Final Bracketology: Selection Sunday Edition – March 12

It’s Selection Sunday, one of the best days in the college basketball season. I’m glad we’re finally here. Below is my final bracket projection of the season, but first, some notes:

  • I kept my 1-seeds as Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga. I understand the discussion with Duke due to their top-5o wins, but I think the number of losses they have, including the bad losses, will keep them on the 2 line. If they do move up to 1, I’ll be curious if the committee puts them their replacing North Carolina or Gonzaga. The media seems to think it will be North Carolina; I think it would be Gonzaga. I would disagree with that decision. Gonzaga deserves to be a 1 seed.
  • I see the following 12 teams battling for the final 8 spots: Xavier, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Marquette, Providence, USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, and Illinois. I ultimately think those first 7 will be in. So it comes down to Kansas State, Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, and Illinois. I think Kansas State has the best resume, but would not be surprised if any of the other 4 make it. I would be surprised if Syracuse makes it, and Iowa isn’t also included in the field. Those two teams have very similar resumes, and I would argue Iowa’s is slightly better. But I do think the Syracuse name carries weight with the committee.
  • Speaking of Illinois State, I think where Wichita State is seeded SHOULD have impact on whether or not Illinois State is included, even if I don’t think it necessarily WILL happen. Those two teams have very similar resumes. Both only have top 50 wins against each other. Both have 1 other top 100 win. They have similar RPI and SOS numbers. The biggest difference is Wichita State is ranked much higher in the analytic, predictive tools like KenPom and Sagarin. I think Wichita State’s seeding will show how much the committee is using those predictive measures. But if Wichita is seeded as a 7 or 8 seed, I’m not sure how you can keep Illinois State out of the field based on traditional RPI and SOS measures. They have very similar resumes. However, I think that is exactly what the committee will do. I think they will seed Wichita as a 7 or 8 seed and keep Illinois State out, which means the Redbirds will have a legitimate gripe (unless of course the committee finally commits to seeding using predictive, analytical measures).

Okay, here is the final bracket projection and seed list before Selection Sunday. Enjoy the night, everyone.

The Bracket


Seed List

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

Bids by Conference

  • ACC: 9
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Big East: 7
  • Big 12: 6
  • SEC: 5
  • Pac-12: 4
  • Atlantic 10: 3
  • American: 2
  • West Coast: 2

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

Bracketology: March 5

Here is the updated bracket following Saturday’s slate of games. There were a lot of big results for bubble teams on Saturday, with Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Rhode Island, Syracuse, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence, and Xavier all picking up big wins. On the other end, Illinois and California suffered losses that could be major setbacks in their hopes of reaching the tournament. All of these results have affected the bracket projection for today.

The other major change to the bracket today is switching Kansas and Villanova. I have now made Kansas the overall #1 seed after having Villanova there the last few editions. This is due to a re-examination of both resumes. Even though Villanova has more top-50 wins, I think the committee is going to have Kansas ahead of Villanova due to their big road win (Baylor, Kentucky, Iowa State, Oklahoma State), and for winning one of the two best leagues in America by 4 games.

Okay, here’s how the bracket projections looks:

The Bracket


Seed List

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

Bids by Conference

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

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

Bracketology – February 2, 2015

Quick post incoming. I’m hoping to have a write-up later tonight diving into the bracket a little bit deeper. Bur for now, here are the links to today’s bracket, as well as the usual seed list, bubble teams, and conference breakdown.

Bracket – February 2, 2015 (PDF Link – CLICK HERE)

Bracket – February 2, 2015 (PNG Image Link – CLICK HERE)

  • 1 – Kentucky, Virginia, Gonzaga, Kansas
  • 2 – Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona, Villanova
  • 3 – Louisville, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Utah
  • 4 – West Virginia, North Carolina, VCU, Baylor
  • 5 – Maryland, Ohio State, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma
  • 6 – Wichita State, Butler, Georgetown, SMU
  • 7 – San Diego State, Providence, Arkansas, Texas
  • 8 – Indiana, Michigan State, Dayton, Stanford
  • 9 – Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, LSU
  • 10 – Cincinnati, Colorado State, Xavier, Georgia
  • 11 – Old Dominion, Miami (FL), Iowa, Davidson
  • 12 – NC State, St. John’s, Tulsa, George Washington, Green Bay, Harvard
  • 13 – Buffalo, Stephen F. Austin, Murray State, Wofford
  • 14 – Eastern Washington, Iona, UC Davis, Georgia State
  • 15 – William & Mary, North Carolina Central, South Dakota State, Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16 – High Point, Albany, New Mexico State, Bucknell, St. Francis NY, Texas Southern
  • Last 4 IN: NC State, St. John’s, Tulsa, George Washington
  • First 4 OUT: St. Mary’s, Ole Miss, Syracuse, Wyoming
  • Next 4 OUT: BYU, UCLA, Kansas State, Alabama

Breakdown by Conference:

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

And as always, check out The Bracket Matrix.

Bracketology – January 31, 2015

Quick post incoming. Here is today’s bracket heading into this weekend’s games. I’m going to have a write-up later today on a couple things that I noticed while building this bracket, as well as some interesting tidbits if this was actually the bracket on Selection Sunday. I will also preview a handful of the biggest games this weekend that will have a major impact on the next bracket release.

For now, here are the links to today’s bracket, as well as the usual seed list, bubble teams, and conference breakdown. (more…)

Bracketology – March 3, 2014

It’s about that time, folks. We are officially less than two weeks away from Selection Sunday and being able to stop all this Bracketology nonsense and instead move onto actually filling out the bracket. But until then, the projections must go on.

Also of note, usually on Monday morning, we have our Stock Up/Stock Down report on who helped and hurt themselves in the eyes of the committee in the past week. Due to time constraints and the actual job that I get paid for, that post will go up on Monday night/Tuesday morning instead.

Before we get into the bracketology, let’s take a quick look back. This weekend, 11 teams ranked in the Top 25 went down. You would think this would create a lot of movement in the bracket, but when 11 of the Top 25 teams go down, there’s not always someone there to climb to steal another’s spot. This is exactly the situation with the final number one seed. Syracuse lost handily at Virginia on Saturday. It looked like Kansas was in prime position to swoop in and take their 1-seed. But then the Jayhawks went down on Saturday night in Stillwater against Oklahoma State. So who is the final 1-seed? I’ve still got Syracuse. You could also consider Kansas, Wisconsin, Duke, and Villanova. All five are legitimately in play right now.

Like I’ve always said, which is the case most years, let’s not get too worked up about who gets the little “1” next to their name? It’s an accomplishment, yes, but in all actuality, it means nothing. Yes, a team that is a 1-seed is more likely to make the Final 4 and win the national championship, but that’s not because they have a 1 next to their name. It’s because they’re a very good team. If Louisville of 2013 or Kentucky of 2012 were 2-seeds, would they not have won it all? It’s hard to imagine that being the case. They won because they were terrific teams, and they were 1-seeds for the same reason. They weren’t terrific because they were both 1-seeds. So let’s not fret too much over gets that last spot on the top line. Plus, it’ll likely sort itself out on its own with a week left of regular season action left and another week of conference tournaments. Someone will rise above the rest.

But before then, let’s take a look at our Monday bracket projection. The link to the bracket immediately follows this paragraph. The seed list from 1 to 68 is below, along with Last 4 IN, First 4 OUT, and Next 4 OUT. Bids by conference is below as well.

Bracketology – March 3, 2014 (CLICK HERE)

  • 1 – Arizona, Florida, Wichita State, Syracuse
  • 2 –  (more…)