve been saying this week, I think they are this year’s UCLA.

Wichita State – I entered the day planning on putting Vandy in, but my gut is telling me Wichita will get in and head to the First Four because the committee buys the Fred Van Vleet factor and the tough out of conference schedule. Here’s hoping my gut is better than my head.

Out: 

Vanderbilt – They’re my first team out because of the three bad losses and a gut that says the committee will want to recognize a great mid-major (Wichita State).  All they had to do was beat Tennessee on a neutral floor and they couldn’t do it.  They will be very close, though.  There’s a reason I had them in entering today, and it’s because my head likes all the wins against tournament teams.

St. Mary’s – It’s a decent profile, but challenge yourselves out of conference! You can do that, and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

Monmouth – Yes, they scheduled true road games against UCLA, Georgetown, and USC.  But only USC is a top 100 team.  For me, the losses are just too bad.  Their three losses aren’t to bad teams; they are to terrible teams.

South Carolina – One win at Texas A&M is all that pops out positively.  Most seem to have them in, but the bad losses and horrible out of conference schedule should spell doom.

 

 

My Bubble Picks

Contingency Brackets

I have many contingency brackets floating around right now. Here are two, as examples.

Michigan State, UConn, VCU, Kentucky, and Little Rock win:

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 Southern / Fla Gulf Coast

8 Wisconsin
9 Butler

5 Cal
12 Northern Iowa

4 Indiana
13 Yale

6 Iowa St
11 Michigan / Florida

3 Miami
14 Stony Brook

7 Iowa
10 St Bonaventure

2 Villanova
15 Green Bay

WEST

1 Michigan State
16 Fairleigh Dickinson / Holy Cross

8 Colorado
9 VCU

5 Baylor
12 Fresno State

4 Seton Hall
13 Hawaii

6 Arizona
11 Syracuse

3 Kentucky
14 Middle Tennessee

7 Texas Tech
10 Gonzaga

2 Oregon
15 Weber State

EAST

1 North Carolina
16 Hampton

8 UConn
9 USC

5 Duke
12 South Dakota State

4 Purdue
13 Iona

6 Notre Dame
11 Little Rock

3 Utah
14 Buffalo

7 Providence
10 St. Joseph’s

2 West Virginia
15 UNC-Asheville

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Austin Peay

8 Dayton
9 Pitt

5 Maryland
12 Chattanooga

4 Texas A&M
13 UNC-Wilmington

6 Texas
11 Temple / Wichita State

3 Xavier
14 SF Austin

7 Oregon State
10 Cincinnati

2 Oklahoma
15 Cal-State Bakersfield

Purdue, St Joe’s, Texas A&M, Little Rock, and UConn win:

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 Southern / Florida Gulf Coast

8 Colorado
9 Butler

5 Cal
12 Northern Iowa

4 Kentucky
13 Yale

6 Iowa State
11 Little Rock

3 Michigan State
14 Stony Brook

7 Iowa
10 St Bonaventure

2 Xavier
15 Green Bay

WEST

1 Oregon
16 Fairleigh Dickinson / Holy Cross

8 Dayton
9 Pitt

5 Baylor
12 Fresno St

4 Seton Hall
13 Hawaii

6 Arizona
11 Michigan / Florida

3 Miami
14 Middle Tennessee

7 Oregon State
10 Gonzaga

2 Oklahoma
15 Weber St

EAST

1 North Carolina
16 Hampton

8 UConn
9 USC

5 Duke
12 S Dakota St

4 Purdue
13 Iona

6 Notre Dame
11 Temple / Wichita State

3 Utah
14 Buffalo

7 Texas Tech
10 VCU

2 Villanova
15 UNC Asheville

SOUTH

1 UVA
16 Austin Peay

8 Wisconsin
9 St Joe’s

5 Maryland
12 Chattanooga

4 Indiana
13 UNC Wilmington

6 Texas
11 Syracuse

3 Texas A&M
14 SF Austin

7 Providence
10 Cincinnati

2 West Virginia
15 Cal State Bakersfield

See how a couple changes affect matchups all the way down the bracket?  By the way…

First Four Out – Vanderbilt, St Mary’s, Monmouth, South Carolina

Contingency Brackets

Selection Sunday is Here!

It is Christmas morning everyone! Can’t wait to open up those brackets and start playing!

I am making a lot of contingency brackets right now, but here are the most important predictions:

  1. Michigan State will be the one in the West and Oregon the two if Michigan State wins today. Otherwise, Oregon is the one in the West.
  2. I’m calling for a shockingly good day for power conference bubble teams. I am taking Syracuse, Michigan, and Florida. 🤔
  3. Virginia will be the third overall seed playing out of the South despite not winning the ACC tournament or regular season.
  4. Temple stays in the field despite a high RPI and a loss to Uconn.
  5. Neither St Mary’s or Monmouth make it. But the last team in the field is mid-major Wichita State who gets the benefit of the doubt despite a very underwhelming resume.  They better hope the committee really buys into that Fred Van Vleet injury because my head says, “no,” but my gut says, “yes.”

Stay tuned later for my final bracket!

Selection Sunday is Here!

Tournament Locks

These 57 teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

A-10 (3) – Dayton, VCU, St Joe’s

ACC (6) – North Carolina, Miami, Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame

Big XII (7) – Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas, Iowa St, Baylor, Texas Tech

Big East (5) – Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence

Big Ten (6) – Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue

Pac-12 (7) – Oregon, Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon State, USC

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Texas A&M

Others (21) – UNC-Asheville, Yale, Northern Iowa, Florida Gulf Coast, Austin Peay, UNC-Wilmington, Iona, Chattanooga, Fairleigh Dickinson, Green Bay, South Dakota State, Gonzaga, Holy Cross, Stony Brook, Fresno St, Buffalo, Southern, Hampton, Weber St, Middle Tennessee, Hampton

Tournament Locks

3/12 Bracket Projection

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 Southern / FGCU

8 Wisconsin
9 Butler

5 Texas
12 Northern Iowa

4 Texas A&M
13 S Dakota St

6 Iowa St
11 Gonzaga

3 Utah
14 Mid Tennessee

7 Oregon State
10 St Joe’s

2 Michigan St
15 Green Bay

WEST

1 UNC
16 Austin Peay

8 Colorado
9 Temple

5 Cal
12 Chattanooga

4 Purdue
13 Yale

6 Arizona
11 Michigan

3 Kentucky
14 Hawaii

7 Dayton
10 San Diego St

2 Oregon
15 N Mexico St

EAST

1 UVA
16 FDU / Holy Cross

8 USC
9 Pitt

5 Duke
12 Akron

4 Indiana
13 Iona

6 Notre Dame
11 VCU / Wichita St

3 Xavier
14 Stony Brook

7 Providence
10 Syracuse

2 WVU
15 UNC-Asheville

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 Hampton

8 Texas Tech
9 UConn

5 Baylor
12 Little Rock

4 Maryland
13 UNCW

6 Seton Hall
11 St Bonaventure / Vanderbilt

3 Miami
14 SF Austin

7 Iowa
10 Cincinnati

2 Oklahoma
15 Weber St

 

First Four Out – Florida, St Mary’s, Monmouth, Tulsa

3/12 Bracket Projection