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12/21 Bracket

-Wow! UNC losing at home to Wofford was a shocker. It becomes Wofford’s only win against a team in the top 235 of the RPI. In fact, Furman stays at the Southern auto bid in this bracket, even though this win almost forced Wofford to take their spot. This loss was a true home game for UNC, so this will really hurt on Selection Sunday. Despite that, UNC only moves down to a three thanks to four Group 1 victories.

-Purdue and Kansas sit at two seeds despite some struggles. Purdue owns four Group One wins and Kansas owns three. Perhaps more importantly, they’re probably just plain better than Miami, the other team considered for a two (who has nothing even remotely noteworthy besides a win at Minnesota and a neutral court win against La Salle).

-60% of the Big XII is ranked. Unfortunately for them, the league has played too many games against teams like Southern, Omaha, and Maryland Eastern Shore for the RPI to accurately reflect how good the league is. Expect the Big XII to land around seven bids, but that might not be doing the league justice, as there is no reason outside of schedule strength that teams like Kansas State and Baylor find themselves with a triple-digit RPI.  In reality, these are both probably top 40 teams.

-Xavier’s record and ranking makes you think they should be a two or three seed. But they find themselves down at four thanks to some close calls with mediocre competition and zero wins against the RPI top 60.

SOUTH

1 Duke
16 Liberty / Navy

8 Baylor
9 Temple

5 Missouri
12 Towson

4 Xavier
13 Bradley

6 Seton Hall
11 Texas

3 Kentucky
14 Central Michigan

7 Auburn
10 BYU

2 West VA
15 Iona

WEST

1 Arizona State
16 NC A&T / Jacksonville State

8 Gonzaga
9 Creighton

5 Syracuse
12 MTSU

4 Arkansas
13 N Mex St

6 Texas Tech
11 Rhode Island / Boise St

3 Purdue
14 Lipscomb

7 Cincinnati
10 Minnesota

2 Kansas
15 Louisiana

MIDWEST

1 Michigan State
16 Penn

8 Nevada
9 Florida St

5 Tennessee
12 Boston College / No. Iowa

4 TCU
13 UCSB

6 Arizona
11 Butler

3 Miami
14 Milwaukee

7 Iowa State
10 Louisville

2 Texas A&M
15 Wagner

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Idaho

8 Michigan
9 Alabama

5 Wichita State
12 Stephen F Austin

4 Virginia
13 S Dakota

6 Clemson
11 Saint Bonaventure

3 Oklahoma
14 Albany

7 St John’s
10 Houston

2 Purdue
15 Furman

12/21 Bracket

Sunday Bracket

Some big bracket moves this week:

-Trae Young is the rare freshman who exceeds the hype. After winning at Wichita State, it’s time for OU to be mentioned as a Big XII title contender and for Young to be mentioned as a Wooden POY candidate.  They are up to a three.

-Syracuse got an overtime win to knock rival Georgetown from the unbeaten ranks.  For the one-loss Orange, they still find themselves back at a six seed after failing to win any Tier One games (falling in Miami to Kansas in their only Tier 1 or 2 game).

-Baylor is still down at an eight seed.  Frankly, they are lucky to be in that position. A win over Creighton is about the only thing they have going for them right now.

-Kansas doesn’t look like a two seed, but a one point victory over Nebraska on the road gives them a third Tier 1 win.  If they land both Preston and De Sousa onto the roster, they’ll be a threat to gain a one seed. If they don’t, this could be KU’s worst seed since 2000 (the last time they weren’t a top four seed).

SOUTH

1 Duke
16 Liberty / Navy

8 Baylor
9 Auburn

5 Wichita State
12 MTSU

4 Xavier
13 Lipscomb

6 St John’s
11 Texas / UCF

3 Kentucky
14 Wagner

7 Clemson
10 UNI

2 West VA
15 Iona

WEST

1 Arizona State
16 N Kentucky

8 Boise St
9 Creighton

5 Arizona
12 UCSB

4 TCU
13 SFA

6 Texas Tech
11 Alabama

3 Purdue
14 New Mexico St

7 Iowa State
10 Butler

2 UNC
15 Louisiana

MIDWEST

1 Michigan State
16 NC A&T / Albany

8 Cincinnati
9 Louisville

5 Seton Hall
12 Towson

4 Tennessee
13 Loyola-Chicago

6 Missouri
11 Rhode Island

3 Miami
14 S Dakota

7 Nevada
10 BYU

2 Kansas
15 Murray St

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Furman

8 Gonzaga
9 Minnesota

5 Arkansas
12 St Bonaventure

4 Virginia
13 Portland St

6 Syracuse
11 South Carolina / Ohio State

3 Oklahoma
14 Penn

7 Michigan
10 Florida State

2 Texas A&M
15 Akron

 

Sunday Bracket

December 11 Bracket

SOUTH

1 Duke
16 NC A&T / Navy

8 Arizona
9 Rhode Island

5 Missouri
12 SF Austin

4 TCU
13 UC Santa Barbara

6 St John’s
11 Iowa State / Boston College

3 Kentucky
14 Murray State

7 Arkansas
10 Texas

2 Wichita State
15 FGCU

MIDWEST

1 Michigan State
16 Rider / Liberty

8 Central Florida
9 Alabama

5 Seton Hall
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Kansas
13 St Bonaventure

6 UNI
11 Florida

3 Virginia
14 Idaho

7 Nevada
10 Butler

2 UNC
15 Louisiana

WEST

1 Arizona St
16 East Tenn State

8 Creighton
9 Clemson

5 Texas Tech
12 Towson

4 Purdue
13 Central Michigan

6 Florida State
11 Middle Tenn

3 Miami
14 S Dakota

7 Notre Dame
10 Oklahoma

2 Texas A&M
15 Penn

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Grand Canyon

8 Western KY
9 Utah

5 Syracuse
12 Washington / Baylor

4 Xavier
13 Milwaukee

6 Gonzaga
11 Virginia Tech

3 Tennessee
14 Wagner

7 Temple
10 Minnesota

2 West VA
15 Albany

 

December 11 Bracket

Saturday Thoughts

A new bracket will be coming out soon, but for now, some thoughts:

Duke and Kansas – These two suffered truly shocking upsets this week (to Boston College and Washington, who will both sneak into the bracket). Despite the losses, both will remain on the one line if Kansas can defeat Arizona State. A Sun Devils victory on Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse, though, would move them to the one line and send Kansas tumbling down to the three line. 

TCU – The Horned Frogs picked up a couple of quality wins this week, beating Nevada and SMU. They are still undefeated and have moved themselves up to the four line.

Florida and Cincinnati – This is a matchup of AP top 20 teams, but the loser will be out of the bracket and the winner will only be in as a 12 seed. Florida could end up with an all-timer of a horrible resume week, with the potential to go from #5 in the country to a 5-4 record.

 Nevada – The Wolfpack dropped two tough games to Big XII schools this week (TCU and Texas Tech).  Despite looking like a top 25 team, their inability to grab a quality win really hurts their chances of landing a 5 seed or better.  They are a seven seed in this bracket, and that may be about the best they will do on Selection Sunday.

Baylor – The Bears are ranked towards the bottom of the top 25, but they are just inside of the bracket right now.  Although their losses are more than acceptable (to Xavier and Wichita State),  they’ve only played four teams in the top 200 of the RPI.  Fortunately for Baylor, the Big XII will provide plenty of quality win opportunities to go with their win over Creighton in Kansas City.

 

 

Saturday Thoughts

December 3 Bracket

Some thoughts:

-The race for the College Football Playoff has gotten most of the attention, but it was also a solid weekend for basketball.  The three results that most caught my eye are Xavier over Cincinnati, Wichita State winning at Baylor, and Arizona surviving at UNLV.  All of the winners moved up in the bracket, and it was enough to push three-loss Arizona back in (albeit as an 11).

-Virginia Tech snuck into the bracket with a win at Ole Miss in overtime after trailing by double digits at the half. Because of the committee’s emphasis on road victories, this may end up as a Tier 2 road win even if Ole Miss fails to impress this season.

-Rhode Island kept things going with a win over Providence. They are unlikely to be as high as a five seed in March, but they find themselves there now.

-Syracuse had their moments against Kansas in their game in Miami, but Kansas won 76-60.  The loss doesn’t hurt Syracuse much, but it does show their current 8 seed might be about right for the team.

-SMU is back in the bracket as a 9 after rolling USC. It drops the Trojans to a ten and moves Western Kentucky up to a 7, as their SMU and Purdue wins are looking better by the day.

SOUTH

1 Duke
16 Penn / Navy

8 Alabama
9 SMU

5 Tennessee
12 Vermont

4 West Virginia
13 Towson

6 Seton Hall
11 NC State

3 Florida
14 Murray State

7 Texas Tech
10 Missouri

2 Wichita State
15 UNC-Asheville

WEST

1 Villanova
16 Prairie View A&M / NC A&T

8 Northern Iowa
9 Florida State

5 Nevada
12 Virginia Tech / Texas

4 Arizona State
13 Portland St

6 Baylor
11 Arizona

3 UNC
14 UC Santa Barbara

7 Purdue
10 Utah

2 Notre Dame
15 Grand Canyon

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 East Tenn State

8 Creighton
9 Louisville

5 Minnesota
12 St John’s

4 Gonzaga
13 Northern KY

6 Cincinnati
11 Louisiana Tech

3 Virginia
14 Central Michigan

7 Western KY
10 UT Arlington

2 Texas A&M
15 SF Austin

EAST

1 Michigan State
16 Wagner

8 Syracuse
9 Providence

5 Rhode Island
12 Kansas St / UNLV

4 Xavier
13 Rider

6 TCU
11 Clemson

3 Kentucky
14 South Dakota

7 Temple
10 USC

2 Miami
15 FGCU

December 3 Bracket

Friday Bracket

SOUTH

1 Duke
16 Brown / Navy

8 Temple
9 Providence

5 Xavier
12 Vermont

4 Cincinnati
13 Towson

6 Seton Hall
11 Texas

3 Florida
14 Tenn Tech

7 Syracuse
10 Missouri

2 Villanova
15 UNC-Asheville

WEST

1 Texas A&M
16 Prairie View A&M / NC A&T

8 Northern Iowa
9 Florida State

5 Nevada
12 NC State / Saint John’s

4 Arizona State
13 Portland St

6 USC
11 Oklahoma

3 UNC
14 Hawaii

7 Texas Tech
10 Utah

2 Virginia
15 Grand Canyon

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 East Tenn State

8 Creighton
9 Purdue

5 Baylor
12 UCLA / Clemson

4 Gonzaga
13 Milwaukee

6 Minnesota
11 Washington State

3 Wichita State
14 Akron

7 Arkansas
10 UNLV

2 Miami
15 W. Illinois

EAST

1 Michigan State
16 Wagner

8 Alabama
9 Western Kentucky

5 Tennessee
12 Colorado

4 West Virginia
13 Rider

6 Rhode Island
11 UT-Arlington

3 Notre Dame
14 SF Austin

7 TCU
10 Louisville

2 Kentucky
15 FGCU

 

Some notes:

-The ACC is going to be stacked at the top this year.  That means the committee is going to have a hard time slotting them into different regions to meet the principles and procedures. In this bracket, UNC is a three seed but the fifth selection from the ACC. Because the top four teams are all in different regions, UNC was able to be slotted into the same region as another ACC team, Virginia.

-Man, does Michigan State look like they’re hitting their stride?! They have looked absolutely dominating in victories over UNC and Notre Dame.  Those two are three seeds in this bracket, but Michigan State’s defense completely overwhelmed them.  All the talk this year is about Duke, but Michigan State and Kansas have been absolutely suffocating their opponents since both teams’ third game.

-What a huge win for Miami at Minnesota.  That will undoubtedly be a Tier 1 victory, and it shows that Miami is a legitimate threat for not just a top seed, but for a Final Four down the road.

-Rhode Island and Nevada are flying under the radar. Don’t sleep on those two, as both are well-coached, talented teams. The Rams have a neutral court win over Seton Hall and Nevada is unbeaten with a win over URI.

-Every year, we see more and more rivals being paired up in the bracket because of the committee’s emphasis on placing teams in their natural region.  This bracket would be a doozy with Cincinnati and Xavier potentially meeting in the second round, as well as Louisville and Kentucky.  And don’t be surprised if Kansas and Wichita State potentially meet in Omaha for a trip to the Final Four.

Friday Bracket