Brad-ketology: February 17th 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 at least twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday February 16th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga, San Diego State

2-seeds: Duke, Dayton, Maryland, Florida State

3-seeds: Villanova, Louisville, Auburn, Penn State

4-seeds: Seton Hall, Arizona, West Virginia, Butler

5-seeds: Colorado, Creighton, Michigan State, Oregon

6-seeds: Kentucky, Marquette, Iowa, Michigan

7-seeds: Ohio State, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, LSU

8-seeds: BYU, Saint Mary’s, Rhode Island, Houston

9-seeds: Rutgers, Florida, Purdue, Illinois

10-seeds: Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Virginia

11-seeds: Georgetown, Xavier, Cincinnati, Alabama, Stanford, Minnesota

12-seeds: East Tenn. State, Northern Iowa, Liberty, Yale

13-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Vermont, North Texas, Akron

14-seeds: New Mexico State, UC Irvine, Wright State, Colgate

15-seeds: Hofstra, South Dakota State, Murray State, Montana

16-seeds: Arkansas Little Rock, Winthrop, Prairie View, Robert Morris, St. Peter’s, NC Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Wichita State, VCU

2-seeds: Providence, Richmond, Utah State, Indiana

3-seeds: South Carolina, East Tenn. State, Northern Iowa, NC State

4-seeds: Texas, Syracuse, Tennessee, Memphis

5-seeds: SMU, Liberty, Notre Dame, Oregon State

6-seeds: Virginia Tech, Yale, St. John’s, TCU

7-seeds: Utah, UConn, Oklahoma State, Clemson

8-seeds: DePaul, UNC Greensboro, Tulsa, Furman

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Duquesne, Saint Louis, Ole Miss, Washington

Brad-ketology: February 14th 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 at least twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Tbursday February 13th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga, San Diego State

2-seeds: Duke, Dayton, Maryland, Auburn

3-seeds: Florida State, Louisville, Seton Hall, Villanova

4-seeds: West Virginia, Penn State, Butler, Michigan State

5-seeds: Arizona, Colorado, Creighton, Oregon

6-seeds: Kentucky, Texas Tech, Marquette, Iowa

7-seeds: Michigan Ohio State, Wisconsin, LSU

8-seeds: Illinois, BYU, Houston, Saint Mary’s

9-seeds: Purdue, Rutgers, Florida, Rhode Island

10-seeds: Arizona State, Oklahoma, Virginia, Southern Cal

11-seeds: Minnesota, Stanford, Arkansas, Xavier, Cincinnati, VCU

12-seeds: Northern Iowa, East Tenn. State, Liberty, Yale

13-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Vermont, North Texas, Akron

14-seeds: New Mexico State, Colgate, UC Irvine, Wright State

15-seeds: Hofstra, Winthrop, North Dakota State, Arkansas Little Rock

16-seeds: Murray State, Montana, Prairie View, Robert Morris, Monmouth, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Wichita State, Indiana, Utah State, Northern Iowa

2-seeds: Alabama, NC State, East Tennessee State, Mississippi State

3-seeds: Providence, Tennessee, Georgetown, Texas

4-seeds: Syracuse, Memphis, Liberty, Richmond

5-seeds: Notre Dame, Yale, Oregon State, Utah

6-seeds: Virginia Tech, St. John’s, SMU, TCU

7-seeds: South Carolina, DePaul, UConn, UNC Greensboro

8-seeds: Tulsa, Furman, Ole Miss, Duquesne

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Saint Louis, Washington, Oklahoma State

Brad-ketology: The Inaugural 2020 Edition

Now that the selection committee has released its top sixteen teams, 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 2020 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections).  For the eleventh 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.

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: Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga, San Diego State

2-seeds: Duke, Dayton, Louisville, Seton Hall

3-seeds: West Virginia, Maryland, Florida State, Auburn

4-seeds: Villanova, Penn State, Kentucky, Iowa

5-seeds: Butler, Michigan State, Colorado, Arizona

6-seeds: Oregon, Marquette, LSU, Creighton

7-seeds: Illinois, Michigan, Rutgers, Texas Tech

8-seeds: Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, BYU

9-seeds: Houston, Stanford, Rhode Island, Florida

10-seeds: Saint Mary’s, Oklahoma, Virginia, Southern Cal

11-seeds: Arkansas, Xavier, Minnesota, VCU, Arizona State, Wichita State

12-seeds: Northern Iowa, East Tenn. State, Liberty, Yale

13-seeds: Stephen F. Austin, Vermont, North Texas, Northern Colorado

14-seeds: New Mexico State, Colgate, UC Irvine, Winthrop

15-seeds: Wright State, Hofstra, North Dakota State, Arkansas Little Rock

16-seeds: Murray State, Bowling Green, Prairie View, Robert Morris, Monmouth, North Carolina A & T

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Alabama, Cincinnati, Indiana, Mississippi State

2-seeds: Utah State, Northern Iowa, Providence, Memphis

3-seeds: NC State, East Tennessee State, Syracuse, Texas

4-seeds: Tennessee, Liberty, Georgetown, Yale

5-seeds: Richmond, Oregon State, Notre Dame, Utah

6-seeds: Virginia Tech, TCU, Washington, St. John’s

7-seeds: UConn, SMU, Pittsburgh, South Carolina

8-seeds: DePaul, UNC Greensboro, Tulsa, Furman

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Duquesne, Saint Louis

Potential March Madness Cinderella Stories 2020- Early Edition

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 college basketball 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.

Tulsa (AAC)- The Golden Hurricane were picked to finish 10th in the American Athletic this season but now they find themselves a half game back from the conference lead with an impressive 7-2 start to league play.  Add in the heart-warming story of Elijah Joiner, and you have all the makings of a great March Madness Cinderella Story.

Image result for Elijah Joiner and father

Rutgers (Big Ten)- The Scarlet Knights have long been the doormat of major college basketball.  In fact, you could argue they have long been the doormat of major college athletics, as they are only one of two Power 5 schools never to play in a ESPN College Gameday basketball or football game (the other is my beloved Wake Forest squad).  Nevertheless, Rutgers has surged to a 16-7 start to the season and currently are projected as a 7 seed per the official bracket matrix.  The Knights haven’t played in an NCAA tournament since 1991 and haven’t even had a winning season since 2006!

Image result for rutgers basketball 2020

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 are just a half game back of Charleston for first place in the CAA standings.

Image result for hofstra basketball 2020

Louisiana Tech (Conference USA)- The Ragin’ Cajuns have produced a solid football program over the years, but the basketball program hasn’t seen in an NCAA Tournament berth since 1991.  They have a decent shot at ending that drought this season, however, as they are just tied for second place and only a game back of first in the current Conference USA standings.

Image result for louisiana tech basketball 2020

Monmouth (Metro Atlantic)– Believe it or not, the Hawks have had failed to earn a NCAA tourney bid since 2002, despite King Rice’s overall success with this program.  In 2016, they pulled off all of several non-conference upsets and were known for their charismatic bench celebrations, but ended up losing a heartbreaker in the conference final.  This year’s edition of the program is in position to finally breakthrough, as they are currently tied for first in MAAC standings.

Image result for monmouth basketball 2020

Bowling Green (MAC)– Would you believe the Falcons haven’t danced since LBJ’s presidency back in 1968?  This football powerhouse may finally have the goods to breakthrough in hoops, as they are currently  8-2 in MAC play and are alone atop the East division.

Image result for bowling green basketball 2020

Northern Illinois (MAC)– The Falcons aren’t the only MAC team positioning themselves for a Cinderella NCAA tourney bid.  The Huskies, who have been the class of the league in football for several seasons, are tied for first in the MAC West, as they search for their first NCAA tourney bid since 1996.

Image result for northern illinois basketball 2020

Norfolk State (MEAC)– Would you believe the Spartans haven’t been to the Big Dance since pulling off their incredible 15 over 2 upset of Missouri in 2012?  Now, Norfolk is back in the hunt for a conference crown as they are tied for second in the league standings.

Image result for norfolk state basketball 2020

Southern Illinois (MVC)– The Salukis haven’t danced since their Cinderella Sweet 16 run in 2007.  Now, SIU is back in hunt for the league title, as they are alone in second place in the Missouri Valley standings.

Image result for southern illinois basketball 2020

St. Francis-PA (NEC)– The real Cinderella story in the Northeast Conference is the Merrimack Warriors who sit alone atop the league standings in their very first year playing Division 1 basketball.  Unfortunately, Merrimack is ineligible for the Big Dance, so the one Cinderella Story that matters in this league is St. Francis PA who is currently in position to earn the # 2 seed in the NEC tournament, despite a 29 year NCAA tournament drought.

Image result for st. francis pa basketball 2020

Furman (Southern)– The Paladins haven’t danced since 1980 but did you know this squad made the Sweet 16 in 1974?  This year they are tied for first in SoCon play and only lost by 3 at Auburn earlier this season.

Image result for furman basketball 2020

Nicholls State (Southland)- The Colonels haven’t danced since the late 90’s, and even though everyone think this is Stephen F. Austin’s league to lose, Nicholls is currently tied for second in conference play.

Image result for nicholls state basketball 2020

Arkansas-Little Rock (Sun Belt)– The Trojans have danced as recently as 2016 when they beat Purdue in a huge first round upset.  Nevertheless, Little Rock finished dead last in conference the past two seasons.  That is why it is fairly astonishing that Darrell Walker currently has this team leading the entire Sun Belt by three games.

Image result for arkansas little rock basketball 2020

Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)- If the aforementioned Little Rock squad manages to falter in March, then either the Eagles of Georgia Southern or the Bobcats of Texas State will be in prime position to clinch an automatic bid, as both teams are currently tied for second in Sun Belt play.  Neither team has danced since the 1990s.

Image result for georgia southern basketball 2020

Texas State (Sun Belt)– see comment above

Image result for texas state bobcats basketball 2020

 

Updated Ranking of Greatest Super Bowls

A few years bank I began ranking Super Bowls from best to worst based on a combination of excitement level, storyline intrigue, and number of memorable moments.  Now, my list hast been updated to include last night’s big game.  Feel free to comment or debate.

Greatest Super Bowls in NFL History
1 Super Bowl III- NY Jets 16, Baltimore 7
2 Super Bowl LI- New England 34, Atlanta 28 (OT)
3 Super Bowl XXXII- Denver 31, Green Bay 24
4 Super Bowl XXXVI- New England 20, St. Louis 17
5 Super Bowl XXIII- San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16
6 Super Bowl XLIX- New England 28, Seattle 24
7 Super Bowl XXXIV- St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16
8 Super Bowl XLII- New York Giants 17, New England 14
9 Super Bowl XXV- New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19
10 Super Bowl XXXVIII- New England 32, Carolina 29
11 Super Bowl XLIII- Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23
12 Super Bowl XLVI- New York Giants 21, New England 17
13 Super Bowl XVI- San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21
14 Super Bowl LII- Philadelphia 41, New England 33
15 Super Bowl V- Baltimore 16, Dallas 13
16 Super Bowl LIII- New England 13, LA Rams 3
17 Super Bowl XIII- Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31
18 Super Bowl XXXIX- New England 24, Philadelphia 21
19 Super Bowl X- Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17
20 Super Bowl XXXI- Green Bay 35, New England 21
21 Super Bowl XLIV- New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17
22 Super Bowl LIV- Kansas City 31, San Francisco 20
23 Super Bowl XXX- Dallas 27, Pittsburgh 17
24 Super Bowl XLVII- Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31
25 Super Bowl VII- Miami 14, Washington 7
26 Super Bowl XLV- Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25
27 Super Bowl XL- Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
28 Super Bowl XVII- Washington 27, Miami 17
29 Super Bowl XXVIII- Dallas 30, Buffalo 13
30 Super Bowl 50- Denver 24, Carolina 10
31 Super Bowl XIV- Pittsburgh 31, LA Rams 19
32 Super Bowl XV- Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10
33 Super Bowl IX- Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6
34 Super Bowl I- Green Bay 35, KC 10
35 Super Bowl XXVI- Washington 37, Buffalo 24
36 Super Bowl VI- Dallas 24, Miami 3
37 Super Bowl XVIII- LA Raiders 38, Washington 9
38 Super Bowl VIII- Miami 24, Minnesota 7
39 Super Bowl II- Green Bay 33, Oakland 14
40 Super Bowl XIX- San Francisco 38, Miami 16
41 Super Bowl XI- Oakland 32, Minnesota 14
42 Super Bowl XXXIII- Denver 34, Atlanta 19
43 Super Bowl IV- KC 23, Minnesota 7
44 Super Bowl XX- Chicago 46, New England 10
45 Super Bowl XII- Dallas 27, Denver 10
46 Super Bowl XLI- Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17
47 Super Bowl XXI- New York Giants 39, Denver 20
48 Super Bowl XXXVII- Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
49 Super Bowl XLVIII- Seattle 43, Denver 8
50 Super Bowl XXXV- Baltimore 34, New York Giants 7
51 Super Bowl XXII- Washington 42, Denver 10
52 Super Bowl XXVII- Dallas 52, Buffalo 17
53 Super Bowl XXIV- San Francisco 55, Denver 10
54 Super Bowl XXIX- San Francisco 49, San Diego 26

Updated Ranking of Greatest Super Bowl Halftime Shows

After getting in a Facebook debate a couple years back regarding just how wretched the Justin Timberlake Super Bowl halftime show, I decided to review all 52 of the Super Bowl halftime shows and rank them from best to worst.  I have now updated that list to include last night’s show by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.  The best I can tell is that there is not another list this comprehensive on the web anywhere.  Several websites rank the modern concert-type shows (post 1991), but I couldn’t find any that rank all 53.  If you scroll down my blog a few days, you will see that I recently ranked all 53 Super Bowl games as well, and ironically, the worst halftime show on this list corresponded with the worst game on that list.  It took a little work to find some clips of the other older shows on You Tube, and it is hard to compare the old marching band shows to the current live concerts but here’s what I came up with.  Feel free to comment or debate.

Greatest Super Bowl Halftimes in NFL History
1 Super Bowl XXVII- Michael Jackson
2 Super Bowl XLII- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
3 Super Bowl XLIX- Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott
4 Super Bowl XXXVI- U2 (9/11 Tribute)
5 Super Bowl LI- Lady Gaga
6 Super Bowl LIV- Jennifer Lopez and Shakira
7 Super Bowl XXXIX- Paul McCartney
8 Super Bowl XXXVIII- Jessica Simpson, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock
9 Super Bowl XLVI- Madonna. LMFAO, Nicky Minaj, Cee Lo Green
10 Super Bowl 50- Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars
11 Super Bowl XLIII- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
12 Super Bowl XLI- Prince, FAMU Marching Band
13 Super Bowl XXXIV- Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton
14 Super Bowl XLIV- The Who
15 Super Bowl XL- The Rolling Stones
16 Super Bowl XXII- Chubby Checker, The Rockettes (Something Grand)
17 Super Bowl XXIV- Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw (Salute to New Orleans)
18 Super Bowl XVI- Up With People (Salute to the 1960s and Motown)
19 Super Bowl XXXVII- Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
20 Super Bowl XXXI- Blues Brothers and ZZ Top
21 Super Bowl I- University of Arizona and Grambling Marching Bands
22 Super Bowl VI- Ella Fitzgerald “Mack the Knife” (Salute to Louis Armstrong)
23 Super Bowl XVII- LA Drill Team (Kaleido superscope)
24 Super Bowl VII- Michigan Marching Band “This Land Is Your Land”
25 Super Bowl IV- Southern Marching Band “When Saints Go Marching In” (Mardi Gras)
26 Super Bowl III- Florida A & M Marching Band (America Thanks)
27 Super Bowl V- Southeast Missouri St. Marching Band with Anita Bryant
28 Super Bowl XXI- Walt Disnery (Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary)
29 Super Bowl XXVI- Gloria Estefan (Salute to the 1992 Winter Olympics)
30 Super Bowl XVIII- Walt Disney (Salute to Superstars of Silver Screen)
31 Super Bowl XXX- Diana Ross
32 Super Bowl LIII- Maroon 5 and Outkast
33 Super Bowl XXXII- Boyz II Men, The Temptations, Queen Latifah
34 Super Bowl XXXV- Aerosmith, N’Sync, Brittany Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly
35 Super Bowl XLV- The Black Eyed Peas, Usher
36 Super Bowl XV- Southern Marching Band (Mardi Gras Festival)
37 Super Bowl II- Grambling State Marching Band
38 Super Bowl VIII- Texas Marching Band (A Musical America)
39 Super Bowl XII- Apache Band (From Paris to Paris of America)
40 Super Bowl XXXIII- Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder
41 Super Bowl XX- Up with People (Beat of the Future)
42 Super Bowl XLVII- Beyonce, Destiny’s Child
43 Super Bowl X- Up With People (Bicentennial)
44 Super Bowl IX- Grambling State Marching Band (Tribute to Duke Ellington)
45 Super Bowl XIX- Tops In Blue (World of Children’s Dreams)
46 Super Bowl XLVIII- Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers
47 Super Bowl XIV- Up With People, Grambling Marching Band (Big Band Era)
48 Super Bowl XXVIII- Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt
49 Super Bowl LII- Justin Timberlake
50 Super Bowl XIII- Ken Hamilton (Salute to Caribbean)
51 Super Bowl XI- Walt Disney “It’s a Small World”
52 Super Bowl XXIII- Elvis Presto (1950’s Rock and Roll)
53 Super Bowl XXV- New Kids on the Block (Small World Tribute)
54 Super Bowl XXIX- Patti Labelle, Tony Bennett (Indiana Jones)