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Bracket Bits: Ranking the Final Four

April 5, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015We’ve reached Minneapolis.  The Final Four includes a Blue Blood in Michigan State, a pair of newbies in Texas Tech and Auburn, and a team trying to rewrite its own NCAA history book in Virginia.

With top seeds Duke, Gonzaga, and North Carolina dispatched, UVA arrives in the Twin Cities as the only No. 1 seed still standing.  Does that make the Cavaliers the favorite to cut down the nets on Monday night?  Not necessarily.

Although this year’s Final Four may lack some traditional name power, it shouldn’t lack for drama – and certainly not for storylines.  How would you rank the Final Four?  Here’s my best attempt as tip-off nears on Saturday evening. Read more…

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Bracket Bits: Confidence Index for Sweet 16

March 27, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015After a pair of opening weekend NCAA tournament games, we’re down to the Sweet 16.  Hopefully, you have several of the teams below among your remaining bracket picks.  Now the question becomes: What is your confidence level for each of the teams below moving forward in terms of reaching the Final Four and/or winning the 2019 National Championship?

Upcoming variable include the health of Kentucky’s P.J. Washington, along with your takes on the sustainability of hot-shooting teams like Auburn.  Anyway, here’s my Confidence Index for the Sweet 16 …

Read more…

Bracket Bits: Five takeaways from the Round of 64

March 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015The first two days of this year’s NCAA tournament are behind us.  And while we didn’t have an incredible buzzer-beater, we still had plenty of drama.  Here are five quick takeaways from Thursday and Friday …

High seeds advanced … Other than No. 13 seed UC-Irvine’s upset of Kansas State (which really wasn’t that big of an upset), the top of the bracket remains chalky.  Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, and Gonzaga all moved on with relative ease, even though their opening halves created a little angst in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Charlottesville.   In all, every No. 2 and No. 3 seed also reached the Round of 32.

12-5 Upsets returned … A year removed from stability in the traditionally unpredictable 12-5 matchups, No. 12 seed Liberty ousted No. 5 seed Mississippi State and No. 12 seed Oregon dumped No. 5 seed Wisconsin.  Neither the Bulldogs nor the Badgers were playing their best basketball in March, so it’s not overly surprising.   And with UC-Irvine taking down Kansas State, Oregon will be favored to reach the Sweet 16. Read more…

Bracketology: No. 1 Seeds and Bid Thieves

March 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015With a host of changes coming today as conference champions are crowned, we’ll keep this brief.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Duke likely solidified a No. 1 seed by beating North Carolina; the Blue Devils will be evaluated with their full team intact.  Now it’s a race for the final two spots on the top line – Kentucky, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Michigan State and Tennessee are all in play.  I stuck with Gonzaga this morning, but the Committee could easily put three ACC teams in that position if Kentucky or Michigan State fall short of conference tourney titles.  Let’s see how the day plays out.

By my count, we have five potential bid thieves in play today – so the cutline could change by two or three spots come tomorrow morning.

 

Bracketology: Zion’s impact for Duke

March 15, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Zion Williamson returned to Duke’s lineup Thursday night and put on quite a show with the Selection Committee watching in New York.  If the Blue Devils beat North Carolina in the ACC semifinals, they will likely be a No. 1 seed on Sunday night.

Bracketville   |   Seed List

Other teams in play for the top line?  That would be your aforementioned Tar Heels, who could all but wrap up a No. 1 seed themselves by ousting the Blue Devils a third time.  We also have Kentucky, Tennessee and LSU from the SEC and Michigan State from the Big 10.

Hefty debates continue along the cutline.  There are a couple of major conference bid thieves still alive (West Virginia, Nebraska).  Xavier is surging in the Big East.  And favorites in the Mid American, Mountain West, and Atlantic 10 continue play today.

Let’s see how the next 24 hours play out.

Bracketology: Battle for No. 1 Seeds

March 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015The Battle for No. 1 Seeds revs up today as three candidates take the floor in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.  Virginia, North Carolina and Duke begin their post-season treks with eyes on the East and South Regions, in particular.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Tomorrow, SEC candidates Kentucky, Tennessee and LSU hit the court in Nashville.  As do Big Ten contenders Michigan State and Michigan in Chicago.

It’s also a busy day along the bubble.  The next 48 hours are critical for a list of teams too long to mention.  Action also continues in the Mid-American Conference, where bubble teams will be rooting for Buffalo to win the league’s automatic bid.

Bracketology: Saint Mary’s crashes the Dance

March 13, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015And so it begins …

Saint Mary’s upset Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference final Tuesday night, crashing into the Dance and leaving a yet unknown bubble team in its wake.  We could be in for a wild few days.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Bubble action revs up today as power conference tournaments advance.  Nowhere is that more true than in the Big East, ACC, and Big 12.  Tomorrow, additional bubble teams take the court in the Big Ten and SEC.  Stay tuned.