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Posts Tagged ‘NCAA Tournament’

Quick Takes: Duke dominates, Buckeyes happy in ‘Nati

November 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015With the 2018-19 college basketball season underway, it’s time to bring back Quick Takes.  So let’s get to it …

Duke dominated Kentucky in Indianapolis on opening night, sending a few shockwaves though the college hoops world along the way.  That said, let’s reign in the talk of an undefeated season.  The Blue Devils still have a host of worthy non-conference opponents in front of them, not to mention some tricky road trips through the Atlantic Coast Conference.  Does Duke look like a title contender? Absolutely.  Are they unbeatable?  That’s a question better reserved for February or March.

Kansas looked pretty good, too, mind you.  As did Michigan State – particularly in the second half.  KU get’s the benefit of an early resume boost, but nothing else changed.  Both teams looked the part of being high seeds come Selection Sunday. Read more…

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Preseason: Kansas, Kentucky lead opening bracket

October 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015A new college basketball season is upon us, which means another journey toward Selection Sunday and March Madness.  With that in mind, we offer up our annual preseason bracket projection, an exercise that is most certainly more art than science.

Preseason Bracket   |   Seed List

What we think we know is that Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and Gonzaga are among a handful of teams that figure to be in the conversation for No. 1 seeds.  Another strong group includes such names as North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and, yes, even Villanova. And then there’s Nevada, a hungry and hearty Wolfpack with their own Final Four aspirations.

One thing’s for certain, the bracket will look a lot different come March.  That’s the beauty of college hoops.  Enjoy the ride!

Bracketology: Tar Heels trek to top line

February 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015If today were Selection Sunday, and North Carolina was the ACC champion, the Selection Committee would likely be inclined to reward the Tar Heels with a No. 1 seed over a very good Baylor team whose profile is equally impressive but lacks a conference title. In the world of splitting hairs, we just did.  On that note, two interesting twists await.  First, UNC hosts Louisville on Wednesday, and the Cardinals are No. 6 on the Seed List.  If Louisville wins in Chapel Hill, the Cards could make a strong case for the top line on Thursday.  Second, the Tar Heels close with an incredibly tough slate, going to Pittsburgh and Virginia before finishing at home with Duke.  Baylor can easily play its way back up.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

In the race for No. 1 seeds, Villanova and Kansas are sitting in strong positions as the regular season comes to a close. Should Gonzaga finish unbeaten, it would hard to drop the Zags from their No. 1 perch in the West.  Which leaves, at least for now, one top seed up for grabs, and it could go any number of ways.

Another meh and blah weekend along the cutline.  Should we lose solid mid-major programs like Middle Tennessee State, UNC Wilmington, and say, Monmouth or Illinois State during their conference championships, the Committee will have to heavily weigh a bunch of mediocre power teams versus some solid programs who have fewer chances for marquee wins.

Quick Takes: Middle Tennessee St leads early mid-major hopefuls

February 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015If you’re looking for a quality non-power conference team that could earn an at-large bid on Selection Sunday, Middle Tennessee State should be near the top of your list.  If the name sounds familiar, think back to last year’s NCAA tournament.  The then 15th-seeded Blue Raiders knocked off No. 2 seed Michigan State in St. Louis before losing to eventual Final Four participant Syracuse in the Round of 32.  As we look ahead, Giddy Potts and MTSU are 19-3 with Top 100 RPI wins over UNC-Wilmington, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Belmont.  The Blue Raiders are 8-1 on the road and have some pretty solid metric numbers:

Middle Tennessee State … RPI: 37 | BPI: 52 | SOR: 31 | KP: 47

Unfortunately, Conference USA hasn’t provided MTSU with much support; the Blue Raiders are the only team in the RPI’s Top 100, and six of the schools are 300-plus.  That’s a recipe for picking up a really bad loss.  The good news, MTSU has avoided that issue.  If that continues, the Blue Raiders should receive strong consideration were they to lose in the C-USA tournament final.

Here are a few other mid-major hopefuls as we head into February: Read more…

Bracketology: UK, FSU pushing for No. 1 seeds

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Although this week’s No. 1 seeds remain intact, Kentucky and Florida State are pushing for slots on the top line of the bracket.  One could make the case for dropping Baylor after the Bears’ loss at West Virginia, but the seed list doesn’t always work the same as a poll.  Baylor’s resume is still quite strong, and a lone loss in Morgantown doesn’t change that – much the same as Villanova’s loss at Butler last week didn’t drop the Wildcats from the overall No. 1 seed position.  That said, resumes are still very much a recurring work in progress.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

It’s no surprise that the cutline is quite fluid.  With another full slate of games tonight, the bottom of the bracket might look different if we updated it again tomorrow.  The process slows in mid-February and resumes become more complete.

As a reminder, conference champions are determined by league standings until Championship Week.  In the event of a tie in the loss column, the automatic bid for the bracket is awarded to the team with the best RPI at the time of publication.  To an extent, this helps simulate some variances that occur in the process.   Read more…

Bracket Bits: 5 opening weekend games with March in mind

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Dave2015All games matter, but not all results are equal.

If you’re a team that plays in a power conference you can survive an average (or even below average) non-conference slate and still earn an at-large bid.  Last year’s Purdue team is a good example. The Boilermakers dropped non-conference decisions to Kansas State, North Florida, Vanderbilt, and Gardner-Webb.  What Purdue was able to do, however, was win 8 of 9 Big Ten games during a mid-season stretch and finish 12-6 in league play en-route to a 9-seed in the Midwest Region.

If you’re a team from outside the power conferences, non-conference results become much more critical.  Opportunities for resume-changing wins are more limited. With that thought in mind, here are five opening weekend games with March in mind … Read more…

Bracketology: Villanova grabs final No. 1 seed

March 2, 2015 Leave a comment

dave1It’s been a topic of discussion for several weeks.  What would happen if Gonzaga lost?  Would they fall?  Who would take their place as a No. 1 seed?  Following the ‘Zags home loss to BYU – which also vaulted the Cougars into a First Four game in today’s bracket  – we have an answer: Villanova, at least for now.

Current Bracket Projection

Current Seed List

The Wildcats – there are two of them (Kentucky) on the top line – slide into the West Region; following UK, Virginia, and Duke.  We say for now, because Wisconsin and Arizona also continue to push for that final spot.  And it’s conceivable we could see a shift among spots 2-6 on the Seed List between now and Selection Sunday.  We know that either Virginia or Duke will lose at least one more game – both play in the ACC tournament.  If Wisconsin, Villanova, and Arizona all win out it’ll be interesting to see how the Committee dissects that group of profiles.

With just under two weeks until Selection Sunday, we have several unclaimed spots in the bracket.  Perhaps more than ever, conference tournament games could prove decisive .  It’ll be even more interesting should we have an upset winner or two.  The Atlantic 10 race is a good example – as of this posting, there are three teams tied atop the standings.  There are another three teams – VCU, Richmond, and Massachusetts – all within a game or two of the top.  It’s perfectly conceivable that anyone of those teams could grab the automatic bid.

It’s March.  The Madness is almost here.