Monday, November 15, 2010

Bracketology 101's First Field of 68 - Nov. 15

Here is Bracketology 101's first Field of 68 for the 2010-2011 season:

Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In
Texas A&M, Clemson, New Mexico, Creighton

First Four Out
Dayton, Seton Hall, Colorado, Miami (FL)

Next Four Out
Louisville, Notre Dame, George Mason, St. Mary's

"First Four" Games
Texas A&M vs. Clemson, New Mexico vs. Creighton, Quinnipiac vs. Lipscomb, Jackson State vs. American


Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), ACC (7), Big Ten (7), SEC (6), Big XII (5), MWC (4), A-10 (3), Pac-10 (3), MVC (2)

America East - Stony Brook

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Maryland, Clemson

Atlantic Sun - Lipscomb

A-10 - Temple, Richmond, Xavier

Big East - Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown, West Virginia, Marquette, St. John's, Connecticut

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - UNC-Asheville

Big Ten - Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern

Big XII - Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - Old Dominion

Conference USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Princeton

MAAC - Fairfield

MAC - Ohio

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Wichita State, Creighton

MWC - San Diego State, BYU, UNLV, New Mexico

Northeast - Quinnipiac

Ohio Valley - Murray State

Pac-10 - Washington, Arizona, UCLA

Patriot - American

SEC - Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State

Southern - Wofford

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

SWAC - Jackson State

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga


The Seeds
The 1s

Duke, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Kansas State

The 2s
Villanova, Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse

The 3s
Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Gonzaga

The 4s
Illinois, Purdue, Butler, Washington

The 5s
Memphis, Georgetown, Missouri, Temple

The 6s
Baylor, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Tennessee

The 7s
West Virginia, Wichita State, Florida State, BYU

The 8s
Virginia Tech, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia

The 9s
Richmond, UNLV, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt

The 10s
Xavier, Mississippi State, Murray State, Arizona

The 11s
Marquette, UCLA, Maryland, Northwestern

The 12s
Utah State, St. John's, Connecticut, Texas A&M (FF) vs. Clemson (FF)

The 13s
New Mexico (FF) vs. Creighton (FF), Ohio, Wofford, Old Dominion

The 14s
Weber State, UC-Santa Barbara, Western Kentucky, Oakland

The 15s
Morgan State, UNC-Asheville, Fairfield, Princeton

The 16s
Stony Brook, Stephen F. Austin, Quinnipiac (FF) vs. Lipscomb (FF), Jackson State (FF) vs. American (FF)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at or send us a tweet at


Mike said...

Hey Mr. K,

UConn in? Really? I dont have high hopes this year

Bracketology 101 said...

UConn's really young but they have a lot of talent. They have arguably the best player in the Big East (Kemba Walker), a double-double guy in Alex Oriakhi, and they should get enough out of their stable of freshmen (Lamb, Smith, Napier, Olander, Giffey) to get through a pretty mediocre middle of the pack in the Big East and return to the NCAA tourney.

WayneF said...

Isn't it a bit dangerous to be making predictions while most contenders are still playing middle school girls teams? Maybe you're really that good.

Bracketology 101 said...

Truth be told, this is our least favorite bracket of the year to put together. It's based solely on preseason expectations and not on what a team has done on the court, which makes it kind of a shot in the dark bracket.

That said, the season has started and the bracket has to start somewhere, so we're going with this field as our baseline for now.

Timothy said...

As a Nole fan, I obviously have a bias against anything UF.

That being said, I tried to look past that and see why everyone is so high on the Gators. You guys have them as a 3, and admittedly they play in a mediocre SEC this season, but are they really going to be that good?

Also any thoughts on my Noles would be appreciated.

Mike said...

Happy to have you back. Would love to see Nova in the East and make it to "The Rock." Nice advantage for a 2 if someone like K-State has to come up here.

Bracketology 101 said...

A 3 seed for Florida may seem high considering the Gators barely made the tournament last year, but keep in mind that they return all five starters from last year's team, they add much-hyped freshman forward Patric Young, and they play in the very mediocre SEC (which got even more mediocre after the Enes Kanter ruling). Florida is the favorite right now to win the conference, which should be enough to get them a 3 seed.

Florida State's in the same position is it is every year it seems. They'll be solid on defense (even with the departed Solomon Alabi and Ryan Reid), but they need to find someone to put the ball in the basket. Chris Singleton is the ACC's best defender, but he needs to up his scoring average from last year (10 ppg), and either Michael Snaer or Derwin Kitchen (or both) need to consistently score in double figures as well. If all of that happens, the Noles should be the third best team in the ACC behind Duke and North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

As a big ten fan I'm obviously happy to see seven of them in your early season bracket. Do you think this will actually hold to the end of the season?

Anonymous said...

To add to that, any chance of 8?

Bracketology 101 said...

The Big Ten's not going to get eight bids, but seven is a very realistic possibility. Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin are all ranked in the preseason and look like pretty sure bets to make the tourney, and we like Minnesota to be a solid sixth bid. The big question is whether Northwestern can finally (finally!) make the Big Dance. As the season gets underway, we like their chances. They have one of the best scorers in the Big Ten in John Shurna, a tough, reliable senior point guard in "Juice" Thompson, and they'll have plenty of chances to pick up quality wins in what might be the deepest league in the country. Their OOC schedule is pretty light too, which should keep their loss total down in case they slip up a couple of times in Big Ten play.

DCDuck said...

Old Dominion a 13? Seems awful low for a team that pulled a first round upset and returns just about every single player from last year's squad.

Paymon said...

DCDuck - By "returning just about every player" from a team that won a tournament game, you mean minus CAA first-teamer Gerald Lee :)

Anonymous said...

Just watched Vanderbilt struggle to beat Nebraska in Puerto Rico. To me they don't look like a tournament team at the moment. With the favorite of the conference Florida also losing at home recently to Ohio State is their any chance that the SEC this year is last years Pac 10? (Maybe not to that extent but like only 4 bids?) I know my guess is based on limited info but so far when ive seen the SEC they've been bad.

Bracketology 101 said...

ODU is the best team in the Colonial, but Paymon's right about Gerald Lee. He's a significant loss, and the Monarchs are going to need Frank Hassell and Ben Finney to continue to play as well as they have the first two games of the season to make up for Lee's departed scoring.

Seed-wise, keep in mind that ODU got an 11 seed last year in large part because of their huge OOC win at Georgetown. They couldn't beat the Hoyas again this season, so they'll have to play well in the rest of their key OOC games (at Missouri, vs. Richmond, vs. Dayton) if they want to be back in the 11 range again in March.

We wouldn't put too much stock in those two SEC results. Florida's loss to Ohio State says more about the Buckeyes right now than it does about the Gators. Florida's still the best team in the SEC, but Ohio State is a team that can contend for a 1 seed and a national title. As for Vandy, it's way too early to panic. It wasn't a pretty win that they had over Nebraska, but it was still a double-digit win on a neutral floor.

The SEC might not get six bids when all is said and done, but we like their chances to get six more than we like their chances to get four. There aren't any elite teams in the league, but there's a lot of depth, especially in the East division where five out of the six teams (Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Georgia) have a legitimate chance of going dancing.

Anonymous said...

Just curious but will their be a bracket up on Monday or later in the week? If not, do you know what seed Minny moves up to with impressive showing in Puerto Rico?

Bracketology 101 said...

Our next bracket will come out the first week of December, but if we did a new one today, Minnesota would probably be somewhere in the 4-5 range. Through five games, the Gophers may already have picked up five wins over tournament teams. Their win over Carolina is obviously the best win of the bunch, but West Virginia is a top-tier Big East team, and Western Kentucky, Wofford, and Siena will all be serious contenders in the Sun Belt, Southern, and MAAC, respectively.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance in hell Michigan can make the NCAA tourney?

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on NC State after they lost by 39 in Madison? I know Madison's a tough place to play, but thats the score you expect when Wisconson plays some no name low-major team not NC State.

Bracketology 101 said...

Michigan opened some eyes by winning pretty handily at Clemson, but the Wolverines still have a long road left before we consider them a tournament team. The Big Ten is loaded, and we still think the seven teams we have in our Preseason Field of 68 are all better than Michigan.

Bracketology 101 said...

We liked N.C. State coming to this season (we had them a 9 seed in our preseason bracket), but it's tough to ignore the fact that they've been blown out in their last two games against tourney worthy teams. The Wisconsin game was a complete debacle and they were outscored by 15 in the second half by Georgetown back on Nov. 21. The Wolfpack have another tough OOC test coming this weekend at Syracuse, and if they don't win that game (which is likely), they'll only have one more chance (Arizona on Dec. 19) to pick up another quality OOC win the rest of the way. They might end up being a tourney team come March, but if we did a bracket today, it would be very tough to put N.C. State in.

BoilersBulldogsAndPiratesOhMy said...

What place do you think Seton Hall will finish in the Big East and what are the chances that they are the high seed in a first round tournament game?

Anonymous said...

Couple of questions on mid majors? Based on kind of poor play do you still think Butler, Xavier, Temple still are in at-large spots? Also with UCF playing so well along with rest of conference, is CUSA looking like a two-bid league yet?

Bracketology 101 said...

Based on what they shown so far, Seton Hall probably ranks somethere in 9-11 range in the Big East. The Pirates have lost all three of their games against tourney-caliber competition (Temple, Xavier, and Clemson) and haven't exactly lived up to their preseason label as a "sleeper" in what is a pretty loaded conference. We'll know more about Seton Hall after their upcoming tour of the A-10 (they play UMass, Dayton, and Richmond over the next three weeks) and if they can't win any of those games, they'll have a lot of work to do in Big East play to get on the right side of the bubble.

Bracketology 101 said...

We still think when all is said and done, Temple will be one of the top two teams in the A-10, which will be good enough for a bid. Of the three teams you mentioned, the Owls have the best OOC resume to date with wins over Georgia and Maryland and they have two more chances to pad that resume with Georgetown and Villanova looming.

Right now, Xavier can be lumped in with Dayton and UMass as A-10 bubble teams. The Musketeers' only real notable win so far has been Seton Hall, but they still plenty of resume-making games on tap (Butler on Thursday, Gonzaga, Florida, Georgia, plus their A-10 slate). They're probably still the third best team in A-10, and it's looking like the A-10 will be able to snag three bids.

The most interesting team you mentioned was Butler which, based on their results so far, is probably going to have to win the Horizon tournament to get a bid. It's hard to call a December game a must-win, but the Butler-Xavier game is just that for the Bulldogs. A loss means that they will have no OOC resume at all, and they would have to dominate the Horizon to be in the mix for an at-large.

Bracketology 101 said...

It's still really early, but C-USA is looking more like a two-bid league than it has in a while thanks to UCF. The Knights have two more good OOC tests left on their schedule (Miami and UMass) and if they can get by those games and finish second in conference, they will be a legitimate at-large candidate.

Anonymous said...

When is the new bracket??? I am dying of curiosity!! :)

Bracketology 101 said...

We'll have a new bracket up on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Curious to see how your bracket Monday will compare to Lunardi's that came out today. Any thoughts on his?

Bracketology 101 said...

Our bracket's going to look a lot different than Lunardi's. Remember, he does his bracket as if the season ended today, while we consider what a team has done plus what we think they will do in the future. Lunardi has a couple of teams in because they are 1-0 and in "first place" in conference. We won't do that - if we think that team will be bid-worthy down the road, we'll put them in.

ivarngizteb said...

Just looking at this bracket now that it's selection sunday, amazed at how good you guys are. Highest seeded team that hasn't been under serious consideration in the last 2 weeks is a #9 NC State.

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