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Blog Entry

Jan. 11 Bracket

Posted on: January 11, 2012 7:17 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 9:40 pm
A lot can change in one month, and my latest bracket shows that. Pittsburgh was in the Top 25 a month ago, now the Panthers aren’t even in the field. Louisville and Xavier were 2-seeds in December, and now are opponents in an 8-9 game. Seton Hall went from the First Four to just missing a 4-seed, and Dayton was out a month ago, but now the Flyers lead the A-10.

This bracket shows a whopping nine Big Ten teams.  It's the top-rated league in the RPI by a huge margin.  It's been eight years since a league dominated the RPI like this.  Of course, teams get bids, not conferences, but that is still an indication that the Big Ten will likely be well represented in the field.  That said, nine teams would be ridiculous come March.  Minnesota in particular is in trouble.  It doesn't seem likely the Gophers will be able to withstand the grind without Trevor Mbakwe, who is lost for the season with a knee injury.  Looking long term, other teams that need to be concerned are Purdue, Northwestern, which is still looking for its first ever tournament appearance, and suddenly, Wisconsin, which has lost its Kohl Center mojo.

Ohio State started out among the top three teams in the country, but an inability to win on the road against better teams (best away from home win: Iowa) has the Buckeyes now as a 3-seed.  They blew another game last night at Illinois, after kicking away a late lead at Illinois.  It's hard to imagine they won't come around and eventually win the league, but they need to figure out their road woes to make that happen.

Why is Florida in the top 25?  Who is voting for them?  I realize this isn't Poll Attacks (that's Gary Parrish's gig, bless his heart), but this team hasn't done a thing to anyone of substance, and especially outside of Florida.  The Gators aren't in danger of missing the tournament yet or anything like that, but they're a lot closer to 35 than 25.

If they need someonie else to vote for, how about Seton Hall?  The Hall has lost only to Syracuse (the overall No. 1) and Northwestern, while collecting wins over UConn, West Virginia and Dayton.

It's pretty easy to figure out what to do with two of the three remaining unbeaten teams.  Syracuse and Baylor top the field, and will stay there as long as they keep winning.

But what about Murray State?  The Racers have a few decent wins, but nothing that says they should compete for a very high seed.  Now in Ohio Valley conference play, they are essentially done making their case, except for taking on a bad loss or two.  Hard to see them much higher than a 3-seed, even in March, unless one of the teams they've already beaten starts to move up the charts.

With two more months to play, you can expect a lot more wild changes. Buckle up!

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Jan. 11 Bracket

How many loses would a Big-School-At-Large team need before an Undefeated Murray State would get seeded #1?

Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:19 am

Jan. 11 Bracket

All said and done Murray State would be very happy to be the #4 seed in the east. I still foresee the committe droping them lower. Politics you know.

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:05 pm

Jan. 11 Bracket

I agree with your comments %100.  It's kind of hard to not feel insulted that the Lobos are projected (at least at this point) as a 13 seed.  For a team that has been projected to be at the top or near the top of a very tough conference and receiving votes in both polls, this is crap.  I just think the Lobos need to break the curse of losing in the second round of the tournament and make it to (at least) the Sweet 16. Hopefully then UNM will finally get some respect.

Anyway, check out the Non-BCS power pyramid. At least the Lobos are getting some love there.

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:40 am

Jan. 11 Bracket

13th vs. 14th seed is not a big deal, the extra play-in game adds extra danger of that one team not being able to proceed through to the next round.

As for how teams are placed, he's only predicting where the selection committee will place them in the bracket.  These aren't power rankings, it's guessing where a group of people will place teams into a tournament that determines how an entire organization of teams will fight for a championship. 

You have to make sure you don't put all teams from one conference into one region and essentially have a repeat conference tournament.  Case in point, if the Big Ten gets 9 teams in, you don't want all of them in the EAST bracket.  The Big Ten runs thier own tournament and you might as well just use those results and skip the first few rounds.  You also can reward teams with first round games closer to home.  This may mean getting a lower seeding to get a better location.

How Jerry can analyze all the teams and predict (with relative accuracy) how the tournament will look is a skillset that most dont' have beyond the "my team should be ranked higher".

Since: Feb 26, 2010
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:49 am

Jan. 11 Bracket-??????

Mr. Palm....I respect the fact that you have a good track record, and that your predictions are usually right on....However, I do have to ask how you can have New Mexico in a 13 seed play in....???? and New Mexico St.(who the lobos just beat on the road by 20+) is a 14 seed?are you still punishing the Lobos for their home loss to a cross state rival? Is it that loss to Santa Clara(who won the pre season tourney in So Cal)...I don't get it...especially when SDSU has played teams like Elon, Redlands, and UC Riverside in the past two seems to me that everybody has cupcakes on their schedule...why do the Lobos get beaten up for it more? UNM has beaten every team from a  BCS conf that they have played so far???? How was Alford supposed to predict that OSU, USC, and ASU would all have mediocre teams? Also, the Lobos have beaten Missouri St. and St. Louis...both appear to be media mid-major darlings ....Help me understand????

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