Showing posts from December, 2018

Bracketology 12/31/18

This was an abbreviated week of college hoops with the only real action on the weekend. It was a pretty wild Saturday. Highlights included Western Kentucky continuing their roller coaster season with a win against Wisconsin, Florida jumping out to a 21-0 lead on Butler, and San Diego State getting thrashed by my school, Brown. That doesn't even cover the horrible day in the Pac-12, where Steve Alford might have coached his last game in a blowout loss to Liberty, Cal lost to Seattle, Washington State lost to Santa Clara and Arizona State lost to Princeton. When was the last time a power conference lost 2 games to Ivy League schools on the same day?

As the calendar turns to the New Year, conference play kicks off in most leagues. A word of caution though- in my last seed list of 2017, Arizona State was a 1 seed (and ended up in the First Four). 31 of the 32 teams I had as 8 seeds or higher made the field, though an injury-riddled SMU tumbled from a 6 seed to missing the NIT. Going b…

Bracketology 12/24/18

As college basketball heads into hibernation for a few days, it's time to take stock of what's transpired in the first 6 weeks of the season. Some teams have greatly surpassed expectations- Michigan has vaulted from a 5 seed in my preseason bracket to the #2 overall seed, Houston has gone from the First Four to a 4 seed, and Buffalo has gone from a 12 seed to a 1-loss team. On the flip side, Kentucky has gone from a 1 seed down to a 6, Villanova has gone from a 2 to an 8 and Oregon and UCLA have gone from the top half of the bracket to obscurity.

The big picture story I'm going to be following most closely this season is the decline in mid-major bids. I started my bracketology back in 2011- a year where the Colonial, Mountain West and CAA got 3 bids, only one fewer than the ACC. Right now outside of the Power Six conferences, I have 3 teams from the American and 2 from the WCC. This opens up a lot of bids for the big conferences- there's 10 Big Ten teams and 8 ACC team…

Bracketology 12/17/18

A relatively quiet week led to an explosive Saturday with a lot of big results. The most exciting finish was in Indianapolis where Indiana drained a deep 3 at the buzzer to knock off Butler. The Hoosiers have won 4 games in a row by a bucket and figure to go into the Crisler Center on January 6th 12-2. Win that one, and they're a serious contender to win the Big Ten. The other big game was North Carolina taking down Gonzaga in the Dean Dome. The Zags are down to the 2 line now, given the strength of the middle of the WCC this year I feel pretty confident that a 31-3 Gonzaga team would get a 1 seed, a 30-4 Bulldogs squad might.

Arizona State is the only Pac-12 team in my bracket, although Arizona, Oregon and UCLA are in the first four out. It's going to be a down year for the Pac-12 even by their low recent standards- Arizona and UCLA losing at home to Baylor and Belmont did not help the matter. Colorado and Washington have at-large hopes, but the bottom 3 teams in the league (…

Bracketology 12/10/18

After Tennessee's win over Gonzaga, Kansas moves up to the #1 overall seed. The Jayhawks struggled with New Mexico State, but have a trifecta of fantastic wins against Michigan State, Marquette and Tennessee. No other team has two wins over protected seeds. Elsewhere on the top line, I've moved Michigan up from the two line as their wins are simply just more impressive than Tennessee's or Virginia's, even if they've mostly been at home.

Oklahoma, Houston, and St. John's have all jumped out to fast starts and have gone from not considered in my preseason bracket to bordering on the protected seeds. I'll be watching the Cougars particularly closely- with Wichita State having a down year they're really looking like the team to beat in the American now. If they can turn on the jets in February like they did last year they're a second weekend team in March.

At the bubble, San Francisco is in my bracket for the first time in my 9 years of doing bracketolo…

Bracketology 12/3/18

Conference play kicked off this past week in the Big Ten and SoCon, and combined with the Big Ten/ACC challenge it produced a lot of shuffling up and down the bracket. At the top, I strongly considered putting Michigan on the 1-line after their dominating wins over North Carolina and Purdue. Virginia has a similarly impressive win against Wisconsin, so I decided to keep the Cavs in the last 1 seed.

Oregon has fallen from a 4 seed in my preseason bracket all the way down to the First Four now. The Ducks took an absolutely brutal loss at home to Texas Southern and then followed it up by a road loss at Houston. The Cougars look quite good, and are the class of the American, but it's a win Dana Altman's team could've used.

There's no headliner this week like there was last week with the Big Ten/ACC challenge, but there's a lot of fun OOC rivalry games like Iowa State/Iowa, Creighton/Nebraska and Wisconsin/Marquette.

1: Gonzaga, Kansas, Duke, Virginia
2: Michigan, Nevad…

Final Bowl Projections

There's relatively few changes in the final bowl projections of the season. Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma remain in the playoff, and the NY6 bowls are unchanged. If I am wrong about the playoff (Georgia or Ohio State getting in over Oklahoma) it would have ripple effects all the way down the bowls.

Most of the interesting decisions came in the non-NY6 bowls. I had some tough choices about who to leave out of a bowl game- I chose to exclude Southern Miss, Miami (OH), Wyoming and ULM. I feel pretty confident that the latter 3 won't be bowling- Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Southern Miss are fighting for the last two bowl bids.

Cotton (Playoff Semifinal): #2 Clemson vs. #3 Notre Dame
Orange (Playoff Semifinal): #1 Alabama vs. #4 Oklahoma
Peach: Michigan vs. LSU
Fiesta: UCF vs. Florida
Rose: Ohio State vs. Washington
Sugar: West Virginia vs. Georgia
Citrus: Penn State vs. Kentucky
Outback: Iowa vs. Mississippi State
Sun: Boston College vs. Utah
TaxSlayer: Miam…