Brad-ketology: March 3rd Edition

The Month of Madness has finally arrived!

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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 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 26th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova,  Oregon, North Carolina

2-seeds: Baylor, Butler, Gonzaga, Louisville

3-seeds: Arizona, UCLA, Kentucky, Duke

4-seeds: Florida State, Florida, West Virginia, Virginia

5-seeds: Notre Dame, SMU, Minnesota, Purdue

6-seeds: Cincinnati, St. Mary’s, Creighton, Maryland

7-seeds: Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Dayton, Virginia Tech

8-seeds: Wisconsin, Miami-FL, South Carolina, VCU

9-seeds: Arkansas, Xavier, Southern California, Michigan State

10-seeds: Northwestern, Michigan, Seton Hall, Middle Tennessee

11-seeds: Providence, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Marquette, Wake Forest, Rhode Island

12-seeds: Illinois State, UT-Arlington, Nevada, UNC Wilmington

13-seeds: Monmouth, Vermont, Princeton, Belmont

14-seeds: Akron, Bucknell, Winthrop, Cal State Bakersfield

15-seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, Oakland, UNC Greensboro, South Dakota

16-seeds: Texas Southern,  UC Irvine, North Dakota, Mount St. Mary’s, New Orleans, , North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds:  Kansas State, Illinois State, Wichita State, Syracuse

2-seeds: California, TCU, Clemson, Pittsburgh

3-seeds: Ohio State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UT-Arlington,

4-seeds: Nevada, UNC Wilmington, Houston, Monmouth

5-seeds: Vermont, Charleston, Ole Miss, Brigham Young

6-seeds: Boise State, Alabama, Utah, Indiana

7-seeds: Iowa, Tennessee, Texas A & M, UCF

8-seeds: Princeton, Richmond, Belmont, Auburn

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Colorado State, Texas Tech, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure

Potential March Madness Cinderella Stories- February 27th Update

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 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.

Rhode Island (Atlantic 10)- The Rams haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since Lamar Odom took them there in 1999.  Currently, they are in the mix for an at-large bid.  In fact, my lastest bracket projection has them as the last team in the field.

 Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)- This small Church of Christ school in Nashville has never danced in its brief 17 year Division 1 history but they enter the Atlantic Sun tournament as a dangerous # 2 seed.

TCU (Big 12)- The Horned Frogs haven’t danced since 1998, but Jamie Dixon has them squarely on the bubble in his first season.

North Dakota (Big Sky)– The newly named Fighting Hawks are a Big Dance virgin who are sitting alone atop the Big Sky standings with just two games to go.

Northwestern (Big Ten)– The only major conference team never to make it to the Big Dance is in  position to finally breakthrough this season.  However, their late season slump is making their at-large bid a lot less secure than it looked just a few weeks ago.

UC Davis (Big West)– The Aggies are trying to make their first ever trip to the Big Dance and are currently tied for the league lead with just two games remaining.

Charleston (Colonial)– Would you believe that despite all the success Cremins and others have had here recently the Cougars haven’t danced since the 1990’s?  They are a clear second behind UNCW entering the postseason, but they do get to host the conference tournament, which I will be attending next weekend.

Louisiana Tech (Conference USA)– This football powerhouse hasn’t danced since 1991 but they will be the top challengers of MTSU in the upcoming C-USA tournament.

Illinois State (MVC)– Despite being one of Wichita’s top MVC challengers in recent years, the Redbirds haven’t gone dancing since 1998.  This year they shared the conference regular season championship with the Shockers and enter Arch Madness as the # 1 seed.

UT-Martin (OVC)– The affectionately named Skyhawks have never danced before but are this season’s Ohio Valley West Division champs and appear to be Belmont’s top challenger in the upcoming conference tournament.

South Carolina (SEC)– Not only has it been 12 years since the Gamecocks got to the NCAA tournament but they haven’t won a game there since 1973.  That is the longest such drought in major college hoops besides of course the forementioned Northwestern Wildcats.  This drought is especially shocking when you consider the Gamecocks held # 2 and 3 seeds respectively in the 1997 and 98 NCAA tournaments.  This year it appears they will have a chance to end that drought as my current bracket projection as the Gamecocks safely in the field as a # 9 seed.

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 a half game between East Tennessee State in the conference standings and clinch a share of the conference regular season championship if UNCG knocks off ETSU on Monday night.

New Orleans (Southland)– Now that Stephen F. Austin’s reign of terror in the Southland appears to be over with the departure of Brad Underwood, the Privateers are alone in first place and in prime position to earn the Big Easy’s first tourney bid since 1996.

South Dakota (Summit)– The Coyotes have miraculously surpassed perennial powerhouse North Dakota State atop the Summit League standings with just a game to go in regular season play.  They haven’t come close to sniffing the Big Dance in their seven years of playing Division 1 basketball but this year appears to be different.

Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)– The last Big Dance the Eagles participated in was the one where Laettner stomped on Aminu Timberlake and then hit one of the most famous buzzer beaters of all-time (1992).  Now, the Eagles sit tied for second in the Sun Belt with just two winnable games left to go in regular season play.

Brad-ketology: February 26th 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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 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 26th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina, Oregon

2-seeds: Louisville, Baylor, Butler, Gonzaga

3-seeds: Arizona, UCLA, Kentucky, Florida State

4-seeds: Duke, Florida, West Virginia, Notre Dame

5-seeds: SMU, Virginia, Minnesota, Purdue

6-seeds: Cincinnati, St. Mary’s, Creighton, Oklahoma State

7-seeds: Dayton, Wisconsin, Maryland, Xavier

8-seeds: Miami-FL, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, Arkansas

9-seeds: South Carolina, VCU, Michigan State, Michigan

10-seeds: Seton Hall, Southern California, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt

11-seeds: Northwestern, Providence, California, TCU, Illinois, Rhode Island

12-seeds: Wichita State, UT-Arlington, Nevada, UNC Wilmington

13-seeds: Monmouth, Vermont, Akron, Belmont

14-seeds: Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Winthrop 

15-seeds: Cal State Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast, Oakland, South Dakota

16-seeds: Texas Southern, North Dakota, UC Irvine, New Orleans, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds:  Marquette, Wichita State, Syracuse, Illinois State

2-seeds: Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Clemson, Wake Forest

3-seeds: Ohio State, Georgia, Houston, UT-Arlington,

4-seeds: Tennessee, Nevada, Ole Miss, UNC Wilmington

5-seeds: Boise State, Monmouth, Indiana, Georgia Tech

6-seedsVermont, Charleston, Brigham Young, Stanford

7-seeds: Texas A & M, Auburn, Alabama, Utah

8-seeds: UCF, Akron, Richmond, Belmont

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Iowa, Colorado State, St. Bonaventure, Texas Tech, New Mexico

Brad-ketology: February 24th 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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 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 24th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova,  Gonzaga, North Carolina

2-seeds: Oregon, Arizona, Baylor, Louisville

3-seeds: Florida, Butler, Kentucky, Duke

4-seeds: UCLA, Florida State, West Virginia, Purdue

5-seeds: Notre Dame, Cincinnati, SMU, Virginia

6-seeds: Creighton, Minnesota, St. Mary’s, Wisconsin

7-seeds: Oklahoma State, Maryland, Xavier, VCU

8-seeds: Dayton, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, Iowa State

9-seeds: Arkansas, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Michigan State

10-seeds: Northwestern, Seton Hall, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt

11-seeds: Providence, Michigan, California, Kansas State, Clemson, Illinois

12-seeds: Illinois State,  UT-Arlington, Nevada, UNC Wilmington

13-seeds: Monmouth, Vermont, Valpo, Akron

14-seeds: Belmont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell

15-seeds: Cal State Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast, UNC-Asheville, North Dakota State

16-seeds: Texas Southern, New Orleans, North Dakota, UC Irvine, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: TCU,  Pittsburgh, Marquette, Syracuse

2-seeds: Illinois State, Wichita State, Wake Forest, Tennessee

3-seeds: Rhode Island, Ohio State, Georgia, Georgia Tech

4-seeds: Houston, UT-Arlington, Georgetown, Nevada

5-seeds: Ole Miss, Alabama, UNC Wilmington, Boise State

6-seedsMonmouth, Auburn, Vermont, Charleston

7-seeds: Valpo, Utah, Akron, Indiana

8-seeds: Penn State, Texas A & M, Texas Tech, New Mexico

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Brigham Young, Richmond, Colorado State, St. Bonaventure, UCF

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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 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 19th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina

2-seeds: Louisville, Oregon, Arizona, Baylor

3-seeds: Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Butler

4-seeds: UCLA, Florida State, West Virginia, Purdue

5-seeds: Creighton, Virginia, Notre Dame, Cincinnati

6-seeds: SMU, Wisconsin, St. Mary’s, Xavier

7-seeds: Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Oklahoma State

8-seeds: VCU, Dayton, Northwestern, Virginia Tech

9-seeds:  Southern California, Iowa State, Miami-FL, Arkansas

10-seeds: Michigan State, Seton Hall, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee

11-seeds: Kansas State, Clemson, California, TCU, Michigan, Georgia Tech

12-seeds: Illinois State,  Monmouth, Nevada, UNC Wilmington

13-seeds: UT-Arlington, Vermont, Valpo, Akron

14-seeds: Belmont, Princeton, UNC-Asheville, Florida Gulf Coast

15-seeds: Bucknell, Cal State Bakersfield, North Dakota State, Furman

16-seeds: Texas Southern, UC Irvine, New Orleans, North Dakota, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Providence, Illinois State

2-seeds: Wichita State, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Vanderbilt

3-seeds: Marquette, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana

4-seeds: Houston, Rhode Island, Alabama, Monmouth

5-seeds: Ohio State, Nevada, Ole Miss, UNC Wilmington

6-seeds: Penn State, Boise State, Texas Tech, Auburn

7-seeds: UT-Arlington, Vermont, Charleston, Valpo

8-seeds: Akron, Utah, New Mexico, San Diego State

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Brigham Young, Richmond, Texas A & M, Temple

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 dance, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 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 Thursday February 16th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina

2-seeds: Baylor, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona

3-seeds: Duke, Florida State, Florida, Kentucky

4-seeds: Butler, UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia

5-seeds: Purdue, Creighton, Notre Dame, Cincinnati

6-seeds: SMU, Maryland, Xavier, Wisconsin

7-seeds: St. Mary’s, Minnesota, South Carolina, VCU

8-seeds: Dayton, Southern California, Virginia Tech, Northwestern

9-seeds:  Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, Michigan State

10-seeds: Kansas State, Miami-FL, Arkansas, TCU

11-seeds: Clemson, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, California, Michigan, Syracuse

12-seeds: Illinois State,  Monmouth, Nevada, UNC Wilmington

13-seeds: Valpo, Akron, UT-Arlington, Vermont

14-seeds: Belmont, Princeton, UNC-Asheville, Florida Gulf Coast

15-seeds: Bucknell, Cal State Bakersfield, Furman, North Dakota State

16-seeds: Texas Southern, UC Irvine, New Orleans, Weber State, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Georgetown, Georgia, Providence, Houston

2-seeds: Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Illinois State

3-seeds: Wichita State, Marquette, Illinois, Indiana

4-seeds: Ohio State, Ole Miss, Rhode Island, Alabama

5-seeds: Monmouth, Auburn, Texas Tech, Nevada

6-seeds: UNC Wilmington, Valpo, Penn State, Akron

7-seeds: Boise State, Utah, UT-Arlington, New Mexico

8-seeds: Vermont, Charleston, Brigham Young, Temple

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Richmond, San Diego State, St. Bonaventure

Brad-ketology: February 13th 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, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  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 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 12th

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga

2-seeds: North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona

3-seeds: Florida State, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia

4-seeds: West Virginia, UCLA, Duke, Creighton

5-seeds: Butler, Purdue, Notre Dame, Wisconsin

6-seeds: Xavier, Cincinnati, SMU, South Carolina

7-seeds: Maryland, St. Mary’s, Minnesota, Northwestern

8-seeds: VCU, Dayton, Southern California, Virginia Tech

9-seeds:  Iowa State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas State

10-seeds: Middle Tennessee, Michigan State, Tennessee, Miami-FL

11-seeds: Seton Hall, Clemson, Syracuse, California, Marquette, Arkansas

12-seeds: Illinois State,  Monmouth, UNC Wilmington, Boise State

13-seeds: Valpo, Akron, UT-Arlington, Vermont

14-seeds: Belmont, Princeton, Bucknell, UNC-Asheville

15-seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, Cal State Bakersfield, North Dakota State, Furman

16-seeds: Texas Southern, Sam Houston, Weber State, UC Davis, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Pittsburgh, Michigan, Wake Forest, Indiana

2-seeds: Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Georgia, Houston

3-seeds: Providence, Rhode Island, Illinois State, Illinois

4-seeds: Wichita State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama

5-seeds: Monmouth, Ohio State, Penn State, UNC Wilmington

6-seeds: Boise State, Nevada, Valpo, Utah

7-seeds: Akron, Texas Tech, UT-Arlington, Vermont

8-seeds: Texas A & M, Temple, Richmond, La Salle

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Charleston, New Mexico, Brigham Young, San Diego State