Ranking of 2016 Super Bowl Commercials

Sorry for the delay in getting these out.  I’m still recovering from the Panthers heartbreaking defeat.  Here are this year’s rankings of my favorite Super Bowl commercials.  Feel free to comment or debate.

 

Best Super Bowl Commercials 2016
1 Doritos “Ultrasound” (1st Quarter)
2 NFL “Super Bowl Babies” (3rd Quarter)
3 Mountain Dew “Puppy Monkey Baby” (1st Quarter)
4 Doritos “Dog Sneaks into Grocery Store” (3rd Quarter)
5 The Bud Light Party (2nd Quarter)
6 Independece Day 2 Movie Trailer (2nd Quarter)
7 Turbo Tax “Anthony Hopkins Selling Out” (3rd Quarter)
8 Honda Ridgeline “Sheep Singing” (3rd Quarter)
9 Food Lion “Through the Years” (Halftime)
10 The Secret Life of Pets Movie Trailer (4th Quarter)
11 Snickers “Marilyn Monroe” (1st Quarter)
12 Jungle Book Movie Trailer (1st Quarter)
13 Amazon Echo “Marino vs. Baldwin” (Halftime)
14 Budweiser “Helen Mirren Drunk Driving PSA” (4th Quarter)
15 NFL “Super Bowl 100 Preview” (4th Quarter)
16 Avocaods “Aliens Study Earth” (1st Quarter)
17 T-Mobile “Drake Cell Phone Song” (4th Quarter)
18 T-Mobile “Steve Harvey Cue Card Controversy” (2nd Quarter)
19 Amazon Echo “Alec Baldwin Hangover” (Postgame)
20 Heinz “Weiner Dogs” (3rd Quarter)
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Brad-ketology: The Inaugural 2016 Edition

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

Mid-Major Cinderella Stories of 2016

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 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 first place in the Atlantic Sun with defending conference champion North Florida. Would you believe this squad actually made the Final Four in 1970?

Seton Hall (Big East)- I know this is technically an article about “small conference” Cinderella stories, but I am going to include a few squads from major conferences who are in the process of breaking major NCAA tournament droughts. The Pirates are one of those squads who believe it or not haven’t danced in 10 years. They are currently 3rd in the conference standings and sit as a 10 seed in my current Brad-ketology bracket projection.

Hawaii (Big West)– The Rainbow Warriors haven’t danced since 2002 but they are currently tied with the defending conference champs (UC-Irvine) 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 stand alone atop the CAA standings.

William & Mary (Colonial)- The Tribe along with Northwestern, Army, St. Francis (NY), and The Citadel are make up the infamous list of “Original Five” squads to never make the NCAA tournament. Last year W & M won the conference regular season but faltered in the tourney. This year, despite losing NBA draftee Marcus Thornton, the Tribe are only a game back of UNCW for first place in the Colonial.

Yale (Ivy)- Neither Yale or Columbia have danced since the 1960’s but right now those two squads are first and second respectively in the Ivy League standings.

Columbia (Ivy)- See comment above.

Monmouth (MAAC)- If I was to pick one squad who I most want to see Dance this year, this would be it. Literally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uZd2rVpzdE.   The Hawks haven’t danced 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 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 tied for first place in the MEAC with defending conference champ Hampton.

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 all of the conference’s top three teams have current tourney droughts lasting over a decade (Fairleigh Dickinson- 2005, Wagner- 2003, St. Francis PA- 1991)

Wagner (Northeast)– See comment above.

St. Francis (PA) (Northeast)– See comment above.

Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley)- Belmont is still the clear favorite to repeat as OVC champ, but they are surprisingly tied for first place in the conference with a Tennessee Tech squad that hasn’t danced since the year JFK was shot.

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 sit squarely on the NCAA Tournament Bubble.

Navy (Patriot)- See comment for Evansville above. The Midshipmen find themselves in the exact same situation in their respective conference race.

Colgate (Patriot)- See comment for Evansville above. The Raiders find themselves in the exact same situation in their respective conference race.

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.

Houston Baptist (Southland)- The Huskies haven’t qualified for the NCAA Tournament since before I was born (1984), but right now they are tied for second in the Southland.

IPFW (Summit)- Like William & Mary, the Mastodons are a Big Dance virgin who currently sit alone in second place in their respective conference standings.

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 title race.