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Bracketology 1/23/20

Most of the action since Monday has been in the 9 to 10 seed range. Texas Tech, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Memphis and Purdue all lost, making that area of the seed list quite muddy. This leads to some strange seeds in that area, such as USC as a 9 seed. The Trojans' adjusted efficiency margins are quite bad for an at-large, but they've got a solid resume.

After their drubbing at the hands of Tulsa, it's time to consider that Memphis may not actually make the field. Their best wins are over NC State on a neutral and at Tennessee, and they have a bit of an ugly home loss to Georgia. There are strangely few opportunities in the American this year, as they won't play a Kenpom tier A game until they travel to a resurgent Cincinnati on February 13th. In a weak AAC, 10-8 or 11-7 in conference may not get it done.

1: Baylor, Kansas, San Diego State, Gonzaga
2: Duke, Dayton, Florida State, Michigan State
3: West Virginia, Butler, Seton Hall, Louisville
4: Villanova, Oregon, Iowa, Aub…

Bracketology 1/20/20

For the first time in a few weeks, I've gone through and re-evaluated all of the resumes. Some winners include San Diego State, who is up to a 1 seed for the first time all year, and Iowa, who moves into the protected seeds. On the other hand, the wheels have fallen off for Ohio State and the Buckeyes are all the way down to the 8 line.

I'm also getting more bullish on the at-large chances of two mid-majors, Northern Iowa and Liberty. The Panthers picked up a big road win at Bradley, and has a decent number of Q2 and Q3 games ahead of them. Liberty is going to be large favorites in every remaining game, if they run the table they'll be hard to leave out and I think they could maybe afford a regular season loss.

A big week lies ahead, especially in the Big East and the Big Ten. My next update will come Thursday morning.

1: Baylor, Kansas, San Diego State, Gonzaga
2: Duke, Butler, Dayton, Florida State
3: Michigan State, Seton Hall, West Virginia, Louisville
4: Oregon, Villan…

Bracketology 1/16/20

The biggest story is at the top of the bracket, where Baylor has moved up to the #1 overall seed after their massive win at Kansas. Their lone blemish is a loss to Washington in November, and that win in the Phog is the best any team has picked up all season.

Looking at the bids by conference, the Big Ten currently has a record 12 teams in the field. It's quite unlikely that all 12 are going to make it, but the conference remains as strong as it's ever been. On the other hand, we have the ACC. It has 3 protected seeds, but no other teams in the field as Virginia and NC State fall out in this update. I think they probably end up with 4 or 5 bids, but it's crazy to think that a team could get a double bye in the ACC tournament and not make the NCAAs.

The next update will come Monday afternoon, and updates will be at least twice a week from there on out.

1: Baylor, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas
2: Butler, San Diego State, West Virginia, Oregon
3: Michigan State, Dayton, Auburn, Maryl…

Bracketology 1/11/20

A busy week leads to changes up and down the seed list. Ohio State is falling after a 1-3 start in Big Ten play- the Buckeyes were on the 1 line a few weeks ago, and their win over North Carolina has lost a lot of luster. The Big Ten is looking more and more like Michigan State's conference to lose.

Speaking of the Big Ten, as of right now they have 9 teams in the field and the first 3 teams out of the field as well. They could challenge the Big East's record for 11 teams in the tournament. A lot of these teams are going to end up with a lot of losses- the record for an at-large is 15, but both teams who made it with 15 losses (2017 Vanderbilt and 2018 Alabama) did so comfortably.

1: Kansas, Duke, Gonzaga, Butler
2: San Diego State, Baylor, Auburn, Michigan State
3: Oregon, Ohio State, Maryland, West Virginia
4: Louisville, Florida State, Dayton, Wichita State
5: Villanova, Seton Hall, Kentucky, Michigan
6: Penn State, Arizona, Texas Tech, Stanford
7: Houston, Colorado, Creight…

Bracketology 1/5/20

The first Saturday of conference play bought plenty of changes to the seed list. Moving into the field are Wisconsin, who picked up one of the wins of the season at Ohio State, and LSU, who knocked off Tennessee. Other big winners include Florida State, who is into the protected seeds after beating Louisville, and Penn State who beat Iowa.

The race for the 1 seeds is getting interesting, and San Diego State is a legitimate player. The Aztecs could be double digit favorites in every game until their last at Nevada, and own 3 wins away from home against teams in the top half of the field. The road to a 1 seed from a 1 bid league is tough, but a lack of clear candidates elsewhere will help them out.

There will likely only be 1 update a week for the next 2 weeks, as I'm going to be travelling out of the country.

1: Gonzaga, Kansas, Duke, Butler
2: San Diego State, Ohio State, Auburn, Baylor
3: Louisville, Maryland, Oregon, West Virginia
4: Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Dayt…

Bracketology 1/1/20

This is the first bracketology of the new decade- the 2010s were quite a busy decade for my projections. I started my bracketology in 2011 on a different website, and I published my first bracketology here on January 11th, 2012. The four teams I projected as the #1 seeds there actually did get the 1 seeds on Selection Sunday- I hope to have the same level of accuracy this year.
It's been a relatively quiet few days in college hoops, with the biggest result being Kentucky's win over Louisville. Closer to the bubble, the mid-majors have taken quite a hit. Northern Iowa and Liberty looked like the two best bets for an at-large bid from traditional 1-bid leagues, but the Panthers fell to Illinois State while Liberty lost to LSU. The Flames could be an interesting test case for the committee if they go 17-1 in ASun play and lose in the conference tournament, as no 3 loss team has ever failed to earn a bid.
Conference play continues to ramp up over the next few days- and I'll be…

Top Mid-Major Teams of the Decade

I always like to give a special focus to mid-major teams in my bracketology, and mid-major hoops is a big part of what makes college basketball so special. So I figured it would be a good exercise to rank the top mid-major teams of the decade. An exercise like this has to always grapple with the tough question of defining a mid-major. To avoid this list being entirely Gonzaga and Wichita State teams, I've decided to omit Gonzaga entirely and omit Wichita State teams after their undefeated regular season in 2014.

10. 2019 Buffalo Bulls
Buffalo came into the 2019 season with some hype after their upset over Arizona in the 2018 tournament. The Bulls, led by senior guard CJ Massinburg, roared to a 31-3 regular season which included a big rivalry win at Syracuse. They easily could've gotten an at-large if they needed it, but they won the MAC tournament and got a 6 seed in the NCAA tournament. After a win over Arizona State in the first round, they fell victim to Texas Tech's re…