With a seemingly never-ending cloud of illness hanging over my home, I haven’t had much time to sit down and put together a set of bracket projections so far this season.
But luckily, we also haven’t been healthy enough to leave the house with much regularity, which has allowed me plenty of time to watch college hoops.
Before I unveil my first set of projections this year, please note a couple things:
- For single-bid leagues, I pay some attention to who is currently atop the standings as well as the current RPI, but at this point in the season that can be misleading. Consequently, I placed the team I expect to win in the field.
- The projection below takes into account all games played through Monday, January 8th.
- You may think I don’t know what I’m talking about. You may be right. But it’s worth pointing out that I did finish second last season according to the Bracket Project. I fully plan on living off of that for the remainder of the year, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
|EAST (WASHINGTON, DC)
|1) Duke||1) Louisville|
|16) FLA Gulf Coast / NC Central||16) Southern / Stony Brook|
|8) UCLA||8) Oklahoma State|
|9) Baylor||9) Oregon|
|5) Michigan State||5) Kansas State|
|12) Belmont||12) Pittsburgh / Virginia|
|4) Butler||4) Illinois|
|13) North Dakota State||13) Davidson|
|Salt Lake City||Austin|
|6) San Diego State||6) Cincinnati|
|11) Memphis||11) Arizona State|
|3) Gonzaga||3) Missouri|
|14) Harvard||14) Louisiana Tech|
|Auburn Hills||Kansas City|
|7) Colorado||7) Miami, FL|
|10) Maryland||10) Boise State|
|2) Minnesota||2) Kansas|
|15) Iona||15) Cal State Fullerton|
|MIDWEST (INDIANAPOLIS)||WEST (LOS ANGELES)|
|Auburn Hills||Salt Lake City|
|1) Michigan||1) Arizona|
|16) Wagner||16) UNC Asheville|
|8) Temple||8) Wyoming|
|9) Kentucky||9) Marquette|
|5) New Mexico||5) Wichita State|
|12) Indiana State / Iowa State||12) Bucknell|
|4) Notre Dame||4) North Carolina State|
|13) Middle Tennessee State||13) Stephen F. Austin|
|6) UNLV||6) Georgetown|
|11) Saint Louis||11) North Carolina|
|3) Florida||3) Creighton|
|14) Ohio||14) Detroit
|7) Ohio State||7) VCU|
|10) Colorado State||10) Oklahoma|
|2) Syracuse||2) Indiana|
|15) Montana||15) George Mason|
NCAA Tournament Bracket Last Four In:
- Indiana State – The Sycamores have a high RPI and neutral court wins over Ole Miss and Miami, but an ugly road loss at Morehead State is a definite blemish on their profile.
- Iowa State – A win over fellow bubble dweller BYU was the difference here, but the Cyclones need to add some meat to their resume in Big 12 play.
- Pittsburgh – The Panthers are pounding Georgetown as I write this, but through Monday quality wins are hard to find on their schedule. I do think they’re a tournament team at this point, but they’ll need to prove it in the First Four.
- Virginia – Unlike Pitt, the Cavaliers have some solid wins over other bubble-esque teams like Tennessee, North Carolina, and on the road against Wisconsin. However, their RPI is brutal thanks to three losses to Colonial teams.
NCAA Tournament First Four Out:
- BYU – The Cougars have a solid RPI but haven’t really beaten anyone. The four best teams on their schedule have beat them by double digits, and with the WCC not looking as tough, BYU is probably in trouble.
- California – Wins over Denver and Georgia Tech are better than people might think, and while the Bears don’t have any horrible losses, they need to pick up some quality wins in an improved Pac-12.
- Tennessee – The injury to Jeronne Maymon hurts, as does a down year for the SEC. The good news for the Vols is that they have a win over Wichita State, but the team has had some brutal offensive stretches this season, an issue which will plague them the rest of the year.
- Wisconsin - It’s hard to fathom the Badgers being left out, but outside of crushing Cal, what have they done? The answer: not much.
Here is how the bids broke out by conference:
Big East (7): Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
ACC (6): Duke, Maryland, Miami (FL), North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia
Big 12 (6): Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
Big Ten (6): Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State
Mountain West (6): Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming
Pac-12 (5): Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA
Atlantic 10 (4): Butler, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU
Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Indiana State, Wichita State
SEC (3): Florida, Kentucky, Missouri
America East: Stony Brook
Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast
Big Sky: Montana
Big South: UNC-Asheville
Big West: Cal State Fullerton
Colonial: George Mason
Conference USA: Memphis
MEAC: North Carolina Central
Ohio Valley: Belmont
Southland: Stephen F. Austin
Summit: North Dakota State
Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee State
WAC: Louisiana Tech
West Coast: Gonzaga