Brad-ketology: Final 2019 NCAA Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. My regional final four pairings are East vs. West and South vs. Midwest.

East Regional- Washington D.C. (March 29, 31)

(1) Duke vs. (16) Gardner-Webb- Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(8) Florida vs. (9) Baylor- Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(5) Virginia Tech vs. (12) New Mexico State- Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(4) Wisconsin vs. (13) Yale– Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(6) Maryland vs. (11) Alabama- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(3) Houston vs. (14) Northern Kentucky- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(7) Wofford vs. (10) Minnesota– Friday March 22 (Columbus, OH)

(2) Kentucky vs. (15) Bradley- Friday March 22 (Columbus, OH)

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West Regional- Anaheim, CA (March 28, 30)

(1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Iona- Thursday March 21 (Salt Lake City, UT)

(8) Iowa vs. (9) Oklahoma- Thursday March 21 (Salt Lake City, UT)

(5) Villanova vs. (12) Oregon- Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(4) Texas Tech vs. (13) UC Irvine- Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(6) Mississippi State vs. (11) Ohio State- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

(3) Florida State vs. (14) Sun Belt Champ- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

(7) Nevada vs. (10) St. Mary’s- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(2) Michigan/Michigan State winner vs. (15) Abilene Christian- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

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South Regional- Louisville, KY (March 28, 30)

(1) Virginia vs. (16) North Dakota State/North Carolina Central– Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(8) UCF vs. (9) Ole Miss- Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(5) Auburn vs. (12) Liberty- Thursday March 21 (Hartford, CT)

(4) Iowa State vs. (13) Vermont- Thursday March 21 (Hartford, CT)

(6) Louisville vs. (11)Arizona State/VCU- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(3) LSU vs. (14) Old Dominion- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(7) Buffalo vs. (10) Utah State- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(2) Michigan/Michigan State loser vs. (15) Montana- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

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Midwest Regional- Kansas City, MO (March 29, 31)

(1) Tennessee vs. (16) Prairie View A &M/Fairleigh Dickinson– Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(8) Syracuse vs. (9) Seton Hall- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(5) Kansas State vs. (12) Murray State– Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(4) Purdue vs. (13) Northeastern– Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(6) Marquette vs. (11) NC State/Indiana-Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(3) Kansas vs. (14) Saint Louis-Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(7) Cincinnati vs. (10) TCU- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

(2) North Carolina vs. (15) Colgate- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

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Brad-ketology: Final 2019 NIT Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. The regional final four pairings are Region 1 vs. Region 2 and Region 3 vs. Region 4.

Region 1

(1) Washington vs. (8) Campbell

(4) Arkansas vs. (5) Butler

(3) Nebraska vs. (6) Hofstra

(2) Creighton vs. (7) South Dakota State

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Region 2

(1) St. John’s vs. (8) St. Francis (PA)

(4) Memphis vs. (5) Colorado

(3) UNC Greensboro vs. (6) Wichita State/Georgia State

(2) Clemson vs. (7) Harvard

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Region 3

(1) Texas vs. (8) Sam Houston State

(4) Georgetown vs. (5) Davidson

(3) Furman vs. (6) South Carolina

(2) Lipscomb vs. (7) Wright State

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Region 4

(1) Temple vs. (8) Norfolk State

(4) Providence vs. (5) Dayton

(3) Xavier vs. (6) Penn State

(2) Belmont vs. (7) Loyola (IL)

Brad-ketology: 2019 Final Seed List

I will send out final brackets in a few minutes, but here is the final seed list for both my NCAA and NIT Bracket Projections.  The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  Teams in bold have already earned automatic bids to this year’s NCAA or NIT tournament by virtue of either winning their respective conference tournaments (NCAA auto bids) or conference regular season (NIT auto bids).  Feel free to comment or debate.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, Gonzaga

2-seeds: Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan

3-seeds: Houston, Florida State, LSU, Kansas

4-seeds: Texas Tech, Purdue, Iowa State, Wisconsin

5-seeds: Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Villanova, Auburn

6-seeds: Louisville, Mississippi State, Marquette, Maryland

7-seeds: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Wofford, Nevada

8-seeds: Florida, Syracuse, UCF, Iowa

9-seeds: Ole Miss, Baylor, Seton Hall, Oklahoma

10-seeds: Utah State, Minnesota, TCU, St. Mary’s

11-seeds: Ohio State, Alabama, Arizona State, Indiana, NC State, VCU

12-seeds: Oregon, Murray State, New Mexico State, Liberty

13-seeds: UC Irvine, Northeastern, Vermont, Yale

14-seeds: Old Dominion, Atlantic 10 Champ, Sun Belt Champ, Northern Kentucky

15-seeds: Montana,ColgateBradley, Abilene Christian

16-seeds: Gardner-Webb, Iona, North Dakota State, Prairie View A & M, Fairleigh Dickinson, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Washington, Texas, Temple, St. John’s

2-seeds: Clemson, Belmont, Lipscomb, Creighton

3-seeds: Nebraska, Furman, Xavier, UNC Greensboro

4-seeds: Providence, Memphis, Arkansas, Georgetown

5-seeds: Butler, Dayton, Davidson, Colorado

6-seeds: Penn State, South Carolina, Wichita State/Georgia State, Hofstra

7-seeds: Harvard, South Dakota State, Loyola-Chicago, Wright State

8-seeds: Sam Houston State, Campbell, St. Francis (PA), Norfolk State

First Four Out of of NIT: Toledo, Oregon State, East Tennessee State, San Francisco

Brad-ketology: March 15th 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 NCAA Tournament.  The bold teams are ones who have already clinched an automatic bid to the respective postseason tournament (NCAA or NIT).  You will notice that some of these squads are also listed in the NIT bracket.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First and foremost, it shows how close those teams are to getting at-large bids in the NCAA tournament field.  Secondly, it shows where those squads would be seeded if in fact they lost in their conference tournament and garnered an automatic bid to the NIT.

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 twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Thursday March 14th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky

2-seeds: Tennessee, Gonzaga, LSU, Michigan State

3-seeds: Michigan, Houston, Kansas, Purdue

4-seeds: Texas Tech, Kansas State, Florida State, Wisconsin

5-seeds: Virginia Tech, Auburn, Villanova, Mississippi State

6-seeds: Marquette, Buffalo, Iowa State, Louisville

7-seeds: Maryland, NevadaWofford, Cincinnati

8-seeds: UCF, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Florida

9-seeds: Seton Hall, Iowa, Baylor, Oklahoma

10-seeds: VCU, Utah State, NC State, TCU

11-seeds: Washington, St. Mary’s, St. John’s, Minnesota

12-seeds: Alabama, Ohio State, Arizona State, Indiana, Murray State, New Mexico State

13-seeds: Liberty, UC Irvine, Northeastern, Vermont

14-seeds: Old Dominion, Harvard, Georgia State, Northern Kentucky

15-seeds: Montana, ColgateBradley, Gardner-Webb

16-seeds: Sam Houston State, Iona, North Dakota State, Prairie View A & M, Farleigh Dickinson, Norfolk State

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, Nebraska, Texas, Clemson

2-seeds: Belmont, Lipscomb, Xavier, Creighton

3-seeds: Furman, UNC Greensboro, Oregon, Georgetown

4-seeds: New Mexico State, Memphis, Colorado, Arkansas

5-seeds: Dayton, Providence, Davidson, Butler

6-seeds: Toledo, UC Irvine, Vermont, South Carolina

7-seeds: Penn State, Oregon State, Hofstra, South Dakota State

8-seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Wright State, Campbell, St. Francis (PA)

First Four Out of of NIT: East Tennessee State, San Francisco, Wichita State, Fresno State

Brad-ketology: March 11th 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 NCAA Tournament.  The bold teams are ones who have already clinched an automatic bid to the respective postseason tournament (NCAA or NIT).  You will notice that some of these squads are also listed in the NIT bracket.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First and foremost, it shows how close those teams are to getting at-large bids in the NCAA tournament field.  Secondly, it shows where those squads would be seeded if in fact they lost in their conference tournament and garnered an automatic bid to the NIT.

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 twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday March 10th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Tennessee

2-seeds: Kentucky, Gonzaga, LSU, Michigan State

3-seeds: Texas Tech, Michigan, Houston, Kansas

4-seeds: Purdue,Kansas State, Florida State, Virginia Tech

5-seeds: Wisconsin, Auburn, Villanova, Maryland

6-seeds: Mississippi State, Marquette, Buffalo, Louisville

7-seeds: Iowa State, NevadaWofford, Ole Miss

8-seeds: Syracuse, Cincinnati, Baylor, Oklahoma

9-seeds: Texas, UCF, Florida, Seton Hall

10-seeds: Iowa, TCU, VCU, St. John’s

11-seeds: Utah State, NC State, Minnesota, Washington

12-seeds: Clemson, Indiana, Ohio State, Alabama, Murray State, New Mexico State

13-seeds: Liberty, Hofstra, UC Irvine, Vermont

14-seeds: Old Dominion, Harvard, Georgia State, Montana

15-seeds: Wright State, Colgate, Bradley, Omaha

16-seeds: Gardner-Webb, Sam Houston State, Iona, Prairie View A & M, St. Francis (PA), Norfolk State

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Arizona State, Temple, Belmont, Lipscomb

2-seeds: Creighton, Xavier, Georgetown, Nebraska

3-seeds: St. Mary’s, UNC Greensboro, New Mexico State, Oregon

4-seeds: Arkansas, Butler, Providence, Furman

5-seeds: Memphis, Hofstra, Colorado, Dayton

6-seeds: Davidson, Toledo, UC Irvine, Vermont

7-seeds: Penn State, South Carolina, Oregon State, East Tennessee State

8-seeds: San Francisco, South Dakota State, Loyola-Chicago, Campbell

First Four Out of of NIT: Wichita State, Arizona, Missouri, South Florida

 

Brad-ketology: March 4th 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 NCAA Tournament.  You will notice that some of these squads are also listed in the NIT bracket.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First and foremost, it shows how close those teams are to getting at-large bids in the NCAA tournament field.  Secondly, it shows where those squads would be seeded if in fact they lost in their conference tournament and garnered an automatic bid to the NIT.

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 twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday March 3rd.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Virginia, Duke, Tennessee, North Carolina

2-seeds: Gonzaga, Kentucky, Michigan, LSU

3-seeds: Michigan State, Texas Tech, Purdue, Kansas

4-seeds: Virginia Tech, Houston, Kansas State, Florida State

5-seeds: Wisconsin, Iowa State, Marquette, Mississippi State

6-seeds: Villanova, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Louisville

7-seeds: Maryland, Wofford, Auburn, Iowa

8-seeds: Nevada, Texas, Baylor, Syracuse

9-seeds: Oklahoma, Florida, UCF, Ole Miss

10-seeds: Washington, TCU, VCU, Ohio State

11-seeds: NC State, Alabama, St. John’s, Utah State

12-seeds: Minnesota, Seton Hall, Arizona State, Indiana, Belmont, Lipscomb

13-seeds: New Mexico State, Hofstra, Old Dominion, Yale

14-seeds: Vermont, South Dakota State, UC Irvine, Montana

15-seeds: Texas State, Loyola-Chicago, Wright State, Colgate

16-seeds: Sam Houston State, Iona, Campbell, Prairie View A & M, St. Francis (PA), Norfolk State

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, Clemson, Belmont, Murray State

2-seeds: Lipscomb, Nebraska, Creighton, St. Mary’s

3-seeds: Georgetown, Furman, Butler, New Mexico State

4-seeds: Xavier, Liberty, Providence, Oregon

5-seeds: UNC Greensboro, Arkansas, Memphis, Hofstra

6-seeds: Colorado, Old Dominion, Dayton, Davidson

7-seeds: Arizona, Toledo, East Tennessee State, Yale

8-seeds: San Francisco, Oregon State, Texas A &M, Southern California

First Team Out of of NIT: South Florida

Potential March Madness Cinderella Stories- Conference Tourney Edition

As the calendar turns to March, it is time for me to update my earlier entry regarding 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 second 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 probable 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.

UCF (AAC)- The Cinderella darlings of college football are right on the cut line for this year’s NCAA Tournament, and if they do go dancing for the first time in 13 years, 7’6″ Tacko Fall is going to present matchup problems no matter who they face.

Campbell (Big South)- In drastic contrast to UCF’s Tacko Fall, Chris Clemons from Campbell has been one of the most prolific and dynamic scorers throughout his four years in college, despite standing only 5’9″.  How special would it be if he closed his college career by sending his Camels to their first Big Dance since 1992?  They’re currently 11-4 in conference play and only a game back of conference frontrunner Radford as they head into their regular season finale against the Highlanders on Saturday.  The winner of that game will get to host the upcoming Big South tournament as the # 1 seed.

High Point (Big South)- You know who is also 3-1 in the Big South and also only a game and a half out of first?   The Panthers of High Point, who have never been dancing before.  What a story it would be if Tubby Smith could come back to his alma mater and take his sixth different school to the NCAA Tournament.

Hofstra (Colonial)- The last time Hofstra went to the Big Dance they were known as the Flying Dutchmen (2001).  The Pride are now in great shape to end their drought, as they’ve already clinched the # 1 seed for the upcoming Colonial tournament in Charleston.

Rider (Metro Atlantic)- The Broncos haven’t danced since 1994, but they are currently just a game back of the conference lead play entering the final weekend of the league play.

Quinnipiac (Metro Atlantic)- The Bobcats are the only remaining Big Dance virgins in the Metro Atlantic, but they are great shape to finally put on dancing shoes as they are one of the three MAAC teams tied for first place in the loss column.

Canisius (Metro Atlantic)- The Golden Griffins (very underrated nickname) are nipping at heels of the Bobcats (see Quinnipiac entry above) and haven’t been to the Big Dance since 1996.

Bowling Green (MAC)- Despite their football successes, the Falcons haven’t been to the Big Dance in basketball since 1968.  However, they are currently the team with the best chance of knocking off Buffalo in the MAC tourney, as Bowling Green has the second best record in the league and beat Buffalo in their only regular season meeting thus far.

Norfolk State (MEAC)- Even though UMBC knocked off Virginia last year for the biggest upset in tourney history according to seed differential, the Spartans of Norfolk still have the record for biggest point spread upset in the tournament.  The last time this squad went dancing in 2012 they knocked off Missouri as a 21.5 point underdog (UMBC was a 20.5 point underdog).  They haven’t danced since then, but this team would love to get back and try to repeat history, and they are in a great spot to do so in 2019 as they have already clinched the top seed in the upcoming MEAC tournament which the Spartans will be hosting.

Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley)- Speaking of teams looking for an encore performance, the Ramblers and Sister Jean would love to have a chance to make another tourney run and are currently in position to do so as they are tied for 1st in the Valley.  This team doesn’t appear to be quite as good as it was last year but they do have a lot of the key pieces back from that Final Four run.

Missouri State (Missouri Valley)- In 1999, a Steve Alford-led Missouri State team (known as Southwest Missouri State at the time) made a magical Cinderella run to second weekend of the NCAA tournament as a # 12 seed.  The Bears haven’t danced since, but now they find themselves just a game back of league leaders Drake and Loyola heading into the final weekend of the regular season and swept the forementioned Ramblers in both regular season meetings.

St. Francis-Pennsylvania (Northeast)- St. Francis is the only team in the country who shares its university name with another school in the very same conference.  And while St. Francis in Brooklyn has the most epic of all March Madness droughts (never danced since the NCAA tournament was created in 1939), St. Francis in Pennsylvania also hasn’t been to the tournament in 28 years.   This year’s squad is in prime position to end that streak, as they are currently alone in first place going into their final regular season game this weekend.

Colgate (Patriot)- Speaking of tourney droughts dating back to the 1990s, the Raiders of Colgate haven’t danced since future journeyman pro Adonal Foyle graced their roster in 1996.  Now they have caught fire, winning seven straight and locked in a three-way tie with league powerhouses Bucknell and Lehigh for first place in the conference.

Ole Miss (SEC)- The Rebels were predicted to finish dead last in the loaded SEC this year during Kermit Davis’ inaugural campaign in Oxford.  However, Ole Miss has exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations and currently sit in a tie for 4th in  14 team SEC and project as a 9 seed in my latest NCAA bracket projection which was published earlier today.

Abilene Christian (Southland)– The Wildcats have only been a Division 1 basketball participant since 2014, but they already find themselves in contention for their first-ever NCAA tournament trip.  Abilene stands alone in 2nd place in the Southland heading into their regular season finale.

Prairie View (SWAC)- This university who suffered through the longest losing streak in college football history (80 straight losses from 1989 to 1998) hasn’t been to the Big Dance since the streak was going on in 1998.  Now, my beloved Prairie View Panthers, who have always been my favorite HBCU squad, find themselves with a two game lead over the rest of the league heading into March.

Omaha (Summit)- This conference is interesting in that only three of its members have been to the NCAA tournament before (Oral Roberts, South Dakota State, and North Dakota State).   And while this is once again South Dakota State’s conference to lose, the Mavericks of Omaha (great nickname) have emerged as their most intense challengers.

Texas State (Sun Belt)- The Bobcats haven’t danced since the 1990s, but they are currently alone atop the Sun Belt standings.

Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)- Another Sun Belt squad who hasn’t been to the tournament this century is also still in contention for this league’s championship.  The Eagles of Georgia Southern are tied for second place, just a game behind the Bobcats heading into the final week of the regular season.

Grand Canyon (WAC)– The Antelopes have never been dancing, but former NBA superstar Dan Majerle has had them in contention the past few seasons.  He has once again gotten them off to a strong start in conference play this year, as the Antelopes are currently tied for second in the WAC with fellow Big Dance virgin Utah Valley (see entry below).  The Aggies of New Mexico State are a little down this year relative to their past few campaigns, so this may be the season Majerle can get Grand Canyon to the Big Dance.

Utah Valley (WAC)- Speaking of former basketball superstars who are trying to coach a WAC squad to their first NCAA tournament, Mark Pope, the former Kentucky Wildcat national champion and NBA role player, has Utah Valley tied with Grand Canyon for 2nd in the conference heading into the final stretch of the regular season.