Category:NCAAB
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:07 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 10:53 pm
 

Schmolik 64 Update (3/7/12 AM)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the latest Schmolik 64 update. 

Since several leagues have crowned champions since my last bracket, I updated it. For small conferences which have yet to crown their champion, I will list the league first, followed by my projected champion.

Here's the bracket update for March 7, 2012.

Dates:Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 15-17, Fri/Sun March 16-18
Regionals: Thur/Sat March 22-24, Fri/Sun March 23-25

SOUTH REGIONAL (Atlanta, GA -- Fri/Sun)


Louisville, KY -- Thur/Sat
(1) Kentucky (30-1) vs. (16) SWAC--Mississippi Valley State (18-12)/ Western Kentucky (15-18) 
(8) Purdue (20-11) vs. (9) Cincinnati (22-9) 

Portland, OR -- Thur/Sat
(5) UNLV (25-7) vs. (12) West Virginia (19-12)
(4) Florida State (21-9) vs. (13) Texas (19-12) /  Xavier (19-11) 

Nashville, TN -- Fri/Sun
(6) Creighton (28-5) vs. (11) Mississippi State (21-10)
(3) Georgetown (22-7) vs. (14) South Dakota State (25-7)

Columbus, OH -- Fri/Sun
(7) Memphis (23-8) vs. (10) Colorado State (18-10) 
(2) Michigan State (23-7) vs. (15) Detroit (20-13)

WEST REGIONAL (Phoenix, AZ -- Thur/Sat)


Greensboro, NC -- Fri/Sun
(1) North Carolina (27-4) vs. (16) MEAC--Savannah State (19-10)/America East--Stony Brook (21-8)
(8) Iowa State (22-9) vs. (9) Virginia Commonwealth (28-6)

Nashville, TN -- Thur/Sat
(5) Murray State (27-1) vs. (12) Drexel (27-5)/South Florida (18-12)
(4) Wisconsin (23-8) vs. (13) Davidson (23-7)

Louisville, KY -- Thur/Sat
(6) St. Mary's (25-5)  vs. (11) Connecticut (18-12) 
(3) Michigan (22-8) vs. (14) Patriot--Bucknell (23-8)

Omaha, NE -- Fri/Sun
(7) San Diego State (22-6)   vs. (10) Virginia (22-8)
(2) Missouri (27-4) vs. (15) Big Sky--Montana (21-6)

EAST REGIONAL (Boston, MA -- Thur/Sat)


Pittsburgh, PA -- Thur/Sat
(1) Syracuse (30-1) vs. (16) UNC-Asheville (21-9) 
(8) New Mexico (23-6)  vs. (9) Kansas State (21-9)

Albuquerque, NM -- Thur/Sat
(5) Wichita State (26-5) vs. (12) BYU (23-8)
(4) Indiana (24-7) vs. (13) Big West--Long Beach State (22-8)

Albuquerque, NM -- Thur/Sat
(6) Florida (22-9)   vs. (11) California (23-8)
(3) Baylor (24-6) vs. (14) WAC--Nevada (23-5)

Greensboro, NC -- Fri/Sun
(7) Louisville (22-9) vs. (10) St. Louis (24-6)
(2) Duke (26-5) vs. (15) MAAC--Loyola, MD (23-8)

MIDWEST REGIONAL (St. Louis -- Fri/Sun)


Omaha, NE -- Fri/Sun
(1) Kansas (26-5) vs. (16) UT-Arlington (22-7)
(8) Alabama (20-10) vs. (9) Southern Miss (22-7)

Portland, OR -- Thur/Sat
(5) Notre Dame (21-10) vs. (12) Washington (21-9)
(4) Temple (24-6) vs. (13) Belmont (26-7)

Columbus, OH -- Fri/Sun
(6) Vanderbilt (21-10)  vs. (11) Northwestern (18-12) 
(3) Marquette (25-6) vs. (14) MAC--Akron (20-10)

Pittsburgh, PA -- Thur/Sat
(7) Gonzaga (25-6) vs. (10) Harvard (25-4)
(2) Ohio State (25-6) vs. (15) Northeast-LIU-Brooklyn (24-8)

Bids by Conference
Big East: 9
Big Ten: 7
Big 12: 6
SEC: 5
ACC: 4
MWC: 4
A-10: 3
WCC: 3
MVC, C-USA, Pac-12, CAA: 2 each
One bid: 19

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!

Come back Selection Sunday for my final 2012 Schmolik 64!
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:09 pm
 

2012 Schmolik 64 Update (3/5/12)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the latest Schmolik 64 update.

There is less than one week until Selection Sunday and several leagues have now have crowned their tournament champions.

This is the first bracket this season where I filled in all of the seeds in the bracket. For small conferences which have yet to crown their champion, I will list the league first, followed by my projected champion.

Here's the bracket update for March 5, 2012.

Dates:Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 15-17, Fri/Sun March 16-18
Regionals: Thur/Sat March 22-24, Fri/Sun March 23-25

SOUTH REGIONAL (Atlanta, GA -- Fri/Sun)


Louisville, KY -- Thur/Sat

(1) Kentucky (30-1) vs. (16) SWAC--Mississippi Valley State (18-12)/ Southland--UT-Arlington (23-7)
(8) Purdue (20-11) vs. (9) Kansas State (21-9)

Portland, OR -- Thur/Sat
(5) UNLV (25-7) vs. (12) West Virginia (19-12)
(4) Florida State (21-9) vs. (13) Big West--Long Beach State (22-8)

Nashville, TN -- Fri/Sun

(6) Creighton (28-5) vs. (11) Mississippi State (21-10)
(3) Georgetown (22-7) vs. (14) Horizon--Valparaiso (22-10)

Columbus, OH -- Fri/Sun

(7) Memphis (23-8) vs. (10) St. Louis (24-6)
(2) Michigan State (23-7) vs. (15) Sun Belt--Denver (22-8)

WEST REGIONAL (Phoenix, AZ -- Thur/Sat)


Greensboro, NC -- Fri/Sun

(1) North Carolina (27-4) vs. (16) MEAC--Savannah State (19-10)/America East--Stony Brook (21-8)
(8) Iowa State (22-9) vs. (9) Cincinnati (22-9)

Albuquerque, NM -- Thur/Sat

(5) Wichita State (26-5) vs. (12) BYU (23-8)
(4) Indiana (24-7) vs. (13) South Florida (18-12)/ Xavier (19-11)

Louisville, KY -- Thur/Sat

(6) Vanderbilt (21-10) vs. (11) California (23-8)
(3) Michigan (22-8) vs. (14) Southern--Davidson (23-7)

Omaha, NE -- Fri/Sun

(7) Louisville (22-9) vs. (10) Colorado State (18-10)
(2) Missouri (27-4) vs. (15) Big Sky--Montana (21-6)

EAST REGIONAL (Boston, MA -- Thur/Sat)


Pittsburgh, PA -- Thur/Sat

(1) Syracuse (30-1) vs. (16) MAAC--Loyola, MD (23-8)
(8) Alabama (20-10) vs. (9) Southern Miss (22-7)

Nashville, TN -- Thur/Sat

(5) Murray State (27-1) vs. (12) CAA2--Drexel (27-5)/Texas (19-12)
(4) Wisconsin (23-8) vs. (13) Summit--Oral Roberts (27-5)

Albuquerque, NM -- Thur/Sat

(6) WCC1--Gonzaga (25-5) vs. (11) Connecticut (18-12)
(3) Baylor (24-6) vs. (14) WAC--Nevada (23-5)

Greensboro, NC -- Fri/Sun

(7) San Diego State (22-6) vs. (10) Northwestern (18-12)
(2) Duke (26-5) vs. (15) Patriot--Bucknell (23-8)

MIDWEST REGIONAL (St. Louis -- Fri/Sun)


Omaha, NE -- Fri/Sun

(1) Kansas (26-5) vs. (16) UNC-Asheville (21-9)
(8) New Mexico (23-6) vs. (9) Virginia (22-8)

Portland, OR -- Thur/Sat

(5) Notre Dame (21-10) vs. (12) Washington (21-9)
(4) Temple (24-6) vs. (13) Belmont (26-7)

Columbus, OH -- Fri/Sun

(6) Florida (22-9) vs. (11) CAA1--Virginia Commonwealth (27-6)
(3) Marquette (25-6) vs. (14) MAC--Akron (20-10)

Pittsburgh, PA -- Thur/Sat

(7) WCC2--St. Mary's (24-5) vs. (10) Ivy--Harvard (25-4)
(2) Ohio State (25-6) vs. (15) Northeast-LIU-Brooklyn (24-8)

For the WCC and CAA, the winner of the championship game gets the higher seed.

Bids by Conference
Big East: 9
Big Ten: 7
Big 12: 6
SEC: 5
ACC: 4
MWC: 4
A-10: 3
WCC: 3
MVC, C-USA, Pac-12, CAA: 2 each
One bid: 19

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!

Come back Selection Sunday for my final 2012 Schmolik 64!
Posted on: February 27, 2012 7:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 7:46 pm
 

2012 Schmolik 64 Update (2/27/12)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the second update for the 2012 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. 26, 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).

Here's the bracket update for Feb. 27, 2012.

Dates:
Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 15-17, Fri/Sun March 16-18
Regionals: Thur/Sat March 22-24, Fri/Sun March 23-25

SOUTH REGIONAL (Atlanta, GA - Fri/Sun)

Louisville, KY - Thur/Sat

(1) Kentucky (28-1) vs (16)
(8) Kansas State (19-9) vs. (9) Memphis (21-8)

Nashville, TN - Fri/Sun

(5) Florida State (19-9) vs. (12) First Four: Texas (18-11) vs. Seton Hall (19-10)
(4) Wisconsin (21-8) vs. (13)

Albuquerque, NM - Thur/Sat

(6) Gonzaga (23-5) vs. (11) Washington (20-8)
(3) Baylor (23-5) vs. (14)

Columbus, OH - Fri/Sun

(7) Creighton (25-5) vs. (10) St. Louis (21-6)
(2) Marquette (24-5) vs. (15)

WEST REGIONAL (Phoenix, AZ - Thur/Sat)

Columbus, OH - Fri/Sun

(1) Michigan State (23-5) vs. (16)
(8) Alabama (19-9) vs. (9) Southern Miss (21-6)

Albuquerque, NM - Thur/Sat

(5) Notre Dame (20-9) vs. (12) First Four: BYU (22-7) vs. Miami (17-10)
(4) UNLV (22-6) vs. (13)

Nashville, TN - Fri/Sun

(6) St. Mary's (23-5) vs. (11) Colorado State (16-10)
(3) Georgetown (20-6) vs. (14)

Greensboro, NC - Fri/Sun

(7) Vanderbilt (20-9) vs. (10) Northwestern (17-11)
(2) North Carolina (25-4) vs. (15)

EAST REGIONAL (Boston, MA Thur/Sat)

Pittsburgh, PA - Thur/Sat

(1) Syracuse (29-1) vs. (16)
(8) Purdue (19-10) vs. (9) Virginia (21-7)

Portland, OR - Thur/Sat

(5) Florida (22-7) vs. (12) Long Beach State (19-7)
(4) Temple (22-6) vs. (13)

Pittsburgh, PA - Thur/Sat

(6) Louisville (22-7) vs. (11) Harvard (23-4)
(3) Ohio State (23-6) vs. (14)

Omaha, NE - Fri/Sun

(7) New Mexico (21-6) vs. (10) California (23-7)
(2) Missouri (25-4) vs. (15)

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

Greensboro, NC - Fri/Sun

(1) Duke (25-4) vs. (16)
(8) Iowa State (21-8) vs. (9) Connecticut (17-11)

Portland, OR - Thur/Sat

(5) Wichita State (25-4) vs. (12) Drexel (25-5)
(4) Indiana (22-7) vs. (13)

Louisville, KY - Thur/Sat

(6) Murray State (25-1) vs. (11) Xavier (18-10)
(3) Michigan (20-8) vs. (14)

Omaha, NE - Fri/Sun

(7) San Diego State (20-6) vs (10) South Florida (17-11)
(2) Kansas (24-5) vs. (15)

Bids By Conference

Big East: 8
Big Ten: 7
Big 12: 6
ACC: 5
SEC, MWC: 4 each
A-10, WCC: 3 each
C-USA, MVC, Pac-12: 2 each
Big W, Colonial, Ivy, OVC: 1 each

One bid: 16
Party Crashers/Additional At Large: 2

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 20, 2012 7:27 pm
 

2012 Schmolik 64 Update (2/20/12)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to the first update for the 2012 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. 19, 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).

Until the final bracket, the No. 1 seeds will not be given ranks (although geographic placement will be considered) and no semifinal matchups will be provided.

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.

Here's the bracket update for Feb. 20, 2012.

Dates:

Opening Weekend: Thur/Sat March 15-17, Fri/Sun March 16-18

Regionals: Thur/Sat March 22-24, Fri/Sun March 23-25

SOUTH REGIONAL (Atlanta, GA - Fri/Sun)

Louisville, KY - Thur/Sat

(1) Kentucky (26-1) vs. (16)

(8) St. Louis (21-5) vs. (9) Connecticut (16-10)

Portland, OR - Thur/Sat

(5) New Mexico (21-4) vs. (12) Long Beach State (17-7)

(4) Wisconsin (20-7) vs. (13)

Albuquerque, NM - Thur/Sat

(6) Louisville (21-6) vs. (11) California (22-6)

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

Greensboro, NC - Fri/Sun

(7) Gonzaga (21-5) vs. (10) Northwestern (16-10)

(2) Duke (23-4) vs. (15)

WEST REGIONAL (Phoenix, AZ - Thur/Sat)

Columbus, OH - Fri/Sun

(1) Michigan State (21-5) vs. (16)

(8) Harvard (22-3) vs. (9) Kansas State (18-8)

Portland, OR - Thur/Sat

(5) St. Mary's (21-5) vs. (12) First Four: Alabama (17-9) vs. Seton Hall (18-9)

(4) Florida State (19-7) vs. (13)

Pittsburgh, PA - Thur/Sat

(6) Southern Miss (20-5) vs. (11) Mississippi State (19-8)

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

Omaha, NE - Fri/Sun

(7) Wichita State (23-4) vs. (10) Miami (16-9)

(2) Kansas (22-5) vs. (15)

EAST REGIONAL (Boston, MA - Thur/Sat)

Pittsburgh, PA - Thur/Sat

(1) Syracuse (27-1) vs. (16)

(8) Iowa State (19-8) vs. (9) Creighton (23-5)

Albuquerque, NM - Thur/Sat

(5) Indiana (20-7) vs. (12) Middle Tennessee (23-4)

(4) UNLV (20-6) vs. (13)

Nashville, TN - Fri/Sun

(6) Notre Dame (19-8) vs. (11) Xavier (17-9)

(3) Michigan (19-7) vs. (14)

Greensboro, NC - Fri/Sun

(7) Vanderbilt (19-8) vs. (10) Memphis (19-8)

(2) North Carolina (23-4) vs. (15)

MIDWEST REGIONAL (St. Louis - Fri/Sun)

Omaha, NE - Fri/Sun

(1) Missouri (25-2) vs. (16)

(8) Virginia (20-6) vs. (9) Purdue (17-10)

Nashville, TN - Fri/Sun

(5) Temple (21-5) vs. (12) First Four: Colorado State (15-9) vs. South Florida (16-10)

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

Columbus, OH - Fri/Sun

(6) Murray State (23-1) vs. (11) NC State (18-9)

(3) Marquette (22-5) vs. (14)

Louisville, KY - Thur/Sat

(7) San Diego State (18-6) vs. (10) Texas (17-10)

(2) Ohio State (22-5) vs. (15)

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

By conference:

Big East (8)

Big Ten (7)

ACC (6)

Big 12 (6)

SEC (5)

MWC (4)

A-10 (3)

C-USA, MVC, WCC (2 each)

Big W, Ivy, OVC, Pac-12, Sun Belt (1 each)

Remaining Automatics: 16

Party Crashers/Additional At Large: 2

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 vice versa, let me hear from you!

Posted on: September 16, 2011 6:50 pm
 

Schmolik 14 College Conference Realignment

Hello college football/basketball fans!

This is a proposal for realigning conferences based partially on the projected moves of Texas A&M to the SEC and the Oklahoma schools to the Pac-"12".

Pac-12: Add Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
SEC: Add Texas A&M and West Virginia
Big 12: Add Pittsburgh and Notre Dame
ACC: Add Syracuse and Connecticut

All of the remaining Big 12 and Big East schools merge into a new "Big Mess" conference.

South: Baylor, Central Florida, Houston, South Florida, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech
North: Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri, Rutgers

For a more detailed look: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/
852790-college-conference-realignme
nt-schmolik-14-proposal
Posted on: March 15, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 5:34 pm
 

2011 Schmolik Bracket Analysis

Hello, college basketball fans!

Now there are two annual traditions every March in terms of the NCAA Tournament.

First I post my bracket before the tournament as to who I think and/or deserve to make the NCAA Tournament.

My second annual tradition is breaking down the actual bracket and picking who will win. I like to call it "Schmolik Bracket Analysis"! 

SOUTHWEST REGIONAL

An annual tradition if mine during Schmolik Bracket Analysis is to begin with the regional my alma mater and beloved Illinois Fighting Illini are in (assuming they are in). This year, that is the Southwest Regional.

The season for Illinois began with high expectations and a big win over North Carolina but Illinois slumped. After not being in the tournament last year, it's great just to be in the tournament. Illinois will try to win its first game since 2006.

They will face a familiar face in UNLV coach Lon Kruger. Younger Illini fans don't remember but Kruger was Illinois's coach before he left for the NBA, failed (just like John Calipari and Rick Pitino) and landed at UNLV. If Illinois wins, they will play another former Illini coach in Bill Self (assuming Kansas doesn't become the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16).

Recently, Illinois hasn't beaten anyone really good (Iowa and Indiana don't count). I would rather play UNLV than some Big East team (we had an 11 out of 68 chance in drawing one so we got lucky!) but I just don't have much faith in them.

Besides, even if Illinois wins, how much of a chance do we have against Kansas anyway? Then again, if I had to play one of the No. 1 seeds in the "third" round, I would want Kansas. Kansas as a No. 1 seed has lost in the "second" round several times, including last season.

Speaking of Kansas, before Self was Illinois's coach he was Tulsa's coach (I really am old!) So it is a homecoming of sorts for Self in the "second and third" round games. Now Self has not fared too well in the state of Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament. The last two times Kansas played in Oklahoma were 2005 (1st round loss to No. 14 seed Bucknell) and last year (2nd round loss to No. 9 Northern Iowa). But those two games were in Oklahoma City, not Tulsa.

Vanderbilt is trying to buck a recent trend. They lost their last two NCAA Tournament games as No. 4 seeds to No. 13's. This year, Vanderbilt plays Atlantic 10 champion Richmond, who I think is underseeded as a No. 12. If you are looking for a 5-12 upset to pick, I think this is a good one. 

In the bottom half of the Southwest, we have my favorite nickname in recent memory, the St. Peter's Peacocks! When's the last time there were Peacocks in the NCAA's? They are catching Purdue at a good time with Purdue having lost their last two games but I hope Purdue shows up and defends the Big Ten Conference honor. The last thing I want is Purdue losing their first game (actually the worst would be Ohio State losing their first game!)

This year introduces "play in" games for at large teams. We know the chances of a No. 16 play in game winner beating a No. 1 seed is slim and none. But a No. 11 seed beating a No. 6 is not out of the realm of possibility.

Will the play in game tire out the winner? Does No. 6 seed Georgetown have an advantage or a disadvantage over the other No. 6 seeds? This is another reason I hate the 68 team format. The play in game among No. 16 seeds doesn't really affect the tournament that much but this could disturb the competitive balance in the NCAA's one way or the other.

This season, I don't think either USC or VCU belongs in the Tournament so I hope Georgetown destroys whoever they play and redeem themselves for last year's debacle vs. Ohio. Georgetown's Chris Wright has been cleared to play. The Hoyas certainly didn't play well in his absence. If Georgetown plays like they did earlier this season, Purdue (and the rest of the bottom half of the bracket) are in trouble.

In the NCAA Tournament this year, a lot of eyes will be on the Big East. Were their 11 bids deserved (I think they were regardless of the outcome)? But will all that competition during the regular season and at Madison Square Garden help the schools in the tournament?

Meanwhile, you have Kansas playing in the Big 12 Conference. I think they are overrated. They've only beaten one team that is top four seed in the tournament, a win over a slumping Texas in Kansas City (might as well been in Lawrence). I am picking Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals (they beat Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Syracuse this year) to "upset" the Jayhawks.

I'm going all Big East in the regional final. I like a rematch of the semifinal between Notre Dame and Louisville and for Ben Hansbrough to be cutting the nets down. Notre Dame will advance to its first Final Four since 1978.

Regional Final: Notre Dame over Louisville

SOUTHEAST REGIONAL

I think this is the weakest regional of them all. We have by far the weakest No. 2 seed, a Brandon Davies less BYU as a No. 3 seed, and a No. 4 seed Wisconsin that couldn't break 40 against Penn State.

This regional is full of sleepers. We have perennial bracket busters in Gonzaga and Butler along with Utah State and Old Dominion. I don't know if you can call Michigan State a sleeper but we all know Tom Izzo knows how to coach in the NCAA Tournament.

I don't like seeing mid majors meet in the first game. To me it's like when Boise State and TCU met in the Fiesta Bowl. You want to see David vs. Goliath, not David vs. David. I will say that whoever wins between Butler and Old Dominion is going to give Pitt quite a battle in the "third" round.

This is the 13th year in a row Gonzaga made the NCAA Tournament. They are playing St. John's, a team that last made the tournament in 2002. This looks like an upset to me if you can call it an upset. I also like Utah State to win in another 5-12 upset over a Kansas State team that lost three times to Colorado.

The big mystery of the Southeast is BYU. They haven't played too many games without Brandon Davies but they did lose badly to New Mexico at home and lost to a San Diego State team they swept in the regular season.

BYU was dealt a very hard potential second game in Gonzaga. Gonzaga is back in the role of underdog. The No. 11 seed is Gonzaga's lowest since 2001. It's going to be a hard game for BYU to win. If the Cougars and Bulldogs don't meet this year, expect to see them twice next year in the WCC.

I think Gonzaga has a great chance to make the Sweet 16 and a potential Sweet 16 game vs. Florida. The two met in the Sweet 16 in 1999 when a late basket by Gonzaga prompted Gus Johnson to call "The Slipper Still Fits!". 

Of course, Florida will have its own problem with a possible second game with Michigan State. Many times the Spartans exceed expectations (last year's Final Four run was as a No. 5 seed). Florida is playing in Tampa. However, Florida played Michigan State in Tampa in 2003 and the Spartans pulled off an upset of the No. 2 (and overseeded) Gators. Of course, since then Florida and Billy Donovan has won two national championships.

If you asked me the two best coaches in college basketball who have never made the Final Four, I would say Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and Gonzaga's Mark Few. I hope one of them finally makes it there this year.

In a conference with national champion winning coaches Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, and Rick Pitino, Dixon is often overlooked. Yet, in his eight seasons at Pittsburgh Dixon's team has won ten or more Big East games each season. Pitt won two Big East regular season championships and one Big East Tournament in that span. Making the Final Four will hopefully give Dixon the respect he deserves.

Pittsburgh's road to the Final Four looks very winnable although Old Dominion or Butler will give them fits. The Panthers should be favored in every game. If they play like they have all season, they will be heading to Houston.

Final Pick: Pittsburgh over Florida.

WEST REGIONAL

I have graduated from three schools, Illinois, Penn State, and Temple. Since I graduated from Temple, this is the first year all three schools made the NCAA Tournament in the same year.

Of course Penn State and Temple play their first game against each other. Well, I know one of my schools is going to win. Penn State's last tournament appearance was 2001. They stunned North Carolina to make the Sweet 16 and lost in the Sweet 16 to Temple.

Fran Dunphy has led Temple to the last three NCAA Tournaments but they lost in the first round each year (including last year's upset at the hands of Cornell). For Penn State, making the NCAA's is a victory already so I want to see Temple and Dunphy finally win one.

The winner of the Pennsylvania clash (from Tucson, Arizona of all places) is expected to play San Diego State in the next round. It's a winnable game for either school and had they played closer to Pennsylvania I probably would pick the upset. It's hard for teams from the East Coast to go out west and win against West Coast teams.

There are a couple of dangerous sleepers teams in this regional.

One of them is the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland. Oakland has played seven NCAA Tournament teams this year (including a win over Tennessee in Knoxville) and will not be intimidated by the Longhorns. Should Texas win, they could meet Arizona in a great "third" round matchup. Arizona and Memphis will pit two coaches making their first NCAA appearance for perennial NCAA elite programs.

Don’t forget about Bucknell. The Bison stunned Kansas in the 2005 NCAA Tournament (and won a game in 2006 as well).  They face a talented but likely exhausted Connecticut Huskies team (they won five games in five days to win the Big East Tournament).

Should UConn advance as expected, their next opponent could very well be Big East rival Cincinnati. It seems weird to see two teams from the same conference meeting this early in the tournament but it's hard to spread out 11 conference opponents. I personally think conference foes shouldn't meet until the Sweet 16 and not be allowed to meet in the opening weekend.

At the top half is a Duke. Duke will open in Charlotte, NC. If they advance as expected, they will make a rare trip to the West Coast. Assuming Duke beats Hampton (no No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1), Michigan or Tennessee would be a road block in the Blue Devils' way. Michigan is on a roll now and Tennessee is slumping but I would not count Bruce Pearl out this time of year. If it is Duke vs. Michigan, that will be a rematch of the 1992 NCAA Championship (the Fab Five vs. Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Grant Hill).

In the Sweet 16, normally UConn vs. San Diego State is an easy call. But I'm wondering if the Huskies are tired or have peaked and of course a west coast trip to face a nearby school (the game would be in Anaheim) is never good (although UConn has made the Final Four out of the West Regional three times).

I would like to see a Duke/Connecticut regional final. I do not like Duke that much and UConn is Duke's biggest nemesis in the NCAA Tournament. But I have a feeling San Diego State will advance and will lose to Duke in the final. I told you about Duke vs. Michigan in 1992. That team was coached by current San Diego State's head coach Steve Fisher.

Final Pick: Duke over San Diego State.

EAST REGIONAL

If before the bracket was announced I said I was picking Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Kentucky to make the Final Four, you would think they were good picks.

Well, I can't pick those four. They are all in the East Regional, making it my pick for the toughest regional this year. Only one (possibly none) of them will be in the Final Four. I like all four of these programs so I should be happy with whoever advances unless we have some lower seed make it.

Back in the NCAA's is 2006 Final Four surprise team George Mason. They play a completely struggling Villanova team that lost its last five games including an embarrassing loss to Big East doormat South Florida in the Garden.

Last year, Kentucky and West Virginia met in the East Regional final for the right to advance to the Final Four. This year, they would potentially meet in the opening weekend for a chance to make the Sweet 16. We find in this pod the other play in game for at large teams between Clemson and UAB. The winner will have to fly to Tampa to play its second game.

We could have another third round game between Big East foes if Syracuse wins and Marquette beats Xavier. Don’t count out the Musketeers though as they have made the Sweet 16 the last three years running. Xavier will have their hands full with likely opponent Syracuse to make it four years in a row.

Also playing in Charlotte with Duke will be North Carolina. I’m sure both teams’ fans will come out to cheer against their rivals as well as cheer for their own team this weekend.

If the top four seeds hold, there will be some great games next weekend in Newark between North Carolina and Syracuse and between Ohio State and Kentucky.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see the higher seeded team win every game (best chance of an “upset” would be Xavier over Syracuse).

Final Pick: Ohio State over North Carolina.

FINAL FOUR

So my Final Four picks are Ohio State, Duke, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh. I almost never pick all four No. 1 seeds so Kansas is my pick to get upset. The regional Ohio State has is loaded so it wouldn't surprise me if they lost either.

I think I heard Charles Barkley say on CBS that early round games in the NCAA's are won by players and later round games are won by coaches. Two of these coaches (Mike Brey and Jamie Dixon) will make their first appearance in the Final Four if my picks are all correct. Thad Matta coached Ohio State to the Final Four in 2007.

But if coaching decides it, there is only one choice to win the championship. In the first semifinal, I like Pittsburgh to gain revenge over Notre Dame. You can't always count on freshmen in the tournament, so I'll take Duke. Unfortunately for those who don't like Duke, I think it will be a repeat.

Championship Pick: Duke over Pittsburgh

 

Posted on: March 14, 2011 12:14 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Historical Performance of NCAA SelectionCommittee

Hello, college basketball fans!

Everyone can argue that a specific team got snubbed or a specific team got a gift. As posted previously, I consider teams that did not deserve to get in or teams that did and didn't based on the Bracket Matrix. So, now I am going to compare the Selection Committees in the six year history of the Bracket Matrix.

If you assume that the consensus of the Bracket Matrix is "correct", then the 2011 Selection Committee missed three teams (Virginia Tech, Colorado, and St. Mary's). That tied the very first year of the Matrix, 2006. Then again, missing 3 of 37 at large teams is slightly better than missing 3 of 34 at large teams. In 2007, the Selection Committee missed 2 at large teams.

The last three years, they missed just one at large team. Those three committees were terrific in terms of the Matrix. Not only did the last three Committees fail to choose just one Bracket Matrix consensus team, the one team that was not chosen was the team chosen by the fewest number of brackets. In fact, during the last two seasons the last team chosen by the Bracket Matrix was chosen by a minority (less than 50% of all brackets posted).

Teams that made the Bracket Matrix but not the NCAA's:
2011 - Virginia Tech (98% - 87/89)
2007 - Syracuse (97% - 29/30)
2006 - Missouri State (91% - 21/23)
2011 - Colorado (91% - 81/89)
2006 - Cincinnati (87% - 20/23)
2008 - Illinois State (62% - 33/53)
2006 - Hofstra (57% - 13/23)
2011 - St. Mary's (55% - 49/89)
2007 - Drexel (53% - 16/30) 
2009 - San Diego State (46% - 28/61)
2010 - Mississippi State (39% - 32/83)

Clearly there was some dispute as to whether San Diego State in 2009 or Mississippi State in 2010 deserved to make the field but this year the NCAA missed two teams that almost everyone thought should have made the field. Over 90% of brackets thought Virginia Tech and Colorado deserved to get in. In 2006, they missed Missouri State and Cincinnati, both chosen in 87% or higher of the brackets. Syracuse was also a huge snub.

As for the most questionable teams to make the field, UAB and VCU were chosen this season by fewer than 20% of the brackets.

Teams that made the NCAA's but not the Bracket Matrix:
2006 - Utah State (4% - 1/23)
2006 - Air Force (4% - 1/23)
2011 - UAB (12% - 11/89)
2009 - Arizona (13% - 8/61)
2007 - Arkansas (17% - 5/30)
2011 - VCU (17% - 15/89)
2010 - Florida (23% - 19/83)
2011 - USC (33% - 29/83)
2008 - Oregon (38% - 20/53)
2007 - Stanford (43% - 13/30)
2006 - George Mason (48% - 11/23)

Without a doubt, the 2006 Selection Committee takes the prize of the worst Selection Committee ever. What in the world were they thinking in inviting Utah State and Air Force? UAB is by percentage the third worst NCAA choice ever, slightly above Arizona in 2009.

Based only on NCAA team selection and not seeding:

Committee Rank:

2008 - Chose the last team missed by the Bracket Matrix instead of the last team the Bracket Matrix chose. Out of 53 brackets, 33 chose Illinois State from the MVC and 20 chose Oregon. The NCAA chose Oregon over Illinois State. According to the Bracket Matrix, the wrong choice but by far the least controversial mistake (38% chose Oregon).

2010 - Could argue as the best job but Florida was chosen by less than 1/4 of the brackets. That year, however, there was a huge argument as to who the last team should have been in. 64 of 65 teams were chosen by more than 75% of Bracket Matrix brackets. The next highest choice was Mississippi State, but they were chosen by just 39% of the brackets). Here's how close it was in 2010: Mississippi State was chosen by 32 brackets out of 83). Virginia Tech was chosen by 30. Illinois was chosen by 27. The Committee loses points because if Mississippi State was not chosen, Virginia Tech or Illinois should have. Ironically, Mississippi State played in the SEC Tournament final and went to overtime with Kentucky. Had MSU won, there would have been almost no disagreement as to who the 65 teams would have been. Then again, Florida was a 10 seed so someone would have likely been screwed.

2009 - Again, there was no clear consensus as to the last team that deserved to be in but Arizona getting in was one of the worst choices ever.

2007 - This committee loses major points for the exclusion of Syracuse. Arkansas was the most controversial team getting in.

2011 - Two major exclusions (both over 90%) and two major inclusions (both under 20%).

2006 - By far the two worst teams ever to make the NCAA field (both were chosen by ONE of 23 brackets). They also missed two teams that were chosen by 87% or more brackets.

Ironically, the last team chosen by the Bracket Matrix in all six years was not chosen by the Selection Committee. In four of the six years, the team that just missed the cut made the actual NCAA field. 

Actually, the biggest personal gripe I have had other than Utah State and Air Force was that George Mason was chosen over Hofstra in 2006. Obviously, we all know about George Mason in 2006 but forgotten is the fact that Hofstra beat George Mason twice that season including in the CAA semifinals. To add insult to injury, a George Mason player punched a Hofstra player in the groin during the CAA game. I had no problems with George Mason getting in, I had them in. But over Hofstra? No way. And did you know that George Mason's athletic director was on the Selection Committee in 2006? Sounded very corrupt to me. Also, was it a coincidence that George Mason played their regional games in Washington, DC, pretty close to their campus? You can talk to me about all the rules about AD's having to leave the room and can't vote, but I think that was the most blatant favoritism I have ever seen from the Selection Committee. You have to wonder if Hofstra had made the field instead of George Mason. Maybe (no, probably) they don't make the Final Four but shouldn't they have had the chance? And since then, George Mason has made the field twice and Hofstra still hadn't made the Tournament since. Then again, Hofstra wasn't the biggest snub that year and George Mason wasn't the least deserving team in that field by far.

I also remembered Tennessee getting a 2 seed that year over several stronger candidates. The SEC commissioner was on the Committee. Ironically, he put Tennessee (a team that lost its 2nd round game) as a 2 but Florida (who only went on to the national championship) a 3. Oh, guess who won the SEC Tournament tha year? Florida. Tennessee lost its first game. LSU, the team with the best record in conference and also made the Final Four, got a 4 seed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_S
EC_Men%27s_Basketball_Tournament


I rank 2006 the worst committee in the last six years and possibly the worst ever. This year's was not good but nowhere near as bad as 2011. At least this year's Committee placed BYU in an appropriate regional. That wasn't the case in 2003 when BYU was placed in a regional where they would have been placed in a regional playing on Sunday. Adding insult to injury: the Committee chair was a BYU graduate! I also remembered Texas got a #1 seed instead of Kansas. The committee chair talked about Texas beating Kansas during the season. Well it turned out Kansas beat Texas. We are trusting this guy who can't get his facts right to decide who gets in or who gets seeded where? In poetic justice, Kansas did make the Final Four that year beating Arizona in a regional final (the committee chair was the Arizona AD that year). Did he screw his own school out of a Final Four? Texas, meanwhile, got a gift draw and made the Final Four easily (especially since they got to play in San Antonio that year).

A bad committee can ruin a tournament. A team with a gift seed or location can use the situation to their advantage. By contrast, a team screwed in is seed can have their season ruined. And we're not even talking about the teams who don't get in. This is an important job. As a bracketologist, I take this "job" seriously. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I'm not. But I think when a huge majority of people say this team should be in then they should be in (or vice versa). 








Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: March 14, 2011 11:05 am
 

Other Bracketologists Judge the NCAA's (2011)

Hello, college basketball fans! A fellow bracketologist annually puts up a list of many of the projected NCAA brackets made before the NCAA field is officially determined. You can see this list at the Bracket Matrix.

Brackets are scored then as to how close they match the actual NCAA brackets. This however assumes that the NCAA Selection Committee is "right". Of course there really is no "right", different people have different opinions. I believe Missouri State and Harvard got screwed but hardly anyone else agrees with me. So, if we are going to critique the Selection Committee, it is best in my opinion to compare with the consensus on the Bracket Matrix. All together, there were 89 brackets listed in the matrix. If the field of 68 was chosen based upon Bracket Matrix brackets, three teams that made the NCAA field would not have been in.

Virginia Tech was chosen on an amazing 87 of 89 brackets. Colorado was chosen on 81 of 89. According to the Matrix, these two teams by far have the biggest gripe. These snubs have to be among the biggest to not make the field in the history of Bracket Matrix. The other biggest snubs since 2006 were Missouri State in 2006 (21 of 23), Cincinnati in 2006 (20 of 23), and Syracuse in 2007 (29 of 30).  

The other team that missed the field was St. Mary's. Of all the teams that made the Matrix final bracket, St. Mary's was the one chosen on the least number of brackets (49 of 89). Based upon numbers, bracketologists were very divided as to whether or not St. Mary's should have made the field. However, St. Mary's was the third team that was chosen by a majority of brackets in the Bracket Matrix that did not get into the actual field.

By contrast, during the last two seasons no team that was chosen by a majority of brackets missed the field. In 2008, Illinois State was chosen by 33 of 53 brackets but was not chosen. Other "snubs" in addition to those stated above were Hofstra in 2006 (13 of 23) and Drexel in 2007 (16 of 30). 

As for the teams that did get in the NCAA field, USC was chosen by just 29 brackets (the most, however, of any team that did not make the Matrix final bracket). VCU and UAB, according to the Matrix, were the least deserving teams in the field (15 for VCU and 11 for UAB). Other historically questionable picks in Bracket Matrix history were 2006: Utah State (1 of 23) and Air Force (1 of 23), 2007: Arkansas (5 of 30), and 2009: Arizona (8 of 61).  

The good news is that at least all three of the teams that "didn't deserve" to make the field have to play a "First Four" or play in game. It is pretty safe to say that had there been a 64 team field USC, VCU, and UAB would have not been chosen. Some people say expanding the field could eliminate arguments as to who got in. I think it made things even worse this year. I can't speak for the rest of the Matrix, but the four teams that were chosen for the least number of brackets were St. Mary's, Georgia, Clemson, and Colorado so the assumption would have been those four would have not been chosen for a 64 team field and Colorado would have been the last team chosen for a 65 team field (of course had it been a 65 team field and not a 68, Colorado probably doesn't get chosen for 81 of 89 brackets). Take out these four teams and the four "First Four" teams, Bracket Matrix would have missed on Georgia and would have had Virginia Tech in. So essentially the additional four (or three as compared to last year) have been a negative and only fueled more of an argument as to who belonged in the field as compared to the last three seasons. 

One of my personal critique on the selection of teams was how can you put Georgia into the field after they lost twice to Alabama (in the last game of the regular season and in the tournament)? My colleagues and the NCAA did not agree. Alabama was chosen on only 28 brackets but Georgia was chosen on 66. If all 89 of us were in a room somewhere, the most argued teams would have been St. Mary's, Georgia, and Clemson (69 brackets) as well as USC and Alabama. Actually, there was a pretty huge gap between St. Mary's (last team in) and USC (first team out). I usually find a much closer gap than that. Of course, the Selection Committee "got it wrong" by putting in USC ahead of St. Mary's (not to mention UAB and VCU). 

In terms of seeds, the Selection Committee picked all of the Matrix's top 4 seeds. There was a pretty solid consensus. Duke was chosen in 78 of 89 brackets and Pitt was chosen in 77. Believe it or not, there was one bracket who did not have Ohio State as a #1 seed! If you go by those scores, Kansas would have been the #1 overall seed but since Pitt would have been the #4 overall seed, the Final Four matchups would have been the same. I think the consensus was clearly Ohio State and Kansas were the top two and should have been in different halves.  

The team which got the most number of votes for #1 seeds among non #1 seeds was Notre Dame. They were the 5th choice (#1 on 20 brackets). San Diego State was chosen as a #1 on two brackets, North Carolina on one, and Syracuse??? on one (the same bracket did not have Ohio State as a #1). 

As for the #2 seeds, Florida had by far the fewest # of votes for a #2 seed (only 16 chose Florida as a 2). Ironically, the team that beat them in the final, Kentucky (and my personal choice for the last #2 got only 6 votes). The last #2 according to the Matrix would have been Connecticut by a narrow margin over Texas. UConn got 44 votes as a #2 and Texas got 43! Other #2's would have been Notre Dame, San Diego State, and North Carolina.

When I put together my bracket, I thought the 3's and 4's were very close and hard to distinguish between. The Matrix thought the same way. The only clear cut #4 was Wisconsin (only one bracket chose Wisconsin as a #3). Florida was a 3 but 18 people had them a #4 (to balance the 16 that had them a #2). Here are the differences between the 3 and 4 seeds, in order:  

#3 seeds: BYU (51 #3's to 34 #4's), Kentucky (45 to 36)
#4 seeds: Syracuse (33 #3's to 51 #4's), Purdue (34 to 52), and Louisville (30 to 55) - All three of them received significant support for 3 seeds. 

This season had pretty much a consensus as to the Sweet 16 seeds. The gap between Wisconsin and the highest 5 seed was huge and the Selection Committee "correctly" picked all 16 Sweet 16 seeds this year. 

Teams seeded 2 or more places above their Matrix seed: Michigan (10 vs 8), Butler (11 vs 8), Illinois (11 vs 9), Georgia (12 vs 10) 

Teams seeded 2 or more places below their Matrix seed:  Old Dominion (7 vs 9), Missouri (8 vs 11), Marquette (9 vs 11), and Utah State (8 vs 12!) 

By far, Utah State was the most screwed. 8 was the most chosen seed by Matrix voters (40 of 89). No one had Utah State a 12 seed. Four brackets had Utah State as an 11 seed and 7 had them a 10 seed. In addition to the 40 votes for #8, 25 other had USU a #9 so 65 had them in the 8-9 game. Obviously #12 seeds face much tougher 1st round opponents but it usually is a lot easier to make the Sweet 16 as a #12 than and 8 or 9. If the Aggies lose their first game, they can curse the Committee. But if they are still dancing next week, they should probably thank the Committee. 

Overall, seeding was pretty reasonable by the Committee. Then again, if I had a choice between poor seeding and excellent team selection and poor team selection and excellent seeding, I would much rather them mess the seeding up. This is again according to the Matrix being right. But I personally would rather trust 89 bracketologists than 10 AD's/commissioners to choose the NCAA field.  

Thanks to all the bracketologists out there. Looking forward to the NCAA Tournament and to next year. It's nice to see I'm not the only bracketologist out there. In 2006, there were just 23 brackets. This year, there are 89.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: snubs
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com