Brad-ketology: February 29th 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 Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday February 28th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Oklahoma, Virginia

2-seeds:   Oregon, Michigan State, North Carolina, Xavier

3-seeds: Miami-FL, Utah, West Virginia, Maryland

4-seeds: Texas A & M, Kentucky, Duke, California

5-seeds: Iowa, Purdue, Iowa State, Texas

6-seeds: Baylor, Texas Tech, Indiana, Dayton

7-seeds: Colorado, St. Joe’s, Arizona, Notre Dame

8-seeds: Seton Hall, Wisconsin, Oregon State, Pittsburgh

9-seeds: South Carolina, Southern California, Providence, UConn

10-seeds: Wichita State, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt

11-seeds: Tulsa, Monmouth, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Cincinnati, Michigan

12-seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, St. Mary’s, Valpo, Princeton

13-seeds: San Diego State, Akron, Chattanooga, South Dakota State

14-seeds: Stony Brook, Hofstra, UAB, Hawaii

15-seeds: Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Weber State

16-seeds: North Florida, High Point, Hampton, Bucknell, Wagner, Texas Southern

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, VCU, Butler, Arkansas-Little Rock

2-seeds: George Washington, Florida State, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga

3-seeds: Valpo, Princeton, Stanford, San Diego State

4-seeds: LSU, Ohio State, UCLA, Akron

5-seeds: Chattanooga, Washington, South Dakota State, Georgia Tech

6-seeds: Yale, Kansas State, Davidson, Creighton

7-seeds: Stony Brook, Brigham Young, Georgia, Hofstra

8-seeds: Houston, UAB, UNC-Wilmington, Hawaii

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: UC-Irvine, Boise State, Ole Miss, IPFW, Marquette, William & Mary, Evansville, Fresno State

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Potential March Madness Cinderella Stories- February 27th Update

Each season, I chronicle the potential March Madness Cinderella Stories by writing two articles that detail teams across that could become a feel-good story come March.   The first article is written around the midpoint of the season (early February usually) and the second is written write just as the conference tournaments begin.  Here is the second of those two annual editions.

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 and other probably NCAA Tournament teams could inspire us during the first few weeks of March.  Only teams currently in first or second place of their respective conferences or squads currently in the hunt for an at-large bid will be included in this column.  They are listed in alphabetical order by conference.

Stony Brook (America East)- The Seawolves have been in the hunt for their school’s first NCAA tourney bid the past four seasons but have managed to fall short each and every time. This may be their best chance yet as they currently hold a two game lead over the rest of the conference.

Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun)- The Dolphins haven’t danced since 1986 but they currently find themselves tied for second place in the Atlantic Sun. Would you believe this squad actually made the Final Four in 1970?

NJIT (Atlantic Sun)- The Highlanders are currently tied with the aforementioned Dolphins for second place in the A-Sun, but they have actually earned the two seed for the league’s upcoming conference tournament based on the league’s tiebreaker system.  Not only has NJIT never danced before but they had one of the worst teams in the history of basketball when they transitioned to Division 1 9 years ago as they actually posted an 0-29 record during the 2007-2008 season, losing every game by at least double digits.

Seton Hall (Big East)- Despite their rich basketball history, the Pirates haven’t danced in 10 years, but currently find themselves 3rd in the Big East standings and sit as the top 10 seed in my current Brad-ketology bracket projection.

High Point (Big South)– Like the aforementioned Stony Brook squad, High Point University has knocked on the door of the NCAA tournament the past few seasons but has been unable to earn the school’s first-ever NCAA bid.  This season they have as good of a chance as any of achieving that that goal as the conference tournament is being played close to home in Buies Creek, NC, and the Panthers are currently tied for first in the league coming off a huge win over Winthrop.

Hawaii (Big West)– The Rainbow Warriors haven’t danced since 2002 but they are currently alone atop the Big West standings.

UNC-Wilmington (Colonial)- It’s been a decade since the Seahawks have put on their dancing shoes, but right now they are tied atop the league standings.  Unfortunately for UNCW, they squandered a chance to wrap up the league’s regular season crown by blowing a 17-point second half league against Hofstra.

Marshall (Conference USA)– The Thundering Herd haven’t danced since I was a year and a half old (1987), but this traditional football power is alone in second place right now in Conference USA.

Yale (Ivy)- The Bulldogs haven’t danced since the JFK administration but appear to be destined to meet Princeton in a one-game tiebreaker to decide the conference championship.

Monmouth (MAAC)- If I was to pick one squad who I most want to see Dance this year, this would be it. And when I say dance, I literally mean dance.   The Hawks haven’t gone to the NCAA Tournament in ten years and if they were to make the field in 2016 their world famous bench would have a chance to shine on their biggest stage yet. Right now, Monmouth is in great shape to get there too, as they are alone in first place in the Metro Atlantic Standings and are also in line for a potential at-large bid.

South Carolina State (MEAC)- The Bulldogs haven’t punched their dance card since 1993, but right now they are just a half game back of first in the MEAC.

Evansville (MVC)- The Purple Aces of Evansville and the Redbirds of Illinois State haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since the late 90’s, but this year they are tied for second in the league standings.

Illinois State (MVC)- See comment above

Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast)- The NEC is traditionally dominated by either Robert Morris and Mount St. Mary’s, but this season the league standings have been turned upside down as four of the five’s top 5 teams have current tourney droughts lasting over a decade.  Fairleigh Dickinson’s last tourney trip was in 2005.  Wagner’s was in 2003, and St. Francis NY and Sacred Heart have never gone.

Wagner (Northeast)– See comment above.

Sacred Heart (Northeast)– See comment above.

St. Francis (NY) (Northeast)– See comment above.  The Terriers along with Northwestern, Army, William & Mary, and The Citadel make up the infamous list of “Original Five” squads to never make the NCAA tournament.

Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley)- Belmont is still the clear favorite to repeat as OVC champ, but if they somehow falter in the conference tournament then there are three other teams from the Volunteer state that are currently tied for second place in the OVC and will be in prime position to end a lengthy tourney drought.  Tennessee State hasn’t earned an NCAA bid since 1994.  Tennessee Tech hasn’t gone to the tourney since 1963, and UT-Martin has never danced before.

Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley)-See Comment above

Tennessee State (Ohio Valley)-See Comment above

UT-Martin (Ohio Valley)-See Comment above

Oregon State (Pac-12)- The Beavers have one of the longest current major conference tourney droughts, as they haven’t put on dancing shoes since Gary Payton’s senior season in 1990. Ironically, his son, Gary Payton II, has a great chance of following in his father’s footsteps and leading OSU back to the Big Dance in his own senior season. Right now the Beavers are in the field as an 8 seed according to my Brad-ketologoy.

South Carolina (SEC)- Not only have the Gamecocks not danced in 12 seasons, but they haven’t won a tourney game since before my dad attended college there (1973).   However, thanks to a huge road win over Texas A & M on Saturday, South Carolina is currently projected as an 7 seed in my most recent Brad-ketology update.

IPFW (Summit)- The Mastodons (great nickname by the way) are a Big Dance virgin who currently sit alone in second place in their respective conference standings.

UL-Monroe (Sun Belt)- The Warhawks haven’t gone to the Big Dance since I was in middle school (1996) but currently find themselves alone in second place in the Sun Belt.

Cal-State Bakersfield (WAC)- The Roadrunners were a Division II basketball powerhouse in the 1990’s and after going through a lengthy transition process, they have emerged as the top contender to challenge frontrunner New Mexico State in this year’s WAC conference tournament.

Brad-ketology: February 26th 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 Mondays 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 February 25th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Oklahoma, Villanova, Xavier

2-seeds:   Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan State

3-seeds: Miami-FL, Maryland, Utah, West Virginia

4-seeds: Kentucky, Duke, Iowa, Texas A & M

5-seeds: Dayton, California, Purdue, Iowa State

6-seeds: Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, Notre Dame

7-seeds: Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado, St. Joe’s

8-seeds: Arizona, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Southern California

9-seeds: UConn, Pittsburgh, Tulsa, Florida

10-seeds: Seton Hall, Providence, Monmouth, Wichita State

11-seeds: Alabama, Syracuse, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, Michigan, Vanderbilt

12-seeds: San Diego State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Gonzaga, Valpo

13-seeds: Princeton, Akron, Chattanooga, South Dakota State

14-seeds: Stony Brook, Hofstra, Hawaii, Belmont

15-seeds: UAB, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Winthrop

16-seeds: Weber State, North Florida, Hampton, Bucknell, Wagner, Texas Southern

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Cincinnati, Butler, VCU, San Diego State

2-seeds: Temple, Arkansas-Little Rock, Florida State, Gonzaga

3-seeds: UCLA, Valpo, St. Mary’s, Princeton

4-seeds: Washington, Akron, Stanford, Chattanooga

5-seeds: South Dakota State, Stony Brook, Kansas State, Davidson

6-seeds: LSU, Georgia Tech, Yale, Ohio State

7-seeds: Brigham Young, Creighton, Georgia, Georgetown

8-seeds: Arizona State, Hofstra, Ole Miss, UNC-Wilmington

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: IPFW, William & Mary, Hawaii, UC-Irvine, Clemson, Houston, Evansville, Boise State, Belmont, NC State

Brad-ketology: February 22nd 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 Mondays 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 February 21st.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, Oklahoma

2-seeds:  Xavier, Oregon, Iowa, North Carolina

3-seeds: Michigan State, Miami-FL, Maryland, Utah

4-seeds: West Virginia, Kentucky, Duke, Texas A & M

5-seeds: Baylor, Iowa State, Dayton, California

6-seeds: Purdue, Texas, Texas Tech, Notre Dame

7-seeds: Southern California, Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina

8-seeds: Colorado, Pittsburgh, St. Joe’s, Alabama

9-seeds: Oregon State, Florida, Syracuse, Wisconsin

10-seeds: Providence, UConn, Tulsa, Seton Hall

11-seeds: Monmouth, Wichita State, George Washington, VCU, St. Bonaventure, Michigan

12-seeds: San Diego State, Chattanooga, Gonzaga, Valpo

13-seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, Princeton, Akron, South Dakota State

14-seeds: Stony Brook, UNC-Wilmington, Hawaii, Belmont

15-seeds: UAB, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Winthrop

16-seeds: Weber State, North Florida, Hampton, Bucknell, Wagner, Texas Southern

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Cincinnati, Butler, Temple, Florida State

2-seeds: Vanderbilt, Washington, UCLA, San Diego State

3-seeds: Chattanooga, Gonzaga, Valpo, Arkansas-Little Rock

4-seeds: Kansas State, LSU, St. Mary’s, Princeton

5-seeds: Akron, South Dakota State, Stony Brook, Stanford

6-seeds: Davidson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Yale

7-seeds: Ohio State, Creighton, Arizona State, Brigham Young

8-seeds: Georgetown, Clemson, UNC-Wilmington, Ole Miss

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Hawaii, IPFW, William & Mary, Hofstra, UC-Irvine, Houston, Evansville, Boise State, Long Beach State, Belmont

Brad-ketology: February 19th 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 Mondays 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 February 18th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, Oklahoma

2-seeds:  Xavier, Oregon, Miami-FL, Iowa

3-seeds: Michigan State, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland

4-seeds: Utah, Kentucky, Duke, Purdue

5-seeds: Iowa State, Dayton, Texas, Notre Dame

6-seeds: Texas A & M, Baylor, Texas Tech, Southern California

7-seeds: California, Arizona, Oregon State, Colorado

8-seeds: South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Syracuse

9-seeds: Florida, UConn, Monmouth, Providence

10-seeds: St. Joe’s, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Tulsa

11-seeds: Seton Hall, Michigan, Wichita State, George Washington, Florida State, VCU

12-seeds: Gonzaga, Chattanooga, San Diego State, Valpo

13-seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, Akron, Yale, Stony Brook

14-seeds: South Dakota State, UNC-Wilmington, UC-Irvine, Middle Tennessee

15-seeds: Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Montana

16-seeds: UNC-Asheville, North Florida, Hampton, Bucknell, Wagner, Texas Southern

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: St. Bonaventure, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt, Temple

2-seeds: Butler, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Washington

3-seeds: LSU, Kansas State, San Diego State, Valpo

4-seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, Akron, Stanford, UCLA

5-seeds: Yale, Stony Brook, Princeton, Georgetown

6-seeds: Georgetown, South Dakota State, St. Mary’s, Davidson

7-seeds: Clemson, Ohio State, Arizona State, Georgia Tech

8-seeds: Brigham Young, Creighton, UNC-Wilmington, Ole Miss

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: UC-Irvine, William & Mary, IPFW, Hofstra, Hawaii, Middle Tennessee, Houston, Evansville, Boise State, Long Beach State

Brad-ketology: February 15th 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 Mondays 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 February 14th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Oklahoma, Villanova, Virginia

2-seeds: Iowa, North Carolina, Xavier, Oregon

3-seeds: Miami-FL, Maryland, West Virginia, Dayton

4-seeds: Michigan State, Iowa State, Utah, Kentucky

5-seeds: Duke, Purdue, Texas, Notre Dame

6-seeds: Texas A & M, Southern California, California, Colorado

7-seeds: Baylor, Providence, Arizona, South Carolina

8-seeds: Syracuse, Oregon State, Florida, Monmouth

9-seeds: Indiana, Texas Tech, Alabama, Wisconsin

10-seeds: UConn, Michigan, Pittsburgh, St. Joe’s

11-seeds: Wichita State, St. Bonaventure, Tulsa, Seton Hall, Temple, Florida State

12-seeds: Gonzaga, Chattanooga, San Diego State, Valpo

13-seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, Akron, South Dakota State, Stony Brook

14-seeds: Yale, UNC-Wilmington, UC-Irvine, Middle Tennessee

15-seeds: Belmont, New Mexico State, Stephen F. Austin, Montana

16-seeds: UNC-Asheville, North Florida, Hampton, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Fairleigh Dickinson

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: VCU, George Washington, Washington, Cincinnati

2-seeds: Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, LSU, Butler

3-seeds: Chattanooga, Kansas State, San Diego State, UCLA

4-seeds: Valpo, Clemson, Georgia, Arkansas-Little Rock 

5-seeds: Akron, South Dakota State, Stony Brook, Stanford

6-seeds: Davidson, Georgetown, Yale, Princeton

7-seeds: Arizona State, St. Mary’s, UNC-Wilmington, Brigham Young

8-seeds: Creighton, Ohio State, UC-Irvine, William & Mary

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Georgia Tech, Boise State, Hawaii, Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss, Houston

Brad-ketology: February 12th 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 Mondays 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 February 11th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Oklahoma, Villanova, Kansas, Virginia

2-seeds: OregonIowa, North Carolina, Maryland

3-seeds: Xavier, Miami-FL, West Virginia, Dayton

4-seeds: Michigan State, Iowa State, Southern California, Utah

5-seeds: Purdue, Texas, Texas A & M, Kentucky

6-seeds: Duke, Baylor, California, Notre Dame

7-seeds: Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Oregon State

8-seeds: Providence, Arizona, Syracuse, Pittsburgh

9-seeds: Florida State, Indiana, Wichita State, Monmouth

10-seeds: St. Joe’s, UConn, Seton Hall, Michigan

11-seeds: George Washington, VCU, Washington Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Alabama

12-seeds: Gonzaga, Chattanooga, Valpo, San Diego State

13-seeds: Akron, William & Mary,  Arkansas-Little Rock, South Dakota State

14-seeds: Stony Brook, Yale, UC-Irvine,  Middle Tennessee

15-seeds: Belmont, New Mexico State, Stephen F. Austin, Montana

16-seeds: North Florida, UNC-Asheville, Hampton, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Fairleigh Dickinson

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Tulsa, St. Bonaventure, Cincinnati, Gonzaga

2-seeds: Butler, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Valpo

3-seeds: Temple, Chattanooga, UCLA, San Diego State

4-seeds: LSU, Brigham Young, Clemson, Georgetown

5-seeds: Georgia, St. Mary’s, Akron, William & Mary

6-seeds: Davidson, Arkansas-Little Rock, South Dakota State, Stony Brook 

7-seeds: Yale, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Stanford

8-seeds: UC-Irvine, Ohio State, UNC-Wilmington, Creighton

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Boise State, Hawaii, Middle Tennessee, Princeton, Ole Miss, Houston, Marquette