Inside the Bracket

ITB: January 29, 2018

           Biggest Jumps

  • Virginia's marquee road win over Duke propels them above Villanova for the time being. UVA's resume currently includes four Super Wins over the RPI Top 11. And their lone loss was in Morgantown, very respectable. I think it is enough to push them in front of Villanova and Purdue if the Tournament started today.
  • Auburn will not stop winning, and they have landed themselves into the #7 slot on the Seed List. Good for a number two seed and headed to Nashville/Atlanta. Which would be major for the Tigers if they can maintain this level of play.
  • Texas Tech capitalizes on another Quadrant 2 loss for North Carolina, and sneaks onto the three seed line, #12 overall. The Red Raiders picked up another Quality road win at South Carolina on Saturday.
  • Kentucky had a massive come from behind road win at West Virginia over the weekend. The Wildcats are still a little thin on Quadrant 1 wins (2), and land at #17 on the Seed List (5 seed).
  • Arkansas hung on for a narrow victory against Oklahoma State. The Razorbacks compared to some others in this range stand out for now with two Top 10 wins over Oklahoma and Tennessee.
  • Florida State avenged a loss to Miami and moved up to a number eight seed. They now have significant home wins against UNC and Miami to go along with road wins at Florida and Virginia Tech.
  • NC State made the biggest splash over the weekend with a road "Super Win" at UNC. The Wolfpack skyrocketted past teams like Providence, Washington, Nevada and others with a win of this magnitude to go along with the home wins over Duke and Clemson. The Pack are in comfortabally with a nine seed today.
  • Washington moved up a bit to a Number 10 seed over the weekend. Little of that had to do with UW's blowout win over WSU. More significant was the rise of Virginia Tech, USC, and Kansas. Helping improve the quality of wins and reducing a negative impact of the Hokies loss.
  • Virginia Tech's huge week with wins over UNC and at Notre Dame have vaulted them to barely inside the bubble for today. NonConf SOS is 295 still and if I were a Hokies fan, I'd be very concerned about that.

    Farthest Drops
     
  • West Virginia dropped to a 3 seed today after the weekend home loss to Kentucky. But the bigger concern is the Mountaineers RPI is all the way down to #34.
  • North Carolina went 0-2 last week including a tough loss at home to rival NC State. North Carolina's strong wins keep them in Protected seed land and #13 on the Seed List.
  • TCU had by far the furthest drop out of any of the teams today. The loss at Vanderbilt (#122) ruined a clean resume for the Horned Frogs. Additionally, Nevada/SMU/West Virginia all lost last week, which weakens the Frogs good wins a bit. After a full reevaluation, TCU land at #31 on the Seed List (8 seed).
  • Marquette had two golden opportunites last week against Xavier and Villanova and couldn't get the win in either. The losses dont kill them, but their loss total is now 8. I have them as the final 10 seed today.
  • Notre Dame has lost five straight including a home loss to the Hokies over the weekend. The injury to Bonzi Colson has been too much to overcome recently in ACC play. As a result the Irish RPI is down to #78. They are now on the outside looking in.
  • Missouri has been free falling as well, a road loss by double digits at Mississippi State wasn't a good look for the Tigers. They are now out of the field. Another big week as they travel to Alabama and host Kentucky this week.
  • Texas A&M is ice cold. Losers of seven of thier last nine games, the Aggies are clearly not playing like a tournament team. This resume can be rectified but they need to find some wins quickly.

          Most Intriguing Matchups

  • South Regional: Potential 2nd Round matchup between Auburn and Miami. Two schools who were at the center of the FBI Investigation at the beginning of the season would find themselves playing each other with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
  • East Regional: Michigan State vs. Loyola-Chicago. Red hot Loyola returning to Boise (where they were spanked by Boise State) to face a Michigan State team trying to overcome turmoil.
  • Midwest Regional: Potential 2nd Round matchup between Purdue and Saint Mary's. The big men Jock Landale and Isaac Haas going at each other would be a must watch.
  • West Regional: Potential Sweet 16 matchup of Arizona vs, Kansas in Los Angeles. Arizona may actually be favored in Vegas if this game happened.

Seed List 1-68

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Inside The Bracket - January 26, 2018

Overall, not a whole lot of Major changes since Sunday. Here is the rundown:

  • Virginia moves ahead of Duke for the third #1 seed due to adding a "Super Win" over Clemson. With Clemson still sitting at #6 in the RPI, it helps out the UVA case to be ahead of Duke.
  • Xavier jumps up from a three seed to a two seed thanks to a Quadrant 2 loss by UNC to Va. Tech and West Virginia losing at TCU. 
  • Clemson has injury concerns, for the time being they have a resume still worthy of a 3 seed.
  • Tennessee jumps in to the three seed mix. This makes me feel a bit uneasy, however they do have the strongest profile and all of their losses are clean (meaning nothing out of Quadrant 1).
  • TCU moves from #24 on the seed list to #18. Really the only team in this range to make a leap.
  • Florida dropped from #12 to #19 after the Home loss (Quadrant 2) to South Carolina.
  • Arizona State fell from #19 to #25 after another home loss tonight against Utah. ASU is free falling and clinging to their 12-0 NonConference record.
  • Rhode Island takes advantage of ASU's loss and improves to a #6 seed.
  • Texas A&M is joining ASU in the Tough to seed Parade. They took another loss to LSU and dropped to #35 overall (9 seed).
  • South Carolina joins the field and is in one of the Play-in games after the big win in Gainesville earlier this week.
  • SMU drops out after a tough loss at UConn. They will need to play more consistent to get back in. They continue to struggle against the middle of the American Conference.
  • Also joining the field are newcomers South Dakota, Nicholls State, and Bethune-Cookman

Seed List 1-68

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Inside The Bracket - January 22, 2018

Inside The Bracket - January 22, 2018

  • Excited to release my first bracket of the Regular Season. It has been a fun season already. I have had the pleasure to see teams from the Pac-12, Big 10, WCC, MAC, WAC, and NEC in person. And many more games to come. My goal is to see some of these teams first hand, especially potential bubble teams, to help make more accurate bracket projections.
  • The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has new Team Sheet criteria in place for this March. The selection committee will no longer use top 50, top 100, 200 and 201 and above as dividing categories. Instead, the new terminology is quadrants 1, 2, 3 and 4. The decision is to get away from treating every team the same if the game was on the road, neutral or at home based on their power rating. Now the road/neutral games matter more.
  • Quick review for anyone unfamiliar. The actual NCAA committee will submit list ballots to the committee chairman throughout the seeding process, which eventually takes a pool of the top eight teams left on the board to select four teams per seed line. Since I am doing this on my own, I will take my highest eight teams for each seed line and do a full comparison on all eight, and select the top four. The remaining four stay in the mix for the next seed line down. This repeats itself until I get to the last four At Large selections. At that point I evaluate all "bubble" teams, typically a pool of 12-15 teams to select the last four teams. This will vary based on how the bubble is shaping up, for example certain times I may take a large pool of teams to determine any of the last 4-8 spots.
  • For The Bracketeer's Automatic Bid projections the following tiebreakers are used: 1) Head to Head 2) KenPom Rating if Head to Head does not suffice.

Seed List 1-68

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Inside the Preseason Bracket

  • Each of the FBI Investigation highly ranked teams (Arizona, USC, Miami) were dinged slightly due to the inevitable distractions that will come up during the season. Really just hedging them three because I believe all of them will lose a game or two that they have no business losing.
  • Hearing that Collin Sexton is being suspended at Alabama after the Preseason Bracket was released. If this is permanent, move Marquette into the field and Alabama out.
  • My Conference Championship projections are based on a combination of talent and location of the Tournament.  For example Charleston has a big advantage playing in Charleston for the CAA Tourney.
  • Louisville was completely removed due to my presumption they will be banned from the tournament. If Louisville winds up with postseason eligibility by January, look for them in the next update.
  • Some intriguing match-ups across the bracket. Some of my favorites: Baylor vs. TAMU in Dallas, Gonzaga vs. Arizona (possible 2nd round), Florida vs. Dunk City (FGCU), Mercer vs. UNC (Mercer beat Duke last time they qualified for the dance).

Here is the Full Seed List:

Seed List 11.6.17.JPG

Preseason Under The Radar Conferences Summary

Hope you had a chance to listen to the HoopsHD.com podcast on the 22 Under The Radar Conferences. If you have not, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56ypuzgYCp4

To Summarize, I wanted to provide my predicted Regular Season Champion, Tournament Champion, and Player of the Year for each of the featured 22 Conferences discussed the HoopsHD Panel. Please see below:

UTRPreseason.JPG

Preseason Bracketology coming soon!

Welcome to another year of College Hoops! How many storylines could there possibly be by the time we get to March? This already was the most entertaining off-season in recent memory with seemingly thousands of transfers and the FBI crackdown. This makes the prediction business much more challenging and fun!  

I will be putting out a Preseason Bracket this year as usual and plan to post it by November 6th.  It will be comprised of what we know today about the Selection committee, FBI News, Schedule Strength and realistic Conference RPI for this year.  Make sure to check back early next week.  

Thanks,

Rocco

Seed List 03.10.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions. Teams higlighted in Yellow and in their school color have secured an Automatic Bid.

Seed List 03.07.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions. Teams higlighted in Yellow and in their school color have secured an Automatic Bid.

Seed List 03.05.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 03.03.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 02.24.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 02.21.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 02.17.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 02.13.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 02.10.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List Notes:

1-4. Really hard to place Gonzaga.  We will find out tomorrow.  But these 4 teams are the clear #1 seeds in my book.  At least I feel good about that.

5-8. Feeling mostly good about the #2 seeds too.  Arizona is the most debatable of the bunch.  I am looking at this as if the tournament started today.  So that assumes Arizona wins the Pac-12, in which case they deserve that #2 seed.

9-10.  I think Louisville, Oregon belong right here for now.  Can't put them with the next group below in my book.  And it's easy to make a case to be with the #2's.

11-19. This is pretty tough right now.  Duke's win last night made it tougher.  I am high on West Virginia because they've beaten two #1 seeds as of now.  UCLA is tough to place right now, I am impressed by their win at Rupp.  Butler is also tough to place, up and down team lately with a great overall resume.

20. Creighton is set here because of two reasons. Recent play combined with a strong resume.  Can't make a case to be higher due to Watson's injury and can't knock them down to 3rd tier quite yet with their resume.

21-33.  Xavier had a real nice road win in Omaha to sharpen their resume and move up a seed line.   Maryland's loss at Penn State wasn't pretty at all, they dropped a seed line.  SMU is a tough team to seed because they steamroll everyone but don't have an incredible resume.  Big game for the Mustangs this weekend hosting Cincinnati.  The three State schools of the Big 12 have outstanding road wins (KSU over Baylor, OK State over West Virginia, and ISU over KU) really solidifying their spot in the tournament today.  Each need to be sure not to slip up at home and all will be in.  And Northwestern has plenty of chances to make up for their loss to Illinois ahead, they are still in great shape.

34-43. TCU is a team I've enjoyed watching this year, they play hard and take care of the basketball.  Good to see them get rolling lately. VCU has got to be the luckiest team in the country - to pull out their last two wins was a miracle or a conspiracy depending on your views. Nevertheless, they are winning the A-10 and building their profile.  Syracuse remained hot by pulling out a huge last second road win at Clemson.  Miami's profile is actually starting to compare favorably compared to most of the bubble as they picked up a key win over Virginia Tech. I moved Wichita State one spot above Middle Tennessee because the Shockers are obliterating tougher opposition lately and MTSU has a similar profile just without the sexy metrics.  

44-47.  Marquette has really dropped lately, just picking up too many losses.  They have several chances ahead to climb back up.  Illinois State has had too good of a year thus far to not get in.  They seem like an ideal First Four team right now, another loss in the MVC and that likely changes.  Michigan gets back into the field after demolishing rival Michigan State.  They need to root for their rivals the rest of the way so that win continues to carry weight.  And finally my last team in is Indiana.  Holding on by a thread, but they still have a stronger resume than the teams on the outside looking in.

48-68.  Simply using KenPom rankings.  UNC-Wilmington is on the verge of At-Large discussion should they lose in the CAA tournament.  Beginning next Friday I will breakdown this group more thoroughly.

Teams out.  Rhode Island is close but they really need a signature win and might need two. Huge opportunity for the Rams tonight against Dayton.  I can't put them in over a team like Indiana yet.  Tennessee is getting very close as well, another key victory on the road would be huge for their resume and they still have South Carolina and Kentucky on the road.  I like Texas Tech's profile despite the bleak RPI (87).  They need to rack up a road win or two.  Red Raiders get Kansas and Baylor at home next, great opportunities.  Vanderbilt and Alabama are teams playing very well and could make a big final push.  Watch out for them. 

Enjoy the games this weekend!

Seed List 02.06.17

Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.

Seed List 1.30.17

Here is today's Seed List.  Teams in Bold are Projected Conference Champions.  Conference Champions in their school color are newly projected league champions.