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

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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!

Doubting the King is never a good idea, and last night’s Laker win over Boston proved just that

On Thursday, February 7th, much of the talk in the NBA was surrounding the trade deadline. It usually is always like this on this big day, but this year it seemed somewhat different. Perhaps the biggest headline was the fact that it looked as if the Lakers weren’t going to acquire disgruntled superstar center Anthony Davis from the Pelicans. There had been a week of negotiating and leveraging between New Orleans and LA, but Pelicans general manager Dell Demps wasn’t ever seriously considering dealing the NBA’s best big man to the Lake Show.

Demps seemingly made his mind up on waiting to trade Davis until the summer, when the draft pick stacked Boston Celtics can enter the bidding war for the star. Demps also looks to love the idea of acquiring 2017 top three draft pick Jayson Tatum from the Celtics in a potential trade package. It became clear the Lakers were done for the day when they made a move to trade 21 year old center Ivica Zubac and veteran forward Michael Beasley to the rival Clippers for floor stretching center Mike Muscala. It might’ve been a panic move to trade away a young player who’d been contributing a ton for the team while LeBron James was out, but many are saying it was a move made primarily to add more shooting and create a roster spot for the buyout market.

A few days ago, the Lakers made their first trade deadline move, acquiring experienced shooting and defense from the Pistons in the form of forward Reggie Bullock. The buyout market name they’ve been connected to most is Carmelo Anthony, who isn’t as good as he once was, but still could be an impactful bench player for the Lakers. But enough of discussing players who aren’t yet on the roster or are possible additions, what happened last night at the TD Garden was a big statement for the Lakers and one that was much needed.

It honestly felt like there wasn’t even a game on this trade deadline day, but the Lakers were continuing their Eastern Conference road trip against the Boston Celtics, renewing a longtime rivalry between two NBA powerhouses. The Lakers were two and a half games out of the 8th seed in the West, and were just now getting healthy with LeBron James having returned a few games ago. But fans were worried, they hadn’t made a big splash at the deadline, and they were coming off a 42-point road loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

It looked as if another big blowout loss was going to be handed to the Lakers on Thursday night in the early stages of the game. The Lakers came out ice cold, missing shots inside the paint and out, and also struggling to shoot free throws. In the second quarter, Boston started connecting on open shots, and opened up a 53-35 lead when Luke Walton called for a timeout with less than seven minutes remaining. Social media was calling for Walton to be fired in order to send a message to the team, but what happened after this timeout was something no one could’ve expected.

The Lakers started playing fast-paced basketball, getting back to their preferred style of play. They also began hitting shots and making plays on defense, as they finished the half on a 22-13 run to cut the Celtics lead in half. The hot stretch continued as the Lake Show came out for the second half, taking the lead early in the third quarter. The Lakers hit nine threes in the quarter, including four from young rising star Kyle Kuzma, who is still finding a feel for his jumper. The Lakers led by six at the end of the third quarter, which by the way was a 42-point third quarter, and likely the team’s best quarter of the season.

But NBA fans knew that Boston wouldn’t let up easily, as they stormed back to take the lead and it looked as if they wouldn’t let it slip a second time. Kyrie Irving was getting hot, and the Celtics couldn’t seem to be stopped by LA. But they also couldn’t seem to stop the King, as LeBron made the fourth quarter his. He first hit a three with less than six minutes to go that got the Lakers within two. Two minutes later, James stepped back to make a 27 foot three point jumper to cut the lead to one.

The three was quickly answered by Kyrie Irving’s step back three pointer that put the lead back to four points. A possession later when Irving hit two free throws, many fans thought the Celtics were in a safe position and wouldn’t blow a six point lead in the final three minutes. With Boston doubling up on LeBron, the Lakers young core had to step up in the bright lights, and they proved to be ready for the challenge. Brandon Ingram hit a quick pull-up jumper to make it a four point game, and after Jayson Tatum missed a jumper, Ingram assisted on a sweet Kyle Kuzma floater.

The Celtics led 119-117 with less than three minutes remaining. They possibly could’ve put a dagger in the Lakers when Marcus Smart got open twice on their next possession. Smart, the most accurate shooter in the East since the new year, came up short on both attempts before the Lakers secured the rebound. Brandon Ingram drove inside and got fouled by Kyrie Irving, but the Lakers free throw struggles continued as Ingram only managed to hit one of two. After missing the second, Ingram committed a silly foul on an inbounds pass by basically tackling Kyrie, who made both free throws to give the Celtics a three point lead.

After Kyle Kuzma missed an easy inside shot, the Celtics ran the fast break and Irving found a wide open Marcus Morris in the corner for three, and he drilled it. With the Celtics up six with nearly a minute to play, it felt over. But it wasn’t over, and the Lakers didn’t fold under pressure. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope answered with an open corner three on an inbounds pass from Rajon Rondo. Then when Kyrie Irving lost control of the ball, Brandon Ingram stole it and ran the fast break. The former number two overall pick dished it off to LeBron, who nearly lost the ball out of bounds while driving to the rim on Kyrie and Al Horford. The older James made an acrobatic save that ended up in the hands of KCP, who quickly saw James getting back into the play in the corner. And just like we would expect from the greatest ever, James silenced the TD Garden crowd with a three pointer to tie the game at 124.

After the Celtics called a timeout, Jayson Tatum drew a foul on the inbounds play and was able to hit two free throws to give them the lead. The Lakers called a timeout and Luke Walton drew up a beautiful play that would get the focus on LeBron and open up Kuzma for three. It worked to perfection as Kuzma drilled the go-ahead three pointer with 18.5 seconds left. Kyrie Irving didn’t let up though, as he drove to the basket and got an angle for the go-ahead layup with 11 seconds left.

The Lakers had no timeouts, and Marcus Morris wasn’t letting LeBron get the ball, so Brandon Ingram brought the ball up quickly. He drove into the paint and went for an up and under layup that was heavily contested by Al Horford. The ball was batted around before Tyson Chandler hit it towards Rajon Rondo, who caught it and swished the game-winning mid range jumper as the buzzer sounded.

It was a huge win for a Lakers team that really needed it. They’d battled all night and came out on top with a storybook ending for the former Celtic point guard in Rondo. The floor general had a game for the ages in his return home, scoring 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting, dishing out 10 assists, and grabbing 7 rebounds. He also hit three of four three point attempts. The King dominated this game as well, scoring 28 points, grabbing 12 boards, and dishing out 12 assists in a great performance.

It was a team effort however, as the young guys continued to produce despite having all of this drama surrounding them as of late. Kyle Kuzma looks to be gaining confidence in his jumper, scoring 25 points and hitting five three pointers. Brandon Ingram struggled from the field (4 for 14), but he played tremendous defense on Kyrie Irving for a long portion of the night, and he made impact plays away from his scoring, recording seven assists. The veterans were contributors as well, with JaVale McGee putting up 17 points and 8 rebounds, Lance Stephenson scoring 14 points off the bench, and KCP hitting five threes in a 17 point bench performance.

After this win, it has certainly become clear that these Lakers are a playoff team with this mix of veterans and rising young players, but they’ll have to continue winning over the final two months of the season to secure their spot. And don’t forget that they played last night’s game without any of their new trade deadline additions and Lonzo Ball. The road to the playoffs won’t be easy, but it certainly got easier with the Clippers seemingly tanking by trading star forward Tobias Harris to Philly. This win could be the game that turns the season around, but we will all have to wait and see.

The team celebrated this win together and nobody could’ve expected this from a team that looked terrible and had no chemistry in that awful loss to the Pacers. With the trade deadline behind them, the Lakers young core was still in tact and they played more confidently on this night. Being embroiled in trade deadline rumors for a week had to have been tough and it definitely took a toll on these young guys, but they overcame these hardships and won this game, together. But the main takeaway from last night’s thriller is simply this: don’t doubt LeBron James, he’s playing some of his best basketball of his career, he’s finally healthy, and he’s still the King.

Tristan Beckmann’s College Basketball Bracketology (2/4/2019)

Welcome back to my second edition of College Basketball Bracketology, where I project the NCAA Tournament field and matchups as we head into the weeks up to Selection Sunday. We witnessed another fun-filled week in college basketball, as some big upsets occurred and we saw some ranked teams battle. In this edition, per usual, I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams, and I plan on continuing to release one of these every Sunday or Monday for the rest of the college hoops season heading up to Selection Sunday.

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 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 higher 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.

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 another crazy week in the college hoops world, let’s check into my second-ever Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.):

Columbus, Ohio

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

#8 Minnesota vs. #9 Oklahoma

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Villanova vs. #13 Murray State

#5 Wisconsin vs. #12 New Mexico State

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Bowling Green

#6 Florida State vs. #11 Indiana

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Michigan vs. #15 UC-Irvine

#7 Buffalo vs. #10 Arizona State

West Region (Anaheim, CA):

Salt Lake City, Utah

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Princeton

#8 Syracuse vs. #9 Ole Miss

Jacksonville, Florida

#4 Purdue vs. #13 New Mexico State

#5 LSU vs. #12 Lipscomb

Salt Lake City, Utah

#3 Kansas vs. #14 Montana

#6 Maryland vs. #11 VCU/Temple

Columbia, South Carolina

#2 North Carolina vs. #15 Lehigh

#7 Washington vs. #10 Wofford

South Region (Louisville, KY):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Duke vs. #16 Rider/Norfolk State

#8 Auburn vs. #9 TCU

San Jose, California

#4 Nevada vs. #13 Vermont

#5 Texas Tech vs. #12 Davidson

Hartford, Connecticut

#3 Michigan State vs. #14 Northern Kentucky

#6 Mississippi State vs. #11 UCF

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Georgia State

#7 Cincinnati vs. #10 St. John’s

Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO):

Jacksonville, Florida

#1 Tennessee vs. #16 Sam Houston State

#8 Baylor vs. #9 NC State

San Jose, California

#4 Louisville vs. #13 Old Dominion

#5 Iowa vs. #12 Hofstra

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Houston vs. #14 Radford

#6 Iowa State vs. #11 Alabama/San Francisco

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Virginia Tech vs. #15 Loyola-Chicago

#7 Kansas State vs. #10 Ohio State

Bubble Breakdown:

The tournament bubble continues to simmer down as each day of conference basketball passes, but it’s still a very log-jammed one like it has been in recent years. Here’s a breakdown of the last few teams that made it and the last few that are just outside the cut line right now:

IN:

Last Team In: San Francisco Dons (17-5, 5-3 WCC)

San Francisco is still hunting hard for an at-large berth as Gonzaga continues to dominate the WCC. The Dons lost by six on the road against a decent Saint Mary’s team on Saturday, and they need to end their two game losing streak fast. They may just be watching as their at-large chances go up in smoke, barring a miracle where they win at Gonzaga on Thursday night. Pray for the Dons, because they’re on their last legs.

Second To Last Team In: Temple Owls (16-6, 6-3 AAC)

The bubble was intensely shaken up this week, so Temple stayed on the good end of things. Losing by seven on the road at Houston wasn’t terrible, but the Owls have a horrible schedule the rest of the way. A loss to any teams that they should beat will kill their at-large hopes, forcing them to go on a run in the AAC Tournament. Blowing the 14 point second half lead to Cincinnati two weeks ago really hurt the Owls resume and it will continue to do so.

Third To Last Team In: VCU Rams (15-6, 6-2 A10)

A big home win against a decent George Mason team certainly will help VCU, but it’s what happened to other teams on the bubble that allowed the Rams to jump onto the right side of things this week. If they want to stay on the right side, they’ll likely have to win out or win most of their remaining games. Losing to Davidson shook off a huge resume opportunity for them, but they still have a Quadrant 1 win from defeating Texas on the road in December. They may very well just have to win the Atlantic 10 to get a bid to the big dance.

Fourth To Last Team In: Alabama Crimson Tide (13-8, 4-4 SEC)

The Crimson Tide looked to be safely in the field on Tuesday after a huge home victory over Mississippi State. But on Saturday, they were rocked by Auburn in a 21 point road loss. They still have a good chance to get an at-large bid, especially with great opportunities at resume-building wins such as Arkansas and Mississippi State on the road, as well as Auburn and LSU at home. They definitely do need to continue winning games that they are supposed to, however, because they can’t afford too many more losses.

OUT:

First Team Out: Seton Hall Pirates (13-9, 4-6 Big East)

Seton Hall suffered a tough two point loss on the road to Butler on Saturday, but they’re still firmly alive in the race on the bubble. With St. John’s on the road in late February and home games against Marquette and Villanova to close out the season, the Pirates definitely will get their fair share of chances to boost themselves off the bubble. Wins over St. John’s at home, Kentucky on a neutral floor, and Maryland on the road have helped them to this point, but they cannot continue to slide in the Big East in the next month.

Second Team Out: Arkansas Razorbacks (13-8, 4-4 SEC)

After being out of the picture for a few weeks, Daniel Gafford’s Razorbacks are back in the mix on the bubble with a huge road victory over LSU in overtime. They added that to their resume along with a early season win over Indiana, but they might end up being hurt by extremely bad home losses to Georgia Tech and Western Kentucky. The Razorbacks are certainly talented enough to make the tournament, but it’s up to them to fight for their chance to shine.

Third Team Out: Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-9, 3-8 Big Ten)

Nebraska’s 3-8 record in the Big Ten isn’t as bad as it looks, considering how tough the conference is this season, but it still should and could be better. They have some good wins and some bad losses, but they’re skidding as of late, and honestly shouldn’t even be on the bubble come next week. They are fighting to keep their hopes alive this week, and a loss or two could kill them indefinitely. The opportunities are there, as the Huskers have Maryland at home on Wednesday and Purdue on the road on Saturday. Let’s see what the Huskers got!

Fourth Team Out: Florida Gators (12-9, 4-4 SEC)

I’m torn on Florida and the question of whether the Gators are a tournament team. They earned a gritty home win on Wednesday over a good Ole Miss squad, but then blew a chance to build some ground off the bubble in the home loss to Kentucky. They’ve got an extremely difficult schedule the rest of the way and I don’t know if they’re capable of winning enough games to secure an at-large bid to the big dance.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my second ever Bracketology Breakdown. If you want to continue to see more content like this, let me know on my Twitter @TBeckmann24. Feel free to ask questions and share thoughts to me there as well. Have a great and blessed day! Peace!

Tristan Beckmann’s College Basketball Bracketology (1/27/2019)

It was a chaotic week in college basketball, as many upsets occurred and we saw some ranked teams battle. That’s why I’m bringing you my first ever College Basketball Bracketology Breakdown. I’ve projected seeding and matchups for all tournament teams, and I plan on releasing one of these each Sunday for the rest of the season heading up to Selection Sunday.

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 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 higher 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.

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 this crazy week in the college hoops world, let’s check into my first-ever Bracketology projection!

East Region (Washington, D.C.):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Duke vs. #16 Robert Morris/Norfolk State

#8 Kansas State vs. #9 Ole Miss

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#4 Texas Tech vs. #13 Yale

#5 Purdue vs. #12 Wofford

Salt Lake City, Utah

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Loyola-Chicago

#6 Iowa vs. #11 Alabama

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Kansas vs. #15 UC-Irvine

#7 Wisconsin vs. #10 Texas

Midwest (Kansas City, MO):

Columbus, Ohio

#1 Michigan vs. #16 Rider

#8 Mississippi State vs. #9 St. John’s

Hartford, Connecticut

#4 Louisville vs. #13 Northern Kentucky

#5 LSU vs. #12 Lipscomb

Tulsa, Oklahoma

#3 Houston vs. #14 Radford

#6 NC State vs. #11 Ohio State/Baylor

Des Moines, Iowa

#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Weber State

#7 TCU vs. #10 UCF

South (Louisville, KY):

Jacksonville, Florida

#1 Tennessee vs. #16 Sam Houston State/Prairie-View

#8 Nebraska vs. #9 Florida State

San Jose, California

#4 Villanova vs. #13 Davidson

#5 Iowa State vs. #12 Murray State

Jacksonville, Florida

#3 Virginia Tech vs. #14 South Dakota State

#6 Oklahoma vs. #11 Indiana

Columbus, Ohio

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Stony Brook

#7 Cincinnati vs. #10 San Francisco

West (Anaheim, CA):

Columbia, South Carolina

#1 Virginia vs. #16 Cal State Bakersfield

#8 Auburn vs. #9 Minnesota

Salt Lake City, Utah

#4 Nevada vs. #13 Texas State

#5 Buffalo vs. #12 Hofstra

Hartford, Connecticut

#3 North Carolina vs. #14 North Texas

#6 Washington vs. #11 Syracuse/Temple

San Jose, California

#2 Gonzaga vs. #15 Lehigh

#7 Maryland vs. #10 Florida

The Bubble Breakdown:

The tournament bubble continues to simmer down as each day of conference basketball passes, but it’s still a very log-jammed one like it has been in recent years. Here’s a breakdown of the last few teams that made it and the last few that are just outside the cut line right now:

IN:

Last Team In: Temple Owls (15-5, 5-2 AAC)

Temple was on the verge of pulling out a must-needed quality win today at home against Cincinnati, but they folded under pressure, blowing a 14 point lead in the second half. They’re squarely on the bubble and will likely be kicked off if they lose to Houston on the road on Thursday night. They don’t have the schedule to make up for a loss there, and so it’s up to the Owls to earn their spot on this list for next week and beyond.

Second To Last Team In: Baylor Bears (13-6, 4-2 Big 12)

Baylor has quietly put itself on the bubble radar after not being taken seriously when Big 12 conference play began. They sit at 4-2 thus far in the conference, and nearly beat Kansas at home a few weeks ago. They did beat Texas Tech, however, which added a huge Quadrant 1 victory to their schedule. Going on the road to beat West Virginia was good for them as they didn’t suffer a bad loss, and it was also impressive to see them beat fellow tournament squad Alabama yesterday.

Third To Last Team In: Ohio State Buckeyes (13-6, 3-5 Big Ten)

It’s crazy how fast Ohio State has fallen from being ranked #13 in the nation to being unranked and struggling in the gauntlet that is the Big Ten. Losing to the Big Ten bottom-feeder in Rutgers didn’t help this case. They are 3-4 in Quadrant 1 Games, and 2-2 in Quadrant 2 Games, which certainly doesn’t make for a terrible resume. But they’ll definitely have to be picking up some more solid wins in the regular season to help pick them up off the bubble.

Fourth To Last Team In: Syracuse Orange (14-6, 5-2 ACC)

Until Saturday night’s blowout loss to Virginia Tech, Syracuse continued to claw its way further from the brink of the bubble. They are 2-2 in Quadrant 1 games and certainly display the talent of a tournament squad, but they’ve had some tough losses to swallow. Losing to Old Dominion at home will hurt them, as well as losing to one of the ACC’s worst teams in Georgia Tech at home. Beating Duke on the road was huge towards their chances, but they need to keep winning in order to really feel safe from the bubble.

OUT:

First Team Out: Pittsburgh Panthers (12-8, 2-5 ACC)

With wins against Louisville and Florida State, the Panthers are definitely in the bubble conversation but they still need to win some more games to get over their losing record in ACC play. Oh, and their non-conference schedule was brutally easy, so that won’t get them any favors from the selection committee. The good thing for Pittsburgh is that they’ve played their hard part of the ACC Schedule, and there are plenty of winnable ACC games on the schedule in February and March.

Second Team Out: VCU Rams (14-6, 5-2 A-10)

To get a bid in the big dance, VCU will probably have to just go out and win the Atlantic 10 to secure an automatic bid. But there’s a small shot for an at-large berth if the Rams can win out or win most of their remaining games. Losing to Davidson shook off a huge resume opportunity for them, but they aren’t dead yet. They still have a Quadrant 1 win from defeating Texas on the road in December, but they’ll need more of a resume than that to make the tournament.

Third Team Out: Arizona State Sun Devils (14-6, 5-3 Pac-12)

Arizona State has been struggling in the weak PAC-12, so that has started to offset what was a really solid non-conference resume. Losing to a weak Utah club at home to start the month of January really hurt the Sun Devils, as did losing to Stanford on the road a few weeks ago. They are 3-1 in Quadrant 1 games, but they do have a really bad Quadrant 4 loss that they suffered to Princeton at home. They’ve certainly got their work cut out for them as we near the start of Fabulous February.

Fourth Team Out: Butler Bulldogs (12-9, 3-5 Big East)

Butler’s 0-2 week was very tough for their bubble hopes, as they slid from inside the field to farther on the outside than they’d like to be. They’ve got a huge resume building opportunity on Wednesday at home against #12 Marquette. With road games at Marquette and Villanova still left in February/March, Butler has some great chances to grab some pivotal wins as they remain on the tournament bubble.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my first ever Bracketology Breakdown. If you want to see more content like this, let me know on my Twitter @TBeckmann24. Feel free to ask questions and share thoughts to me there as well. Have a great and blessed day! Peace!

2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball FINAL FOUR Game Previews And Predictions

The tournament shrunk from 64 to 32, from 32 to 16, 16 to 8, and now 8 to 4. As we head to San Antonio, four college basketball teams remain alive in the fight for the NCAA championship. There was a lot of tremendous action in the second weekend but personally I thought the first weekend was better, but it’s not really fair because there were about double the games in the first weekend.

Loyola-Chicago continued its cinderella story with a 78-62 victory over Kansas State that sent the Ramblers to the Final Four for the first time since they won the national title in 1963. Michigan withstood a late push by upset-hopeful Florida State and advanced to the Final Four with a 58-54 victory. Villanova played forty minutes of solid basketball en route to a 71-59 victory over Texas Tech. The best game of the weekend was hands down the final game, a matchup between blue blood programs in Duke and Kansas. It was a back and forth battle and Grayson Allen’s potential game-winning jumper at the end of regulation rimmed out in the most heartbreaking fashion. We got five extra minutes of basketball in this one and Malik Newman made it his five minutes. He took over in overtime and led the Jayhawks to the Final Four in an 85-81 nail biter.

Do you need advice on these Final Four Games? Well don’t fear because I am here to help. I’m going to preview and give you my pick for each of the Final Four games. Let’s get right into it!

(Saturday, March 31st, 2018)

#3 Michigan vs. #11 Loyola-Chicago

(6:09 p.m. EST, TBS; San Antonio, TX)

Preview: In the first Final Four Game, the Ramblers efficient offense will clash heads with a Michigan team ranked third in adjusted defensive efficiency. It will be Loyola-Chicago’s toughest matchup yet in the tournament and they may need more magic. Loyola-Chicago is no slouch on the defensive end either however, as no opponent of theirs has scored over 70 points in a tournament game. The Ramblers are fairly inconsistent when it comes to limiting turnovers, and this could pose a problem down the stretch against the Wolverines tough defense. Michigan defends the three pointer very well which has shown to be a must against Loyola-Chicago. If they can halt the hot shooting Ramblers just a bit, then Michigan may run away with this one. But they’ve gone so far and this cinderella story is one that I’m not sure is going to end just yet. LOYOLA!

Pick: #11 Loyola-Chicago 66, #3 Michigan 62.

#1 Villanova vs. #1 Kansas

(8:49 p.m. EST, TBS; San Antonio, TX)

Preview: This is a battle of the top remaining seeds and blue blooded programs in Kansas and Villanova. This will be the game of the tournament in my opinion and you could very well say the NCAA champion will be the winner of this Final Four matchup. Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges are expected to carry the load for the Wildcats and Villanova can get joy from three point range, which causes a bevy of problems for opposing defenses. Villanova can’t get stale on the defensive end either though and they must keep chomping at the bit defensively at the Jayhawks. Kansas certainly could use a player of the year type performance from Big 12 POY Devonte’ Graham. They could also use a performance like the one Malik Newman had in the second half and overtime periods against Duke in their Elite 8 win. Graham has struggled as of late and it hasn’t been fatal for Kansas, but against the star power of Villanova, Graham will have to show up for Kansas to keep it interesting.

Pick: #1 Villanova 77, #1 Kansas 72.