Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 *Practice Bracket #5*

Please do not include in the Bracket Matrix

1's: Xavier, Gonzaga, Villanova, Creighton
2's: Baylor, Butler, Saint Mary's, Virginia
3's: Florida, Middle Tennessee, Kansas, Old Miss
4's: Minnesota, Florida State, Ohio State, Purdue
5's: South Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, Ohio
6's: North Carolina, Arkansas, UCF, Tennessee State
7's: UCLA, VCU, Arkansas State, UNC Wilmington
8's: Louisville, Notre Dame, Auburn, Arizona
9's: Northwestern, Nevada, TCU, North Carolina State
10's: Davidson, Northern Iowa, Wake Forest, Dayton
11's: Nebraska, Providence, Clemson, Maryland
12's: Cincinnati, Rhode Island, Michigan, Houston
13's: Miami (FL), San Diego State, Temple, Massachusetts, Utah Valley, Long Island
14's: North Dakota State, Sam Houston State, Iona, Yale
15's: Lehigh, North Carolina Central, UNC Asheville, Valparaiso
16's: Mercer, Vermont, Eastern Washington, Florida Gulf Coast, Texas Southern, Cal State Northridge

FFO: Saint Joseph's, Boston University, Iowa State, Pittsburgh
NFO: DePaul, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 *Practice Bracket #4*

As one of just 24 remaining undefeated teams, and one of just nine teams with a top-25 RPI victory, I have the Gophers slotted on the 2-line if Selection Sunday were today.  Despite this early season success, Minnesota is still not getting any love from the pollsters - zero votes in either the AP or USA Today coaches poll.  One coach even gave a 25th place vote to Arkansas, who Minnesota beat easily last week.  My point is not that individual match ups should be weighted over the full season resume, but rather that the early season polls should not be given much credence. 

The Gophers have a huge opportunity to strengthen their resume and earn some respect with their Big10-ACC challenge game at Florida State tonight.  Although they have two more top-100 match ups on the non-conference schedule as of today, Long Island and Arkansas State may no longer be in the top-100 at the time of those games.  Based on the strength of the six remaining non-conference opponents after the Seminoles, the Gophers should be able to defeat most if not all of them.  A 12-1 or 11-2 non-conference record would mean that as few as eight Big Ten wins could conceivable garner a trip to the big dance.  That may be easier said than done, however, as just four of the 18 conference games are against teams currently outside the top-100, and one site (Massey Ratings) has an expected conference win total of 6.21.  Even if they finish the non-conference schedule at 13-0, a 6-12 conference record would likely not earn a selection unless those 6 wins included very impressive wins over top-tier opponents.  For now I'll stay optimistic that Pitino the Younger can get this team to 20 wins and a tournament selection.

  • This bracket is created as if today were Selection Sunday, and is not a projection of where I think teams will be in March.  See my earlier posts for more info on my early season bracketing methodology.
  • Please do not include this in the Bracket Matrix.

1's: Xavier, Gonzaga, Villanova, Baylor
2's: Creighton, Saint Mary's College, Minnesota, Virginia
3's: Butler, Florida, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee
4's: Kansas, Duke, Ole Miss, Ohio State
5's: Boston University, South Carolina, Purdue, Arkansas
6's: North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee State, UCLA
7's: UCF, Wake Forest, VCU, UNC-Wilmington
8's: Louisville, Auburn, Florida State, Arkansas State
9's: TCU, Nevada, San Diego State, Notre Dame
10's: North Carolina State, Michigan, Arizona, Houston
11's: Maryland, Providence, Dayton, Cincinnati
12's: Long Island, Nebraska, Clemson, Rhode Island, Davidson
13's: Northeastern, Massachusetts, Northern Iowa, Utah Valley, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
14's: North Dakota State, Valparaiso, Sam Houston State, Charlotte
15's: Iona, Yale, UNC-Asheville, Vermont
16's: Mercer, North Carolina Central, Eastern Washington, Florida Gulf Coast, Texas Southern, Cal State Northridge

FFO: Pittsburgh, DePaul, Iowa State, Oklahoma
NFO: USC, Northwestern, Temple, Miami (FL)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 25, 2016 *Practice Bracket #3*

After the Turkey Day games, we're down to 40 undefeated teams.  Although the bracket is starting to look more realistic every day, there are still 85 teams who have played three or fewer Div. 1 games, including eleven in today's bracket and North Dakota, who plays their very first D1 game this afternoon.  (It is quite challenging to rank a team with no games played)

Of the 40 undefeated teams, just two sit at 6-0: North Carolina & Villanova.  Tonight the Gophers will try and join that club against the Southern Illinois Salukis.  Seven other 5-0 teams play tonight, including two big-time match-ups.  Ohio State and Kentucky will likely reach 6-0, while Florida has a tough test against 4-0 Gonzaga.  The big match-ups to watch tonight will be Baylor vs. Louisville in the Battle 4 Atlantis and Butler vs. Arizona in the Vegas Invitational.

  • This bracket is created as if today were Selection Sunday, and is not a projection of where I think teams will be in March.  See the last two posts for more regarding my early season bracketing methodology.
  • Please do not include this in the Bracket Matrix.

1's: Xavier, Villanova, Creighton, Florida
2's: Louisville, Baylor, Gonzaga, Ole Miss
3's: Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Minnesota
4's: Purdue, Duke, Ohio, UNC Wilmington
5's: Arizona, Boston University, Saint Mary's College, Miami (FL)
6's: Notre Dame, Virginia, North Dakota State, UCLA
7's: UCF, Northern Iowa, Arkansas, Kentucky
8's: VCU, Auburn, Stanford, Houston
9's: South Alabama, Tennessee State, Butler, Nebraska
10's: Clemson, San Diego State, Virginia Tech, Charlotte
11's: Ohio State, Middle Tennessee, Massachusetts, Michigan
12's: Arkansas State, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati
13's: Long Island, Saint Joseph's, Wake Forest, Providence
14's: Syracuse, West Virginia, Florida State, Wichita State, Winthrop, East Tennessee State
15's: Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Yale, Valparaiso, Jacksonville
16's: South Carolina State, Weber State, Monmouth, Albany, Cal State Northridge, Texas Southern

FFO: LSU, Davidson, USC, Seton Hall
NFO: Maryland, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 23, 2016 ***Too-Early Practice Bracket #2***

  • This bracket is created as if today were Selection Sunday, and is not a projection of where I think teams will be in March.
  • I typically wait until all teams have played at least 10 games before making my first real bracket.  This should happen around Christmas.
  • I did not thoroughly review the lower conference champions, so there may be discrepancies or inconsistencies with the 13-16 lines.
  • Please do not include this in the Bracket Matrix.

1's: Xavier, Villanova, Creighton, Louisville
2's: Gonzaga, Minnesota, Tennessee State, UNC Wilmington
3's: Ole Miss, Ohio, VCU, UCLA
4's: Auburn, Saint Mary's, North Carolina, Florida
5's: Kansas, Stanford, Arizona, Florida State
6's: Virginia, UCF, San Diego State, Kentucky
7's: Michigan, South Alabama, Boston University, Houston
8's: South Carolina, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Arkansas
9's: Wake Forest, Duke, Northern Iowa, Purdue
10's: Butler, Pittsburgh, Dayton, Indiana
11's: Northern Illinois, East Tennessee State, Clemson, Miami (FL)
12's: Ohio State, Middle Tennessee, Winthrop, Charlotte, Saint Joseph's
13's: Arkansas State, Seton Hall, Fairfield, Old Dominion, Wichita State
14's: Air Force, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, UC Davis, Jacksonville
15's: North Dakota State, Cal State Bakersfield, Long Island, North Carolina Central
16's: Texas Southern, BYU, Oakland, Idaho, Columbia UMBC

FFO: Providence, Wisconsin, San Francisco, Maryland
NFO: Baylor, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, LSU

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 22, 2016 - Early Season *Practice* Bracket

I normally wouldn't release a bracket this early, but with the Gophers' 4-0 start, this might be the only time I can include them!  Please keep in mind that this is an "If-Selection-Sunday-Were-Today" bracket, and not a projection of what I think the bracket will look like in March.  Using end-of-season methodology after only a small handful of games is borderline ridiculous, but this gives me a chance to brush up before beginning to put together some real brackets after Conference play gets underway.

A few more comments on my methods here...
  • A team outside the RPI top-75 can't be in the at-large field.
  • A team in the RPI top-25 must be selected (unless they have a losing record)
  • I didn't take the time to thoroughly review the lower conference winners, so my apologies if there are any discrepancies/exclusions/anomalies there.
  • Finally, please exclude this from the Bracket Matrix.

1's: Xavier, Villanova, Creighton, Louisville
2's: Charlotte, UNC Wilmington, Virginia, Gonzaga
3's: Saint Mary's College, Tennessee State, Indiana, Stanford
4's: VCU, Maryland, Ole Miss, Minnesota
5's: Arkansas, UCF, Ohio, Florida
6's: South Alabama, Michigan, Arizona, Kentucky
7's: Butler, UCLA, North Carolina, Northern Illinois
8's: Boston University, Dayton, San Diego State, Northern Iowa
9's: Kansas, Yale, Wake Forest, Duke
10's: Ohio State, Central Michigan, USC, Seton Hall
11's: Toledo, Saint Joseph's, Miami (FL), Syracuse
12's: Clemson, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Providence, Arkansas State
13's: Old Dominion, Elon, Air Force, South Dakota, Winthrop
14's: Fairfield, Baylor, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Wichita State
15's: UC Davis, Jacksonville, Idaho, BYU
16's: Memphis, Oakland, Texas Southern, North Carolina Central, UMKC, UMBC

FFO: South Carolina, LSU, Iowa State, SMU
NFO: Florida State, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Oklahoma