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Archive for October, 2018

Preseason: Kansas, Kentucky lead opening bracket

October 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015A new college basketball season is upon us, which means another journey toward Selection Sunday and March Madness.  With that in mind, we offer up our annual preseason bracket projection, an exercise that is most certainly more art than science.

Preseason Bracket   |   Seed List

What we think we know is that Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and Gonzaga are among a handful of teams that figure to be in the conversation for No. 1 seeds.  Another strong group includes such names as North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and, yes, even Villanova. And then there’s Nevada, a hungry and hearty Wolfpack with their own Final Four aspirations.

One thing’s for certain, the bracket will look a lot different come March.  That’s the beauty of college hoops.  Enjoy the ride!

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Preseason: Mid-Major quests for elusive NCAA bids

October 28, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Peering through the rearview mirror, we can still see Sister Jean and her Loyola Ramblers crashing the NCAA’s Final Four ballroom.  What a ride it was!  And yet, we are left to wonder: Had Illinois State won the Missouri Valley title game, would the Ramblers have made the NCAA tournament?

That is the dubious question so often faced by teams affectionately known as Mid-Majors.  Quite simply, there are no guarantees.  We’ll have to wait and see how the NCAA’s new metric – the NET – ranks and correlates results, but the most tried and true method of predictability remains: who did you play, where did you play, and who did you beat.

Thus, for teams in leagues like the Valley, non-conference scheduling and results against non-league competition are critical come Selection Sunday.  Note: For this post, teams in the Atlantic 10, American, and Mountain West are not included as those leagues (as currently constructed) have routinely sent multiple teams to the NCAA tournament.

Below are sneak peaks at some of this year’s most promising mid-major at-large hopefuls as we begin another college hoops season: Read more…

Preseason preparation for 2018-19

October 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015As another college basketball season prepares to dawn, a group of familiar names greets us with the anticipation of March Madness and April glory.  Teams like Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and even Gonzaga are considered title contenders.  Prognosticators are also rightfully intrigued by Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina, and even a re-focused Virginia outfit trying to bounce back from an historic upset at the hands of UMBC.

Then there’s defending National Champion, Villanova, with some fresh faces among its returning talent.  Dismiss the Wildcats at your own risk.

By most accounts, the SEC will be strong again, and the Big Ten is likely to send more than a handful of teams to the Dance.  The race for bids is tightening even before we tip in early November.  Will the Missouri Valley send multiple teams?  While someone beyond Nevada emerge as a second or third NCAA team from the Mountain West?  How many bids can the Atlantic 10 garner?  Can both both Marshall and Western Kentucky survive Conference USA and Selection Sunday?  And what about the MAC?  Both Buffalo and Eastern Michigan are contenders. Read more…