2016 Bracketology: Final Projections

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Well guys, it's been a fun ride this year, my third doing this crazy task.  I don't have time for analysis since the Selection is set to begin shortly, but here is my final bracket! 

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-2

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

MAAC-2

MVC-2

MW-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-2

WCC-2

Last Four In

Butler

Monmouth

San Diego State

Michigan

First Four Out

Vanderbilt

Valparaiso

Temple

Syracuse

Next Four Out

Florida

South Carolina

Georgia

Hofstra

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

2016 Bracketology: Selection Sunday (Morning)

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BRACKET

CLICK HERE FOR THE BRACKET BREAKDOWN

Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-2

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

MAAC-2

MVC-2

MW-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-2

WCC-2

Last Four In

Butler

Monmouth

San Diego State

Michigan

First Four Out

Vanderbilt

Valparaiso

Temple

Syracuse

Next Four Out

Florida

South Carolina

Georgia

Hofstra

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

Well folks, Selection Sunday is finally here and there were a ton of changes made yesterday. 

North Carolina took Virginia's one seed thanks to their victory in the ACC Tournament.  Virginia is currently a two seed and can get back on the top line if Michigan State loses to Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament final.

Also finding themselves on the top line is Oregon after their brutal beat down of Utah, a team that entered having won nine straight games. 

Oregon replaced Villanova, who is now a two seed after their loss to Seton Hall in the Big East Final. 

Seton Hall and UConn are the two teams that helped themselves the most in regards to how many seed lines they moved up. 

UConn was my last team in entering Friday and now find themselves as an eight seed while Seton Hall is a five seed after beginning the week as a possible seven or eight seed. 

Michigan is my last team in after they lost in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to Pudue, picking between them, Vanderbilt, Valparaiso, Florida, and Syracuse is not a task I wish upon anyone.

Purdue will be taking on Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament championship game after they dispatched Maryland.

LSU is pathetic so we will skip that. 

Texas A&M and Kentucky look like the only two SEC teams that will make the tournament and will square off in the conference tournament championship game.  Kentucky is currently a three seed while Texas A&M's route over Ben Simmons' team got them to a four seed. 

VCU blew out Davidson to take any drama out of Selection Subday for them, and will face St. Joseph's in the A10 final. 

Fresno State's win over San Diego State in the Mountain West final made the conference a two-bid league. 

San Diego State played the second-toughest out-of-conference schedule in the country and despite just one RPI top-50 win, going 16-2 in the Mountain West should still means something.

Also earning automatic bids on Saturday were Hawaii, Cal State Bakersfield, Buffalo, Stephen F. Austin, Weber State, Southern, Stony Brook, Hampton, and Midfle Tennessee. 

Once the five championship games either reach their conclusion, or are so close to being done that it's obvious, my final bracket will be unveiled!

2016 Bracketology: Quadruple the Fun

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-3

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

MAAC-2

MVC-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-2

WCC-2

Last Four In

Butler

Wichita State

Monmouth

Michigan

First Four Out

Vanderbilt

Valparaiso

Syracuse

Florida

Next Four Out

South Carolina

Georgia

Davidson

Hofstra

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

A college basketball season more insane and crazy then we've ever seen before just got even more outrageous on Friday. 

UConn played their way into my bracket by defeating Cincinnati in a four overtime thriller that ranks up there with the six overtime UConn vs Syracuse showdown for best conference tournament game ever. 

Cincinnati it appeared had buried the dagger into UConn with 0.8 seconds left in the third overtime, but Jalen Adams was able to tie things up with a 62-foot miracle to force a fourth overtime, which UConn used to pick up the 104-97 victory. 

Speaking of buzzer beaters, Michigan finds themselves in the field of 68 as my last team in after their 72-69 stunner against Indiana.  Kameron Chatman nailed a three with 0.2 seconds left in the game for the improbable win, one in which Michigan needed to keep their hopes alive. 

They are my final team in this morning and can lock up a bid if they defeat Purdue on Saturday. 

A buzzer beater that wasn't is Buddy Hield's half court heave that got waived off against West Virginia.  Hield was held to six points with West Virginia smothering him all night long, yet he was milliseconds away from one of the most memorable shots in conference tournament history.  Instead, Oklahoma falls to a two seed with Michigan State moving up to the one line.

Seton Hall has helped out their seeding drastically the past few days, getting an 87-83 win over Xavier to face Villanova in the Big East Tournament final.  Seton Hall is currently a six seed, but could get as high as a four if they win tomorrow. 

It has been all chalk in the Pac-12 Tournament as Oregon slipped past Arizona and Utah used overtime to defeat California. 

A one seed will be at stake in the ACC Championship game with North Carolina and Virginia slugging it out.  The last time these two teams met, Virginia got the win at home 79-74.  The is an outside chance that both teams get a one seed if North Carolina wins a highly entertaining game. 

South Carolina fell off my bracket after their loss to Georgia in the SEC Tournament.  They entered the night with a non-conference strength of schedule of 300, their RPI is 58, and they have just one RPI top 50 win.

I still have Vanderbilt out, so it looks like the SEC will be a two-bid league unless LSU or Georgia can get the automatic bid. 

St. Bonaventure lost a hard fought game against Davidson, but I still have them in thanks to their top 30 RPI and big wins in A10 play. 

Other notes include Tulsa heading to the NIT after getting blasted by Memphis, Texas Southern, the SWAC's top seed, losing to Southern, St. Joseph's ended George Washington's season with their win, and VCU and Dayton picked up wins in the A10 Tournament. 

2016 Bracketology: Mayhem in the Midwest

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-3

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

MAAC-2

MVC-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-3

WCC-2

Last Four In

VCU

Wichita State

UConn

Monmouth

First Four Out

Tulsa

Florida

Valparaiso

Michigan

Next Four Out

Syracuse

Vanderbilt

George Washington

Alabama

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

Yesterday saw some sub-.500 teams rattle off upsets and cause seismic shifts in the bracket.

Vanderbilt went from by fourth to last team in to the next four out as a result of their loss to Tennessee.  Tennessee was playing without their best player in Kevin Punter and handed Vanderbilt their third loss to a team with a sub-100 RPI. 

Vanderbilt has an RPI of 60, three total road wins, and a 19-13 record in what is looking like a three bid league, they are toast! 

Iowa and Wisconsin will both make the tournament, but did not help their seeding Thursday night.  Wisconsin took an ugly loss against Nebraska and Iowa fell at the hands of Illinois. 

The two teams had opposite problems as the guys around Nigel Hayes played ok for Eisconsin, but Hayes was 2-for-15 from the floor. 

As for Iowa, Peter Jok and Jarrod Uthoff scored 45 of the team's first 50 points, and no, you are not reading that incorrectly. 

Both teams entered the day as six seeds with the losses dropping Iowa to a seven and Wisconsin an eight. 

Baylor and Notre Dame claimed those spots after Baylor was able to pick apart Texas and Notre Dame erased a 16 point deficit against Duke to earn an overtime victory. 

The Pac-12 Tournament has went all chalk thus far as Oregon, California, Utah, and Arizona all won yesterday.  The conference looks destined for seven teams in the field and could have Oregon represent as a one seed if they can sweep the leg.

Much of the same in the Big East Tournament with Cillanova, Xavier, Providence, and Seton Hall all winning.  Butler should still get an at-large, giving the conference five bids. 

Oklahoma seems to be apart of some of the most fun games in college basketball and they played another doozy against Iowa State Thursday night. 

Oklahoma pulled out a 79-76 win behind Buddy Hield's 39 points, which kept Oklahoma on the one line. 

As for bubble teams, Georgia Tech is going to the NIT after their loss to Virginia while hope is still alive for Alabama, Michigan, and Florida due to their triumphs. 

If you are a bubble team, you're most likely rooting for Memphis to knock off Tulsa and Cincinnati to take down UConn.

2016 Bracketology: The Crusaders

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-3

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

MVC-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

WCC-2

Last Four In

Vanderbilt

St. Bonaventure

Wichita State

UConn

First Four Out

Tulsa

Monmouth

Florida

Valparaiso

Next Four Out

Syracuse

Michigan

Georgia Tech

George Washington

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

It is only fitting that in this wild, unpredictable college basketball season that 14-19 Holy Cross finds a way to win the Patriot League and will head to Dayton as a 16 seed.

Holy Cross lost all nine of their conference road games during the regular season, but went on a run and took all four during the conference tournament, amazing! 

The word amazing cannot be used to describe Syracuse, as they lost to Pittsburgh 72-71 after evaporating a 14 point deficit. 

With their 19-13 record, 64 RPI, and losing five of their last six, Syracuse is a team that is worthy of an NIT bid, nothing more.

If everything were based off last night, Texas Texh wouldn't be worthy of a CBI bid, as they lost to TCU 67-62.

Had Texas Tech been closer to the bubble, this would have been intriguing, but instead, they moved from a seven seed to an eight. 

Texas Tech played a tough schedule, defeated three RPI top 50 opponents, had played their best basketball after Norense Odiase went down with an injury, they won't miss the dance. 

The middle seeded Pac-12 also likely sewed up their spots with USC, Colorado, and Oregon State all getting wins on Wednesday.

Of note, UNLV defeated Air Force 108-102 in triple overtime with both teams receiving a combined 10 points off the bench, might be one of the strangest stats I've seen in this wild year. 

2016 Bracketology: The Slipper Still Fits

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-3

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

MVC-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

WCC-2

Last Four In

Pittsburgh

St. Bonaventure

Wichita State

UConn

First Four Out

Tulsa

Syracuse

Monmouth

Florida

Next Four Out

Valparaiso

Michigan

Georgia Tech

Florida State

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

For the 18th straight year, Gonzaga is going dancing thanks to an 85-75 win over St. Mary's. 

Gonzaga needed to win last night in my opinion to continue the streak, and in the process popped someone's bubble. 

I think St. Mary's will make the field despite the loss thanks to a 6-3 record against RPI top-100 opponents and a 27-5 overall record.  They also have an RPI of 38, higher than that of the vast majority of teams seeded below the eight line.

I think St. Mary's is so safe that they even avoid Dayton, which begs the question, who did they knock out?  The answer is Tulsa. 

I evaluated both Tulsa and UConn when making this decision, as both play in the American, they split the season series, and each have 10 losses. 

Tulsa had the worst loss, falling at the hands of Oral Roberts, and they didn't do as well out of conference.  UConn defeated Michigan, Texas, and Ohio State out of conference, where Tulsa defeated Wichita State while Fred VanVleet was battling an injury. 

Getting back to Gonzaga, I have them as an 11 seed and will be a tough out with Kyle Wiltjer, Eric McClellan, Domontas Sabonis, and company. 

In good news for everyone, the power five conference tournaments have begun, with the ACC leading things off.  Now I didn't say the action was good, as the team's playing were Boston College, Wake Forest, NC State, and Florida State, but it's a start! 

A few additional bids were punched yesterday too.  UW-Green Bay is going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 with their win over Wright State and South Dakota State took down North Dakota State for their bid.  Also of note, Fairleigh Dickinson will be back in the tournament for the first time since 2005 with their win over Wagner

UW-Green Bay defeated Miami on the road last year and Virginia at home two years ago.  Though Alec Brown and Keifer Sykes have graduated, as a 15 seed, they might get a shot at one of those squads.

South Dakota State will likely be a 12 seed and found a way to win the Summit Conference Tournament even with their senior leader, former Wisconsin Badger George Marshall, struggling in the tournament.

And Fairleigh Dickinson should look for block priced hotel and airfare to Dayton, because that is where they are heading. 

2016 Bracketology: Mid-Major Headache

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-4

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

MVC-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

St. Bonaventure

Tulsa

Wichita State

UConn

First Four Out

Syracuse

Monmouth

Gonzaga

Florida

Next Four Out

Valparaiso

Michigan

Georgia Tech

Florida State

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

Thanks to last night, the bracketology picture went from starting to crystallize to messier than a 10 year old child's room. 

Monmouth lost to Iona in the MAAC Tournament final 79-76 to give themselves one of the most intriguing resumes for a bubble team I have ever seen.

Typically, a mid-major with a 57 RPI and three losses to teams with sub-150 RPIs are doomed.  This is what happened to UW-Green Bay in 2014, and they were a team that defeated a Virginia squad that earned a one seed that year. 

On the other hand this team doesn't just have one quality win, they have many.  Though both are down this year, they went on the road and defeated both UCLA and Georgetown.  Pair that with neutral court wins against Notre Dame and USC as well as a near miss against Dayton, it is an intriguing resume. 

The committee in recent years has given the little guy the short end of the stick due to not scheduling hard enough, which definitely is not Monmouth's problem. 

I have Monmouth as my first team out as I am waiting to see what happens with the American conference.  The American currently has four teams in my field of 68, three of which are 11 seeds that have an RPI between 54-58. 

That said, Iona will not be an easy out in the tournament as a 13 or 14 seed.  A.J. English is the only player in the nation averaging over 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds per game this season. 

Elsewhere, the debate will rage on as to whether Valparaiso should get in the field after they lost in overtime to UW-Green Bay.

They have a 26-6 record, 53 RPI, and a road win against Oregon State.  If you look at the eye test, this is a tournament team, but being swept by Wright State will likely cost them an invitation to the dance. 

If Valparaiso was the only mid-major on the cutline, I think they would be get more consideration, but I feel both Wichita State and Monmouth's resumes are better, which leaves them up a creek without a rowing device.

Because of the loss, Wright State and UW-Green Bay will play for the right to go to the NCAA Tournament, both teams would likely receive a 15 seed. 

The Colonial final involved two teams in Hofstra and UNC Willmington that both have the chops to make a Sweet 16 run, but not enough of a resume to warrant at-large consideration.

This game fittingly went to overtime with UNC Wilmington grinding out the win after they likely should have won in regulation. 

UNC Wilmington was the victim of a bad charge call with 5.2 seconds left in regulation in which the Hofstra defender clearly had his foot inside the circle. 

For UNC Wilmington, they are dancing for the first time since Brad Brownell took them in 2006.  Kevin Keatts took over the program last year after they achieved a winning record once in the last eight seasons and now they have a ticket to the tournament. 

Also getting in the tournament last night was Chattanooga, who enters with a 29-5 record after their win over East Tennessee State. 

Chattanooga has wins over Georgia, Dayton, and Illinois, which could make them the perfect pick if you are looking for a 12-over-5 upset.

The Summit League final will be the Dakota battle once again as North Dakota State erased an 18 point deficit to stun IPFW and South Dakota State defeated Denver by one point in one of the craziest endings you will ever see.

Both South Dakota State and Denver committed crazy fouls in the final two seconds of the game.  South Dakota State made one free throw while Denver freshman Joe Rosga, who entered the night as an 89 percent free throw shooter, missed the front end of a one-and-one.

The West Coast Tournament final is also set as St. Mary's and Gonzaga will clash once again for the title. 

After losing to Pepperdine twice in the regular season, St. Mary's easily dispatched them on Monday night while Gonzaga slithered past BYU with a four point win.

If St. Mary's loses, they will likely get an at-large bid thanks to their 27-4 record while Gonzaga does not have a top-50 RPI win, so they need the automatic bid to get in. 

If Gonzaga does not win tomorrow night, it will likely be the first time they missed the tournament field this millennium. 

2016 Bracketology: Dunk City

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-4

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

MVC-2

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

St. Bonaventure

Tulsa

Wichita State

UConn

First Four Out

Syracuse

Gonzaga

Florida

Michigan

Next Four Out

Georgia Tech

Florida State

George Washington

Alabama

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

Next week at this time I will be breaking down an actual bracket and explaining why my rankings were right and the committee's were wrong. 

But, this Monday, we get to talk about the three bids that were locked up and some action from the Big Ten and American. 

Indiana already had won the Big Ten regular season title entering Sunday, but they put an exclamation point on it with their 80-62 trashing of Maryland. 

The Big Ten has featured two massive turnarounds in Wisconsin and Indiana, both of which I think have a chance to make a deep tournament run. 

Indiana climbed to a three seed with their win while Wisconsin remained a six after they lost to Purdue 90-81.  Purdue shot around 66 percent for most of the game, something very uncharacteristic of Wisconsin, as they were handed their second loss in 13 games. 

The American has had their dark days recently, but Sunday was the opposite.  Cincinnati likely sewed up an NCAA Tournament bid by taking down SMU while UConn dispatched UCF and Temple used an early surge to get past Tulane. 

The conference continues to have Temple, UConn, and Tulsa as candidates for Dayton, but like Al Davis once said, just win baby! 

In conference tournament play, Chattanooga and Monmouth both avoided upsets and will be playing for the right to go to the NCAA Tournament.  Chattanooga will not get an at-large if they lose to East Tennessee State while Monmouth likely will not get in if they fall to Iona, but it is much more possible. 

Hofstra was able to escape 70-67 win over William & Mary and will face UNC-Wilmington in the CAA final. 

Florida Gulf Coast saved us all a massive disaster by defeating Stetson in overtime to punch their ticket to the dance.  Had they lost, North Florida would have been the representative from the Atlantic Sun in the NCAA Tournament. 

This is something the NCAA should review in the offseason and change the format of the rule so we do not find ourselves doing this tango again in the future. 

Northern Iowa also got admitted to the dance thanks to a Wes Washpun buzzer beater to down Evansville 56-54. 

Northern Iowa will likely be either a 13 or 14 seed, but this is essentially the same team that was a five seed last year minus Seth Tuttle. 

Northern Iowa has wins over Iowa State, North Carolina, and Wichita State this year, so there is no question that this is a team you don't want to face in the tournament.

The other bid went to UNC Asheville in the Big Sourh, as they knocked off Winthrop 77-68.  Winthrop's top scorer for the season, Keon Johnson was 1-for-16 from the floor, the worst shooting night of his career. 

There are more bids to be handed out Monday night with a lot of the power conference tournaments firing up on Wednesday. 

2016 Bracketology: Shockers

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -6

American-4

A10-4

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

MVC-2  

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Cincinnati

Tulsa

Wichita State

UConn

First Four Out

Syracuse

Gonzaga

Florida

Michigan

Next Four Out

Georgia Tech

Florida State

George Washington

Alabama

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

The madness has started early this year ladies and gentlemen, with the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament turning logic on its head. 

Wichita State played with fire on Friday in their escape of Loyola Chicago, but got burned with an overtime loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday.

I have Wichita State making the tournament, so it means a bid got stolen away from another bubble team, which in this case was Syracuse. 

The ACC in general had a bad day with Miami losing on the road to Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech taking down Pittsburgh, and Syracuse losing to Georgia Tech. 

If Syracuse can wina few ACC Tournament games, they should be in due to the current nature of the American. 

The American has four teams in the field: Temple as an at-large 12 seed for leading the conference, then Tulsa, UConn, and Cincinnati are all among my last four in.  I've never seen anything like it and I left one of the play-in games as a rematch because that will change soon. 

The SEC also had a bad day with Vanderbilt getting rocked by Texas A&M and Alabama falling to Georgia.  The good news for the conference is South Carolina stomped Arkansas on the road and should be in with all of the other bubble teams tripping over their shoelaces this weekend. 

Getting back to the ACC, the North Carolina-Duke game was one of the strangest I've ever seen.  I can't remember the last time a team had a rebounding advantage of 30+ and nearly lost, but that is what North Carolina did.

A win is a win and neither team slipped down the board because of it. 

The same cannot be said for Baylor, who is now a seven seed after their loss to West Virginia, they were passed by Arizona on the five line and Dayton moved to a six. 

Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, and Oklahoma all won yesterday to keep themselves on the one line. 

Two bids are now locked up as Austin Peay defeated UT-Martin to take the OVC Tournament belt while Yale won the Ivy League regular season championship and will be their tournament representative. 

2016 Bracketology: Music City Mayhem

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Cincinnati

UConn

Michigan

South Carolina

First Four Out

St. Bonaventure

Gonzaga

Florida

George Washington

Next Four Out

Alabama

Florida State

Ohio State

Georgia

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

Not a lot happened with the top teams, as the only ranked team in action was Texas, but the mid-major conferences delivered some entertaining television Friday night. 

Belmont, the top seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, was bounced in overtime by an Austin Peay team that entered the contest with a sub-.500 record.  The game was back-and-forth with the team's scoring a combined 193 points. 

We are unlikely to see a one game playoff to determine the Ivy League's NCAA Tournament representative after Princeton was upset by Harvard on Friday.  The Ivy League is the only conference that determines their NCAA Tournament representative via regular season conference record, so it puts Yale in the drivers seas to go dancing. 

If stale defeats Columbia on the road Saturday, they will be going to the big dance for the first time since 1962. 

Things got interesting in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as Wichita State survived a scare from Loyola Chicago to make the tournament semifinals.  A loss would have put Wichita State on the bubble and they likely need to knock off Northern Iowa to truly feel safe about making the field of 68. 

Also of note, Akron defeated Kent State, Texas got past Oklahoma State, Winthrop made the Big South Tournament semifinals, and Monmouth downed Rider, holding them to 48 points. 

2016 Bracketology: An American Horror Story

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Cincinnati

UConn

Michigan

South Carolina

First Four Out

St. Bonaventure

Gonzaga

Florida

George Washington

Next Four Out

Alabama

Florida State

Ohio State

Georgia

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

If your team was on the bubble entering Thursday night and played, they most likely let you down. 

The American still has four teams in the field, but what transpired last night is not encouraging.  Cincinnati took a loss on the road to a much improved Houston Cougars squad while UConn got the breaks beat off of them by SMU. 

Amazingly, both teams entered among my last four in and stayed there thanks to the bubble being extremely weak this year and also by South Carolina losing to Georgia Thursday night. 

Typically, an SEC team with a 23-7 record is a lock for the NCAA Tournament and are focusing on which mid-major they will play in the round of 64.  That is not the case with this team thanks to a weak SEC East and their atrocious out of conference scheduling.

South Carolina's loss on Thursday drove their RPI down to 55, second-lowest of any team I have in the field as an at-large.  The three RPI top 50 wins and additional wins over Hofstra, Florida, LSU, and Alabama are keeping them in the field, but a loss at Arkansas on Saturday could spell doomsday for their tournament hopes.

Looking elsewhere, the first two bids to the NIT have been secured as Bucknell, the top seed in the Patriot Leauge, lost to Holy Cross in double overtime and North Florida, the Atlantic Sun's regular season champion, lost to Florida Gulf Coast by 33. 

Perhaps the most exciting game of the night took place in Tuscon as the Arizona Wildcats took down the California Golden Bears 64-61.  Arizona was trailing by eight in the closing minutes, but they went on an 11-0 run thanks to two huge threes by Gabe York.

Other tidbits include Maryland crushing Illinois, the Big South and MAAC conference tournaments have begun, and Temple defeated Memphis 72-62. 

2016 Bracketology: An ACCurate Divide

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Cincinnati

Syracuse

UConn

Michigan

First Four Out

St. Bonaventure

Gonzaga

Florida

George Washington

Next Four Out

Alabama

Stanford

Florida State

Ohio State

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

There were not too many stunners at the top of the bracket, but there were a ton of interesting finals from teams towards the middle of the bracket. 

Butler got a win the so desperately needed over Seton Hall 85-78.  Butler has been able to sell itself on not having any truly atrocious losses and they can now claim a third RPI top 50 win. 

The win moved Butler from my last four in to a bye on the 10 seed line while Seton Hall fell from a seven seed to an eight. 

The most damaging loss of the night came from Pittsburgh, who lost at Virginia Tech.  The bubble teams seem to be taking one step forward and then one step back this year and that's exactly what Pittsburgh did.

They went from getting a huge win over Duke on Sunday to losing to Virginia Tech on Thursday.  They fell to a nine seed and should deem themselves lucky to not be a 10 seed. 

Staying in the east coast, Procidence avoided putting themselves on the bubble with 70-66 home win over Creighton.  The way Providence has played the past month and a half, they will take victories however the can get them.

St. Bonaventure helped out their bubble cause by defeating St. Joseph's 98-90 and improved their RPI to 29.  They are still out of the field despite that due to a lack of quality wins outside of A10 play.  They also needed 47 points from Marcus Posley to do it, that is the most by a Division I men's college basketball player this season. 

St. Joseph's remained a six seed because their RPI was relatively unaffected and three of the four teams that entered the night as seven seeds lost. 

One of those seven seeds was Texas Tech, who took a 22 point beat down at the hands of West Virginia.  Though West Virginia remained a three seed, they improved the positioning to eventually move to the two line and as crazy as it sounds, might still be in play for a one seed if they win the Big XII Tournament. 

Notre Dame was a six seed to begin the night and cratered to an eight seed after their worst offensive showing of the season, losing 68-50 to Miami.  Miami kept themselves in position to make a run at a one seed while Notre Dame has lost three of their last four and were swept by Miami this year. 

Alabama fell out of the field of 68 after their 62-61 home loss to Arkansas, a team that won two road games all season long entering Wednesday.  Michigan replaced Alabama, though the news that Caris LeVert will miss the remainder of the campaign does not help their cause.  Michigan is 8-7 this year in games LeVert does not appear in. 

Oregon took the survive and advance approach Wednesday night, nabbing a 76-68 road win against UCLA.  UCLA was already in a spot where the need to win the Pac-12 Tournament to go dancing and this just reaffirmed it.  Oregon, on the other hand, now leads the conference standing with a 13-4 record.

Also in the Pac-12, USC finally got a win, knocking off Oregon State by 11 points.  USC had lost five of their last six games and needed that win to avoid putting themselves on the bubble.  The win puts them at an eight seed while Oregon State is holding steady on the nine line despite the loss. 

Other college basketball tidbits include VCU defeating Davidson, Stony Brook escaping UMBC in the American East Quarterfinals, and Wisconsin rising to the six line with their win over Minnesota. 

2016 Bracketology: The Real Hoosiers

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-6

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-5

Last Four In

Butler

UConn

Syracuse

Alabama

First Four Out

Michigan

Gonzaga

St. Bonaventure

Florida

Next Four Out

George Washington

Stanford

Florida State

Ohio State

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

Who would have ever thought there would be a day where we estimated Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers? 

The Hoosiers clinched the Big Ten regular season crown outright thanks to their 81-78 road win over Iowa. 

These two teams are going in opposite directions as Indiana has won five of their last six since these two first hooked up on Feb. 11.  Meanwhile, Iowa has lost five of six since then and are looking very reminiscent of the 2014 team that played in Dayton after being ranked in the top 10 in February.

Both teams were five seeds to begin the night and the game bumped Indiana to a four while Iowa dropped to a six.  Quite frankly, Iowa should be thankful to still be a six because they would have moved down further if it was not for most of the team's on the seven line having their own mediocre stretches at some point this season. 

Oklahoma had to work a little harder for their win against Baylor then expected.  Oklahoma jumped out to a 46-20 lead at one point, but Baylor used an incredible 21-2 run to eventually take the lead, but ran out of gas at the end. 

I absolutely hate rewarding teams for close losses, but Baylor managed to move up from a six seed to a five seed after the loss.  It was a tough choice between them and Texas to take the spot on the five line left by Iowa's loss and Baylor has two fewer losses than Texas, a team that lost at home by 30 to Kansas on Monday night. 

Dayton managed to avoid complete disaster by pulling out a one point win against Richmond.  They have not played a good half of basketball in nearly four weeks and remains on the right line after being a four seed in mid-February. 

Virginia and Duke were both able to survive scares and pick up single digit wins against non-tournament squads.

Meanwhile, Kentucky went on the road and picked up a nine point win over Florida. 

With 13 losses, Florida is going to need a deep SEC Tournament run to make the field.  They also must defeat Missouri on Saturday or else their NCAA Tournament hopes will ride on them winning the SEC Tournament.

No team has ever received an at-large bid to the tournament with more than 14 losses and I don't think the committee will make Florida the first. 

Staying in the SEC, Vanderbilt got the win they needed over Tennessee to cause a win to get in game against Texas A&M on Saturday. 

Vanderbilt entered the night as a 10 seed and stayed there, but a win on the road against Texas A&M on Saturday should punch this team's ticket to the dance.

One final note, Michigan went from my last team in to my first team out on the news that Caris LeVert is done for the season.  Michigan is 8-7 in games he does not play this year so they were leapfrogged by Alabama. 

2016 Bracketology: Kansas Back on Top

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Butler

UConn

Syracuse

Michigan

First Four Out

Gonzaga

Alabama

Florida

St. Bonaventure

Next Four Out

Stanford

George Washington

Georgia Tech

Florida State

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

For all of the hoopla and insanity that has taken place in college basketball this season, one thing that isn't surprising is Kansas winning the Big XII conference crown for a 12th straight year. 

Kansas put the clamps down on Texas and handed them an 86-56 beating.  The win just hammered home the point that Kansas should be the top ranked team in the land while Texas, who was coming off a huge win against Oklahoma, fell from a four seed to a six. 

The only other game in the Big XII was Iowa State knocking off Oklahoma State 58-50.  Iowa State did not look too dominant in the games and they really have not dominated the past few weeks so they might be prone to another early exit in the tournament if they don't pick it up. 

The only other game involving a top 25 team was a 75-70 win that North Carolina was able to complete over Syracuse.  Syracuse was trailing by eight or nine points for most of the game as it had a feel very similar to the North Carolina-Duke game from a few weeks ago.

This time there was no magic for Syracuse and North Carolina made just enough free throws to hold on.  Syracuse was better at the charity stripe, going 19-of-23 to North Carolina's 13-for-19, but allowed North Carolina to grab 19 offensive rebounds. 

Other games of note include Hampton locking down the MEAC regular season title with 79-65 win over Delaware State, Chattanooga taking the SoCon crown with a 67-65 win against VMI, Texas Southern nabbing the SWAC title thanks to a 96-86 win over Alabama State, and Stephen F. Austin destroying Incarnate Word 84-58. 

There will be much more excitement Tuesday as 11 ranked teams are in action including Kentucky, who will battle Florida.  There are two games pitting ranked foes against one-another, Baylor vs Oklahoma and Indiana vs Iowa.

2016 Bracketology: Un-American Performance

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Butler

Syracuse

UConn

Michigan

First Four Out

Gonzaga

Alabama

Florida

St. Bonaventure

Next Four Out

Stanford

George Washington

Georgia Tech

Florida State

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

There is not an Oscar for most unpredictable movie, but if there was, it would go to this year's college basketball season as it was another wild Sunday. 

The American Conference had a bad showing with UConn losing to Houston and Tulsa falling to Memphis.  The loss dropped UConn from an eight seed to the last four in while Tulsa went from a nine seed to a ten and is on the edge of also heading to Dayton. 

Iowa is continuing their tradition of late season collapses by losing to Ohio State, their third straight loss and fourth in their last five games.

The top seed line has never looked more pathetic as two six-loss teams occupy spots atop the bracket.

Xavier entered Sunday as a one seed, but they lost to Seton Hall to give Oklahoma their spot on the top line back.   Meanwhile Seton Hall rose to a seven seed with the win and looks like a lock for the tournament.

Another team that helped themselves with a win was Pittsburgh, who manhandled Duke 76-62.  Pitt won the rebounding battle 39-20 and rose from a 10 seed to an eight. 

Elsewhere, USC lost for the fifth time in their last six games, getting romped by 22 points against California.  

Michigan also ran into a hot team in Wisconsin and lost for the third time in their last four games.

Michigan should be counting their lucky stars to be the final team in my field of 68 while USC still looks to be a tournament lock, but they are in massive disarray. 

Wisconsin, meanwhile, has won 10 of their last 11 games after a 1-4 start in Big Ten play.  Cal has also impressed down the stretch, winning seven in a row. 

Also of not, Oregon State, Colorado, and Oregon picked up easy wins while Valparaiso and Monmouth won their regular season conference crowns in a pair of tough battles.

For Monday, Texas vs Kansas and North Carolina vs Syracuse are the big games with Oklahoma State also facing Iowa State. 

2016 Bracketology: East Coast Bias

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-4

A10-3

Big East -5

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Vanderbilt

Butler

Michigan

Syracuse

First Four Out

Gonzaga

Alabama

Florida

St. Bonaventure

Next Four Out

George Washington

Georgia Tech

Florida State

Stanford

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

The 2016 college basketball season; where the unbelievable and insane becomes the norm. 

I'll be breaking everything down in a second, but first I have a special announcement.  I (Greg Peterson, the idiot who's crazy enough to to do these projections everyday) will be on NBC Sports Radio's national network this afternoon at 4:15 pm eastern (3:15 pm central) to inform the nation about how crazy this college basketball season has been.  

This is the third national network I will have appeared on in the last 12 months so I must be something right...or nobody else is a big enough idiot to torture themselves like I have with this undertakings, I'll take it either way.

Now as far as the bracket is concerned, we saw movement on the top line.  Virginia's win over North Carolina vaulted them over Oklahoma, who lost to Texas. 

North Carolina and Oklahoma are the top two teams to receive a one seed behind Virginia as a result and Texas jumped up two seed lines from a seven to a five with their victory. 

A team that is heading in the wrong direction is Dayton, who lost at home to a Rhode Island team that looks more like a MASH unit. 

It was Dayton's third loss in four games and to be honest, they have not played a good half of basketball since defeating George Mason on Feb. 6.  They went from a five seed to a seven as a result of the loss. 

Another team that fell two seeds is South Carolina, who lost to a sub-.500 Mississippi State squad.  It is their second bad loss in the last two week as they also lost to Missouri last week. 

Usually a 23-6 record for an SEC team would have them towards the top of the board, but South Carolina's poor scheduling has them on the nine line.  If they lose to Georgia and Arkansas prior to the SEC Tournament, they could be booking a trip to Dayton in mid-March. 

Notre Dame took a pretty ugly 19 point loss to Florida State, but did not drop due to the team's below them either playing mediocre teams, being mediocre themselves, or not playing all together.  Florida State did help their cause and are now in my next four out. 

Teams that entered the field are VCU, Cincinnati, Butler, South Dakota State, and Weber State. 

South Dakota State and Weber State are automatic qualifiers that now lead their conference.  The same goes for VCU, though if they did not lead the A10, it would be an interesting call. 

VCU played poorly out of conference, but are 13-3 in an A10 with tons of good but not great teams.  If they were not leading their conference, they would likely be my last team in just ahead of Gonzaga, who defeated BYU on the road last night to work their way to being my first team out.

The team VCU defeated yesterday, George Washington, went from in the field to out.  I have been bullish on them all season long with their wins against Virginia and Seton Hall, but six losses in the A10 just is not cutting it.  They are still in play for an at-large, but they will need a deep run in the A10 Tournament to punch their ticket to the dance. 

Butler overtook Florida in the field after they held on for dear life to beat Georgetown in overtime while Florida lost to LSU, allowing 96 points in 40 minutes. 

Florida has been in the field due to computer numbers all season long, but their recent losses to Vanderbilt and LSU have put a damper on those.  Despite wins against West Virginia and St. Joseph's, they didn't look great out of conference and are 8-8 in the SEC.

Cincinnati leapfrogged Alabama, despite Alabama defeating Auburn.  Alabama looked less impressive in their win than Cincinnati did in stomping all over East Carolina and Auburn is so bad at this point, that a win against them could hurt a team's computer numbers worse than a loss to a bubble team. 

Looking forward to Sunday, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh both have chances at securing a tournament bid, playing Xavier and Duke respectively. 

Ohio State has a chance to get back on the bubble with a win over Iowa, as does Washington, who will face off against Oregon. 

Another bubble team to watch is Michigan, who will hit road to face Wisconsin.  Wisconsin has won nine of their last 10 while Michigan has been among my last four in for at least three weeks. 

Another hot team to watch is California, who will be facing a USC team that have lost four of their last five. 

Be sure to listen to the lovely tenor of my voice on NBC Sports Radio this afternoon and I'll be back at it tomorrow! 

2016 Bracketology: All About Maintaining

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-3

A10-3

Big East -4

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-5

Last Four In

Syracuse

Michigan

George Washington

Vanderbilt

First Four Out

Butler

Cincinnati

St. Bonaventure

Gonzaga

Next Four Out

VCU

Georgia Tech

Stanford

Davidson

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

There was a serious lack of games yesterday, which means no movement from yesterday to today.

Akron and Monmouth both won easily while Princeton and Valparaiso pulled out single digit wins.  There not much more to say then that. 

Looking forward to Saturday though, there are tons of big games on the schedule.  There are five games with two ranked teams clashing and additionally more games with bubble teams facing NCAA Tournament locks.  I recommend watch Maryland vs Purdue, North Carolina vs Virginia, Oklahoma Texas, and just let the what happens dictate what games you switch to.  It should be a fun Saturday! 

2016 Bracketology: Bringing in Some Pride!

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-3

A10-3

Big East -4

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-5

Last Four In

Syracuse

Michigan

George Washington

Vanderbilt

First Four Out

Butler

Cincinnati

St. Bonaventure

Gonzaga

Next Four Out

VCU

Georgia Tech

Stanford

Davidson

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

There were a bunch of games that effected the lower half of the board last night as most of the highly ranked teams were able to cruise to victory. 

Utah had the biggest butt kicking of the night with their 35 point takedown of Arizona State, leading at one point by a score of 30-2. 

Also rolling with ease last night was Duke over Florida State, Indiana beating Illinois, and California knocking out UCLA. 

In a battle of two teams that entered the night as nine seeds, Seton Hall was able to defeat Providence 70-52.  Ben Bentil was the only player that showed up for Providence last night, scoring 31 of the team's points. 

Elsewhere, USC continues to plummet, losing by 20 points to Stanford.  They should be a tournament team unless if they lose out, but they have fallen all the way to an eight seed and would have fallen even harder if it weren't for the bubble teams being so shoddy this season.

The lone team to fall out of the bracket was UNC Wilmington, who lost to Hofstra in a 70-69 thriller.  Both teams are tied atop the Colonial and either one should be a tough out in the tournament. 

Arkansas-Little Rock moved up the board with their win over UT-Arlington, advancing their record to 25-3.  There are two regular season games left on the slate for Little Rock and if they win both, they should make the tournament.  Their RPI is in the top 35 and they have wins at San Diego State and on the road against Tulsa. 

It will be lean Friday of hoops but still a few tournament teams in play.  Valparaiso, Akron,  Monmouth, and Ivy leaders Princeton and Yale will all be in action to get us warmed up for another gargantuan Saturday!

2016 Bracketology: The X-Factor

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-3

A10-3

Big East -4

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-5

Last Four In

Syracuse

Michigan

George Washington

Vanderbilt

First Four Out

Cincinnati

St. Bonaventure

Gonzaga

Butler

Next Four Out

VCU

Georgia Tech

UCLA

Davidson

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

The narrative to the season of chaos continues as number one Villanova lost last night to Xavier, bumping Kansas to the honor of my top overall team. 

I felt even before last night's game that Xavier was worthy of a one seed and all the win did was make more people agree with me. 

Though that was the marquee game, the biggest bracket shakeup came from the Big Ten with Wisconsin upsetting Iowa. 

Wisconsin has now won nine of their last ten games and has went from being a team fighting for an NIT bid, to a seven seed on today's bracket. 

Iowa checks in at a four seed as they have now lost three of their last four as they continuing their tradition of cratering at the end of the season. 

Colorado was drifting closer and closer to the bubble and got a 75-72 win over Arisona to help their cause. 

Both teams did not move in the bracket as a result of the game because of the team's ahead of/behind them entering the night. 

Pittsburgh was not so lucky as they coughed up a second half lead to allow Louisville to get a 67-60 win. 

Pittsburgh is currently a nine seed and could really use a win over Duke this weekend to sew up an invitation to the dance.

A team that severely hurt their NCAA Tournament chances was VCU, who lost to George Mason.  George Washington and St. Bonaventure also got tested by inferior competition, but both survived for wins. 

The loss means that VCU is in a tie with Dayton and St. Joseph's atop the A10 standings and took them off the board. 

Taking their place is Vanderbilt on the heels of their double digit road win against Florida on Tuesday. 

Mourn theme this week has been teams avoiding horrendous losses and that is exactly what Texas A&M did last night with their 68-66 escape against Mississippi State. 

Texas A&M maintains their five seed with the win, but this is a team that has struggled down the stretch. 

Also of note, North Carolina, Oregon, Wichita State, and Oklahoma all rolled to easy wins last night.

Looking forward to tonight, Florida State will look to keep any hope they have of an at-large bid alive as they face Duke at Cameron Indoor.  Providence vs Seton Hall should be interesting with both teams on my board as nine seeds. 

Tons of mid-majors in action as well with Winthrop, UNC Wilmington, North Florida, UAB, Arkansas-Little Rock, St. Mary's and IPFW all in action, looking to maintain their conference leads.

2016 Bracketology: Frequent Flyer Miles

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Bids By Conference:

ACC -7

American-3

A10-4

Big East -4

Big Ten-7

Big XII -7

Pac-12-7

SEC-4

Last Four In

Florida

Syracuse

Michigan

George Washington

First Four Out

Vanderbilt

Cincinnati

St. Bonaventure

Butler

Next Four Out

Gonzaga

Georgia Tech

UCLA

Davidson

Next Four Out to the Next Four Out

Washington

Florida State

South Dakota State

BYU

EXPERT ANALYSIS:

The theme of the week seems to be teams surviving scares from inferior competition, and that's exactly what the Dayton Flyers did Tuesday night. 

Dayton escaped a St. Louis Billikens squad that entered 10-16 overall with a 52-49 win.  To make that sound even uglier, that final was after a five minute overtime was played, as Dayton won the bonus session by a score of 6-3. 

Dayton has not looked good recently, losing to St. Bonaventure and St. Joseph's last week, and won their games against Rhide Island and Duquesne by a combined four points the week before. 

That said, Dayton avoided catastrophe with the loss and is still a five seed on my board. 

Texas Tech pulled a similar escape against TCU, coming back from a 12 point halftime deficit to get an 83-79 win.  Texas Tech has now one five straight games despite forward Norense Odiase still being sidelined with an injury. 

As far as the bubble is concerned, Tulsa helped their cause in convincing fashion by taking down Temple 74-55.  The win is their fifth in their last six games and they have a favorable match ups against Memphis and South Florida to end the regular season.

Tulsa moved up from the first four to a nine seed with the win and interestingly enough, Temple is still on the board.  They still lead the American Conference standings by a half a game, so by rule, they remain on the board.

Speaking of the bubble, Vanderbilt helped their cause by getting a double digit win at Florida last night to put themselves in position to make the field.  The win has them moving up to be my first team out and they will have chances against Kentucky and Texas A&M to pick up key resume-building wins. 

The loss dropped Florida, who was now lost 11 games this season, into my first four.  Florida has good computer numbers, but they do not have many quality wins and the eye test is not pretty.

Ohio State likely needs to win out and make surge in the Big Ten Tournament to get in the field.  They fell at home to Michigan State 81-62, snapping their four game winning streak. 

For Wednesday, we are in for a good slate of games.  I have both Xavier and Villanova as one seeds as they showdown in a rematch of what was a 30 point blowout win for Villanova in December. 

Wisconsin is looking to essentially lock up an NCAA Tournament bid as they hit the road to face Iowa.  Pittsburgh could do the same if they can get a win away from the Peterson Events Center against Louisville. 

Colorado has been trending in the wrong direction in recent weeks and will look to right the ship against Arizona. 

Kick back and enjoy because tomorrow there will likely be big changes to the bracket.