Sunday, November 30, 2014

11/30 preview

Games of the day:
Orlando Classic final:  Kansas vs. Michigan St - obviously
Texas at UConn - a big game on paper, it obviously does not have bubble impact, but could be worth a seeding line in March to either team
Providence at Kentucky - Provi gets a house money chance at a signature win.  UK's not getting that many quality win chances in the SEC...can't drop too many of these games if they can help it

Other games:
Richmond at Northern Iowa
Stanford at DePaul
Iona at Arkansas
USC at New Mexico
California at Fresno St

Tournament action:
Final day of the Wooden Legacy.  UTEP/Washington for the 'ship, Xavier/LBSU for 3rd
Tennessee/Marquette for 3rd in Orlando, Rhode Island/Georgia Tech for 5th and might actually be more important

11/29 recap

Barclays Center Classic:
Virginia 45, Rutgers 26 - FINAL.  Bennettball!
Vanderbilt 68, LaSalle 55

Emerald Coast Classic:
Ole Miss 66, Cincinnati 54 - actually a nice tourney for Ole Miss.  This and Creighton are two wins with value.  By default, they're your #4 SEC team.  Not good for Cincy, though
Creighton 57, Middle Tennessee 47

Great Alaska:
Colorado St 65, UC Santa Barbara 63 - CSU leaves Alaska with 3 wins and a darkhorse at-large candidacy
Pacific 55, Mercer 48
Washington St 89, Missouri St 84 (OT)
Alaska-Anchorage 65, Rice 54 - this isn't helping CUSA

Corpus Christi:
TCU 61, Mississippi St 52 - neither of these teams are good, please don't fall into the record trap and assume TCU is good because 7-0
St Louis 60, Bradley 57

@Old Dominion 73, VCU 67 - and there's the mild upset I was anticipating.  This is no real knock against VCU, this loss will only be a problem if it's followed with more losses.  ODU enters the at-large conversation for the time being, if only on the periphery
@Harvard 75, UMass 73 - critical win to help offset the loss to Holy Cross for Harvard.  I'm still not sure how high a seed they can get.  As for UMass, they still have a ridiculous amount of quality road games (LSU, Provi, BYU) in the non-con, so this doesn't hurt.  Yet
@Wichita St 75, Tulsa 55 - Wichita is good /analysis
@Seton Hall 58, George Washington 54
@Wyoming 78, New Mexico St 75
Belmont 83, @Ohio 81
@BYU 90, Eastern Kentucky 76

Saturday, November 29, 2014

11/29 preview

Some of the tourneys are now over, or are waiting until Sunday to finish instead of today.  Among the few going today:
Emerald Coast Classic finals:  Ole Miss/Cincinnati
Great Alaska Shootout finals:   Colorado St/UCSB
Barclays finals:  Virginia/Rutgers

VCU at Old Dominion - not a trivial road win if VCU gets it.  Tough game
Massachusetts at Harvard - UMass has built up some early-season resume equity.  This would be a big one.  It's even bigger for Harvard, who needs to add some beef to their own resume
Tulsa at Wichita St - house money chance for Tulsa
George Washington at Seton Hall - yet another game where both teams are around the periphery of the bubble.  Big for both
New Mexico St at Wyoming - Wyoming is hovering in the vicinity of the bubble, they need to get every game like this in the win ledger

11/28 recap

Orlando Classic:
Kansas 82, Tennessee 67
Michigan St 79, Marquette 68 - We get the KU/MSU matchup we were waiting for
Rhode Island 66, Santa Clara 44
Georgia Tech 61, Rider 54

Battle 4 Atlantis:
Wisconsin 69, Oklahoma 56 - Wisky got their 3 wins, and OU has their UCLA win in their hip pocket.  Win for everybody
Butler 64, Georgetown 58 - Quality tournament for Butler.  Butler/G'town play twice more this season, remember.  The Big East.  Who's in it?  Anyways, Butler also has their UNC win in their hip pocket.  G'town lost to Wisky (no sin) and Butler (minor sin), and we'll have to see how their Florida win holds up.
North Carolina 75, Florida 64 - UF is in real trouble, all of a sudden.  Got nothing of value on this trip
UCLA 88, UAB 76 - UCLA is also the other team with nothing of value on this trip

Gonzaga 73, St John's 66 - Remember, this is at the Garden.  This is a true road win for Gonzaga
Minnesota 66, Georgia 62 - S-E-C!  S-E-C!

Wooden Legacy:
UTEP 77, Xavier 73 - Reference this score in March
Washington 80, Long Beach St 70
San Diego 75, Princeton 65
Western Michigan 79, San Jose St 60

Great Alaska Shootout:
Colorado St 75, Pacific 64
UC Santa Barbara 65, Mercer 60 (OT)
Missouri St 55, Alaska-Anchorage 51
Washington St 76, Rice 74

Barclays Center Classic:
Virginia 64, LaSalle 56
Rutgers 68, Vanderbilt 65

Illinois 62, Baylor 54 - UI walks out of this tourney with 2 useful wins
Memphis 72, Indiana St 62

Emerald Coast Classic:
Cincinnati 69, Middle Tennessee 51
Ole Miss 75, Creighton 68 - Creighton was a bit too overachieving early, this balances out a bit.  Surprised a SEC team did this, though

Corpus Christi:
Mississippi St 75, St Louis 50
TCU 57, Bradley 49

@NC State 60, Boise St 54 - I do like that Boise is challenging itself, and the committee will pay attention to that

Among those holding serve in non-tourney action, or in lesser tourney bracket action:  Maryland, Syracuse, Miami, Clemson, Florida St, SFA, LaTech, Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana, Utah
Among those who didn't:  Wake Forest loses at home to Delaware St

Friday, November 28, 2014

11/28 preview

Tournaments, tournaments everywhere!

Battle 4 Atlantis:  Oklahoma gets a signature win chance against Wisconsin.  Butler/Georgetown in a bit of an oddity.  North Carolina/Florida in the losers' bracket, both can salvage their trips with a win.  The big loser is UCLA, with losses to OU and UNC, and a useless game against UAB next

Orlando Classic:  Tennessee/Kansas and Michigan St/Marquette semis

Wooden Legacy:
UTEP/Xavier is a nice little matchup.  Semis here

Minnesota/Georgia for 3rd, St John's/Gonzaga for the title.  Big chance for the Johnnies, and Georgia needs to salvage something here

Las Vegas Inv'l:
Illinois/Baylor for the title.  Winner gets a modest bubble bump

Emerald Coast Classic is underway, Cincy/MTSU and Ole Miss/Creighton (who is re-juvenated)

Great Alaska Shootout continues, and you shouldn't care.  Random tournaments at the Barclays Center (Virginia should roll) in NY and Corpus Christi shouldn't be on your radar either

Holy Cross @ Syracuse and High Point @ Clemson...both smell funky to me...
Boise St @ North Carolina St

11/27 recap

Battle 4 Atlantis:
Oklahoma 59, Butler 46
Wisconsin 68, Georgetown 65 - Wisky/Oklahoma for the title (UW not quite getting the signature win chance they were hoping for).  Butler/G'town get to play 3 times this season now
North Carolina 78, UCLA 56
Florida 56, UAB 47

Orlando Classic:
Tennessee 64, Santa Clara 57
Kansas 76, Rhode Island 60 - rough break for URI to go to the bad side of the draw in this tourney
Michigan St 77, Rider 45
Marquette 72, Georgia Tech 70 - that's not a good loss for GT

Wooden Legacy:
UTEP 62, Princeton 56
Xavier 82, San Diego 71
Long Beach St 73, Western Michigan 55
Washington 78, San Jose St 56

Las Vegas Inv'l:
Illinois 88, Indiana St 62
Baylor 71, Memphis 47 - Memphis is in trouble this year

Great Alaska Shootout:
Mercer 77, Rice 71 (OT)
UC Santa Barbara 71, Washington St 43

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11/27 preview

Every game today is part of a holiday tournament.

Battle 4 Atlantis, Day 2:
Wisky/G'town and Butler/Oklahoma on the good side
UCLA/UNC and UAB/Florida on the bad side.  Impact games everywhere

Orlando Classic:
Kansas/Rhode Island - not a trivial game for Kansas.  Michigan St/Rider better be trivial for MSU.  Marquette/Georgia Tech, GT's gotta have this one

Las Vegas Invitational:
Illinois/Indiana St and Baylor/Memphis

Wooden Legacy, day 1.  Princeton/UTEP, San Diego/Xavier, LBSU/WMU, SJSU/Washington

Great Alaska Shootout began yesterday, and continues henceforth.

11/26 recap

Battle 4 Atlantis, your impact tournament of the day:
Butler 74, North Carolina 66 - UNC has plenty of chances to rebound.  The news here is Butler might be a lot better than we thought, and adds another layer of depth to the Big East
Oklahoma 75, UCLA 65 - Another mild upset in the tournament.  UCLA/UNC...we're getting the matchup anyways
Wisconsin 72, UAB 43
Georgetown 66, Florida 65 (OT) - holy hell, what is wrong with Florida?  At least they'll get one of UNC/UCLA in their 3rd game

Missouri 74, Chaminade 60
Purdue 87, BYU 85 (OT) - ooh, that's a poor drop by BYU
Pittsburgh 70, Kansas St 47 - The margin isn't good for KSU.  Pitt mildly rebounds from a marginal loss to Hawaii earlier
Arizona 61, San Diego St 59 - Really, mission accomplished for both teams.  Arizona grabbed their 3 wins and SDSU look and feels like a tourney team

St John's 70, Minnesota 61 - I think this technically goes as a road game for Minny...which does help the profile a little bit
Gonzaga 88, Georgia 76 - St John's/Gonzaga coming up.  A road win for Gonzaga here could be the difference between the 2 line and the 4 line in March

Gulf Coast Showcase:
Marist 68, Fresno St 64
Hawaii 75, East Carolina 73
Evansville 79, San Francisco 72
Green Bay 59, FGCU 45 - Mission accomplished for Green Bay, they bank 3 neutral site wins for at-large consideration

MGM Grand Main Event:
Auburn 71, Oregon St 69 - about goddamn time the SEC won one of these
Oklahoma St 73, Tulsa 58

Virginia Tech 78, Miami (OH) 63
Northern Iowa 61, Northwestern 42 - Mission accomplished for UNI - 2 wins over middling major teams

Great Alaska Shootout:
Pacific 71, Alaska-Anchorage 62
Colorado St 76, Missouri St 61

@UMass 79, Northeastern 54
@North Carolina St 84, Richmond 72

11/26 preview

Busy day.  Won't highlight every tournament (that's what the other posts are for):

Battle 4 Atlantis starts.  UNC/Butler, Oklahoma/UCLA, UAB/Wisky, G'town/Florida
Last day of Maui:  Arizona/SDSU for 1st, Pitt/K-State for 3rd
Preseason NIT:  St John's/Minny, Gonzaga/Georgia
Tulsa/Oklahoma St in the MGM Grand Main Event

Other games:
Northeastern at UMass - CAA favorites at A-10 bubble team
Richmond at North Carolina St

11/25 recap

Impact result of the day:
Arkansas 78, @SMU 72 - Well, looks like Arkansas is that 3rd SEC team, for right now.  Signature win.  SMU's 3rd loss already.  They scheduled up, wisely...and are paying the price.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  They'll need some wins in conference play to beef up the resume.

Arizona 72, Kansas St 68
San Diego St 74, Pittsburgh 57 - Arizona/SDSU for the title, K-State/Pitt in a nice 3rd place game
Purdue 82, Missouri 61
BYU 121, Chaminade 85

Progressive Legends:
Villanova 60, Michigan 55 - Nova walks out with 2 signature wins in 2 days and have the 1 line in sight
VCU 77, Oregon 63

CBE HoF Classic:
Maryland 72, Iowa St 63 - could be a useful result for Maryland in March.  Shouldn't ding ISU too badly, but a loss is a loss
Alabama 76, Arizona St 71 - red mark against ASU and fringe at-large hopes.  Finally the SEC did something right

Gulf Coast Showcase:
East Carolina 58, Fresno St 52
Hawaii 62, Marist 55
Green Bay 64, Evansville 62
FGCU 62, San Francisco 47

Northern Iowa 73, Virginia Tech 54
Northwestern 55, Miami(OH) 46

@Harvard 84, Houston 63
@Cincinnati 59, North Carolina Central 50
Detroit 82, @Toledo 79 - interesting to me in that I had Toledo among the MAC favorites and semi-relevant.  Gonna have to get off of that now.
@Penn St 78, Akron 72 - boy, not a good day for the MAC.  I'm officially off that bandwagon.
@Nebraska 80, Omaha 67
Miami 77, @Charlotte 74 - Miami to 6-0, and they're winning all their toss-up games.  I believe now
Boise St 86, @Idaho 75

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11/25 preview

So many tournaments going on.  There's way too many to list, so just reference my tournament post below for matchups.  I'm just going to highlight the best tournaments to pay attention to:

Maui's semifinals:  Pitt/SDSU and Kansas St/Arizona
Progressive Legends Classic:  VCU has a must-win against Oregon, and Villanova/Michigan could be for premier seeding in March
CBE HoF Classic:  Iowa St/Maryland for the title

Non-tourney games:
Arkansas at SMU - Arkansas could use a signature road win given how awful the SEC is.  SMU could use any signature win after their slow start.  High stakes game
Omaha at Nebraska - Remember, Omaha just beat Marquette on the road
Miami at Charlotte - But didn't Miami just beat Charlotte 2 days ago?  Yep.  They won the Charleston Classic, which was a 3 game tournament for everyone.  But you're allowed 4 games in an exempt tourney.  So some of the teams in it scheduled a 4th game against a team in the field.  This is one of them.  Akron/Penn St is another.

11/24 recap

Impact result of the day:
Eastern Washington 88, @Indiana 86 - this score explains itself

Progressive Legends Classic:
Villanova 77, VCU 53 - quite a statement for 'Nova...not good for VCU
Michigan 70, Oregon 63 - serve held

Kansas St 88, Purdue 79
Arizona 72, Missouri 53
Pittsburgh 81, Chaminade 68
San Diego St 92, BYU 87 (2OT) - Crushing loss for BYU.  Instead of Pitt and Kansas St/Arizona, they now get Chaminade and Purdue/Mizzou.  Yikes

Gulf Coast Showcase:
Green Bay 66, East Carolina 49
Evansville 58, Fresno St 52
FGCU 58, Marist 43
San Francisco 88, Hawaii 73

Paradise Jam:
Weber St 59, Nevada 56
Clemson 64, LSU 61 - well this was a disaster for LSU.  Losses to Clemson and ODU on this trip
Old Dominion 58, Gardner-Webb 46
Seton Hall 84, Illinois St 80 - three neutral site wins in the bank for the Hall.  Stealth at-large bid looming?

CBE HoF Classic:
Maryland 78, Arizona St 73
Iowa St 84, Alabama 74 - serve held

MGM Grand Main Event:
Oklahoma St 66, Oregon St 53
Tulsa 53, Auburn 35

@Baylor 67, Stephen F Austin 51 - sorry SFA, you'll get cookie points for stepping out and starting to play these games, but you have to win one at one point
@San Diego 77, Western Michigan 70

Monday, November 24, 2014

Neutral site tournaments, part 2: Gobble gobble week

Gulf Coast Showcase (November 24-26):
Green Bay vs. East Carolina
Fresno St vs. Evansville
Marist vs. FGCU
San Francisco vs. Hawaii

Bring me all of your mid-majors!  Green Bay is the best team in this field, and the pressure will be on to hold serve for them.  Any mis-step could be fatal.  FGCU won't be an at-large team, but they're 2nd best in this field, probably.  Everyone else is playing for a chance to make a name for itself.

Maui (November 24-26):
Purdue vs. Kansas St
Missouri vs. Arizona
Pittsburgh vs. Chaminade
BYU vs. San Diego St

Boy, rough to be Arizona.  You sign up for Maui and get stuck with a marginal Missouri team.  They better hope it's K-State next, because Purdue isn't any better.  And where are the high-end teams?  SDSU is worth a signature win, but frankly Arizona needs to sweep through to avoid losing ground in the race for a 1 seed.

BYU/SDSU has high stakes.  Winner gets a decent Pitt team and a possible chance at Zona.  Loser gets the garbage game with Chaminade and the likely Purdue/Missou winner.  Meaning the loser would not get a quality win in this tournament.  SDSU probably has enough room to rebound from it.  BYU might not.

Legends Classic (November 24-25):
Villanova vs. VCU
Michigan vs. Oregon

Oregon is the lemon in this field.  Villanova/VCU is a bigtime game.  Whoever wins plays Michigan in a bigger time game.

CBE HoF Classic (November 24-25):
Arizona St vs. Maryland
Alabama vs. Iowa St

Iowa St should roll this field.  Anything less is a failure, and a scoop for someone else.

MGM Grand Main Event (November 24-26):
Oklahoma St vs. Oregon St
Auburn vs. Tulsa

I'll be surprised if it's not OkSt vs. Tulsa in the finals here.  Not a high-impact tourney, but could be a useful win for either team.

Cancun Challenge (November 25-26):
Virginia Tech vs. Northern Iowa
Miami (OH) vs. Northwestern

UNI is a bubble team.  These other 3 most certainly are not.  2 pressure games incoming for UNI.

Battle 4 Atlantis (November 26-28):
Wisconsin vs. UAB
Florida vs. Georgetown
UCLA vs. Oklahoma
Butler vs. North Carolina

It's the big one.  First off, Wisky and UNC need to avoid the quarterfinal upset.  Provided that, expect heavyweight games in the semifinals and finals everywhere.

UCLA/Oklahoma and Florida/G'town are high stakes games.  Losers likely get stuck with an easy game (read: not helpful to the resume), while the winners get two high-profile games.  Florida in particular has looked vulnerable this season.  This tournament offers signature wins that can be very valuable in March.  Pay close attention to who wins.

Preseason NIT (November 26, 28):
Minnesota vs. St John's
Georgia vs. Gonzaga

Minny/St John's is your classic bubble game.  Gonzaga should win this tournament, but Georgia can redeem some early sins by beating them.

Great Alaska Shootout (November 26-29):
Pacific vs. Alaska-Anchorage
Missouri St vs. Colorado St
Rice vs. Mercer
Washington St vs. UC Santa Barbara

Not the greatest field.  Pay attention to MSU/CSU - two sleeper agents in the at-large pool; winner will have a chance to pile up 3 neutral site wins for the resume.

Orlando Classic (November 28-30):
Santa Clara vs. Tennessee
Kansas vs. Rhode Island
Michigan St vs. Rider
Marquette vs. Georgia Tech

Boy, rough draw for URI.  Probably the 3rd best team in this field, but a loss to Kansas buries them on the wrong side of the draw with less chance for high-impact wins.  Good thing they beat Nebraska.

Obviously Kansas and MSU are the headliners and both need to hold serve twice.  Is Tennessee or Georgia Tech any good?  If so, they'll handle their business in the first game, at least.

Wooden Legacy (November 27-30):
Princeton vs. UTEP
San Diego vs. Xavier
Long Beach St vs. Western Michigan
San Jose St vs. Washington

Some sneaky good basketball here.  Xavier is a bubble team, UTEP is a bubble team to me, WMU is a sneaky good team in the MAC, LBSU could win the Big West...opportunities for all these teams here.

Las Vegas Invitational (November 27-28):
Indiana St vs. Illinois
Baylor vs. Memphis

Baylor and Memphis are both down this year.  Kind of a big game for both, can't get quality win chances slip away.

Emerald Coast Classic (November 28-29):
Middle Tennessee vs. Cincinnati
Creighton vs. Ole Miss

Cincy has no choice but to roll in these two games.

Corpus Christi (November 28-29):
Bradley vs. TCU
Mississippi St vs. St Louis

All 4 teams are irrelevant.  Well played, Corpus Christi.

Barclays Center Classic (November 28-29):
Rutgers vs. Vanderbilt
LaSalle vs. Virginia

Oof, Virginia.  What did you deserve to get stuck with this?

11/24 preview

A lot of tournament action.  See my post about Thanksgiving week tourneys for a full rundown.

Gulf Coast Showcase quarterfinals - pretty good smattering of mid-majors here
Maui quarterfinals - Purdue/K-State, Missouri/Arizona, Pitt/Chaminade, BYU/San Diego St
Final day of the Paradise Jam - Seton Hall/Illinois St for the title
Progressive Legends Classic - Villanova/VCU, Michigan/Oregon.  Nova/VCU is a headliner for me - immediate signature win chances.  Michigan needs to merely have bad loss avoidance here
CBE HoF Classic - Arizona St/Maryland, Alabama/Iowa St - ISU is the classic of this field, the other 3 are bubble teams jockeying for position
MGM Grand Main Event - Oregon St/Oklahoma St, Auburn/Tulsa

In non-tourneys:  Stephen F Austin continues their mission to schedule up, which is admirable.  But they're at Baylor.  Tough ask.  But doable

11/23 recap

HoF Tip-Off:
UMass 75, Florida St 69 - Two losses for FSU, not good.  Reasonably big win for UMass
Providence 75, Notre Dame 74 - File this result away for March, could have obvious bubble impact for both teams

Puerto Rico:
Charleston 61, George Mason 60
Texas A&M 64, New Mexico 51
Dayton 65, Boston College 53
West Virginia 78, UConn 68 - WVU is your champion, and it walks out with a quality win in hand

Drexel 61, Cornell 59
Penn St 63, USC 61
Akron 68, South Carolina 63
Miami 77, Charlotte 58 - Miami wins the tournament and appear to mean legitimate business this season

Paradise Jam:
Seton Hall 85, Gardner-Webb 67
Illinois St 64, Old Dominion 45

@North Carolina St 68, South Florida 65
@Creighton 65, North Carolina Central 45
Iona 78, @North Texas 58
@St Mary's 72, UC Irvine 69
@UCLA 77, Long Beach St 63

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/23 preview

Puerto Rico finishes up, UConn/WVU is your title game
Charleston Classic finishes up, Miami/Charlotte is your title game
Paradise Jam semis:  Gardner-Webb/Seton Hall, Old Dominion/Illinois St.  Yikes
HoF tipoff, day 2:  UMass/FSU and Notre Dame/Provi

In non-tourney action:
South Florida at NC State intrigues me a bit
North Carolina Central plays at Creighton in a gettable game
UC Irvine at St Mary's is my game of the day
Long Beach St at UCLA

11/22 recap

Impact result of the day:
@Rhode Island 66, Nebraska 62 (OT) - Not a lot of harm to Nebraska's resume, but a top 25 team should win this game more often than not.  Big, big get for URI, A-10 won't be as strong this year so a quality non-con scalp goes a long way towards an at-large bid

HOF Tip-Off:
Notre Dame 81, UMass 68
Providence 80, Florida St 54 - well, that's not good for the ACC

Coaches v Cancer:
Duke 70, Stanford 59
UNLV 57, Temple 50

Paradise Jam consy bracket:
Clemson 59, Nevada 50
LSU 72, Weber St 58

Appalachian St 65, @Virginia Tech 63 - and the ACC is hurting itself AGAIN
@Mississippi St 71, Utah St 63 - it's news now when a SEC school holds serve
@Richmond 80, High Point 56
North Carolina 90, Davidson 72
Omaha 97, @Marquette 89 - well, Marquette is in full rebuilding mode now
@Northwestern 68, Elon 67 (OT) - that was close
@Wyoming 56, Colorado 33
@Louisiana Tech 63, American 44
@UTEP 77, New Mexico St 76 - NMSU has to schedule up because of the WAC and are paying for it
@Wisconsin 78, Boise St 54

Saturday, November 22, 2014

11/22 preview

Boise St at Wisconsin - House money chance for Boise to get a signature win
Colorado at Wyoming - Big chance for both teams for an early win.  Both are in the vicinity of the bubble
Nebraska at Rhode Island - Some have URI labeled as a tournament team.  Big chance right away to get the win to prove it.  And for Nebraska, this would be a quality road win
North Carolina vs. Davidson at a neutral site
American at Louisiana Tech - Patriot favorites at CUSA favorites?  Sign me up

In tournament action:

The Hall of Fame Tip-Off is underway.  Day 1:  Notre Dame/UMass, FSU/Providence
Coaches vs Cancer:  finals of Stanford/Duke tonight
A couple tournaments take a day off

11/21 recap

Game of the day:
@Virginia 59, George Washington 42 - Virginia solidifies its status as a potential protected seed, GWU isn't hurt by this, but definitely not helped

Around the tournaments:

Coaches v. Cancer:
Duke 74, Temple 54
Stanford 89, UNLV 60 - Boy, I thought UNLV was better than this

2K Classic:
Texas 71, California 55 - This could be a big year for the Big 12.  This is a start
Syracuse 66, Iowa 63 - Iowa walks away with the dreaded goose egg.  Plenty of chances to rebound though, no worries

Charleston (semis):
Miami 79, Akron 51 - Not a trivial result for Miami, it's a decent win and this team might be a lot better than we thought
Charlotte 65, South Carolina 63 - There's the SEC we know and love.  Miami/Charlotte in the finals
USC 72, Drexel 70
Penn St 72, Cornell 71

Puerto Rico (semis):
UConn 75, Dayton 64 - UConn taking care of business so far
West Virginia 70, Boston College 66 - UConn/WVU finals
Texas A&M 59, Charleston 50
New Mexico 69, George Mason 58 - After a bad loss, a mandatory win for UNM

Paradise Jam (quarters):
Gardner-Webb 72, Clemson 70
Seton Hall 68, Nevada 60
Old Dominion 70, LSU 61 - It's not a complete day until the SEC blows a game they should've had
Illinois St 73, Weber St 64

@Kentucky 89, Boston 65
@Oregon 78, Toledo 68 - Pretty good chance for Toledo to barge into the at-large fray, but it goes begging
@Florida 61, Louisiana-Monroe 56 (OT) - Holy crap what are you doing Florida?
@Xavier 81, Stephen F Austin 63 - Ok, now we know why SFA schedules so soft every year - they aren't actually that good
Iona 85, @Wake Forest 81 - Ouch for Wake, but hey...MAAC favorites, on the road at an ACC bottomfeeder?  Seems like a reasonable result
@Colorado St 80, Georgia St 70 - GSU was everyone's favorite mid-major darling coming into the year.  Should they have won this game?  It might've been too much of an ask, sure, but they're behind the at-large 8 ball a little bit.  They have roadies remaining with ODU and Green Bay in the non-con...they need to get one, and maybe both, because the rest of their SoS will be awful
@Long Beach St 69, Kansas St 60 - And here was what I was talking about yesterday.  This won't hurt KSU as much as you think
@Hawaii 74, Pittsburgh 70 - And this will hurt Pitt, but again, true road game on the way to Maui.  Committee won't punish them too much for this.  Don't overreact on these last 2 results

Friday, November 21, 2014

11/21 preview

Impact game of the day:
George Washington at Virginia - I have GWU around the bubble conversation....obviously a win over Virginia has immediate resume impact

At New York, the 2K Classic:
Syracuse vs. Iowa - Syracuse dropped an iffy one to Cal, don't want to have to make up at-large ground in ACC play
Texas vs. California

At Brooklyn, the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic begins:
UNLV vs. Stanford - Winner gets a good neutral win for the resume and a free shot at Duke.  Loser gets a garbage game with Temple.  High stakes
Temple vs. Duke

At the Charleston Classic:
USC/Drexel and Penn St/Cornell in the consy bracket
Charlotte/South Carolina and Akron/Miami in the winners bracket

At Puerto Rico:
Texas A&M/Charleston and New Mexico/George Mason in the consy bracket.  UNM really needs to sweep these next 2 games
Dayton/UConn and Boston College/West Virginia in the winners bracket.  I'm highlighting the Dayton/UConn game as big for Dayton, and if BC is actually good...this is a house money chance for them

The Paradise Jam gets underway.  LSU/Old Dominion is my game of the day there.  Clemson/Gardner-Webb, Seton Hall/Nevada, Illinois St/Weber St

Non-tournament games of note:
Toledo at Oregon - well technically it's a tournament game, but one of those buy games before the actual neutral site games.  Anyways, if Toledo is actually good, which I think they are, this is a spot to steal a road win, IMO.
Stephen F Austin at Xavier - Hey, SFA has stepped up its schedule!  I don't think they'll be hurt one bit if they lose this game
Iona at Wake Forest - This is an eminently losable game for WF
Kansas St at Long Beach St - Don't laugh, this would be a good road win for the resume for KSU, and a loss doesn't even hurt that badly
Pittsburgh at Hawaii - Pitt is on the way to Maui, one shot at a mini-boost for the resume with a road win

11/20 recap

Impact result of the day:
@Indiana 74, SMU 68 - For Indiana, a good win to start.  They're a bubble team this year, so every scalp matters.  The real news is SMU.  2 road games at Gonzaga, and Indiana.  There's no sin in losing either game individually, but both?  For a team that lost out on the NCAAs last year because of a weak SoS, whiffing your signature win chances in the non-con isn't a good way to start.  Chances will be limited for them in conference play.  They host Arkansas and UCSB...and go to Michigan...and that's about it for the non-con chances.

2K Classic:
Texas 71, Iowa 57
California 73, Syracuse 59 - I'll admit I'm a bit surprised.  These 4 teams feel more even right now than you'd think

Puerto Rico:
Dayton 55, Texas A&M 53
UConn 65, Charleston 57
Boston College 69, New Mexico 65 - Perhaps the only mild upset in this tournament.  New Mexico is now trapped in the bad half of the draw, and remember, the Mountain West is down.  UNM kinda needed these quality win chances and won't get them now
West Virginia 91, George Mason 65

Charleston Classic:
Akron 66, USC 46
Miami 66, Drexel 46
Charlotte 106, Penn St 97 (2OT)
South Carolina 69, Cornell 45

@San Diego St 51, Cal St-Bakersfield 27 - yeah, 27
@Purdue 82, Grambling 30 - boy, there's some bad offense going around
Niagara 61, @St Peter's 59 - irrelevant game.  But I'm pointing this out because;  It's a conference game!  Conference play is ALREADY underway!  My God, MAAC.  What are you doing
@St Mary's 78, Denver 62

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Neutral site tournaments, part 1: the pre-Thanksgiving week rush

This is part 1 in a multi-part series, previewing all neutral site tournaments and their bracket impact.  Let's see what's at stake:

Puerto Rico Tip-Off (November 20, 21, 23)
Texas A&M vs. Dayton
Charleston vs. Connecticut
New Mexico vs. Boston College
George Mason vs. West Virginia

A field of moderate strength, with the clear top 4 teams not playing each other in the quarterfinals.  The battle is for the top 4 (Dayton, UConn, UNM, WVU) to avoid a bad loss, and then to pick up 2 chances at quality wins.  It's a spot where avoiding the bad loss might actually matter more to the likes of UNM and Dayton.

Charleston Classic (November 20, 21, 23)
USC vs. Akron
Drexel vs. Miami
Penn St vs. Charlotte
Cornell vs. South Carolina

Eclectic field here.  I'm not sure a single one of these teams can call themselves an at-large team at this point.  So some of the wins available in this tourney aren't as valuable as you think.  On the other hand, 3 neutral-site wins is a good thing to have in your back pocket in March.  Chances for Miami (coming off a win over Florida) to establish itself as a NCAA team by winning all 3.  I can't imagine either USC or Penn St being legit contenders for the NCAAs....Akron and Charlotte could, and winning this tournament is a good first step.  One thing is clear:  multiple losses in this tourney will be crippling.

2K Sports Classic (November 20-21)
Texas vs. Iowa
Syracuse vs. California

Cal is probably a tier down from the top 3 here.  Despite the great field, this is kind of a non-event in my eyes.  Yes, winning these games would be great, for everyone, but each of these 4 teams will get many more similar chances at quality wins later.

Paradise Jam (November 21-24)
Clemson vs. Gardner-Webb
Seton Hall vs. Nevada
LSU vs. Old Dominion
Illinois St vs. Weber St

LSU is the best team in this field and needs to act like it, because this thing is full of at-large mines.  It's more important to avoid a bad loss in this thing than anything else.  Underwhelming field.  Clemson and Seton Hall are a bit off the at-large pace; a couple of wins here would help immensely.  Also, ODU is a rising team, and an upset of LSU would at least get them on my radar this early in the season.

Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (November 21-22)
Stanford vs. UNLV
Duke vs. Temple

Temple is poop this year, so Duke should handle.  Stanford/UNLV feels like a classic bubble game.  Lose it, and you get a worthless game with Temple.  Win it, and you get a house money shot at Duke.  That is a high-stakes game right there.

Hall of Fame Tip-Off (November 22-23)
UMass vs. Notre Dame
Providence vs. Florida St
UMass vs. Florida St
Providence vs. Notre Dame

4 bubble teams.  Well, they're in various states near the bubble, but you get the picture.  The stakes are pretty straightforward, I think.

11/20 preview

Neutral site tournaments start up!  Puerto Rico Tip-Off and Charleston Classic start up.  2K Classic.  Legends Classic.  These are all covered in the preview post for these tourneys.

SMU at Indiana - another road game for SMU, another chance to put a scalp on the resume

11/19 recap

Impact results:
@Creighton 65, Oklahoma 63 - Road wins are not easy to get.  But dropping one to lightweight Creighton isn't good
@Arizona 71, UC Irvine 54 - UCI hung around for a half and acquitted themselves well, generally speaking

@FGCU 79, Ohio 62
@Wisconsin 84, Green Bay 60
@Arkansas 83, Wake Forest 53
@Gonzaga 94, St Joseph's 42 - ok then

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

11/19 preview

Light night on impact games as most of the big names played in the last couple of days.  What I'm watching:

Oklahoma at Creighton - OU has to win this one if they're a legitimate top 25 team
Ohio at FGCU - mid-major battle that may be of interest to only me
UC Irvine at Arizona - here's one of the Big West favorites in an impossible spot on the road.  house money chance
Green Bay at Wisconsin - and here's the Horizon favorites in an impossible spot on the road too
Wake Forest at Arkansas - I'm underselling Arkansas (and the entire SEC, really).  Needless to say, this game is mandatory for them

11/18 recap

Bracket impact result of the day:

Kentucky 72, Kansas 40

So in the preseason, I put Kansas at the #1 overall seed, and Kentucky on the 2 line (5th overall).  I laid out my simple reasons - we've seen Kentucky underachieve while breaking in freshmen to the college game, and the SEC is so weak that UK might simply not get enough quality win chances compared to the other heavyweights.  Therefore, UK's profile will have less meat than profiles from other conferences; hence the 2 seed as I put 4 other projected conference champs ahead of them.

Then this happened.  So now I'm the idiot on the Bracket Matrix who was the only one not to put UK on the 1 line.  Ha.  Knowing Calipari, though, I bet he likes that their average on it is 1.03 instead of 1.00.  Motivation and such.  Well, too bad, that'll be adjusted this weekend when the first in-season bracket comes out.

Other immediate impact results:
Northern Iowa 79, @Stephen F Austin 77 (OT) - Right away, a quality road win that will look great on UNI's at-large resume.  SFA doesn't play big-time opponents they needed this badly for their at-large chances.  And they missed.  Even with a gaudy record, they may need to win their conference tourney
Duke 81, Michigan St 71 - Here's another case of possible stupidity.  I trust in Izzo, and I put them on the 2 line in the preseason, in large part because of the strength of the B1G.  After watching them, that probably needs to be a 4-5 seed for them, not a 2.  Duke is a solid 1.
@VCU 87, Toledo 78 - This win is more quality than you think for VCU.  No harm for Toledo, but they don't have that many quality win chances remaining
@San Diego St 53, Utah 49 - Both are tournament teams, and this is a "status quo" result
Wichita St 71, Memphis 56 - Memphis (and all the other AAC teams) need to take the non-con more seriously, and more particularly the quality opponents.  Because opportunities are limited in conference play

@Wofford 86, Iona 73
@UMass 77, Manhattan 68 (OT)
Baylor 69, @South Carolina 65 - S-E-C!
Northeastern 76, @Florida St 73 - N'eastern might be the CAA favorites, but still not a good one for FSU at all
@Xavier 97, Long Beach St 74
@Georgia 80, Stony Brook 70
St Louis 69, @Indiana St 56
@Ohio St 74, Marquette 63
@Old Dominion 63, Richmond 57
Murray St 68, @Middle Tennessee 49
@LSU 69, Texas Tech 64 (OT) - jeebus, they almost blew that one?
@Boise St 72, Montana 67 (2OT) - same comment as above

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11/18 preview

See my post about the tip-off marathon for descriptions of most of the games.  I won't repeat myself here.  Just want to point out some other games today:

Long Beach St at Xavier - could be a spot of bother
Stony Brook at Georgia - don't assume anything for the SEC nowadays.  SBU is good
St Louis at Indiana St - both teams are worse than last year; this should be a good litmus test for both
Murray St at Middle Tennessee - curious to see whether the OVC favorites handle a tricky road spot

As a reminder, your tip-off games.  Every single one with bracket impact:
Iona at Wofford
Northern Iowa at Stephen F Austin
Manhattan at UMass
Baylor at South Carolina
Wichita St vs. Memphis
Utah at San Diego St
Toledo at VCU
Michigan St vs. Duke
Marquette at Ohio St
Kansas vs. Kentucky

11/17 recap

Impact result of the night:
Miami 69, @Florida 67 - Is Miami better than we thought?  This would be a big step for the bottom half of the ACC.  The conference has struggled with depth recently, and this helps.  As for Florida...the SEC is a tire fire.  You can't afford to drop these games in the same way, say, Michigan St or Virginia can.  Costly.

Notable results:
@Gonzaga 72, SMU 56 - Solid home win for Gonzaga, SMU doesn't get hurt too badly by this result
@St Mary's 83, New Mexico St 71 - NMSU better win the WAC.  As for St Mary's, a good win which will look better if they string more such similar wins together
@Temple 82, Louisiana Tech 75 - Yes, LaTech was on the road, but they're CUSA favorites and Temple is down.  This hurts a bit
Winthrop 77, @Clemson 74 - Yeah, what I said about the ACC above?  This result wipes that progress out
@Iowa St 81, Georgia St 58 - GSU didn't need to win, but the final margin stings a bit

Quick hitters:
@FGCU 81, UC Santa Barbara 75 (OT) - Probably little impact to their potential seeds in March, but a nice matchup of good teams early in the season
Northwestern 69, @Brown 56 - Only notable as a road game for NW
@TCU 81, Washington St 54
Wake Forest 71, @Tulane 49
Ole Miss 74, @Troy 64
@Colorado 90, Auburn 59

Winners over cupcakes:  Louisville, Michigan, Villanova

Monday, November 17, 2014

ESPN Tip-Off marathon viewer guide

In ESPN's efforts to take over the world, we have another marathon of games tonight and tomorrow.  Here's the guide on the games that will matter, and the games that won't.

Miami at Florida (7PM) - Likely a Florida blowout win, house money chance for Miami
SMU at Gonzaga (11PM) - Highlighted in my daily posts, this is a big game for both teams - more for seeding than anything else, but still worth a lot
Detroit at Oregon (11PM) - meh

Auburn at Colorado (1AM) - Bruce Pearl's gonna need a year to build this thing up.  Skip
New Mexico St at St Mary's (3AM) - This will be a good game, and mandatory for St Mary's
High Point at Hawaii (5AM) - yawn
Iona at Wofford (7AM) - Actually...kinda of a decent game.  Wofford is the SoCon favorite and Iona is probably the MAAC co-faves with Siena.  Pecking order game here
Northern Iowa @ Stephen F Austin (9AM) - MASSIVE GAME for both.  SFA has SoS problems every year, so hanging a signature win on the board in the non-con will be worth plenty.  UNI is a bubble team itself, and a road win is a road win
Manhattan @ UMass (11AM) - UMass should win, could be a good spot for a mid-day nap after Iona/Woffrd and UNI/SFA
Baylor @ South Carolina (noon) - Should be safe to nap here too, expect Baylor to blow USC out
Wichita St vs. Memphis (2PM) - Pecking order game
Utah @ San Diego St (4PM) - Another pecking order game.  Remember, the definition of a pecking order game - a game between two likely tournament teams, where the result doesn't matter for the bubble but does matter for the seedings
Toledo @ VCU (6PM) - Toledo is a contender in the MAC, not likely to contend for an at-large berth...unless they win this
Michigan St vs. Duke (7PM) - I suppose maybe this is a good game
Marquette @ Ohio St (730PM) - pass
Kansas vs. Kentucky (930PM) - Let's see if I'm right about these two teams
Texas Tech @ LSU (930PM) - LSU has to win this game if they're serious about being a NCAA team

My suggestion:
Monday night, stay up late for SMU/Gonzaga.  If you can do NMSU and St Mary's, do it, but the weak may consider a few straight hours of sleep if needed.  Wake up early for the end of Iona/Wofford and UNI/SFA.  That's a good stretch of basketball to watch.  Use the mid-morning to regroup if you need it, because once you hit 2PM, you need to watch to the end of the day.

11/17 preview

Game of the day:
Georgia St at Iowa St - GSU is everyone's mid-major darling.  Here's a chance at a signature road win to lean on for the season

Other game of the day:
SMU at Gonzaga - SMU missed the tournament with a bad SoS last year, so this is an immediate chance to rectify that mistake.  Gonzaga, playing in the WCC, need to pile up as many quality wins in the non-con as possible.  Early urgency for both sides here

Miami at Florida - Not a trivial game for Florida
Louisiana Tech at Temple - LaTech is the better team, but this is a true road game.  NCAA at-large teams win this game
North Dakota St at Iowa - NDSU isn't as good this year as previous years, FYI
Washington St at TCU - Pac-12 at Big 12....yeah I can't pretend this isn't a garbage game
Ole Miss at Troy - Only notable because Ole Miss has already lost one clunker and are on the road here in an effort to destroy the SEC
Auburn at Colorado - oh hey, cute, another power 5 matchup.  gag
New Mexico St at St Mary's - St Mary's fancies itself as a fringe bubble team, and therefore, this is kind of a must-win

11/16 recap

Impact results:
Holy Cross 58, Harvard 57 (neutral site) - Absolutely horrible loss for a team with big aspirations.  Good news for Harvard is that there's no conference tourney to knock them out of the NCAA tournament, but this will damage the seed.
George Washington 70, @Rutgers 53 - GWU is the better team, but this IS a road win.

Um....I got nothin' else for you here.  UMass 71, Boston College 62 at a neutral site.  And then a slew of top teams held serve over cupcakes.  Wisky, Kentucky, Arizona, UNC, Virginia, Texas, et al.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

11/16 preview

More games over lesser competition for Kentucky, Wisconsin, et al...again, not individually highlighting those.

Of note, UMass and Boston College play at a neutral site...Harvard and Holy Cross at the same neutral site.  Utah St @ Illinois St?

We'll wait a day and see who pulls off an upset over a top team.

11/15 recap

Uber-abbreviated version:

Impact results:
Portland St 76, @USC 68 - Bad loss

Winners over cupcakes:  Georgetown, Florida St, LSU, Northern Iowa, Michigan, Green Bay, Duke

Games of note:
Boise St 77, @Loyola Marymount 69
Oral Roberts 77, Tulsa 68

Saturday, November 15, 2014

11/15 preview

Very boring day, as most are avoiding big games this early in the season on a Saturday.

Manhattan v. Florida St - yeah, you can tell already, I have to dig deep today
Albany @ Providence - yawn
Fairfield @ Duke
Tulsa v. Oral Roberts - a neutral site game Tulsa must win if they're serious this year
Boise St @ Loyola Marymount - note, yesterday I said Boise had a road game at San was neutral site.  This however is a roadie.  I think

11/14 recap

Impact results:
@Georgia Tech 80, Georgia 73 - Early ding for the SEC, early boon for the ACC
Charleston Southern 66, @Ole Miss 65 (OT) - And speaking of early dings for the SEC, here's a big one.  CSU should be good in the Big South, but still.  Yikes
UMKC 69, @Missouri 61 - S-E-C!  S-E-C!  S-E-C!  S-E-C!  S-E-C!
Louisville 81, Minnesota 68 - No real harm to Minnesota for losing this.  In their ideal world, this won't mean anything for Louisville either
@VCU 85, Tennessee 69 - The better team takes care of business at home

Quick hitters:
@Duke 113, Presbyterian 44 - holy margin of victory batman
Boise St 81, San Diego 75 - Boise might be near the at-large picture.  This was a neutral win
Virginia 79, @James Madison 51 - Only notable because it was a road game for Virginia
@Iona 78, Cleveland St 73 - MAAC and Horizon could be competing for a spot on the 13 line in March.  Not a trivial result
@Massachusetts 95, Siena 87 - Probably too much to ask Siena to bink a road win here
@BYU 95, Long Beach St 90
Fairleigh Dickinson 58, @St Joseph's 57 - Early ding for the A-10
Cornell 68, @George Mason 60 - Another early ding for the A-10.  Ruh roh
@Wright St 73, Belmont 70 - Mid-level Horizon team over top OVC team
@Temple 40, American 37 - Not a halftime score.  Patriot favorites lose on the road
@North Carolina 76, North Carolina Central 60
@Kansas 69, UC Santa Barbara 59 - Actually a decent sign for UCSB to hang in there for the game
Houston 77, @Murray St 74 - Notable, as the OVC favorites can't hold serve at home over a bottom half AAC team
@Wichita St 71, New Mexico St 54
@Utah St 72, Weber St 61
Michigan St 64, @Navy 59 - Closer than desired
UTEP 65, Washington St 52

And finally, all the big boys not yet listed won comfortably.  Kentucky, Arizona, Wisconsin only gave up 31 points to Northern Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Nova, Gonzaga, Iowa St, SDSU, UConn, SMU, Ohio St, Syracuse....I could go on and on.

Friday, November 14, 2014

11/14 preview

Welcome to the daily postings!  Each day, you're getting two of them thrown in your face:  the recap of the day before, and the preview of the day to come.

Welcome to opening night.

There are many trivial games; I don't need to mention Presbyterian @ Duke, for example.  Cupcake games get ignored on this blog unless something funny happens in the game.

Game of the day:
Minnesota v. Louisville (neutral site) - Sort of a house money shot for Minnesota right off the bat to get a signature win.  The impact of a win or loss in this game, for either side, will be rather small.  Both have a billion chances later in the season for similar wins.

Sneaky bracket-impact game of the day:
Georgia @ Georgia Tech - Get used to me ragging on the SEC this season - they're awful.  Georgia is in the mix for 3rd place behind Kentucky/Florida.  So a road game at a bottom half ACC team is a spot where they can shut me up.

The "why are you playing this game" game of the day:
Louisiana Tech @ Southern - You're the CUSA favorites...and going on the road to a SWAC school?  What?  Am I missing something?

The rundown:
Tennessee @ VCU - Not expecting the upset here, but noting that it's another chance for the SEC to rocket off to a good start
Virginia @ James Madison - Virginia should handle this spot on the road, but it IS the road...
American @ Temple - Patriot favorites in a road game that, if they're really good, they'll handle
North Carolina Central @ North Carolina - MEAC favorites will likely get blasted on the road
New Mexico St @ Wichita St - NMSU's mission to compensate for the awful SoS in the WAC gets underway
Weber St @ Utah St - Big Sky favorites in a roadie at a MWC school.  These are the types of games you need to win to improve your seed in March, and the Big Sky has struggled with their seed recently
Washington St @ UTEP - UTEP should handle, but a Pac-12 opponent isn't trivial for them

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Preseason bracket analysis

I would like to take the time to explain my preseason projections, and how I ranked the teams.

1) I ended up deciding to project the conference champions of the top 4 conferences on my 1 line.  It's kind of the easy way out, but I think it holds up.  No one is questioning these are the solid favorites in their respective conference.

2) Kentucky on the 2 line?  Ok, a few points here:
- Freshmen take time to develop.  They'll suffer early losses.  And that's ok.
- Teams from mid-major conferences don't get 1 seeds unless they run the table.  Therefore, Kentucky won't get a 1 seed without a big run.
- Yes, the SEC is a mid major conference.  Go ahead, take away Kentucky and Florida.  Compare the rest of the conference to the A-10, Mountain West, WCC, and MVC.  The SEC might still be better, but it's darn close.

3) I'll do a conference hierarchy in another post, but the ACC and B1G are the big 2...and I think the Big 12 will be sneaky good this year.  Good depth in the league.  This should boost Kansas, among others.

4) I think an up year for CUSA is brewing.  The bottom half of the conference is bad, but between LaTech and UTEP and a couple others, I expect multiple teams challenging the Top 25 this year.  They have a reasonable shot at an at-large bid - if they avoid catastrophic losses in conference play.

5) Down a bit is the A-10 and MWC.  That's reflected with 3 and 2 projected bids, respectively.

6) As always, I project a MAC at-large team for giggles.  I think the conference has a fair shot of being relevant in March.

7) The Big East and AAC are major conferences.  Not mid-major.  AAC is getting close, but I can't demote teams like UConn and Cincy like that.  The reason I mention this point?  Too many people out there in the medias not giving enough respect to these conferences.

8) The Ivy League is ascending, and it's going to help Harvard this year.  Very reasonable shot at a single-digit seed for Harvard.  As for all the other small-majors...don't see another team cracking the 12-seed ceiling.  For the record, I'm counting small-majors as the bottom 20 conferences, excluding CUSA, WCC, MVC, A-10, MWC, and the 7 majors.

9) B1G with 8 of 14 teams in, ACC with 7 of 15 teams in.  This is reflective of the middle of the ACC.  Both conference's bottom teams are bad, but the B1G has the advantage in the middle.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Preseason bracket

Find my bracketed field of 68 below.  My notes are below:

1) Several procedures, almost all centered around the play-in games:
a) Northern Iowa from 10 to 11, BYU from 11 to 10 - this accomodates BYU's no-Sunday rule
b) Xavier from 11 to 12, Illinois from 13 to 11, St John's from 12 to 11, Notre Dame from 12 to 13.  All of these happen because of Dayton.  One of the play-in winners will go Tuesday in Dayton to Thursday in Jacksonville.  However, if you play Wednesday, your Friday sites are Charlotte/Columbus/Omaha/Seattle.  Charlotte hosts a 1 and 2 seed, Columbus hosts a 1 and 2 seed, Omaha hosts a 1 and 2 seed.  This means no seed slot between 11 and 14 are available for a play-in game winner.  Therefore, Illinois gets a massive, massive 2 line move and St John's a 1 line move, but the equalizer is they have to travel to Seattle.  Illinois gets 2 instead of 1 because Notre Dame's conference affiliation gets in the way of other pairings.  Xavier bumps down to accomodate this madness.
c) One executive move - Murray St from 13 to 14, UC Irvine from 14 to 13 to accomodate obviously easier travel.

2) Wisconsin as a 1 seed, I have possibly playing Cincinnati in Columbus in round 2.  Part of this is to highlight the arcane rules the NCAA has about geography.  The other part is having 2 B1G teams on the 8 line and being stuck with that situation.

3) As a whole, I tried to replicate the NCAA's geographic rules.  If you're the top team within a seed line, I find the optimal spot for you, and work on from there.  In the current bracket, this harms SMU, who gets Gonzaga in the round of 32 in Seattle.

4) The ACC was tricky.  They have 4 of my top 12 teams, and by rule, must be in 4 different brackets.  Therefore, Louisville draws the west regional, and the ripple effect also hurt a couple other geographic alignments.  Texas doesn't get the South regional because of Kansas as well.  I wasn't able to put a couple other teams in optimal regional location because of the ACC.

1) Kansas vs. 16) FGCU/Arkansas-Pine Bluff
8) Ohio St vs. 9) Memphis
4) San Diego St vs. 13) UC Irvine
5) Iowa vs. 12) UTEP
3) Villanova vs. 14) Murray St
6) Syracuse vs. 11) Northern Iowa
2) North Carolina vs. 15) Coastal Carolina
7) Oklahoma vs. 10) Louisiana Tech

1) Arizona vs. 16) Weber St
8) Minnesota vs. 9) UNLV
4) SMU vs. 13) New Mexico St
5) Gonzaga vs. 12) Green Bay
3) Louisville vs. 14) American
6) Colorado vs. 11) George Washington
2) Wichita St vs. 15) IPFW
7) Kansas St vs. 10) BYU

1) Duke vs. 16) Towson
8) Dayton vs. 9) Harvard
4) Florida vs. 13) Iona
5) Georgetown vs. 12) Akron
3) Texas vs. 14) Stephen F Austin
6) Michigan vs. 11) Utah
2) Michigan St vs. 15) North Carolina Central
7) UConn vs. 10) LSU

1) Wisconsin vs. 16) Hartford/Robert Morris
8) Cincinnati vs. 9) Pittsburgh
4) Iowa St vs. 13) Notre Dame/Toledo
5) Nebraska vs. 12) Xavier
3) Virginia vs. 14) Georgia St
6) UCLA vs. 11) Illinois/St John's
2) Kentucky vs. 15) Wofford
7) VCU vs. 10) Stanford