Sunday, March 13, 2022

FINAL 2022 Bracket Projection

 FINAL Seed List. Teams in bold have automatic bid.

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, Baylor

2 seeds: Kentucky, Auburn, Villanova, Tennessee

3 seeds: Purdue, Duke, Texas Tech, Illinois

4 seeds: Wisconsin, UCLA, Arkansas, Providence

5 seeds: Saint Mary’s, Connecticut, Iowa, Houston

6 seeds: Texas, LSU, Alabama, Colorado State

7 seeds: Michigan State, USC, Boise State, Ohio State

8 seeds: Murray State, San Diego State, TCU, Seton Hall

9 seeds: North Carolina, Marquette, San Francisco, Creighton

10 seeds: Iowa State, Memphis, Loyola-Chicago, Virginia Tech

11 seeds: Miami FL, Davidson, Michigan, Texas A&M, Indiana

12 seeds: Wyoming, Rutgers, UAB, South Dakota State, Richmond

13 seeds: Chattanooga, Vermont, New Mexico State, Akron

14 seeds: Yale, Delaware, Saint Peter’s, Montana State

15 seeds: Longwood, Cal State Fullerton, Georgia State, Colgate

16 seeds: Jacksonville State, Norfolk State, Wright State, Texas Southern, Bryant, Texas A&M Corpus Christi

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Last Four In: Texas A&M, Indiana, Wyoming, Rutgers

First Four Out: Xavier, SMU, Notre Dame, North Texas

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Saturday, March 12, 2022

3/11/22 Bracketology (AM)

 Seed List (reflects games played through 3/11/22). Teams in bold have automatic bid.

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Arizona, Baylor, Kentucky

2 seeds: Kansas, Auburn, Villanova, Duke

3 seeds: Purdue, Tennessee, Texas Tech, UCLA

4 seeds: Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, Providence

5 seeds: Connecticut, Houston, Saint Mary’s, Iowa

6 seeds: Texas, LSU, Alabama, Michigan State

7 seeds: Ohio State, USC, Murray State, San Diego State

8 seeds: Colorado State, Seton Hall, Boise State, Marquette

9 seeds: TCU, San Francisco, North Carolina, Iowa State

10 seeds: Creighton, Memphis, Loyola-Chicago, Miami FL

11 seeds: Davidson, Indiana, Wyoming, Michigan

12 seeds: Xavier, Rutgers, SMU, Texas A&M, UAB, South Dakota State

13 seeds: Chattanooga, Vermont, New Mexico State, Princeton

14 seeds: Kent State, Colgate, Saint Peter’s, Montana State

15 seeds: Delaware, Longwood, Jacksonville State, Long Beach State

16 seeds: Georgia State, Norfolk State, Wright State, Bryant, Alcorn State, Southeastern Louisiana

/***********************************************************************************/

Last Four In: Xavier, Rutgers, SMU, Texas A&M

First Four Out: Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Dayton, Notre Dame

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Friday, March 11, 2022

3/10/22 Bracketolgoy

 Seed List (reflects games played through 3/10/22). Teams in bold have automatic bid.

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Arizona, Auburn, Baylor

2 seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova, Duke

3 seeds: Purdue, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas Tech

4 seeds: Illinois, Providence, UCLA, Arkansas

5 seeds: Houston, Connecticut, Saint Mary’s, Iowa

6 seeds: LSU, Texas, Alabama, Colorado State

7 seeds: Ohio State, USC, Seton Hall, Murray State

8 seeds: Michigan State, Boise State, Iowa State, Marquette

9 seeds: San Diego State, TCU, San Francisco, North Carolina

10 seeds: Creighton, Miami FL, Memphis, Wyoming

11 seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Davidson, Rutgers, Michigan

12 seeds: Xavier, VCU, SMU, Indiana, North Texas, South Dakota State

13 seeds: Vermont, Chattanooga, Toledo, New Mexico State

14 seeds: Princeton, Montana State, Colgate, Saint Peter’s

15 seeds: Jacksonville State, Long Beach State, Longwood, Georgia State

16 seeds: Delaware, Nicholls State, Norfolk State, Wright State, Bryant, Alcorn State

/***********************************************************************************/

Last Four In: Xavier, VCU, SMU, Indiana

First Four Out: Oklahoma, Notre Dame, BYU, Virginia Tech

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Thursday, March 10, 2022

3/9/22 Bracketology

 Seed List (reflects games played through 3/9/22). Teams in bold have automatic bid.

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Arizona, Baylor, Auburn

2 seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova, Duke

3 seeds: Purdue, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas Tech

4 seeds: Illinois, Providence, UCLA, Arkansas

5 seeds: Houston, Connecticut, Saint Mary’s, Texas

6 seeds: Alabama, Colorado State, LSU, Ohio State

7 seeds: Iowa, Seton Hall, USC, Murray State

8 seeds: Michigan State, Marquette, Iowa State, Boise State

9 seeds: San Diego State, TCU, San Francisco, North Carolina

10 seeds: Michigan, Creighton, Miami FL, Memphis

11 seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Davidson, Wyoming, Rutgers

12 seeds: Notre Dame, SMU, Xavier, VCU, North Texas, South Dakota State

13 seeds: Vermont, Chattanooga, Toledo, New Mexico State

14 seeds: Princeton, Montana State, Colgate, Saint Peter’s

15 seeds: Jacksonville State, Long Beach State, Longwood, Georgia State

16 seeds: Delaware, Nicholls State, Norfolk State, Wright State, Bryant, Alcorn State

/***********************************************************************************/

Last Four In: Notre Dame, SMU, Xavier, VCU

First Four Out: Indiana, BYU, Dayton, Virginia Tech

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

3/8/22 Bracketology

Selection Sunday is just five days away! Below are some thoughts pertaining to the seed list and bracket as we head into three of the most important days on the basketball calendar for bubble teams, as well as an updated seed list and bracket reflecting games played through 3/8/22.

Seed List (reflects games played through 3/8/22). Teams in bold have automatic bid.

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Baylor, Arizona, Auburn

2 seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova, Duke

3 seeds: Wisconsin, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas Tech

4 seeds: Illinois, Providence, UCLA, Arkansas

5 seeds: Houston, Connecticut, Saint Mary’s, Texas

6 seeds: Alabama, Colorado State, LSU, Ohio State

7 seeds: Iowa, Seton Hall, USC, Murray State

8 seeds: Michigan State, Marquette, Iowa State, Boise State

9 seeds: San Diego State, TCU, San Francisco, North Carolina

10 seeds: Michigan, Creighton, Miami FL, Memphis

11 seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Davidson, Wyoming, Wake Forest

12 seeds: Rutgers, Xavier, Notre Dame, VCU, North Texas, South Dakota State

13 seeds: Vermont, Chattanooga, Toledo, Iona

14 seeds: New Mexico State, Princeton, Montana State, Colgate

15 seeds: Jacksonville State, Long Beach State, Longwood, Georgia State

16 seeds: Delaware, Nicholls State, Norfolk State, Wright State, Bryant, Alcorn State

/***********************************************************************************/

Last Four In: Rutgers, Xavier, Notre Dame, VCU

First Four Out: SMU, Indiana, BYU, Dayton

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  • Gonzaga, Baylor and Arizona are locked into three of the four 1 seeds. The fourth and final spot is currently given to Auburn, and only Kansas and maybe Kentucky can sneak up and take that spot if things play out perfectly.
  • I’m very interested in seeing where the committee ranks Wisconsin and Purdue – both are currently on the 3 seed line in my projection, and that appears to be the consensus in the bracketology community as well. Wisconsin won both meetings between the teams in the regular season, but the NET ranking and the predictive-based metrics (KenPom, BPI, Sagarin) all favor Purdue, and Purdue was well ahead of Wisconsin on the committee’s 2/19 Top 16 reveal. The reason this is interesting is because which ever team is ranked high on the seed list will get the geographical advantage and be placed in the Chicago Region for their potential Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. The other team would most likely get placed in the San Antonio Region, not Philadelphia, due to bracketing rules.
  • Alabama’s resume is something else. I currently have the Tide as the top 6 seed. They are 19-12 on the season heading into the SEC tournament. It is odd to place a team with 12 losses this high up, but consider their profile: they played the #1 strength of schedule in the nation, including the 7th most difficult non-conference schedule. They played 15 Quadrant 1 games, tied for the most in the nation along with Baylor, Kansas and Tennessee, and went 7-8 in those games including wins over Gonzaga on a neutral court, Baylor, Houston and Tennessee. They also played 8 Quadrant 2 games and went 6-2 in those. The ugly is road losses in Quadrant 3 to Missouri (NET ranking of 153) and Georgia (NET ranking of 214).
  • Murray State had a hell of a regular season, going 27-2 including a perfect record in conference play. They went a combined 5-1 in Quadrants 1 and 2, including wins over Memphis on the road and Chattanooga at home. I currently have the Racers as the final 7 seed, and I really hope the committee puts them on the 7 seed line instead of the dreaded 8 or 9 seed line. While being placed as an 8 seed would create good drama for a potential second round game, that isn’t fair to Murray State after the season they had (granted the difference between a 1 seed and 2 seed is marginal, but the point still stands).
  • Michigan…what to do with you? A record of 17-13 heading into the Big Ten tournament and a first round matchup against an Indiana team that is in a must win/cannot lose situation is tough. The predictive-based metrics like the Wolverines, ranking near 30th overall in each ranking system. They played the 5th most difficult schedule in the nation, including 11 games against Quadrant 1A opponents (ranked 1-15 at home, 1-25 neutral court, 1-40 on the road) and went 3-8 in those games with wins over Purdue, at Iowa and at Ohio State. They have one bad loss at home to Minnesota back in December, and when removing Quadrant 4 games from the resume (i.e. games an NCA tournament caliber team should never lose under any circumstance) their record is just 14-13. I currently have Michigan as a 10 seed, but if they lose their opening game to Indiana, Michigan fans will be sweating it out on Selection Sunday.
  • For those that don’t follow the ACC too closely, like myself, it would appear at first glance that Wake Forest had quite the season and is safely in the field of 68; however, when digging deeper into the resume the issues start mounting. The Demon Deacons went 23-8 on the season and 13-7 in conference play – most years that is great for an ACC team, but unfortunately for them the ACC was the worst of the Power 5+Big East conferences this year (based on KenPom conference rankings). The first item that jumps out to me is the nonconference strength of schedule being ranked 338th overall (out of 358 teams). That historically bumps a team down a seed line or two, and in the case of a bubble team it could be the reason they get left out of the NCAA tournament entirely. Wake Forest played 10 Quadrant 4 games this season, with 8 of them being nonconference games. Because the ACC was so down this season, they ended up playing 9 Quadrant 3 games as well. That means they played just 12 games against Quadrant 1 and 2 opponents, and they went 5-7 in those games including a 1-4 mark against Quadrant 1. They have just one win over a team likely to make the NCAA tournament (at home vs North Carolina) and have a Quadrant 3 loss at Louisville. Nothing on this profile jumps out at me and screams “this is an NCAA tournament team”, but, 36 at-large teams have to make the field, and for now Wake Forest is one of those. They play Boston College today in the ACC tournament – lose that game, and the Deacons will likely be on the outside looking in come Sunday.
  • The teams I have vying for the last spot into the field are VCU, SMU and Indiana, with VCU currently occupying the spot in the field. As mentioned at the start of this post, these next two-three days are very important for bubble teams. Things will likely play out such that choice becomes clear by Saturday which of these three teams will be in, but if the season were to end to day I would give the slight nod to VCU because they challenged themselves out of conference play (strength of schedule of 63 compared to 289 and 315 for SMU and Indiana, respectively) and went 9-2 on the road. SMU has the best wins of the bunch (home vs Houston and a sweep of Memphis) but has a Quadrant 4 loss to Loyola-Marymount. Indiana is just 11-12 when taking Quadrant 4 games off their resume; teams with a losing record against the top three Quadrants typically do not make the NCAA tournament, and their best win away from Assembly Hall is on a neutral court against a Notre Dame team that I currently see as the next to last team in the field of 68.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

3/7/22 Bracketology

 Seed List (reflects games played through 3/7/22)

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Baylor, Arizona, Auburn

2 seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Villanova

3 seeds: Wisconsin, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas Tech

4 seeds: Illinois, Providence, UCLA, Arkansas

5 seeds: Houston, Connecticut, Saint Mary’s, Texas

6 seeds: Alabama, Colorado State, LSU, Ohio State

7 seeds: Iowa, Seton Hall, USC, Murray State

8 seeds: Michigan State, Marquette, Iowa State, Boise State

9 seeds: San Diego State, TCU, San Francisco, North Carolina

10 seeds: Davidson, Michigan, Wyoming, Creighton

11 seeds: Miami FL, Wake Forest, Memphis, Loyola-Chicago

12 seeds: Rutgers, Xavier, Notre Dame, VCU, North Texas, South Dakota State

13 seeds: Vermont, Chattanooga, Toledo, Iona

14 seeds: New Mexico State, Princeton, Montana State, Colgate

15 seeds: Long Beach State, Longwood, Georgia State, Jacksonville

16 seeds: Nicholls State, Norfolk State, UNC Wilmington, Northern Kentucky, Bryant, Alcorn State

/***********************************************************************************/

Last Four In: Rutgers, Xavier, Notre Dame, VCU

First Four Out: Indiana, SMU, BYU, Virginia Tech

/***********************************************************************************/



 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

3/6/22 Bracketology

 Seed List (reflects games played through 3/6/22)

1 seeds: Gonzaga, Baylor, Arizona, Auburn

2 seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Villanova

3 seeds: Purdue, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas Tech

4 seeds: Illinois, Providence, UCLA, Arkansas

5 seeds: Houston, Alabama, Connecticut, Saint Mary’s

6 seeds: Texas, Colorado State, Ohio State, LSU

7 seeds: Iowa, Seton Hall, USC, Marquette

8 seeds: Murray State, Michigan State, Iowa State, Boise State

9 seeds: San Diego State, TCU, San Francisco, North Carolina

10 seeds: Wyoming, Creighton, Miami FL, Davidson

11 seeds: Wake Forest, Memphis, Michigan, Xavier, Rutgers

12 seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Notre Dame, VCU, North Texas, South Dakota State

13 seeds: Vermont, Chattanooga, Toledo, Iona

14 seeds: Towson, New Mexico State, Princeton, Jacksonville State

15 seeds: Montana State, Colgate, Long Beach State, Longwood

16 seeds: Appalachian State, Cleveland State, Norfolk State, Nicholls State, Bryant, Alcorn Southern

/***********************************************************************************/

Last Four In: Xavier, Rutgers, Notre Dame, VCU

First Four Out: SMU, Indiana, BYU, Virginia Tech

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