Sunday, March 17, 2024

Final 2024 bracket

This was a bit of a whirlwind last few months for me personally, so I really didn't get to do much bracket work. But I wasn't going to let the year go by without actually posting a bracket before the Selection Show, so here it is. Such an interesting bubble this year and actually plenty of good teams will be left out tonight. It also didn't help that North Carolina State and Oregon both stole bids on Saturday night. In fact, with how the bubble shrank, we may see First Four games for a 10 seed.

With that, I went with Seton Hall as the last team in. The Pirates have a win over UConn and with the Huskies garnering the overall No. 1 seed, that may be just enough of a push for Seton Hall to get in. It left teams like Oklahoma, Virginia and Indiana State out. I would personally love to see the Sycamores get in but the crowd got too tight for their liking. 

Here is my bracket and remember to check out Bracket Matrix to see how I stacked up.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Final 2023 Bracket

It's been another very interesting year in college hoops and while I didn't get a chance to build as many brackets as in other years, I'm glad I was able to get a few in and, most importantly, the final one here on Selection Sunday.

The last few spots in the field were very difficult to decide on, but in the end, the nods went to North Carolina State and Arizona State over teams such as Clemson, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State.

The Wolfpack have no bad losses, which is usually key for a tournament resume. They did only end up with one Quad 1 victory but it's one that looks much better today as it was a home win over the ACC tournament champions Duke. A home win over the No. 1 seed Miami also helps their cause as does a key bubble win over Vanderbilt. Who would have thought that win could potentially pay huge dividends for the Pack?

As for Arizona State, having a winning record on the road as a bubble team should be a good look in the committee's eyes and the Sun Devils went 7-6 in true road games and 5-1 on neutral floors, including a key win over USC in the Pac-12 quarterfinals and what is now an important non-conference win over Creighton, one of the better non-conference wins among the bubble teams.

Clemson and Vanderbilt made strong pushes late, but Clemson was a very weak non-conference schedule, though they did beat Penn State which became a better win. If they get left out, they can point to their three losses to sub-200 NET teams including Louisville which was sub-300.

As for Vanderbilt. they also had some rough losses to overcome, though not nearly as bad as Clemson. Their best non-conference win was Pittsburgh, but they did lose to NC State and lost in conference play to LSU, who was the punching bag of the SEC this season.

And with Oklahoma State, it's just tough to see them getting in at 18-15, even with having six Quad 1 wins. But they did lose 12 such games, so it's not like they didn't have opportunities for more. In fact, of their 12 Q1 losses, only four were by single digits. And their best non-conference win? Sam Houston State. No disrespect to the Bearkats, but they're not exactly a team the committee will praise the Cowboys for winning against.

Now, would it be surprising for any of those three to get in? No. That's why they're bubble teams. You can pick apart all of these resumes and make a case for or against. That's why they're bubble teams. In the end, the Wolfpack and Sun Devils sneak through and into Dayton for the First Four.

So with all that being said, let's take a look at the final bracket for this season and hope it does well in the Bracket Matrix.

Last Four Byes: USC, Mississippi State, Utah State, Providence
Last Four In: Pittsburgh, Rutgers, North Carolina State, Arizona State
First Four Out: Clemson, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Nevada
Next Four Out: North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon

Conference Breakdown:

Big Ten - 9
SEC - 8
Big 12 - 7
ACC - 5
Big East - 5
Pac-12 - 4
Mountain West - 3
American - 2
West Coast - 2
One-bid leagues - 23

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Championship Saturday update

 As we wade through the busy slate of championship games Saturday, here's an updated look at the NCAA Tournament projections.

Last Four Byes: Rutgers, Mississippi State, Utah State, Providence
Last Four In: Penn State, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Clemson
First Four Out: North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Nevada, Arizona State

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Championship Week Tuesday bracket

 The final weekend of the regular season brought us our first official tickets punched to the NCAA Tournament as well as a change at the top of the bracket. UCLA now slides in as the last No. 1 seed with Purdue as the top No. 2 seed. This week will be the final push for those teams — and perhaps a team like Texas — to make their final case to join Kansas, Alabama and Houston on the top line come Sunday.

Seven teams are officially in the field:

Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast)

SE Missouri State (Ohio Valley)

UNC Asheville (Big South)

Drake (Missouri Valley)

Kennesaw State (Atlantic Sun)

Furman (Southern)

Louisiana (Sun Belt)

Four more teams will join the list tonight. Here are Tuesday's matchups to determine those spots

West Coast: Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s 

Horizon League: Northern Kentucky vs. Cleveland State

Colonial: UNC Wilmington vs. Charleston

Summit: North Dakota State vs. Oral Roberts

There’s one more championship game Tuesday as Fairleigh Dickinson battles Merrimack for the Northeast title. But with Merrimack ineligible for the NCAA Tournament, FDU is dancing win or lose.

So with that, here’s your updated bracket. And remember to check out the Bracket Matrix

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Finally, the first bracket of 2023

It almost didn't happen. I almost didn't even get to make a bracket this season. But we finally got around to it. We have our first bracket for 2023, just in time for the start of conference tournament action on Monday.

Let's just jump right into it and take a look at the bracket. And be sure to check out all the other great bracket work over at Bracket Matrix.

Last Four Byes: Boise State, Nevada, Memphis, USC

Last Four In: Wisconsin, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State

First Four Out: North Carolina, Arizona State, Penn State, Clemson

Next Four Out: Utah State, Charleston, Michigan, Texas Tech

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Final Bracket

 What a wild ride it was once again. And how fitting was it that we had a bid-stealer, as Richmond upset Davidson for the Atlantic 10's automatic bid to the tournament. That shrunk the bubble, as we still project Davidson to be in the dance as a No. 11 seed. It wouldn't be a shock to see Davidson sent to Dayton.

Virginia Tech claimed the ACC's automatic bid, but they were likely in the field even with a loss. And despite the loss to Tennessee in the SEC Championship, Texas A&M is the last team in after their run to the SEC final, which included wins over Auburn and Arkansas.

So with that, here is my final bracket.

Last Four Byes: San Francisco, Miami (FL), Wyoming, Davidson
Last Four In: Rutgers, Indiana, Michigan, Texas A&M
First Four Out: Xavier, SMU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame

Conference Breakdown:

Big Ten - 9
SEC - 7
Big 12 - 6
Big East - 6
ACC - 4
Mountain West - 4
Pac-12 - 3
West Coast - 3
American Athletic - 2
Atlantic 10 - 2
One-bid leagues - 22

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Championship Week Saturday: Indiana, Virginia Tech make their moves, Hokies can steal a bid Saturday


Notes: Indiana (from 11 to 10) and San Francisco (10 to 11) swapped seed lines, as did Michigan/Xavier (11 to 12) and Virginia Tech/Oklahoma (12 to 11) to adhere to bracketing rules.

Last Four Byes: Miami (FL), Wyoming, Rutgers, Indiana
Last Four In: Michigan, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma
First Four Out: Wake Forest, Notre Dame, SMU, Dayton
Next Four Out: VCU, North Texas, BYU, Texas A&M

Conference Breakdown:

Big Ten - 9
Big 12 - 7
Big East - 7
SEC - 6
ACC - 4
Mountain West - 4
Pac-12 - 3
West Coast - 3
American Athletic - 2
One-bid leagues - 23

Since we last met, Indiana became a huge winner on the bubble. Wins over Michigan and Illinois in the Big Ten tournament have likely saved Indiana's season. In fact, we currently have them just above the cut line as the team with a bye and avoiding Dayton. Even if they lose today against Iowa, the Hoosiers are probably dancing.

Another bubble winner this week is Virginia Tech. The Hokies have advanced to today's ACC tournament final against Duke and have knocked off Notre Dame and North Carolina in the process. Those wins, plus strong computer numbers (up to No. 30 in NET) have put the Hokies in the field today among the Last Four In group. They can take themselves out of that group completely with a win today over Duke, as that would give them the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and they would not have to worry about playing in Dayton.

Despite the loss in the Big 12 semifinals against Texas Tech, Oklahoma sneaks in as the last team in the field, beating out Wake Forest, Notre Dame and SMU. Despite just an 18-15 record, the Sooners have four Quad 1 wins, three of them against the top 20 of the NET (Baylor, Texas Tech, Arkansas). The committee tends to lean towards strong wins. It's also not unprecedented for a 15-loss team to earn at at-large bid. In 2017, Vanderbilt earned a No. 9 seed at 19-15. The Sooners can still get bumped out, and you can make a case for or against any of these teams. For the Sooners, they are top-40 in all the main metric rankings except for KPI (No. 52). They also have ten wins against Quads 1 and 2.

Still time for things to change and teams like SMU and Dayton are still on the prowl to potentially take away a bid and shrink the bubble.

Saturday is a very busy day, as 15 tournament tickets will officially be punched today and the remaining five championship matchups for tomorrow will be set. Here's a rundown of all the action, including the last of the conferences to tip off their tournament in the Ivy League and the traditional 11:00 a.m. tip for the America East championship.

America East Championship

No. 2 UMBC at No. 1 Vermont, 11:00 a.m., ESPN2

ACC Championship (in Brooklyn, NY)

No. 7 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Duke, 8:30, ESPN

Big 12 Championship (in Kansas City, MO)

No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 1 Kansas, 6:00, ESPN

Big East Championship (in New York, NY)

No. 4 Creighton vs. No. 2 Villanova, 6:30, Fox

Big Sky Championship (in Boise, ID)

No. 3 Northern Colorado vs. No. 1 Montana State, 8:00, ESPNU

Big West Championship (in Henderson, NV)

No. 2 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 1 Long Beach State, 11:30, ESPN2

Conference USA Championship (in Frisco, TX)

No. W3 Louisiana Tech vs. No. W2 UAB, 8:30, CBSSN

Metro Atlantic Championship (in Atlantic City, NJ)

No. 4 Monmouth vs. No. 2 Saint Peter's, 4:00, ESPNU

MAC Championship (in Cleveland, OH)

No. 4 Akron vs. No. 2 Kent State, 7:30, ESPN2

MEAC Championship (in Norfolk, VA)

No. 7 Coppin State vs. No. 1 Norfolk State, 1:00, ESPN2

Mountain West Championship (in Las Vegas, NV)

No. 3 San Diego State vs. No. 1 Boise State, 6:00, CBS

Pac-12 Championship (in Las Vegas, NV)

No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 1 Arizona, 9:00, Fox

Southland Championship (in Katy, TX)

No. 4 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana, 9:30, ESPN2

SWAC Championship (in Birmingham, AL)

No. 2 Texas Southern vs. No. 1 Alcorn State, 6:00, ESPNU

WAC Championship (in Las Vegas, NV)

No. 6 Abilene Christian vs. No. 1 New Mexico State, 10:00, ESPNU

American Athletic Semifinals (in Fort Worth, TX)

No. 5 Tulane vs. No. 1 Houston, 3:00, ESPN2
No. 3 Memphis vs. No. 2 SMU, 5:30, ESPN2

Atlantic 10 Semifinals (in Washington, D.C.)

No. 5 Saint Louis vs. No. 1 Davidson, 1:00, CBSSN
No. 6 Richmond vs. No. 2 Dayton, 3:30, CBSSN

Big Ten Semifinals (in Indianapolis, IN)

No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 5 Iowa, 1:00, CBS
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Purdue, 3:30, CBS

Ivy League Semifinals (in Cambridge, MA)

No. 4 Cornell vs. No. 1 Princeton, 11:00 a.m., ESPNU
No. 3 Penn vs. No. 2 Yale, 2:00, ESPNU

SEC Semifinals (in Tampa, FL)

No. 8 Texas A&M vs. No. 4 Arkansas, 1:00, ESPN
No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Tennessee, 3:30, ESPN