Brad-ketology: Final NIT Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. The regional final four pairings are Region 1 vs. Region 2 and Region 3 vs. Region 4.

Region 1

(1) Purdue vs. (8) St. Francis (NY)

(4) Murray State vs. (5) Illinois State

(3) Texas A & M vs. (6) UMass

(2) Stanford vs. (7) UC Davis

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Region 2

(1) Richmond vs. (8) Charleston Southern

(4) Louisiana Tech vs. (5) Yale

(3) Illinois vs. (6) Alabama

(2) Miami-FL vs. (7) North Carolina Central

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Region 3

(1) Tulsa vs. (8) Montana

(4) Green Bay vs. (5) UTEP

(3) St. Mary’s vs. (6) George Washington

(2) Indiana vs. (7) South Dakota State

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Region 4

(1) Old Dominion vs. (8) Bucknell

(4) Iona vs. (5) Pittsburgh

(3) Rhode Island vs. (6) Central Michigan

(2) UConn vs. (7) William & Mary

Brad-ketology: Final NCAA Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. My regional final four pairings are Midwest vs. West and East vs. South.

Midwest Regional- Cleveland, OH (March 26, 28)

(1) Kentucky vs. (16) Manhattan/Robert Morris- Thursday March 19 (Louisville, KY)

(8) Temple vs. (9) Davidson- Thursday March 19 (Louisville, KY)

(5) Utah vs. (12) Wofford- Thursday March 19 (Jacksonville, FL)

(4) North Carolina vs. (13) Eastern Washington- Thursday March 19 (Jacksonville, FL)

(6) VCU vs. (11) Georgia/UCLA- Friday March 20 (Columbus, OH)

(3) Iowa State vs. (14) North Dakota State- Friday March 20 (Columbus, OH)

(7) Oregon vs. (10) St. John’s- Friday March 20 (Seattle, WA)

(2) Gonzaga vs. (15) New Mexico State- Friday March 20 (Seattle, WA)

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West Regional- Los Angeles, CA (March 26, 28)

(1) Wisconsin vs. (16) North Florida/Hampton- Friday March 20 (Omaha, NE)

(8) Xavier vs. (9) Dayton- Friday March 20 (Omaha, NE)

(5) SMU vs. (12) Wyoming- Thursday March 19 (Portland, OR)

(4) Oklahoma vs. (13) Harvard- Thursday March 19 (Portland, OR)

(6) Wichita State vs. (11) Brigham Young- Thursday March 19 (Louisville, KY)

(3) Notre Dame vs. (14) Northeastern- Thursday March 19 (Louisville, KY)

(7) Michigan State vs. (10) Oklahoma State- Friday March 20 (Omaha, NE)

(2) Arizona vs. (15) UAB- Friday March 20 (Omaha, NE)

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East Regional- Syracuse, NY (March 27, 29)

(1) Villanova vs. (16) Lafayette- Thursday March 19 (Pittsburgh, PA)

(8) Colorado State vs. (9) NC State- Thursday March 19 (Pittsburgh, PA)

(5) Louisville vs. (12) Buffalo- Friday March 20 (Seattle, WA)

(4) West Virginia vs. (13) Georgia State- Friday March 20 (Seattle, WA)

(6) Providence vs. (11) LSU- Thursday March 19 (Jacksonville, FL)

(3) Baylor vs. (14) UC Irvine- Thursday March 19 (Jacksonville, FL)

(7) Butler vs. (10) Texas- Friday March 20 (Charlotte, NC)

(2) Virginia vs. (15) Belmont- Friday March 20 (Charlotte, NC)

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South Regional- Houston, TX (March 27, 29)

(1) Duke vs. (16) Coastal Carolina-  Friday March 20 (Charlotte, NC)

(8) Cincinnati vs. (9) Iowa- Friday March 20 (Charlotte, NC)

(5) Arkansas vs. (12) Stephen F. Austin- Thursday March 19 (Portland, OR)

(4) Northern Iowa vs. (13) Valpo- Thursday March 19 (Portland, OR)

(6) Georgetown vs. (11) Boise State/Ole Miss- Thursday March 19 (Pittsburgh, PA)

(3) Maryland vs. (14) Albany- Thursday March 19 (Pittsburgh, PA)

(7) San Diego State vs. (10) Ohio State- Friday March 20 (Columbus, OH)

(2) Kansas vs. (15) Texas Southern- Friday March 20 (Columbus, OH)

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First Four

(16) Manhattan vs. (16) Robert Morris- Tuesday March 17

(11) Boise State vs. (11) Ole Miss- Tuesday March 17

(16) North Florida vs. (16) Hampton- Wednesday March 18

(11) Georgia vs. (11) UCLA- Wednesday March 18

Brad-ketology: 2015 Final Seed List

I will bracket these teams later on today, but here is the final seed list for both my NCAA and NIT Bracket Projections.  The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  Teams in bold have already earend automatic bids to this year’s NCAA or NIT tournament by virtue of either winning their respective conference tournaments (NCAA auto bids) or conference regular season (NIT auto bids).

You will also see these seedings contain two contingency plans based on Sunday’s games.  The one in the NCAA bracket deals with UConn’s potential stolen bid from the American Conference Championship Game.  If they win that game, I will substitute them for LSU in my final bracket.  In the NIT, Georgia State would steal a bid if they were to lose to Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt final.  In this situation, I would move UMass out of the NIT entirely and replace them with Georgia State.  Feel free to comment and debate.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kentucky, Villanova, Duke, Wisconsin

2-seeds: Virginia, Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas

3-seeds: Iowa State, Maryland, Baylor, Notre Dame

4-seeds: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, West Virginia

5-seeds: Louisville, Utah, Arkansas, SMU

6-seeds: Wichita State, Providence, Georgetown, VCU

7-seeds: Butler, Michigan State, Oregon, San Diego State

8-seeds: Xavier, Temple, Colorado State, Cincinnati

9-seeds: Davidson, Dayton, NC State, Iowa

10-seeds: Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, St. John’s

11-seeds: Brigham Young, LSU, Georgia, Boise State, Ole Miss, UCLA

12-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Wofford, Wyoming, Buffalo

13-seeds: Harvard, Valpo, Eastern Washington, Georgia State

14-seeds: Northeastern, UC Irvine, North Dakota State, Albany

15-seeds: New Mexico State Belmont, Texas Southern, UAB

16-seeds: Coastal Carolina, Lafayette, North Florida, Manhattan, Robert Morris, Hampton

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Purdue, Tulsa, Old Dominion, Richmond

2-seeds: Indiana, Stanford, Miami-FL, UConn

3-seeds: Texas A & M, Illinois, Rhode Island, St. Mary’s

4-seeds: Iona, Murray State, Green Bay, Louisiana Tech

5-seeds: Pittsburgh, Yale, UTEP, Illinois State

6-seeds: George Washington, Alabama, UMass, Central Michigan

7-seeds: UC Davis, William & Mary, South Dakota State, NC Central

8-seeds: Montana, Bucknell, Charleston Southern, St. Francis (NY)

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Memphis, South Carolina, Minnesota, Seton Hall, California

Brad-ketology: March 8th Edition

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney.  If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will be published at least twice a week, typically on Sundays and Fridays.  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday March 8th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova

2-seeds: Arizona, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Kansas

3-seeds: Maryland, Iowa State, Baylor, Louisville

4-seeds: Oklahoma, Northern Iowa, North Carolina, West Virginia

5-seeds: Utah, Wichita State, Notre Dame, Georgetown

6-seeds: Butler, Providence, Arkansas, SMU

7-seeds: San Diego State, VCU, Colorado State, St. John’s

8-seeds: Michigan State, Iowa, Temple, Oregon

9-seeds: Dayton, Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio State

10-seeds: Oklahoma State, Davidson, NC State, Texas

11-seeds: Georgia, Boise State, LSU, Old Dominion

12-seeds: Ole Miss, Brigham Young, Indiana, UCLA, Wofford, Stephen F. Austin

13-seeds: Iona, Valpo, Harvard, Georgia State

14-seeds: UC Davis, Central Michigan, William & Mary, South Dakota State

15-seeds: North Carolina Central, Albany, Belmont, Texas Southern

16-seeds: New Mexico State, Montana, Coastal Carolina, Lafayette, North Florida, St. Francis (NY)

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Texas A & M, Purdue, Tulsa, Wofford

2-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Iona, Miami-FL, Illinois

3-seeds: Stanford, Rhode Island, Valpo, Green Bay

4-seeds: Richmond, Pittsburgh, UConn, St. Mary’s

5-seeds: UMass, Seton Hall, Minnesota, Louisiana Tech

6-seeds: UTEP, Harvard, Georgia State, Memphis

7-seeds: Murray State, UC Davis, Central Michigan, Buffalo

8-seeds: Arizona State, Yale, Bucknell, Charleston Southern 

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: George Washington, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Illinois State, William & Mary, South Dakota State

Brad-ketology: March 6th Edition

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney.  If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will be published at least twice a week (typically on Sundays and Fridays) and more often than that when it gets closer to tourney time.  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Thursday March 5th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova

2-seeds: Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin, Gonzaga

3-seeds: Maryland, Utah, Wichita State, Iowa State

4-seeds: Baylor, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Northern Iowa

5-seeds: Notre Dame, Arkansas, Louisville, West Virginia

6-seeds: Providence, Georgetown, Butler, SMU

7-seeds: San Diego State, Colorado State, Dayton, VCU

8-seeds: St. John’s, Michigan State, Georgia, Oklahoma State

9-seeds: Xavier, Temple, Ohio State, Boise State

10-seeds: Iowa, Cincinnati, Oregon, NC State

11-seeds: Ole Miss, Davidson, Indiana, Old Dominion

12-seeds: LSU, Texas A & M, Texas, Brigham Young, Wofford, Harvard

13-seeds: Iona, Valpo, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin

14-seeds: UC Davis, Central Michigan, Eastern Washington, Georgia State

15-seeds: High Point, South Dakota State, William & Mary, North Carolina Central

16-seeds: Albany, Texas Southern, New Mexico State, Bucknell, North Florida, St. Francis (NY)

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: UCLA, Tulsa, Illinois, Wofford

2-seeds: Purdue, Miami-FL, Pittsburgh, Stanford

3-seeds: Harvard, St. Mary’s, Iona, Rhode Island

4-seeds: Valpo, Green Bay, Richmond, UConn

5-seeds: Murray State, Seton Hall, UMass, Minnesota

6-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Memphis, Louisiana Tech, UTEP

7-seeds: Arizona State, UC Davis, Alabama, Yale

8-seeds: Clemson, Wyoming, Central Michigan, Buffalo

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Tennessee, George Washington, Vanderbilt, Eastern Washington, Georgia State, Toledo, California

Mid-Major Cinderella Stories- March 2nd Update

The mid-major conference tournaments are the source of much of the early holiday season drama, as only the tourney champion will be able to put on their dancing shoes.  While almost all mid-major NCAA teams have the chance to play Cinderella come Christmas Day (aka the first round of the NCAA tourney), it is particularly special when these teams have an inspiring sentimental storyline.  Often times this involves a squad making its first trip to the Big Dance (see Northern Colorado in 2011).  Other times there is a likable coach who warms the hearts of the nation (see Pete Carril in 1994, Andy Enfeld in 2012).  Inevitably, when the second week of March comes around, these stories will come to fruition.  In the meantime, it’s worth looking at the standings and checking out which mid-major conference leaders/contenders could inspire us during ESPN’s annual championship week.  Only teams currently in first or second place of their respective conferences will be included in this column.  They are listed in alphabetical order by conference.

Note: an original list of mid-major Cinderella stories was posted a few weeks ago but this list is now updated to include teams who have made a last season surge and exclude others who have stumbled down the stretch.

SMU (AAC)- The Mustangs are projected as the first 7 seed in my latest edition of Brad-ketology 2015.  This squad is still looking to earn its first tourney bid since 1993 with the legendary Larry Brown at the helm.

North Florida (Atlantic Sun)- Basically, any way this week’s Atlantic Sun tournament turns will produce a sentimental storyline.  The reason being is that thanks to conference realignment only two teams in the current league have ever danced before and one of those squads (Jacksonville) hasn’t been in the field of 64 since 1986.

Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun)- We all remember what this squad did in the 2012 tournament and even though some of the personnel and head coach have changed, Lob City 2.0 would be a fun story come March.

Sacramento State (Big Sky)- The Hornets of Sacramento State currently sit atop the Big Sky standings in search of their first ever bid to the NCAA tournament.

High Point (Big South)- The Panthers are another Big Dance virgin who clinched conference regular season co-championship and enter the Big South tourney as a dangerous 2 seed.

Charleston Southern (Big South)- The Buccaneers haven’t danced since 1997 but will be the # 1 seed in “Myrtle Madness” (aka Big South Tournament) this week.

UC Irvine (Big West)- Despite being a powerhouse in baseball, the Anteaters have never qualified for the NCAA basketball tournament.  Now, they sit alone in second place of the Big West standings

UC Davis (Big West)- See comment above except the Aggies are alone in first place.

Northeastern (Colonial)- The Huskies haven’t earned a Big Dance invite since the 1990’s but they clinched a share of the conference regular season championship thanks to UNCW’s collapse at Elon on Saturday night.

William & Mary (Colonial)- The Tribe are seeking their first dance invite in school history, as they enter the Colonial tournament as the conference # 1 seed.

Louisiana Tech (C-USA)- The Bulldogs are alone in first place in Conference USA and haven’ been dancing since 1991.

Green Bay (Horizon)- Butler’s departure has opened the door for the Phoenix, who actually won a tourney game in 1994, to earn their first bid since ’96.  This team finished alone in second place in the Horizon and will host all of its conference tourney games until the championship.  If this story/video doesn’t get you excited about this program, then nothing will:http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/35087/green-bay-guard-pranked-with-scholarship.

Yale (Ivy)- For the past 25 years, this league has been dominated by Princeton and Penn with an occasional run by Cornell or Harvard mixed in.  Now, Yale is looking to finally breakthrough as they are tied with Harvard atop the Ivy League standings and already possess a road non-conference win over the defending national champions.  The de facto league championship game will be played this Friday at 8:00 in Cambridge, as Yale looks to secure its first NCAA bid since JFK’s presidency (1962).

Rider (MAAC)- The Broncos are just two games back of perennial power Iona for first place in the Metro Atlantic Conference and haven’ been dancing since 1994.

Bowling Green (MAC)- The Falcons’ NCAA tourney drought extends almost as far back as Yale’s (1968). However, right now this squad is alone in first place in the MAC East.

Toledo (MAC)- The Mid-American tourney could be one of the wildest of championship week, and the MAC West leading Rockets will be playing close to home (Cleveland) with a great chance of securing their first NCAA tourney bid since 1980.

Bryant (Northeast)- As you can probably see, conference realignment has really opened the door for a lot of Big Dance virgins to earn their first-ever tourney bid.  The same can be said about the Bulldogs of Bryant University, as they are tied with Morris for second-place in the NEC.

St. Francis (NY) (Northeast)- The forementioned Bryant Bulldogs and Robert Morris Colonials are having great seasons respectively but they are both chasing league leading St. Francis (NY) who has never once put on dancing shoes.

Colgate (Patriot)- The Raiders haven’t gone to the tourney since former NBA star, Adonal Foyle, played for them in 1996. However, they are currently just a game back of perennial powerhouse Bucknell for first place in the league standings and actually one both regular season meetings against the Bison.

George Southern (Sun Belt)- This conference used to be ruled by Western Kentucky, but now that the Hilltoppers have departed for C-USA, it has open the door for an unusual suspect to earn a tourney bid. See football power Georgia Southern who is currently tied with fellow Cinderella contenders UL-Monroe and Georgia State for first place in the league.

George State (Sun Belt)- The Panthers of Georgia State are tied atop the Sun Belt right now and possess a few of the top sentimental storylines of the season. Not only is Georgia State trying to end a 13-year tourney drought, but two of their star players are former major conference superstars seeking redemption at a smaller school. Starting point guard, Ryan Harrow, was a highly-touted high school recruit that failed to make things work at both NC State and Kentucky. Starting shooting guard, Kevin Ware, was a starter for Rick Pitino’s Louisville team before a horrifying leg injury in the Elite 8 sidelined him for over a year. Can you imagine if these two guys got another shot at the Big Dance?

UL-Monroe (Sun Belt)- This Cinderella story isn’t probably as sexy as the two other Sun Belt co-leaders, but the Warhawks are another basketball afterthought seeking their first NCAA tourney big in nearly two decades (1996).

UMKC (WAC)- Are you ready for the Kangaroos on to your bracket for the first-time in school history this March? Well it very well could happen as the ‘Roos are only alone in second place behind New Mexico State in the WAC.

Brad-ketology: March 2nd Edition

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney.  If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will be published at least twice a week (typically on Sundays and Fridays) and more often than that when it gets closer to tourney time.  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday March 1st.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova

2-seeds: Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin, Gonzaga

3-seeds: Maryland, Baylor, Utah, Wichita State

4-seeds: Iowa State, Oklahoma, Louisville, North Carolina

5-seeds: Northern Iowa, Notre Dame, Butler, West Virginia

6-seeds: Arkansas, Providence, Georgetown, VCU

7-seeds: SMU, San Diego State, Colorado State, Dayton

8-seeds: Indiana, Oklahoma State, Georgia, Temple

9-seeds: St. John’s, Xavier, Michigan State, Ohio State

10-seeds: Boise State, Texas A & M, NC State, LSU

11-seeds: Iowa, Ole Miss, Old Dominion, Cincinnati

12-seeds: Oregon, Brigham Young, Tulsa, Texas, Wofford, Harvard

13-seeds: Iona, Valpo, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin

14-seeds: UC Davis, Central Michigan, Eastern Washington, Georgia State

15-seeds: High Point, South Dakota State, William & Mary, Florida Gulf Coast

16-seeds: North Carolina Central, Texas Southern, Albany, New Mexico State, Bucknell, St. Francis (NY)

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Pittsburgh, UCLA, Davidson, Illinois

2-seeds: Purdue, Stanford, UConn, Wofford

3-seeds: Miami-FL, Rhode Island, Harvard, St. Mary’s

4-seeds: Iona, Valpo, Green Bay, UMass

5-seeds: Seton Hall, Murray State, Richmond, Alabama

6-seeds: Minnesota, Stephen F. Austin, Yale, Louisiana Tech

7-seeds: Clemson, UTEP, UC Davis, Wyoming

8-seeds: Memphis, Central Michigan, Arizona State, Buffalo

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: George Washington, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Eastern Washington, Oregon State, Georgia State