Thursday, November 29, 2018

29-NOV Bracket Projections: Wisconsin rises, Oregon falls.


Teams with a Zero
Of the 353 Division I programs, 18 remain undefeated against D1 competition.  The only conferences with multiple teams are the Big Twelve (3- Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Kansas), WCC (3- Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, and San Francisco), and the Big Ten (2- Michigan and Iowa).  The remaining teams are Virginia, Nevada, Arizona State, St. John’s, Houston, Buffalo, Belmont, Abilene Christian, Furman, and Sacramento State.   Loyola Marymount and Sacramento State are both still in action tonight.

28 programs continue to chase their first win off the 2018-19 season.  The MEAC and SWAC each have four winless teams, and the Atlantic Sun has another three.  Chicago State, Coppin State, Monmouth are all checking in at 0-8. 

Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (4-1 last week, 17-13 overall):
#5 Northwestern at Indiana, Sat – Indiana 72, Northwestern 68
#4 Penn State at Maryland, Sat – Maryland 74, Penn State 68
#3 Oregon at Houston, Sat – Houston 75, Oregon 69
#2 Gonzaga at Creighton, Sat – Gonzaga 82, Creighton 79
#1 Purdue at Michigan, Sat – Michigan 71, Purdue 67

Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  Right now, the weighting is 60% this season’s results and 40% last year/pre-season.

Swapping out six auto bids:
WAC- Grand Canyon (New Mexico St.), would be the Lopes first ever appearance.
CUSA- Marshall (North Texas)
Patriot- Colgate (Bucknell)
Atlantic Sun- Liberty (Lipsomb)
Atlantic 10- Davidson (Rhode Island)
SWAC- Grambling St. (Prairie View A&M), would be the Tigers first ever appearance.

Also, swapping in three at larges this update.  Oklahoma, Northwestern and Florida are in, while Baylor, USC, and Texas are out. 



Sunday, November 25, 2018

25-NOV Bracket Projections: Virginia Tech rises, Florida State and Wisconsin fall.


Teams with a Zero
Of the 353 Division I programs, 28 remain undefeated against D1 competition.  The Big Ten and ACC lead the way with five teams each.  The other Power 6 conferences show the Big Twelve with three, and the Big East and Pac Twelve with one each.  The SEC doesn’t have any such teams.  The WCC, with three, and OVC with two, lead the way among the non-Power 6 conferences.   The American, Mountain West, MAC, CUSA, Sun Belt, Southern, Big Sky, and Southland all each have one undefeated team.  Miami FL (5-0) will be in action later tonight against Seton Hall.

34 programs continue to chase their first win off the 2018-19 season.  The MEAC has six winless teams, and the SWAC has another four.  Chicago State, the last team to register a D1 win last year, are thus far 0-8.  Coppin State and Monmouth are one loss behind at 0-7.  La Salle (0-6) is still in action on Sunday night and could win their way off of this list, or join the 0-7 teams. 


Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (4-1 last week, 13-12 overall):
#5 Nebraska at Clemson, Mon – Nebraska 70, Clemson 68
#4 Purdue at Florida State, Wed – Florida State 75, Purdue 74
#3 Virginia at Maryland, Wed – Maryland 68, Virginia 67
#2 Indiana at Duke, Tue – Duke 78, Indiana 73
#1 North Carolina at Michigan, Wed – Michigan 74, North Carolina 72


ACC/B1G Challenge
The annual ACC/B1G Challenge begins Monday night and runs through Wednesday.  In my top five games of the week above, I had the Big Ten holding a 3-2 advantage.  Overall, I'd project a 7-7 tie.  From the Big Ten, I have Iowa over Pittsburgh, Michigan State over Louisville, Notre Dame over Illinois, Northwestern over Georgia Tech, and Ohio State over Syracuse.  From the ACC I have BC over Minnesota, Virginia Tech over Penn State, North Carolina State over Wisconsin, and Miami over Rutgers.  Wake Forest is the lone ACC team left out, and will look to rebound from the Houston Baptist loss when it takes on Western Carolina. 


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  Right now, the weighting is 52% this season’s results and 48% last year/pre-season.

Swapping out five auto bids:
OVC- Belmont (Murray St.)
WAC- New Mexico State (Grand Canyon)
CUSA- North Texas (Marshall)
Colonial- Charleston (Hofstra)
Southland- Abilene Christian (Stephan F. Austin)- would be the Wildcats first ever NCAA tournament appearance. 

Also, swapping in three at larges this update.  San Francisco is back in, along with Iowa State and USC.  Oklahoma State, Saint Mary’s, and LSU fall out of the bracket to make way.    



Friday, November 23, 2018

23-NOV Bracket Projections: Miami FL, Florida State rise, Arizona falls.


Teams with a Zero
Of the 353 Division I programs, 39 remain undefeated against D1 competition.  Gonzaga, fresh off their Maui Championship, and Pittsburgh lead the way with 6-0 records.  53 programs continue to chase their first win off the 2018-19 season.  Chicago State, last year’s last team to register a D1 win, have sputtered to an 0-7 start.

Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (3-2 last week, 9-11 overall):
#5 Texas vs Michigan State, Fri – Michigan State 76, Texas 70
#4 North Carolina vs UCLA, Fri – North Carolina 82, UCLA 77
#3 Tennessee vs Kansas, Fri – Kansas 75, Tennessee 74
#2 Wisconsin vs Virginia, Fri – Virginia 67, Wisconsin 63
#1 Houston at BYU, Sat – BYU 73, Houston 72

Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  Right now, the weighting is 57% last year/pre-season and 43% results from this season.

Swapping out three auto bids:
NEC- Central Connecticut (St. Francis PA)
MAAC- Rider (Canisius)
Colonial- Hofstra (Charleston)

Also, swapping in just three at larges this update.  Oklahoma State, Creighton, and UCF are in.  USC, San Diego St. and San Francisco have fallen out of the bracket. 



Sunday, November 18, 2018

18-NOV Bracket Projections: UCLA rises, Louisville drops


Teams with a Zero
We’re in double digits for both undefeated and winless teams after the weekend.  74 teams as of Sunday night (Minnesota’s game is currently underway) are undefeated against Division I competition.  Michigan, Maryland, and Pittsburgh lead the way with a 5-0 mark.  76 teams have yet to record a win.  King Rice’s Monmouth squad, who just a few years back owned the early part of the season, are the only team winless in six Division I games.

Notable Games
An underwhelming start, but three of the five games that featured a blue blood and a mid-major proved competitive, and I came within a bucket of nailing the Indiana-Arkansas score exactly.  Hopefully a sign that better results are upcoming.  Five neutral court battles this week being spotlighted.

This week's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 6-9 overall):
#5 Tennessee vs Louisville, Wed – Louisville 72, Tennessee 71
#4 Mississippi State vs Arizona State, Mon – Arizona State 74, Mississippi State 73
#3 Saint Mary’s vs Utah State, Mon – Saint Mary’s 74, Utah State 71
#2 UCLA vs Michigan State, Thu – Michigan State 79, UCLA 75
#1 Duke vs San Diego State, Mon – Duke 78, San Diego State 74

Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  Right now, the weighting is 68% last year/pre-season and 32% results from this season.

Swapping out five auto bids:
Sun Belt- Georgia Southern (Louisiana)
WAC- Grand Canyon (New Mexico St.)- Futility alert, would be first appearance in program history
Southern- UNC Greensboro (Furman)

The following two are effectively reversing out swaps made in the last bracket
CAA- Charleston (Northeastern)
Summit- South Dakota State (South Dakota)

Also, swapping in six at larges including Kansas St., Texas, Wisconsin, BYU, San Francisco, and Utah St.  Syracuse, West Virginia, Florida, Davidson, TCU and Utah have dropped out. 





Friday, November 16, 2018

16-NOV Bracket Projections: Multi Team Event Season


Teams with a Zero
We’re a week and a half into the season and 349 of the 353 Division I programs have played a game against D1 competition.  Three of the remaining four, Liberty, Princeton, and Howard, are in action today leaving just Sacramento State who will play their first D1 game next Tuesday.  On the flip side, ten programs have played four D1 games, with only Pittsburgh notching a perfect 4-0 start.  109 programs have yet, including the four above, have yet to experience a D1 loss.  123 teams are still searching for that first win. 

Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 4-6 overall):
#5 Vermont at Louisville, Fri – Louisville 75, Vermont 69
#4 Indiana at Arkansas, Sun – Indiana 74, Arkansas 73
#3 Furman at Villanova, Sat – Villanova 78, Furman 71
#2 Louisiana at Kansas, Fri - Kansas 79, Louisiana 75
#1 Oregon State vs Old Dominion, Fri – Old Dominion 70, Oregon State 68


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  Right now, the weighting is 77% last year/pre-season and 23% results from this season.

Swapping out six auto bids this weekend:
Atlantic Sun- Lipscomb (Florida Gulf Coast)
CUSA- Marshall (Middle Tennessee)
Big West- UC Irvine (UC Santa Barbara)
MEAC- Norfolk State (North Carolina Central)

The following two are effectively reversing out swaps made in the last bracket
CAA- Northeastern (Charleston)
Summit- South Dakota (South Dakota State)

Also, swapping in five at larges including Florida, San Diego State, TCU, Utah, and LSU.  Marquette, Creighton, Seton Hall, Xavier, and Wichita State have dropped out.   


Futility
As mentioned a few posts back, 43 programs are chasing their first NCAA tournament appearance this season, however two are those, North Alabama and Cal Baptist, are making their transition into Division I and ineligible this season.  The full list can be found here.  None of these teams are currently in my bracket.



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

Bracket
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