Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Post-Draft BP68

With the NBA Draft over, it's time for another bracket projection. Below is my annual "Post Draft BP68". The previous bracket projection is here, and you can expect my next bracket projection to come a few days after Midnight Madness in October.

I want to address a few of the bigger changes, as well as some fan bases that might not be happy with where I have them.

First, the Big East title race. In my last bracket I had Marquette as the narrow favorite over Georgetown, with Creighton a bit back. But that assumed Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs were gone for Creighton and Vander Blue was returning to Marquette. Instead, Vander Blue left to go pro while McDermott came back, and we just found out today that the NCAA has given Grant Gibbs a 6th year.

The result of all of that, of course, is that Marquette has to drop while Creighton moves up. In the end, I'm giving the edge to Georgetown, and it's for two reasons. First, remember that Marquette is overrated. They finished the regular season ranked around 15th in both human polls and made the Elite 8, so they're being treated as if they were a borderline Top 10 team. In reality, they were a borderline Top 30 team that got really lucky in a bunch of close games (I discuss this in more detail here). Also, remember that Creighton has the same problems they had last season. They're going to be a superb offensive team, particularly shooting the ball. But rebounding and defense were two huge problems, and they're still losing their best defender and rebounder in Gregory Echenique. To be an elite team you have to be at least pretty good in all three major facets of the game. Last season, Indiana set the model for a team that had been elite offensively and crap defensively one year prior that figured out the defensive end and becoming an elite all-around program. But I don't see a Victor Oladipo or Cody Zeller on Creighton. The defense will have to get significantly better for them to win the Big East.

The other area of push-back that I got on twitter after teasing this bracket projection is Kansas moving up to a 1 seed and Kentucky being 5th overall, as the top 2 seed. Kansas is moving up for landing Andrew Wiggins, although I had them as a 2 seed and Big 12 favorite even before they got Wiggins. The reason I have Kentucky as a 2 seed is not because I think they're not going to be one of the four best teams. It's because I find it really unlikely that the SEC will get two 1 seeds. Unless Kentucky is the overwhelming #1 team in the country, they're going to have to duel with Florida for that 1 seed, and I'm giving the slight edge to Florida. I understand that Kentucky has a great recruiting class, but they really return very little. And as we've learned in the past, you can't be an elite team with freshmen alone. I get that Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress are highly rated 2014 Draft prospects, but that's based on their potential rather than their production as freshmen. Neither has been a particularly elite college player thus far.

The only other significant change to the bracket is Oregon moving into the Field of 68 and Alabama dropping out. Alabama is out because Trevor Lacey left the program. Oregon is perhaps getting Joseph Young eligible right away after a transfer from Houston, but even if he isn't I still think they're a pretty good call to slip into the Tournament in lieu of Alabama.

Without further ado, he's the entirety of my projected Field of 68:

1. MICHIGAN STATE (BIG TEN)
1. FLORIDA (SEC)
1. DUKE (ACC)
1. KANSAS (BIG 12)

2. Kentucky
2. ARIZONA (PAC-12)
2. Ohio State
2. GEORGETOWN (BIG EAST)

3. LOUISVILLE (AAC)
3. Oklahoma State
3. Virginia
3. VCU (ATLANTIC TEN)

4. Creighton
4. Marquette
4. Wisconsin
4. GONZAGA (WCC)

5. North Carolina
5. Iowa
5. Michigan
5. NEW MEXICO (MWC)

6. Indiana
6. Villanova
6. St. Louis
6. Pittsburgh

7. Butler
7. UConn
7. Boise State
7. WICHITA STATE (MVC)

8. Notre Dame
8. Baylor
8. Memphis
8. Tennessee

9. Stanford
9. Syracuse
9. La Salle
9. Colorado

10. UCLA
10. Cincinnati
10. UNLV
10. Maryland

11. Kansas State
11. HARVARD (IVY)
11. Purdue
11. BYU

12. LOUISIANA TECH (CONFERENCE USA)
12. Dayton
12. Texas
12. NORTH DAKOTA STATE (SUMMIT)
12. Oregon
12. Boston College

13. MANHATTAN (MAAC)
13. WEBER STATE (BIG SKY)
13. TOWSON (COLONIAL)
13. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)

14. WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY (HORIZON)
14. BELMONT (OVC)
14. GEORGIA STATE (SUN BELT)
14. TOLEDO (MAC)

15. MERCER (ATLANTIC SUN)
15. BOSTON UNIVERSITY (PATRIOT)
15. DAVIDSON (SOCON)
15. NORTHWESTERN STATE (SOUTHLAND)

16. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
16. UC IRVINE (BIG WEST)
16. HIGH POINT (BIG SOUTH)
16. NC CENTRAL (MEAC)
16. MT SAINT MARY'S (NEC)
16. SOUTHERN (SWAC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Georgia Tech, UMass, Providence, St. John's, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Indiana State, Utah State, Arizona State, California, Alabama, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Denver, St. Mary's

Other teams with a decent shot to get onto the bubble:
Houston, SMU, Florida State, Miami (Fl), Richmond, St. Joseph's, Xavier, Northwestern, West Virginia, Southern Miss, UTEP, Wright State, Northern Iowa, Fresno State, San Diego State, Washington, Washington State, Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, San Francisco

Other teams I'm keeping my eye on:
Central Florida, Temple, NC State, Wake Forest, George Mason, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Montana, Penn State, Drexel, Northeastern, Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Detroit, Niagara, Buffalo, Western Michigan, Missouri State, Nevada, Oregon State, Lehigh, Texas A&M

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are drunk if you think BC is making the tourney after the ACC adds Pitt and Cuse

Jeff said...

What does one have to do with the other?

Mike Delgado said...

are u taking into account hairston's suspension when u rank unc. If so, where would u have them if he came in time to play Louisville.