Bracketology: Gonzaga eyes West Region

January 3, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Once again, Mark Few’s Gonzaga Bulldogs have positioned themselves to be a high seed in March.  As the new year dawns, the Zags are clear front-runners for a No. 1 seed in the West Region.

Bracketology

Elsewhere – as we renew our countdown toward Selection Sunday – the other No. 1 seeds include Kansas, Duke, and Baylor.  Those four are closely followed by three surprising, but deserving teams: Butler, West Virginia and San Diego State.  All three have built impressive resumes through the two months of play.

Given the parity in college hoops, this year’s Selection Committee figures to have some tough choices ahead.

Quick Takes: USU stumbles at UNLV

January 2, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Winning conference road games is never easy, regardless of the opponent.  So it’s certainly not shocking to learn that Utah State stumbled at UNLV.  The bigger question is how the Aggies navigate their Mountain West Conference journey moving forward.

USU’s non-conference profile includes neutral-court wins over LSU and Florida and losses to Saint Mary’s and BYU.  As it stands this morning, San Diego State and perhaps New Mexico (coming off a loss at San Jose State – gulp) are the best opportunities for Quad 1 and/or 2 wins moving forward – making Saturday’s home date with SDSU an important marker on the Aggies’ Team Sheet. Read more…

Seed List: League play will shape Field

January 1, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Welcome to 2020!  The Road to Selection Sunday is about to ramp up as conference play sets in across the country.

And ultimately, how teams fare in league play will shape the final Field of 68.

Seed List

What teams have done thus far is position themselves and created a pre-conference profile that will help or hinder how the Committee views their team sheet during Championship Week.  Teams with strong non-conference profiles have an opportunity for higher seeding(s) and/or selection.  Those who stacked their plate with cupcakes and/or missed opportunities have additional pressure to perform well during their conference campaigns. 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…

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…