Thursday, January 31, 2019

31-JAN Bracket Projections: Minnesota rises, NC State, Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana drop.


Teams with a Zero
UNC Asheville has won a game every month this college basketball season.  In November, it was the St. Andrew’s Knights who were nearly doubled up by the Bulldogs 87-47.  December’s win was a comeback affair after trailing by one at the half to the Milligan Buffaloes, before winning 86-76.  Most notably though, in the final game on the January schedule, the Bulldogs earned their first win against Division I competition with a 71-62 win.  It was UNC Asheville’s best effort from an efficiency standpoint, which saw them post 1.15 points per possession while getting to the line 29 times.  They were the last team to earn a win over another Division I program.  The 2015 Grambling State and San Jose State teams can celebrate remaining the last teams to finish a season without a D1 win.  


Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 72-43 overall):
#5 Texas Tech at Kansas, Sat – Texas Tech 69, Kansas 68
#4 San Francisco at Saint Mary’s, Sat – Saint Mary’s 71, San Francisco 69
#3 Maryland at Wisconsin, Fri – Wisconsin 70, Maryland 66
#2 Virginia Tech at North Carolina State, Sat – North Carolina State 74, Virginia Tech 72
#1 North Carolina at Louisville, Sat – Louisville 77, North Carolina 75


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Three automatic bids being swapped out in this update. 
NEC- Sacred Heart (Fairleigh Dickinson)
Atlantic 10- VCU (Dayton)
CUSA- Old Dominion (North Texas)

Only switching out one at-large bid in this update.  DePaul is out, Seton Hall is in. 

My latest bracket has two bids going to a first timer, with Sacred Heart and Abilene Christian earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Arizona (6), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Rider, Texas State and Prairie View A&M would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid. 



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