Monday, December 24, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Dec. 24

The Breakdown
This past week featured several games between two ranked teams and several more that pitted two bubble teams against each other. The results of those games caused some movement at the top and at the bottom of the bracket this week. The Big XII continued to impress, as Oklahoma beat Gonzaga and jumped into the field as the league’s (wow) seventh bid. The biggest losers of the week turned out to be a pair of teams from the Sunshine State. Inconsistent Florida State lost to Providence and were ultimately replaced by the Friars in our field. The two-time defending champion Gators also bowed out of the bracket after their blowout loss to Ohio State. Their defection leaves the struggling SEC with just four bids.

The biggest debate for us each week continues to be 11 and 12 lines, as many teams on those lines – especially those teams in our Last Four In list – remain in the bracket based on our belief they will turn things around. Arkansas and Southern Illinois, especially, don’t have glowing resumes at this point to say the least (both suffered bad losses again this week), but we think that each of them has the talent to bounce back and be tourney-worthy come March.

Our next bracket will come out Jan. 7…

Out This Bracket
Florida State, Florida

In This Bracket
Oklahoma, Providence

Last Four In
Arkansas, Southern Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville

Last Four Out

Syracuse, Boston College, Arizona State, Houston

Next Four Out
Florida State, Florida, Drake, Valparaiso


Conference Breakdown
Big XII (7), Big East (7), Pac-10 (7), ACC (6), SEC (4), A-10 (4), Big Ten (4), MVC (2), WCC (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami (FL), Virginia, North Carolina State

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Rhode Island, Xavier, Dayton, Massachusetts

Big East - Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, West Virginia, Providence, Louisville

Big Sky - Northern Arizona

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State

Big 12 - Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Nebraska

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - George Mason

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

- Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Hampton

MVC – Creighton, Southern Illinois


Northeast - Wagner

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

Pac-10 - UCLA, Washington State, Arizona, USC, Stanford, Oregon, California

Patriot - Holy Cross

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Sam Houston State

Summit - IUPUI

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

SWAC - Alabama A&M

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's


The Seeds
The 1s

North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, UCLA

The 2s
Pittsburgh, Washington State, Texas, Duke

The 3s
Michigan State, Tennessee, Marquette, Texas A&M

The 4s
Georgetown, Indiana, Butler, Arizona

The 5s
Vanderbilt, Miami-FL, Mississippi, Villanova

The 6s

Clemson, St. Mary’s, USC, Wisconsin

The 7s
BYU, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Rhode Island

The 8s
Xavier, Baylor, Dayton, Virginia

The 9s
Stanford, Creighton, Ohio State, Oklahoma

The 10s
Oregon, North Carolina State, Providence, California

The 11s
Massachusetts, Nebraska, Louisville, Kansas State

The 12s
Southern Illinois, Arkansas, Kent State, George Mason

The 13s
UC-Santa Barbara, Sam Houston State, Western Kentucky, Davidson

The 14s
Siena, Utah State, Holy Cross, Winthrop

The 15s

Cornell, Belmont, Hampton, Northern Arizona

The 16s

IUPUI, UMBC, Wagner, Austin Peay (Play-In Game), Alabama A&M (Play-In Game)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


DanM said...

Yeah Friars! said...

Sic'em Bears!!!! Go Baylor!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seton Hall has an RPI of 24, is 8-2, and has a quality win.

Louisville has an RPI of 55, is 7-3, and has no quality wins (unless you count Miami (OH) or UNLV which I don't)

Louisville is in this bracket but Seton Hall is not. I need an explanation.

Bracketology 101 said...

Here's an explanation:

Louisville is in over Seton Hall at this point for a number of reasons. The simple answer is that part of our formula for picking teams is figuring out where we think teams will be at the end of year. Based on talent level and potential, we project that at the end of the year Louisville will be dancing and Seton Hall won't.

If you also break down what they've so far this season, though, the case could easily be made again that Louisville has the better resume. Forget about RPI this early in the year: until last week, St. Mary's was No. 1 in the RPI and Texas-Arlington was in the top 15. Also forget about loss totals, because the Cardinals have been decimated with injuries and discipline problems so far this season, and have still managed to get two quality wins under their belt without suffering any real "bad" losses. Miami(OH) is an above average team that did beat Xavier and Illinois this year, and UNLV might be the second best team in the MWC. Seton Hall's "quality" win was against a Virginia team that was a five seed in our bracket early in the year and has fallen ever since.

Either way you break it down, Louisville is in right now over Seton Hall. That doesn't mean things can't change, but that's the way we see it today.

Anonymous said...

I think both teams will be dancing at the end of the year.

Right now, however, Louisville doesn't belong in the tournament. You should do predictions based on if the season ended today, not where you are guessing teams will end up. However, doing a bracket this early in the year would then be pointless.

You talk about talent level, Seton Hall has some. Don't sleep on them. I'll take Eugene Harvey and Brian Laing over Edgar Sosa and Terrence Williams any day of the week. Louisville is a deeper team, but don't sell the Hall short. They will shock a lot of people in Big East play. Just because they're not on TV every night like Louisville doesn't mean they don't have talent.

Anonymous said...

You should do predictions based on if the season ended today, not where you are guessing teams will end up.

You should start your own bracketology blog.

Bracketology 101 said...

It's not that we don't like Seton Hall or think they are not talented; we had the Pirates in our bracket after the Virginia win. We also wouldn't be shocked if both teams are dancing in March.

As far as making a bracket "as if the season ends today," we disagree with that method for a lot of reasons. We described them all in a post way back in January of this year. Here's an excerpt of that post. Hope it explains everything.

(Remember, this post is about LAST SEASON...)


What is the point of putting together a weekly bracket with the premise of “this is how the bracket would look if the season ended today?”

For years, this practice has bothered us. Since when did the college basketball season “end today,” when it’s mid-January, or mid-February? Are fans worried about their team today, or if come mid-March that team will be dancing?

All would prefer the latter, but many bracketologists don’t offer much of a look ahead. Their argument for an “ended today” bracket is for immediacy, and a need to make weekly sense of the crazy college basketball world. Their real reason, though, for this “ended today” way of putting together a bracket is this: By “ending a season today” current conference leaders (especially in the mid-major and low-major teams) get automatic bids, throwing everyone else in the league into the at-large pool. All that does is make life a million times easier for Joe Lunardi and Co, and makes their brackets, for lack of better terms, unreliable and fairly useless.

Take, for example, Lunardi’s handling of the A-10 in last week’s bracket. Lunardi has two teams in from the A-10 (Xavier and Saint Joseph’s) when there is little to no case that the conference deserves two teams at this point. Since Saint Joseph’s is in first place in conference (2-0), though, they get a bid, while Xavier gets the at-large bid.

Seems legit right? Not exactly – especially if you are a fan of any of the teams on Lunardi’s Last Four Out list (Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Creighton, Providence) or Next Four Out list (DePaul, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois). If you are a fan of one of those eight teams, and only looked at Lunardi’s bracket, you have no clue where you stand. By taking the easy way out and putting two A-10 teams in (and justifying it by a meaningless 2-0 start to conference play), Lunardi has one less tough “bubble” decision to make each week. He’ll just put a 10-5 Saint Joseph’s team that might not be one of the four best teams in the A-10 and whose wins in the conference are against Charlotte and Temple (a combined 12-16) in the bracket instead.

These Last Four In and Last Four Out picks are the hardest for us at B101 to make each week. It takes a huge chunk of time to review all of these teams’ resumes, and decide who makes that final cut. There is, for us at least, no easy way out. There is, instead, each Monday, an accurate “bubble” and a bracket full of the teams that belong in the bracket now as well as those who will be in at the end of the year (not “today.”) The teams with the best resumes and the best projected resumes are in; those who are a phony 2-0 in conference and won’t sniff the Big Dance are not.

Anonymous said...

Fair point, but a "season ending today" bracket lets fans know where the teams stand right now and gives them an idea what they need to do over the remaining games.

Miner79 said...

The fact you have Houston out and CUSA getting 1 bid is forgivable at this point, because it's early. You will however change your toon in a month. Houston is better than most teams in the country with the exception of maybe 15. They have an upset 1 point loss to a good VCU team and have gotten better they will have quality wins over, Kentuck, Umass and maybe Arizona. Seriously you really are off at this point on this one!

Bracketology 101 said...

We've given Houston a good look but there are a few things we can't get past with them. All of their wins have come at home (besides the Marist and Charleston wins in Puerto Rico) and none of those wins are good wins (Kentucky is not a good win at this point). The next few weeks will tell us a lot about Houston with a game at UMass and Arizona coming in. If they can win one of those games they will make the bracket.

Bryan said...

I think that you can remove Florida State from any further bracket talk this season. is reporting that Freshman Solomon Alabi and Julian Vaughn will be sidelined indefinitely. 7'1 Alabi will have surgery to correct a leg fracture and is probably done for the year. Vaughn will be out for medical testing. Huge loss for FSU, which is left with only 6 scholarship players, and no depth off the bench. With Jr. Casaan Breeden leaving FSU earlier this month and Soph. Ryan Reid suspended for undisclosed reasons, FSU certainly isn't heading for a happy new year. Tough to see FSU heading for any kind of post-season invite after this mess. How much worse can things get for a school that has had to suspend numerous students for an academic cheating scandal along with these awful losses to their basketball program?? Tough time to be an FSU fan. Happy holidays to all you Bracketology 101 guys, and have a great new year!

Jeremy said...

No love for the MWC! I expect at least 2 teams from that league. New Mexico, UNLV, and San Diego State all have 10 wins, and Utah at 9.

jeremy said...

What about the MWC! I think they should get 2 teams in. UNLV, BYU, New Mexico, and San Diego Sate have at least 10 wins, and Utah has 9.