Brad-ketology: January 30th 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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 January 29th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Baylor, Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga

2-seeds: Louisville, Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina

3-seeds: Butler, Florida State, Creighton, Virginia

4-seeds: West Virginia, UCLA, Duke, Florida

5-seeds: Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Oregon

  • It’s weird to seed the projected Big 10 Champ this low but that conference appears to lack a legitimate title contender this season.

6-seeds: Maryland, South Carolina, Saint Mary’s, Xavier

  • The Terps are a very quiet 19-2 this season.

7-seeds: Purdue, SMU, Southern California, Northwestern

  • Can the Wildcats earn their first ever tourney bid?  Right now they are well in but will it hold?

8-seeds: Minnesota, Virginia Tech, VCU, Marquette

9-seeds: Dayton, Middle Tennessee, Michigan State, Clemson

  • Sparty is much improved after looking like an NIT team during the first month of their season.

10-seeds: Tennessee, Seton Hall, Indiana, Georgia Tech

11-seeds: Kansas State, Arkansas, Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh

12-seeds: Illinois State, UNC-Wilmington, Valpo, Nevada

  • The Seahawks are my local team so I’ve followed them closely all season.  They are going to be a dangerous NCAA tourney out depending on their matchup, assuming they can repeat as CAA champions.

13-seeds: Akron, Monmouth, New Mexico State, UT-Arlington

  • Monmouth and its lovable bench are back and hopefully they won’t choke away a tourney bid like they did last season.

14-seeds: Vermont, Belmont, East Tennessee State, Winthrop

  • The Catamounts are rocking a surprisingly high RPI.

15-seeds: North Dakota State, Bucknell, Florida Gulf Coast, Princeton

16-seeds: Texas Southern, Sam Houston, Weber State, UC Davis, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Michigan, Miami-FL, California, Texas Tech

2-seeds: Georgetown, Georgia, Wake Forest NC State

3-seeds: Illinois, Providence, Rhode Island, Houston

4-seeds: Illinois State, UNC Wilmington, Valpo, Nevada

5-seeds: Akron, Wichita State, Stanford, Monmouth

6-seeds: Auburn, Alabama, Penn State, Utah

7-seeds: Memphis, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Texas A & M

8-seeds: Boise State, New Mexico State, La Salle, New Mexico

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Temple, UT-Arlington, Syracuse

Brad-ketology: January 27th 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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 Thursday January 26th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Baylor, Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga

  • Huge matchup between Kentucky/Kansas this Saturday night.  Winner gets a # 1 seed and loser is a 2.

2-seeds: Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Butler

  • The top ACC teams are currently bunched together pretty tight.

3-seeds: Arizona, Florida State, Virginia, Creighton

  • Arizona has emerged out of nowhere to lead the Pac-12 and challege for a top seed.

4-seeds: West Virginia, Florida, Notre Dame, UCLA

5-seeds: Oregon, Duke, Wisconsin, Cincinnati

  • It’s weird to seed the projected Big 10 Champ this low but that conference appears to lack a legitimate title contender this season.

6-seeds: Purdue, Maryland, South Carolina, Saint Mary’s

  • The Terps are a very quiet 18-2 this season.

7-seeds: Xavier, SMU, Southern California, Minnesota

8-seeds: Northwestern, Dayton, Marquette, VCU

  • Can the Wildcats earn their first ever tourney bid?  Right now they are well in but will it hold?

9-seeds: Middle Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan State, Seton Hall

  • Sparty is much improved after looking like an NIT team during the first month of their season.

10-seeds: Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Arkansas

11-seeds: Iowa State, Miami-FL, Kansas State, TCU, California, Texas Tech

12-seeds: UNC-Wilmington, Illinois State, Valpo, Akron

  • The Seahawks are my local team so I’ve followed them closely all season.  They are going to be a dangerous NCAA tourney out depending on their matchup, assuming they can repeat as CAA champions.

13-seeds: Nevada, Monmouth, Chattanooga, New Mexico State

  • Monmouth and its lovable bench are back and hopefully they won’t choke away a tourney bid like they did last season.

14-seeds: Vermont, Belmont, Winthrop, North Dakota State

  • The Catamounts are rocking a surprisingly high RPI.

15-seeds: Bucknell, Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, Princeton

16-seeds: Texas Southern, UC Irvine, New Orleans, Weber State, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Michigan, Wake Forest, Illinois, NC State

2-seeds: Georgia, UNC Wilmington, Providence, Rhode Island

3-seeds: Houston, Illinois State, Stanford, Valpo

4-seeds: Georgia Tech, Akron, Wichita State, Nevada

5-seeds: Tennessee, Ohio State, Monmouth, Alabama

6-seeds: Utah, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Memphis

7-seeds: Texas A & M, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Auburn

8-seeds: La Salle, Boise State, Georgetown, Temple

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: New Mexico, Chattanooga, New Mexico State, Fresno State, UCF

Potential March Madness Cinderella Stories

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 (late January/early February) and the second is published  just as the conference tournaments begin.  Here is the first 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.

Rhode Island (Atlantic 10)- The Rams haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since Lamar Odom took them there in 1999.  Currently, they are in the mix for an at-large bid.

 South Carolina Upstate (Atlantic Sun)- Upstate has gradually improved its program since transitioning from Division 2 less than a decade ago, as they are currently tied for first in the conference standings in search for their first ever tourney bid.

TCU (Big 12)- The Horned Frogs haven’t danced since 1998, but Jamie Dixon has them in position for an at-large bid in just his first season.

North Dakota (Big Sky)– The newly named Fighting Hawks are a Big Dance virgin who are sitting alone in 2nd place in the Big Sky standings.

Northwestern (Big Ten)– The only major conference team never to make it to the Big Dance is in great position to finally breakthrough this season.

UC Davis (Big West)– See comment about North Dakota above.

Charleston (Colonial)– Would you believe that despite all the success Cremins and others have had here recently the Cougars haven’t danced since the 1990’s?  They are a clear second behind UNCW right now in the Colonial but they do get to host the conference tournament.

Louisiana Tech (Conference USA)– This football powerhouse hasn’t danced since 1991 but they are currently the top challengers of MTSU in this league.

Eastern Michigan (MAC)– The Eagles had a breakthrough football season this year earning their first bowl bid since the 1980’s and now they are in the hunt for their first tourney bid since 1998 as they are currently tied with NIU for the lead in the MAC West.  Interestingly, the MAC and Ohio Valley are the last leagues in the country still holding on to the two division format in college basketball.

Northern Illinois (MAC)– Tied with the above mentioned Eagles for first in the MAC West and they actually have an even longer tourney drought as they haven’t put on dancing shoes since 1996.

Illinois State (MVC)– Despite being one of Wichita’s top MVC challengers in recent years, the Redbirds haven’t gone dancing since 1998.  This year they lead the conference standings outright and have already knocked off the Shockers by double digits.

Navy (Patriot)– The Midshipmen also haven’t danced since the 90’s but currently find themselves tied for 2nd in the Patriot.

South Carolina (SEC)– Not only has it been 12 years since the Gamecocks got to the NCAA tournament but they haven’t won a game there since 1973.  That is the longest such drought in major college hoops besides of course the forementioned Northwestern Wildcats.  This drought is especially shocking when you consider the Gamecocks held # 2 and 3 seeds respectively in the 1997 and 98 NCAA tournaments.

New Orleans (Southland)– Now that Stephen F. Austin’s reign of terror in the Southland appears to be over with the departure of Brad Underwood, the Privateers are alone in first place and in prime position to earn the Big Easy’s first tourney bid since 1996.

Denver (Summit)– North Dakota State is definitely the class of this conference right now but two big dance virgins, Denver and South Dakota are tied for second and ready to pounce if the Bison stumble in March.

South Dakota (Summit)– See Denver comment above.

Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)– The last Big Dance the Eagles participated in was the one where Laettner stomped on Aminu Timberlake and then hit one of the most famous buzzer beaters of all-time.  Now, they sit alone atop the Sun Belt with a two game lead over the rest of the league.

Arkansas State (Sun Belt)– Like Georgia Southern above, the Red Wolves are a Sun Belt football power who hasn’t been to the Big Dance since the 90’s.  They are hoping to end that drought this season as they are currently tied for second in league play.

 

Brad-ketology: The Inaugural 2017 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 2017 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections).  For the eighth 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 27th most accurate  amongst the 88 nationally recognized veteran bracketologists.  That’s not too bad considering I am ahead of the chief bracketologists for Yahoo, SI, and CBS.

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 the best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.  For example, my bracket projection currently has Baylor earning the automatic bid from the Big 12 even though they are currently 2nd in the league standings behind Kansas.   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: Villanova, Baylor, Kentucky, Kansas

  • Huge matchup between Kentucky/Kansas this Saturday night.  Winner stays on one line.  Loser likely drops out.

2-seeds: Gonzaga, North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville

  • The top ACC teams are currently bunched together pretty tight.

3-seeds: Creighton, UCLA, Butler, Virginia

  • Losses to Arizona and Marquette on Saturday bumped UCLA and Creighton off the 2 line.  Creighton could have major issues going forward without superstar guard Mo Watson.

4-seeds: Arizona, Notre Dame, Duke, West Virginia

  • A lot of people have the Blue Devils on the 5 line right now but the committee always gives the Dookies the benefit of the doubt.

5-seeds: Florida, Oregon, Wisconsin, Cincinnati

  • It’s weird to seed the projected Big 10 Champ this low but that conference appears to lack a legitimate title contender this season.

6-seeds: Purdue, Xavier, Maryland, South Carolina

  • The Gamecocks were an 8 seed in my inaugural Brad-ketology last season and ended up falling into the NIT.  Will history repeat itself?

7-seeds: Minnesota, St. Mary’s, Indiana, SMU

  • The Hoosiers have a real strange resume right now.  Their RPI is 73  but they have 4 solid top 50 wins.

8-seeds: Northwestern, Dayton, Southern California, Virginia Tech

  • Can the Wildcats earn their first ever tourney bid?  Right now they are well in but will it hold?

9-seeds: Michigan State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, VCU

  • Sparty is much improved after looking like an NIT team during the first month of their season.

10-seeds: Seton Hall, Middle Tennessee, Kansas State, Marquette

  • Marquette has an underrated resume (and team in general) in my opinion, even if their upset win over Creighton came without the participation of Bluejays guard Mo Watson.

11-seeds: TCU, Arkansas, Iowa State, Miami-FL, Texas Tech, Wake Forest

  • I feel like a homer putting my alma mater, Wake Forest, as the last team in the field at this point but their RPI of 23 is too high to ignore even if they lack quality wins.

12-seeds: UNC-Wilmington, Illinois State, Valpo, Akron

  • The Seahawks are my local teams so I’ve followed them closely all season.  They are going to be a dangerous NCAA tourney out depending on their matchup, if they can repeat as CAA champions.

13-seeds: Nevada, Monmouth, Chattanooga, New Mexico State

  • Monmouth and its lovable bench are back and hopefully they won’t choke away a tourney bid like they did last season.

14-seeds: Vermont, Belmont, Winthrop, North Dakota State

  • The Catamounts are rocking a surprisingly high RPI.

15-seeds: Bucknell, Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, Texas Southern

  • Texas Southern is finally recovering after brutal non-conference schedule.

16-seeds: Princeton, UC Irvine, New Orleans, Weber State, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

  • Princeton and Irvine are probably too talented to be 16 seeds but their computers put them there right now.

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: California, Georgia, Illinis, Providence

2-seeds: Rhode Island, Michigan, UNC Wilmington, Houston

3-seeds: Illinois State, NC State, Stanford, Valpo

4-seeds: Georgia Tech, Akron, Wichita State, Nevada

5-seeds: Ole Miss, Utah, La Salle, Memphis

6-seeds: Monmouth, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama

7-seeds: Boise State, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Auburn

8-seeds: Texas A & M, Chattanooga, New Mexico, New Mexico State

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Fresno State, College of Charleston, Temple, Georgetown, UCF

My Final College Football Rankings (1-128)

1 Clemson
2 Alabama
3 Western Michigan
4 Washington
5 Ohio State
6 Oklahoma
7 Southern California
8 Penn State
9 Wisconsin
10 Florida State
11 Michigan
12 Oklahoma State
13 Stanford
14 West Virginia
15 South Florida
16 Virginia Tech
17 Florida
18 Miami-FL
19 LSU
20 Georgia Tech
21 Tennessee
22 Louisville
23 Colorado
24 Kansas State
25 Utah
26 Minnesota
27 Nebraska
28 Brigham Young
29 San Diego State
30 Western Kentucky
31 Appalachian State
32 Boise State
33 Tulsa
34 Old Dominion
35 Troy
36 Air Force
37 Georgia
38 Pittsburgh
39 Auburn
40 North Carolina
41 Texas A & M
42 Washington State
43 Iowa
44 Temple
45 Toledo
46 Houston
47 New Mexico
48 Idaho
49 Arkansas
50 NC State
51 Kentucky
52 Wake Forest
53 Baylor
54 Northwestern
55 Boston College
56 Army
57 Navy
58 Louisiana Tech
59 Memphis
60 Arkansas State
61 Middle Tennessee
62 Mississippi State
63 TCU
64 South Carolina
65 Indiana
66 Vanderbilt
67 Maryland
68 Wyoming
69 Southern Miss
70 Ohio
71 Colorado State
72 Eastern Michigan
73 Hawaii
74 UCF
75 Miami-OH
76 Central Michigan
77 South Alabama
78 UTSA
79 UL-Lafayette
80 North Texas
81 Ole Miss
82 Texas
83 California
84 Texas Tech
85 Arizona State
86 Notre Dame
87 UCLA
88 Duke
89 Missouri
90 Oregon State
91 Syracuse
92 Oregon
93 Northern Illinois
94 SMU
95 Nevada
96 Akron
97 Georgia Southern
98 Michigan State
99 Arizona
100 Illinois
101 Iowa State
102 Purdue
103 Cincinnati
104 Bowling Green
105 San Jose State
106 UTEP
107 UNLV
108 Ball State
109 Florida International
110 Tulane
111 Charlotte
112 UL-Monroe
113 Virginia
114 Kansas
115 Rutgers
116 East Carolina
117 Utah State
118 UConn
119 Marshall
120 Kent State
121 Rice
122 Georgia State
123 Florida Atlantic
124 New Mexico State
125 Buffalo
126 UMass
127 Texas State
128 Fresno State