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!

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!

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!

The Obstructed Cotton Bowl Preview

We finally are getting near to the Playoff games. Instead of making it New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, College football put it on a few days before. I guess that works for me….

This year’s Playoff marks a few things: the four teams in (Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Oklahoma) went a combined 50-1 (the lone loss was by Oklahoma who exacted the revenge in the Big 12 title game against Texas). It marks the first time that we not only have one, not two, but three undefeated teams going into it. And now we have a 50% chance that we will see our first 15-0 team in college football in the Playoff era (Alabama or Clemson) or 14-0 team (Notre Dame). So it should be fun all around. The first preview is Clemson and Notre Dame. I will do the Alabama-Oklahoma preview later today or tomorrow.

COTTON BOWL: #2 CLEMSON VS. #3 NOTRE DAME, 4:00, ESPN: This game is going to be one I’ve had a slightly tough time figuring out. People are just automatically handing Clemson the W while some are saying Notre Dame is going to pull off the shocker. I can see it both ways. Clemson from a talent standpoint is probably better. However, anything happens on a football field. Notre Dame has played to their opponents levels at times (Ball State, Vanderbilt, USC) while getting up for their bigger opponents (Michigan, Syracuse) and showing they are legit. Obviously the look will be to an Irish fan they will get up for Clemson and I don’t dispute that. But will it be enough to overtake Clemson?

CLEMSON WINS IF:

  1. SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN: Easier said than done. Notre Dame save for the USC game hasn’t been down much in the season. If you want to see how the Irish respond to it, attack early. Clemson has a lot of weapons and firepower so it is possible they try for a knockout blow early.
  2. KEEP IAN BOOK UNCOMFORTABLE: Since Notre Dame named him the starter he has been on top of it and done a great job directing the offense. The way you change it is if you have a pass rush constantly getting at Book. And Clemson has that as well. If they can jump after the Irish quarterback, it may be a long game for Notre Dame.
  3. TAKE THE POINTS WHEN THEY CAN: One thing that at times Dabo Swinney does and can be frustrating is not take up points when they have the chance (i.e. go for it deep within opponents territories on 4th downs). I know you need to be aggressive at times, but sometimes when you leave points out there, it really comes back to bite them. I’m thinking of a game Clemson had with A&M had the Aggies not fumbled it at the goal line late where Clemson opted not to kick a late field goal to add to their lead at half. Instead they went for it and failed. It also dictated the tempo for the second half for Texas A&M. If they do that here, I don’t know if lightning will strike twice here for Clemson. And while Notre Dame has a good offense, it is not Oklahoma or Alabama where they HAVE to trade touchdowns.

NOTRE DAME WINS IF:

  1. THEY PROTECT BOOK: Clemson’s defense is good, but the secondary at times can be suspect. If the Tigers pass rush is shut down or they do not dictate the tempo, the secondary gets exposed. Back to the Texas A&M game where it seemed like Clemson was getting gashed and ran out of gas at the end of the game. And that was when the pass rush was still decent if I am not mistaken.
  2. THEY KEEP TREVOR LAWRENCE OFF THE FIELD: Goes back to the first one. Book gets protected, they get a few first downs, it really will wear out the Tigers defense. And it will not give Lawrence the rhythm THAT he needs. Notre Dame’s defense is pretty good, but Lawrence can show he can throw against the better defenses. But anything to keep Lawrence from taking over the game will be huge and anything that keeps him off the field will be keeping him from taking over the game.
  3. BRIAN KELLY HAS AN A+ GAMEPLAN: Kelly has been a polarizing character at Notre Dame since he took over. The years he has the Irish as a top 5-10 program he looks like he is a genius coach and fans are off his back. The years he is 8-4, 7-5, or worse he is the worst coach in Irish history. A part of it is I think is how his gameplans have been. In other words, play the odds to his advantage, don’t take any unnecessary risks, and put trust into your leaders on the field. Getting up for Clemson isn’t going to be hard for Notre Dame, but keeping the mistakes down is going to be a key factor whether the Irish will be playing in the National Championship game or going home. So Kelly has to find a plan where the mistakes will be cut down as much as possible.

OVERALL PREDICTION: When I saw this as the “official” game (I think we all had it penned after the conference championship games were over), I said Clemson would win in a blowout. I don’t think the Irish have the same talent or the horses as the Tigers have. But, Notre Dame will be up for this game. And I think Kelly will have them prepared well. Again, it will be if Notre Dame can protect Ian Book and to me that will decide the game. Clemson will get their points. But the Irish need to limit that by finding ways to keep the Tigers offense standing on the sidelines. I think this game will be close for three quarters and the Irish frustrate Clemson on both sides of the ball. But I do think Lawrence will make the plays he needs to make down the stretch and I do think the defense will get to Book in the second half where Book will have problems making plays and forcing passes. Clemson pulls away in the 4th quarter. CLEMSON 34, NOTRE DAME 24

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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