With football season officially over, 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 2016 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections). For the seventh 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 projectwhich 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 21st most accurate amongst the top 89 bracketologists in the country. That’s not too bad considering ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is 36th and CBS’ Jerry Palm is 56th.
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 Virginia (a # 2 seed) earning the automatic bid from the ACC even though they are currently 3rd 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 Mondays 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: Oklahoma, Villanova, Kansas, Oregon
2-seeds: Iowa, Virginia, Xavier, North Carolina
3-seeds: Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan State, Iowa State
4-seeds: Miami-FL, Dayton, Texas A & M, Southern California
5-seeds: Texas, Utah, Purdue, Kentucky
6-seeds: Duke, Baylor, Notre Dame, Colorado
7-seeds: Providence, Florida, Pittsburgh, Florida State
8-seeds: California, South Carolina, Arizona, Syracuse
9-seeds: VCU, Wichita State, George Washington, Seton Hall
10-seeds: UConn, Monmouth, Oregon State, Indiana
11-seeds: Michigan, Washington, St. Joe’s, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Texas Tech
12-seeds: Gonzaga, Chattanooga, San Diego State, Valpo
13-seeds: William & Mary, South Dakota State, Akron, Arkansas-Little Rock
14-seeds: Stony Brook, UC-Irvine, Yale, 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: Cincinnati, Alabama, Gonzaga, Chattanooga
2-seeds: St. Mary’s, Vanderbilt, San Diego State, Butler
3-seeds: LSU, Stanford, Clemson, St. Bonaventure,
4-seeds: UCLA, Valpo, Georgia, Brigham Young
5-seeds: William & Mary, South Dakota State, Temple, Akron
6-seeds: Tulsa, Arkansas-Little Rock, Georgetown, Davidson
7-seeds: Stony Brook, UC-Irvine, Yale, Arizona State
8-seeds: Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Boise State
Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: UNC-Wilmington, Arkansas, Evansville, Princeton