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Selection Sunday: Bracket Bits

March 14, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015Welcome to Selection Sunday.  This morning’s Bracket and Seed List are posted.  Beyond that, today’s first Bracket Bit is that my Twitter feed was temporarily Locked this morning and access for posting hasn’t yet returned.  Apparently, including a note about a list of bubble teams upset an algorithm.  Oh well, we’re moving on.  I will miss the interactions, as that is one of the best parts of this little adventure.

What’s in play on Sunday:

  • Cincinnati can “steal” one more at-large bid with a victory over Houston in the American championship.  Part of the afternoon will be spent preparing an alternate bracket should such a scenario occur.
  • As usual, Saturday’s developments affected a handful of teams.  This year’s group most likely includes Drake, Utah State, Colorado State, Boise State, Wichita State, Saint Louis and Ole Miss.  Entering Saturday, the bracket offered hospitality to four of them; this morning it was down to two.  It could yet be one.  Could that group include Louisville, Syracuse or UCLA?  Sure.  Historical precedent tends to favor power-conference teams, however, fair or unfair.
  • Final update will be posted later this afternoon.

Bracketology: Positioning Day

March 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015Saturday is known as Moving Day at The Masters.  Friday of Championship Week is much the same for college hoops – we’ll call it Positioning Day.  From the Big Ten to the SEC to the Big 12 and Pac-12, today will help decipher how a few key junction points might unfold – such as the final two seed and top three seed; or the narrow bridge between being a five or six seed on Sunday evening.

Bracketology
Seed List

It’s also a Positioning Day along the cutline.  Ole Miss faces LSU in the final SEC quarterfinal game tonight.  We also have a showdown between Colorado State and Utah State in the Mountain West; with Nevada trying to play its way into the MWC title game.  The American Conference quarterfinals feature three additional bubble teams: Wichita State, Memphis and SMU.  If all survive, Saturday’s semifinals may well determine whom joins Houston in the Field of 68.  At least one bid thief will be viable from the Big East this weekend, with Georgetown and Seton Hall playing for a right engage in the tournament championship.

Saturday is also a Scrub the Seed List day – as more teams complete their profiles.  The underlying unknown in all of this remains the potential impact of COVID testing.  It’s been a rough week for the ACC tournament; we’ll see if those developments ultimately impact the bracket.

Bracketology: Illinois joins No. 1 seeds

March 3, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015Fresh off an impressive victory in Ann Arbor, Illinois retains its position as a No. 1 seed in today’s bracket update.  The Illini now own nine Quadrant 1 wins and have a chance at Ohio State this weekend to solidify a spot on the top line heading into the Big Ten tournament next week in Indianapolis.  No changes elsewhere: Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan lead Regions 1-3.

Bracketology
Seed List

Bubble teams continue to ebb and flow, which is nothing new.  The latest Bubble Talk outlines 30 teams with “Work to Do” between now and Selection Sunday. with a projected 16 spots available.  With conference tournament play underway or starting soon, bubble teams will be hoping several leagues stick somewhat to script.

Bracketology: Michigan State back in the Field

February 27, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015An important reminder when it comes to evaluating resumes: While the dates of games are noted on NCAA team sheets, the Selection Committee has more than once emphasized that a team’s full body of work is evaluated without undo respect to the timing of its wins and losses.  Agree or disagree, a victory in February is worth the same as one as in December, and vice-versa.  Information is presented in such a way that unless you specifically look for the date of a contest, it blends into the background.

Bracketology
Seed List

Why issue such a reminder?  Because it’s easy to get caught up in streaks or how a team played at a given point in time – past or present – and form an opinion about how far said team must climb or fall related to that particular position. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Minnesota’s road woes continue

February 18, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015With its loss at Indiana on Wednesday, Minnesota is now 0-8 away from home; the Gophers have not played a neutral-court game and will not play one until the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.  How might the Selection Committee view a resume with four Quadrant 1 wins, no losses outside the NET Top 50 (as of this posting), and yet nothing of note outside Williams Arena?  We might have had a test case when Rutgers was in a similar situation a year ago, but the Committee never got a chance to release its Field of 68.  The Gophers still have a trip to Penn State on the docket and close with three of four at home.  Heading into the B10 tourney, it’s possible this team could be 16-10 with five or six Q1 wins and still have zilch on its away/neutral team sheet. Read more…