Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Post-Midnight Madness BP68

Believe it or not, regular season college basketball is right around the corner. Every team is practicing, and nearly all have had their Midnight Madness (or the equivalent) events. The first exhibition games will begin in the next week or so.

There are a couple of dates to keep in mind. First, November 14th is the opening day of the regular season. It's a little bit later than usual, but it just means that we're going to have a high density of really good games in the opening weeks. We'll be barely a week into the season when the Thanksgiving Week tourneys get underway. The second date to keep in mind is November 16th, just the third day of the regular season. That will be 17 weeks from Selection Sunday, and the date I'll be posting the next BP68.

Since my last bracket, there is only one team moving into the Field of 68, and that is Kansas State. Oregon drops out, for obvious reasons. The Ducks would struggle to field five scholarship guys if they had to play a game tomorrow.

If you want to know why I have a team where I do, you can click on my conference previews on the upper right of the page as well as the tags for each team on the left. The conference previews were done back in April, but I have been tracking any significant roster changes since then in Morning News posts, so you'll find them via the team tags.

For now, here's how I see things ending up on Selection Sunday 2015:

1. KENTUCKY (SEC)
1. WISCONSIN (BIG TEN)
1. DUKE (ACC)
1. ARIZONA (PAC-12)

2. KANSAS (BIG 12)
2. North Carolina
2. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
2. Virginia

3. Texas
3. VCU (ATLANTIC TEN)
3. SAN DIEGO STATE (MOUNTAIN WEST)
3. GONZAGA (WCC)

4. Oklahoma
4. Florida
4. Louisville
4. Utah

5. Michigan
5. Ohio State
5. Iowa
5. WICHITA STATE (MISSOURI VALLEY)

6. West Virginia
6. Iowa State
6. Dayton
6. SMU (AAC)

7. UConn
7. Colorado
7. Pittsburgh
7. Stanford

8. Xavier
8. Nebraska
8. Georgetown
8. Illinois

9. Cincinnati
9. Syracuse
9. UCLA
9. Northern Iowa

10. BYU
10. Maryland
10. Oklahoma State
10. Colorado State

11. Richmond
11. Tennessee
11. Michigan State
11. HARVARD (IVY)

12. Arkansas
12. Miami-Florida
12. Butler
12. Kansas State
12. TOLEDO (MAC)
12. UC SANTA BARBARA (BIG WEST)

13. CLEVELAND STATE (HORIZON)
13. UTEP (CONFERENCE USA)
13. SIENA (MAAC)
13. DREXEL (COLONIAL)

14. MURRAY STATE (OVC)
14. DENVER (SUMMIT)
14. GEORGIA STATE (SUN BELT)
14. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)

15. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)
15. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (SOUTHLAND)
15. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY (PATRIOT)
15. EASTERN WASHINGTON (BIG SKY)

16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)
16. STONY BROOK (AMERICA EAST)
16. HIGH POINT (BIG SOUTH)
16. WOFFORD (SOCON)
16. ST. FRANCIS-BROOKLYN (NEC)
16. ALABAMA STATE (SWAC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Memphis, Tulsa, Clemson, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Rhode Island, Creighton, Providence, Minnesota, Purdue, Baylor, Illinois State, UNLV, California, Oregon, Georgia, Saint Mary's

Other teams with a decent shot to get onto the bubble:
Houston, Temple, Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State, Virginia Tech, George Washington, UMass, Marquette, St. John's, Seton Hall, Indiana, Northwestern, UC-Irvine, Northeastern, Louisiana Tech, Green Bay, Iona, Western Michigan, Missouri State, Fresno State, New Mexico, Arizona State, Washington, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M, San Francisco

Other teams I'm keeping my eye on:
Duquesne, Penn State, Texas Tech, Delaware, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Northern Illinois, Evansville, Southern Illinois, Boise State, Wyoming, Oregon State, USC, Washington State, LSU, Vanderbilt, Portland, San Diego 

7 comments:

Chris said...

I think with the addition of Jared Terrell back in May (2nd best A-10 rookie behind Terry Larrier?), Rhode Island has a strong shot of finally making it back to the big dance. EC Matthews (true freshmen last season who just turned 19 a few weeks ago) excelled in the Adidas Nation Camps over the summer has made great strides between his freshmen & sophomore years. Hassan Martin, a defensive beast down low also a true freshmen last year is poised to make that leap as well. Have really high hopes for this URI team.

Lets just say I am very excited/intrigued to watch their match-up against Kansas on Thanksgiving day. A potential great game.

Jeff said...

I definitely think Rhode Island is a bubble team. And yes, Thanksgiving Week will be huge for them if they can collect a quality win or two.

Doug said...

Understand why you have Indiana out of the tourny based on last year's performance, but I think everyone's underestimating how good they'll be this year. IU couldn't shoot last year and they still beat some good teams (Wiscy, OSU, Michigan) last year and lost most of their close games. An improved group of scorers this year should put them easily in the tournament.

Jeff said...

Shooting isn't really what held Indiana back last season. They were actually 3rd in the Big Ten in 3P% in conference play (36.6%). In Big Ten play, they were 7th in offensive efficiency and 6th in defensive efficiency, so they were average across the board.

The real problem for Indiana is that nobody but Yogi Ferrell is really proven. Who are these "improved scorers", exactly? Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams are the top returners aside from Yogi, and unless they take a huge leap neither will be considered one of the better players in the league.

For Indiana to make the tourney, they're going to need a couple of their returners to get substantially better, and they're going to need to significant production from their recruiting class.

Malcolm Wilson said...

Great bracket. Mostly agree with it. Is SMU's projection based on the Markus Kennedy situation? I know that would knock SMU a few spots. Also you seem high on teams like Utah, Iowa, Butler; and low on teams like Iowa State, Nebraska, and Michigan State comparable to the general opinion. Also you projection on the Big East and A10 are vastly different than general opinion also. Is it because those teams were lucky last year and some have high projections b/c of program perception (i.e. Izzo & Mich. St.)?

Jeff said...

Utah, Iowa and Butler all had terrible luck in close games last season, which means naturally that the media will underrate them to start this season. The same goes in the opposite direction for a team like Iowa State that was very lucky in close games last season.

Michigan State is peculiar. They weren't overrated last season, but they were decimated by roster losses. I don't understand why the media is so high on them.

I'm not sure whether you think my SMU projection is high or low. I feel like I'm pretty close to the media consensus on them.

Malcolm Wilson said...

Yeah. Michigan State did loose 3 of its top 4 players and gained no one significant, but is in the top 25. In fact, USA Today has them as a 4 seed only because they believe the Spartans will have "better" leadership than last season and that Tom Izzo's teams always "overachieve".