With college football season officially over, it’s time to start dreaming about the glory that is March Madness. It also means that is time for me to publish my first edition of Brad-ketology for the 2017 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections). For the ninth 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 14th most accurate amongst the 113 nationally recognized veteran bracketologists. That’s not too bad considering I am ahead of the chief bracketologists for Yahoo, SI, CBS, and ESPN (Joe Lunardi’s got nothing on me). In fact, last season I actually finished with the third most accurate bracket in the entire country!
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. F 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, Virginia, Purdue, Duke
2-seeds: Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Xavier
3-seeds: West Virginia, Clemson, Seton Hall, Texas Tech
4-seeds: Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Wichita State
5-seeds: Michigan State, Arizona, Arizona State, Rhode Island
6-seeds: Arkansas, Ohio State, Creighton, Michigan
7-seeds: Butler, Louisville, Miami-FL, TCU
8-seeds: Nevada, Marquette, Cincinnati, Florida State
9-seeds: Florida, Texas, Alabama, Texas A & M
10-seeds: Missouri, Syracuse, Providence, UCLA
11-seeds: Washington, Gonzaga, Georgia, Notre Dame, Houston, Maryland
12-seeds: Western Kentucky, New Mexico State, Buffalo, Missouri State
13-seeds: South Dakota State, Wright State, UC Davis, Vermont
14-seeds: East Tennessee State, William & Mary, UL-Lafayette, Belmont
15-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Radford, Iona, Bucknell
16-seeds: Montana, Robert Morris, Penn, Florida Gulf Coast, North Carolina A & T, Jackson State
NIT Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Western Kentucky, New Mexico State, NC State, LSU
2-seeds: St. Bonaventure, Saint Mary’s, Southern California, Colorado
3-seeds: Boise State, Middle Tennessee, Buffalo, UCF
4-seeds: South Carolina, San Diego State, Utah, Boston College
5-seeds: SMU, Oregon, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech
6-seeds: Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Ole Miss
7-seeds: UConn, Missouri State, South Dakota State, Stanford
8-seeds: Kansas State, Baylor, Memphis, Wright State
Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: UC Davis, Vermont, Dayton, Indiana, Iowa State, Northwestern