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 2019 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections). For the tenth 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 NIT 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 45th most accurate amongst the 127 nationally recognized veteran bracketologists (previously ranked 13th, but had a bad year last year). That’s still not too bad considering I am ahead of the chief bracketologists for Yahoo, CBS, and ESPN (Joe Lunardi’s got nothing on me). In fact, in 2017 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. 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: Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, Duke
2-seeds: Gonzaga, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Kansas
3-seeds: Kentucky, North Carolina, Iowa State, Marquette
4-seeds: Louisville, Houston, Virginia Tech, Maryland
5-seeds: Buffalo, LSU, Nevada, Auburn
6-seeds: Purdue, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Iowa
7-seeds: Indiana, Villanova, Nebraska, Florida State
8-seeds: St. Johns, Ole Miss, Kansas State, Syracuse
9-seeds: Seton Hall, Mississippi State, TCU, Ohio State
10-seeds: Cincinnati, NC State, Minnesota, Texas
11-seeds: Arizona, Temple, Pittsburgh, Butler, Baylor, Alabama
12-seeds: VCU, Wofford, Murray State, Liberty
13-seeds: Hofstra, North Texas, Yale, Vermont
14-seeds: New Mexico State, Radford, Georgia State, Loyola-Chicago
15-seeds: Northern Kentucky, South Dakota State, UC Santa Barbara, Lehigh
16-seeds: Rider, Weber State, Wagner, Sam Houston State, Norfolk State, Arkansas Pine Bluff
NIT Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Washington, UCF, Florida, Oregon
2-seeds: VCU, Wofford, Murray State, Arizona State
3-seeds: Oregon State, Saint Louis, Clemson, San Francisco
4-seeds: Creighton, Utah State, Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s
5-seeds: Arkansas, Liberty, UCLA, Lipscomb
6-seeds: Northwestern, Hofstra, Georgia Tech, Furman
7-seeds: Xavier, Providence, Georgetown, Fresno State
8-seeds: North Texas, Yale, Vermont, Georgia
Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: UNC Greensboro, Dayton, East Tennessee State, Davidson, Memphis, Toledo