Friday, February 26, 2021

Bracketology 2/26/21

You may notice a surprise is this edition of Bracketology. Michigan State, a team left for dead as recently as a week ago, is now not only on the bubble, but as of today in the field. How does a team rise up so dramatically?

The answer, to quote Orwell, boils down to "All games are equal. But some games are more equal than others." In the last three weeks, Michigan State picked up a solid Q1 road win over Indiana, and then two massive home wins over Illinois and Ohio State. In a bubble that is known for mediocre teams losing to good ones, beating two Top 5 teams in the country does huge favors for a resume. In one week, Michigan State now has 5 Q1 wins, two of them Top 5, and only one loss outside of Q1, and the road loss to Northwestern is Q2. The metrics still aren't that strong, and Michigan State has a murderous stretch of games still, including two games against Michigan. But even so, this has been a remarkable achievement for Tom Izzo's group.


Region 1

1       Gonzaga (1)

16   Prairie View A&M (67)/North Carolina A&T (68)

8       Florida (32)

9       Maryland (35)

5       Tennessee (18)

12   Belmont (49)

4       Texas (13)

13   Winthrop (54)

6       Missouri (23)

11   VCU (42)

3       Villanova (9)

14   Liberty (58)

7       Oklahoma State (25)

10   North Carolina (40)

2       Iowa (8)

15   Siena (59)

Region 2

1       Baylor (2)

16   Texas State (65)/ South Dakota (66)

8       Rutgers (30)

9       San Diego State (34)

5       USC (17)

12   Western Kentucky (50)

4       Virginia (15)

13   Toledo (52)

6       Wisconsin (24)

11   Louisville (41)

3       Houston (10)

14   Abilene Christian (57)

7       BYU (26)

10   Drake (39)

2       Illinois (5)

15   James Madison (62)

Region 3

1       Michigan (3)

16   Eastern Washington (64)

8       Loyola (Chicago) (31)

9       UCLA (33)

5       Texas Tech (19)

12   Michigan State (45)/ Xavier (46)

4       Arkansas (16)

13   UC-Santa Barbara (51)

6       Clemson (22)

11   Seton Hall (43)

3       Florida State (11)

14   Wright State (56)

7       Colorado (28)

10   St, Bonaventure (37)

2       West Virginia (7)

15   Grand Canyon (60)

Region 4

1       Ohio State (4)

16   Wagner (63)

8       LSU (29)

9       Oregon (36)

5       Creighton (20)

12   Wichita State (47)/Colorado State (48)

4       Kansas (14)

13   Colgate (53)

6       Purdue (21)

11   Connecticut (44)

3       Oklahoma (12)

14   Furman (55)

7       Virginia Tech (27)

10   Boise State (38)

2       Alabama (6)

15   UMBC (61)

Last Four Byes

Louisville
VCU
Seton Hall
Connecticut

Last Four In

Michigan State
Xavier
Wichita State
Colorado State

First Four Out

Stanford
Minnesota
Duke
Georgia Tech

Next Four Out
Indiana
Richmond
SMU
Ole Miss

Monday, February 22, 2021

Bracketology 2/22/21

For this Bracketology, you'll notice some fluidity in the bracket compared to normal. This is because as the season goes on, I will conduct a large overview of the Bracket, rather than comparing individual teams. This is useful as it allows me to take into account winning streaks and losing streaks, as well as how the metrics look at a team. For example, Rutgers was a team I was high on, as they have good schedule numbers and 4 Q1 wins. However, looking at the resume closely, I saw that a 12-9 record and meh metrics isn't conducive to a high seed, and several other teams felt that. As the season continues to the last three weeks, there will be less fluidity, as more teams will either tighten their resumes or fall off the bubble.


Region 1

1       Gonzaga (1)

16   Prairie View A&M (67)/North Carolina A&T (68)

8       Florida (32)

9       UCLA (33)

5       USC (17)

12   Western Kentucky (50)

4       Kansas (15)

13   Toledo (52)

6       Clemson (24)

11   Drake (41)

3       Villanova (9)

14   Liberty (58)

7       Arkansas (25)

10   St. Bonaventure (40)

2       West Virginia (8)

15   Siena (60)

Region 2

1       Baylor (2)

16   South Dakota (65)/Bryant (66)

8       Colorado (31)

9       Seton Hall (34)

5       Purdue (19)

12   Connecticut (47)/Stanford (48)

4       Florida State (16)

13   UC-Santa Barbara (51)

6       Creighton (23)

11   Boise State (42)

3       Iowa (10)

14   Abilene Christian (57)

7       LSU (26)

10   North Carolina (39)

2       Illinois (5)

15   James Madison (62)

Region 3

1       Michigan (3)

16   Texas State (64)

8       BYU (30)

9       San Diego State (35)

5       Tennessee (18)

12   Belmont (49)

4       Texas (14)

13   Colgate (53)

6       Virginia Tech (22)

11   Minnesota (44)

3       Houston (11)

14   UNC-Greensboro (56)

7       Rutgers (27)

10   Oregon (38)

2       Oklahoma (7)

15   Grand Canyon (59)

Region 4

1       Ohio State (4)

16   Eastern Washington (63)

8       Loyola (Chicago) (29)

9       Xavier (36)

5       Missouri (20)

12   VCU (45)/ Colorado State (46)

4       Virginia (13)

13   Winthrop (54)

6       Wisconsin (21)

11   Louisville (43)

3       Texas Tech (12)

14   Wright State (55)

7       Oklahoma State (28)

10   Maryland (37)

2       Alabama (6)

15   UMBC (61)


Last Four Byes

1.      Drake

2.      Boise State

3.      Louisville

4.      Minnesota

Last Four In

1.      VCU

2.      Colorado State

3.      Connecticut

Stanford

First Four Out

Indiana

Wichita State

Utah State

St. Louis

Next Four Out

Syracuse

Duke

Richmond

Ole Miss

Friday, February 19, 2021

Bracketology 2/19/21

The weirdest resume so far is Minnesota's. At home, they might be the best team in the country. Wins include Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, and Purdue. Those wins rank with any team in the country. The problem is on the road: 0-8. You read that correctly, not a single victory.

In a normal season, no team would be even considered without any road wins. The committee has indicated that they value performance away from home, and have penalized teams with poor road records. However, Minnesota might be extended a mulligan for the circumstances of the season. They can, however, make their lives much easier by beating Penn State in Happy Valley.

Region 1

 1       Gonzaga (1)

16   North Dakota State (67)/North Carolina A&T (68)

8       Florida (32)

9       UCLA (33)

5       Kansas (17)

12   Western Kentucky (50)

4       USC (16)

13   UC-Santa Barbara (51)

6       Virginia Tech (23)

11   Drake (42)

3       Iowa (10)

14   Abilene Christian (57)

7       LSU (25)

10   Maryland (40)

2       Oklahoma (8)

15   Grand Canyon (59)

Region 2

1       Baylor (2)

16   Bryant (65)/Prairie View A&M (66)

8       BYU (31)

9       Xavier (34)

5       Rutgers (19)

12   Belmont (49)

4       Tennessee (15)

13   Toledo (52)

6       Creighton (24)

11   Oregon (41)

3       Houston (11)

14   UNC-Greensboro (56)

7       Clemson (26)

10   VCU (38)

2       Illinois (5)

15   James Madison (62)

Region 3

1       Michigan (3)

16   Texas State (64)

8       Colorado (30)

9       Seton Hall (35)

5       Wisconsin (20)

12   Stanford (46)/Colorado State (48)

4       Texas Tech (13)

13   Winthrop (54)

6       Missouri (21)

11   St.  Bonaventure (44)

3       Virginia (12)

14   Wright State (55)

7       Oklahoma State (27)

10   Minnesota (39)

2       Villanova (7)

15   Siena (60)

Region 4

1       Ohio State (4)

16   Eastern Washington (63)

8       Loyola (Chicago) (29)

9       San Diego State (36)

5       Florida State (18)

12   Indiana (45)/ Boise State (47)

4       Texas (14)

13   Colgate (53)

6       Purdue (22)

11   North Carolina (43)

3       West Virginia (9)

14   Liberty (58)

7       Arkansas (28)

10   Louisville (37)

2       Alabama (6)

15   Vermont (61)

Monday, February 15, 2021

Bracketology - 2/15/21

 I apologize to my 30-40 or so viewers who never saw my final bracketology. My heart broke with the end of last year, and I don't think I'll ever fully get over losing March Madness. But it has made me even more appreciative of this year's season, and even with everything going on we're thankfully on track to play a tournament this season. It'll look different, but any March Madness is better than none.

For this season, the Cinderella darling has been Drake, who are 20-2 and are a lot of fun to watch. Yet they currently are in as a 10 seed, as their SOS is, for lack of a better term, poor. That's what made yesterday's win over Loyola so huge. It was a Q1 win in a conference where they are not abundant, and gives them breathing room on the bubble.

For the brackets themselves, currently the Regions are named the very imaginative names of Region 1, 2, 3, and 4. I expect better names within the next month, but the point is due to the tournament being entirely in Indiana, there are no geographic regions, meaning that geography is no longer a consideration for seeding the teams.

With all that said, here is the first bracketology of 2021:

Region 1

1 Gonzaga (1)

16 North Dakota State (67)/North Carolina A&T (68)

8 Arkansas (32)

9 Xavier (33)

5 USC (17)

12 Western Kentucky (50)

4 Iowa (13)

13 Winthrop (54)

6 Purdue (23)

11 North Carolina (41)

3 Oklahoma (10)

14 Abilene Christian (57)

7 LSU (25)

10 Seton Hall (40)

2 Houston (8)

15 Grand Canyon (59)

Region 2

1 Baylor (2)

16 Bryant (65)/Prairie View A&M (66)

8 Loyola (Chicago) (31)

9 Minnesota (35)

5 Wisconsin (19)

12 Colorado State (47)/Stanford (48)

4 Texas Tech (15)

13 Toledo (52)

6 Creighton (24)

11 Maryland (43)

3 Tennessee (12)

14 Wright State (55)

7 Clemson (26)

10 UCLA (39)

2 Illinois (5)

15 James Madison (62)

Region 3

1 Michigan (3)

16 Texas State (64)

8 BYU (30)

9 Louisville (34)

5 Kansas (18)

12 Belmont (49)

4 Missouri (16)

13 UC-Santa Barbara (51)

6 Virginia Tech (22)

11 Indiana (44)

3 West Virginia (11)

14 UNC-Greensboro (54)

7 Colorado (28)

10 St.  Bonaventure (37)

2 Villanova (7)

15 Siena (60)

Region 4

1 Ohio State (4)

16 Eastern Washington (63)

8 Florida (29)

9 San Diego State (36)

5 Florida State (20)

12 Boise State (45)/Oregon (46)

4 Texas (14)

13 Colgate (53)

6 Rutgers (21)

11 VCU (42)

3 Virginia (9)

14 Liberty (58)

7 Oklahoma State (27)

10 Drake (38)

2 Alabama (6)

15 UMBC (61)




Monday, March 9, 2020

Bracketology -3/9/20

Now we're down the home stretch. Conference Tournament Week promises to be an exciting, fun-filled, dramatic week. However, it is important to note that each game counts as much as every other game during the season. There is only so much a team can move up the seed list (though many could take a page from Utah State's book and punch their ticket now).

Midwest Region
1.      Kansas (1) - Omaha
16.  St. Francis (PA) (65)/ Prairie View A&M (66)
8.      Saint Mary’s (32)
9.      Florida (33)
5.      Ohio State (17)
12.  Liberty (50)
4.      Louisville (14) – Tampa
13.  Vermont (51)
6.      BYU (22)
11.  ETSU (43)
3.      Michigan State (10) – St. Louis
14.  Belmont (56)
7.      Illinois (25)
10.  Arizona State (38)
2.      Creighton (8) – St. Louis
15.  Eastern Washington (62)
South Region
1.      Baylor (2) - Omaha
16.  North Dakota State (64)
8.      Houston (29)
9.      Rutgers (36)
5.      Auburn (19)
12.  Stephen F. Austin (49)
4.      Wisconsin (16) – Sacramento
13.  North Texas (53)
6.      Penn State (23)
11.  Utah State (42)
3.      Seton Hall (11) – Albany
14.  Colgate (57)
7.      Colorado (26)
10.  Indiana (39)
2.      Florida State (7) - Tampa
15.  Little Rock (60)
West Region
1.      Gonzaga (3) - Spokane
16.  Siena (67)/North Carolina Central (68)
8.      Marquette (31)
9.      Oklahoma (35)
5.      West Virginia (20)
12.  NC State (46)/Richmond (47)
4.      Oregon (15) – Spokane
13.  New Mexico State (54)
6.      Michigan (21)
11.  Wichita State (44)/Stanford (45)
3.      Kentucky (12) – Cleveland
14.  Bradley (55)
7.      Arizona (27)
10.  Texas Tech (40)
2.      San Diego State (5) - Sacramento
15.  UC Irvine (61)
East Region
1.      Dayton (4) - Cleveland
16.  Winthrop (63)
8.      LSU (30)
9.      Providence (34)
5.      Butler (18)
12.  Yale (48)
4.      Maryland (13) - Greensboro
13.  Akron (52)
6.      Iowa (24)
11.  Xavier (41)
3.      Duke (9) - Greensboro
14.  Wright State (58)
7.      Virginia (28)
10.  USC (37)
2.      Villanova (6) - Albany
15.  Hofstra (59)

Last Four In
Wichita State
Stanford
NC State
Richmond

First Four Out
Cincinnati
Texas
UCLA
Northern Iowa

Monday, March 2, 2020

Bracketology - 3/2/20

Well, it's finally March. Thank heavens for small mercies.

This week I have to give props to two teams: Providence and UCLA. Both teams suffered through abysmal non-conference performances. Providence had three Q3 losses and a nice Q4 shiner due to Long Beach State. UCLA had a Q3 and Q4 loss each, and both programs looked lost.

And yet, Providence is fairly safe, and UCLA is right outside the field. How?

Conference play has been a revelation for both teams. Providence owns wins at Villanova, Butler, and Marquette, and home wins over Seton Hall and Creighton. UCLA has swept Arizona and Colorado, and is 1st place in the Pac-12 standings.

The committee has shown to favor teams that pick up big wins in conference play to off-set some bad non-conference losses (think Baylor last season). Even if both teams fall a bit short, both should be commended for their remarkable turnarounds.

Midwest Region
1.      Kansas (1) - Omaha
16.  St. Francis (PA) (65)/ Prairie View A&M (66)
8.      Virginia (31)
9.      Saint Mary’s (33)
5.      Ohio State (18)
12.  Cincinnati (46)/NC State (47)
4.      Kentucky (14) – Cleveland
13.  Liberty (51)
6.      BYU (24)
11.  Wichita State (42)
3.      Creighton (9) – St. Louis
14.  Wright State (58)
7.      Marquette (26)
10.  USC (40)
2.      Maryland (6) - Greensboro
15.  UC Irvine (61)
South Region
1.      Baylor (2) - Omaha
16.  Winthrop (63)
8.      Houston (30)
9.      Florida (35)
5.      Butler (19)
12.  Stephen F. Austin (50)
4.      Michigan State (16) – Sacramento
13.  Akron (53)
6.      West Virginia (23)
11.  ETSU (44)
3.      Villanova (11) - Albany
14.  Colgate (56)
7.      Illinois (28)
10.  Xavier (37)
2.      Florida State (7) - Tampa
15.  Eastern Washington (62)
West Region
1.      Gonzaga (3) - Spokane
16.  Siena (67)/North Carolina A&T (68)
8.      Texas Tech (32)
9.      Arizona State (34)
5.      Michigan (20)
12.  Northern Iowa (48)
4.      Oregon (13) – Spokane
13.  North Texas (54)
6.      Iowa (21)
11.  Stanford (43)/Rhode Island (45)
3.      Louisville (12) – St. Louis
14.  New Mexico State (55)
7.      Arizona (27)
10.  Indiana (38)
2.      Seton Hall (8) – Albany
15.  Hofstra (59)
East Region
1.      San Diego State (4) - Sacramento
16.  North Dakota State (64)
8.      LSU (29)
9.      Oklahoma (36)
5.      Auburn (17)
12.  Yale (49)
4.      Penn State (15) - Tampa
13.  Vermont (52)
6.      Wisconsin (22)
11.  Providence (41)
3.      Duke (10) - Greensboro
14.  Belmont (57)
7.      Colorado (25)
10.  Rutgers (39)
2.      Dayton (5) - Cleveland
15.  Little Rock (60)

Last Four Byes
Rutgers
USC
Providence
Wichita State

Last Four In
Stanford
Rhode Island
Cincinnati
NC State

First Four Out
Utah State
UCLA
Arkansas
Purdue

Next Four Out
Georgetown
Texas
Richmond
Mississippi State



Friday, February 28, 2020

Bracketology - 2/28/20

Recently, there was a debate on Twitter over Stephen F. Austin and whether they could get in as an at-large. While normally such mid-major cases don't go far, SFA has a road win over a small, private school in North Carolina that has the attention of many (that of course being Duke).

While it would be awesome if that were the case, the criteria that will keep SFA out if they lose in the Conference Tournament is their SOS. It currently resides in the 330s, and they do have a home loss to Texas A&M-CC that did not help.

But the question around the SFA debate is slightly different than whether their resume is good enough. It's more like "How would the average bubble team do against their schedule?" And while a good question to ask, there is not a great method to determine the case, and it's all hypothetical anyway. The key to evaluating teams for the tournament is to measure how well they've done, not how well they could do. And the way scheduling works currently, unfortunately schools like Stephen F. Austin will be left out in the cold on Selection Sunday more often than not.

Midwest Region
1.      Kansas (1) - Omaha
16.  St. Francis (PA) (65)/ Prairie View A&M (66)
8.      Houston (31)
9.      Florida (33)
5.      Michigan State (18)
12.  Liberty (49)
4.      Kentucky (15) – Tampa
13.  Akron (53)
6.      BYU (27)
11.  Wichita State (41)
3.      Creighton (9) – St. Louis
14.  Wright State (58)
7.      Arizona (26)
10.  Rutgers (37)
2.      Dayton (6) - Cleveland
15.  UC Irvine (61)
South Region
1.      Baylor (2) - Omaha
16.  South Dakota State (63)
8.      Illinois (30)
9.      Xavier (35)
5.      Butler (19)
12.  Yale (50)
4.      Auburn (16) – Sacramento
13.  Stephen F. Austin (51)
6.      Colorado (23)
11.  Rhode Island (42)
3.      Villanova (10) - Albany
14.  Belmont (57)
7.      Marquette (25)
10.  Oklahoma (38)
2.      Florida State (7) - Tampa
15.  Radford (62)
West Region
1.      Gonzaga (3) - Spokane
16.  Siena (67)/North Carolina A&T (68)
8.      Arizona State (32)
9.      Indiana (36)
5.      Michigan (20)
12.  Northern Iowa (48)
4.      Oregon (13) – Spokane
13.  North Texas (54)
6.      Iowa (22)
11.  ETSU (46)
3.      Seton Hall (11) – Albany
14.  Colgate (56)
7.      Wisconsin (24)
10.  USC (40)
2.      Duke (8) - Greensboro
15.  Hofstra (59)
East Region
1.      San Diego State (4) - Sacramento
16.  Montana (64)
8.      Texas Tech (29)
9.      Saint Mary’s (34)
5.      West Virginia (17)
12.  Providence (45)/Arkansas (47)
4.      Penn State (14) - Cleveland
13.  Vermont (52)
6.      Ohio State (21)
11.  Stanford (43)/Utah State (44)
3.      Louisville (12) – St. Louis
14.  New Mexico State (55)
7.      LSU (28)
10.  Virginia (39)
2.      Maryland (5) - Greensboro
15.  Little Rock (60)

Last Four Byes
Virginia
USC
Wichita State
Rhode Island

Last Four In
Stanford
Utah State
Providence
Arkansas

First Four Out
NC State
Georgetown
Cincinnati
Purdue

Next Four Out
Richmond
Mississippi State
Alabama
Memphis