Blog Entry

Bracketology 1/16

Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:01 pm

Hello everyone, this will be my first mock bracket of the 2012 season!

I will go conference by conference first and half bids from each conference, and at the end I will do seedings for all 68, including the final four in that will play on Tuesday.  Also, my conference champions will be listed as if the season had ended today.

America East (1)
Automatic Bid-Albany
at large- none
Bubble- none

ACC (3)
Automatic Bid- Duke
at large- North Carolina, Virginia
Bubble- Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State
Analysis- Virginia impressed me in their road loss to Duke, and Mike Scott is making a real case to win ACC player of the year for the up-and-coming Cavaliers.  North Carolina dropped down to the 2-line after that no-show saturday afternoon against Florida State, who is now squarely on the bubble.

Atlantic Sun (1)
Automatic Bid-Belmont
at large-none
Analysis- Belmont turned some heads after their opening game loss to Duke by one point, but have since lost to mid tennessee state, miami (OH), Marshall, and at home to Lipscomb.  This team could still be dangerous come March, but they are looking more like a 15 seed than an 11 now.

Atlantic 10 (4)
Automatic Bid- UMASS
at large- Xavier, Saint Louis, Temple
Bubble-Dayton, St. Josephs.
Analysis- Xavier has begun to rebound after the brawl that sent them tailspinning, winning three straight after losing five of their previous six games after their matchup with the Bearcats.  It will be interesting to see what the Committee does this year with Xavier, since losses against Oral Roberts (Holloway, Lyons, Wells) and Long Beach State (Lyons, Wells) happened without a few of its better players.

Big East (8)
Automatic Bid-Syracuse
at large- Cincinnati, Seton Hall, UCONN, Georgetown, West Virginia Marquette, Louisville
Bubble- Notre Dame
analysis- Seton Hall went unnoticed during their OOC schedule, and rightfully so, playiing just one team from the Big Ten (7 point loss to Northwestern) and one from the SEC (22 point win over Auburn), but has played very well in Big East play.  back to back home wins over West Virginia and UCONN followed by nice wins at Providence (9 points) and at home against DePaul (21 points) put the Pirates back in the NCAA tournament, for now.  they have a tough stretch coming up in two weeks (Louisville, at Marquette, at UCONN) so we'll get to see how legit they really are soon.

Big Sky (1)
Automatic bid- Weber State
at large-none

Big South (1)
Automatic bid-N.C. Asheville
at large-none
analysis- Asheville did well scheduling outside of its conference this season with games against N.C. State, UNC, UCONN, and Tennssee, and the tough competition has seemed to pay off as they are 7-0 in the Big South thus far.

Big Ten (8)
Automatic Bid-Michigan State
at large-Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin,
Bubble-Purdue (in), Northwestern, Minnesota (in)
analysis- With a 12 team league it will be hard to generate enough wins for 8 teams to make the NCAA field, but the way they have all been beating up on eachother this season, anythings possible.  After starting Big Ten play 0-4, including two overtime losses, Minnesota picked up a much needed road win at Indiana, and followed that with a necessary victory over Penn State to join the Big Ten conversation.  Purdue doesn't have a whole lot of quality wins on the season so far, so it can't afford to lose anymore winnable home games because they have a tretcherous road schedule in the Big Ten the rest of the season.

Big 12 (4)
Automatic Bid- Baylor
at large- Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State
bubble-Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State
anaylsys-11 days after losing by 38 points to Missouri, Oklahoma picked up a much needed home win against Kansas State saturday to keep themselves in the bubble picture.  OU, Texas, and Iowa state didnt help themselves any with their scheduling, and will need victories over the top three in the Big 12 to get a fifth team into the tournament.  This conference might be as top heavy as we've ever seen in the Big 12, with Baylor, Missouri, and Kansas all with final 4 potential.

Big West (1)
Automatic Bid- Long Beach State
at large-none
analysis- Long Beach State played an incredible non-conference schedule, and this will be the team you won't want to see as a first round opponent come NCAA tourney time.

CAA (1)
Automatic Bid-Georgia State
at large -none
analysis- after starting the season 0-3, Georgia State has won 13 of its last 14 games.  It doesnt appear right now that the CAA will be a multi-bid league this year, but bracketbuster weekend could change that if teams like George Mason, Drexel and VCU can separate themselves from the rest of the CAA pack.

Conference USA (3)
automatic Bid-Marshall
at large-Southern Mississippi
bubble-Memphis (in), UCF
anaylsis- The good news for Southern Mississippi is that they have no bad losses on their resume, and sprinkle that in with wins against Mississippi, Arizona State and South Florida and a 3-1 Conference USA record and you have yourself an NCAA tourney bid, for now.  Memphis doesnt have any bad losses either, but their victories are not that impressive either so they'll have to be careful to not have too many setbacks in a mediocre Conf. USA this season.

Horizon League (1)
automatic bid-UW-Milwaukee
at large-none
bubble-Cleveland State
analysis- Cleveland State was primed to be an at large team regardless of the Horizon League tournament after their early season win at Vanderbilt, but a loss at home to Youngstown State has put a damper on that now.  The Vikings will get one of the top Bracketbuster games this season, however, so they'll still have a shot at impressing the committee at least one more time.  Butler  looked to be coming back to form, but back to back losses at Detroit and at home against Cleveland State makes me wonder if this team can even make a run in the Horizon League tournament, nevertheless the NCAA tourney.

Ivy League (1)
automatic bid-Harvard
at large-none
analysis- if Yale were to make a run in the Ivy League and somehow win the conference this season, the Ivy League would be a two bid league thanks to the Crimson.  after a heart breaking last-second loss in the last regular season game of the year last year, Harvard and head coach Tommy Ammaker played a travel-some non conference schedule and picked up a few quality wins and will be dancing this year barring an epic collapse.

MAAC (1)
automatic bid- Iona
at large-none

MAC (1)
automatic bid- Akron
at large-none
bubble-Ohio, Kent State
analysis- Ohio has lost 3 of its last 4, which has really hurt their at large chances at the moment.  good news for the Bobcats is they play their next four games at home, so they can get back on track quickly.  The Bracketbuster weekend could determine alot for this conference like it did for the CAA last season.

MEAC (1)
automatic Bid-Norfolk State
at large-none
analysis- Before last season, this conference scheduled flights to Dayton for every team in the league prior to the season for the Tuesday before the NCAA tournament... get it? :-)

Missouri Valley (3)
automatic bid- Creighton
at large-Wichita State
bubble-Northern Iowa (in)
anaylsis-Northern Iowa has really struggled in its last eight games, and is in danger of falling completely off the map.  Creighton and Wichita State appear to be the class of the conference and should battle all season for the MVC championship.

 Mountain West (4)
automatic bid- New Mexico
at large-San Diego State, UNLV
bubble- Colorado State (in)
analysis- The Mountain West has some gaudy records, but I'm not overly impressed with what Colorado State (12-4), Air Force (11-4), and Wyoming (14-3) have done with their scheduling.  New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV are all solidly in, and are all very dangerous ball clubs and could make some serious noise come March.

Northeast (1)
automatic bid-Long Island
at large-none

Ohio Valley (1)
automatic bid-Murray State
at large-none
analysis- Murray State has a legitimate shot to go undefeated this season, and could still very well end up with a double digit seed in the NCAA tournament.  The interesting part will be if they lose a game during the season and lose in their conference tournament, does that committee leave them out completely?!  I would say no, but they would be sweating selection sunday out.

Pac-12 (2)
automatic bid-Stanford
at large-none
bubble-California (in), Arizona, Oregon
analysis- the Pac-12 in basketball is the equivalent to the Big East in football, and it's not getting any better.  This was supposed to be the year that UCLA becomes a powerhouse again and Cal and Arizona both rise to the top, and instead all we get is mediocrity and less than appealing television.  Good thing most of their games are on at 10pm my time so i don't have to bother watching it.

Patriot (1)
automatic bid-Bucknell
at large- none

SEC (6)
automatic bid-Kentucky
at large-Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama
bubble- Arkansas (in)
analysis- Vanderbilt has recovered nicely from an early season slump with wins at Marquette and three straight SEC victories.  The big thing for the Commodores will be if they can FINALLY get that NCAA tournament win they've been longing for over the past few seasons.  Kentucky is the cream of the crop, but they'll still drop a few questionable road games in conference play because that's what Calipari and the Wildcats like to do. 

Southern (1)
automatic bid-Davidson
at large-none

Southland (1)
automatic bid- Texas Arlington
at large-none

SWAC (1)
automatic bid-Mississippi Valley State
at large-none
bubble- none
analysis- no team in the SWAC is over .500 on the season.  Mississippi Valley State is 4-0 in conference and 5-11 overall.  enough said.

Summit (1)
automatic bid-Oral Roberts
at large-none
bubble-South Dakota State
analysis- bubble teams will be rooting hard for Oral Roberts to win the Summit League conference tournament, because they could be a bid stealer should they not be tourney champs.

Sun Belt (1)
automatic bid-Middle Tennessee State
at large-none
analysis- South Alabama and Western Kentucky both made the NCAA tournament a couple years back to make the Sun Belt a two bid league.  The same could happen this year with Mid Tennessee and Denver if they can separate themselves from the rest of the conference.

West Coast (3)
automatic bid- St. Mary's
at large- Gonzaga, BYU
analysis- St. Mary's and Gonzaga have some company this year, with BYU joining the WCC and making this conference a three team race now instead of the traditional two.  All three of them should have no problem getting into the NCAA tournament, however.

WAC (1)
automatic bid-Nevada
at large-none
bubble-New Mexico State


1s- Syracuse, Baylor, Kentucky, Ohio State
2s-North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Duke
3s-UCONN, Florida, Michigan State, Georgetown
4s-Indiana, Mississippi State, Marquette, UNLV
5s-Michigan, Virginia, Creighton, Louisville
6s-Kansas State, St. Mary's, San Diego State, Illinois
7s-Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt, Seton Hall
8s-Cininnati, Xavier, Stanford, New Mexico
9s-Wichita State, Purdue, Temple, Alabama
10s-Marshall, Southern Miss, Murray State, Harvard
11s- BYU, Memphis, UMASS, Northern Iowa
12s-Oral Roberts, Minnesota, Nevada, Saint Louis, Colorado State, Cal
13s-Akron, UW-Milwaukee, Mid Tennessee State, Georgia State
14s-Belmont, Iona, Long Beach State, DAvidson
15s-Bucknell, Long Island, Weber State, Albany
16s-Mississippi Valley State, Norfolk STate, N.C. Asheville, Texas Arlington

first round games: Minnesota vs. Saint Louis; Colorado State vs. Cal

 Minnesota, BYU, Cal, Colorado STate, Memphis, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Nevada

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or