Category:NCAAB
Posted on: March 4, 2013 8:46 pm
 

Schmolik 64 Update (3/4/13)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the latest update for the 2013 Schmolik 64. At the end of the regular season, I will pick a complete NCAA bracket with the teams I think belong in the NCAA field and where they should be seeded. Up to then, there will be updates to see where your team stands if the season ended today (records as of Sunday, March 3, 2013). After the list, I will give some reasons why certain teams were chosen or not chosen and why they were seeded where they were.

Since in many low major to mid major conferences regular season play has concluded, I am seeding a complete 68 team bracket for the first time this season.

Dates:

Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 21-23, Fri/Sun March 22-24

Regionals: Thur/Sat March 28-30, Fri/Sun March 29-31

MIDWEST REGIONAL (Indianapolis, IN - Fri/Sun)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(1) Indiana (25-4) vs. (16) Play In Game C Winner

(8) Notre Dame (22-7) vs. (9) California (20-9)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(5) St. Louis (23-5) vs. (12) St. Mary's (25-5)

(4) Kansas State (23-5) vs. (13) Akron (22-5)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(6) Minnesota (20-9) vs. (11) Temple (21-8)

(3) Florida (23-5) vs. (14) Valparaiso (23-7)  

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat

(7) Illinois (20-9) vs. (10) San Diego State (18-8)

(2) Louisville (24-5) vs. (15) Robert Morris (22-9)

SOUTH REGIONAL (North Texas, TX - Fri/Sun)

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat

(1) Miami (23-5) vs. (16) Play In Game A winner

(8) Oklahoma (19-9) vs. (9) Oregon (23-6)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(5) Butler (21-7) vs. (12) Play In Game D winner

(4) Syracuse (22-7) vs. (13) Louisiana Tech (25-3)

Auburn Hills, MI - Thur/Sat

(6) UNLV (21-7) vs. (11) Cincinnati (20-9)

(3) Michigan (23-5) vs. (14) Davidson (22-7)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(7) UCLA (22-7) vs. (10) Wichita State (24-7)

(2) Kansas (25-4) vs. (15) Montana (18-6)

WEST REGIONAL (Los Angeles, CA - Thur/Sat)

Salt Lake City, UT - Thur/Sat

(1) Gonzaga (28-2) vs. (16) Long Beach State (15-11)

(8) Colorado State (20-7) vs. (9) Missouri (21-8)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) North Carolina (20-8) vs. (12) Play In Game B winner

(4) Arizona (23-6) vs. (13) Stephen F. Austin (20-3)

Salt Lake City, UT - Thur/Sat

(6) Wisconsin (20-9) vs. (11) La Salle (20-7)

(3) New Mexico (25-4) vs. (14) Stony Brook (22-6)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(7) NC State (21-8) vs. (10) Belmont (22-6)

(2) Georgetown (23-4) vs. (15) Princeton (15-9)

EAST REGIONAL (Washington, DC - Thur/Sat)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(1) Duke (25-4) vs. (16) Mercer (19-10)

(8) Creighton (24-7) vs. (9) Pittsburgh (23-7)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) Oklahoma State (22-6) vs. (12) Boise State (18-8)

(4) Ohio State (21-7) vs. (13) Bucknell (24-5)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(6) Virginia Commonwealth (23-6) vs. (11) Middle Tennessee (27-4)

(3) Marquette (21-7) vs. (14) South Dakota State (19-9)

Auburn Hills. MI - Thur/Sat

(7) Memphis (25-4) vs. (10) Colorado (19-9)

(2) Michigan State (21-7) vs. (15) Niagara (18-12)

Final Four Matchups: Midwest Regional Winner vs. South Regional Winner, West Regional Winner vs. East Regional Winner

FIRST FOUR (Dayton, OH)

Tue. March 19

Game A (South No. 16 seed): Norfolk State (19-10) vs. Charleston Southern (14-11). Winner plays No. 1 seed Miami in Lexington, KY

Game B (West No. 12 seed): Villanova (17-12) vs. Southern Mississippi (20-7). Winner plays No. 5 seed North Carolina in San Jose, CA

Wed. March 20

Game C (Midwest No. 16 seed): Northeastern (19-11) vs. Southern (18-9). Winner plays No. 1 seed Indiana in Dayton, OH

Game D (South No. 12 seed): Tennessee (17-11) vs. Virginia (20-9). Winner plays No. 5 seed Butler in Austin, TX

Bids By Conference

Big East: 8 (1 First Four)

Big Ten: 7

A-10: 5 

MWC: 5

Pac-12: 5

ACC: 5 (1 First Four)

Big 12: 4

SEC: 3 (1 First Four)

MVC: 2

WCC: 2

C-USA: 2 (1 First Four)

Remaining Bids: 20 

Analysis

As always, RPI numbers are courtesy of CBS Sports.com.

Congratulations to Gonzaga for being ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls today.

However, they are only ranked ninth in the RPI. The only other conference rival ranked in the RPI Top 50 is St. Mary's. Gonzaga has only three wins vs. the RPI Top 25, with the highest being No. 18 Kansas State. Meanwhile, Indiana has seven wins vs. the RPI Top 25, the most of any team. That is why they are the No. 1 overall seed in this bracket.

That being said, you have to give credit for Gonzaga this season. They have lost just two games in a season in which no other team has lost fewer than four games. Gonzaga still may have to win the WCC Tournament to maintain their No. 1 seed. There are plenty of teams in other conferences ready to take Gonzaga's spot if Gonzaga falls.

Despite losing to Virginia, Duke still has the overall No. 1 RPI ranking and a claim to a No. 1 seed. They beat Miami and Louisville this season.

Finally, Miami wins the final No. 1 seed. Georgetown and Kansas both lead their conferences. But I felt Georgetown's non conference schedule (ranked No. 187) hurt their chances. Miami currently leads the ACC by two games over Duke and defeated them by a large margin. The Hurricanes also beat Michigan State in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. As for Kansas, their loss to TCU really hurt their chances. 

New Mexico is a very interesting case. They clinched the Mountain West Conference's regular season championship. They are ranked second in overall RPI and first in conference RPI. But they are hurt by only three RPI Top 25 wins. Another candidate for a No. 2 seed is Florida. They currently have just one RPI Top 25 win. I felt Michigan State and Louisville were stronger No. 2 seeds than Florida and New Mexico. 

Near the bottom of the bracket, it was hard to overlook Southern Mississippi's RPI (No. 34). Virginia earned their spot with a win over RPI No. 1 ranked Duke. Villanova has wins over Louisville, Marquette, and Syracuse.

As for the SEC, they have four teams ranked between No. 51 and No. 60. Of these four teams, only Tennessee has a win over Florida. They've also beaten Kentucky and split with Alabama. The Volunteers were swept by Mississippi, but Mississippi's resume was hurt badly by a loss to Mississippi State (ranked No. 226).

Kentucky (RPI No. 51, the highest RPI to not receive a bid) is hurt by head to head losses to both Alabama and Tennessee (they lost to Tennessee by 30 points). They will also be judged more in their last few games without [Nerlens Noel], who is out for the season. The Wildcats have a big chance to make noise this Saturday at home against Florida.

Arkansas also has wins over Florida and Kentucky, but an RPI of 80 is too low for consideration. So is Iowa (No. 86), even though they may finish at .500 in the Big Ten.

With so many bubble teams, the SEC Tournament looks to be big in who gets in from the SEC. 

Compare my bracket to CBS Sports Bracketology and many others at [Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix].

Remember to comment! If you think a team or teams that are out should be in or teams are in should be out, let me hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Duke, Gonzaga, Indiana
 
Posted on: February 22, 2013 4:36 pm
 

Schmolik 64 Update (2/22/13)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the second update for the 2013 Schmolik 64. At the end of the regular season, I will pick a complete NCAA bracket with the teams I think belong in the NCAA field and where they should be seeded. Up to then, there will be updates to see where your team stands if the season ended today (Records as of Thur. Feb. 21, 2012).

Until Championship Week, I will only seed the top 12 seeds. The bottom four seeds are usually reserved for one bid conferences, in which usually only the conference champion goes from those conferences. Similar to last year, I will reserve two No. 12 seed lines for the "First Four".

You should interpret these as being among the last teams to get into the field (although there could be exceptions based upon bracketing rules, which prevent the actual last four from making the field).

I know there are 68 teams now but if I had my way there would still be just 64 teams and when I started the Schmolik 64 there were just 64 teams. So, that is why I still call it the "Schmolik 64".

Here's the bracket update for Feb. 22, 2012.

Dates:

Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 21-23, Fri/Sun March 22-24

Regionals: Thur/Sat March 28-30, Fri/Sun March 29-31

MIDWEST REGIONAL (Indianapolis, IN - Fri/Sun)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(1) Indiana (24-3) vs. (16)

(8) St. Louis (20-5) vs. (9) California (17-9)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat 

(5) Colorado State (19-5) vs. (12) First Four Game A Winner

(4) Marquette (21-6) vs. (13)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(6) NC State (19-7) vs. (11) Temple (18-8)

(3) Georgetown (20-4) vs. (14)

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat 

(7) Minnesota (18-9) vs. (10) Belmont (19-6)

(2) Florida (21-4) vs. (15)

WEST REGIONAL (Los Angeles, CA - Thur/Sat)

Auburn Hills, MI - Thur/Sat

(1) Michigan State (21-5)  vs. (16)

(8) North Carolina (17-8) vs. (9) Wichita State (23-5) 

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(5) Kansas State (20-5)  vs. (12) Villanova (16-10)

(4) New Mexico (22-4) vs. (13)

Salt Lake City, Utah - Thur/Sat

(6) Ohio State (19-7) vs. (11) Cincinnati (19-8) 

(3) Arizona (22-4) vs. (14)

Salt Lake City, Utah - Thur/Sat

(7) San Diego State (17-7) vs. (10) Iowa State (18-8)

(2) Gonzaga (25-2) vs. (15)

EAST REGIONAL (Washington, DC- Thur/Sat)

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat 

(1) Miami  (22-3) vs. (16)

(8) Notre Dame (21-6) vs. (9) Colorado (18-8)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(5) Oklahoma State (19-6) vs. (12) First Four Game B Winner

(4) Butler (21-5) vs. (13)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(6) Oklahoma (17-8) vs. (11) Creighton (22-6)

(3) Louisville (21-5) vs. (14)

Auburn Hills, MI - Thur/Sat

(7) Memphis (23-3) vs. (10) Oregon (21-6) 

(2) Michigan (21-4)  vs. (15)

SOUTH REGIONAL (Arlington, TX - Fri/Sun)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(1) Duke (23-3) vs. (16)

(8) Pittsburgh (20-7) vs. (9) Missouri (19-7)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) UNLV (19-7) vs. (12) La Salle (18-7)

(4) Wisconsin (19-8)  vs. (13)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(6) Illinois (19-8) vs. (11) Middle Tennessee State (24-4) 

(3) Kansas (22-4) vs. (14)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(7) VCU (21-6)  vs. (10) UCLA (19-7)

(2) Syracuse (22-4)  vs. (15)

Final Four: Midwest vs, West, East vs. South

First Four (Dayton, OH):

Game A: Tue. March 19: Southern Miss (19-6) vs. Charlotte (18-7) , Winner is East #12 seed, plays Colorado State in San Jose. 

Game B: Wed. March 20: Boise State (15-8) vs. St. Mary's (22-5)  - Winner is Midwest #12 seed, plays Oklahoma State in Austin.

By conference:

Big East (8)

Big Ten (7)

A-10 (6)

Big 12 (5)

MWC (5)

Pac-12 (5)

ACC (4)

SEC (2)

MVC (2)

C-USA (2)

WCC (2)

OVC, Sun Belt (1 each)

Remaining Automatics: 18

Party Crashers/Additional At Large: 0

Compare my bracket to CBS Sports Bracketology and many others at [Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix].

Remember to comment! If you think a team or teams that are out should be in or teams are in should be out, let me hear from you!
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 11, 2013 8:31 pm
 

Schmolik 64 Update (2/11/13)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the first update for the 2013 Schmolik 64. At the end of the regular season, I will pick a complete NCAA bracket with the teams I think belong in the NCAA field and where they should be seeded. Up to then, there will be updates to see where your team stands if the season ended today (Records as of Sun. Feb. 10, 2012).

Until Championship Week, I will only seed the top 12 seeds. The bottom four seeds are usually reserved for one bid conferences, in which usually only the conference champion goes from those conferences. Similar to last year, I will reserve two No. 12 seed lines for the "First Four".

You should interpret these as being among the last teams to get into the field (although there could be exceptions based upon bracketing rules, which prevent the actual last four from making the field).

I know there are 68 teams now but if I had my way there would still be just 64 teams and when I started the Schmolik 64 there were just 64 teams. So, that is why I still call it the "Schmolik 64".

Here's the bracket update for Feb. 11, 2012.

Dates:

Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 21-23, Fri/Sun March 22-24

Regionals: Thur/Sat March 28-30, Fri/Sun March 29-31

MIDWEST REGIONAL (Indianapolis, IN - Fri/Sun)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(1) Indiana (21-3) vs. (16)

(8) La Salle (16-6) vs. (9) UCLA (18-6)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(5) Pittsburgh (20-5) vs. (12) First Four Game A Winner

(4) Kansas State (18-4) vs. (13)

Dayton, OH - Fri/Sun

(6) NC State (17-7) vs. (11) Temple (16-7)

(3) Florida (19-3) vs. (14)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(7) Illinois (16-8) vs. (10) Indiana State (15-8)

(2) Syracuse (20-3) vs. (15)

WEST REGIONAL (Los Angeles, CA - Thur/Sat)

Auburn Hills, MI - Thur/Sat

(1) Michigan (20-3) vs. (16)

(8) San Diego State (16-5) vs. (9) Memphis (20-3)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(5) Oklahoma State (17-5) vs. (12) St. Louis (18-5)

(4) Marquette (21-6) vs. (13)

Austin, TX - Fri/Sun

(6) Minnesota (17-7) vs. (11) Middle Tennessee State (22-4)

(3) New Mexico (20-4) vs. (14)

Salt Lake City, Utah - Thur/Sat

(7) Oregon (19-5) vs. (10) North Carolina (15-7)

(2) Gonzaga (22-2) vs. (15)

EAST REGIONAL (Washington, DC- Thur/Sat)

Philadelphia, PA - Fri/Sun

(1) Duke (21-2) vs. (16)

(8) Cincinnati (18-6) vs. (9) Colorado (16-7)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) Wisconsin (17-7) vs. (12) First Four Game B Winner

(4) Butler (19-4) vs. (13)

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat

(6) Oklahoma (15-7) vs. (11) Belmont (18-5)

(3) Louisville (19-5) vs. (14)

Auburn Hills, MI - Thur/Sat

(7) UNLV (17-6) vs. (10) Missouri (17-6)

(2) Michigan State (19-4) vs. (15)

SOUTH REGIONAL (Arlington, TX - Fri/Sun)

Lexington, KY - Thur/Sat

(1) Miami (19-3) vs. (16)

(8) VCU (19-5) vs. (9) Iowa State (16-7)

San Jose, CA - Thur/Sat

(5) Georgetown 17-4) vs. (12) Louisiana Tech (21-3)

(4) Ohio State (17-6) vs. (13)

Kansas City, MO - Fri/Sun

(6) Notre Dame (19-5) vs. (11) Creighton (20-5)

(3) Kansas (19-4) vs. (14)

Salt Lake City, Utah - Thur/Sat

(7) Colorado State (17-4) vs. (10) Kentucky (17-6)

(2) Arizona (20-3) vs. (15)

Final Four: Midwest vs, West, East vs. South

First Four (Dayton, OH):

Game A: Wed. March 20: Wichita State (20-5) vs. Mississippi (18-5), Winner is Midwest #12 seed, plays Pittsburgh in Kansas City.

Game B: Tue. March 19: Villanova (14-9) vs. Baylor (14-8) - Winner is East #12 seed, plays Wisconsin in San Jose.

By conference:

Big East (8)

Big Ten (7)

Big 12 (6)

A-10 (5)

ACC (4)

MWC (4)

Pac-12 (4)

SEC (4)

MVC (3)

C-USA, WCC, OVC, Sun Belt, WAC (1 each)

Remaining Automatics: 17

Party Crashers/Additional At Large: 1

Compare my bracket to CBS Sports Bracketology and many others at [Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix.]

Remember to comment! If you think a team or teams that are out should be in or teams are in should be out, let me hear from you!
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 13, 2012 5:19 pm
 

Schmolik Bracket Analysis (2012)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Now it's the time where I analyze the actual NCAA bracket and tell you who I think will win in the NCAA Tournament.
Last year, I didn't do that well but show me anyone who did. Not one of the top seeds made the Final Four and the only people who had VCU going to the Final Four probably had some connections to the school. 

Normally, I start with Illinois's regional but Illinois is not in it this year. 

I will start in the South Regional, the first regional announced. 

Kentucky is the obvious favorite. John Calipari said at the end of the SEC semifinal game against Florida that he was worried about arrogance and that would lead to complacency. Maybe the loss to Vanderbilt will wake up the team that they are beatable and they will play at a higher level. We all know UK was virtually guaranteed the No. 1 overall seed so the game was kind of meaningless to them.

A big eye opener was UK is scheduled to meet last year's national championship Connecticut if the Cats and Huskies win their first games. This game (assuming it happens) may not be the best game of the "third" round but I think it will easily be the most watched. I give UConn the edge over an Iowa State team that hasn't been in the tournament since 2005. 

Speaking of experience, the next pod has Indiana, Wichita State, VCU, and New Mexico State. Indiana hasn't made the NCAA field since 2008. Wichita State's last was 2006. The experience edge here has to go to VCU and it looks to be the classic 12 over 5 upset. I am personally hoping VCU loses early so Illinois might have a chance at Shaka Smart if Brad Stevens turns down the job (Stevens is by far my first choice).

Another team I feel is beatable is Baylor. They did get to the Elite Eight in 2010 but they were the higher seed in each game. Last year, they didn't make the NCAA's. This year, they were just 1-4 vs. Kansas and Missouri. I probably would have taken Belmont (another No. 14 seed) to beat Baylor but South Dakota State is playing in its first ever NCAA Tournament. Look out for UNLV to possibly make the Sweet 16 (they have a Pac-12 team in its first game). I would also like to see Scott Drew leave Baylor for Illinois (again if Brad Stevens says no). 

We haven't seen Kentucky and Duke in the NCAA's since 1998 and I am hoping to see it again. I can imagine the Georgia Dome will be sold out if it happens. I think it will happen and I think Kentucky will win just like 1998 (as opposed to the thrilling 1992 Duke win).

South Regional Final Pick: Kentucky over Duke

We go to the West. 

Tom Izzo is as good as it comes when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. He's coached the Spartans to six NCAA Final Fours, including the 2000 national championship. This season, the Spartans are a No. 1 seed, Izzo's first since 2001. Izzo has previously been seeded No. 1 three times. Michigan State made the Final Four all three of those years.
People think Missouri is the biggest challenge. Missouri had a terrific season and won the Big 12 conference tournament this season. Frank Haith clearly did a great job after many people criticized him being selected as head coach. Still, the NCAA Tournament is a whole other beast. Would you rather play Missouri or Duke or Kansas? It's an easy choice. In fact, Charles Barkley thinks coaching is more important late in the tournament than seeding. Tell me who you think is the better coach, Haith or Billy Donovan? I think Missouri will suffer an early exit to the Gators. 

I think the bigger threats to the Spartans are the two Big East teams, Marquette and Louisville. Louisville won the Big East Tournament and the last team to win the Big East Tournament won it all. Michigan State drew a tough Memphis team (who I had as a No. 6 seed) in the third round. It should be a tough road but it's hard for me to pick against Izzo.

West Regional Final Pick: Michigan State over Marquette

I'll next head East.

Of course the big story is that Syracuse's Fab Melo has been declared ineligible. That changes a lot. I wouldn't count out Syracuse and I think Syracuse should be fine through the first weekend but I am picking Wisconsin to pull the Sweet 16 upset. As for Vanderbilt, remember that they choked the last two seasons in their first NCAA game (both years seeded No. 5 or higher). Also, will they suffer a letdown after beating Kentucky? Harvard is screaming pick me over Vanderbilt. I wouldn't be surprised if Harvard makes the Sweet 16 like Cornell did in 2010 (in fact, Cornell won its second game against Wisconsin, Harvard's likely second opponent).

Ohio State has a likely matchup against either West Virginia or a scary Gonzaga team that loves the underdog role. Some people have said West Virginia should have a home crowd advantage in Pittsburgh. But Pitt fans hate West Virginia with a passion (it's very intense), so I wouldn't be surprised if they cheer against the Mounts. Kentucky looks to be in a similar situation in Louisville but the rivalry is not as bitter and plenty of Kentucky fans should make the trip. 

The other wild card is Florida State. They made the Sweet 16 last year as a No. 10 seed. This year's team only beat Duke and North Carolina twice each, including back to back wins over the two to win the ACC Tournament. I think the actual final will be the semifinal between the Buckeyes and Seminoles and in an upset, I think Florida State will make the Final Four.

East Regional Final Pick: Florida State over Wisconsin

Finally, we have the Midwest Regional.

I figured either Kansas or Missouri would get to play in St. Louis. It was Kansas and they look to have a huge home court advantage against North Carolina. On the other hand, Kansas has had a history of underachieving (outside of 2008 of course). They lost to Northern Iowa in 2010 in the second round (despite being the No. 1 overall seed) and lost to VCU last year in the regional final. I give the St. Mary's/Purdue winner a good shot at beating Kansas in the third round. I'm sure Roy Williams is not looking forward to playing his old school but I'm sure many fans are. Both the Midwest and South Regional finals are scheduled for Sunday. Could we get UNC/Kansas and Kentucky/Duke in the same day? It will be a terrific Sunday to me if we do. 

No. 3 seed Georgetown lost its last two opening round games, to Ohio in 2010 (as a No. 3 seed) and to VCU last year. Belmont looks to be the team that could upset the Hoyas. They were in the tournament last season and four times since 2006 and are looking for their first win. I am looking forward to Temple vs. Michigan in the third round but also watch out for Ohio (No. 13 seed and Michigan's first opponent). NC State is another sleeper at No. 11. 

Midwest Regional Final Pick: North Carolina over Kansas

Final Four: Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State, Florida State

I think Florida State will be the happy to go lucky team and North Carolina should be looking for revenge. While the Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament, they lost Branden Dawson for the season. I'm also wondering about John Henson's wrist. That being said, I will go with the same choice.

Championship Pick: Kentucky over North Carolina
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 13, 2012 3:58 pm
 

Comparing Brackets (2012)

Hello, college basketball fans!
I have previously listed what I think about the NCAA Selection Committee bracket to my own bracket. Now I compare my bracket and the NCAA bracket to the consensus of bracketologists all across the web (the Bracket Matrix).

As always, I'd like to thank Bracket Project and Brian for putting this all together. It's a tough job to do but I and I hope many of you appreciate the fine work he does.

This was the first year I recall there were over 100 brackets listed (this year 115). The brackets are ranked based on whether or not they match the overall NCAA's brackets. Of course, this assumes the Selection Committee is "right". I tend to think the combined votes of 115 independently made brackets is more accurate than a committee of ten people. I can say myself that Team X should have gotten a bid over Team Y, but that's one man's opinion. But if many brackets had Team X and the NCAA didn't, then of course you can say Team X got screwed. 

In comparing the Bracket Matrix bracket to the NCAA's, they differed on only one team. Last year, the matrix and the NCAA's differed on three teams. On the other hand, the team that the NCAA chose was Iona. Out of 115 brackets, only seven (7) chose Iona (about 6% of brackets). They in fact are the most questionable NCAA selection since 2006. I am personally hoping BYU pounds Iona in the game tonight to show how stupid the NCAA was in picking them.

Who should have been chosen in Iona's place? I personally disagree, but the team with the biggest beef would be Seton Hall. Seton Hall was chosen on 65 brackets (56.5%). Drexel (who I did have in my Schmolik 64) was chosen on 52 brackets (45.2%). Marshall was the next most chosen among teams that the NCAA rejected. I was torn between BYU and Marshall and Drexel as the one to leave out if St. Bonaventure won (which they did). BYU was chosen by 96 brackets (83.4%). Marshall was chosen by only 16 (13.9%). Still, Marshall was chosen by more than twice as many brackets as Iona. In fact, six teams that didn't make the NCAA field received more votes than Iona. One was Washington, but the Matrix brackets didn't particularly like the Huskies either. Only eight brackets thought Washington belonged in the field. 

As for seeds, the NCAA got all four #1 seeds and all four #2 seeds right. There was some disagreement between the #3's and #4's. The Bracket Matrix thought Michigan and Louisville were 3's and Georgetown and Florida State were 4's while the NCAA's thought backwards. However, the NCAA and Bracket Matrix agreed on all sixteen of the "Sweet 16" seeds.
I think the Selection Committee did a great job with seeding overall. They only seeded four teams more than two places away from the Bracket Matrix seeds (Memphis, Harvard, and BYU were underseeded and Colorado was overseeded). Everyone else was either exact or within one seed line. 

Actually, if you go by the NCAA's actual 1-68 list (which was available for the first time ever), BYU was ranked 48th. So they essentially should have been a 12 seed, not a 14. I believe the NCAA wanted to send the BYU/Iona winner to a Thursday site (since BYU prefers not to play on Sundays) but all of the 12 and 13 seeds were scheduled for either a western site (Albuquerque or Portland) that would be way too far away from Dayton or Nashville (which plays on Sunday).  So they had to seed the winner as a 14 (I myself was surprised to see the two teams on the 14 line) since . Maybe an 11 seed would have made more sense as it would have been just one seed difference.

I think the committee did a great job except for Iona, one of their biggest blunders ever. 

As for those who believe the NCAA is right and a bracketologist is good if they agree with the committee, I ranked as one of the best brackets this year, based on the Paymon score. I left out two NCAA selections (Iona and BYU). But my score was higher than CBS Sports' Jerry Palm(329), ESPN's Joe Lunardi, and the brackets of Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, Rivals, and Yahoo Sports (people who assumedly are paid to do this for a living). I don't usually toot my own horn but that's because I rarely get a chance to.  
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 11, 2012 9:05 pm
 

Schmolik's Comments on 2012 NCAA Field

Hello, college basketball fans!

Being from the Philadelphia area, I am upset that Drexel did not receive an NCAA bid although I am not surprised. Their last RPI (according to CBS Sports.com) was 66. Their RPI and SOS numbers were terrible. The head of the committee had mentioned non conference schedule as a reason why they were not chosen for the NCAA field. Had it not been for all of the noise that Virginia Commonwealth made in last year's tournament, Drexel probably doesn't even get considered. The CAA was very far down (15th ranked conference by RPI) this year.

In my final Schmolik 64, the NCAA and I agreed with 35 of 37 possible at large teams. The two teams the NCAA did not have were in my "First Four" and the  two I didn't have were in the NCAA's First Four so we were pretty close.

Brigham Young was the team that lost a bid in the Schmolik 64 because of St. Bonaventure. I have no idea who the NCAA would have chosen if St. Bonaventure didn't win. I think Drexel fans really dislike St. Bonaventure right now. 

The other team I had in the NCAA rejected was Marshall. I thought of them as this year's VCU. They were a middle of the pack team from a middle of the pack conference. They pulled an upset in its conference semifinals and advanced to the conference final. SI/CBS Sports's Seth Davis actually listed Marshall as a team that may have surprised us with getting in
I would like to dispute Jeff Hathaway (head of this year's Selection Committee). He praised Iona's non conference schedule. CBS Sports has them at 43rd (Drexel's was 223rd). However, the same Marshall team's non conference schedule was ranked 9th. In fact, they beat Iona head to head. Marshall had four top 50 wins compared to none for Iona (and one for Drexel). Iona also had two losses to teams with an RPI below 200. If you want to select Iona over Drexel because of non conference schedule (or RPI, which Iona's is 41 to 66), I will accept that. But Marshall's non conference schedule was ranked way ahead of Iona's and is either close or superior to Iona's in every other category. You can argue Marshall had more of a beef with Iona getting in over them than Drexel did.

As for seeding, we agreed on all four #1 seeds (I think this year was pretty obvious though). In fact, we agreed on all four #2 seeds. I don't think we've ever agreed with all four #1 AND all four #2 seeds in a given year. In fact, we also matched all Sweet 16 seeds. I had Michigan as a #3 seed instead of Florida State. I had Michigan above Marquette and Georgetown because of their shared Big Ten regular season title with Michigan State (#1 seed) and Ohio State (#2). 

I considered moving Florida State to the 3 seed line as well but thought they had fewer top 25/50 wins than Michigan and the Big East schools (along with Louisville). I will say that Florida State did the unheard of this year. They beat Duke and North Carolina back to back to win their first ACC Tournament. Florida State may have caught UNC without John Henson but they did beat the Tar Heels badly during the regular season. They also beat Duke at Duke. So this season they beat both North Carolina and Duke TWICE! Sometimes it's quality over quantity. Four wins over UNC and Duke sound a lot better than ten top 25 wins over teams like Southern Mississippi.

Another team that surprised me with their seed was VCU. They were seeded "higher" last season when many people thought they didn't deserve to be in the field. Their RPI this year was better and they won a lot more games this year. So this year they are a 12 seed. Too bad they couldn't have drawn Vanderbilt, who lost their first game the last two seasons as a 4 seed and a 5 seed.
Other than VCU, I'm not sure if there was any other team that I dropped my jaw about (seeing BYU and Iona playing for a 14 seed surprised me as well). So I think they did a great job outside of Iona.

I wasn't able to see the bracket special that ranked all the teams (I taped it) but Hathaway did rank the #2 seeds (Kansas, Duke, Ohio State, Missouri last). I had Missouri at the top of the list but if Missouri as a #2 was paired with the weakest #1 seed, is that really bad? They said geography was the big determining factor with placing the 2 seeds (which explained Duke/UK in the regional final). Another thing to come out of this: there aren't enough good teams out west, especially this year with the Pac-12. Maybe they should have all four regional sites in the Eastern and Central time zones one year until the Pac-12 comes back.

Speaking of the Pac-12, this year proves how bad things got. The regular season champ, Washington, did not get an at large bid. Then again, Washington lost four Pac-12 games (including a home game to California Berkeley, who did gain an at large bid over Washington), lost its first round Pac-12 tournament game to Oregon State, and has an RPI of 70. I think the NCAA has been biased towards the Pac-12 in recent years (several undeserving teams have gotten bids) so I like the fact that they finally gave the Pac-12 the respect they deserve.

I looked at this year's regional top four seeds and to be honest I couldn't see one region much weaker or much stronger than the other at the top of my head. Kentucky and Duke are the top two South seeds and that of course brings back memories of 1992. That is also a credit to the Selection Committee. 

Finally, no to Northwestern. I feel sorry for them but I don't really like Northwestern as a school and I'm not sure the students at Northwestern really care if they got in or not. Why is a snotty rich private school in the same conference as all other large state universities? They are historically one of the worst teams in college football and college basketball in the Big Ten and are basically taking 1/12 of the Big Ten profits while contributing little. I think the Big Ten would be much better off if Northwestern wasn't in it and they were forming the Big Ten today, Northwestern wouldn't be in it.

So overall I think the committee did a good job. I think they are like the 2010 committee. They left out a school I have ties to and that hurt (in 2010 it was my alma mater Illinois) but they did very well in my opinion.

As soon as Brian of Bracket Project updates the Bracket Matrix, I may comment some more.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 11, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2012 5:38 pm
 

Final 2012 Schmolik 64!

Hello, college basketball fans!

This is the final Schmolik 64 for 2012!

Dates:
First Four: Tue. March 13 and Wed. March 14 (Dayton, OH)
Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 15-17, Fri/Sun March 16-18
Regionals: Thur/Sat March 22-24, Fri/Sun March 23-25

Final Four Semifinals: South Champion vs. West Champion, East Champion vs. Midwest Champion

First Four Games listed at the end (just to keep you in suspense!)

South Regional (Atlanta, GA: Fri/Sun)

Louisville, KY: Thur/Sat
(1) Kentucky (32-2) vs. (16) First Four
(8) Purdue (21-12) vs. (9) St. Louis (24-7)

Nashville, TN: Fri/Sun

(5) Murray State * (27-1) vs. (12) First Four
(4) Louisville * (26-9) vs. (13) Ohio * (26-7)

Albuquerque, NM: Thur/Sat

(6) UNLV (24-8) vs. (11) Long Beach State * (23-8)
(3) Baylor (26-7) vs. (14) Montana * (23-6)

Pittsburgh, PA: Thur/Sat 
(7) Creighton * (28-5) vs. (10) Connecticut (20-13)
(2) Ohio State (27-7) vs. (15) LIU-Brooklyn * (25-8)

WEST REGIONAL (Phoenix, AZ: Thur/Sat)

Columbus, OH: Fri/Sun 
(1) Michigan State * (26-7) vs. (16) UNC Asheville * (21-9)
(8) Notre Dame (22-11) vs. (9) Alabama (21-11)

Portland, OR: Thur/Sat
(5) New Mexico * (26-6) vs. (12) Texas (20-13)
(4) Florida State * (24-9) vs. (13) Colorado * (21-11)

Nashville, TN: Fri/Sun

(6) Wichita State (26-5) vs. (11) NC State (22-12)
(3) Georgetown (22-8) vs. (14) St. Bonaventure (20-11)

Omaha, NE: Fri/Sun

(7) St. Mary's * (25-5) vs. (10) Colorado State (19-11)
(2) Kansas (27-6) vs. (15) Loyola Maryland * (24-8)

EAST REGIONAL (Boston, MA Thur/Sat)

Pittsburgh, PA: Thur/Sat
(1) Syracuse (31-2) vs. (16) Lamar * (21-11)
(8) Gonzaga (25-6) vs. (9) Kansas State (21-10)

Albuquerque, NM: Thur/Sat
(5) Temple (24-7) vs. (12) First Four
(4) Indiana (25-8) vs. (13) South Dakota State * (25-7)

Columbus, OH: Fri/Sun
(6) Cincinnati (24-10) vs. (11) California (24-9)
(3) Michigan (23-9) vs. (14) Belmont * (26-7)

Greensboro, NC: Fri/Sun
(7) Florida (23-10) vs. (10) Virginia Commonwealth * (28-6)
(2) Duke (27-6) vs. (15) Lehigh * (25-7)

MIDWEST REGIONAL (St. Louis, MO: Fri/Sun)

Greensboro, NC: Fri/Sun
(1) North Carolina (29-5) vs. (16) First Four
(8) Iowa State (22-10) vs. (9) Southern Miss (23-8)

Portland, OR: Thur/Sat
(5) Vanderbilt * (24-10) vs. (12) West Virginia (19-13)
(4) Wisconsin (24-9) vs. (13) New Mexico State * (24-9)

Louisville, KY: Fri/Sun
(6) Memphis * (26-8) vs. (11) Harvard * (25-4)
(3) Marquette (25-7) vs. (14) Davidson * (24-7)

Omaha, NE: Fri/Sun
(7) San Diego State (24-7) vs. (10) Xavier (21-11)
(2) Missouri * (30-4) vs. (15) Detroit * (20-13)

First Four (All Games are in Dayton, OH):
Tuesday, March 13:
Game 1: Mississippi Valley State * (21-12) vs. Western Kentucky * (15-18). Winner is South Regional No. 16 seed (plays No. 1 Kentucky in Louisville, KY)
Game 2: South Florida (19-13) vs. Virginia (22-9). Winner is East Regional No. 12 seed (plays No. 5 Temple in Albuquerque, NM)

Wednesday, March 14:
Game 1: Vermont (23-11) vs. Norfolk State * (24-8). Winner is Midwest Regional No. 16 seed (plays No. 1 North Carolina in Greensboro, NC)
Game 2: Drexel (27-6) vs. Marshall (20-13). Winner is South Regional No. 12 seed (plays No. 5 Murray State in Nashville, TN

By conference: Big East (9), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (6), ACC (5), SEC (4), A-10 (4), MWC (4), C-USA (3), Colonial, MVC, Pac-12, WCC (2 each), One Bid (19)

Lowest RPI for an at large (according to CBSSports RPI): Drexel (66), Other RPI above 50: West Virginia (56), South Florida (53), Virginia (52)

Highest RPI left out: Iona (41), BYU (47), Oral Roberts (51), Central Florida (54), Akron (55), Middle Tennessee (57), Mississippi (60).

Others left out: Miami (62), Northwestern (63), Oregon (64), Seton Hall (68), St. Joseph's (69), Washington (70), Mississippi State (74), Tennessee (85)

Compare my bracket to CBS Sports Bracketology and many others at Bracket Project's Bracket Matrix.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the NCAA Tournament!

Schmolik
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:19 pm
 

Brad Stevens to Illinois!

Hello college basketball (especially Illinois) fans!

Off the Schmolik 64/bubble discussion, my alma mater Illinois is looking for a men's basketball head coach. I would like to push for Butler's Brad Stevens to be offered the job. I will not be satisfied unless he is offered the job. He may not accept the job and prefer to stay at Butler but I think we have to try to make him an offer.

His team will not make the NCAA Tournament this year and we have to convince him that Illinois and the Big Ten has a higher potential than Butler and the Horizon League which he has to either dominate the regular season or win the Horizon League Tournament. Plus, Illinois is far and away the number one basketball program in the state of Illinois, home to basketball hotbed Chicago. At Butler, Indiana, Notre Dame, and Purdue are competition for athletes in state.

Brad Stevens to Illinois!

https://www.facebook.com/bradsteven
stoillinois
Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com