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. 

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.    

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