Bracket Update – 02.24.18 pregame0

Here’s the bracket update from right before the start of the Saturday games. Only one at large change in the field, as Providence slid off the bubble and Marquette took their place.

Last Four In: Texas, Syracuse, LSU, Marquette

First Four Out: Providence, Utah, USC, Temple

Bracket Update – 02.19.180

The games are all done for the weekend, and so here’s where we stand heading into next week. I went through and scrubbed some lines, and re-evaluated my stance on a few teams, which is why you see a decent amount of shuffling in this bracket from the previous one. I also decided to move UCLA out of the field and bring LSU in as the last at-large, and move Baylor (barely) into the safe part of the field and drop Providence into the last four in.

Cincinnati’s loss to Wichita State brought the two teams closer, with Wichita now on the 4 line and Cincinnati on the 3. Duke’s victory over Clemson gives them a much-needed tier-1 win and moves them ahead of Purdue, but that’s just a selection thing and not a seeding thing, since both are on the 2 line as of now.

Florida State drops a bit in this projection, but even here as a 6 seed, they’re still higher in my bracket than what you see in the Bracket Matrix average. I am not sure why everyone else has them rated so low. It’s the opposite situation with Arkansas — they are a consensus 8 seed in Bracket Matrix, but I had them as an 11 in the last bracket, and a 10 in this one, and it’s hard to see the argument for moving them much beyond that.

Lots of games left! Lots of time for things to switch around.

So here’s where we stand:

Last Four In: Providence, Texas, Syracuse, LSU

First Four Out: UCLA, USC, Utah, Temple

Bracket update – 2/18/18 Before the Games0

Here’s the post-Saturday, pre-Sunday bracket update. I will have another update after today’s slate of games.

Last Four In: Baylor, Texas, Syracuse, UCLA

First Four our: Utah, Temple, Louisville, USC

Others in consideration: Penn State, Washington, Marquette, Nebraska

Because of how the play-in games have to be set in this version of the bracket, two teams (New Mexico State and Middle Tennessee) got elevated up a seed line.


1 Virginia
1 Villanova
1 Xavier
1 Kansas
2 Texas Tech
2 North Carolina
2 Cincinnati
2 Purdue
3 Auburn
3 Duke
3 Michigan State
3 Arizona
4 Clemson
4 West Virginia
4 Tennessee
4 Gonzaga
5 Wichita State
5 Ohio State
5 Florida State
5 Nevada
6 Rhode Island
6 Creighton
6 Kentucky
6 Texas A&M
7 Florida
7 Missouri
7 Oklahoma
8 Alabama
8 Butler
8 Arizona State
8 Michigan
9 Miami
9 Houston
9 Seton Hall
9 St. Mary’s
10 Virginia Tech
10 North Carolina State
10 Kansas State
10 Providence
11 St. Bonaventure
11 Arkansas
12 Baylor
12 Texas
12 Syracuse
11 New Mexico State
12 Vermont
12 Loyola-Chicago
13 Louisiana
13 Murray State
13 Montana
14 South Dakota State
14 Buffalo
14 UC Santa Barbara
14 Bucknell
15 Rider
15 Florida Gulf Coast
15 Charleston
15 Winthrop
16 Wright State
16 Pennsylvania
16 Wagner
16 Nicholls State
16 Savannah State
16 Southern

Final Bracket 03.12.170

This is our official, Bracket Matrix submitted bracket projection, going in to the selection show.

Here is the bracket. Below that is the full seed list.

Last Four In: VCU, Wake Forest, Providence, Southern Cal

First Four Out: Illinois State, Illinois, Syracuse, Iowa

Seed List 1-68:

1 Villanova
2 Kansas
3 Duke
4 Gonzaga
5 North Carolina
6 Arizona
7 Kentucky
8 Oregon
9 Baylor
11 Louisville
12 Butler
13 Florida State
14 Notre Dame
15 West Virginia
16 Florida
17 Purdue
18 Minnesota
19 Virginia
20 Iowa State
21 SMU
22 Cincinnati
23 Wisconsin
24 Michigan
25 Maryland
26 Creighton
27 Wichita State
28 Miami
29 St Mary’s
30 Marquette
31 Northwestern
32 Oklahoma State
33 Arkansas
34 South Carolina
35 Virginia Tech
36 Michigan State
37 Dayton
38 Xavier
39 Seton Hall
40 Vanderbilt
41 Rhode Island
42 Kansas State
43 VCU
44 Wake Forest
45 Providence
46 Southern Cal
47 Middle Tennessee
48 Nevada
49 UNC Wilmington
50 Princeton
51 East Tennessee State
52 Bucknell
53 Vermont
54 Winthrop
55 New Mexico State
56 Iona
57 Florida Gulf Coast
58 Northern Kentucky
59 Kent State
60 North Dakota
61 Texas Southern
62 South Dakota State
63 Troy
64 Jacksonville State
65 New Orleans
66 UC Davis
67 North Carolina Central
68 Mount St Mary’s
1s: Villanova, Kansas, Duke, Gonzaga
2s: UNC, Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon
3s: Baylor, UCLA, Louisville, Butler
4s: Florida State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Florida
5s: Purdue, Minnesota, Virginia, Iowa State
6s: SMU, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Michigan
7s: Maryland, Creighton, Wichita State, Miami
8s: St. Mary’s, Marquette, Northwestern, Oklahoma State
9s: Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Michigan State
10s: Dayton, Xavier, Seton Hall, Vanderbilt
11s: Rhode Island, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee State, VCU, Providence
12s: Wake Forest, USC, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Princeton
13s: Vermont, Winthrop, East Tennessee State, Bucknell
14s: Iona, New Mexico State, Florida Gulf Coast, Northern Kentucky
15s: South Dakota State, Texas Southern, Kent State, North Dakota
16s: Troy, Jacksonville State, New Orleans, UC Davis, NC Central, Mount St. Marys
  • The first two one seeds are easy. The next four teams are hard. I went back and forth for a couple of hours on an order, and I’m still not totally sold on it. I think the committee will reward Duke’s top 50 wins and better away wins, and i think they’ll reward Gonzaga for only losing one game. That ends up making UNC the first 2 seed and Arizona the second 2 seed. I think if I was bracketing based upon my own interpretations (as opposed to trying to project the committee), I’d probably have the line ordered Villanova, Kansas, Duke, UNC, Arizona, Gonzaga.
  • The last four teams in changed a little bit, as I looked at numbers more closely. I think today’s win moved Rhode Island up slightly, and dropped VCU down slightly, as the first team in the last four in. I also became less enamored with Wake Forest’s profile the more I looked at it, so they got bumped down.
  • Of the teams not in my field that I’m the most concerned about, it’s Syracuse and Illinois State, for totally different reasons. If the committee opts for top 50 wins, Syracuse is getting in and someone’s getting bounced…maybe USC. Although that would leave the Pac 12 with only three teams, which also seems unlikely.

Bracketology 03.12.17 – Penultimate Bracket0

Here’s our second-to-last bracket. Our next one will be the final bracket of the season, and will be posted just prior to the selection show.

Yes, I have Duke as a 1 seed. No, I’m not proud of it. But they have a better resume than UNC overall.

Gonzaga probably shouldn’t be a 1 seed. I think both Arizona and UNC are better than them, but the committee is going to almost certainly reward them for a 1-loss season. So there we are.

Last Four In: Providence, Kansas State, Rhode Island, Southern Cal

First Four Out: Illinois State, Illinois, Iowa, Syracuse


Bracketology 03.11.170

Here’s the updated bracket through last night’s games. After this one we’ve only got two more brackets to do. This is always the most bittersweet of times.

Last Four In: Providence, Kansas State, Rhode Island, USC

First Four Out: Syracuse, Illinois State, Illinois, Georgia

Notes: Lots of little moves, a few big ones, and some potentially interesting matchups starting to materialize.

  • The 1 seed line is suddenly muddled. Did UNC’s loss put their 1 seed in jeopardy? Could Arizona vault Gonzaga if they beat Oregon tonight (or, could Oregon do the same?). Could Duke actually make the 1 seed line?
  • Regarding Arizona/Oregon, I think it’s possible they could grab that 1 seed in the West. Gonzaga’s profile just doesn’t have a huge amount of depth — of their six top 50 wins, three are against a St. Mary’s team that gamed the RPI this year.
  • As far as Duke is concerned, don’t sleep on the idea that the committee will give them a pass on whatever losses they suffered during K’s absence. I still don’t think they’ll make it up to the 1 line, but I’ve got them as my last 2 now, largely due to the above scenario.
  • At this point I think Providence and Kansas State are securely in. Rhode Island is certainly not a sure thing, and I really don’t like USC at all. I’ve read some metrics that make me think USC is going to get in, but their presence in the field has me hoping for a bid-stealer to come in and take an at-large spot away.

Bracketology 03.10.170

Here’s the updated brackets heading in to Friday’s games:

Last Four In: Providence, Kansas State, Rhode Island, Illinois State

First Four Out: USC, Illinois, Syracuse, Iowa

Notes: There’s a lot of movement in the bottom 1/3 of the at-large pool, mostly because the lines between these teams are razor-thin. Iowa and Illinois both had chances to move up (or in) to the field, but bad losses in the Big Ten Tournament hurt both of their causes.

Will the committee reward large win totals with a lack of impressive top-end victories, or will they reward big wins and bad metrics? That’s the big question right now. I’m wavering back and forth between those two realities, but right now I’m guessing they’ll reward the larger win totals. Bad as the RPI is, it’s what the committee uses, and the RPI is favoring a team like Illinois State over a team like USC.

There were some questions asked on Twitter:

Interesting question. From a competition standpoint, the answer is a no-brainer YES. But even if you went straight s-curve, there are other balancing issues you have to take into account, like keeping conference members apart from each other in the bracket. If you were to also do away with those restrictions, then I’d say go ahead and switch to straight s-curving. The regional orientation is a vestige of an era when plane travel wasn’t as easy as it is today, and while the current system does benefit some higher seeded teams by not sending them across the country, it disadvantages teams that are maybe one or two arbitrarily decided places below them.

SMU, St. Mary’s, Wichita State…lots of teams fit into this category of having a small number of top 50 wins but a gaudy overall record. SMU is in better shape than the other two teams I mentioned, with eight top-100 wins and 9 road/neutral wins. The committee has rewarded teams for regular season conference titles before, and I think that will happen here as well. Right now I have them in the 6/7 seed range, but wouldn’t be shocked if they ended up on the 5 line. I can’t see them rising any higher than that, though.


Bracketology 03.09.170

Good morning bracketology! Let’s take a look at the updated bracket heading in to Thursday’s games:

Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Iowa, Rhode Island

First Four Out: Syracuse, Illinois State, USC, Illinois


  • I’ve gone back and forth on my last teams in a few times. At this point I’m rolling with Iowa and Rhode Island over Illinois State and Syracuse. I do not see the appeal of Illinois State’s resume — the lack of quality wins is too much for me to justify moving them ahead of Iowa, and Rhode Island has a more complete resume than the Redbirds.
  • Syracuse is really kinda screwed at this point. Even if they are in the field, it can’t be by much, and now the teams below them (USC, Illinois, maybe Iowa, Rhode Island) have a chance to overtake, while the Orange have to just sit there and wait.
  • Wake Forest’s loss didn’t really hurt them.
  • How will the committee treat the resumes of Cincinnati, SMU, and Dayton? Light on top wins, but lots of overall wins.
  • Today and tonight should give us some clarity on several teams, finally. This is always the biggest pivot point of Championship Week, when tournament teams play other tournament teams and resumes start getting padded with additional wins.

Bracketology 03.07.160

At the very end of the day on Tuesday 3/7, here’s an updated bracket. We had to do a lot of butchering of the bracket due to the insane cluster of ACC teams on the 3/4 lines. In fact, we ended up violating a bracketing principle by having Louisville and UVA in the same region. But we managed to move teams around and avoid most of the other pitfalls.


Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Rhode Island, Illinois State

Last Four Out: Iowa, Syracuse, USC, California

Bracketology 03.06.170

Our newest bracketology is up and running, as we head into the first day of nothing but conference tournaments.

We welcome Butler to the 2-line, Minnesota to the 5-line, and Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Iowa to the field.

Here’s the full bracket:

And here’s some notes:

Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Iowa, Wake Forest, Kansas State

First Four Out: Rhode Island, Syracuse, Houston, Utah


1 Kansas
2 Villanova
3 North Carolina
4 Gonzaga
5 Baylor
6 Louisville
7 Kentucky
8 Butler
9 Florida
10 Duke
12 Oregon
13 Arizona
14 Purdue
15 Florida State
16 West Virginia
17 Minnesota
18 Virginia
19 Dayton
20 SMU
21 Notre Dame
22 Iowa State
23 Maryland
24 Creighton
25 Cincinnati
26 St. Mary’s
27 Oklahoma State
28 Wisconsin
29 South Carolina
30 Miami
31 Arkansas
32 Michigan State
33 Michigan
34 Marquette
35 Wichita State
36 Northwestern
37 Virginia Tech
38 Providence
39 Xavier
40 VCU
41 Seton Hall
42 USC
43 Vanderbilt
44 Iowa
45 Wake Forest
46 Kansas State
47 Middle Tennessee
48 Nevada
49 Princeton
50 UNC Wilmington
51 Vermont
52 UT Arlington
53 Bucknell
54 Akron
55 Winthrop
56 Florida Gulf Coast
57 Bakersfield
58 Iona
59 UNC Greensboro
60 UC Irvine
61 South Dakota
62 Northern Kentucky
63 Jacksonville State
64 North Carolina Central
65 New Orleans
66 North Dakota
67 Texas Southern
68 Mount St. Mary’s