Here are our final numbers for this year's bracket:
Teams correct: 64/65
Exact seeds: 35/65
Seeds within one of seed line: 53/65
*Paymon score: 315
For a complete breakdown of how every bracketologist did in predicting the field, click here.
All in all, we were slightly disappointed with our final stats, but pretty pleased with how we did this year compared to other bracketologists. It turned out to be a tough year for everyone seed-wise, but we think that our 315 Paymon score will put us among the top couple of scores yet again, and keep us atop The Bracket Project standings as the most accurate bracket over the last four years. We had hoped to match our 40-60 performance from last year, but some interesting seeding by the committee and some regrettable last-day changes prevented us from doing that.
Like everyone, we were pretty surprised that Arizona got in, considering their awful road record and the fact that they lost four of their last five games. Once USC won the Pac-10 tournament, we all but eliminated Arizona from serious at-large consideration. We thought a mid-major team like St. Mary's (or SDSU or Creighton) was worthy of that final spot, but yet again, the committee showed no love to the little guy. We are even more surprised that the big conference team they chose in the end was Arizona (over Penn State). The Wildcats were rewarded for what they did out of conference, and that gave them the edge over the OOC-challenged Nittany Lions. There were a handful of seeds given out that we found a little confusing, too. Boston College (and their 60 RPI) getting a 7 seed was the most shocking, and a Jerome Dyson-less UConn getting the last 1 seed over Michigan State or Memphis was a little bit of a surprise, too. Siena (a 9), Utah State (an 11), Marquette (a 6), Butler (a 9), Ohio State (an 8) and Wisconsin (a 12) all got questionable seeds as well, we thought.
Looking back over the season, we are proud of a couple of the predictions we made along the way. We thought all along that the Big Ten would get seven bids, and after a lot of debate, (especially on this site) that's exactly what they got. We also thought the MWC would max out at three bids (not 4 or 5 like some people had), and in the end only two teams from the conference made it. Finally, we were correct in predicting that Maryland would find its way back in the bracket and that the A-10 would eventually produce a bid-stealer. We had Temple in as our original A-10 bid stealer three week ago, and the Owls ended up making the field alongside Xavier and Dayton.
In the next couple of days, we will post our Final Four picks and our complete brackets. We will also set up the annual Bracketology 101 Tournament Challenge group on ESPN.com. The winner of this year's Tournament Challenge will get a $50 gift card of their choice.
In the meantime, feel free to post any bracket-questions in the comments section of this post. We'll check in periodically to answer as many of them as we can. Thanks to the tens of thousands of people who visited the site over the last week, and to the hundreds who posted comments and questions.
Enjoy filling out your brackets...