Sunday, March 15, 2015

FINAL Bracket

1 Kentucky, Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke
2 Virginia, Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas
3 Iowa St., Notre Dame, Maryland, Oklahoma
4 Baylor, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Louisville
5 West Virginia, SMU, Wichita St., Arkansas
6 Utah, VCU, Providence, Butler
7 Georgetown, Michigan St., San Diego St., Xavier
8 Iowa, Oregon, NC State, Davidson
9 Ohio St., Cincinnati, Dayton, St John's
10 Purdue, Oklahoma St., LSU, Colorado St.
11 Texas, BYU, Indiana / Boise St., Stephen F. Austin 
12 Buffalo, Wofford, Wyoming, Temple / Ole Miss
13 Valparaiso, Harvard, Georgia St., Eastern Washington
14 Northeastern, UC Irvine, North Dakota St., Belmont
15 UAB, New Mexico St., Albany, Coastal Carolina
16 Lafayette, Texas Southern, Manhattan / North Florida, Robert Morris / Hampton

Last Four byes: LSU, Colorado St., Texas, BYU
Last Four in: Indiana, Boise St., Temple, Ole Miss
First Four Out: Georgia, Miami (FL), UCLA, Murray St.
Next Four Out:Tulsa, Old Dominion, Illinois, Texas A&M

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday, March 14th - Morning edition

1 Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2 Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas
3 Iowa St., Notre Dame, Maryland, Oklahoma
4 North Carolina, Baylor, Northern Iowa, SMU
5 Wichita St., Utah, Louisville, West Virginia
6 Arkansas, Providence, San Diego St., Butler
7 Georgetown, VCU, Davidson, St. John's
8 Xavier, Iowa, Michigan St., NC State
9 Oregon, Dayton, Cincinnati, Ohio St.
10 Boise St., Georgia, Colorado St., Texas
11 Oklahoma St., Indiana, LSU, Temple / BYU
12 Purdue / Ole Miss, Valpo, Stephen F Austin, Wofford
13 Harvard, Central Michigan, Georgia St., Northeastern
14 UC Irvine, North Dakota St., New Mexico St., Belmont
15 Albany, UAB, Montana, Manhattan
16 Texas Southern, Coastal Carolina, North Florida / Lafayette, Rober Morris, Delaware St. 

More info to come in the morning...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday, March 9th Update

1 Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2 Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas
3 Iowa St., Maryland, Baylor, Oklahoma
4 Northern Iowa, Notre Dame, Louisville, Utah
5 West Virginia, North Carolina, SMU, Arkansas
6 Providence, Wichita St., Georgetown, Butler
7 VCU, San Diego St., St. John's, Iowa
8 Michigan St, Davidson, Dayton, LSU
9 NC State, Cincinnati, Xavier, Colorado St.
10 Ohio St., Oklahoma St., Ole Miss, Boise St. 
11 Temple, Purdue, Indiana, Oregon / Georgia
12 Texas / BYU, Wofford, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin
13 Iona, Valparaiso, Yale, UC Davis
14 Central Michigan, Belmont, William & Mary, Georgia St.
15 NC Central, South Dakota St., Albany, New Mexico St.
16 Texas Southern, North Florida, Montana / St. Francis(NY), Lafayette / Coastal Carolina

Last Four Byes (in order): Ohio St., Purdue, Indiana, Temple
Last Four In (in order): Oregon, Georgia, Texas, BYU

First Four Out (in order): Miami (FL), Texas A&M, Old Dominion, Illinois
Next Four Out (in order): UCLA, Tulsa, Richmond, Rhode Island

Notes: Thanks to some actual free time on Sunday, I was able to do a full scrub of the field. Still not perfect, but I feel better about certain things after this update. New additions since the Saturday morning edition include Lafayette (as the Patriot League auto-bid - highest remaining seed after and Colgate were knocked off), Georgia St. (as the Sun Belt auto-bid - beat Georgia Southern on Saturday for the regular season title), Montana (as the Big Sky auto-bid - claimed the tournament's #1 seed), and Texas (one of the last four in - strong computer numbers and top-level wins sneak them into the field). Yale remained as the Ivy auto-bid, but you could just as easily swap in Harvard in the same place in the bracket - gonna have to wait and see how that playoff plays out. 

An Ivy note - some people may not like them not having a tournament, but count me among those happy that a conference commits to trying to send its best team. The NCAA tournament is more fun with strong teams at the bottom of the bracket - imagine if Dartmouth beating Yale had been in the tournament final. Great, another play-in level team. Instead, we still get the drama of a winner-take-all playoff game, but this time, they didn't have to survive the luckbox conference tournament format to get there. Ask Murray State how great that setup is. 

The biggest riser from Saturday is definitely Davidson. I think outright regular season conference titles matter (and believe the committee agrees - this is also reflected in SMU earning a 5 seed); thus, the Wildcats should be safely in the field, especially because their only two bad losses this year came without their best player, Jack Gibbs. They bump all the way up to an 8, which could lead to a very fun potential round of 32 matchup with Duke in Charlotte. 

There's been a lot of discussion around Indiana lately, (and I understand the concern over their level of play), but I still think their resume is one of the better ones on the bubble. Four top-50 wins, including non-conference scalps against Butler and SMU on a neutral court, a strong strength of schedule, and only one truly bad loss (at the improving Northwestern) keep the Hoosiers afloat in my book. Another bad loss to start the Big Ten tournament would make things dicey, however. 

As I've tried to bracket the top teams, I've consistently run into the issue of the Midwest region being far and away the best, rankings-wise. Using strictly geographic placement, I end up with the #1 (Kentucky), #5 (Wisconsin), #9 (Iowa St.), and #13 (Notre Dame) all in the same region. This region would have a major imbalance; to fix it, the easiest fix has been swapping Wisconsin and Iowa St with #8 Kansas and #11 Maryland. This will also make many college basketball fans happy - Wisconsin and Kentucky don't belong in the same region. 



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday, March 7th Update

1 Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2 Kansas, Gonzaga, Arizona, Wisconsin
3 Maryland, Iowa St., Oklahoma,  Baylor
4 North Carolina, Utah, Wichita St., Notre Dame
5 Northern Iowa, SMU, West Virginia, Arkansas
6 Louisville, Georgetown, Butler, Providence
San Diego St., VCU, St. John's, Dayton
8 Ohio St., Xavier, Iowa, Oklahoma St.
9 LSU, Georgia, NC State, Michigan St.
10 Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, Colorado St.
11 Oregon, Boise State, Ole Miss, Davidson / BYU
12 Wofford, Iona, Stephen F. Austin, Temple / UCLA
13 Valparaiso, Louisiana Tech, Yale, Murray St.
14 Central Michigan, South Dakota St., UC Davis, William & Mary
15 Eastern Washington, New Mexico St., NC Central, Georgia Southern
16 Albany, Coastal Carolina, Texas Southern / North Fla., St. FrancisNY / Bucknell

Last Four Byes: Indiana, Purdue, Oregon, Ole Miss  
Last Four In: Davidson, BYU, Temple, UCLA
First Four Out: Texas, Old Dominion, Illinois, Texas A&M
Next Four Out: Miami(FL), Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Stanford


Changes: 
-Yale and Coastal Carolina enter the bracket as the Ivy and Big South auto-bids, respectively. Yale enters as a 13 after winning at Harvard (pushing Stephen F Austin up to a 12), and Coastal Carolina opens up as a 16 (pushing Georgia Southern up to a 15). Yale can clinch their bid with a win over Dartmouth tonight. And speaking of Georgia Southern, they battle for the Sun Belt regular season crown tonight against Georgia St. If they lose, Georgia State will replace them in tomorrow's edition.  
-Baylor barely stole the last 3 seed over Utah - both of them will probably end up out in Portland or Seattle, though. 
-I put William & Mary into the bracket from the CAA as they have the 1 seed - replacing Northeastern as a 14. 
-I had Colorado St and San Diego St bumped up previously for location convenience; instead, SDSU is back to its natural 7 and Colorado St is bumped down from a 9 to a 10 (rather than all the way up to a 7). This put Georgetown back up to a 6 (and shipped them out west in the early rounds). 
-I guess I've had Michigan St too low after examining the bracket matrix - that many people usually aren't wrong. They bump up, but only to a 9 - still not sold on their profile. Indiana dropped. I also took out a couple location bumps I had in previously - namely Oregon and Boise St. 
-Central Michigan retains its spot as a 14, despite its loss to close the regular season. They enter the MAC tournament as the number 1 seed, holding the tiebreak with 2 other squads.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday, 3/6/2015

1 Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2 Kansas, Gonzaga, Arizona, Wisconsin
3 Maryland, Iowa St., Oklahoma, Utah
4 North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wichita St., Notre Dame
5 Northern Iowa, SMU, West Virginia, Arkansas
6 Louisville, San Diego St., Butler, Providence
7 Colorado St.., Georgetown, St. John's, Dayton
8 VCU, Ohio St., Xavier, Iowa
9 LSU, Oklahoma St., NC State, Indiana
10 Georgia, ,Oregon, Boise St., Cincinnati
11 Purdue, Michigan St., Ole Miss, Davidson / BYU
12 Wofford, Iona, Harvard, Temple / UCLA
13 Valparaiso, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin, Murray St.
14 Central Michigan, South Dakota St., UC Davis, Northeastern
15 Eastern Washington, New Mexico St., High Point, NC Central
16 Albany, Georgia Southern, Texas Southern / North Fla., St. FrancisNY / Bucknell

Last Four Byes: Oregon, Michigan St., Purdue, Ole Miss  
Last Four In: Davidson, BYU, Temple, UCLA
First Four Out: Texas, Old Dominion, Illinois, Texas A&M
Next Four Out: Miami(FL), Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Stanford


Others: Saint Mary's, UConn, UMass, Buffalo



Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday, 3/2/15


1 Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2 Kansas, Gonzaga, Arizona, Wisconsin
3 Maryland, Baylor, Iowa St., Oklahoma
4 North Carolina, Utah, Wichita St., Notre Dame
5 Northern Iowa, Louisville, West Virginia, Arkansas
6 Butler, VCU, Providence, SMU
7 San Diego St., Georgetown, St. John's, Dayton
8 Colorado St., LSU, Xavier, Iowa
9 Ohio St., Oklahoma St., NC State, Purdue
10 Georgia, Indiana, Michigan St., Cincinnati
11 Oregon, Boise St., Ole Miss / BYU, Davidson / Temple
12 Wofford, Iona, Tulsa, Harvard
13 Valparaiso, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin, Murray St.
14 Central Michigan, South Dakota St., UC Davis, Northeastern
15 Georgia Southern, New Mexico St., High Point, NC Central
16 Albany, Texas Southern, Sacra. St. / North Fla., St. FrancisNY / Bucknell

Last Four Byes: Michigan St., Georgia, Indiana, Oregon
Last Four In:    Ole Miss, Temple, BYU, Davidson
First Four Out: UCLA, Illinois, Texas A&M, Old Dominion
Next Four Out: Stanford, Texas, Pitt, Miami (FL)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday, 2/28/2015

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Gonzaga, Duke
2's: Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Villanova
3's: Utah, Maryland, Baylor, Iowa St.
4's: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Northern Iowa
5's: SMU, Wichita St., Arkansas, West Virginia
6's: Butler, Providence, VCU, Louisville
7's: San Diego St., Georgetown, St. John's, Oklahoma St.
8's: NC State, Xavier, Colorado St., Ole Miss
9's: Ohio St., Dayton, Indiana, LSU
10's: Iowa, Georgia, Purdue, Cincinnati
11's: Michigan St., Illinois, Texas, Oregon / Temple
12's: Stanford / Davidson, Harvard, Wofford, Iona
13's: Central Michigan, Louisiana Tech Murray St., Stephen F. Austin
14's: Valparaiso, William & Mary, UC Davis, South Dakota St.
15's: UL Monroe, NC Central, New Mexico St., High Point
16's: Albany, Texas Southern, No. Florida / Sacra. St., St. FrancisNY / Bucknell

Last Four Byes: Iowa, Michigan St., Illinois, Texas
Last Four In: Oregon, Temple, Stanford, Davidson
First Four Out: UCLA, Miami (FL), Pitt, Boise St.
Next Four Out: Texas A&M, Old Dominion, BYU, Tulsa