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!

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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!