Monday, February 19, 2018

Bracketology - 2.19.18

One week after the initial "Top 16" release has produced typical mid-February carnage. Here's our updated bracket which features plenty of changes from our initial bracket last Sunday.

Last 4 In: UCLA, USC, Baylor, Penn State
First 4 Out: Louisville, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, Marquette
Next 6 Out: Boise State, Washington, LSU, Nebraska, Utah, Notre Dame

The most notable changes are two teams - Penn State and Baylor - moving into the field this week while Washington and Louisville have dropped out.

Nebraska couldn't afford any losses - bad or otherwise - to maybe sneak into the field with plenty of wins but none of real quality. Instead, Nebraska lost at Illinois on Sunday to all but kill any chances of going dancing.

Keep an eye on Notre Dame. While they are No. 10 on my list of teams missing the cut, the Irish have plenty of chances left to make a splash and Coach Mike Brey says star Bonzie Colson is expected back in a week. If Colson helps lift Notre Dame's play, the Irish could be a surprise team playing in Dayton and, when healthy a legit Sweet 16 squad.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bracketology - 2-11-18

Thanks the the NCAA college basketball selection committee taking a page out of the College Football Playoff Committee's book and giving a sneak peek at the rankings, we have an "official" Top 16 to work from.

Naturally, there seem to be some issues. Arguably the best team in the country doesn't quite have a top-tier resume. (Making an Alabama football to MSU basketball analogy here)... Will MSU get the benefit of the doubt, if it runs the table, to find a spot on the top line, or, at the very least, as one of the first No. 2 seeds?

The other qualm many will indeed have with the committee is this: "So-and-so has (fill-in-the-blank) Quadrant 1 and 2 wins." Again, we're reaching the point where people are discounting losses completely; as long as a team has played a lot of Q1 and Q2 games, winning a handful, of course, losses won't be discussed.

A team like Kansas has nine Q1 and Q2 wins which, according to the committee's No. 2 seed (sixth overall) is enough to eliminate six losses, including one at home to Oklahoma State and another on the road at Baylor.

We'll see if the committee listens to the outside noise over the next week or so based on the initial rankings and maybe changes some things. One thing is certain: The first year of the "quadrant experiment" will absolutely throw some wrenches into the bracket.

Here's the first Deuce2Sports Bracketology of the season:

LAST FOUR IN: UCLA, Louisville, Houston, USC
FIRST FOUR OUT: Marquette Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Nebraska

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Printable Bracket

Print your bracket here, courtesy of Deuce2Sports!


The field is set, well, in this bracketologist's mind. There will be some angst for a few teams, but due to the limited number of bid stealers (Rhode Island maybe being the only one), teams were able to play their way into the tournament with some big, neutral-site conference victories. 

Here's our final bracket for 2017 as we hope for 68/68 perfection!

LAST FOUR IN: South Carolina, Kansas State, USC, Wake Forest
FIRST FOUR OUT: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa
NEXT FOUR OUT: Georgia, TCU, Illinois, Indiana

Penultimate Bracketology - 3.12.17 (AM)

The NCAA Tournament has never had a No. 1 seed with 8+ losses. Duke has a great case to be the first. That is just one story from a super Saturday of basketball. Our count of automatic bids is now at 26 with just six more to go on Sunday (We're waiting on you, AAC, A-10, Big Ten, Ivy League, SEC, and Sun Belt).

NO. 1 SEEDS: It took one day for me to regret my "The No. 1 seeds aren't changing" comment. The more you compare resumes, the more you could make a case for UNC and Duke as No. 1 seeds. Gonzaga did everything you'd want a powerful mid-major team to do (besides going 33-0). It has great nonconference wins with three neutral site wins in three tries against Arizona, Florida and Iowa State. If Gonzaga doesn't get a top seed it'll be a travesty. So, that leaves the last No. 1 seed (South) up for grabs between Duke, UNC, and Arizona. My money's on the ACC Tournament Champion Blue Devils (which will evoke plenty of emotions from fans everywhere). 
LAST FOUR IN: USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Rhode Island
Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bracketology - 3.11.17

What a Friday of hoops!

MICHIGAN: The hottest team in the Big Ten, despite a Wednesday plane crash and an opening round game being played in practice uniforms, dispatched of Purdue in OT to advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. In the 74-70 OT win, Michigan never looked like the underdog and countered every Boilermaker punch. All the metrics, believe it or not, have the eighth-seeded Wolverines as the Big Ten Tournament favorites right now. 

VILLANOVA: The Wildcats didn't win convincingly, but they won nonetheless, likely securing the No. 1 overall seed. In the 55-53 win vs. Seton Hall, Villanova showed, in contrast to its 100+ point quarterfinal performance, that it can still win games in the 50s.

VANDERBILT: Welcome the 15-loss at-large team to the NCAA Tournament field. Vanderbilt won its third game against Florida this season to advance to the SEC semifinals Friday night. Vandy's schedule plus big wins means the Commodores will be dancing even with a loss on Saturday. Currently at 19-14, Vandy's notable losses this season have come against the following teams: Marquette (proj. 10 seed), Butler (proj. 4 seed), Minnesota (proj. 5 seed), Middle Tennessee State (proj. 11 seed), Dayton (proj. 8 seed), Kentucky x2 (proj. 2 seed), and Arkansas (proj. 10 seed). That leaves six non-tournament losses, but only a loss to dreadful Missouri is on the resume. All other losses are quality, meaning Vanderbilt is a quality team and an 11 seed that many potential No. 6 seeds will dread seeing.

LAST FOUR IN: USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Illinois State
Rhode Island, Syracuse, California, Iowa

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bracketology 3.10.17

It wasn't a wild Thursday, but eventful enough.

INDIANA: Indiana, the only team to likely beat two No. 1 seeds (Kansas and UNC) earlier this year, kept its at-large hopes alive by beating Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament second round. Indiana has to beat Wisconsin to keep those hopes alive. Even then, when some people will say it's a "lock" the Hoosiers would be dancing, that's far from true. Indiana had a putrid stretch and likely needs to beat both Wisconsin and the Maryland/Northwestern winner to have a legitimate shot. Indiana might need to win the Big Ten Tournament, too.

XAVIER: The one team that helped itself the most was Chris Mack's X-men. While Xavier was always in my field, it was sweat-inducing close to the cutline due to a rough closing month. A win against Butler was big as the team will be evaluated as a whole but also on how it can play right now. Xavier is in for sure, folks.

LAST FOUR BYES: Xavier, Providence, Marquette, Vanderbilt
LAST FOUR IN: USC, Illinois State, Wake Forest, Kansas State
FIRST FOUR OUT: Syracuse, Rhode Island, C
alifornia, Iowa
NEXT FOUR OUT: Indiana, TCU, Illinois, Georgia
TCU: As mentioned Wednesday night, the Horned Frogs snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating Oklahoma in the Big XII first round. The quarterfinal win over Kansas was huge for many reasons. No, it doesn't put TCU in the dance (they're our sixth team out right now), but it keeps hopes alive and gives TCU another shot at a marquee win vs. Iowa State. TCU still might need to win the Big XII Tournament due to a 19-14 record and some bad losses, but at least Jamie Dixon's club is trying to play its way in, unlike some teams (talking to you, Syracuse).