With college football season over and NFL playoffs winding down, it’s time to start dreaming about March. Which means it’s also time for me to publish my first edition of Brad-ketology for the 2015 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections). For the sixth consecutive season, this column will become the staple of my blog from now until Selection Sunday. Brad-ketology is a little different than other NCAA bracket projections in that it is much more expansive, as it also includes the NIT field and bubble. Furthermore, it is one of the columns used in the nationally-recognized bracket project which seeds NCAA teams by taking an average of the most prominent bracket projections in the country. As you will see here, my bracket projection has been the 26th most accurate amongst the top 76 bracketologists in the country. That’s not too bad considering ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is 44th and CBS’ Jerry Palm is 52nd.
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. For example, my bracket projection currently has Old Dominion (a # 11 seed) earning the automatic bid from Conference USA even though they are 5th in league 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 typically be published twice a week (typically on Sundays and Fridays) and more often than that when it gets closer to tourney time. Please feel free to comment or debate.
NCAA Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, Arizona
2-seeds: Gonzaga, Duke, Villanova, Wisconsin
3-seeds: VCU, Maryland, Notre Dame, Wichita State
4-seeds: North Carolina, Iowa State, West Virginia, Utah
5-seeds: Louisville, Georgetown, Baylor, Arkansas
6-seeds: Texas, Providence, Northern Iowa, Butler
7-seeds: Oklahoma, San Diego State, Georgia, Dayton
8-seeds: Indiana, SMU, Stanford, Cincinnati
9-seeds: Oklahoma State, Miami-FL, Colorado State, LSU
10-seeds: Texas A & M, Michigan State, Seton Hall, Xavier
11-seeds: NC State, Washington, Iowa, Old Dominion
12-seeds: George Washington, St. John’s, Davidson, Ohio State, Wofford, Green Bay
13-seeds: Eastern Washington, Yale, Iona, Bowling Green
14-seeds: Long Beach State, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin, Northeastern
15-seeds: North Carolina Central, High Point, Georgia State, Texas Southern
16-seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota State, Albany, New Mexico State, Bucknell, Robert Morris
NIT Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Tennessee, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Temple
2-seeds: Alabama, St. Mary’s, Kansas State, Tulsa
3-seeds: Illinois, Brigham Young, UConn, Wofford
4-seeds: Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Michigan, Eastern Washington
5-seeds: Oregon State, Yale, Oregon, Iona,
6-seeds: Florida, Bowling Green, Nebraska, Memphis
7-seeds: Minnesota, Wyoming, Purdue, Rhode Island
8-seeds: UCLA, Boise State, Clemson, Evansville
Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Colorado, Western Kentucky, UMass, Harvard, New Mexico