Sunday, December 2, 2018

02-DEC Bracket Projections: Tennessee rises, Creighton falls.

Teams with a Zero
Of the 353 Division I programs, 12 remain undefeated against D1 competition.  The Big Twelve and the West Coast are the only conferences that can boast multiple undefeated teams as Kansas (6-0), Texas Tech (7-0), Gonzaga (8-0) and Loyola Marymount (6-0) have yet to take a loss.  Loyola Marymount still has a game to play tonight at UCLA to maintain their place on this list.  Michigan, Virginia, St John’s, and Arizona State round out the Power 6 unbeatens.  Nevada, Houston, Buffalo, and Furman are the unbeaten teams from the remaining conferences.  Nine of the 12 will have a game this week, while Nevada, Buffalo, and Arizona State will roll into the weekend undefeated. 

As for the other side of the superlatives, 23 programs have yet to notch their first win.  The MEAC and SWAC have four such teams.  The Atlantic Sun (3), Southland (2), and American East (2) all have multiples as well accounting for 15 of the 23 mentioned above.  Only seven of the 23 teams have a game before the weekend and a chance to move off of this list; McNeese St., New Hampshire, UNC Asheville, North Alabama, Mount St. Mary’s, Coppin State, and Monmouth.  A loss by the Hawks would earn Monmouth a 0-10 start. 

Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (5-0 last week, 22-13 overall):
#5 Indiana at Penn State, Tue – Indiana 70, Penn State 69
#4 Michigan at Northwestern, Tue – Michigan 66, Northwestern 65
#3 Oklahoma vs Notre Dame, Tue – Notre Dame 73, Oklahoma 71
#2 West Virginia at Florida, Tue –West Virginia 74, Florida 73
#1 Maryland at Purdue, Thu – Purdue 75, Maryland 72

My updated bracket can be found below.  Currently, the weighting is 69% this season’s results and 31% last year/pre-season.

An eventful weekend causes quite a shakeup in this update.  Swapping out nine auto bids:
WAC- New Mexico St. (Grand Canyon), swap from the last update.
CUSA- Old Dominion (Marshall)
Patriot- Bucknell (Colgate), swap from the last update.
SWAC- Prairie View A&M (Grambling St.) swap from the last update.
Northeast- Sacred Heart (Central Connecticut)
Sun Belt- Texas State (Georgia Southern)
Big West- UC Santa Barbara (UC Irvine)
Southern- Wofford (UNC Greensboro)
Colonial- Hofstra (Charleston)

Also, swapping in five at larges this update.  West Virginia, TCU, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, and Colorado are in.  Oklahoma, Northwestern, BYU, Penn State, and UCF are out.   

Two bids are going to first time programs in this update, with Sacred Heart and Abilene Christian taking a spot.  Wichita State (7), Xavier (5), Providence (5), Seton Hall (3), and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.

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