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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…

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Off-season Update: Who’s staying, who’s going?

April 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats, winners of the 2018 National Championship.  After a wild ride – both during the season and during the tournament – the best overall team arguably won.  Villanova was consistently good from start to finish.

Now, the off-season arrives, and with it, a handful of questions.  While bracket projects are always fun, I’ve found that mid-April updates tend to be futile.  Until we know who is staying, who is going, who is transferring, who will be eligible, who will have new coaches, and where the final high school athletes will land, there are simply too many moving parts.   Let’s start with two of those … Read more…

Quick Takes and Picks: Region by Region

March 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015When the ball tips at Noon today, we’ll begin another wild, wacky, and predictably unpredictable journey to the Final Four.  Until then, we scour the Field of 68, looking for a key upset, a team we think can make an unexpected run, a big name we think we’ll lose early.

If we’ve learned anything over the years, the Madness of March cannot be predicted, regardless of algorithms, statistical metrics, and/or game simulations.  So, with that in mind, rather than offer up an individual selection of picks per game – which will be helpful to no one  – here are a few thoughts (and picks) for each Region, including my takes regarding potential dark horses and upsets (use at your own peril): Read more…

Bracket Results: How did predictions go?

March 13, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015After a night of rest, the Madness returns Tuesday night.  In advance, here’s a look at how my final bracket compared to the actual bracket and how it scored in the 2018 Bracket Matrix.

2018 Results:

  • Correctly picked 35 of 36 at-large teams (I had USC as my last team IN; Committee selected Syracuse in the First Four.  Overall, had 67/68 teams in the Field.
  • 46 teams on the correct/actual seed line.
  • 18 teams within one line of actual seed.
  • 3 teams (Providence, Creighton, West Virginia) within 2 lines.
  • Paymon Score: 357 (tied 2017)

Thanks again for your interest in Bracketville.  I’ll be posting some thoughts Wednesday about each Region.  The First Four gets started tonight.  Let the Mayhem begin.  Here’s to an incredible NCAA tournament.

Bracketology: Davidson goes Dancing

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015In what’s been a wild, unpredictable ride of a college basketball season, it’s fitting that Davidson brought a little extra mayhem to the party on Selection Sunday.  By beating Rhode Island in a thrilling Atlantic 10 championship game, Davidson punched its Dance ticket and burst the bubble of another hopeful.  Here’s how it the pieces fell together …

Bracketology  |  Seed List

Final seed adjustments were made for Kentucky and Houston; along with the last additions to the bracket.  Enjoy the Selection Show and the wonderful Madness of March.

Bracketology: Virginia reigns over Field of 68

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015While plenty of questions remain for a handful of teams on the bubble, this much we know: Virginia will be the overall No. 1 seed when the 2018 NCAA tournament bracket is revealed tonight.  The Cavaliers completed a remarkable season Saturday night by beating North Carolina in the ACC title game.  That appears to leave the No. 1 line as it was yesterday – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

The underlying story today is Davidson, which plays Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 championship.  If the Wildcats pull off an upset, one unlucky team will be bounced from the Field as Davidson would arrive as an automatic qualifier.

Other potential variables in play today (for seeding) include results in the SEC tournament (Tennessee vs. Kentucky) and the American (Cincinnati vs. Houston).  The Committee could build alternate brackets or decide each team’s body of work is basically complete.

However it works out, we’ve reached another Selection Sunday.  Here’s to an incredible journey through the Madness of March.

Bracketology: Kansas move up, bubble tightens

March 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015My how things can change, right?

Kansas moves into the Midwest Region courtesy of the Jayhawks’ win over Kansas State and Xavier’s loss to Providence.  The Musketeers remain the fourth No. 1 seed this morning, shifting to the West Region.  Close behind, now, is North Carolina, which beat Duke for a second time. If the Tar Heels beat Virginia in the ACC title game, they could find themselves as a No. 1 seed come Sunday morning.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Elsewhere, the bubble has tightened thanks to some upsets – particularly in the Mountain West.  Nevada is a likely at-large candidate, meaning their loss to San Diego State opens the door for SDSU or New Mexico to grab a seat, courtesy of the league’s automatic bid.  That’s bad news for teams along the cutline.

We still have more questions than answers, but as of this morning, Arizona State slides into the First Four and hopes to hang on.  If the Committee considers the non-conference season as important as the conference season, it’s hard to ignore ASU’s wins over Kansas, Xavier, and Kansas State (not to mention San Diego State and St. John’s).   Read more…