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Bracket Bits: Could the Big 10 reach double-digit bids?

January 4, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Could the Big Ten reach double-digits bids in 2020?

It’s a fair question given that 11 teams currently rank in the Top 50 of the NET ratings and 12 teams sit within the Top 60.

Why do those stats matter?  It’s simple math – even for non-analytical equation minds like mine.  With the exception of Northwestern and Nebraska (at least for now), nearly every league game provides an opportunity to add a beneficial NET victory to one’s Team Sheet.  High ratings also tend to minimize the impact of losses – margins not included – provided those losses remain within acceptable limits (more on that below).  Read more…

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…

Preseason: Seven non-majors that could crash the Dance in March

October 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015When we examine at our bracket sheets on Selection Sunday, there’s an undeniable urge to look for potential opening round upsets.  The 12-5 line is a common place to start, along with 11 or 13 seeds who are good teams from non-power leagues.

Here at Bracketville we ask … Why wait for March to starting talking about potentially very good teams who could crash the Dance?

Following are seven non or mid-major programs that could become March darlings – and even compete for at-large bids with a little help and a couple of key wins in November and December … Read more…

Bracket Bits: An early look at the Bubble

January 12, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015We’re fanatics about college basketball, which means we get way too excited, at times, about things we probably shouldn’t – like talking about Bubble teams in early January.  Then again, we are who we are, right?

With that backdrop, let’s take an early – a way too early look  – at how Bubble Talk might appear if we opened up the curtain a smidgen this morning.  It’s a quick peek, nothing more. The real Bubble Talk resumes in early February. Read more…

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…

Quick Takes: Florida, Big 12 States headline wild Saturday

February 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015What a Saturday in college hoops – and it’s February!

Four of the top eight teams on Saturday morning’s Seed List lost, two at home and two in blowout fashion on the road.  Another two lost in slots 9-12, and another two in slots 13-16.  Simple math equates to eight of the top 16 teams on the Seed List losing Saturday.  The flip side, of course, is that eight other teams (the winners) posted signature or marquee victories on their resumes.  My initial takeaways are that Florida and three Big 12 “States” benefitted most from a wild Saturday.

Florida’s win over Kentucky added an important piece to the Gators’ otherwise solid profile: a victory over a sure-fire NCAA team.  Prior to Saturday, Florida had nice wins against Arkansas, Seton Hall, and Miami-FL, among others.  But are you confident all of those teams will reach the final Field of 68?  See bullet-point below about the Razorbacks loss at Missouri.  On a related note … with South Carolina’s win over Georgia, the SEC title chase is up for grabs. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Missouri Valley could produce a bid thief

March 4, 2015 Leave a comment

dave1Missouri Valley regular-season champion Wichita State and runner-up Northern Iowa cleared the rest of the MVC by five full games in the standings. Both the Shockers and Panthers will be Dancing when the NCAA tournament pairings are announced on March 15.  For that reason, bubble teams will be paying attention to Arch Madness, which begins Thursday in St. Louis.

If either of the favorites loses, it’ll open the door for a potential bid thief – a Valley team that could claim the league’s automatic bid and thus remove one of the “bubble” spots available to someone else.  Which teams might create such havoc?  The most likely candidates are Illinois State, Evansville, or Indiana State.

Illinois State owns a victory over Old Dominion and swept Evansville in the regular season; the teams meet again Thursday in the 4/5 quarterfinal matchup.  ISU lost its pair of meetings with both WSU and UNI, but every game was close with the exception of its away game at Northern Iowa. Read more…