Bracketology: Final Edition!

As we approach the Selection Show and the three most exciting weeks in sports, I want to thank everyone who has read my blog this season.  Once again, it has been a blast watching so much college basketball and putting out these projections.  Two years ago, when I first did this, I started in late February; last year, I started at the end of January; this season, I started on December 12.  At that rate, a preseason projection might be in the works this year!

The final 1 seed figures to be hotly debated.  I have kept Villanova, Kansas and Gonzaga on the 1 line.  But in a twist that seemed hard to imagine a few days ago, I have replaced North Carolina with Duke as the final 1 seed.  Let’s look at the comparison:

  • First, Duke won the ACC tournament, beating Louisville, North Carolina, and Notre Dame in the span of three days. No team in the country can claim such an impressive run.
  • Looking at the entire body of work – which is the most important – we see that Duke went 8-4 vs teams in the Top 25 of the RPI. No other team in the nation can claim eight wins against that tier.  North Carolina went 5-3 against RPI Top 25 teams.
  • Continuing the RPI discussion, Duke has eight wins on the road against RPI Top 50 teams! (Thanks to this article on CBS Sports for that stat.)
  • We’ve seen in the past that the Selection Committee bumps teams up a bit when they lost games with key injuries, or if the coach missed games for some reason (see Syracuse and Jim Boeheim last year). Duke did lose 8 games overall, and no team with that many losses has ever gotten a 1 seed.  But, North Carolina lost 7, and Duke can claim that only 2 of theirs were at full strength.  Also, Duke went 4-3 when Mike Krzyzewski was out at the start of the year.
  • Finally, let’s face it; a very strong case can be made for either team. But this tips it in Duke’s favor: the teams each won on the other’s home floor, and then Duke beat UNC in the ACC semifinals.

So, advantage, Duke.  Of course, I won’t be surprised if UNC keeps the 1 seed.  I would be very surprised if Arizona got a 1 because even with wins over UCLA and Oregon the past two nights, their resume isn’t as strong as that of Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Duke, or UNC.  Also, by getting a 2, Arizona can remain in the West regional, on a collision course with Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.

Elsewhere, in some bubble news, Rhode Island took matters into their own hands by beating VCU in the Atlantic 10 championship game this afternoon.  The majority of bracketologists on the Bracket Matrix had Rhode Island in as an at-large anyway, but this of course seals the deal.  For those who felt Rhode Island wouldn’t get an at-large, this shrinks the bubble by one bid.

So, with that analysis in mind, let’s jump into the projection.  There are two contingencies.  One is regarding the Big Ten championship game.  If Michigan beats Wisconsin (as I am projecting currently), they stay on the 6 line.  If they lose, they fall to the 7 line and Creighton jumps to the 6 line.  Wisconsin remains on the 6 line regardless of outcome.

The other is regarding the AAC championship game.  I am projecting that Cincinnati beats SMU.  If this happens, they remain seeded as they are below, with Cinci at a 5 and SMU at a 6.  If not, they switch, such that SMU is a 5 and Cinci is a 6.

And here we go.  Moves up or down are in parentheses after the team’s name, and automatic qualifiers are in bold. 

 In since yesterday: UC-Davis, New Mexico State, Kent State

 Out since yesterday: UC-Irvine, Cal-Bakersfield, Akron

 1s: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Duke (+1)

2s: North Carolina (-1), Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor (+1)

3s: Oregon (-1), Louisville, UCLA, Florida State

4s: Florida, West Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame

5s: Purdue, Virginia, Iowa State (+1), Cincinnati

6s: Minnesota (-1), SMU, Wisconsin, Michigan (+1)

7s: Creighton (-1), Saint Mary’s, Maryland, Wichita State

8s: Miami, Oklahoma State, Arkansas (+1), Virginia Tech (+1)

9s: Dayton (-1), South Carolina (-1), Northwestern, Seton Hall (+1)

10s: VCU (-1), Xavier, Michigan State, Marquette (+1)

11s: Rhode Island, Vanderbilt, Providence (-1), Wake Forest, Middle Tennessee

12s: Kansas State, Southern California, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Vermont

13s: Princeton, East Tennessee State, New Mexico State (new), Bucknell

14s: Winthrop (-1), Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, Northern Kentucky (+1)

15s: Texas Southern, North Dakota, Kent State (new), Troy (+1)

16s: South Dakota State, Jacksonville State, Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, UC-Davis (new), North Carolina Central

 Last Four In: Providence, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Southern California

 First Five Out: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Texas Arlington, Iowa

 NIT Projection

 New auto qualifiers: UC-Irvine, Cal-Bakersfield, Akron

 Out since yesterday: Fresno State, Tennessee (these were my last two at-large teams in the NIT, so they fall out because of UC-Irvine and Akron getting auto bids.  Cal-Bakersfield replaced New Mexico State.)

1s: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Texas-Arlington

2s: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Houston

3s: Alabama, Ole Miss, TCU, Georgia

4s: Utah, Clemson, Monmouth, Charleston

5s: Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Boise State, BYU

6s: Central Florida, Richmond, Texas Tech, Colorado State

7s: Valparaiso, Akron, Cal-Bakersfield, Belmont

8s: UC-Irvine, Oakland, UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota

 Thanks for reading.  Look for some recaps and reactions from me to the tournaments as they unfold over the next couple of weeks.  Check out the Bracket Matrix to see everyone’s final projections!

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bracketology: Will Texas-Arlington Make It?

Just like on the eve of the Selection Show last year, I decided one projection wasn’t enough for the day, so I doubled up.  I’m fully locked in right now, as are so many of the teams around the country on their way to wrapping up bids.  Let’s start with one who didn’t wrap up a bid and who may, in fact, have relegated itself to the NIT.

Texas-Arlington will be a really interesting case tomorrow.  They’re a quality mid-major who didn’t win their conference tournament, falling today by 21 points to Texas State in the Sun Belt semifinals.  So what will their fate be?  They had a very nice non-conference win at Saint Mary’s, but that was their only win vs. a team in the Top 100 of the RPI.  Much like their mid-major counterpart Illinois State, I believe Texas-Arlington is destined for a 1 seed in the NIT right now.

Speaking of Illinois State, that makes me think of their conference, the Missouri Valley, and Wichita State.  The Shockers might be the hardest team to seed in the entire field.  A look at today’s update of the Bracket Matrix speaks to that, as they are anywhere from a 3 to an 11!  Most teams stopped having such a disparity in where bracketologists were seeding them in early January.

What makes it so difficult with the Shockers is they are clearly a good team, having compiled an overall record of 30-4 that consisted mostly of blowing teams out.  KenPom ranks them 9th But they only have three wins vs. Top 100 teams in the RPI – two against Illinois State and one against Colorado State.  I have the Shockers on the 7 line for now, but I don’t feel good about it at all and I am liable to go back and forth about it 50 times before my final projection tomorrow afternoon.

Elsewhere tonight, a ton is on the line.  If Creighton beats Villanova for the Big East title, they have a shot at a 5 seed.  But, they will need Iowa State to fall to West Virginia in the Big 12 title game, because Iowa State is first in line for that spot going into the evening.  In the ACC title game, Duke will solidify their grip on a 2 seed if they knock off Notre Dame. 

On the other sides of these coins, Villanova is a 1 seed regardless. I think West Virginia and Notre Dame have reached their ceiling.  Both have unsightly non-conference strength of schedules.  West Virginia has losses to bad Temple and Oklahoma teams, while Notre Dame’s only quality non-con win is against Northwestern.  This is to take nothing away from either, as they are both very good teams, but I don’t see them rising above the 4 line even with a win tonight.

Later on, we’ll have Arizona and Oregon squaring off for the Pac-12 title.  The winner gets a 2 seed.  Arizona drops back to the 3 line if they lose, while with Oregon, it would be a close call between them and Baylor or Louisville.  Regardless, this game could be the night’s most entertaining simply because Bill Walton and Dave Pasch will call it.

Looking at the bubble, teams in the Last Four In breathed a collective sigh of relief a few minutes ago when VCU topped Richmond in overtime.  Richmond winning that game and beating Rhode Island in tomorrow’s A-10 title game would be a nightmare scenario for those teams, as VCU would then get an at-large, taking away a previously available bid.  But, those bubble teams will be feeling the stress once again if Colorado State defeats Nevada in the upcoming Mountain West title game.  Nevada could potentially nab an at-large.  The same can be said for the Conference USA title game.  If Middle Tennessee falls to Marshall, they are very likely an at-large qualifier.

And beyond the games I’ve written about here, five more automatic bids are on the line tonight:

  • Kent State Akron in the MAC
  • Weber State North Dakota in the Big Sky
  • Texas A & M – Corpus Christi New Orleans in the Southland
  • New Mexico State Cal-Bakersfield in the WAC
  • Cal-Davis Cal-Irvine in the Big West

It’s going to be a fun night.  So to start it off, here’s the updated projection.  Moves up or down since earlier today are in parentheses after the team’s name.  Projected auto qualifiers are in bold, and teams who have clinched bids are bold and underlined.

 New auto bids: Vermont, North Carolina Central, Texas Southern (actually clinched it Friday night because of Alcorn State winning the other SWAC semifinal but being ineligible for the NCAA tournament)

In since earlier today: Troy

Out since earlier today: Texas-Arlington

1s: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina

2s: Kentucky, Oregon, Duke, Arizona

3s: Baylor, Louisville, UCLA, Florida State

4s: Florida, West Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame

5s: Purdue, Virginia, Cincinnati, Minnesota

6s: SMU, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Creighton

7s: Michigan, Saint Mary’s, Maryland, Wichita State (+1)

8s: Oklahoma State (-1), Miami (+1), Dayton, South Carolina

9s: Arkansas, VCU (+1), Virginia Tech, Northwestern (-1)

10s: Seton Hall (-1), Xavier, Michigan State, Providence (+1)

11s: Vanderbilt (-1), Marquette, Wake Forest, Rhode Island, Middle Tennessee

12s: Kansas State (-1), Southern California (-1), Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Vermont (+1)

13s: Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Winthrop (+1)

14s: Akron, Cal-Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast, Iona (+1)

15s: Northern Kentucky, Texas Southern, North Dakota, Cal-Irvine (+1)

16s: Troy (new), South Dakota State, Mount Saint Mary’s, Jacksonville State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 First Five Out: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Texas-Arlington, Iowa

NIT Projection

 Texas-Arlington grabbed an auto-bid to the NIT, since they were the Sun Belt regular season champions.  This pushed New Mexico out of the field.  This also caused one team from each seed line earlier to fall, as UT-Arlington is projected on the top line.

1s: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Texas-Arlington

2s: Iowa (-1), Illinois, Indiana, Houston

3s: Alabama (-1), Ole Miss, TCU, Georgia

4s: Utah (-1), Clemson, Monmouth, Charleston

5s: Georgia Tech (-1), Ohio State, Boise State, BYU

6s: Texas Tech (-1), Central Florida, Colorado State, Richmond

7s: Valparaiso (-1), Fresno State, Tennessee, New Mexico State

8s: Belmont (-1), Oakland, UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota

 Thanks for reading, and catch my final projection before the Selection Show tomorrow.  Check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bracketology: Movement Up and Down the Bracket

Earlier this week, it seemed likely that Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga were all safe on the 1 line.  Now?  I’m not so sure.  Villanova is, without a doubt.  Kansas very likely is, with an RPI of 2 and just 4 losses on the year.  But, Kentucky and the winner of the Pac-12 – either Oregon or Arizona – could still make a case.  While I don’t expect it (see this analysis from Wednesday night), the Selection Committee surprises us every year, and there will no doubt be some surprises this Selection Sunday too.

As we look further down, the bubble is shrinking and we’re getting more clarity on who’s in and who’s out.  Due to their losses last night, I believe Indiana, TCU, Houston, and Ole Miss are all out of consideration.  Georgia has also fallen out of consideration after losing to Kentucky yesterday afternoon.

On the right side of the bubble, I believe today’s Last Four In – Kansas State, Wake Forest, Southern Cal, and Rhode Island are vulnerable to falling out of the field, but it is unlikely for K-State or Wake, and probably a 50-50 proposition for USC and Rhode Island.  As far as Rhode Island goes, they benefit from still being alive in their conference tournament, facing Davidson in the semis of the A-10 tourney today.  While a win won’t cement their bid, it certainly won’t hurt, either.  Of the five teams I currently have out but still in consideration – Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa, and Alabama – only Alabama is still alive.

So, it promises to be yet another exciting day of conference tournament action!  As you will see, we have quite a bit of movement up and down the bracket since yesterday.  As always, moves are in parentheses after the team’s name.  Projected auto qualifiers are bold, and those who’ve clinched bids are bold and underlined. 

 Eliminated from consideration since yesterday: Georgia, Indiana, TCU, Houston, Ole Miss

1s: Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Kentucky, Oregon Arizona, Duke (+1)

3s: Baylor (-1), Louisville (-1), UCLA, Florida State

4s: Florida, West Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame (+1)

5s: Purdue (-1), Virginia, Cincinnati, Minnesota (+1)

6s: SMU (-1), Iowa State, Wisconsin, Creighton (+1)

7s: Saint Mary’s (-1), Maryland, Michigan (+1), Oklahoma State (+1)

8s: Wichita State, South Carolina (-1), Dayton (-1), Northwestern (+1)

9s: Miami (-1), Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Arkansas

10s: VCU, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Michigan State

11s: Providence, Marquette, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Southern California, Rhode Island

12s: Middle Tennessee, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Texas-Arlington

13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell

14s: Winthrop, Akron, Cal-Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast

15s: Iona, Northern Kentucky, Texas Southern, North Dakota

16s: Cal-Irvine, South Dakota State, Mount Saint Mary’s, Jacksonville State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 First Five Out: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa (+1), Alabama (+1)

 

NIT Projection

Eliminated from consideration: Memphis, George Mason

In since yesterday: Tennessee

Out since yesterday: Saint Bonaventure

1s: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa (+1)

2s: Alabama (+2), Illinois (+1), Indiana, Houston (-1)

3s: Ole Miss (-1), TCU (-1), Georgia, Utah

4s: Clemson, Monmouth, Charleston, Georgia Tech

5s: Texas Tech, Ohio State, Boise State, BYU

6s: Richmond, Valparaiso, Colorado State, Central Florida (+1)

7s: Fresno State (-1), Belmont, Tennessee (new), New Mexico State (+1)

8s: Oakland (-1), New Mexico, South Dakota, UNC-Greensboro

 Thanks for reading, and look for later today.  Check out the Bracket Matrix for more of what’s going on in the world of bracketology as we approach the Selection Show!

 

 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bracketology: A Shrinking Bubble?

If you’re waiting until next week to get into the action, why aren’t you already watching?  The Madness is fully upon us with upsets throughout the conference tournaments!  Let’s look at the notable ones from last night.

In last night’s action, two teams inched closer to securing a spot in the March Madness field.  First, Xavier scored an impressive win over Butler to put their recent woes behind them.  This adds to wins at Creighton and at home against Seton Hall, as well as at home against fellow bubble-dwellers Providence and  Wake Forest.  The Musketeers now sit at 21-12 overall with the nation’s 10th-ranked strength of schedule and it is hard to see them being left out on Selection Sunday

Later, Kansas State scored an equally impressive win over Baylor.  This was the second time they beat Baylor this season, having earned a road victory there in February.  The Wildcats have also beaten West Virginia and Oklahoma State.  With a decent but not great SOS of 52, an RPI of 55, and a couple of bad losses on their ledger, K-State could use a win over West Virginia tonight to feel fully confident on Sunday, but I’d already give them a very good chance of getting in.

Other important results on the bubble include:

  • Providence dropped their Big East quarterfinal matchup to It would take a lot for the Friars to fall out of the field at this point, but it’s not out of the question yet.
  • USC made a great comeback against UCLA but lost by 2 points. Side note: if you missed this game (which I can’t really blame you for if you live in the Eastern Time Zone, as it went until 1:30 AM), you missed some incredible entertainment with Bill Walton and Dave Pasch calling it.  Anyway, this leaves USC with just two quality wins going into Sunday (home against UCLA and SMU) along with other shaky metrics.  It’s unusual to see a major conference team with 9 losses miss out, but it could still happen.
  • In the Big Ten, Indiana blasted Iowa by the score of 95-73. This keeps Indiana alive, and all but ends Iowa’s chances.

With that in mind, let’s get to today’s projection.  As always, moves up or down since the last projection are in parentheses after the team’s name.  Projected auto qualifiers are in bold, and teams who have clinched bids are bold and underlined.

 In since yesterday: None

Out since yesterday: None

1s: Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Oregon, Kentucky, Baylor, Louisville

3s: Florida State, UCLA, Arizona, Duke

4s: Duke, Butler, Purdue, West Virginia (+1)

5s: Virginia (-1), Cincinnati, SMU, Notre Dame (+1)

6s: Minnesota (-1), Iowa State, Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s

7s: Creighton, Maryland, South Carolina, Dayton

8s: Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Miami

9s: Northwestern, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, Arkansas

10s: Michigan State, VCU, Xavier (+1), Vanderbilt (+1)

11s: Providence (-1), Marquette (-1), Kansas State (+1), Wake Forest, Southern California, Rhode Island (+1)

12s: Middle Tennessee, UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Texas-Arlington

13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell

14s: Winthrop, Akron, Florida Gulf Coast, Cal-Bakersfield

15s: Iona, Northern Kentucky, Texas Southern, North Dakota

16s: Cal-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, South Dakota State, Jacksonville State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 Last Four In: Kansas State, Wake Forest, Southern California, Rhode Island

I’ll add that I think Middle Tennessee’s “true seed” right now is an 11.  But Kansas State absolutely had to move up after beating Baylor, and I wasn’t dropping Providence or Marquette all the way down to a 12.  So, we have Middle Tennessee on the 12 line for now.  We’ll see how this plays out over the weekend.

NIT Projection

 There was a lot of shifting around near the top of the NIT field because of all of the bubble action yesterday.  Further down, we have New Mexico State entering the field, with Texas A & M falling out of it.

1s (First Four Out): Illinois State, California, Syracuse, Houston (+1)

2s (Next Four Out): Indiana (+1), TCU, Ole Miss, Iowa (-1)

3s: Illinois (-1), Georgia, Utah, Clemson

4s: Alabama, Monmouth, Charleston, Georgia Tech

5s: Ohio State, Texas Tech, BYU, Boise State

6s: Richmond, Valparaiso, Colorado State, Fresno State

7s: Central Florida, Belmont, Saint Bonaventure, Oakland (+1)

8s: UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota, New Mexico, New Mexico State

Thanks for reading, and look for another update Saturday morning.  Check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!

 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bracketology: TCU Comes Back to Life

With the major conference tournaments in full swing, our bubble watch really goes into high gear.  Last night saw Xavier get a win over a miserable Depaul squad after struggling in the first half, and Southern Cal beat an equally terrible Washington.  So, Xavier and USC live to fight another day.  Meanwhile, Wake Forest lost, but it was to a solid Virginia Tech squad in a close game, and they are still in the field.

Today has already seen some major winners and losers on the bubble.  First, after a truly frightening situation yesterday in which their plane skidded off the runway in a windstorm, Michigan flew to DC this morning and looked plenty rested against Illinois, winning 75-55.  This makes it a near certainty that Illinois is out of the field, though I won’t put them out of consideration yet.  Also in the Big Ten, Michigan State blew out Penn State and edged closer to wrapping up an at-large bid, though the Spartans still have work to do in order to breathe easy on Sunday.

In a game just finished, California beat Utah.  This has two implications: Cal is still alive and could jump into the field with a win over Oregon tomorrow.  On the other side of that coin, I can say without hesitation that Utah is done.  They were light on quality wins coming into the Pac-12 tourney (along with an RPI of 74) and they were going to need to get by Cal and Oregon to have a shot at an at-large bid.

Going even further into the depths of the bubble, Georgia kept alive whatever minimal chance they have by knocking off Tennessee.  Like Utah, Georgia is suffering from a severe shortage of quality wins.  Unlike Utah, they have a chance to change that tomorrow if they can knock off Kentucky.  That would at least give them a minor argument on Sunday.

And finally, I have to resurrect TCU from the dead.  Coming into the Big 12 tournament on a seven game losing streak – most recently to Oklahoma – and with a record of 19-13 overall, 6-12 in the Big 12, I thought TCU had no shot at an at-large.  Then, somehow, they beat Kansas today.  The Horned Frogs (what a name) still have work to do but this gets them back into the discussion and they could surprise some people on Sunday if they can defeat Iowa State tomorrow.

Before I give you the projection, let me mention a notable result up top too: Duke beating Louisville, 81-77, in the ACC quarterfinals.  This keeps Duke in the running for a 2 seed and ends any chance of Louisville pulling off a 1 seed.

So with all of that in mind, let’s get into the projection.  Today features a lot more movement than the last couple of days.  As always, moves up or down since the last projection are in parentheses after the team’s name.  Projected auto qualifiers are in bold, and teams who have clinched bids are bold and underlined.

In since yesterday: Rhode Island

Out since yesterday: Syracuse

New Auto-bid: Bucknell

Eliminated from consideration: Utah

1s: Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Baylor, Oregon, Kentucky, Louisville

3s: UCLA, Florida State, Arizona, Duke (+1)

4s: Butler (-1), Florida, Virginia, Purdue

5s: West Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU, Minnesota (+1)

6s: Notre Dame (-1), Iowa State, Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s

7s: Maryland, Creighton, South Carolina, Dayton (+1)

8s: Wichita State, Oklahoma State (-1), Michigan, Miami

9s: Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Seton Hall, Arkansas

10s: Providence, Michigan State, VCU, Marquette

11s: Xavier, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, Southern California

12s: Kansas State, Rhode Island (new), UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Texas-Arlington

13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell

14s: Akron, Winthrop, Florida Gulf Coast, Cal-Bakersfield

15s: Northern Kentucky, Iona, North Dakota, Texas Southern

16s: Cal-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, Jacksonville State, South Dakota State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Southern California, Kansas State, Rhode Island

NIT Projection

Today, a few very marginal teams were eliminated from consideration for the NIT (as you’ll see below).

In since yesterday: St. Bonaventure

Out since yesterday: Tennessee

 Eliminated from consideration: Pittsburgh, La Salle, Chattanooga, Arkansas State, Temple

Temple was one of the weirdest teams this year… they beat Florida State and West Virginia on neutral courts in the non-con, then managed to lose to all of these teams: UCF twice, Tulsa, George Washington, Umass, UConn twice, New Hampshire, and East Carolina twice.  I had them in my projections early on when others didn’t, thinking they’d get it together, but man, did that not happen.  Their loss to East Carolina in the American Athletic’s opening round today was the final insult.  Here’s the projection:

1s (First Four Out): Illinois State, California (+1), Syracuse, Iowa

2s (Next Four Out): Ole Miss, TCU (+3), Houston, Illinois (-1)

3s: Indiana, Georgia, Utah (-1), Clemson

4s: Alabama, Monmouth (+1), Charleston, Georgia Tech

5s: Ohio State (-2), Texas Tech (-1), BYU, Boise State (+1)

6s: Richmond, Valparaiso, Colorado State, Fresno State (+1)

7s: Central Florida, Texas A & M, Belmont (+1), Saint Bonaventure

8s: UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota, New Mexico (-1), Oakland

 Thanks for reading, and look for another projection Friday morning.  In the meantime, check out the Bracket Matrix!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Gonzaga Will be a 1 Seed

So this morning, I told you I would give you my analysis as to why I think Gonzaga is very likely to be a 1 seed.  First, who are the other teams who could threaten the 1 line?  The common belief is that those teams are the Pac 12 winner (assuming that’s Oregon, UCLA, or Arizona), Baylor, Louisville, or Kentucky. 

 Now, let’s look at why that’s unlikely for any of those teams.  To do this, we’re going to use everyone’s favorite metric, the RPI.  Well, we’ll combine that with one that everyone considers more meaningful, quality wins.  And let’s throw in bad losses while we’re at it.

Gonzaga: We all know the West Coast Conference isn’t great, but the Zags have a respectable non-con strength of schedule (62) and are 5-0 vs Top 25 RPI teams (1-0 vs RPI 26-50).  That, combined with a 32-1 record, and making opponents in the WCC look like middle school JV squads, all works in their favor.

Now, here’s a rundown of the top Pac-12 teams.

Oregon: The Ducks have only played six games against Top 50 RPI teams.  They are 2-2 vs 1-25, those two wins being at home against Arizona and UCLA, and 2-0 vs RPI 26-50, both against Southern Cal, whose RPI far outpaces any of their other metrics (which is why they are a Last Four In team).  They also have a borderline bad loss at Colorado and a clearly bad one on a neutral court vs. a sorry Georgetown team.

UCLA: The Bruins had the nation’s 251st hardest non-conference schedule.  In other words, not too hard.  It does help their case that they are 5-3 against Top 50 RPI teams, the best wins being home against Oregon and at Arizona and Kentucky, and have no bad losses.

Arizona: Their best win is at UCLA.  That’s great.  Their second best?  Against Michigan State.  I rest my case.

UCLA may actually have the best chance at a 1 seed of the Pac-12 contenders because they could beat both Arizona and Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament.  Oregon would only get a shot at Arizona or UCLA.  This is because the seeding for that tournament goes Oregon, Arizona, then UCLA, putting the Wildcats and the Bruins on track to meet in the semis.  But either way, it’s a minute chance.  And Arizona?  No chance at all.  Moving on to the other contenders.

Baylor: The Bears went 4-3 vs Top 25 RPI teams and 5-1 vs. RPI 26-50.  Impressive.  But they could have fortified their resume and made this debate a lot more interesting with a win against Kansas in February.  They didn’t do that, and they also own a loss at Texas Tech (RPI 106).  I suppose the winning the Big 12 tournament would give them an outside shot at a 1 seed, but that’s it.

Louisville: Very good team with some impressive wins – home against Kentucky, Duke, and Notre Dame, and neutral against Purdue.  But only 4-6 vs RPI Top 25 teams, not too helpful (3-1 vs. 26-50).  Like Baylor, I believe the Cardinals would have an outside shot at a 1 seed by winning the ACC tournament.

Kentucky: It won’t happen for the Wildcats.  They went 2-4 vs RPI Top 25 teams.  The SEC just doesn’t present that many quality win opportunities, either.  The Wildcats did beat North Carolina on a natural court and beat Florida at home, to their credit.  But they won’t have quite enough to get to the 1 line, even if they win the SEC tournament.  South Carolina, who they could play in the semis, has faded lately.  Beating Florida in the finals would be great but not enough to put them over the top.

So, that’s my case for Gonzaga, if you will.  Now the question is, can they get to that elusive Final Four?

I don’t know, but I do know that you’ll find my next bracket projection Thursday evening, with several more to come leading up to the Selection Show.  I’ll be in my own bracket bunker, Joe Lunardi style.  Which really means the living room with a couple of TVs, a computer, and plenty of food.   In the meantime, as always, check out the great work of other bracketologists on the Bracket Matrix.  

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bracketology: More Bids Clinched

Last night, four more automatic bids to the NCAA tournament were clinched.  In the Northeast Conference, Mount Saint Mary’s defeated Saint Francis-Pennsylvania.  Over in the Horizon League, Northern Kentucky beat Milwaukee.  Realistically, this is a good thing for college basketball, because Milwaukee is now 11-24 and it is absolutely unfathomable that a team that bad could even stay within 30 points of whatever 1 seed it would face in the first round.  I love the Madness of March – within reason!

In the later time slot, Gonzaga dominated Saint Mary’s, holding them to only 18 points in the first half on their way to an easy 76-58 win. As I wrote about yesterday, it’s hard for me to see the Zags being left off the 1 line now.  I’ll go into more detail about this in my next post, comparing resumes of the teams close to the 1 line.  Finally, in a game that matched the excitement of Monday night’s overtime thriller between Siena and Iona, the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State knocked off Nebraska-Omaha, 79-77, for the Summit League title.

In bubble action, two major results took place.  First, Wake Forest beat Boston College in the opening round of the ACC tournament.  While beating an awful BC squad does nothing to assure Wake Forest of an at-large bid, the opposite would have been disastrous – a loss could have dropped the Demon Deacons from the field and left them dependent on teams ahead of them losing.

Speaking of disastrous, we also saw Georgia Tech lose to Pittsburgh in the ACC’s opening round.  I already thought Georgia Tech was out of at-large consideration anyway, but this cements it.  At 17-15, an RPI approaching 100, an atrocious road record of 2-10, and a litany of bad losses, there is no chance at all of the Yellow Jackets making the field.

Today’s games will bring us a lot more bubble action, as the major conference tournaments get into full swing.  Here are a couple of notable matchups.  In the Pac-12, California faces a must-win against a pitiful Oregon State.  A win certainly won’t put the Bears in the field, but a loss will end any hope of getting into it.  Over in the ACC, Syracuse could help their cause with a win against Miami.  At this point, the Orange have some very unfavorable metrics and a lot of bad losses, so this could go either way.

Finally, one more auto-bid is for the taking, as Bucknell squares off with Lehigh in the Patriot League’s championship game.  So with all that said, let’s get into the projection!  Moves up or down since yesterday are in parentheses after the team’s name (with little action yesterday, there weren’t a lot of moves).  Projected automatic qualifiers are in bold, and teams who have clinched a bid are bold and underlined.

 1s: Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, Kentucky

3s: UCLA, Florida State, Arizona, Butler

4s: Florida, Duke, Purdue, Virginia

5s: West Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU, Notre Dame

6s: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Saint Mary’s

7s: Maryland, Creighton, South Carolina, Oklahoma State

8s: Wichita State, Miami, Dayton, Michigan

9s: Northwestern, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Arkansas

10s: Providence, Marquette, VCU, Michigan State

11s: Wake Forest, Xavier, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, Southern California

12s: Syracuse, Kansas State, UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Texas-Arlington

13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell

14s: Winthrop, Florida Gulf Coast, Akron, Cal-Bakersfield

15s: Northern Kentucky, Iona, North Dakota, Texas Southern (+1)

16s: Cal-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, Jacksonville State, South Dakota State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Southern California, Syracuse, Kansas State

NIT Projection

No new automatic qualifiers in the NIT today, as none of the teams who lost conference tournament finals last night were regular season conference champions.

1s (First Four Out): Rhode Island, Illinois State, Iowa, Illinois

2s (Next Four Out): Ole Miss, California, Utah, Houston

3s: Indiana, Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson (+1)

4s: Texas Tech, Alabama, Charleston, Georgia Tech (-1)

5s: Monmouth, BYU, Tennessee, TCU

6s: Richmond, Boise State, Colorado State, Valparaiso

7s: Fresno State, New Mexico, Central Florida, Texas A & M

8s: Belmont, Oakland, South Dakota, UNC-Greensboro

 Thanks for reading, and look for another projection tomorrow.  Check out the Bracket Matrix for over 100 more in the meantime!

 

 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bracketology: Gonzaga Can Lock in a 1 Seed Tonight

Tonight, the top line of the NCAA tournament field can be locked if Gonzaga beats Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference finals.  At 31-1 with neutral court wins over Florida, Arizona, and Iowa State, plus three wins against St. Mary’s – at home, away, and neutral – I don’t see the Committee leaving Gonzaga off the 1 line.

As we move up the line, it’s also very hard to imagine North Carolina falling off the 1 line, even if they lose their opening game in the ACC tournament.  The Tar Heels are the regular season champions of one of the toughest conferences in recent memory and boast wins over Louisville, Florida State, Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin.  Finally, I believe Kansas and Villanova are also locked in to 1 seeds at this point.

Plenty of drama will remain, as auto-bids and seeds throughout the rest of the field are decided.  On that note, we had one major move on the bubble today.  Kansas State joins the field as the last team in, and Rhode Island falls to the first team out.  Kansas State broke into the field on the strength of their wins at Baylor and at home against West Virginia.  Rhode Island has a very good win against Cincinnati on a neutral court, but a loss to Fordham (#212 in the RPI) is dragging them down.  Realistically, K-State and Rhode Island are so close right now that how each performs in their conference tournament will determine if either or both make the field.

We’ll get into more bubble analysis over the next couple of days as the major conference tournaments get underway.  For today, four more auto-bids are up for grabs.  Northern Kentucky faces Milwaukee for the Horizon League title, Saint Francis-PA goes up against Mount Saint Mary’s in the Northeast Conference final, South Dakota State faces Omaha in the Summit League final (yet another league where the #1 seed, South Dakota, lost last night), and Gonzaga plays St. Mary’s in the West Coast Conference.

With that said, here’s today’s projection.  As always, moves up or down since yesterday are in parentheses after the team’s name, projected auto qualifiers are in bold, and teams who have clinched a bid are bold and underlined.

 In since yesterday’s update: East Tennessee State, Nebraska-Omaha, Iona, Kansas State

Out since yesterday’s update: UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota, Siena, Rhode Island

New auto-bids: East Tennessee State, UNC-Wilmington

1s: Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, Kentucky (+1)

3s: UCLA (-1), Florida State, Arizona, Butler

4s: Florida, Duke, Purdue, Virginia

5s: West Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU, Notre Dame

6s: Saint Mary’s, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa State

7s: Maryland, Creighton, South Carolina, Oklahoma State (+1)

8s: Wichita State (-1), Miami, Dayton, Michigan

9s: Northwestern, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Arkansas (+1)

10s: Providence (-1), Marquette, VCU, Michigan State

11s: Wake Forest, Xavier, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, Southern California

12s: Syracuse, Kansas State (new), UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Texas-Arlington

13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State (new), Bucknell (+1)

14s: Winthrop (-1), Florida Gulf Coast (-1), Akron, Cal-Bakersfield

15s: Northern Kentucky, Iona (new), Nebraska Omaha (new), North Dakota

16s: Texas Southern (-1), UC-Irvine, Jacksonville State, Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Southern California, Syracuse, Kansas State

NIT Projection

 UNC-Greensboro and South Dakota, as regular season conference champions who lost in their conference tournaments last night, join the field.  UNC-Greensboro replaces East Tennessee State, whom they lost to, as ETSU gets the Southern Conference’s auto bid to the NCAA tournament.  South Dakota replaces Colorado.

1s (First Four Out): Rhode Island, Illinois State, Iowa, Illinois (+1)

2s (Next Four Out): Ole Miss, California, Utah (-1), Houston

3s: Indiana, Georgia, Ohio State, Georgia Tech

4s: Texas Tech, Alabama, Clemson (+1), Charleston

5s: BYU (-1), Monmouth, Tennessee, TCU

6s: Richmond, Boise State, Colorado State, Valparaiso

7s: Fresno State, New Mexico, Central Florida, Texas A & M

8s: UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota, Belmont, Oakland

 Thanks for reading, and look for another projection tomorrow.  Check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bracketology: Mid-Major Madness

Yesterday, I wrote about the Madness in the Horizon League tournament.  With Green Bay’s loss to Illinois-Chicago, the conference has now lost its top three teams in the opening round.  Elsewhere, for the second straight year, Monmouth won the MAAC regular season but lost in the conference tournament.  In what would be a minor upset, I’m picking the 4th-seeded Siena to defeat 3rd-seeded Iona tonight and capture the auto bid from the MAAC, given that the MAAC tournament is being held on Siena’s home floor this year.

For today’s bubble watch, I’m going to focus on one team: Illinois State.  The Redbirds sit at an impressive 27-6 overall, and finished 16-2 in the Missouri Valley for the regular season.  They rank 42nd in KenPom and have an RPI of 32.  Here’s the problem: Illinois State’s strength of schedule is 138th, and they only have two wins against teams in the Top 100 of the RPI.  These are at home against Wichita State and New Mexico.

As stated by Jerry Palm at halftime of the MVC title game yesterday, no team has gotten an at-large bid with that few Top 100 wins.  The blowout loss to Wichita State yesterday (20 points) won’t help matters.  Illinois State is a good team and if it were up to me, they would be in the field.  But, if the Committee were seeding the field today, I believe they would leave Illinois State out and as a result, I have them in my First Four Out today.

Along with Wichita State, Florida Gulf Coast and Winthrop punched their tickets to the Big Dance yesterday.  Tonight, three more bids are on the line, as UNC-Wilmington squares off with Charleston for the Colonial Athletic championship, East Tennessee State takes on UNC-Greensboro for the Southern championship, and Iona faces Siena for the MAAC championship.

So, let’s get to the projection.  As always, moves up or down since yesterday are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected automatic qualifiers are in bold.  Teams who have clinched an auto bid are bold and underlined.

 In since yesterday: Rhode Island, Siena

Out since yesterday: Illinois State, Monmouth

1s: Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, UCLA

3s: Kentucky, Arizona, Florida State, Butler

4s: Duke, Florida, Purdue, Virginia

5s: West Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU, Notre Dame (+1)

6s: Minnesota (-1), Saint Mary’s, Wisconsin (+1), Iowa State

7s: Maryland (-1), Creighton, South Carolina, Wichita State (+1)

8s: Oklahoma State (-1), Miami, Dayton, Michigan (+1)

9s: Northwestern (-1), Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Providence

10s: Arkansas, Marquette, VCU, Michigan State

11s: Wake Forest, Xavier, Southern California, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt (+1)

12s: Syracuse, Rhode Island (new), Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Texas-Arlington

13s: Princeton, Vermont, Winthrop, Florida Gulf Coast (+1)

14s: Bucknell, Akron, UNC-Greensboro, Cal-Bakersfield (+1)

15s: Northern Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas Southern (+1)

16s: Cal-Irvine, Jacksonville State, Siena, Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 Last Four In: Southern California, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Rhode Island

NIT Projection

 Yesterday, I erred and left Oakland out.  The Grizzlies will be in the NIT because they won the Horizon League’s regular season title.  Here’s today’s projection.  Belmont and Monmouth have joined the field, while Auburn and San Francisco have fallen out of it.

1s (First Four Out): Kansas State, Illinois State, Utah, Iowa (+1)

2s (Next Four Out): California (-1), Ole Miss, Illinois, Houston (+1)

3s: Indiana (-1), Georgia, Ohio State, Georgia Tech

4s: BYU, Charleston, Texas Tech, Alabama

5s: Monmouth, Tennessee, Clemson, TCU

6s: Richmond (-1), Valparaiso (+1), Boise State, Colorado State

7s: Fresno State (-1), New Mexico, Central Florida, Texas A & M (+1)

8s: Colorado (-1), East Tennessee State, Belmont, Oakland

 Look for another projection tomorrow, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!

 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bracketology: Bid Clinched and Bubbles Bursting

First off, congratulations to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, out of Jacksonville, Alabama, for being the first team to clinch a bid to the 2017 NCAA men’s basketball tournament!  They did so by defeating Tennessee-Martin in the Ohio Valley Conference’s championship game last night.

As I wrote yesterday, we are likely to have plenty of teams win their conference in the regular season but lose in the conference tournament and fail to receive an at-large bid.  Yesterday’s victim of the Madness was Oakland.  After winning the Horizon League’s regular season title, the Grizzlies were stunned by Youngstown State’s buzzer-beating layup, falling by a final score of 81-80.  To make the Horizon League tournament even crazier, the second place team from the regular season, Valparaiso, lost as well.

Now, let’s get into today’s Bubble Watch.  Here’s how I see it right now:

Safely In: Seton Hall (20-10, 10-8, current 9 seed) has achieved “safely in” status with an impressive win at Butler yesterday.  The Pirates won’t be left out of the field now regardless of how they perform in the Big East tournament.  Providence (20-11, 10-8, current 9 seed) has also punched their ticket.  With their win at St. John’s yesterday, the Friars finished the Big East regular season on a 6-game winning streak that included wins against Butler, Xavier, and Marquette, and at Creighton.  Finally, it’s very hard to see Arkansas (23-8, 12-6, current 10 seed) or Marquette (19-11, 10-8, current 10 seed) being left out at this point.  Both have several quality wins and fairly strong metrics.

Likely In, but work to do: This category includes VCU (24-7, 14-4, current 10 seed), Michigan State (18-13, 10-8, current 10 seed), Wake Forest (19-11, 9-9, current 11 seed) and Xavier (19-12, 9-9, current 11 seed).  Right now, these are the last four at-large teams receiving a bye (meaning they don’t have to play in the First Four).  All of these teams could use a win or two in their conference tournaments to seal the deal.

Michigan State is an interesting team here.  They have several quality wins already, including a sweep of Minnesota, home wins against Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Michigan, and a neutral court win against Wichita State. But their next loss will bring them to the dreaded 14, a number that makes it very hard to receive an at-large bid.  A win at Maryland yesterday would have sealed the deal for the Spartans, but now they may need to win at least their opening round game in the Big Ten tournament.

Could go either way: This category includes the Last Four In – Southern California, Illinois State, Vanderbilt, and Syracuse. 

 Southern Cal and Illinois State are nowhere near the loss cutoff, but both could use another quality win (for Illinois State, that would mean beating Wichita State in today’s Missouri Valley Conference championship game).  Vandy picked up a great home win against Florida yesterday, giving them the season sweep of the Gators, but they are sitting at 14 losses and no team has ever gotten an at-large bid with 15 losses.  They might need to get all the way to the finals of the SEC tournament to seal an at-large bid.  Finally, Syracuse had an impressive blowout win over Georgia Tech yesterday, but they sit at 13 losses and several of them are of the bad variety.  The Orange also have a woeful 1-8 road record and an RPI of 79, neither of which bode well.

Also included here are the First Five Out – Kansas State, Rhode Island, Utah, California, and Iowa.  Kansas State and Syracuse are neck and neck for the last at-large spot right now, but I gave the nod to Syracuse because of a couple more quality wins.  Rhode Island actually dropped out of the field, being replaced by Syracuse, after a 3-point overtime win at home against a weak Davidson team.  Utah needs a quality win in the Pac-12 tournament.  California is sinking fast, following up their blowout 30-point loss at Utah on Thursday night with a borderline bad loss at Colorado by 8 points yesterday.  Finally, Iowa has several quality wins but sits at 13 losses, along with an RPI number of 76.  Just as with Syracuse, these figures don’t bode well.

Hanging on by a thread: Ole Miss, Indiana, Illinois, Houston, and Georgia.  All of these teams need to reach the finals of their conference tournaments to have a shot at an at-large bid.

Ole Miss picked up a nice win over South Carolina yesterday, which got my attention and caused me to move them up several seed lines, ahead of teams who have been eliminated from at-large consideration.  Still, their only other quality win is at Vanderbilt and they currently sit at 19-12.  It would be tough to get in with that resume.  Indiana is still in it, even with 14 losses, thanks to wins over two current 1 seeds (North Carolina and Kansas) earlier in the year.  But that will only take them so far.  Illinois had a terrible loss at Rutgers yesterday that puts them on the thinnest of ice.  Houston and Georgia are technically still alive but as with the others in this category, do not have strong enough resumes right now to be in the field.

 Bubbles Burst: Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Texas Tech, TCU.  Ohio State, Georgia Tech, and TCU all have 14 losses now.  As you know, no team has made the field yet as an at-large with 15 losses, and none of these teams have the resume to be the first.  Alabama and Texas Tech sit at 13 losses, but Alabama has several bad losses and Texas Tech has an RPI of 103.  Consider these bubbles burst.

With all that said, here is today’s projection.  As always, moves up or down since yesterday are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected automatic qualifiers are in bold.

In since yesterday’s update: UC-Irvine, Northern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, North Dakota, Syracuse

Out since yesterday’s update: UC-Davis, Oakland, Tennessee-Martin, and Eastern Washington, Rhode Island

1s: Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina, Gonzaga

2s: Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, UCLA

3s: Kentucky, Arizona, Florida State (+1), Butler

4s: Duke (-1), Florida, Virginia (+1), Purdue

5s: West Virginia (-1), Cincinnati, SMU (+1), Minnesota

6s: Notre Dame (-1), Saint Mary’s, Iowa State, Maryland (+1)

7s: Creighton (-1), Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Wisconsin (+1)

8s: Miami (-1), Wichita State, Northwestern (+1), Dayton

9s: Virginia Tech (-1), Michigan, Seton Hall (+1), Providence

10s: Arkansas, Marquette (+1), VCU, Michigan State (-1)

11s: Middle Tennessee, Wake Forest, Xavier (-1), Southern California, Illinois State

12s: Vanderbilt, Syracuse (new), Nevada (+1), UNC-Wilmington, Texas-Arlington

13s: Monmouth (-1), Princeton, Vermont, Winthrop

14s: Bucknell, Florida Gulf Coast, Akron, UNC-Greensboro (+1)

15s: Cal-Bakersfield, Northern Kentucky (new), North Dakota (new), South Dakota

16s: Texas Southern, Cal-Irvine (new), Jacksonville State (new), Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central

 Last Four In: Southern California, Illinois State, Vanderbilt, Syracuse

NIT Projection

1s (First Four Out of NCAA tournament field): Kansas State, Rhode Island, Utah (+1), California

2s (Next Four Out): Iowa (+1), Ole Miss (+4), Indiana (+1), Illinois (-1)

3s: Houston, Georgia (-1), Ohio State (-1), Georgia Tech (-1)

4s: BYU, Alabama, Texas Tech, Charleston

5s: TCU (-2), Clemson, Richmond, Tennessee (+1)

6s: Boise State, Colorado State (-1), Fresno State (new), Auburn (+1)

7s: Valparaiso (-2), Central Florida, New Mexico (+2), Colorado (+2)

8s: San Francisco (-1), Belmont, Texas A & M, East Tennessee State

Thanks for reading, and look for several more updates throughout the week.  As always, check out the Bracket Matrix for over 100 more projections!

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment