Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bracketology 101's Bracket Picks

To view or download Chris', Craig's, and Matt's complete tournament brackets, click on the title of this post.

The brackets are downloadable, printable, and are saved in .pdf format. There is also a blank downloadable bracket that you can use for your own picks.

Good luck in your office pools...

Also, if you haven't done so yet, sign up for Bracketology 101's Tournament Challenge group at ESPN.com.

Private Group Name: B101 Bracket Challenge

Password: b101

Sign up for the group ASAP. The group locks at the tip-off of the first game on Thursday. Only one bracket per person, please.

266 comments:

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Anonymous said...

B101 -

What do you think about the committee releasing weekly brackets beginning in February? Sure, the suspense of Selection Sunday would disappear but thats the point - teams would know exactly where they stand and what they need to do to get in. Specific wins and losses would have to be rewarded/penalized accordingly by the committee, weekly. THere would be much greater accountability to the public and transparency,

Bracketology 101 said...

You're heading very close to a BCS-type set up if that happens, which isn't the best solution. What the committee needs to do is come up with (and release) an ordered list of criteria that they use to select and seed teams. That would add transparency and then they couldn't be vague after the fact and say "well, this team is good so they got in."

The committee made some ridiculous selections this year, but even more ridiculous was the inconsistency of those decisions. How does the SEC title game not matter but the ACC title game clearly did? How does a fourth place team like VCU get in over a first place team like St. Mary's when they had otherwise similar resumes? How do they preach that "who you beat and where you beat them" is the main criteria, and then let UAB and Clemson in? How does Kansas State deserve a 5 and Colorado, who beat them three times, gets left out? How is Richmond barely in, but Michigan is an 8 seed?

Do we need to go on?

Rico said...

(1) Conference tournament winners

(2) Regular season champions of the Top 10 conferences

(3) Teams with at least .500 record (minimum of six games) against Top 50 Sagarin-ranked schools

(4) Any top 100 SOS (using Sagarin) that has winning record in road/neutral games

(5) In final phase, consider regular season champion of conferences ranked 11-15 and teams that won at least 80% of their final 12 games

(6) If spots still remain, let the committee fill them; at that point, who cares?

Will said...

@5:14 anonymous... You'd also have AD's spending 2 months sequestered in a hotel somewhere...

@Rico

Why don't we just have your boyfriend, Mr. Sagarin, fill and seed the field himself?

Will said...

Seems obvious that the committee only looks at february on... Ridiculous.

Rico said...

Will,

Thanks for your support of my idea.

Can you go back into your room and see if Mr. Sagarin is awake so we can get started on next year's bracket?

Will said...

My computer is in my room. Mr. Sagarin is not, and I'm not quite sure why you'd think he was, since it isn't me that wants to let people in based on his rankings.

Rico said...

I did not realize that Will was such a fan of the RPI, which the committee obviously is using to fill and seed the field.

According to your favorite measure, Will, UAB and VCU are better than Colorado and Virginia Tech. Most intelligent analysts have argued that is not the case.

According to my favorite measure, VT is the best of the bunch, followed by Colorado. UAB and VCU are outside the top 50.

Will said...

Once again, you have misunderstood my post. I didn't say the RPI was better, just noted your unnatural reliance on it.

Additionally, I haven't heard one analyst say that VT or Colorado were BETTER teams, just that they had better resumes.

Won't said...

Forget all of that stuff. The committee just needs to do a better job of selecting and seeding the teams. I don't think they've ever been worse than this year. Even if you give them a pass on selection, some of the seeding was atrocious.

Will said...

Interesting, won't... Which seeding do you feel was inexplicable?

Won't said...

Michigan, Illinois, Butler, Utah State, Richmond for starters.

mag900 said...

"How does the SEC title game not matter but the ACC title game clearly did?"

b101, repeat after me: the sunday games did NOT count (and that includes the duke game). it would have been comical, had duke lost and still gotten a 1 seed, to hear the committee do the 2-step trying to justify it. it almost seems like they hedged for that by over-seeding nearly all of duke's good wins. ksu a 5? mich st a 10? temple a 7? gonzaga an 11? clemson a bid? uab a bid?

Will said...

Utah State has 0 wins over tournament teams, and has just 2 wins over teams in the top 100 of the RPI. Michigan State has 6 wins over tournament teams, and ONE loss to teams who didn't make the tourney. Illinois beat UNC, Wisconsin, and 3 other tourney teams, and only lost twice to non-tourney teams. Butler won 20 out of their last 25, and is the defending national runners-up. Richmond beat purdue and VCU and no one else, and lost to Iona, GT, and a patriot league team. Where is the proof that this is a good team, and not one that got lucky one day?

Will said...

Wow, Mag... You REALLY hate Duke, don't you?

Rico said...

Will,

Regarding Richmond's wins, I guess you think of Temple as "no one" since the Spdiers beat them, too.

So, maybe UR got lucky three times this year (or maybe they are a pretty good team).

Rico said...

...and the "Patriot League team" that beat Richmond was actually Bucknell, who won the league and qualified for the tournament. (I note in your paragraph that you like to mention games against tourney teams when it is convenient to support your point.) In fact, the Spiders only lost seven times all year and four of those losses were to tournament teams.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me with Ohio St. I really can't see them winning it all. They played lesser competition for the most part and they do play in the Big Ten not the best basketball conference out there. I have them losing to Texas with Texas and Kansas in the finals and Kansas winning the whole thing.
Being a huge Tar Heel fan anyone picking them to make it past the sweet sixteen is a mistake. If Barnes doesn't score ridiculous numbers they don't win, right now the pace of the game has caught up to Marshall and he is making bad decisions with the ball. If teams pack it in and force them to shoot from the outside they are in trouble and for some reason it now seems like driving the land on Hinson is a good idea, his shot blocking has dropped off considerably.

mag900 said...

"Wow, Mag... You REALLY hate Duke, don't you?"

um, no. i went there but i still can recognize something that doesn't look right.

Won't said...

With regard to Butler, they beat one tourney team (Florida State) and lost to UWM twice, Youngstown State and Evansville at home. Being defending national runner-up should have no bearing on their seeding for this year. How can you claim that a 12 seed is justified for Richmond, yet an 8 seed is okay for Butler?

By the way, I'm a Butler fan since childhood.

Rico said...

You gotta love Will's "defending national runners-up" line....VERY logical.

Will said...

Fine. 3 wins over tournament teams is still unimpressive.

mag900 said...

btw, i meant butler as an 8 (not gonzaga). i'm mixing the nyc december neutral court wins from last year and this year. there's no way butler should be an 8, but it makes duke's resume look better in a circular sort of way.

Will said...

My thought on Butler is the Los Angeles Lakers effect. They let down against mediocre competition, even though they're much better than the other teams. I also didn't say ANY of the seeds were justified, just named reasons why they could be. Richmond=126 SOS, 16 wins over teams UNDER .500 overall. TWO(2) wins over teams with less than ten losses.

Will said...

The Bucknell team Richmond lost to had losses v St. Francis(PA), Princeton, James Madison, Wagner(the last 3 consecutively), and Army, and was 1-5 vs the top 100, and we know who that win was. They were also 4-5 vs the top 150, and 7-6 vs the top 200. Props, though, for that sparkling EIGHTEEN and TWO record vs the 200 and under RPI teams...

Will said...

Clearly the tournament emphasized late-season play. Butler won ten in a row to end the year, and got an eight. Clemson won 8 of their last 13, only 2 losses outside of the top 6 RPI in that span. UNC won 14 of 16, and got a 2. Michigan won 10 of its last 21 and... Well, hit and miss, right?

Will said...

Just playing the Devil's advocate on the bad seeding, by the way. I think some of it was terrible, though I think the worst seeding was UF, Michigan, BYU, and Pitt's whole bracket.

jay said...

Its a nice argument about seeding you all have going, but isn't time to try and figure out who is going to win the whole thing. I posted earlier about wanting some help with Ohio St. Right now I am shaky about Texas in the finals. I could see SDSU taking them out which would leave SDSU vs. Ohio St. and since I have not watched them play due to the fact I don't have the time and I live in ACC country any advice other than them being media darlings would be helpful.

By the way watch out for Clemson if they beat UAB. They are playing good D and can knock down the outside shot. If they win I have them beating W. Virginia.

mag900 said...

"Clearly the tournament emphasized late-season play."

kentucky won 6 straight and 8/9 but that didn't stop the committee from shafting them with a 4. also, villanova lost 6 straight and got bumped all the way up to a 9. they seemed like the poster child for the play-in game. there was zero consistency on anything the committee did this year.

Will said...

Kentucky went 10-6 in the 6th best conference. Yeah, GREAT team...

mag900 said...

you are nuts to pick a rick barnes team to go to the finals. how many teams loaded with nba talent has he managed to screw up?

jay said...

Yeah I know I just have a feeling Ohio St. isn't going to be there and I don't like to teams (such as SDSU) who play in weaker conferences.

Will said...

Duke is winning that regional.

mag900 said...

that kentucky team you don't like also beat the ND team so many on here think should have gotten the last 1 seed (along with washington and that other BE team called louisville). i'm about the last person to defend kentucky but they should not have been a 4 seed based on the season they had (particularly when they won the sect).

Will said...

I know... It's almost like SOMETIMES they played like a good team, and sometimes they didn't... If they go 12-4 in the SEC, it's a 3 seed.

mag900 said...

butler played in a weaker conference last year and did ok. it's hard to get a good read on sd st because they didn't play any bcs tournament teams. they have to be good, because they won a lot of games against decent teams, but there's a big difference between being good and FF good.

Will said...

SDSU has the Boise State complex. Good enough on any day to beat anyone, but wouldn't be 32-2 against the ACC or Big east. Could make a run, but won't beat Duke.

jay said...

I hate Duke so much that I feel like I follow them as much as Carolina. Duke will not win that regional. After Smith took over the point Singler's production dropped off dramatically and they have no inside presence. The Plumlees are weak and at times find themselves in foul trouble. If Curry or Dawkins (really just Curry, Dawkins is streaky) is not knocking down threes you have a problem. Kelly can help but he seems to be a little inconsistent as well. Smith is know doubt a great player and should be considered for National Player of the Year I do not think he can lead this team to the final four. If Irving comes back I don't know if they can insert him in to the line up without having chemistry problems this late in the game.

mag900 said...

that's what happens when a team's entire starting line-up goes to the nba and a whole new wave of top prospects gets inserted into the line-up -- you get ups and downs. kentucky had more than enough ups to get a 2 or a 3 seed. they definitely should have been seeded the same or higher than byu and florida.

Will said...

And, yet, they just beat a 2 seed on a neutral court by 17. Every team has problems, duke's are the least troubling.

Will said...

And more than enough downs to get a 7 or 8 seed.

mag900 said...

if duke plays like it did in the acct, particularly against unc, it is going to win the west. singler's sub-par year really has hurt duke this year. the committee didn't do duke any favors either -- tennessee in the 2nd round is a brutal match-up (particularly when tennessee fans will travel in droves to the game). if barnes knew how to coach, texas would be too much for duke to handle. however, barnes doesn't know how to coach.

jay said...

Carolina in know way shape or form should have been a two seed. I love them, but they are not that good. Way to inconsistent. They had slow starts all year not just the ACC tournament. I really don't think they should have been higher than a four. They did well in conference play but the ACC is weak this year.

Will said...

Tennessee fans will travel in larger droves than Duke fans? Game is in Charlotte, home field advantage for Duke. If Duke is on, they'll win the regional. If duke is off and the other team is off, they'll win. If they happen to be off, and the other team happens to be on, they COULD lose. They are the best team, best coach, best player. I think Duke wins.

jay said...

Gotta go, if someone can give me three solid reasons why Ohio St. wins it all it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Will said...

UNC has won 14 out of 16 since moving Kendall Marshall to the starting lineup. Both losses came against a #1 seed, duke. If you think they're a different team now, they could deserve the 2.

Will said...

Sullinger, Threebler, defense that doesn't foul.

jay said...

Duke has a "home court advantage" kinda, don't know where you are from but Duke is lagging way behind in the fan count in NC. Maybe NJ but not in its home state. There will be plenty of people in Charlotte rooting for DUKE to lose, PLENTY.

AG said...

I like Kentucky's chances vs. Ohio State. The two teams are remarkably similar. OSU is a better shooting team but Kentucky has more athleticism. Both coaches are known more for their recruiting than their in-game coaching abilities.

Josh Harrelson will make Thad Matta play Dallas Lauderdale more than he wants to and that means no room in the lineup for Lighty and Craft at the same time. Terrence Jones will step outside to hit some shots and that will draw Sullinger away from the paint. Aaron Craft is a good defender but offensively he can't compete with Brandon Knight. The key for the Wildcats will be containing William Buford, I have never seen him miss a mid-range jumper.

Will said...

I bet not. Either way, they're beating Tennessee. Somehow they managed to overcome the ravenous masses on sunday vs UNC, winning by 17, right?

jay said...

I know how many they have won with Marshall, but his play in the tournament was poor at best. I think his nerves got to him with a one and done situation. For Carolina to make a run he has to be very, very good. Did you watch the previous two games. They were luck to win. They fell behind by large double digit leads in all three games and against good competition they couldn't make it up. They had to many turnovers to count.

mag900 said...

knoxville is 229 miles from charlotte. yes, it's not rocket science to think that their fans will drive the 3 hours to charlotte. do you think there will be more tennessee or washington (unc's likely 2nd round opponent) fans in the arena on sunday?

jay said...

They won by 17 cause Carolina played horribly all tournament. Ask a Duke from NC if they nearly as large a fan base in NC as Carolina. They might be behind NC State. Watch the game and listen to the cheers when Tenn. scores.

I do agree that Duke beats Tenn. no way that team beats Duke.

jay said...

I lived in Charlotte for 5 years that is Tar Hell Country. They will have an enormous home court advantage.

jay said...

meant Tar Heel. Way more Tennessee fans. I like Tenn. over Washington.

jay said...

Thanks AG. But I have a problem Kentucky and how young they are same problem I have with Carolina. That is a lot of pressure for kids who were playing in high school last year. I do like Knight though

jay said...

Thanks AG. But I have a problem Kentucky and how young they are same problem I have with Carolina. That is a lot of pressure for kids who were playing in high school last year. I do like Knight though

jay said...

Thanks AG. But I have a problem Kentucky and how young they are same problem I have with Carolina. That is a lot of pressure for kids who were playing in high school last year. I do like Knight though

mag900 said...

unc's success rides heavily on marshall's shoulders because they don't really have any other options at the point. when he is on, like he was for most of the last 6 weeks of the regular season, they look great. when he is off, like he was for all 3 games in the acct, they look very average. unc was outplayed for probably 100 minutes in the acct, which is why many people have soured on their chances. it wasn't just the duke game -- it was all 3 of them. regardless, they did enough to get a 2 seed.

Will said...

Yeah, last I checked the tickets were handed out to an exact sample size proportional to the number of each team's fans present in the host city...

jay said...

Hit the button twice to many. Thanks for the comments check back later.

jay said...

Will, that is not what I am saying. The fact is there are a lot more Carolina fans in the state of NC than Duke (a lot) Tickets sales will reflect the proportion of fans in a state cheering on an individual team. Since the greater percentage of fans buying tickets to that event will be Carolina fans (and when you include Tenn. fans) there is a good chance fans rooting against Duke will be at least equal to the number of fans rooting for Duke or greater.

derek.slimmon said...

Kentucky should have been a 3 seed and I believe Florida earned themselves a 2 seed with their entire resume. The last four in really sucked. Alabama, Colorado, VT & St. Mary's all should be in over the last four. Bama v. VT & St. Mary's v. Colorado sound like much better, more deserving play-in games. Anyone care about Clemson v. UAB or VCU v. USC???

jay said...

Good time gotta go.

Will said...

Actually, I would say the ticket sales would reflect the proportion of wealthy fans of each team, which more heavily favors duke.

derek.slimmon said...

North Carolina will have their hands full in the 2nd round. Georgia plays with everyone (for the first 35 minutes) and Washington is hot now. UNC will need to bring their 'A' game or they could be booted out of the tourney quickly.

Will said...

How many times has a 10-6 in conference, in the 6th best conference, gotten a 3 seed?

mag900 said...

"Yeah, last I checked the tickets were handed out to an exact sample size proportional to the number of each team's fans present in the host city..."

they are for the chunk that is blocked off for the teams. there are plenty of other chunks that go to the public, the city, the sponsors, etc. most of those get gobbled up by unc locals. there also are all the tickets dumped by the losing teams' fans and, those, too, will get gobbled up by mostly unc fans. that's just the way it is in nc. when duke plays in the ncaat near nyc, it's the duke fans that gobble up the tickets and pack the arena.

jay said...

You really don't know the fan base in Carolina. There are plenty of wealthy fans of Carolina. That is why are freaking Dean Dome is full of whine and cheesers instead of the student body. Carolina sales way to many seats to people who no longer go to school there. If I had my wishes Carolina's gym would look more like Cameron. Trust me there are just as many wealthy Heels fans as Duke fans. Carolina is a bigger school. If you were talking about NC State, Duke wins on the bankroll.

Will said...

Even if it were ALL fans rooting against Duke, they'd still beat tennessee.

jay said...

See A Duke fan knows exactly what I am talking about.

mag900 said...

"How many times has a 10-6 in conference, in the 6th best conference, gotten a 3 seed?"

how big is your sample size? it doesn't really matter if it never has happened or has happened 100 times because every year is different. this year, there happened to be very very few teams that did anything extraordinary in the regular season.

Will said...

I don't know how big my sample size is... It's much bigger than the number of teams in YOUR set.

mag900 said...

"I don't know how big my sample size is... It's much bigger than the number of teams in YOUR set."

my set, which is the only one that matters, is this year. using this year's set, there is no way that kentucky should have been seeded behind florida and a weakened byu team.

Will said...

Florida, a team that finished 3 games better in the same conference? BYU, who beat SDSU wice, was 5 in the RPI, has 4 less losses, and was 6-2 vs tournament teams, and 13-3 vs top 100 teams. UK is 12-7 vs top 100.

Anonymous said...

Duke/Tennessee is not a match-up we're going to see this year, just FYI.

mag900 said...

"Florida, a team that finished 3 games better in the same conference? BYU, who beat SDSU wice, was 5 in the RPI, has 4 less losses, and was 6-2 vs tournament teams, and 13-3 vs top 100 teams. UK is 12-7 vs top 100."

florida, the same florida that kentucky blew-out on sunday and that had an rpi 3 slots lower.

the byu team that is playing in the ncaat was 0-1 against sd st (a blow out i might add) and also got blown out by new mexico. the committee is supposed to account for injuries/suspensions and a byu team without davies is nowhere near as good as a byu team with him. florida got a gift with nyu as its 3.

Will said...

Actually, U of M can't really administrate their way out of this one... No biased committee to up their point totals. They're going to get crushed. 10 wins in their last 21 games.

Will said...

Davies is overrated. They were 0-1 vs UNM with Davies, 1-1 without him. Hard to beat a 2 seed thrice. Even if UK has 2 wins over UF, It's not like they swept them, and they DID finish 3 games better in conference.

mag900 said...

if you think that byu is the same team without davies, then you need to spend more time watching basketball. also, it's a lot easier to beat a 2 seed 3 times after you have beaten them twice, than after you have lost to them twice. byu was better than sd st with davies and is worse without him. the evidence is overwhelming in support of this so i don't know why i am wasting much time trying to convince someone of this.

Will said...

Byu was what... 3-2 without Davies? Should they have been left out?

mag900 said...

byu should have been dropped to at least a 4 seed to account for the fact that they are nowhere near as good without him. what part of a team missing its top rebounder and best low post presence makes that team worse do you not understand?

you also should note byu's woeful game against 11-22 tcu (they were losing at halftime) that they managed to squeak out by 6. so, without davies, byu played 3 train wreck games and 2 good games.

Will said...

Without Davies they aren't tourney worthy. You think they should've been left out?

Anonymous said...

Not sure why so many people are hemming and hawing over Florida getting a 2 seed.

13-3 in conference, won the regular season title, made the tourney final, had 11 wins over RPI top 50 teams (more than UNC, UK, KU, OSU, Duke, SDSU, etc.), an SOS of 4, and an overall RPI of 8.

Were they seeded to high? Yes. Personally, I'd have given both them and UK a 3 seed. However, the way some are arguing against it, it's as though Florida at the 2 is some egregious error. It isn't. If you're going to yell foul over Florida, why not yell just as loudly over UNC (a grand total of 2 wins over the RPI top 50) or even SDSU (outside of BYU, their best wins are Saint Mary's and Gonzaga)?

Wu Ping Cauff said...

@derek:

I think USC or VCU will give Georgetown a run for their money, so I care.

And to the guy considering Texas in the Final?!?! Not only does that breach the "Don't trust Rick Barnes" theory, you'll feel pretty silly when they lose to Oakland in the first (second) round.

derek.slimmon said...

@Wu Ping
I'm not saying USC or VCU aren't good teams; I'm just saying their resume wasn't deserving over the other teams (Colorado, Alabama, VT). That's all. I, personally, will have USC knocking off Georgetown if USC wins the play-in game.

Michael said...

tennesse won't get past Michigan no worries.

Michael said...

Michigan 9 wins of last 13, see I can go back as far as I want to make a point. Will you are seriously a big douche.

derek.slimmon said...

Tennessee will handle Michigan. How Michigan got an 8 is beyond me. Hopson will score 30.

AG said...

Hopson has made it clear he's already looking past Michigan to Duke. Tennessee newspapers are saying the Vols' practice squad spent 1 hour studying Beilein's offense and they were able to score at will on the first team.

Everybody's thinking Tennessee is just going to out-athleticise them with Hopson getting to the lane at will and Tobias Harris dunking on Zack Novak every time he touches the ball but Tom Izzo and John Beilein have the two highest Performance Against Seed Expectation scores among active coaches. Tennessee is an absolute mess right now with rumors swirling that the NCAA is going to show cause Bruce Pearl and force the school to fire him. Besides, if Hopson isn't already looking past Michigan to Duke he's probably looking ahead to the NBA Draft like all those Dino Gaudio-coached Wake Forest teams.

I feel sorry for Will. That FSU/TAMU game is going to be a crime against offense. At least try to shoot over 40% from the free throw line, ok 'Noles?

Josh said...

Are you posting your bracket on here?

Innis said...

when can we expect your picks?

Anonymous said...

who do you guys have coming out of the southeast?

Bracketology 101 said...

Picks are posted.

mag900 said...

"Tom Izzo and John Beilein have the two highest Performance Against Seed Expectation scores among active coaches."

pearl is no slouch himself. he took milwaukee to the sweet 16 and tennessee to the elite 8 last year.

Brad said...

As a Michigan alum/fan I'm obviously biased, and I think we'll have our hands full, but I don't see how everyone has Tennessee getting past us no problem.

It's funny how two years ago everyone was saying the same thing... we were a 10 seed facing a much more athletic Clemson team and they didn't really trouble us from the tip.

Again, Tennessee may win but I wouldn't be betting against Beilein come tourney time. I know some here aren't big fans of Kenpom, but he has us as ~70% favorite as well (and he hasn't been high on us this year... tells you something about Tennessee).

mag900 said...

better redo those brackets now that there is a kyrie sighting...

AG said...

Ugly, ugly slaughter by Clemson so far. I didn't really think OSU's AD was the sharpest tool in the shed, but this just confirms it.

UAB just hit a bunch of 3s and are still down 12. I wonder if Seth Greenberg has thrown something at the TV yet.

Bracketology 101 said...

Pretty sure Colorado wouldn't be down 12 at the half...

In other news, Clemson might get its first Top 50 win!

Anonymous said...

Uab getting shellacked

MichigIN said...

So that UAB thing worked out well.

AG said...

And SMC blows a home game to Kent State. They literally stopped defending on the game winning layup for the Golden Flashes.

*THAT* is why SMC is not a tournament team.

Marty said...

Tennesee and Michigan have one common opponent, Oakland. UT lost @home and Michigan blew them out by close to 20. I expect it to be a great game, but anyone talking about a UT-Duke matchup is getting way ahead themselves. This seems like a very undisciplined team against a very disciplined team. I know who I prefer.

mag900 said...

how badly did the committee screw clemson? play a 9pm non ncaat game on tuesday in dayton and, if you win, get on a plane and fly to tampa for a 12:15 game on thursday! it's not fair to wvu either. why should wvu have to wait until almost midnight on tues to find out who it is playing?

Won't said...

Good thing UAB came to play with a chip on its shoulder last night or just think how ugly it'd have been.

Bracketology 101 said...

Agreed on both fronts, mag.

This will never happen, but the committee needs to take a mulligan and come up with a new 68-team format for next year. This format allowed at least two teams that had no business being in the tournamant to get in, and it left WVU and Georgetown just two days to get ready for their opponent (it's actually less than that if you account for travel and the start times). As politically incorrect as it may be, the four play-in games have to be for 16 seeds. Get rid of the at-large play-in games and give the little schools two nights to (a.) play a game they can actually win, and (b.) give these schools a little momentum before they play a 1 seed.

When they're done making that change, the NCAA can go back to calling the games Thursday and Friday the First Round. The First Four is not the "First Round." The First Round begins Thursday.

Will said...

I totally disagree, B101. The 16 seed won their tourney to get in, I'd love to see the first four be a "last chance" tourney for the last 4 bids, in which they would have to play their way in like the 16's did. Why is everyone so obsessed with screwing over the little guys in favor of teams with no business being in the tournament anyway?

Will said...

@Mag,

The committee didn't screw Clemson, Clemson screwed clemson. Win a game against great competition, and maybe next year you won't have to play-in for your bid. You can argue that G-town got screwed, but I highly doubt that the travel arrangements for, say, Utah State, will be as taxing as they were for Clemson.

mag900 said...

"I totally disagree, B101. The 16 seed won their tourney to get in"

the 16 seed won their crap league tourney to get in. bfd. do you think the best team in the sun belt conference gets an invite to the baseball, football, soccer or lax post season? it's not like it is some major accomplishment to be the 150th best team in college basketball but the best team in your garbage conference. talk about being the tallest midget in the room.

Will said...

I DO think the conference tourney champions in baseball get a bid... If you're only taking the most worthy teams, lower it to 16 teams. These other teams are ridiculously bad.

Bracketology 101 said...

At the very least, the committee needs to figure out how they want to work the at-large play-in games. It was clear this year that they wanted a mid-major vs. a major in each game, yet that was never made known before Selection Sunday. It also led to two teams that had no business being in the tournament getting in. UAB showed it wasn't tourney-calibr last night, and we have a feeling VCU is going to do the same tonight.

Will said...

Yeah, one game proves everything. When Indiana State beats Syracuse, will it prove the Orange weren't tournament worthy?

Bracketology 101 said...

Alabama State earned a right to play in the tournament this year? By doing what - losing more games than they won?

mag900 said...

"The committee didn't screw Clemson, Clemson screwed clemson."

no. the committee screwed clemson. first, the nonsensical play-in game should have been played at the site of the 5/12 game (ie, tampa). i'm not sure how much control the committee had over that but it should have some control over where teams play in the tournament it is in charge of.

second, the committee had complete control over which game the winner would be slotted into. there is no way that the 9pm tues night winner should be playing the first game on thurs 1,500 miles away. it would have been very easy to have slotted the clemson/uab winner to play arizona on friday. the committee didn't, which is just one of its many screw-ups.

Won't said...

I tend to agree with Will on this. Automatic qualifier ought to mean that you automatically qualify for a spot in the 64 team field. Make the final at large slots fight it out.

Bracketology 101 said...

One slight difference between Syracuse and UAB - one earned their way in with a solid resume, the other got a gift from the selection committee.

mag900 said...

"Yeah, one game proves everything. When Indiana State beats Syracuse, will it prove the Orange weren't tournament worthy?"

it would if syracuse didn't have a tournament-worthy resume, got an invite anyway and then lost. your analogy doesn't work because UAB DIDN'T have a tournament-worthy resume and then proceeded to get blown out.

Will said...

By qualifying under one of the set criteria that have existed since the tournament began. Yeah, it's practically cheating...


Every year I hear 3 or 4 people saying it, this year especially, and one day it will come across clearly. If you lose 13 games, like colorado, or if you lose 11, like Alabama, you DON'T deserve to be in the tournament that determines the national title winner. Some will make it anyway, but they are undeserving. Even if UAB wasn't deserving, Bama and Colorado weren't exactly deserving either.

Will said...

Clemson had an RPI 15 slots lower, and didn't have any top-50 wins... Remind me of where THEIR great resume was?

mag900 said...

"Every year I hear 3 or 4 people saying it, this year especially, and one day it will come across clearly. If you lose 13 games, like colorado, or if you lose 11, like Alabama, you DON'T deserve to be in the tournament that determines the national title winner."

that's nice that you have your own set of rules but they are irrelevant in the real world. you also might not want teams with red uniforms in the tournament but, that, too, is irrelevant. fyi, stj, wvu and villanova each had 11 losses. the number of loses is very meaningless in a vacuum without knowing who they were against.

Will said...

Obviously the committee agrees with my rules, and not yours, Mag, since Bama and Colorado got left out. My point is that probably 20 teams that were undeserving got selected this year. The fact that UAB had a bad year doesn't change that.

Will said...

meant "bad game"

mag900 said...

"Obviously the committee agrees with my rules, and not yours, Mag, since Bama and Colorado got left out."

clearly that is not the case because of the aforementioned 11-loss teams (to go along with the 13 loss michigan and illinois and the 14 loss tennessee, penn st and mich st). nice try.

Will said...

But not Colorado and Alabama... So we're in agreement that neither deserved to be in, even if UAB didn't, as well?

mag900 said...

fyi, the college world series has 8 teams in it and the sun belt conference doesn't get an auto bid to it:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/College_World_Series

Will said...

And none of the teams get a bid to the final four, either... Are you unaware that the college world series is the third stage of the NCAA Baseball tournament, which all tournament champions get invited to?

mag900 said...

the tournament should have been 64 teams so none of these mediocre teams should have gotten invited. however, this year there were 68 slots to fill so the committee had to complete the field with a couple of real stinkers. there were several teams, va tech, colorado or even st mary's that were more deserving than uab. anyone who watched duke run them out of CIS earlier this year like they were a JV team knows that.

Will said...

Duke ran a LOT of teams out of the building. There's a LOT of revisionist history going on here, and now I'm going to have to root for VCU, to prove you idiots wrong.

AG said...

I have to agree with B101. Make all the 16s play-in games. This moves all the seeds down a notch. This year it would have made Missouri a 12, Memphis a 13, and Oakland a 14. You don't think that would make for more a tougher field and more upsets?

Then there's the fact that D-I has expanded a lot in the last decade or two. The 16 seeds from 20 years ago would probably be 14s and 13s this year. Back then there were no UT-San Antonios or South Carolina-Upstates or Southern Utahs.

And if we're talking about earning or deserving spots in the field: 16 SEEDS ARE 0-104 VS 1 SEEDS! Face facts: a 16 is *never* going to beat a 1, especially now that there are more and more marginal programs in D1.

Making all the 16 seeds play-in games gives the little teams a chance to have the national TV stage all to themselves and it gives the team that wins momentum going into the 1/16 game. If anything this improves the chances of a 16 beating a 1. Plus, it gives the 16s more TV money, which should make the HBCUs happy.

There is every reason in the world to make all 4 16 seeds play-in games. The only reasons for at-large play-ins are some juvenile and amateurish notions of what's fair. "Oh no! Alabama State has to go to Dayton to make room for Clemson! The injustice of it all!" Whatever, dude. Clemson would beat Alabama State 100 out of 100 times and you know it.

Will said...

Actually, AG, it wouldn't have made Mizzou any lower, unless you think making the 16 seeds a play in game magically creates 4 teams higher than 11 seeds... :(

Will said...

Clemson isn't winning the tournament, just like Alabama state isn't. They keep expanding the tournament to allow more and more at-larges, which is ridiculous. You want more at larges, play a last chance tourney. Let the teams who got auto-qualification into the tourney, or take auto-qualification out of the rules. The current situation makes a mockery of the structure of the sport.

mag900 said...

duke did not beat any other at large team by 20+ points. even the temple game, which was a rout, was a 7-point game at halftime. uab was run off the court shortly after the opening tip. you might want to do some more homework before posting again.

Will said...

UNC was run off the court by halftime...

AG said...

You still haven't addressed my two other points, Will, that all 16 seed play-in games means more money for HBCUs and better 16 seeds to put up against the 1s.

mag900 said...

"UNC was run off the court by halftime..."

did you miss the first 2 games?

Will said...

Your point being that one game doesn't always provide the whole truth? Agreed.

mag900 said...

no. my point was that a team that has done nothing all year (um, UAB) that got blown out by duke isn't very good. a team that blew duke out for roughly 70 minutes during the regular season and then rolled over for its 3rd game doesn't prove that that team is bad. get back to me when you find 70 minutes that UAB outplayed duke in this year.

Will said...

So both teams got blown out by Duke, but in each case they mean different things? UNC got blown out for 80 out of 120 minutes in the ACC tourney. Maybe Kendall Marshall has lost his confidence, and UNC sucks now?

mag900 said...

"So both teams got blown out by Duke, but in each case they mean different things?"

yes. what part of the fact that unc BEAT duke earlier in the year but uab did not is confusing to you? this isn't rocket science but we can dumb it down for you if you want.

Will said...

A basic assumption of the process used by the committee is that teams can change... Why is it so hard to believe that UNC changed, making them a bad team, instead of what... An unmotivated team, who yawns at the thought of an ACC title, and prefers to roll over against hated rivals? Yeah, I bet UNC is the latter.

mag900 said...

"A basic assumption of the process used by the committee is that teams can change... "

now you are just making things up. would you care to provide a source? i'm done here. enjoy your fantasy world.

Justin said...

The committee is never going to have only 16-seed battles on Tues/Wed for one reason - the bubble battles which are now the "first round" are meant to soften the ground for the eventual 96 team tournament. Get people interested in having some opening games with teams that have a chance of winning next round, and with the intrigue of them being teams that just made it in fighting for their lives.

Unfortunately, they completely botched picking them, and so the opening games have just turned into a committee bashing ceremony.

All of the "style of play," "total resume," and "we know they're a good ballclub" garbage that has come out of committee has made it abundantly clear that they didn't have good reasons for picking the teams they did.

Justin said...

Also, if this season doesn't give the committee a reason to stop using the RPI, I don't know what will.

It's obvious that teams and in some cases conferences have figured out how to game the simple formula so that you can get results like 8 C-USA T100 teams (which are so far 0-4 in the postseason at all levels) or 6 CAA T100 teams (so far 0-2 in the CBI).

If UAB can get an RPI high enough to get them into the tournament while beating no-one, deny an otherwise worthy team a spot, and then get blown out, then the system is flawed.

One solution is for the major conferences to start playing RPI tricks as well and try to work in concert the same as mid-major conferences do. But that seems like a much worse option than trashing the system altogether.

Anonymous said...

Mag900 - Glad to see you're continuing your irritating posts from last year.

mag900 said...

glad to be irritating you in anonymity.

Justin said...

And for some numbers to back up my previous comment - the results so far for the C-USA and CAA.

C-USA:

Marshall (RPI 54) lost to Ohio (RPI 163)
East Carolina (RPI 96) lost to Jacksonville (RPI 142)
UAB (RPI 31) lost to Clemson (RPI 57)
UTEP (RPI 59) lost to New Mexico (RPI 67)

CAA:

JMU (RPI 88) lost to Davidson (RPI 182)
Hofstra (RPI 86) lost to Evansville (RPI 136)

A few games were close, but most were pretty clear losses. You have to hand it to each conference - they've definitely figured out how to make their RPI rankings much higher than what their true rankings should be.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea; select somewhere from 27 to 31 at-larges to go straight to the first round (old definition) and somewhere from 4 to 12 bubble teams to play play-ins for the chance to fill the last 2-6 bids. Make these teams pay their own way, count the games as REGULAR season, and DON'T give any gifts to the winners. Eliminate the current first round, and play the games Tue/Wed. How's that for bubble punishment?

Anonymous said...

Play-ins (Swiss matches based on eye test): Colo vs Bama, SMC vs UGA, Clemson vs USC, PSU vs BC, Illi vs UAB, and VT vs VCU. Colo, SMC, Clemson, PSU, Illi, and VT go Dance; others go home on Tue/Wed.

Anonymous said...

Big 10 Rocks!!!!!

Mag900 still irritating!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm 0-4 in games decided by less than two points, and 4-0 in all other games

Rico said...

Will,

The Spiders just got lucky again.

Rico

volzzilla said...

deal with how the first four works. its not going to change from 2 at large games and 2 games with the lowest rated conference winners.

the little guys probably made a case to the organizers that it isnt fair to them to be the only ones picked for those games...and i agree and i know a lot of others do too. including the tv ratings people.

they do need to adjust it though. get rid of the big conference vs. mid major thing. the last 4 teams regardless of conference play.

the other adjustment is do a better job scheduling their next round game. clemson playing late tue, then 1st game thurs was dumb.

volzzilla said...

oh, and whoever said auto bids for other sports, do some research.
- college world series has no auto bids at all
- football dont have playoffs for autobidding
- who cares what happens in soccer or any other sport

Will said...

When exactly did I accuse richmond of being lucky, not good?

Rico said...

How quickly you forget Will.

On Monday at 8:57am you wrote, "Richmond beat purdue and VCU and no one else, and lost to Iona, GT, and a patriot league team. Where is the proof that this is a good team, and not one that got lucky one day?"

A bit later, after I reminded you they'd also beaten Temple, you said, "Fine. 3 wins over tournament teams is still unimpressive."

So, how about four wins over tournament teams? You impressed yet?

Anonymous said...

Ouch.

Brad said...

Looking forward to Will eating some crow here :)

Hope Michigan can keep the Duke game interesting

ivarngizteb said...

B101- Can you make a bracket for what a 96 team field would've looked like?

Apissedant said...

Yeah.... Michigan winning by 30.... who again said they'd get demolished in the first game?

Anonymous said...

Big 10 Rocks!!!!!

5-2 in the Tourney!!

Mag900 still irritating!!!!

Apissedant said...

Oh, one of my predictions was wrong... it appears as only 9 of the 14 to 10 to 12 seeds will not make it to the round of 32, not 10.


I'm pretty sure 9 of 14 is still most, though.

Will said...

I'm still a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt still smells and I still like to kiss my own butt.

Patrick said...

Hey b101,

How's that "and VCU is likely to falter also" versus USC thing going so far?

CAA 2-0 versus the Big East and 3-1 overall... A lot of commentators including yourselves channeling Billy packer this year?

AG said...

Yet another team rolls over for Butler. Its disgusting.

apissedant said...

The Big East played a relatively tough OOC schedule this year, and cleaned up in the OOC games... how exactly do they do so poorly in March after dominating the other conferences all year long?

It appears the only Big East teams that make it to the sweet 16 are going to do so by beating other Big East teams.

Anonymous said...

Richmond

lucky

again

Anonymous said...

Another team rolled over for Butler?

What an ignorant comment by someone who obviously didn't watch the game.

WE ARE BUTLER.

DAWGS DOWN!!!!

Butler can match ANYONE now, they're back.

.......WE BELIEVE.

Steve said...

NCAA Basketball selection is just fine. It can't be totally consistent as there are people on it and COMPROMISES must be made.

I think the BCS should follow their lead and throw out the weekly poll and just have a committee choose at the end.

Anybody else think that they were watching a Buffalo Hot Wings commercial last night? BTW they were stupid fouls that had to be called.

Will said...

1. Congrats to Butler. Guess guard play does win games in march.
2. The big east is disappointing. It's almost like having 11 losses means you aren't that good.
3. Tournament resumes aren't based on team strength, they are based on resumes. Based on resume, teams like VCU and Richmond didn't deserve to be in. That doesn't mean they aren't dangerous teams.
4. Copying other people's motto's is a sign of rigidity and the lack of creativity. You guys, as a collective of students and alums of Butler, couldn't come up with your own chant?
5. Dawgs Down? Really? Doesn't "down" have a negative connotation? Another idiotic chant-motto. Isn't that an institute of higher learning?
6. I'm a big Florida State fan, so I appreciate Apissedant's endorsement of the 'Noles chances against Notre Dame.
7. Can't wait for Wisconsin to beat Butler next week.
8. If they don't, can we call BIll Simmons and ask him to invoke the Ewing rule here?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Richmond's resume wasn't worthy is clinically insane. They are the most underseeded team this year.

Apissedant said...

Wow...

I saw it coming, but I'm still amazed. Only two Big East teams make the sweet 16, and both do so by beating other Big East teams. How embarrassing.

And I'll agree Richmond was underseeded based on their work. They were deserving of a bid whether or not they won their tournament, and a 12 seed places them just out of the at large picture.

They were 3-3 against tournament teams, and all tournament teams they played were seeded higher than they were.

They had the two nasty losses to Temple and Xavier, but they made up for it during the tournament.

AG said...

Purdue is now 0-2 vs. schools from Richmond, VA while playing in Chicago.

I know George Mason's best player was out with food poisoning, but that doesn't change the fact that Ohio State and Kansas have looked like the least vulnerable teams left.

Texas just Texas'ed all over itself on national television yet again. The only reason they were in a position to give up the game winning and 1 was because Jordan Hamilton called timeout since he was afraid to shoot the fts to ice the game. Texas just isn't very good against Pac-10 teams looks like. No wonder they didn't want to join that conference.

Easily the best game of the Sweet Sixteen is going to be Ohio State/Kentucky. These two teams match up very closely with Ohio State having the edge in terms of experience.

The most exciting potential Elite Eight game will probably be Duke vs. UConn. Nolan Smith vs. Kemba Walker is going to be awesome.

Now that Texas did its thing, the next on the list of teams we're waiting to see choke is BYU. That defense is going to cost them sooner or later.

mag900 said...

"the fact that Ohio State and Kansas have looked like the least vulnerable teams left."

did you happen to miss KU's 2 games? they looked downright terrible for most of the BU game before pulling away late (they led by a huge 4 points at halftime). against a very mediocre illinois team, they, once again, were very unimpressive for most of the game and then pulled away late (again, they had a huge 4 point halftime lead).

the best thing kansas has going for it is that the committee gift-wrapped by far the easiest region for them. ohio st has looked the best, but the committee, in another one of its screw-ups, gave the #1 #1 the hardest region. UK as the 4th 4 seed is a joke.

Anonymous said...

No, Will. Auto-bid means you get in the the tourney FIELD automatically, not into a nice 8.5X11 64-team bracket. The FIELD is 68 (I wish it was 64) right now. The eight that are playing the First Four are playing to advance to the next round; that hasn't changed. They are NOT fighting for a spot in the field. We should go back to 64-team FIELD and have at-large play-ins that are part of the REGULAR season, selected by the Committee.
By the way, MOST of the WOLRD cares about association football (soccer), not hoops or pigskins.

Will said...

Yes. However, it's idiotic that some auto bids have to also beat other auto bids to get into the bracket, while other teams lose 14 times, lose their conference tournaments, and/or lose 5 straight going in.

mag900 said...

yeah, it's so idiotic that 14-loss marquette got a bid.

Apissedant said...

I think I have to agree with the passive aggressive and sarcastic Mag900 on this one.

Marquette is 1 of 2 Big East teams that are still in the tournament (out of 11). In fact, both the Big East teams left finished in the bottom half of the Big East.

Believe it or not, I think the results of the tournament may actually prove the Big East deserved 11 bids.

Anonymous said...

Cool March Madness tune on Itunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/march-madness-single/id424685914

Apissedant said...

Where are the Duke and SDSU lovers at?


I love watching those two lose... but holy crap my bracket is destroyed.

Anonymous said...

um-Marquette getting crushed by 30 during the NC game proves they belong?

um-who did Marquette beat to get to the Sweet 16?

um-another Big East team?

Another moronic post by Mag900

Will said...

Not a good day at the Will household... Duke down yesterday, FSU today.

Will said...

Awful job by the committee, giving that terrible Butler team an 8 seed...

MichigIN said...

Marquette DID beat Xavier.

Anonymous said...

So how about VCU, eh?

Anonymous said...

The BE was just a terrible conference. Awful if your 9th place team wins the national championship.

Anonymous said...

The Big East is bad because their 10th best team made the Sweet 16, and their 11th best team was a nine seed

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Anonymous said...

are you guys going to run this site this year?

Ross said...

Echoing the above poster, are you all planning on continuing this site? Would be shame if it's done.

Snapple said...

At least post and tell your fans if you're done. Perhaps give us a recommendation for another good non-mainstream bracketology site.

I've come to prefer the prediction-projection system for mid-season mock brackets.

Anonymous said...

New Luinardi Bracket Out.
Any thoughts?
For that matter any thoughts about Bracketology again ever?

Rainmaker203 said...

Seriously, you guys had one bad year and now you're hanging it up? There's a little thing in statistics called variance, which means you're going to have better years predicting the field than others.

News flash: a bad year was going to happen at some point, no matter how good you are at this stuff. It's nothing against your abilities. People still realize you're the best bracketology site out there, and are ready to forget about it and look forward to your annual top-notch analysis.

Please quit being babies about this and get over it. You're still the most respected bracketology site out there.

Think about Butler: they lost to lowly Youngstown State last year, but instead of giving up they got back up and made it all the way to the Title Game. It would be a real shame if you guys quit because of one bad result.

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