Welcome to Bracketville

November 9, 2008 Comments off

Here at Bracketville, you’ll find insights and updates, seeding-curve rankings, forward-thinking predictions, and fan-interaction. We’ve had eight great seasons online and look forward to another adventure in 2016-17.  You can also look for Bracketology updates on NBCSports.com – College Basketball Talk.

Quick links for notable 2016-17 updates:

SEED LIST   January 16, 2017

BRACKET PROJECTION  |   January 12, 2017


Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Composite rankings and the Seed List

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015This past week, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee hinted that it may consider integrating a wider range of metrics into its selection and seeding process.  Although the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) has been the NCAAs primary tool for organizing teams, committee members have been free to utilize other metrics for several years – so this isn’t totally new territory.  Additional metrics include KenPom (Ken Pomeroy), Sagarin, and BPI ratings, among others.  Using various analytics, the ratings are designed to provide an objective overview about how teams perform beyond wins/losses, team records, etc.  You can decide for yourself how well the various ratings work.  We all have our preferences.  And the goal here isn’t to discuss the merits and pitfalls of each.

Interestingly, the Selection Committee also hinted that it could end up integrating a type of composite score (rating) for teams based upon the metrics selected for inclusion.  How that might look (and be calculated) remains to be seen.  But in the interest of college hoops fans (and a certain bracket nerd), I took the liberty of developing a composite for the teams at the very top of our seed list, and for some along the proverbial bubble.  Let’s take a look at how the process worked, along with some interesting side notes.  For this story, the composite rankings include the RPI, NPI (Nolan Power Index – Warren Nolen), ELO Chess, KenPom, and Sagarin.

Here’s the Top 10 on our Seed List – in order for Jan. 16, 2017 – with composite ranking in parenthesis: Read more…

Bracketology: UK, FSU pushing for No. 1 seeds

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Although this week’s No. 1 seeds remain intact, Kentucky and Florida State are pushing for slots on the top line of the bracket.  One could make the case for dropping Baylor after the Bears’ loss at West Virginia, but the seed list doesn’t always work the same as a poll.  Baylor’s resume is still quite strong, and a lone loss in Morgantown doesn’t change that – much the same as Villanova’s loss at Butler last week didn’t drop the Wildcats from the overall No. 1 seed position.  That said, resumes are still very much a recurring work in progress.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

It’s no surprise that the cutline is quite fluid.  With another full slate of games tonight, the bottom of the bracket might look different if we updated it again tomorrow.  The process slows in mid-February and resumes become more complete.

As a reminder, conference champions are determined by league standings until Championship Week.  In the event of a tie in the loss column, the automatic bid for the bracket is awarded to the team with the best RPI at the time of publication.  To an extent, this helps simulate some variances that occur in the process.   Read more…

Quick Takes: Can FSU take it on the road?

January 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Florida State keeps piling up quality wins.  After beating Duke in Tallahassee on Tuesday, the Seminoles are 4-0 in the ACC and have seven wins against the Top 50 of the RPI – the most of any team in the nation.  The only remaining question is this: Can FSU take it on the road?  We ask because, to date, the Seminoles only true road game has been their win at UVA.  Next up, a trip to Chapel Hill.  There’s also a three-game road swing at the end of January.  Navigate those and FSU will be in the No. 1 seed discussion as the calendar flips to February.

No real surprise that Baylor lost at West Virginia.  The margin might be a little surprising, but the Mountaineers are a tough matchup, particularly in Morgantown.  We’ll see how the Bears respond. Read more…

Quick Takes: Road wins for Cal, Northwestern

January 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Northwestern is trying to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time – as in ever.  To finish the task, the Wildcats need a solid Big Ten campaign.  And that means finding ways to win league road games against fellow contenders.  Sunday, Northwestern took a step in that direction by winning at Nebraska.  While it may not sound all that impressive, consider that the Huskers recently won at Maryland and Indiana despite a shaky start.

Out west, California picked up a road win at USC.  The Bears have struggled to win against the better teams on their schedule.  So much so, in fact, that Sunday’s victory was the Bears first Top 100 RPI win.  They’ve been close in losses to Virginia, Seton Hall, Arizona, and even UCLA.  If there’s a fifth team to emerge from the Pac-12, Cal might be the most likely candidate. Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Tough day in the Sun Belt

January 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015If you’re a fan of the Texas-Arlington Mavericks or Arkansas State Red Wolves, it’s a tough Sunday morning.  And if you’re a “Mid-Major” fan who hopes to see non-power conference teams earn at-large bids in March, it was a tough Saturday in the Sun Belt.  Teams lose conference road games, regardless of conference.  But we also know there’s a greater impact when those losses are to teams toward the bottom of the league – or in the RPI (and other metrics).  So when Arkansas State drops at game at Coastal Carolina (No. 205, RPI) and UT-Arlington one-ups them by falling at Texas State (No. 290), it makes the path toward an at-large bid that much tougher.

That said, it’s one game for both teams, which doesn’t define either’s season.  The Mavericks still own an impressive win at Saint Mary’s (and at Texas) and Arkansas State won at Georgetown and beat Chattanooga.  For those to hold up on Selection Sunday, both of these programs need dominant league performances.  Saturday’s losses just make the margin for error that much thinner. Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Weekend Bracket Games

January 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015For us nerdy bracket types, the biggest games aren’t always those between highly ranked teams.  While it’s true that all games matter, some results are more important than others – especially for teams residing on or near the proverbial bubble (even in January).

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of this weekend’s biggest “Bracket Games” …

Friday (Jan. 6) …

  • Rhode Island at Dayton – combined, the Rams and Flyers have two wins against the RPI Top 50 and four against the Top 100.  The best of those is Cincinnati (by URI).  At the moment, the Atlantic 10 is a bit thin on at-large profiles, so match ups against two upper-tier teams is that much more interesting.  All in all, a good way to start the weekend.

Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Bracketology: A bumpy ride to Selection Sunday

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015It looks like a bumpy ride to Selection Sunday.  In a just over a week’s time, we’ve been reminded that conference games take on a different flavor.  Since Christmas, two No. 1 seeds – Villanova and UCLA – have lost league road games to quality opponents (Oregon, Butler).  Neither is a reason to panic, nor switch directions.  One could look at the SEC and believe Kentucky has a chance to run the table; same for Gonzaga in the WCC.  Other than that?  Teams are going to lose.  It happens.  It’s an important reminder that the Seed List – used by the Selection Committee to create the bracket – isn’t a poll, where a single loss (or win), is often judged above the whole.  Rather, the Seed List is a evaluation of a team’s entire body of work at a given point in time, relative to teams around it.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Were today Selection Sunday, the Committee would have some particularly tough choices. How would they handle a team like Indiana?  The Hoosiers have two stellar wins – Kansas and North Carolina.  The rest of their current resume is suspect.  Largely due to a poor
slate of non-conference home games, IU’s RPI is hovering around 130; a team with that Read more…

Categories: Current Updates