Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 19

Here is Chris and Craig's latest field:

Last Four In
Syracuse, Florida State, Air Force, UNC-Wilmington

Last Four Out
Southern Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Utah State

In This Week
Cincinnati, Florida State, Air Force, UNC-Wilmington, Gardner-Webb

Out This Week
Southern Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Hofstra, Lipscomb

Conference Breakdown
(Automatic bids in multiple-bid conferences are the first teams listed.)
Big East (9), Big Ten (6), SEC (6), ACC (5), MVC (4), Big 12 (4), PAC-10 (4), MWC (2), C-USA (2), Colonial (2)

America East - Albany

ACC - Duke, North Carolina State, Boston College, North Carolina, Florida State

Atlantic Sun - Gardner-Webb

A-10 - George Washington

Big East - Villanova, UConn, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Syracuse

Big Sky - Northern Arizona

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan

Big 12 - Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado

Big West - Pacific

Colonial - George Mason, UNC-Wilmington

C-USA - Memphis, UAB

Horizon - Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Iona

MAC - Akron


MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Creighton, Missouri State

MWC - San Diego State , Air Force

Northeast - Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley - Murray State

PAC-10 - UCLA, Washington, California, Arizona

Patriot - Bucknell

SEC - Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Georgia Southern

Southland - Northwestern State

SWAC - Southern

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WAC - Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga

The Seeds
The 1s
Duke, Villanova, UConn, Memphis

The 2s
Texas, Gonzaga, Illinois, Tennessee

The 3s
Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, George Washington

The 4s
UCLA, Iowa, West Virginia, North Carolina State

The 5s
Boston College, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin

The 6s
Kansas, LSU, Washington, Oklahoma

The 7s
Marquette, Georgetown, Northern Iowa, Nevada

The 8s
Wichita State, Creighton, Bucknell, Michigan

The 9s
Alabama, Seton Hall, Kentucky, George Mason

The 10s
California, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri State

The 11s
Cincinnati, Arkansas, UAB, Florida State

The 12s
Syracuse, Western Kentucky, San Diego State, Air Force

The 13s
UNC-Wilmington, Iona, Akron, Winthrop

The 14s
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northwestern State, Murray State, Northern Arizona

The 15s
Pacific, Albany, Penn, IUPUI

The 16s
Georgia Southern, Delaware State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Gardner-Webb (Play-In Game), Southern (Play-In Game)

The Bracket

This Week's Bracket

Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves.

Questions? Comments? E-mail Chris and Craig at


Anonymous said...

how is Indiana in the last 4 out? They have lost 7 of their last 8? They will be in the NIT come March.

Anonymous said...

when will you start giving the WAC some love? nevada worked akron, la tech wins at so. illinois, and usu beats northwestern...the WAC should be a 2 bid conf.

Andrew said...

Who would you bump from among the at-larges to make way for Utah State or Louisiana Tech?

FWIW, Greenfield ranks La. Tech at #84 and Utah State at #65; Pomeroy has them at 88 and 54, respectively.

Cortany H. said...

There is a mistake in your bracket. You have a 3 seed George Washington playing the regional in their home city. Can you imagine how angry Villanova the 1 seed would be. The selection committee is smarter than that. a #3 seed should never get to play the regional at home city.

Cortany H. said...

There is another problem in the bracket. You have 11 seed Florida State playing in Jacksonville which is just 160 miles from their campus. Imagine how angry LSU and GW would be? They would have every right to be upset. An 11 seed should not be allowed to play that close to home. Thats why they call it protected seeds 1-5. GW should not have a homecourt disadvantage if FSU advances to 2nd round.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Indiana keeps losing then they will be way out but they still have a good chance to turn things around and get a big win and put themselves right back in the bracket. At this point it doesn't seem likely but you never know.

We strongly considered Utah State this week for our bracket. If Utah State can win out (which would include a home win over Nevada) then they will have a good chance at an at-large bid. With the way Nevada is playing lately it will be a tough task so that is why we kept them out of the bracket. The WAC did perform very well in the BracketBuster.

matt r said...

Hey Cortany,

Actually we went through all this a couple of weeks ago on both GW and 11 seeds ending up close to home.

NCAA Principles and Procedures for Establishing the Men's Bracket:

The only thing the NCAA rules prevent on people playing at home is that the official "Host Institution" is not allowed to play at that site. In the case of the DC region, the host is Georgetown. The rules also state that you can't play on a court that you played three regular season games on, which I don't think GW has but if they have someone let me know. Maybe the selection committee gives the rest of the teams in the DC region a break by not placing GW in it, but there's nothing in the rules that states they won't, and if you read the rules they're almost encouraged to.

A couple of weeks ago the hubbub was about GW as a 4 seed in the DC region with UConn as the 1 seed. I went through about 10 years of brackets and couldn't find a situation where the committee even had the chance to place a 4 seed actually in the city they play for the regional, so there's really no precedence to judge. I'll just defer to what the rules stay for now and not worry about what they might "feel" like doing.

We also had a stir about an 11-seed Miami in Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago. The rules state that seeds 1-5 are protected from a home crowd disadvantage only in the first round. Once again, you can try to make judgement calls if possible, but a lot of times there are too many other rules in the way to play that game. It would be practically impossible to avoid home court disadvantages through future rounds along with all the other rules, which is probably why the rules only worry about round 1.

Let's look at part of what I'm talking about. The 11-seeds are the next to last seeds to go in the bracket so you already are limited to what you can do. In this case Cincinnati was forced to Dayton/Atlanta due to the fact that were Big East teams in all other bottom-half-regions. That leaves 3 potentials for that Jacksonville spot, Arkansas, UAB, and FSU. Arkansas obviously won't be going there cause LSU is the 6. And since the rules say to avoid rematches of regular season and previous tournament in the first and second round, UAB won't be going there since we had LSU vs UAB in the first round last year (Also a 6 vs. 11). So poor FSU, they're the only ones that can play in Jacksonville. That's just a taste of all that you go through when doing this, and in reality, by the time you get to the 5-12 seeds, you aren't doing much geography picking. You're mostly following other rules.

Andrew said...

GW has played one game at the MCI center (vs. Maryland, at the BB&T Classic).

Anonymous said...

Why UAB out of Conference USA and not UTEP? Does that change if UTEP beats Houston this weekend? Why wouldn't the second place team in the conference go to the dance, particularly when it beat the third place team (admittedly, at home)?

Cortany H. said...

OK I guess it has happened before. In 1997, 6th seed Stanford got to play the West regional in San Jose. But it still doesn't mean its fair. But there is no excuse for putting FSU in Jacksonville as an 11. The selection committe will move things to straighten. You were just too lazy to adjust your bracket so you stuck FSU close to home. It would be shocking if GW got to play in their home city. I'm just glad Matt doesn't make the real bracket. 3 seeds would be playing at home & 11 seeds would be closer to home than their much higher seeded opponents.

Brian said...

With the lower seeds playing on a "home" court, it has happened in the past. Back in 1999, Gonzaga played in Seattle when they upset Minnesota and Stanford. In 2004, Vermont was closer to Buffalo than was UConn. But the one problem I have with the bracket is that Florida should be in Jacksonville.

Oh, by the way, the NCAA changed the rule last summer and states that conference opponents can meet as early as the second round no longer the regional final.

Bracketology 101 said...

Ever since UTEP beat UAB a few weeks ago we have held our nose while plugging UAB into the bracket. UAB made the tourney last year with no profile as well. UTEP destroyed them at home but other then that win UTEP has no profile. They may be in second place in conference but they have an RPI of 91 and only 15 D-1 wins. They have no good out of conference wins and lost to UL-Lafayette, New Mexico and Texas Tech. Houston and UAB are both in over them out of C-USA right now. UTEP definetly still has a good chance to move ahead of UAB and Houston on the board with games left at Memphis and with Houston coming in this week. So they still have a chance to make a profile for themselves.

As for the argument about where teams will be placed, it's really anyone's guess as to where the committee will place a team geographically and their is complaints every year over the issue. I wouldn't say that it would be a great advantage for FSU to be playing in Jacksonville. Remember this is basketball not football so I don't think we would see thousands of Seminole fans streaming into Jacksonville to see them play in a first or second round tourney game. Matt Reeves does as good a job as anybody trying to put together a bracket and figure out where the committee might put teams.

Anonymous said...

How is it that George Mason is a 9 seed behind Wichita State as an 8. Mason just beat Wichita on their home court. You said yourself that Mason was the biggest winner this weekend. Don't you think a top 25 team should at least be above the team they just beat in Bracketbusters. That's not event to mention that if you divide 25 by 4 you get 6.25. By my calculations, that puts Mason as a 7 seed.

Bracketology 101 said...

George Mason had a huge weekend with their win over Wichita, but based on their overall profile, they are still slightly behind the Shockers. Wichita has four Top 50 RPI wins, and while they haven't beaten anyone of not out of conference, they still have a better "big win" resume than George Mason. Wichita also has to get credit for being in first place in the tough, fifth-rated MVC (vs. the Colonial which is rated 10th). In terms of the polls, a team's ranking doesn't necessarily translate directly to their seed. Take George Washington for example. The Colonials are up to No. 6 in the AP and ESPN/USAToday polls, but just this week moved up to a three seed in our bracket. Come Selection Sunday they might even be on the four line. Their resume, like Mason's, is hurt by their conference, and thus their seed suffers slightly as well.

matt r said...

Brian, I know about the new rule, but look at the way they write it:

If the committee is unable to reconcile the bracket after exhausting all possible options, it has the flexibility to waive principle No. 13 to permit two teams from the same conference to meet each other after the first round, if the conference has more than five participants.

No. 13 is the rule about conference teams not meeting until Regional Final. I take that to mean that I should do everything I can to keep conference teams from not meeting until the regional final, and then only if it's impossible, do something different. That's why I'm sticking with my above assesment of the 11-seeds, which follow the other rules.

As for Florida not being in Jacksonville, I went with this rule:

10. Each of the first three teams selected from a conference shall be placed in different regions.

Florida was the 2nd team from the SEC thrown in the bracket, and Tennessee was already locked into Atlanta. Like I've been saying, by the time you do all the rules, you're hardly ever making choices based on geography past the first few seeds. The only real way to make sure you are close to home in the first two rounds is to get AT least a 3 seed, and sometimes that isn't good enough, i.e. 3 seed GW going to Jacksonville because all the Northeast spots were taken. The only way to stay near home all the way to the Final Four is to be one of the best two or three teams in the whole tournament, i.e. Duke and Villanova this week.

Even with any possible problems, the good news is we are talking about a tournament that actually determines a national championship as opposed to college football where we let sportswriters and computers determine who should play in one playoff game. This sure beats that system.

Anonymous said...

If Maryland were to win this weds at FSU, does that put MD in and FSU out....or is it a possibility of the ACC to get 6 teams, which i honestly think FSU still deserves a bid if they lose to MD at home tomorrow night....i think the ACC has a slight advantage over the SEC, and the SEC is getting 6 teams....

Bracketology 101 said...

We hate to keep repeating the same mantra, but tems, not conferences, get bids. Just because the SEC gets six bids doesn't mean the ACC "deserves" an equal amount. That said, your Maryland-FSU scenario is an interesting one. If Maryland were to win Wed., they would be in over FSU thanks to a better overall resume (wins over BC and Arkansas) and a game better record in conference. Both teams have tough schedules left, but both have opportunities to get good wins that will put them in. FSU needs to do one of two things: get to 9-7 and win at least a game (probaby two) in the conference tournament, or go 8-8 but beat Duke next week and win a game in the conference tournament. Those two scenarios would solidify thier bid. Maryland is in a similar spot - they need to get to 9-7 also, but they have three road games (two this week, including at Carolina this weekend). They need three of four and a conference tourney win to feel safe.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys have too much faith in Indiana. They have a poor 13-10 (5-7) record & have went 3-7 in last 10. Hoosiers have lost 7 of 8. They will be lucky to split their last 4. But a split wouldn't be enough anyway. Michigan State will win at IU and the Hoosiers will be lucky to get a split on the road the last week. And don't forget Penn State, they have been playing very well lately. it is a joke to see IU in the last 4 out. They need to stay above .500 so they can make the NIT...

Anonymous said...

UAB is ranked 32 spots higher in the RPI than UTEP. Why is it so hard for Miners fans to comprehend that? UTEP has 3 losses to teams outside the top 100. UAB has zero

Andrew said...

The new NIT rules allow the tournament to take teams with a sub-.500 record, by the way.

Anonymous said...

As I know the rules with placing teams in regions, they go by the S-Curve. The top team goes to the closest location, and so on and so forth until the regions are filled. That is the pod system in a nut shell.

With Florida, just change the location for the pod. You don't need to change the region. Unless you don't want to give the 4th seed a homecourt disadvantage.

matt r said...

Not exactly.

The rules clearly state that you place the 1 seeds in regions, 2 seeds in regions, 3 seeds in regions, and then the 4 seeds in regions. Then you assign the first/second round sites to each team seeded 1-4, in pretty much the order they are ranked 1-16 overall. By the time I got to the number 4 seeds I had one Jacksonville, one Salt Lake, and two San Diegos left. UCLA was top of the fours so they get San Diego. Iowa was next, and when all that's left is too far away to even matter, I generally go to the next team and come back later. This was the case with Iowa. Next was West Virginia, and I figured out of Jacksonville, Salt Lake, and San Diego, Jacksonville was the logical choice. At least SOME lunatics might be willing to drive 750 miles down the east coast or take the cheaper flight (which is the same reason I put GW in Jax, with the Criminoles being placed in that pod much later in the process).

After 1-4 seeds, you place the 13-16 seeds to set the first round matchups. THEN you get to the 5 seeds and Florida. As you see by then, you have already matched pods to regions. Florida can't play in the Atlanta region with Tennessee like I mentioned before so they can't play in that Jacksonville pod.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, you guys know how to make my life miserable. Duke and Air Force in the same bracket .. I'm an AF grad and my wife is a Dookie ... NC State facing off against UNC-Wilmington in round one .. one of my kids graduated from State & one from UNC-W. Are you sure guys don't have it in for me?

Bracketology 101 said...

Haha. We would apologize, but we can't get over the fact that you married a Dookie.

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