Sunday, November 11, 2018

11-NOV Bracket Projections: The first weekend

In what was previously the season opener, veteran's day weekend served as a continuance of the 2018-2019 season.  While the weekend lacked games of major interest or consequence, this week will make up for that.  Several pre-Thanksgiving tournaments will get under way later this week, as well as the Gavett Tipoff games between the Big East and Big Ten. 

Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (2-3 last week):
#5 Marquette at Indiana, Wed - Indiana 75, Marquette 71

#4 Ohio State at Creighton, Thur - Creighton 75, Ohio State 72
#3 Seton Hall at Nebraska, Wed - Nebraska 75, Seton Hall 71
#2 Michigan at Villanova, Wed - Villanova 74, Michigan 68
#1 Saint Mary's at New Mexico State, Wed - New Mexico State 72, Saint Mary's 69

As for my bracket this weekend, I need to repeat a lot of tropes from last week:
- This is still influenced by last season's results, however this impact reduces as we move through the season.  Right now, the weighting is 88% last year and 12% this season.
- Outliers will cause some distortion, however this will regress to the mean. Normally, this is reserved for non-conference mismatches with major programs giving out buy-games, but most notably here is the decrease from Kentucky as they work through their Champion's Classic efficiency hole.  

With that said, swapping out five auto bids this weekend:
NEC- St. Francis PA (Wagner out)
Big South- Radford (Winthrop)
CAA- Charleston (Northeastern)
Summit- South Dakota State (South Dakota)
SWAC- Prairie View A&M (Texas Southern).

Also, swapping in six at larges including Indiana, Nebraska, Syracuse, Marquette, USC and North Carolina State.

Monday, November 5, 2018

5-NOV Bracket Projections: Selection Tuesday

Basketball polls open tomorrow for the 2018-2019 season, as the sport shifts to a Tuesday opening day.  Early returns have been positive from what I have read, but if moving the Champions Classic to election day meant killing the 24 hour tipoff marathon, I am not a fan.  But majority rules, and I'm happy to have the sport back.  Just as important this means another year of Bracket Matrix, Rush The Court Survivor, Silversword, Jerome, and countless other opportunities to show how little I know but how much I care.  Most eyes, that aren't tracking election day coverage, will likely be on the precincts reporting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.   While sure to be enjoyable, feel free to click around and explore.  Those two aren't the only fun games on the schedule, although I do recommend you cast your eyes away from the D1 v non D1 games that are all over the slate of early games (unless a potential midmajority Stendahl starts to show potential). 

This season will feature 353 Division I programs, with Cal Baptist and North Alabama joining the ranks.  Throughout the year, I'll mention those who are looking to make their first NCAA tournament (now at 43), those who haven't made the brackets in a while, and some of the longest streaks.  But the most important thing now is that over the next 24 hours we will begin accumulating data on the 2018-19 season.  

My bracket in the early part of the season will be relying heavily on previous year's result with some tweaks for coaching changes and 247 Top 100 recruiting classes.  This is temporary and these will gradually phase out completely in December, where I will then just be using current year's result.  I'll be publish once or twice a week until we hit conference tournaments where I'll update daily.  

Notable Games
This week's (through Sunday) top five as I see them:
#5 East Tennessee St. at Creighton, Sun - Creighton 76, East Tennessee St. 73 (edited: 11/6/18 7:15p)
#4 Louisiana at Tennessee, Fri - Tennessee 74, Louisiana 72
#3 Furman at Loyola Chicago, Fri - Loyola Chicago 72, Furman 69
#2 Ohio St. at Cincinnati, Wed - Cincinnati 72, Ohio St. 65
#1 Michigan St. vs Kansas, Tue - Michigan State 76, Kansas 73