FINAL Version – NCAA Bracket Projection

•March 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Here’s the final bracket with one contingency: if Cincy comes back to beat SMU, switch them. Both Michigan and Wisconsin are 6s, so no change stemming from that game.

   1 Villanova Kansas Gonzaga North Carolina
   2 Oregon Duke Arizona Kentucky
   3 Louisville Baylor UCLA Florida St.
   4 Florida Butler Purdue West Virginia
   5 Iowa St. Virginia Notre Dame SMU
   6 Minnesota Michigan Wisconsin Cincinnati
   7 Creighton Saint Mary’s Maryland Wichita St.
   8 Arkansas Oklahoma St. Dayton Miami FL
   9 Virginia Tech Seton Hall Vanderbilt Northwestern
  10 Michigan St. Wake Forest South Carolina Marquette
  11 Kansas St. VCU/Xavier Providence/USC Rhode Island
  12 Princeton UNC Wilmington Middle Tennessee Nevada
  13 Vermont East Tennessee St. Bucknell New Mexico St.
  14 Northern Kentucky Iona Florida Gulf Coast Winthrop
  15 Kent St. Troy Texas Southern North Dakota
  16 South Dakota St. New Orleans NC Central Jacksonville St.
  16 Mount St. Mary’s UC Davis
Last Four In First Four Out Second Four Out Four More
VCU Syracuse Indiana Illinois
Xavier Illinois St. Iowa Georgia
Providence TCU Houston Alabama
USC Clemson California Utah
   33 Virginia Tech 89.04     48 Syracuse 118.81
   34 Seton Hall 92.97     49 Illinois St. 122.25
   35 Vanderbilt 93.96     50 Nevada 124.13
   36 Northwestern 94.04     51 UNC Wilmington 125.29
   37 Marquette 95.08     52 TCU 126.29
   38 South Carolina 95.82     53 Princeton 132.15
   39 Wake Forest 97.76     54 Clemson 132.53
   40 Michigan St. 100.60     55 Indiana 132.68
   41 Kansas St. 100.69    56 Vermont 132.98
   42 VCU 101.86    57 Iowa 133.09
   43 Xavier 102.11    58 Houston 133.48
   44 Rhode Island 102.61     59 California 134.29
   45 Providence 108.17    60 Illinois 136.18
   46 Middle Tennessee 111.65     61 Georgia 137.44
   47 USC 117.70     62 Alabama 140.30
    63 Utah 142.76

March 11, Late Evening Update

•March 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Great weekend for the bubble teams, with almost zero stolen bids shrinking the bubble. On behalf of bubble teams everywhere, many thanks to Middle Tennessee, Nevada, the top tier of the AAC for making their finals, the top of all the major conferences for snuffing out teams like TCU and Alabama by the semis at the latest. Even the A-10, a perennial bid thief, behaved versus its own history and looks poised to get either 2 or 3 teams in depending on tomorrow’s VCU/URI final.

The top lines got easier with Duke winning the ACC, and the real trouble picking where teams get slotted starts around #12, the final 3-seed. I’ve got 6 teams stacked right on top of each other for spots 12-17, with Florida State just getting the nod over Iowa St/WVU and Butler moving to the back of that group and the top 5 seed for now. I’ll spend a little more time on that tomorrow.

The middle tier has a ton of intrigue as well. There are a handful of teams that could range from a 6 to a 12 depending on what the committee prioritizes. Wichita St and St Mary’s are computer rankings darlings with sparse big wins (though plenty of blowout wins), while teams like Vanderbilt have a great set of overall wins but also test the committee’s mettle by positioning themselves as the first ever 15-loss at large team. Within this tier it becomes a solve for who you want to win a comparison and I can almost without fail put together a “blind resume” comparison that solves for that answer. I’ll make this my reminder to ignore blind resumes posted with selective data and without context in the future.

Ok, no more words: with about 18 hours to go, here’s a good look at where we stand.

   1 Villanova Kansas Gonzaga North Carolina
   2 Arizona Duke Oregon Kentucky
   3 UCLA Louisville Baylor Florida St.
   4 Florida Purdue West Virginia Iowa St.
   5 Butler Virginia Notre Dame Cincinnati
   6 Minnesota Creighton SMU Wisconsin
   7 Michigan Maryland Oklahoma St. Saint Mary’s
   8 Virginia Tech Dayton Wichita St. Miami FL
   9 Vanderbilt Seton Hall Arkansas Marquette
  10 Michigan St. Wake Forest South Carolina Northwestern
  11 Kansas St. Xavier/Providence VCU Middle Tennessee
  12 Vermont Nevada UNC Wilmington URI/USC
  13 Princeton East Tennessee St. Bucknell New Mexico St.
  14 Northern Kentucky Iona Florida Gulf Coast Winthrop
  15 UC Irvine Texas Southern Kent St. Troy
  16 Mount St. Mary’s South Dakota St. Jacksonville St. North Dakota
  16 New Orleans NC Central
Last Four In First Four Out Second Four Out Four More
VCU Syracuse Iowa Princeton
Providence Illinois St. Indiana Alabama
Rhode Island TCU Houston Georgia
USC Clemson California Utah
   33 Vanderbilt 84.29     48 Syracuse 119.31
   34 Seton Hall 85.22     49 Illinois St. 121.67
   35 Arkansas 90.35     50 TCU 126.62
   36 Marquette 93.37     51 Nevada 126.81
   37 Northwestern 94.74     52 UNC Wilmington 132.18
   38 South Carolina 95.03     53 Clemson 133.03
   39 Wake Forest 98.59     54 Iowa 133.09
   40 Michigan St. 100.60     55 Indiana 133.32
   41 Kansas St. 100.69    56 Houston 133.63
   42 Xavier 100.83    57 California 133.67
   43 VCU 104.59    58 Princeton 136.61
   44 Providence 108.17     59 Illinois 136.62
   45 Middle Tennessee 111.50    60 Alabama 137.24
   46 Rhode Island 117.17     61 Georgia 137.44
   47 USC 118.02

 

NCAA Tournament Bracket, March 11, Early AM

•March 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment
   1 Villanova Kansas North Carolina Gonzaga
   2 Louisville Arizona Oregon Kentucky
   3 UCLA Duke Baylor Purdue
   4 Butler Florida West Virginia Florida St.
   5 Iowa St. Notre Dame Virginia Cincinnati
   6 Saint Mary’s Minnesota Wisconsin SMU
   7 Creighton Maryland Wichita St. Michigan
   8 Virginia Tech Miami FL Dayton Oklahoma St.
   9 South Carolina Vanderbilt Arkansas Marquette
  10 Kansas St. Michigan St. Seton Hall Northwestern
  11 Xavier Wake Forest/Providence VCU Middle Tennessee
  12 UT Arlington Nevada UNC Wilmington USC/Illinois St
  13 Vermont Princeton East Tennessee St. Akron
  14 Florida Gulf Coast Winthrop New Mexico St. Bucknell
  15 Northern Kentucky Iona UC Irvine Texas Southern
  16 Mount St. Mary’s North Dakota South Dakota St. Jacksonville St.
  16 New Orleans NC Central
Last Four In First Four Out Second Four Out Four More
VCU Rhode Island California Clemson
Providence Syracuse Iowa Georgia
USC TCU Illinois Indiana
Illinois St. Nevada Houston Alabama
   34 Vanderbilt 82.57     48 Rhode Island 110.45
   35 Arkansas 82.88     49 Syracuse 113.37
   36 Marquette 84.50     50 TCU 116.37
   37 Northwestern 84.54     51 Nevada 117.30
   38 Seton Hall 85.55     52 UNC Wilmington 120.64
   39 Michigan St. 89.70     53 California 123.20
   40 Kansas St. 90.15     54 Iowa 123.57
   41 Xavier 90.17     55 Illinois 124.54
   42 Wake Forest 90.59    56 Houston 124.57
   43 VCU 93.45    57 Clemson 125.53
   44 Providence 99.36    58 Princeton 126.29
   45 Middle Tennessee 103.02     59 Georgia 126.47
   46 USC 106.29    60 Vermont 126.78
   47 Illinois St. 109.76     61 Indiana 126.82
    62 Alabama 132.28

NCAA Tournament Bracket, Friday AM

•March 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment
   1 Villanova North Carolina Kansas Gonzaga
   2 UCLA Louisville Oregon Kentucky
   3 Arizona Baylor Florida Purdue
   4 Butler Duke West Virginia Florida St.
   5 Virginia Iowa St. Notre Dame Cincinnati
   6 Maryland Minnesota Wisconsin SMU
   7 Saint Mary’s Creighton Wichita St. Dayton
   8 Michigan Miami FL South Carolina Oklahoma St.
   9 Arkansas Virginia Tech Seton Hall Marquette
  10 Wake Forest Xavier Kansas St. Michigan St.
  11 Northwestern Vanderbilt VCU/Providence Middle Tennessee
  12 UT Arlington Nevada UNC Wilmington USC/Illinois St
  13 Vermont Princeton East Tennessee St. Bucknell
  14 Florida Gulf Coast Winthrop New Mexico St. Akron
  15 Iona Northern Kentucky UC Irvine Texas Southern
  16 North Dakota Mount St. Mary’s South Dakota St. Jacksonville St.
  16 New Orleans NC Central
Last Four In First Four Out Second Four Out Four More
VCU Syracuse Iowa Georgia
Providence TCU Nevada Indiana
USC Rhode Island California Alabama
Illinois St. Houston Illinois Mississippi
   35 Seton Hall 83.20     48 Syracuse 113.94
   36 Marquette 84.31     49 TCU 116.46
   37 Michigan St. 87.41     50 Rhode Island 117.39
   38 Kansas St. 89.37     51 Houston 119.23
   39 Xavier 89.61     52 UNC Wilmington 119.98
   40 Wake Forest 89.75     53 Iowa 121.70
   41 Northwestern 92.51     54 Nevada 121.70
   42 Vanderbilt 97.05     55 California 123.20
   43 VCU 98.89    56 Illinois 124.07
   44 Providence 99.36    57 Georgia 124.14
   45 Middle Tennessee 103.02    58 Indiana 124.95
   46 USC 107.88
   47 Illinois St. 109.39

March 2 Bracket

•March 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment
   1 Kansas Villanova North Carolina Gonzaga
   2 UCLA Oregon Florida Kentucky
   3 Arizona Louisville Baylor Butler
   4 Duke West Virginia Florida St. Purdue
   5 Virginia Iowa St. SMU Wisconsin
   6 Oklahoma St. Saint Mary’s Cincinnati Notre Dame
   7 Minnesota South Carolina Creighton Maryland
   8 Michigan Miami FL Virginia Tech Dayton
   9 Wichita St. Arkansas Marquette Northwestern
  10 Wake Forest VCU Xavier Michigan St.
  11 Seton Hall Providence Illinois St/Vanderbilt Middle Tennessee
  12 UT Arlington Nevada UNC Wilmington Syracuse/Kansas St
  13 Vermont Princeton Monmouth Belmont
  14 Akron New Mexico St. East Tennessee St. Valparaiso
  15 Bucknell UNC Asheville Florida Gulf Coast North Dakota St.
  16 New Orleans North Dakota Texas Southern UC Irvine
  16 Mount St. Mary’s NC Central
Last Four In First Four Out Second Four Out Four More
Vanderbilt USC Houston UNC Wilmington
Illinois St. California Georgia Nevada
Syracuse Illinois Clemson Ohio St.
Kansas St. Rhode Island TCU Georgia Tech
   35 Marquette 86.80     48 USC 109.95
   36 Northwestern 89.73     49 California 110.36
   37 Michigan St. 94.86     50 Illinois 114.43
   38 Xavier 96.61     51 Rhode Island 117.04
   39 VCU 98.08     52 Houston 119.39
   40 Wake Forest 99.20     53 Georgia 121.18
   41 Seton Hall 100.19     54 Clemson 124.05
   42 Providence 102.10     55 TCU 124.79
   43 Vanderbilt 102.24    56 UNC Wilmington 125.34
   44 Illinois St. 103.63    57 Princeton 127.22
   45 Middle Tennessee 105.45    58 Nevada 127.54
   46 Syracuse 106.51     59 Ohio St. 129.50
   47 Kansas St. 108.05    60 Vermont 129.64
    61 Georgia Tech 131.27

March 1, 2017 Bracket

•February 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The following bracket is through games of February 28. If you’re seeing this, Happy March!

   1 Kansas Villanova North Carolina Kentucky
   2 UCLA Florida Oregon Gonzaga
   3 Louisville Arizona Baylor Butler
   4 Duke West Virginia Florida St. Purdue
   5 Virginia Iowa St. Notre Dame Wisconsin
   6 Minnesota Oklahoma St. Cincinnati SMU
   7 Saint Mary’s South Carolina Creighton Maryland
   8 Michigan Dayton Miami FL Virginia Tech
   9 Wichita St. Arkansas Michigan St. Xavier
  10 Seton Hall Marquette VCU Northwestern
  11 Providence Illinois St. Syracuse/Vanderbilt Middle Tennessee
  12 UT Arlington Nevada UNC Wilmington Wake/California
  13 Vermont Princeton Monmouth Belmont
  14 Akron New Mexico St. East Tennessee St. Valparaiso
  15 Bucknell UNC Asheville Florida Gulf Coast North Dakota St.
  16 New Orleans North Dakota Texas Southern UC Irvine
  16 Mount St. Mary’s NC Central
Next Four Second Four Out Four More
USC Georgia UNC Wilmington
TCU Rhode Island Nevada
Kansas St. Illinois Ohio St.
Houston Clemson Georgia Tech
 IN  OUT
   35 Michigan St. 87.13     48 USC 110.82
   36 Xavier 92.48     49 TCU 117.35
   37 Northwestern 95.86     50 Kansas St. 118.18
   38 VCU 98.29     51 Houston 119.28
   39 Marquette 99.56     52 Georgia 121.92
   40 Seton Hall 101.40    53 Rhode Island 123.63
   41 Providence 102.25     54 Illinois 124.31
   42 Illinois St. 102.31     55 Princeton 124.40
   43 Vanderbilt 102.44     56 Clemson 124.66
   44 Middle Tennessee 105.13     57 Vermont 125.36
   45 Syracuse 106.01    58 UNC Wilmington 125.46
   46 Wake Forest 106.58    59 Nevada 129.31
   47 California 110.10     60 Ohio St. 129.53
   61 Georgia Tech 133.57
    62 Tennessee 134.35

Detailed Bracket Breakdown, February, 2017

•February 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Two weeks before Selection Sunday and who will be in contention for at-large bids has come into focus. Now that we know more-or-less what will comprise a ‘Good Win’ or ‘Bad Loss’ and it’s time for the first detailed, fully resume scrubbed update of the year.

The following projects teams finish with the current projected conference record per KenPom and projected RPI per RPIForecast.com, but gives credit for good wins/bad losses only through games already played. Beyond the list above, it would take a massive change in a team’s resume from this point to get back onto the bubble, and in most cases the conference tournament will be the only opportunity for such teams to get those big victories.

First, the S-Curve:

   1 Villanova Kansas North Carolina Gonzaga
   2 UCLA Florida Oregon Kentucky
   3 Arizona Louisville Baylor Florida St.
   4 Butler Duke Purdue West Virginia
   5 Wisconsin SMU Cincinnati Virginia
   6 Minnesota Oklahoma St. Iowa St. Notre Dame
   7 Saint Mary’s Creighton Miami FL South Carolina
   8 Virginia Tech Michigan Dayton Maryland
   9 Wichita St. Xavier Arkansas Northwestern
  10 Michigan St. Seton Hall VCU Marquette
  11 Vanderbilt Providence Syracuse/Illinois St Wake/USC
  12 UT Arlington Nevada UNC Wilmington Middle Tennessee
  13 Vermont Princeton Belmont Monmouth
  14 New Mexico St. East Tennessee St. Valparaiso Akron
  15 Bucknell UNC Asheville Florida Gulf Coast North Dakota St.
  16 New Orleans North Dakota Texas Southern UC Irvine
  16 Mount St. Mary’s NC Central

The following 29 teams have now done enough with two weeks left to consider their tournament hopes 99%+ safe. Note teams 4-10 in the following list are all probably in play for the last #1 seed two weeks from now, while the top 3 are looking pretty good to grab the first three spots.

                1 Villanova 4.84
                2 Kansas 5.33
                3 North Carolina 7.84
                4 Gonzaga 14.39
                5 Kentucky 16.24
                6 Oregon 18.38
                7 Florida 18.56
                8 UCLA 20.56
                9 Arizona 21.03
              10 Louisville 22.75
              11 Baylor 31.07
              12 Florida St. 31.83
              13 West Virginia 33.87
              14 Purdue 33.94
              15 Duke 34.30
              16 Butler 34.77
              17 Wisconsin 40.86
              18 SMU 43.66
              19 Cincinnati 45.78
              20 Virginia 46.22
              21 Notre Dame 47.19
              22 Iowa St. 51.84
              23 Oklahoma St. 57.12
              24 Minnesota 60.03
              25 Saint Mary’s 60.37
              26 Creighton 60.74
              27 Miami FL 66.16
              28 South Carolina 67.15
              29 Maryland 67.54

Next, the following teams have largely played themselves upwards to the next tier of likely in barring an epic collapse/injuries/etc. I know I’ll get pushback on Wichita St being this high, but a top 10 team in KenPom that’s moved into the national polls and has lost 1 game the last two months after a strong tournament performance in a similar situation last year has historically gotten the benefit of the doubt. They also only have their conference tournament remaining, so it’s tough for too much of a collapse to occur from here. Xavier’s play has dropped off significantly since losing Sumner, and at 1-7 in their last 8 their bid could be in play so it would be wise for them to win at least 1 game down the stretch as well.

              30 Dayton A10 76.40
              31 Michigan B10 78.25
              32 Virginia Tech ACC 78.53
              33 Wichita St. MVC 79.85
              34 Xavier BE 81.37
              35 Arkansas SEC 84.42

Finally, the most interesting part, the bubble. The last at-large spot, assuming MTSU wins the CUSA Tournament, will be #46/47. MTSU is currently #45 and would make an interesting test case of good mid-major with good metrics but a resume somewhat light on good wins (like much of their competition at the end of the at-large bubble pool.

Next Four Second Four Out Four More
California Rhode Island Indiana
TCU Houston Ohio St.
Kansas St. Clemson Illinois
Georgia Tennessee Georgia Tech
 Last Teams In:  First Teams Out:
   36 Northwestern 93.24     48 California 110.74
   37 Marquette 98.14     49 TCU 116.23
   38 VCU 98.75     50 Kansas St. 116.47
   39 Seton Hall 101.14     51 UNC Wilmington 119.54
   40 Michigan St. 101.99     52 Georgia 122.00
   41 Vanderbilt 102.28    53 Rhode Island 122.98
   42 Providence 102.84     54 Houston 123.58
  43 Illinois St. 103.00     55 Clemson 124.94
   44 Syracuse 103.44     56 Princeton 126.10
   45 Middle Tennessee 104.46     57 Vermont 127.75
   46 Wake Forest 104.77    58 Nevada 127.87
   47 USC 105.97    59 Tennessee 131.71
    60 Indiana 134.93
   61 Ohio St. 135.59
    62 Illinois 135.61
    63 Georgia Tech 136.20
    64 Texas Tech 137.17

When you get to the bubble, teams are either lacking a good overall/computer profile (Syracuse, Michigan St, TCU, Georgia Tech, Indiana) or are lacking quantity and quality of good wins (Illinois St, Wake Forest, Cal, TCU, Kansas St, Houston). Which of these teams make the tournament will come down to the balance of weighting the committee places on the different factors.My guess above is as good a guess as to what things will look like in two weeks as we can make without knowing how all the conference tournament brackets will shake out. Those tournaments will provide the last chance to capture a quality win for many of these teams in competition for the final spots.

Rhode Island’s win yesterday doesn’t get them in the field but does keep their hopes alive. Syracuse (currently losing), USC, Georgia Tech, Houston, Xavier, Michigan St, and Illinois are all teams with a chance to help their resume or avoid a bad loss to stay in the field today.