Brad-ketology: February 20th 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.  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. You may also notice that some teams are listed in both the NCAA and NIT fields. These are teams predicted to be automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournament that would also earn at-large bids to the NIT tournament but not the NCAA tourney. There are several reasons reason these teams are displayed like this.. 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. Finally, there will inevitably be 6-8 regular season mid-major conference champions that lose their conference tourney and earn an NIT automatic bid, so by going ahead and adding 6-8 teams that may later get removed, we end up with an NIT cut line that is more representative of what it will actually look like on Selection Sunday.

Moreover, 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. 

This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Sunday February 19th. Brad-ketology columns will typically be published twice a week (usually on Mondays and Fridays) and likely more often than that when it gets closer to tourney time. Please feel free to comment or debate.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: AlabamaHoustonPurdue, Kansas

2-seeds: Texas, Arizona, UCLA, Virginia

3-seeds: Baylor, Tennessee, Kansas State, Indiana

4-seeds: Marquette, Gonzaga, Xavier, UConn

5-seeds: Iowa State, Saint Mary’s, Miami-FL, Creighton

6-seeds: TCU, San Diego State, Duke, Northwestern

7-seeds: Iowa, Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois

8-seeds: Michigan State, Providence, Oklahoma State, Florida Atlantic

9-seeds: Arkansas, Boise State, Texas A & M, Nevada

10-seeds: Auburn, NC State, Missouri, Pittsburgh

11-seeds: Kentucky, West Virginia, Southern California, Mississippi State, Memphis, Wisconsin

12-seeds: College of Charleston, Sam Houston State, Oral Roberts, Southern Miss

13-seeds: Liberty, VCU, Kent State, Drake

14-seeds: Yale, Iona, UC Irvine, Colgate

15-seeds: Eastern Washington, Vermont, Youngstown State, UNC Asheville

16-seeds: Samford, Texas A &M-Corpus Christi, Alcorn State, Howard, Morehead State, Fairleigh Dickinson

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: North Carolina, Arizona State, Utah State, Clemson

2-seeds: New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Michigan

3-seeds: Seton Hall, Penn State, College of Charleston, Wake Forest

4-seeds: Texas Tech, Sam Houston State, Florida, Oral Roberts

5-seeds: Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, North Texas

6-seeds: Southern Miss, Vanderbilt, Liberty, Tulane

7-seeds:  VCU, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Kent State

8-seeds: Utah Valley, UCF, Drake, Marshall,

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Dayton, UAB, Santa Clara, Bradley, UNLV, Syracuse, St. John’s


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