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Archive for December, 2019

Bracket Bits: Big East teams building strong NETs

December 27, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Members of the Big East are building some strong NETs.

How strong have Big East teams been to this point?  Take a look at some of these numbers – via Warren Nolan

Nine of the Big East’s ten teams currently rank in the Top 55 of the NCAA’s NET Rankings (through Thursday, December 26) – led by the surprising Butler Bulldogs at No. 3.  Four of BU’s ten wins are currently in Quadrant 1 – as is their only loss (Baylor by a single point).

Here’s where the other teams rank … Villanova (21), Creighton (24), Georgetown (29), Seton Hall (34), DePaul (36), St. John’s (47), Marquette (50), Xavier (52).  Oddly, its Providence, a sneaky preseason pick to win the league, which has struggled – currently ranked 122. Read more…

Bracketology: Gonzaga latest to lead Field

December 26, 2019 2 comments

Dave2015Following recent road wins at Washington and Arizona, the Gonzaga Bulldogs move to the top of the Seed List and hold the No. 1 overall seed in our post-Christmas bracket.  With an earlier win over Oregon also on board, the Zags’ biggest challenges to a No. 1 seed in the West are likely an improved West Coast Conference schedule (most notably BYU and Saint Mary’s) and a very real threat from Oregon, who figures to have more Quad 1/2 wins available in the Pac-12.

Bracketology

The rest of the top line: Ohio State, Kansas, Duke.  Baylor and Oregon are next in line, followed by Louisville and Butler.  The Bulldogs from Indianapolis are tied with Duke for the most wins against Quad 1 teams (4).  Keep this in mind, too: Butler is a one-point road loss at Baylor from potentially being a No. 1 seed this morning.  We’ll see where the Dawgs go from here. The Big East is shaping up to be a monstrous gauntlet. Read more…

Quick Takes: An early look at NC SOS

December 21, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s way too early to have a serious conversation about bubble teams and how a team’s non-conference strength of schedule (known as NC SOS) could ultimately impact a team’s selection and/or seeding.

One thing we do know – at least from a historical perspective – is that uncommonly poor non-conference scheduling, when teams have the choice of who they play and where, tends to draw the attention of the Selection Committee.   Especially if that team is teetering on the edge of a seed line and/or the bubble.

With that in mind, here’s an early (and yet unfinished) look at where some current teams stand in the NC SOS picture – numbers courtesy of Warren Nolan (through Friday’s results). Read more…

Bracket Bits: Trouble brewing for North Carolina?

December 17, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015With the latest bracket posted, let’s look between the seed lines and ask a couple of questions …

Could there be trouble brewing for North Carolina?
The Tar Heels have lost three straight and four of five.  Mind you, the list of opponents during that stretch has been impressive: Michigan, Oregon, Ohio State, and Virginia – so a loss or two could have been expected.  Four is a slightly different story – especially given the lopsided result to Ohio State in Chapel Hill.

Then came the news that freshman sensation Cole Anthony is out indefinitely with an injury – followed by Sunday’s loss at home to Wofford.

What’s next, you ask? The Heels travel cross-country to to play Gonzaga tomorrow night at The Kennel.  A loss would drop UNC to 6-5 and likely out of our pre-Christmas bracket projection (planned for Christmas Eve).  Even if you weren’t that high on the Heels coming into the season, that news is still a bit shocking. Read more…

Seed List: Ohio State vaults to No. 1

December 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Anyway you slice it, Ohio State has been impressive.  Unblemished at 9-0, the Buckeyes are riding a two-game high that includes a 25-point road win at North Carolina and a 32-point home win over Penn State.  Couple those with a 25-point victory over Villanova and a season-opening win over Cincinnati, and it’s easy to vault OSU into the pole position on the Seed List.

Seed List

Next is Kansas, which has been impressive, too, since its turnover-laden opening night loss to Duke.  Louisville falls to third after dropping its first game – which vaulted Texas Tech back up the Seed List a bit.  Gonzaga, fresh off a strong road win at Washington, grabs the final top-line position.

After a relatively quiet week, hoops revs up again this weekend.  It’s hard to believe we’re quickly approaching 2020.

 

Quick Takes: Five under-the-radar teams to watch

December 13, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s easy to get caught up in early-season polls, made-for-TV events and name brands.  We’ve all seen hefty doses of heavyweights and Blue Bloods on national broadcasts.  The challenge, sometimes, (and/or fun) is looking past the headlines.

Who else is playing well?  What teams have exceeded expectations?  Are there any under-the-radar teams worth tracking?

The answer is yes.  While in no way a comprehensive list, as there are more than a handful of worthy options, following is a Quick Takes version of five teams who are currently are flying under-the-radar a bit … Read more…

Bracketology: Cards, Buckeyes lead at opening turn

December 10, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015At the quarter-turn of our race to Selection Sunday, the Louisville Cardinals lead Ohio State by a nose for the No. 1 overall seed.  Close behind are Michigan, Kansas, Gonzaga and Maryland.  The Buckeyes and Wolverines are the surprise entries among that group, although both have earned their positions with impressive performances out of the gate.

Bracketology

While the first turn provides a quick glance at the Field,  we still have three-quarters of the race to run – including a daunting backstretch and the turn for home known as conference play.  Those grueling furlongs tend to separate the pretenders and contenders.

Early brackets are notoriously fluid; margins between teams are thin. Early projections also tend to produce some quirkiness – especially related to conference balance.  Keep those things in mind.  By next month we could see a lot of changes.