John Beilein Out as Head Coach of Cavaliers; College Coaches Who Didn’t Pan Out in the Pros

So, this isn’t necessarily a discussion of the Cleveland Cavaliers parting ways with head coach John Beilein but more of a discussion of how college coaches have not panned out in the professional level.

Now to start with Beilein, I was actually stunned in the first place he would leave Michigan to begin with. The guy is 67 years old and honestly I didn’t pen him as being one of those coaches later on that would try the NBA. Beilein when he arrived at Michigan turned the Wolverines program from being a mediocre Big Ten squad to being near atop of the conference and making fans reminisce a bit of the old days of the Fab Five. When the Cavaliers came calling and he listened it was stunning because it just didn’t seem like it would be a fit especially in today’s NBA. And the feeling came to fruition as Cleveland is 14-40 in 2019-2020 while Beilein looked like he was in way over his head with the Cavaliers. So we can chalk up another head coach who did not pan out in the pros. And it made me think of other head coaches in basketball and football who were great on the college level but could not translate into success at the pros. So for every Jimmy Johnson and Larry Brown, there are about 5 Bobby Petrinos and 5 Rick Pitinos. But I will go with the notable ones of modern times (which eliminates Lou Holtz in his one year with the New York Jets in 1976).

Tarkanian’s arguments with ownership compiled with a slow start by the Spurs pretty much ended his run nearly before it started.

JERRY TARKANIAN (UNLV TO THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS): Tark the Shark is a controversial figure in college with methods that would infuriate the NCAA and became a lightning rod for controversy pretty much allowing players at UNLV to succumb under improper benefits or bringing in guys with checkered pasts. However, nobody will ever deny Tark the Shark was a great college basketball coach. However, after a year off of college basketball, the San Antonio Spurs hired Tarkanian to run the team led by David Robinson. After quarreling with owner Red McCombs about how he wanted to run the team, and a slow start for San Antonio, the Spurs fired Tarkanian after a 9-11 start. Tarkanian went back to college and coached at his alma mater at Fresno State, but probation for the Bulldogs would follow him after he retired.

For a moment it seemed Calipari was going to make the transition form college to the pros before it collapsed on him in 1999.

JOHN CALIPARI (UMASS TO THE NEW JERSEY NETS): Today John Calipari (albeit controversially) is known as one of college basketball’s elite coaches. And many feel his methods of bringing guys into programs are questionable. With that said, he has been an amazing head coach for nearly 30 years now. However, Calipari left UMass to try his chances in the NBA by coaching the New Jersey Nets. After a “meh” first year in 1996-1997 where New Jersey went 26-56, the Nets made a move in the draft getting Keith Van Horn compiling him next to Jayson Williams on the frontcourt to be a formidable tandem. New Jersey made the playoffs under Calipari in 1998 before being swept by the Bulls but the next season was a disaster. Calipari lost starting point guard Sam Cassell and New Jersey floundered to 3-17 before Calipari got the ax. After spending one season in Philadelphia as an assistant to Larry Brown, Calipari went to Memphis and then Kentucky building powerhouses wherever he went.

Pitino’s quick trigger moves in Boston going for his Kentucky players prevented the Celtics from moving forward; Pitino only gave rookie Chauncey Billups a half-season before trading him elsewhere.

RICK PITINO (KENTUCKY TO BOSTON CELTICS): Now it isn’t lost on me that Pitino had success when he was with the Knicks in the late 80’s winning a division title with them in 1989 before he went back to college. When Pitino went back to Kentucky, he built a powerhouse squad that was always a threat to win a national championship, getting to the Final Four three times in five years, including a National Championship in 1996. Rumors always persisted late that Pitino was ready to make the jump back into the NBA with the Boston Celtics not just being the head coach but president of basketball operations. Boston in the mid-90’s was an epic disaster of a basketball franchise, a far cry from the glory years of Bird-Parish-McHale. The hope was that Pitino would take over and that the Celtics would draft first overall to get Tim Duncan, which would set up another great Boston dynasty. Instead, nope. Boston got the 3rd pick, used it on Chauncey Billups (and later traded mid-season of his rookie year), drafted Kentucky player Ron Mercer and traded for another Kentucky standout in Walter McCarty. However, it didn’t work as Boston failed to get into the playoffs in each of PItino’s 4 seasons and Celtics fans were more disgusted with him than his predecessor ML Carr. Pitino left Boston midway in the 2000-2001 season and returned back to college basketball with Louisville where we all know how that ended up.

The note Bobby Petrino left the Falcons players when he abruptly split for Arkansas in 2007-and the response by Lawyer Milloy after.

BOBBY PETRINO (LOUISVILLE TO THE ATLANTA FALCONS): Bobby Petrino has been blasted by everyone with a pulse for the past 15 years. And for good reason as this was how it started. Petrino signed a 10 year contract extension with Louisville after the 2006 season. Six months later he left Louisville to coach the Atlanta Falcons. Now Petrino was thinking he would have ended up with superstar quarterback Mike Vick, but Vick was imprisoned and wasn’t around. So Petrino went from having Mike Vick to a tandem of Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich in Atlanta. Petrino’s tenure as coach was a disaster as it seemed he had no control over the Falcons players. The players didn’t seem like they wanted him there and near the end of the season when the Falcons were 3-10 Petrino left for Arkansas. What was so disgusting about it was Petrino promised owner Arthur Blank he would stay in Atlanta to coach and then 24 hours later accepted a job with Arkansas while leaving a 4-sentence laminated letter to the Falcons players. Petrino had some success at Arkansas (including a Sugar Bowl appearance), but karma has a funny way of working things out as Petrino was fired for not fully disclosing the truth of a motorcycle accident where he and a female assistant coordinator were involved (and he was having an affair with). Of course, some people will never learn.

Saban’s fortunes may have been different had he convinced Miami to get Drew Brees, but it didn’t seem Dolphins players embraced Saban’s no-nonsense mentality.

NICK SABAN (LSU TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS): Many possibly thought Saban would have joined the ranks of Jimmy Johnson of finding great success in college AND the NFL. However, one reason why Saban even today is still vilified by some was his issues of upping and leaving programs. He left a sour taste in Michigan State’s fans mouths when he left the Spartans for LSU in 1999. After building a powerhouse program at LSU, Saban left for the Dolphins after the 2004 season. Saban started off well in 2005, getting Miami to a 9-7 record after being 4-12 in 2004. And hope was abound in Miami and Saban wanted Drew Brees to take over at quarterback. Saban wanted Brees but Miami’s medical staff was skeptical Drew’s shoulder would ever be the same. So Brees opted to go with the Saints for more guaranteed money and Miami traded a second round pick for Minnesota’s Daunte Culpepper. It was something that I think bothered Saban in Miami and probably put a major strain on that relationship. Then 4 games into the 2007 season Culpepper was injured, the Dolphins struggled on offense, and Brees becomes a New Orleans hero. Miami goes 6-10 but in the final month of the season, Saban was plagued constantly with questions of him leaving the Dolphins to coach at Alabama, who had an opening. After a month of denial, Saban left the Dolphins for Alabama, thus also giving him a label of a guy who couldn’t stick around with one team for a lengthy period of time. However it seemed like in his two seasons, Saban was really a college style head coach that at points Dolphins players didn’t seem to embrace too much with. But things have changed at least on Saban’s end where he is still at Alabama and probably for the remainder of his coaching career and has probably become the greatest coach of his era in college football. Maybe it was his possible interesting relationship with the Dolphins braintrust that really doomed him from the NFL.

Spurrier believed he would run roughshod in the NFL like he did at Florida. Instead teams ran roughshod over him.

STEVE SPURRIER (FLORIDA TO WASHINGTON REDSKINS): Steve Spurrier was that head coach everybody wanted to beat. He talked the talk when he was with the Gators but more importantly he walked the walk. His fun n gun offense propelled Florida as the team to beat in the SEC for pretty much a decade. His comments towards rivals Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee made him a lightning rod of hate for fan bases of those programs while running the scores up on teams. After thinking he did all he could do with the Gators including a national championship, Spurrier thought he could take his coaching style to the NFL as the free spending Redskins gave him the keys to the car and restore them back to prominence. However, Spurrier’s style in the NFL of fun n gun was a disaster as teams blitzed the snot out of the Skins, who were pretty much a pass only squad primarily composing of Florida players at QB and WR (and most of them were second string caliber guys). And prior to the 2002 season, Spurrier tried to do his thing of talking a lot towards Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants but instead had a heavy taste of his own medicine of teams trying to run the score up on him. It wore thin after the second year as Spurrier was shown the door in Washington after being 11-21. He went back to college in South Carolina, pretty much humbled.

Kelly’s philosophy on offense and then pretty much running the Eagles team like a college team with constant roster turnover showed he wasn’t cut for the NFL despite early successes.

CHIP KELLY (OREGON TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AND THEN SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS): “Those who do not learn from history…” Kelly, who nearly perfected the spread and the quick-strike style offenses at Oregon left the Ducks to join the exciting Eagles teams of the mid 2010’s. With Mike Vick at quarterback, many hoped the Eagles offense would be stout. They were actually pretty stout…with Nick Foles at quarterback. The Eagles had their man with Foles after Vick went down and won the NFC East but losing to New Orleans in the Wild Card round. Despite a great start in 2014 at being 9-3, the Eagles fell apart down the stretch going 10-6, largely with injuries to Foles and having to rely on Mark Sanchez down the stretch, really doomed Philadelphia and failed to make the playoffs. The next season, Kelly moved what many were viewing their MVP in LeSean McCoy to Buffalo, which really ended up being his own downfall. Kelly then started shipping all the stars that helped them win a division title and finish 10-6 the next season such as McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Foles, and others. Kelly’s offense was a mess which put strain on the defense by November where they were getting blown out by teams who were not in any form of playoff contention (Buccaneers, Lions) and he was shown the door for the mess he had made. Kelly joined the Niners in 2016 when they were pretty much in shambles and the only storyline had been Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem. The team continued the trend of Kelly’s Eagles team in 2015 where they were just getting ran out of the building in games and finished dead last in defense. Needless to say he didn’t come back in 2017. Kelly had early success, but his ego like so many others really kept him from being a true success story in NFL but given his mentality of trying to run an NFL team like a college program, he proved he was not a fit for the pros. At all.

Many feel like Switzer was given a Super Bowl championship thanks to Jimmy Johnson’s roster and the following years of the Cowboys fall.

BARRY SWITZER (OKLAHOMA TO DALLAS COWBOYS): Okay, this one IS pushing it. Unlike everyone else on here, Switzer was given the keys to the top of the line Porsche in Dallas with the likes of Aikman/Smith/Irvin in their primes. We all know the story with Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones bickering which caused Jimmy to be ousted in Dallas. So Jerry hired Switzer, pretty much a “yes man” to him. Switzer garnered a lot of success at Oklahoma in his time there but also had been ridiculed for lack of controlling his players which netted some NCAA issues. And yes, Switzer helped the Cowboys to two 12-4 seasons including one with a Super Bowl attached to it. However, many viewed it as the Jimmy Johnson Cowboys that won it and not his. Is that assessment fair? Perhaps not, but many felt like that Dallas team in 1995 was a far cry from the ones in 1992 and 1993 when they flat-out dominated the NFL landscape. In 1996, with Dallas starting to reach infamy with off-the field issues with Michael Irvin and Kevin Williams, the pure arrogance of the likes of Deion Sanders, the Cowboys dynasty fell after a loss to the Panthers in the divisional round. The next year, the bottom fell out as Dallas fell to 6-10 as Switzer just flat-out lost control of the players and really, the franchise has never been fully the same. Again, was it Switzer’s doing? Perhaps not, but many feel like the minute that Switzer joined and just kept the status quo and let the “boys be boys and make sure my boss is happy” really ended Dallas’s dynasty which honestly could have been something similar to the New England Patriots as we have come to see.

In the end, coaches who tend to dominate the landscape in college will have egos and rightfully so. You can’t have an inflated ego if you aren’t a successful coach. But it also comes a time that the things coaches do that isn’t working on the next level, is that you have to change your methods and styles. College coaches think their styles will work in the pros but once they don’t they seem more driven to make sure it does and they continue to spiral down and the end result is a disaster for them and the franchise they were brought in to lead. And we will see more Beileins come and go, we will see more Spurriers come and go, but it will be somebody who will have to check their ego at the door in order for those teams to be successful with them under their watch.

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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Rating the Final Four Teams, Obstructed Edition

So, the Final Four has been decided. One top seed made it, followed by a #2 seed, a #3 seed, and a #5 seed. Two teams make their first ever appearance in the Final Four, one team for the first time in 35 years, and another team who has been a relative mainstay in the Final Four in the past 20 years but only one national championship to show for it.

We saw Virginia solve their nightmares from UMBC last year as being the only #1 seed to be brought down by a #16 seed. Michigan State as well solved some of their demons after their last Final Four appearance where they failed to see a Sweet Sixteen and end up taking down one of their national rivals who has been their demon in Duke in a close battle to get in. Texas Tech had to out-physical Michigan and Gonzaga to make their first appearance in the Final Four. Auburn took down three blue-bloods of Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky to get in, and they did it probably with their best player missing in the Kentucky game. To say these teams don’t belong, well, is ridiculous. And if you want to know why the big boys of Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky (though not really THIS year), aren’t in, look at the rosters of the teams in there. Something does have to be said for the one-and-dones.

So let’s take a look at the teams remaining, and I’m ranking them by order of who has the best shot, and who may have to overcome everything to cut the nets in Minneapolis Monday night.

Sparty finally took down their Blue Devil Demon

#1 MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS

HOW THEY GOT THERE: The Spartans had some hiccups in beating pesky Bradley, and really until the Elite Eight match-up with powerhouse Duke, gave them the toughest challenge of the tournament. Michigan State pulled away late but given how the Spartans have been in the past few years of being bounced early (really something they haven’t been accustomed to in March), there were some questions. They answered it by taking down Minnesota with relative ease and then pretty much had the lone blowout in the Sweet Sixteen in thumping LSU. And then came the Duke game where they went back and forth like the two heavyweights often do. The experience of Michigan State won out over the electric freshmen group the Blue Devils had.

WHY THEY WILL CUT THE NETS: Tom Izzo is probably the best coach left in the tournament (and the only one who has cut the nets down on the final game), but Michigan State is a seasoned group. They have played through adversity and there is never any panic towards them being down (take a look at the last two Michigan games and the Duke game). They are also to play a fast-paced game against teams who can play fast paced. They can slow it down. They can play physical. They can do whatever. Adding on, Cassius Winston is probably the best point guard probably in the nation. And the last time Michigan State has had a point guard that is tops in the nation was 1979 and 2000 (Magic Johnson and Mateen Cleaves). Both years Michigan State won the national championship.

WHY THEY WON’T CUT THE NETS: Any time Michigan State has been beaten in March, including the last few years, you had three reasons: 1. Izzo gets out-coached (some of it is who he faces like Coach K, Self, or Roy Williams). 2. The opposing team shoots the daylights out of it (Middle Tennessee in 2016) 3. Teams pretty much have a flawless gameplan. Michigan State has never been one to often get the five star recruits like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, or Kansas largely in part because they aren’t even dominating the scene in their home state of Michigan. But why they are still mentioned is how they play (because they can get those next rank of players who can stand toe to toe with the Williamsons, Barretts, and Reddishes as we saw against Duke). Talented teams can beat Michigan State, but talented teams who play near-perfect will always beat Michigan State. But talented teams who have off-games WON’T beat Michigan State. Ever.

OUTLOOK: Michigan State is presumably the favorite by many to win it all this year. If you look at it, they are probably the team that will have any sort of homecourt advantage as it is in Minnesota. If they play their game, play physical against Texas Tech and/or Virginia, they have it. If nobody stops Winston, then it will be hard-pressed to take down Sparty.

Virginia erased their 2018 nightmares by heading to the Final Four

#2 VIRGINIA CAVALIERS

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Virginia had deja vu of last year when Gardner-Webb built a big lead in the first half before the Cavaliers dominated the rest of the way. Oklahoma proved to be no match for the Cavaliers in the second round. The Cavaliers survived a scare from #12 seed Oregon in the Sweet 16 and needed a semi-miracle to take Purdue down in the Elite Eight and silence critics (me included) in the Final Four.

WHY THEY WILL CUT THE NETS: Virginia has been a little more sound on offense than the past few seasons where the mentality was, once the Cavaliers scored 60, game over. They can score (though probably not as much as their ACC foes of Duke, UNC, Louisville, etc. and the likes of Michigan State or Auburn who are both left) and still play defense. They have a seasoned group such as De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Mamadi Diakite while bringing in Alabama transfer Braxton Key. If they can keep teams from running away with it or clamp down on the guards of opposing teams, Virginia is going to have a great shot.

WHY THEY WON’T CUT THE NETS: Two things that if you are the Cavaliers that you have to be scared about: 1. Michigan State. 2. Auburn. Auburn plays more of an up-tempo game and Bruce Pearl has really gotten a good program rolling down on the Plains. He’s gotten quality players and the teams Virginia struggles with the most are the ones who have those athletes all-around. They lost to Duke twice this past year because they just didn’t have the horses to run with them and Michigan State took down Duke. Also, if Bryce Brown shoots the lights out of the ball against Virginia Saturday, will they be able to fend off Auburn’s crew as a whole like they did against Purdue or will the game get away? Or will they survive and get Cassius Winston in the National Championship game, a guy who can take down physical minded teams like Duke and others? And can Virginia do anything against the likes of Michigan State’s monsters?

OUTLOOK: The hope for Virginia right now is to take down Auburn and have Texas Tech bring down Michigan State right after. And when Virginia got their program rolling starting in 2014, it was Michigan State that brought them down in the tourney and against in 2015. But they are more than capable of cutting the nets down.

Auburn is the Final Four sentimental favorite

#3 AUBURN TIGERS

HOW THEY GOT THERE: Auburn had a massive scare against New Mexico State in the opening round and nearly gave that game away late. However, similar to Michigan State, the Tigers rolled on through in the second round, destroying Kansas and then smacking North Carolina in the Sweet 16 (but lost Chima Okeke in the game) and then taking SEC foe Kentucky down in overtime in the Elite 8 to get to their first Final Four

WHY THEY WILL CUT THE NETS: A few reasons. 1. Bruce Pearl is a great coach. Say what you want to say about him, but the guy can coach and he has cleaned up his act in Auburn. That will play into a close game. 2. Auburn is deep and has plenty of experienced players. Yes, the Tigers haven’t seen a lot of tournaments since last year, but they are building up to show they can not only run with the big boys but beat the big boys. 3. They are pretty deep considering. And that will bode well against Virginia and also Michigan State, assuming they play the Spartans

WHY THEY WON’T CUT THE NETS: Losing Okeke hurts especially against a team like Virginia. If Auburn is to beat Virginia, they need to make sure they have some guys really taking it to the Cavaliers down low. We know the guard play will be huge as well for Auburn in the final games, but the one guy who needs to step up will have to be Austin Wiley. He’s going to have to be a monster the rest of the way. Danjel Purifoy and Horace Spencer has to step up as well. If Auburn loses, this is probably the reason why.

OUTLOOK: Losing Okeke is a problem. However, Auburn keeps fighting like a team and that really doesn’t bode well for the other three teams. However, can the Tigers get enough down low against the rest of their opponents assuming they can escape Virginia Saturday?

Red Raiders made it to their first Final Four in school history.

#4 TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS

HOW THEY GOT THERE: Texas Tech hadn’t been challenged until Gonzaga in the Elite Eight. They disposed of Northern Kentucky, obliterated Buffalo, and then embarrassed Michigan before edging out the Zags. They take a page out of Virginia’s book of being a stout defense which should throw a scare into everyone left, including Virginia.

WHY THEY WILL CUT THE NETS: Defense. To me, the Red Raiders probably have a stronger defense than that of Virginia. They are aggressive and pretty physical (pretty opposite of their football team, isn’t it?). Again, like Virginia, will they have enough offense assuming if Michigan State has a field day from shooting? They have a great offense. And they may have the “we are not supposed to be here, but show we will belong argument.” They turned it on at the right time which should be very scary.

WHY THEY WON’T CUT THE NETS: At times, they can have those little hiccups on defense, thus making problematic for them to put up points. Michigan State poses a major problem for them as they can beat the Red Raiders in so many ways. They can outrun them if they want or if that doesn’t work they can play a physically dominating game which could punch Texas Tech in the mouth. If they do end up seeing Virginia, they may also get a lesson in how to play defense and that could hurt.

OUTLOOK: Texas Tech deserves to be in the Final Four. And the more I think of it, the more they pose a serious threat to Michigan State. However, it will be a whole new world for the Red Raiders of having a national spotlight and I don’t know if there is anybody who can really stop Cassius Winston, whether on Texas Tech or anywhere else.

Will Izzo cut the nets once more?

OVERALL OBSTRUCTED TAKE: Disclaimer: I am a Michigan State fan and have been one all my life. I know I have absolutely jinxed them for this. The Spartans have been on a roll since they had an embarrassing road loss to Illinois (15-1 since that point). I think Texas Tech will keep it low scoring but I think Izzo, Michigan State, and Winston figure it all out and run away late in that game.

Virginia and Auburn have clashing styles. Virginia likes to keep a slow pace while Auburn is up-tempo. But what makes me come back is the Okeke injury. Auburn needs to find easy scores and attack the rim. That’s where they will miss him the most. I think the game will be coming down to the last seconds but Virginia, playing in big games where most people are watching them against Duke, UNC, Louisville, etc. will have that experience pay off.

For the Championship, I just think Michigan State has too many horses for Virginia to handle. It is a similar way to Duke and how the Cavaliers struggled to keep Duke’s stars from having a game. It will be close again, but I think for Michigan State seeing those defensive-minded dogs like Michigan and others (and Texas Tech) gives them more of an advantage. And Izzo cuts the nets for the second time in his coaching career.

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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2019 NCAA Tournament Breakdown: Scouting Reports for Each Sweet 16 Team

It was a very fun-filled weekend of college basketball in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A few upsets happened, big storylines emerged, and most of the favorites were actually able to conquer like they were expected to. Duke barely survived UCF in a down to the wire finish due to a possible controversial no-call. Oregon continued their cinderella story by beating UC Irvine. Tennessee almost blew a 20-point lead to Iowa. But in all seriousness, it was a chalky weekend, and that means we will see some extremely exciting matchups this week.

Now after the fun weekend, basketball fans will have to live without the NCAA tournament for a few days. Bummer. But if you’re missing basketball that much, at least try watching the NIT or something. But now we know the teams that will be in the Sweet 16 and I’m here to give you a scouting report for each team. The scouting report includes their best player, biggest x-factor, strengths, and weaknesses. If you feel like I missed anything drastic or messed up on something, feel free to let me know on my Twitter @TBeckmann24! I also will be releasing my Sweet 16 picks on twitter on Thursday morning, so be sure to check those out! Without further ado, let’s get into these scouting reports. I hope you enjoy!

Table of Contents:

Page 2: East Region Scouting Reports

Page 3: West Region Scouting Reports

Page 4: South Region Scouting Reports

Page 5: Midwest Region Scouting Reports

Complete 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket Breakdown

So let me guess, since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket was just unveiled yesterday, you’re here because you want to make sure of each and every single one of your picks for your $5 bracket group. Or maybe you’re just here to look at some college basketball analysis for fun. No matter what you are looking for, my analysis can help you expand your knowledge about the sleepers, cinderellas, high seeds who are most vulnerable, players to know, and potential upsets in each and every region.

All of this is besides the point and I’m going to help you as best I can. I’ve watched college basketball a lot during the regular season and I know a lot of information that could put your bracket into the winner’s circle. I’m here to give you a full breakdown of the entire bracket. Out with the weekly Bracketology updates and in with the bracket preview, this is March and its the most exciting time of year! Let’s get into it!

Before you start reading, here is the official bracket.

Table of Contents:

Page 1: Introduction

Page 2: East Region

Page 3: West Region

Page 4: South Region

Page 5: Midwest Region

Page 6: Final Four Predictions

PSF’s College Basketball Bracketology (3/11/2019)

Welcome back to the seventh edition of my College Basketball Bracketology, where I project the NCAA Tournament field and matchups as we lead up to next week’s Selection Sunday. We are counting down the last week of games to the biggest day of the college basketball season. Teams are rising, conference tournaments are in full swing, and the bracket is shaping up as well! It’s time to run through the procedures and get into my seventh bracket of the season with help from MyTopSportsBooks and their value picks for march madness. 

In this edition, per usual, I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams. College basketball fans and experts abroad have all gained a decent understanding of the contenders and pretenders in each college basketball conference, and I’m as big of a college hoops fan as you’ll find. Some teams are continuing to distance themselves from the bubble, some teams continue to remain clustered around it, and some teams are watching as their bubble hopes vanish by the minute.

During the weekend, the bubble became a lot less crowded as some teams won their way off of it, and some had their bubble pop. Temple sealed a huge resume-building win at home over a hot UCF team. Georgetown and Seton Hall both made vases as they knocked off the top two squads in the Big East, respectively. It was a really fun weekend of college hoops and it looks to be just a small taste of what’s to come this week and beyond in March this year!

My process of bracketing is pretty simple actually. Firstly, I’ve compiled a list of college basketball teams who realistically still have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, I’ve used the brand new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) Rankings as a seeding criteria for all teams, which will also be heavily used by the actual selection committee. Lastly, I’ve looked at every team’s current record, strength of schedule, and used the NCAA’s Quadrant Wins System to analyze the quality of their respective wins and losses.

After I have made a judgment on all teams, I begin to seed the 68 chosen teams from 1 to 68. Ranking them this way allows me to separate them into seed lines (#1 to #16). Finally, I place the teams into regions based on their respective seeds, conferences, and game location (for the top 16 seeds). I tried my best to keep conference opponents from playing until at least the Sweet 16, but there may have been situations where this wasn’t realistically possible.

There are three rules that I assure are being followed. Firstly, I tried to make the top four seeds in each region add up to similar overall region numbers, to make the regions competitive and balanced. With this in mind, there was a two-number differential between all four regions. I also made sure I never put teams from the same conferences on the same top four seed line. And lastly, I assured that the number one overall seed Virginia would not have the best two seed in their bracket.

All in all, the process I go through definitely isn’t easy, but it’s fun to look at the possibilities. I’ve tried my best to simulate what the actual selection committee would be doing if the tournament had to be seeded today. So before we start a crazy conference tournament week in college hoops, let’s check into my seventh Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Virginia vs. #16 Norfolk State/#16 St. Francis (PA)

#8 Ole Miss vs. #9 Washington

San Jose, California

#4 Kansas State vs. #13 New Mexico State

#5 Maryland vs. #12 Liberty

Des Moines, Iowa

#3 LSU vs. #14 Harvard

#6 Cincinnati vs. #11 TCU

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Wright State

#7 Auburn vs. #10 Seton Hall

Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 North Carolina vs. #16 Omaha

#8 Iowa vs. #9 Baylor

San Jose, California

#4 Kansas vs. #13 Hofstra

#5 Nevada vs. #12 NC State/#12 Ohio State

Hartford, Connecticut

#3 Purdue vs. #14 Old Dominion

#6 Buffalo vs. #11 St. John’s

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 Colgate

#7 Wofford vs. #10 Temple

West Region (Anaheim, CA):

Salt Lake City, Utah

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Prairie-View/#16 Iona

#8 UCF vs. #9 Utah State

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Florida State vs. #13 Vermont

#5 Marquette vs. #12 Murray State

Des Moines, Iowa

#3 Michigan vs. #14 Montana

#6 Mississippi State vs. #11 Clemson

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#2 Texas Tech vs. #15 Bradley

#7 Louisville vs. #10 Minnesota

South Region (Louisville, KY):

Columbus, Ohio

#1 Kentucky vs. #16 Gardner-Webb

#8 Iowa State vs. #9 Syracuse

Salt Lake City, Utah

#4 Wisconsin vs. #13 UC Irvine

#5 Virginia Tech vs. #12 Florida/#12 Indiana

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Houston vs. #14 Georgia State

#6 Villanova vs. #11 Arizona State

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 Duke vs. #15 Sam Houston State

#7 VCU vs. #10 Oklahoma

The Bubble:

Last Four In:

Indiana (17-14, 8-12 Big Ten, 55th NET, 6-9 Quadrant 1, 2-5 Quadrant 2, 9-0 Quadrants 3/4, 47th SOS, 183rd Non-Conference SOS)

Ohio State (18-13, 8-12 Big Ten, 52nd NET, 4-9 Quadrant 1, 4-3 Quadrant 2, 10-1 Quadrants 3/4, 52nd SOS, 154th Non-Conference SOS)

NC State (21-10, 9-9 ACC, 32nd NET, 2-8 Quadrant 1, 6-0 Quadrant 2, 13-2 Quadrants 3/4, 147th SOS, 352nd Non-Conference SOS)

Florida (17-14, 9-9 SEC, 33rd NET, 3-11 Quadrant 1, 3-1 Quadrant 2, 11-2 Quadrants 3/4, 27th SOS, 93rd Non-Conference SOS)

First Four Out:

Creighton (18-13, 9-9 Big East, 54th NET, 3-10 Quadrant 1, 6-3 Quadrant 2, 9-0 Quadrants 3/4, 15th SOS, 25th Non-Conference SOS)

UNC-Greensboro (28-5, 15-3 Southern, 57th NET, 2-5 Quadrant 1, 2-0 Quadrant 2, 22 Quadrants 3/4, 123rd SOS, 137th Non-Conference SOS)

Alabama (17-14, 8-10 SEC, 58th NET, 2-9 Quadrant 1, 7-3 Quadrant 2, 8-2 Quadrants 3/4, 22nd SOS, 33rd Non-Conference SOS)

Belmont (26-5, 16-2 OVC, 45th NET, 2-2 Quadrant 1, 3-1 Quadrant 2, 20-2 Quadrants 3/4, 198th SOS, 72nd Non-Conference SOS)

Next Four Out:

Texas (16-15, 8-10 Big 12, 39th NET, 5-9 Quadrant 1, 4-5 Quadrant 2, 7-1 Quadrants 3/4, 61st SOS, 14th Non-Conference SOS)

Lipscomb (25-7, 14-2 Atlantic Sun, 42nd NET, 2-3 Quadrant 1, 1-3 Quadrant 2, 20-1 Quadrants 3/4, 205th SOS, 47th Non-Conference SOS)

Georgetown (19-12, 9-9 Big East, 76th NET, 5-6 Quadrant 1, 6-4 Quadrant 2, 8-2 Quadrants 3/4, 76th SOS, 248th Non-Conference SOS)

St. Mary’s (20-11, 11-5 West Coast, 37th NET, 1-6 Quadrant 1, 2-3 Quadrant 2, 17-2 Quadrants 3/4, 53rd SOS, 38th Non-Conference SOS)

Conference Count-Ups:

American Athletic Conference (4 Teams): #10 Houston, #24 Cincinnati, #31 UCF, #38 Temple.

Atlantic Coast Conference (9 Teams): #1 Virginia, #4 North Carolina, #5 Duke, #13 Florida State, #18 Virginia Tech, #26 Louisville, #35 Syracuse, #41 Clemson, #48 NC State.

Big 12 (7 Teams): #8 Texas Tech, #15 Kansas, #16 Kansas State, #30 Iowa State, #36 Baylor, #37 Oklahoma, #42 TCU.

Big East (4 Teams): #20 Marquette, #23 Villanova, #40 Seton Hall, #43 St. John’s.

Big Ten (9 Teams): #7 Michigan State, #9 Michigan, #12 Purdue, #14 Wisconsin, #17 Maryland, #29 Iowa, #39 Minnesota, #47 Indiana, #48 Ohio State.

Mountain West (2 Teams): #19 Nevada, #34 Utah State.

PAC-12 (2 Teams): #33 Washington, #44 Arizona State.

SEC (7 Teams): #3 Kentucky, #6 Tennessee, #11 LSU, #22 Mississippi State, #25 Auburn, #32 Ole Miss, #50 Florida.

Singular Bid League Teams (24 Teams): #2 Gonzaga, #21 Buffalo, #27 Wofford, #28 VCU, #45 Murray State, #46 Liberty, #51 New Mexico State, #52 Hofstra, #53 UC Irvine, #54 Vermont, #55 Old Dominion, #56 Georgia State, #57 Harvard, #58 Montana, #59 Bradley, #60 Colgate, #61 Wright State, #62 Sam Houston State, #63 Omaha, #64 Gardner-Webb, #65 Prairie-View, #66 Iona, #67 St. Francis (PA), #68 Norfolk State.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. If you have any insight, opinions, or questions about my Bracketology projection, feel free to contact me on Twitter @TBeckmann24. Have a great rest of your day and peace!

 

Tristan Beckmann’s College Basketball Bracketology (3/4/2019)

Welcome back to the sixth edition of my College Basketball Bracketology, where I project the NCAA Tournament field and matchups as we lead up to Selection Sunday. We are counting down the last few days to the biggest week of the college basketball season. Teams are rising, conference tournament seeding is starting to become clear, and the bracket is as well! It’s time to run through the procedures and get into my sixth bracket of the season!

In this edition, per usual, I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams. College basketball fans and experts abroad have all gained a decent understanding of the contenders and pretenders in each college basketball conference, and I’m as big of a college hoops fan as you’ll find. Some teams are continuing to distance themselves from the bubble, some teams continue to remain clustered around it, and some teams are watching as their bubble hopes vanish by the minute.

During the weekend, the bubble became a lot less crowded as some teams won their way off of it, and some had their bubble pop. UCF sealed a signature win on the road against Houston, while Georgetown outlasted Seton Hall in a Big East two overtime bubble battle. Indiana upset Michigan State to get itself back on the radar, for now, and Tennessee got its revenge on Kentucky by absolutely showing them up in Knoxville. It was a really fun weekend of college hoops and it looks to be just a small taste of what’s to come here in March this year!

My process of bracketing is pretty simple actually. Firstly, I’ve compiled a list of college basketball teams who realistically still have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, I’ve used the brand new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) Rankings as a seeding criteria for all teams, which will also be heavily used by the actual selection committee. Lastly, I’ve looked at every team’s current record, strength of schedule, and used the NCAA’s Quadrant Wins System to analyze the quality of their respective wins and losses.

After I have made a judgment on all teams, I begin to seed the 68 chosen teams from 1 to 68. Ranking them this way allows me to separate them into seed lines (#1 to #16). Finally, I place the teams into regions based on their respective seeds, conferences, and game location (for the top 16 seeds). I tried my best to keep conference opponents from playing until at least the Sweet 16, but there may have been situations where this wasn’t realistically possible.

There are three rules that I assure are being followed. Firstly, I tried to make the top four seeds in each region add up to similar overall region numbers, to make the regions competitive and balanced. With this in mind, there was a two-number differential between all four regions. I also made sure I never put teams from the same conferences on the same top four seed line. And lastly, I assured that the number one overall seed Virginia would not have the best two seed in their bracket.

All in all, the process I went through definitely isn’t easy, but it’s fun to look at the possibilities already. I’ve tried my best to simulate what the actual selection committee would be doing if the tournament had to be seeded today. So before we start a crazy final week in regular season hoops, let’s check into my sixth and final regular season Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.:

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Virginia vs. #16 Prairie-View/#16 Norfolk State

#8 Auburn vs. #9 Oklahoma

Salt Lake City, Utah

#4 Wisconsin vs. #13 Old Dominion

#5 Nevada vs. #12 Belmont

Des Moines, Iowa

#3 Texas Tech vs. #14 South Dakota State

#6 Cincinnati vs. #11 NC State

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#2 LSU vs. #15 Georgia Southern

#7 Louisville vs. #10 Ohio State

Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO):

Jacksonville, Florida

#1 Tennessee vs. #16 Campbell

#8 Baylor vs. #9 UCF

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Florida State vs. #13 Vermont

#5 Maryland vs. #12 Clemson/#12 Georgetown

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Houston vs. #14 UC Irvine

#6 Villanova vs. #11 Texas

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Michigan vs. #15 Colgate

#7 Wofford vs. #10 Utah State

West Region (Anaheim, CA):

Salt Lake City, Utah

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Iona/#16 Fairleigh Dickinson

#8 Syracuse vs. #9 Washington

San Jose, California

#4 Kansas vs. #13 Hofstra

#5 Virginia Tech vs. #12 Lipscomb

Hartford, Connecticut

#3 Michigan State vs. #14 Yale

#6 Mississippi State vs. #11 TCU

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 North Carolina vs. #15 Loyola-Chicago

#7 Iowa vs. #10 St. John’s

South Region (Louisville, KY):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Duke vs. #16 Sam Houston State

#8 VCU vs. #9 Ole Miss

San Jose, California

#4 Marquette vs. #13 New Mexico State

#5 Kansas State vs. #12 Minnesota

Des Moines, Iowa

#3 Purdue vs. #14 Montana

#6 Buffalo vs. #11 Florida

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Northern Kentucky

#7 Iowa State vs. #10 Temple

The Bubble:

Last Four In:

Arizona State (20-9, 11-6 Pac 12, 69th NET, 3-3 Quadrant 1, 74th SOS, 27th Non-Conference SOS)

Minnesota (18-11, 8-10 Big Ten, 56th NET, 2-8 Quadrant 1, 49th SOS, 147th Non-Conference SOS)

Clemson (17-12, 7-9 ACC, 40th NET, 1-9 Quadrant 1, 37th SOS, 125th Non-Conference SOS)

Georgetown (18-11, 8-8 Big East, 72nd NET, 3-6 Quadrant 1, 83rd SOS, 246th Non-Conference SOS)

First Four Out:

Furman (24-6, 13-5 Southern, 44th NET, 1-5 Quadrant 1, 192nd SOS, 271st Non-Conference SOS)

Alabama (17-13, 8-9 SEC, 53rd NET, 2-7 Quadrant 1, 24th SOS, 42nd Non-Conference SOS)

Indiana (15-14, 6-12 Big Ten, 54th NET, 6-9 Quadrant 1, 28th SOS, 188th Non-Conference SOS)

Seton Hall (16-12, 7-9 Big East, 63rd NET, 4-7 Quadrant 1, 46th SOS, 84th Non-Conference SOS)

Next Four Out:

Murray State (25-4, 16-2 OVC, 50th NET, 0-2 Quadrant 1, 273rd SOS, 191st Non-Conference SOS)

St. Mary’s (20-11, 11-5 West Coast, 38th NET, 1-6 Quadrant 1, 50th SOS, 39th Non-Conference SOS)

Butler (15-14, 6-10 Big East, 60th NET, 2-9 Quadrant 1, 19th SOS, 70th Non-Conference SOS)

UNC Greensboro (26-5, 15-3 Southern, 59th NET, 1-5 Quadrant 1, 141st SOS, 154th Non-Conference SOS)

Conference Count-Ups:

American Athletic Conference (4 Teams): #12 Houston, #24 Cincinnati, #33 UCF, #40 Temple.

Atlantic Coast Conference (9 Teams): #1 Virginia, #3 Duke, #6 North Carolina, #14 Florida State, #17 Virginia Tech, #27 Louisville, #32 Syracuse, #41 NC State, #49 Clemson.

Big 12 (8 Teams): #9 Texas Tech, #13 Kansas, #18 Kansas State, #25 Iowa State, #29 Baylor, #36 Oklahoma, #42 Texas, #44 TCU.

Big East (4 Teams): #16 Marquette, #21 Villanova, #38 St. John’s, #50 Georgetown.

Big Ten (8 Teams): #5 Michigan, #10 Purdue, #11 Michigan State, #15 Wisconsin, #19 Maryland, #26 Iowa, #39 Ohio State, #48 Minnesota.

Mountain West (2 Teams): #20 Nevada, #37 Utah State.

PAC-12 (2 Teams): #34 Washington, #47 Arizona State.

SEC (7 Teams): #4 Tennessee, #7 Kentucky, #8 LSU, #22 Mississippi State, #35 Ole Miss, #30 Auburn, #43 Florida.

Singular Bid League Teams (24 Teams): #2 Gonzaga, #23 Buffalo, #28 Wofford, #31 VCU, #45 Belmont, #46 Lipscomb, #51 New Mexico State, #52 Old Dominion, #53 Vermont, #54 Hofstra, #55 UC Irvine, #56 Yale, #57 Montana, #58 South Dakota State, #59 Georgia Southern, #60 Northern Kentucky, #61 Loyola Chicago, #62 Colgate, #63 Campbell, #64 Sam Houston State, #65 Iona, #66 Fairleigh Dickinson, #67 Prairie-View, #68 Norfolk State.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. If you have any insight, opinions, or questions about my Bracketology projection, feel free to contact me on Twitter @TBeckmann24. Have a great rest of your day and peace!

Tristan Beckmann’s College Basketball Bracketology (2/25/2019)

Welcome back to the fifth edition of my College Basketball Bracketology, where I project the NCAA Tournament field and matchups as we lead up to Selection Sunday. We are counting down the last few days to the biggest month of the college basketball season. Teams are rising, conference tournament seeding is starting to become clear, and the bracket is as well! It’s time to run through the procedures and get into my fifth bracket of the season!

In this edition, per usual, I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams. College basketball fans and experts abroad have started to gain a decent understanding of the contenders and pretenders in each college basketball conference, and I’m as big of a college hoops fan as you’ll find. Some teams are distancing themselves from the bubble, some teams continue to remain clustered around it, and some teams are watching as their bubble hopes vanish by the minute.

My process is pretty simple actually. Firstly, I’ve compiled a list of college basketball teams who realistically still have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, I’ve used the brand new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) Rankings as a seeding criteria for all teams, which will also be heavily used by the actual selection committee. Lastly, I’ve looked at every team’s current record, strength of schedule, and used the NCAA’s Quadrant Wins System to analyze the quality of their respective wins and losses.

After I have made a judgment on all teams, I begin to seed the 68 chosen teams from 1 to 68. Ranking them this way allows me to separate them into seed lines (#1 to #16). Finally, I place the teams into regions based on their respective seeds, conferences, and game location (for the top 16 seeds). I tried my best to keep conference opponents from playing until at least the Sweet 16, but there may have been situations where this wasn’t realistically possible.

There are three rules that I assure are being followed. Firstly, I tried to make the top four seeds in each region add up to similar overall region numbers, to make the regions competitive and balanced. With this in mind, there was a two-number differential between all four regions. I also made sure I never put teams from the same conferences on the same top four seed line. And lastly, I assured that the number one overall seed Duke would not have the best two seed in their bracket.

All in all, the process I went through definitely isn’t easy, but it’s fun to look at the possibilities already. I’ve tried my best to simulate what the actual selection committee would be doing if the tournament had to be seeded today. So after a crazy start to the week in the college hoops world, let’s check into my fifth Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Duke vs. #16 Norfolk State/#16 St. Francis (PA)

#8 Ole Miss vs. #9 Wofford

San Jose, California

#4 Kansas vs. #13 New Mexico State

#5 Maryland vs. #12 Belmont

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Houston vs. #14 Montana

#6 Washington vs. #11 NC State

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Michigan vs. #15 Radford

#7 Mississippi State vs. #10 Oklahoma

Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO):

Columbus, Ohio

#1 Kentucky vs. #16 Bucknell

#8 St. John’s vs. #9 VCU

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Florida State vs. #13 Yale

#5 Iowa vs. #12 Alabama/#12 Clemson

Salt Lake City, Utah

#3 Texas Tech vs. #14 Vermont

#6 Virginia Tech vs. #11 Temple

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Wright State

#7 Louisville vs. #10 Florida

South Region (Louisville, KY):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Virginia vs. #16 Rider/#16 Prairie-View

#8 Baylor vs. #9 Auburn

San Jose, California

#4 Wisconsin vs. #13 Old Dominion

#5 Nevada vs. #12 Lipscomb

Des Moines, Iowa

#3 Marquette vs. #14 UC Irvine

#6 Iowa State vs. #11 Arizona State

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 Texas State

#7 Buffalo vs. #10 Ohio State

West Region (Anaheim, CA):

Salt Lake City, Utah

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Sam Houston State

#8 Syracuse vs. #9 TCU

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Purdue vs. #13 Minnesota

#5 Kansas State vs. #12 Utah State/#12 Minnesota

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 LSU vs. #14 South Dakota State

#6 Villanova vs. #11 UCF

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 North Carolina vs. #15 Loyola-Chicago

#7 Cincinnati vs. #10 Texas

The Bubble:

Last Four In:

Utah State (22-6, 12-3 MWC, 36th NET, 1-2 Quadrant 1, 126th SOS, 27th Non-Conference SOS)

Alabama (16-11, 7-7 SEC, 55th NET, 2-7 Quadrant 1, 31st SOS, 52nd Non-Conference SOS)

Clemson (16-11, 6-8 ACC, 43rd NET, 1-8 Quadrant 1, 36th SOS, 117th Non-Conference SOS)

Minnesota (17-11, 7-10 BIG 10, 54th NET, 3-8 Quadrant 1, 38th SOS, 137th Non-Conference SOS)

First Four Out:

Seton Hall (16-11, 7-8 Big East, 63rd NET, 3-6 Quadrant 1, 41st SOS, 75th Non-Conference SOS)

Butler (15-12, 6-8 Big East, 49th NET, 2-7 Quadrant 1, 21st, 45th Non-Conference SOS)

Furman (22-6, 11-5 Southern, 48th NET, 1-5 Quadrant 1, 193rd SOS, 303rd Non-Conference SOS)

Davidson (19-6, 10-2 A10, 68th NET, 0-2 Quadrant 1, 108th SOS, 88th Non-Conference SOS)

Conference Count-Ups:

American Athletic Conference (4 Teams): #9 Houston, #28 Cincinnati, #42 UCF, #43 Temple.

Atlantic Coast Conference (9 Teams): #1 Duke, #2 Virginia, #6 North Carolina, #14 Florida State, #22 Virginia Tech, #27 Louisville, #29 Syracuse, #41 NC State, #49 Clemson.

Big 12 (8 Teams): #12 Texas Tech, #16 Kansas, #18 Kansas State, #21 Iowa State, #31 Baylor, #36 TCU, #38 Oklahoma, #39 Texas.

Big East (3 Teams): #11 Marquette, #24 Villanova, #30 St. John’s.

Big Ten (8 Teams): #5 Michigan State, #8 Michigan, #13 Purdue, #15 Wisconsin, #19 Maryland, #20 Iowa, #40 Ohio State, #50 Minnesota.

Mountain West (2 Teams): #17 Nevada, #47 Utah State.

PAC-12 (2 Teams): #23 Washington, #44 Arizona State.

SEC (8 Teams): #4 Kentucky, #7 Tennessee, #10 LSU, #25 Mississippi State, #32 Ole Miss, #35 Auburn, #37 Florida, #48 Alabama.

Singular Bid League Teams (24 Teams): #3 Gonzaga, #26 Buffalo, #33 Wofford, #34 VCU, #45 Lipscomb, #46 Belmont, #51 New Mexico State, #52 Old Dominion, #53 Yale, #54 Hofstra, #55 Vermont, #56 UC Irvine, #57 South Dakota State, #58 Montana, #59 Radford, #60 Texas State, #61 Loyola Chicago, #62 Wright State, #63 Bucknell, #64 Sam Houston State, #65 Rider, #66 Prairie-View A&M, #67 Norfolk State, #68 St. Francis (PA).

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. If you have any insight, opinions, or questions about my Bracketology projection, feel free to contact me on Twitter @TBeckmann24. Have a great rest of your day and peace!

Tristan Beckmann’s College Basketball Bracketology (2/20/2019)

Welcome back to the fourth edition of my College Basketball Bracketology, where I project the NCAA Tournament field and matchups as we lead up to Selection Sunday. We are counting down the days to the biggest month of the college basketball season. Thus far this week, there has been a lot of chaos around the nation but it’ll have to wait, as it’s time to run through the procedures and get into my bracket!

In this edition, per usual, I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams. College basketball fans and experts abroad have started to gain a decent understanding of the contenders and pretenders in each college basketball conference, and I’m as big of a college hoops fan as you’ll find. Some teams are distancing themselves from the bubble, but some teams continue to remain clustered around it.

My process is pretty simple actually. Firstly, I’ve compiled a list of college basketball teams who realistically still have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, I’ve used the brand new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) Rankings as a seeding criteria for all teams, which will also be heavily used by the actual selection committee. Lastly, I’ve looked at every team’s current record, strength of schedule, and used the NCAA’s Quadrant Wins System to analyze the quality of their respective wins and losses.

After I have made a judgment on all teams, I begin to seed the 68 chosen teams from 1 to 68. Ranking them this way allows me to separate them into seed lines (#1 to #16). Finally, I place the teams into regions based on their respective seeds, conferences, and game location (for the top 16 seeds). I tried my best to keep conference opponents from playing until at least the Sweet 16, but there may have been situations where this wasn’t realistically possible.

There are three rules that I’ve started assuring that they are being followed. Firstly, I tried to make the top four seeds in each region add up to similar overall region numbers, to make the regions competitive and balanced. With this in mind, there was a two-number differential between all four regions. I also made sure I never put teams from the same conferences on the same top four seed line. And lastly, I assured that the number one overall seed Duke would not have the best two seed in their bracket.

All in all, the process I went through definitely isn’t easy, but it’s fun to look at the possibilities already. I’ve tried my best to simulate what the actual selection committee would be doing if the tournament had to be seeded today. So after a crazy start to the week in the college hoops world, let’s check into my fourth Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Duke vs. #16 Norfolk State/St. Francis (PA)

#8 Baylor vs. #9 Auburn

San Jose, California

#4 Nevada vs. #13 Yale

#5 Iowa vs. #12 Liberty

Salt Lake City, Utah

#3 Kansas vs. #14 Montana

#6 Virginia Tech vs. #11 Alabama

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Radford

#7 Buffalo vs. #10 VCU

Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO):

Columbus, Ohio

#1 Kentucky vs. #16 Bucknell

#8 Syracuse vs. #9 TCU

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Purdue vs. #13 Vermont

#5 Iowa State vs. #12 NC State/Temple

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Houston vs. #14 UC Irvine

#6 Villanova vs. #11 Belmont

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 North Carolina vs. #15 Bowling Green

#7 Washington vs. #10 Seton Hall

South Region (Louisville, KY):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Virginia vs. #16 Prairie-View A&M/Quinnipiac

#8 Ole Miss vs. #9 Wofford

San Jose, California

#4 Texas Tech vs. #13 Hofstra

#5 Wisconsin vs. #12 New Mexico State

Hartford, Connecticut

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Northern Kentucky

#6 Maryland vs. #11 UCF

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 Loyola-Chicago

#7 Cincinnati vs. #10 Lipscomb

West Region (Anaheim, CA):

Salt Lake City, Utah

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Sam Houston State

#8 Mississippi State vs. #9 Ohio State

Jacksonville, Florida

#4 Louisville vs. #13 Old Dominion

#5 Kansas State vs. #12 Arizona State/Utah State

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 LSU vs. #14 South Dakota State

#6 Florida State vs. #11 Minnesota

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Michigan vs. #15 Texas State

#7 St. John’s vs. #10 Texas

The Bubble:

Last Four In:

Temple (19-7, 9-4 AAC)

Arizona State (17-8, 8-5 PAC-12)

Utah State (20-6, 10-3 MWC)

NC State (18-8, 6-7 ACC)

First Four Out:

Clemson (15-11, 5-8 ACC)

Oklahoma (16-10, 4-9 BIG 12)

Butler (15-11, 6-7 BIG EAST)

Florida (14-11, 6-6 SEC)

Next Four Out:

Furman (22-5, 11-4 SOUTH)

Davidson (19-6, 10-2 A-10)

South Carolina (14-12, 9-4 SEC)

Oregon State (16-8, 8-4 PAC-12)

Next Four Out:

Arkansas (14-11, 5-7 SEC)

Nebraska (15-12, 5-11 BIG 10)

Georgetown (15-10, 5-7 BIG EAST)

Fresno State (19-6, 10-6 MWC)

Conference Count-Ups:

American Athletic Conference (4 Teams): #9 Houston, #28 Cincinnati, #43 UCF, #45 Temple.

Atlantic Coast Conference (8 Teams): #1 Duke, #2 Virginia, #7 North Carolina, #16 Louisville, #23 Florida State, #24 Virginia Tech, #30 Syracuse, #48 NC State.

Atlantic Sun (2 Teams): #40 Lipscomb, #50 Liberty.

Big 12 (7 Teams): #11 Kansas, #15 Texas Tech, #18 Iowa State, #19 Kansas State, #31 Baylor, #36 TCU, #38 Texas.

Big East (4 Teams): #12 Marquette, #21 Villanova, #25 St. John’s, #39 Seton Hall.

Big Ten (8 Teams): #6 Michigan, #8 Michigan State, #13 Purdue, #17 Wisconsin, #20 Iowa, #22 Maryland, #35 Ohio State, #42 Minnesota.

MAC (2 Teams): #27 Buffalo, #60 Bowling Green.

Mountain West (2 Teams): #14 Nevada, #47 Utah State.

PAC 12 (2 Teams): #26 Washington, #46 Arizona State.

SEC (7 Teams): #4 Kentucky, #5 Tennessee, #10 LSU, #29 Mississippi State, #32 Ole Miss, #33 Auburn, #41 Alabama.

Singular Bid League Teams (22 Teams): #3 Gonzaga, #34 Wofford, #37 VCU, #44 Belmont, #49 New Mexico State, #51 Old Dominion, #52 Hofstra, #53 Yale, #54 Vermont, #55 UC Irvine, #56 South Dakota State, #57 Montana, #58 Northern Kentucky, #59 Radford, #61 Texas State, #62 Loyola Chicago, #63 Bucknell, #64 Sam Houston State, #65 Norfolk State, #66 Prairie-View A&M, #67 Quinnipiac, #68 St. Francis (PA).

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. If you have any insight, opinions, or questions about my Bracketology projection, feel free to contact me on Twitter @TBeckmann24. Have a great rest of your day and peace!

Tristan Beckmann’s College Basketball Bracketology (2/14/2019)

Welcome back to the third edition of my College Basketball Bracketology, where I project the NCAA Tournament field and matchups as we lead up to Selection Sunday. I should be back on schedule now after delaying this post until today. You should expect the next Bracketology to be released on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. With that said, what a week of college hoops we’ve had so far and yet we still haven’t even reached the weekend, where we will witness three matchups between teams ranked inside the AP Top 25 poll.

Sadly, my Louisville Cardinals collapsed while holding a 23 point second half lead over #2 Duke on Tuesday night, en route to a 71-69 Blue Devils win. While it didn’t affect their seeding much, they’ve still moved way down from their position in last week’s Bracketology. Michigan got stunned by a struggling Penn State team on the road, Virginia rallied to beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and LSU stunned Kentucky on a buzzer beating tip in. There was so much more chaos around the nation but it’ll have to wait, as it’s time to run through the procedures and get into my bracket!

In this edition, per usual, I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams. College basketball fans and experts abroad have started to gain a decent understanding of the contenders and pretenders in each college basketball conference, and I’m as big of a college hoops fan as you’ll find. Some teams are distancing themselves from the bubble, but some teams continue to remain clustered around it.

My process is pretty simple actually. Firstly, I’ve compiled a list of college basketball teams who realistically still have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Secondly, I’ve used the brand new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) Rankings as a seeding criteria for all teams, which will also be heavily used by the actual selection committee. Lastly, I’ve looked at every team’s current record, strength of schedule, and used the NCAA’s Quadrant Wins System to analyze the quality of their respective wins and losses.

After I have made a judgment on all teams, I begin to seed the 68 chosen teams from 1 to 68. Ranking them this way allows me to separate them into seed lines (#1 to #16). Finally, I place the teams into regions based on their respective seeds, conferences, and game location (for the top 16 seeds). I tried my best to keep conference opponents from playing until at least the Sweet 16, but there may have been situations where this wasn’t realistically possible.

There are three rules that I’ve started assuring that they are being followed. Firstly, I tried to make the top four seeds in each region add up to similar overall region numbers, to make the regions competitive and balanced. With this in mind, there was a two-number differential between all four regions. I also made sure I never put teams from the same conferences on the same top four seed line. And lastly, I assured that the number one overall seed Duke would not have the best two seed in their bracket.

All in all, the process I went through definitely isn’t easy, but it’s fun to look at the possibilities already. I’ve tried my best to simulate what the actual selection committee would be doing if the tournament had to be seeded today. So after a crazy start to the week in the college hoops world, let’s check into my third Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Duke vs. #16 Quinnipiac/Norfolk State

#8 St. John’s vs. #9 Minnesota

Jacksonville, Florida

#4 LSU vs. #13 Yale

#5 Texas Tech vs. #12 Liberty

Salt Lake City, Utah

#3 Houston vs. #14 Montana

#6 Florida State vs. #11 Seton Hall

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Bowling Green

#7 Mississippi State vs. #10 Lipscomb

West Region (Anaheim, CA):

Salt Lake City, Utah

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Bucknell

#8 Baylor vs. #9 Auburn

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Louisville vs. #13 Old Dominion

#5 Iowa vs. #12 Hofstra

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Kansas vs. #14 South Dakota State

#6 Virginia Tech vs. #11 UCF/Arizona State

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Michigan vs. #15 Radford

#7 Washington vs. #10 Alabama

South Region (Louisville, KY):

Columbus, Ohio

#1 Tennessee vs. #16 Prairie-View/Robert Morris

#8 Syracuse vs. #9 TCU

San Jose, California

#4 Wisconsin vs. #13 Vermont

#5 Kansas State vs. #12 Belmont

Hartford, Connecticut

#3 Marquette vs. #14 UC Irvine

#6 Maryland vs. #11 Texas

Jacksonville, Florida

#2 North Carolina vs. #15 Texas State

#7 Cincinnati vs. #10 VCU

Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Virginia vs. #16 Sam Houston State

#8 Ohio State vs. #9 Ole Miss

San Jose, California

#4 Nevada vs. #13 Davidson

#5 Villanova vs. #12 New Mexico State

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Purdue vs. #14 Northern Kentucky

#6 Iowa State vs. #11 NC State/Temple

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Loyola-Chicago

#7 Buffalo vs. #10 Wofford

Bubble:

Last Four In:

NC State (18-7, 6-6 AAC)

UCF (18-5, 8-3 AAC)

Temple (18-7, 8-4 AAC)

Arizona State (16-8, 7-5 PAC-12)

First Four Out:

Arkansas (14-10, 5-6 SEC)

Utah State (19-6, 9-3 MWC)

Clemson (15-9, 5-6 ACC)

Butler (14-11, 5-7 BIG EAST)

Conference Count-Ups:

American Athletic Conference (4 Teams): #12 Houston, #27 Cincinnati, #44 UCF, #45 Temple.

Atlantic Coast Conference (8 Teams): #1 Duke, #3 Virginia, #7 North Carolina, #14 Louisville, #21 Virginia Tech, #24 Florida State, #30 Syracuse, #43 NC State.

Atlantic Sun (2 Teams): #40 Lipscomb, #50 Liberty.

Atlantic 10 (2 Teams): #37 VCU, #53 Davidson.

Big 12 (7 Teams): #10 Kansas, #18 Kansas State, #19 Texas Tech, #22 Iowa State, #29 Baylor, #33 TCU, #41 Texas.

Big East (4 Teams): #9 Marquette, #17 Villanova, #32 St. John’s, #42 Seton Hall.

Big Ten (8 Teams): #6 Michigan, #8 Michigan State, #11 Purdue, #15 Wisconsin, #20 Iowa, #23 Maryland, #31 Ohio State, #36 Minnesota.

MAC (2 Teams): #28 Buffalo, #59 Bowling Green.

PAC 12 (2 Teams): #26 Washington, #46 Arizona State.

Southeastern Conference (7 Teams): #2 Tennessee, #5 Kentucky, #13 LSU, #25 Mississippi State, #34 Ole Miss, #35 Auburn, #38 Alabama.

Singular Bid League Squads (22 Teams): #4 Gonzaga, #16 Nevada, #39 Wofford, #47 Hofstra, #48 New Mexico State, #49 Belmont, #51 Yale, #52 Vermont, #54 Old Dominion, #55 South Dakota State, #56 Northern Kentucky, #57 UC Irvine, #58 Montana, #60 Texas State, #61 Loyola-Chicago, #62 Radford, #63 Bucknell, #64 Sam Houston State, #65 Prairie-View, #66 Quinnipiac, #67 Norfolk State, #68 Robert Morris.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. If you have any insight, opinions, or questions about my Bracketology projection, feel free to contact me on Twitter @TBeckmann24. Have a great rest of your day and peace!

Duke Wins at Virginia 81-71; Concerns in Charlottesville?

Last night Duke took the rematch against Virginia in Charlottesville, sweeping the Cavaliers. The score 81-71. As I watched the game last night, it never felt like it was that close and it could have been worse. Duke probably stays at #2 in the rankings (or they may move up to #1 over Tennessee with the nice win). Virginia won’t move down too much in the rankings despite the loss. It is the Cavaliers second, both times to the Blue Devils.

But should there be cause of concern in Charlottesville?

We know Virginia has been ranked atop of the college basketball world for the last 4-5 years. However, the Cavaliers have seen more March heartbreak than anything else, failing to get to the Sweet 16 in three of the last five seasons despite having a high ranking. And of course, we know about last year where they became the first #1 seed to fall to a #16 seed in tournament history after many (myself included) penned them to at least get to the Final Four.

This year, Virginia will likely take a #1 or #2 spot in the tournament again. The defense is pretty aggressive and the offense is fairly solid when they want to be. However, a trend is really starting to take shape from their tournament losses to their losses this season against Duke: teams who have as much talent if not more talent than Virginia are the teams who get the Cavaliers at the end.

The ACC this year has about 6 strong teams. Good for most conferences, though it is somewhat “down” for them. Which benefits Virginia obviously. Don’t get me wrong, the Cavaliers have talent like D’Andre Hunter (who I love watching play), Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and Alabama transfer Braxton Key off the bench. Duke of course is probably a cut above the conference and putting out one if its best teams since the Christian Laettner/Bobby Hurley/Grant Hill era. North Carolina is North Carolina, Louisville has surprised, and Virginia Tech is a strong physical team. But teams like NC State, Clemson, Miami, and Notre Dame have all taken steps back from their play last year or previous years.

Virginia has beaten the latter teams with relative ease this season (plus a blowout win vs. rival Virginia Tech). The NC State game went to overtime in a nail-biter, but the Cavs showed that they are a great squad…when they see teams that aren’t as strong. So far, aside from Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and Duke, they haven’t seen many strong teams to this point.

What concerns me with Virginia aside from their play in March are a few things. Duke somewhat exposed the Cavaliers a bit on it was that they do not like it when teams play as aggressive on both sides of the ball as Virginia can. Again, this is Duke we are talking about with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett so I get that. But even the previous years in their losses in the tournament, they had the same issue: Michigan State got them twice, Florida got them, and of course UMBC who really punched them in the mouth.

Sometimes I also feel and this is also a trend for the past 5 years is that the Cavaliers sometimes when they see teams that are as talented as they are if not more talented slow down the game, notably on offense. And that’s how I feel like they get in trouble. Last night I think early on they tried and Duke capitalized on the turnovers and the shots. It just felt like both Williamson and Barrett dictated that game from beginning to end. And with the Cavaliers offense, while good, is not a team that has an offense that can shoot them back into a game. It happened last year with UMBC, in prior years against Michigan State, and has happened now with Duke.

Virginia’s schedule down the stretch isn’t much easier even after Duke. UNC is next at Chapel Hill. Also the Cavaliers have road trips to Virginia Tech and Louisville while the latter is a back-to-back road swing with Syracuse. Those teams have talent and can be as aggressive as the Hokies can. The question can be can Virginia withstand these teams and if they throw haymakers at them?

The next 9 games won’t decide Virginia’s fate in March (they’re in obviously and will probably win at least 6 of their games), but it will also tell what kind of team the Cavaliers have heading into the tournament. But until they silence the critics, there will always be wonder-and concern in Charlottesville about the Cavaliers being an actual legit power in college basketball.

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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