The brackets have been released, and overall we must admit we are slightly disappointed with the results. We were wrong about Notre Dame and Buffalo, and our first two teams out - Northern Iowa and UAB - got the bids. We did get 57 out of 65 teams within one seed, and 37 seeds exactly right.
Since the selections are over, we would be remissed if we didn't recap what has been a tremendous first year for the Bracketology 101 web site. Not only did we get more hits and more e-mail than we ever would have imagined, we also get great response to our two Selection Sunday chats. Pre-Selection Sunday, we feel we were the most accurate bracketologists out there.
Why do we say this? Well...
1. At the start of Championship Week, we predicted conference tourney wins by Creighton, Utah State, New Mexico, and Xavier. No one else did, deciding instead to put nine million teams in from one major or mid-major conference. Three out of four in the end ain't bad.
2. We NEVER had Memphis in at all this season. Everyone else did at some point.
3. We jumped off the Miami-Ohio bandwagon a week before everyone else, and called the MAC a one-bid league (until today when we stuck with Buffalo). We also bailed on Wichita State after they started their late February skid, while other brackets kept them in for a lack of quality teams elsewhere.
4. We put Creighton in the bracket FOUR WEEKS AGO, when they were in fifth place in the conference and just barely heating up. No one else had them in until two weeks after that.
5. We didn't keep St. Joseph's in all season just because they were in first place in the A-10. We believed in GW and it paid off.
That's not to say we didn't have some slip-ups along the way, or put a team in and have to take them out for good the next week (ex. Boston U., Houston), or up a team's seed only to see them lose the next day, but that happens in the crazy world of college basketball. In the end, though, we kept our no-nonsense, go-with-your-gut attitude when it came to projecting the field. Instead of going back and forth, taking teams in and out of the bracket and making PC, whimpy picks, we went out on a limb at times and looked at the future and not just the present. That made the number of available spots more realistic, and gave fans a more accurate picture of where their teams stood. Bottom line: we tried to make ballsy picks that made sense. We analyzed teams differently, and in the end, more practically than the Joe Lunardis and Jerry Palms of the world. If you kept track, our picks were always a week ahead (sometimes more) for that reason.
To all the visitors of the site: Thanks for coming along for the ride with us this year. We're still relatively small, but we hope we're on the rise. The "big-time" bracketologists probably don't like us because we call them out on occasion, but who cares. Be sure to spread the word about us if you can and check back throughout the tournament and in the off-season for occasional news and updates. We will have our actual Tournament Challenge brackets posted later this week.
Enjoy the madness,
Chris and Craig