Bracketology: February 20, 2017

Here is our updated bracket following this past weekend’s games.

So one of the most common things you’ll hear every year during late February and early March is how “the bubble is so weak this year.” On ESPN and all the various college basketball sites you check out, that is always said at this time of year. Usually, it results in me giving a huge eye-roll. If you hear it every year, is the bubble really weak or is that just the nature of being on the bubble? Well, guess what? This year, the bubble really is INCREDIBLY WEAK.

I’ve done this now for 4 years, and I’ve never seen teams with such low RPIs and such awful conference records being considered for those last 4 in/First Four spots. (Sidebar: the RPI is awful. But the committee uses the RPI, so I use the RPI. Until that changes, that’s the standard operating procedure around here.) Clemson is being heavily considered by bracketologists with a conference record of 4-10. Syracuse and Georgia Tech could very well both make the field, and both have RPIs over 70. The 2nd place team from the Missouri Valley would make it in the field for me right now, whether it is Wichita State or Illinois State. Both of them only have one top-50 win, and it is against each other. This is bad, awful, hold-your-nose while you put them in the final 68 type of stuff.

Why is it so bad? It’s due to conferences not performing up to their standards. The American conference is garbage. The A-10 is having a down year. The Pac-12 is really quite bad after its top 5 teams. The SEC is a gigantic, jumbled mess after its top 3. (I considered saying top 4 here and including Arkansas in that “top” group. The fact that I considered including Arkansas in a “top” group shows how much of a mess the rest of the league is.) The Big Ten is having a down year. The Big East is the 3rd best conference in America, and it really only has one team that will be favored to make the 2nd weekend. Because those conferences are having such down years all at the same time is the reason we’re seeing the possibility of the ACC getting 12 of its 15 teams in or the Big 12 getting 8 of its 10 teams. There are not a lot of other great options out there.

Therefore, that’s why you see Georgia Tech, with its RPI in the 70s, as one of my last 4 at-large bids in this bracket. The same goes for Marquette and its RPI hovering in the 70s. This is the bubble. It is bad. Unless some of these teams start getting some big wins, we’re looking at a very shaky bubble. Get prepared. Onto the bracket.


The Bracket

feb20bracketpng


Seed List

  • 1 – Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
  • 2 – North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona
  • 3 – Florida State, Kentucky, Duke, Florida
  • 4 – UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia, Purdue
  • 5 – Butler, Cincinnati, Creighton, Notre Dame
  • 6 – Wisconsin, Maryland, St. Mary’s, SMU
  • 7 – Minnesota, Northwestern, South Carolina, Xavier
  • 8 – Oklahoma State, Iowa State, USC, VCU
  • 9 – Dayton, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, Arkansas
  • 10 – Michigan State, California, Michigan, Wichita State
  • 11 – Middle Tennessee, Kansas State, Seton Hall, TCU, Marquette
  • 12 – Illinois State, Georgia Tech, UNC Wilmington, Nevada, Akron
  • 13 – Monmouth, Vermont, UT Arlington, Valparaiso
  • 14 – Princeton, New Mexico State, Belmont, East Tennessee State
  • 15 – Bucknell, Florida Gulf Coast, UNC Asheville, North Dakota State
  • 16 – Texas Southern, UC Irvine, North Dakota, New Orleans, North Carolina Central, Mount St. Mary’s
  • Last 4 Byes: California, Michigan, Kansas State, Seton Hall
  • Last 4 IN: TCU, Marquette, Illinois State, Georgia Tech
  • First 4 OUT: Providence, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Clemson
  • Next 4 OUT: Tennessee, Alabama, Texas Tech, Rhode Island

Bids by Conference

  • ACC: 9
  • Big 12: 7
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Big East: 6
  • Pac-12: 5
  • SEC: 4
  • Atlantic 10: 2
  • American: 2
  • West Coast: 2
  • Missouri Valley: 2

Always check out the Bracket Matrix to see how The Nickel Dimer compares to the competition.

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BRACKETOLOGY: February 13, 2017

It’s time for the first bracketology in February for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. We are officially hitting the stretch run of the college basketball season, which means we are hitting the prime time for frequent bracketology updates.

This edition is a bit different than most due to the release of the Top 16 by the NCAA Selection Committee on Saturday. My goal with bracketology is not to create a bracket based on what I think it should be or based on my own methodology; I am trying to mimic what I think the committee will do come Selection Sunday. Because of that, the committee provided a great starting point on Saturday with their top 16. Of their top 16, Florida State, Virginia, and Butler all lost this weekend. I don’t think the losses by FSU and Virginia are too damaging to their profiles. I considered dropping Butler a couple of spots, but their resume is still very strong, and a loss to an improving Providence team is not THAT damaging. I kept them on the 4-line. Therefore, my 16 matches the committee’s 16 in today’s bracket.

Here’s today’s bracket projection. A reminder: each bracketology edition, I will post the projected bracket with match-ups, pod locations, and all the other things a bracket would have. I will also post the seed list 1-68 as well as the breakdown of bids by conference (for conferences that receive multiple bids). Here we go.


The Bracket

bracket_feb13


Seed List

  • 1 – Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga
  • 2 – North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, Oregon
  • 3 – Arizona, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky
  • 4 – Butler, West Virginia, UCLA, Duke
  • 5 – Purdue, Cincinnati, Creighton, Wisconsin
  • 6 – Maryland, South Carolina, St. Mary’s, Notre Dame
  • 7 – Xavier, Minnesota, SMU, Northwestern
  • 8 – USC, Dayton, Iowa State, Oklahoma State
  • 9 – VCU, Michigan State, Wichita State, Miami (FL)
  • 10 – Kansas State, TCU, Virginia Tech, California
  • 11 – Syracuse, Middle Tennessee, Seton Hall, Marquette, Arkansas
  • 12 – Michigan, Wake Forest, UNC Wilmington, Nevada, Akron
  • 13 – Monmouth, Valparaiso, New Mexico State, Vermont
  • 14 – Princeton, Belmont, UT Arlington, East Tennessee State
  • 15 – Bucknell, Florida Gulf Coast, UNC Asheville, North Dakota State
  • 16 – Texas Southern, Weber State, UC Irvine, New Orleans, North Carolina Central, Mount St. Mary’s
  • Last 4 Byes: Virginia Tech, California, Syracuse, Seton Hall
  • Last 4 IN: Marquette, Arkansas, Michigan, Wake Forest
  • First 4 OUT: Illinois State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Rhode Island
  • Next 4 OUT: Georgetown, Indiana, Houston, Providence

Bids by Conference

  • ACC: 10
  • Big 12: 7
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Big East: 6
  • Pac-12: 5
  • SEC: 4
  • Atlantic 10: 2
  • American: 2
  • West Coast: 2

This bracket will be added to the Bracket Matrix when the site does its next update. Always check it out to see how The Nickel Dimer compares.

Bracketology: Edition 1 – November 30, 2016

After a 2015-16 season hiatus, The Nickel Dimer is back! Due to life and work complications, I unfortunately had to take off the 2015-16 season from blogging about college basketball and bracketology. Not so this year, as I’m excited to blog, forecast, and tweet about college basketball all season long.

Let’s kick this off with my first bracket projection for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. I thought this window after Feast Week and all of the holiday tournament but before the end of non-conference play was a good time to drop the initial bracket. This first bracket edition is tough, because it’s an undefined combination of preseason expectations, early season results, and early season analytics (Kenpom, Sagarin, etc.). Because of that, there will be some teams that are seeded higher than their resume would deem worthy.

Think West Virginia and Purdue. Those two squads do not currently have 5-seed resumes as the committee would view it, but based on their talent, advanced metrics, and what we all thought of them preseason, I have them as 5-seeds.

You can think the inverse with Baylor. Will Baylor end up as a 2-seed? I don’t know, I guess they theoretically could. It would surprise me. I’d expect them to fall into that 3-5 seed range. But based on their current resume and the quality of the teams they have beaten, I think they are worthy of a 2-seed.

So I guess you could say I am rewarding teams for having obviously strong resumes thus far, but not punishing teams we all thought would be good if they have not yet had the opportunity that Baylor has had to record quality wins.

Let’s move on to the first bracket projection for the 2016-17 season. Each bracketology edition, I will post the projected bracket with match-ups, pod locations, and all the other things a bracket would have. I will also post the seed list 1-68 as well as the breakdown of bids by conference (for conferences that receive multiple bids). Here we go.


The Bracket

bracketology-nov-30


Seed List

  • 1 – Kentucky, Villanova, North Carolina, Kansas
  • 2 – Duke, Virginia, Baylor, Xavier
  • 3 – Louisville, Gonzaga, Indiana, Creighton
  • 4 – Wisconsin, UCLA, Butler, Iowa State
  • 5 – West Virginia, Florida, Arizona, Purdue
  • 6 – Syracuse, St. Mary’s, Notre Dame, Oregon
  • 7 – South Carolina, Michigan, Wichita State, Cincinnati
  • 8 – Miami (FL), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Rhode Island
  • 9 – Virginia Tech, USC, Michigan State, VCU
  • 10 – Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Colorado
  • 11 – Texas Tech, Dayton, Florida State, Seton Hall, SMU, Northwestern
  • 12 – San Diego State, Valparaiso, Chattanooga, UNC Wilmington
  • 13 – Ohio, Princeton, Monmouth, UT-Arlington
  • 14 – UAB, Florida Gulf Coast, Belmont, Lehigh
  • 15 – North Dakota State, UC Irvine, CSU Bakersfield, Winthrop
  • 16 – Vermont, North Dakota, Wagner, North Carolina Central, Texas Southern, Stephen F. Austin
  • Last 4 IN: Florida State, Seton Hall, SMU, Northwestern
  • First 4 OUT: Clemson, California, TCU, Stanford
  • Next 4 OUT: Maryland, Kansas State, Utah, NC State

Bids by Conference

  • ACC: 10
  • Big 12: 7
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Big East: 5
  • Pac-12: 5
  • SEC: 4
  • Atlantic 10: 3
  • American: 2
  • West Coast: 2

This bracket will be added to the Bracket Matrix when the site does its next update. Always check it out to see how The Nickel Dimer compares.

Bracketology – March 15, 2015 – FINAL EDITION

Here is our final bracket before the bracket is revealed in about an hour. I’d like to personally (sarcastically) thank the Big Ten and American conferences for both holding their tournament finals far too late in the day. It sure does make trying to complete the final bracket before the Selection Show starts quite difficult. But nonetheless, the final bracket is below!

Below is the link to the bracket, as well as the usual seed list, bubble teams, and conference breakdown.

Bracket – March 15 – Final Edition (PDF Link – CLICK HERE)

  • 1 – Kentucky, Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke
  • 2 – Virginia, Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas
  • 3 – Iowa State, Notre Dame, Maryland, Baylor
  • 4 – Oklahoma, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Louisville
  • 5 – West Virginia, Utah, Arkansas, SMU
  • 6 – Wichita State, Providence, Georgetown, Michigan State
  • 7 – VCU, Butler, San Diego State, Oregon
  • 8 – Xavier, Iowa, Dayton, Cincinnati
  • 9 – St. John’s, Ohio State, Davidson, NC State
  • 10 – Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Texas, BYU
  • 11 – Georgia, Boise State, LSU, Purdue, Ole Miss, Temple
  • 12 – Wofford, Buffalo, Stephen F. Austin, Valparaiso
  • 13 – Wyoming, Harvard, Georgia State, Eastern Washington
  • 14 – UC Irvine, Northeastern, North Dakota State, Belmont
  • 15 – New Mexico State, UAB, Lafayette, Albany
  • 16 – Texas Southern, Coastal Carolina, North Florida, Manhattan, Robert Morris, Delaware State
  • Last 4 IN: LSU, Purdue, Ole Miss, Temple
  • First 4 OUT: Indiana, UCLA, Miami (FL), Old Dominion
  • Next 4 OUT: Tulsa, Richmond, Murray State, Iona

Breakdown by Conference:

  • Big 12: 7
  • Big Ten: 6
  • Big East: 6
  • ACC: 6
  • SEC: 5
  • Mountain West: 4
  • Pac-12: 3
  • Atlantic 10: 3
  • American: 3
  • Missouri Valley: 2
  • West Coast: 2

As always, check out The Bracket Matrix after the tourney field is revealed to see how we score compared to the rest of the matrix.

Bracketology – March 15, 2015 – Early Morning Edition

Here’s our new bracket following Championship Saturday, which was just a superb day of games.

If you read our post from Saturday morning, you’ll notice a big change on that 1-seed line. Despite my writeup in that post, I’ve switched Duke with Virginia and made the Blue Devils the final 1 seed. I still am very unsure about this, and it’s entirely possible I could switch back to Virginia tomorrow. It’s that close between the two teams. I moved Duke up to a 1-seed based on their big wins, specifically their road wins. I think those wins will be overwhelmingly impressive to the committee. Or I’ll completely change my mind again on a night of sleep and think Virginia should be the final 1. We’ll see!

Here’s the bracket. Below is the link to the bracket, as well as the usual seed list, bubble teams, and conference breakdown.

Bracket – March 15 – Early Morning Edition (PDF Link – CLICK HERE)

  • 1 – Kentucky, Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke
  • 2 – Virginia, Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas
  • 3 – Iowa State, Notre Dame, Maryland, Oklahoma
  • 4 – Baylor, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Louisville
  • 5 – West Virginia, Utah, Arkansas, SMU
  • 6 – Wichita State, Providence, Georgetown, Michigan State
  • 7 – Butler, VCU, San Diego State, Oregon
  • 8 – Xavier, St. John’s, Dayton, Iowa
  • 9 – Cincinnati, Ohio State, Davidson, NC State
  • 10 – Oklahoma State, Colorado State, BYU, Texas
  • 11 – Boise State, LSU, Purdue, Georgia, Ole Miss, Temple
  • 12 – Wofford, Buffalo, Stephen F. Austin, Valparaiso
  • 13 – Wyoming, Harvard, Georgia State, Eastern Washington
  • 14 – UC Irvine, Northeastern, North Dakota State, Belmont
  • 15 – New Mexico State, UAB, Lafayette, Albany
  • 16 – Texas Southern, Coastal Carolina, North Florida, Manhattan, Robert Morris, Delaware State
  • Last 4 IN: Purdue, Georgia, Ole Miss, Temple
  • First 4 OUT: Indiana, UCLA, Miami (FL), Old Dominion
  • Next 4 OUT: Tulsa, Richmond, Murray State, Iona

Breakdown by Conference:

  • Big 12: 7
  • Big Ten: 6
  • Big East: 6
  • ACC: 6
  • SEC: 5
  • Mountain West: 4
  • Pac-12: 3
  • Atlantic 10: 3
  • American: 3
  • Missouri Valley: 2
  • West Coast: 2

As always, check out The Bracket Matrix to see all the brackets across the web heading into Selection Sunday tonight.