Sunday, January 01, 2017

W-10 BP68

It's New Year's Day and we are just ten weeks out from Selection Sunday. With college football nearing a close, we are very close to college basketball coming to the sporting fore.

In terms of the projected bracket, the biggest change this week is in the Pac-12, where I have made Arizona the favorite, replacing UCLA. My blog piece here talks about why I think UCLA is due to decline, and we've already seen a bit of that, as their shooting has cooled off since I published that. I know that I'm lower on Oregon than most, but that is partially due to being skeptical of their big week. Beating UCLA and USC isn't as impressive as the media thinks it is since both games were at home and both of those teams are (in my opinion) overrated by the polls. To put it in perspective, according to Sagarin and Pomeroy a road game at California (which Arizona won this week) is equivalent in difficulty to a home game against UCLA. Right or wrong, it's clearly a three team race.

There were two changes to the Field of 68 this week. Houston moves in as an at-large team, replacing Seton Hall. And Stephen F Austin moves in as the new Southland favorite, replacing Sam Houston St.

Capitalized teams are projected automatic bid winners. Remember that this is a projection of what the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday, and not a measure of where teams would be if the season ended now:

1. DUKE (ACC)
1. KENTUCKY (SEC)
1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
1. KANSAS (BIG 12)

2. North Carolina
2. WISCONSIN (BIG TEN)
2. Virginia
2. GONZAGA (WCC)

3. Baylor
3. ARIZONA (PAC-12)
3. Louisville
3. West Virginia

4. Purdue
4. UCLA
4. WICHITA STATE (MISSOURI VALLEY)
4. Indiana

5. Creighton
5. Butler
5. Florida
5. Xavier

6. Florida State
6. Oregon
6. Iowa State
6. CINCINNATI (AAC)

7. Notre Dame
7. Saint Mary's
7. Clemson
7. Michigan

8. Virginia Tech
8. Miami-Florida
8. SMU
8. Texas Tech

9. South Carolina
9. USC
9. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State

10. Kansas State
10. Arkansas
10. Maryland
10. DAYTON (ATLANTIC TEN)

11. TCU
11. Michigan St
11. Texas A&M
11. Minnesota

12. Rhode Island
12. Houston
12. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (CONFERENCE USA)
12. UNC-WILMINGTON (COLONIAL)
12. TEXAS-ARLINGTON (SUN BELT)
12. NEVADA (MOUNTAIN WEST)

13. VALPARAISO (HORIZON)
13. EAST TENNESSEE ST (SOCON)
13. FORT WAYNE (SUMMIT)
13. AKRON (MAC)

14. MONMOUTH (MAAC)
14. PRINCETON (IVY LEAGUE)
14. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)
14. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)

15. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
15. LEHIGH (PATRIOT)
15. BELMONT (OVC)
15. STEPHEN F AUSTIN (SOUTHLAND)

16. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
16. LONG BEACH STATE (BIG WEST)
16. WEBER STATE (BIG SKY)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)
16. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)
16. WAGNER (NEC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
North Carolina St, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, VCU, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, Northwestern, California, Colorado

Other teams with a decent shot, but that need to improve their resume:
UCF, Memphis, Temple, Syracuse, Davidson, St. Bonaventure, Georgetown, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, San Diego St, Utah, Georgia, Tennessee, BYU

Other teams I'm keeping my eye on, but that need to dramatically improve their resume:
UConn, La Salle, UMass, St. Joseph's, Nebraska, Penn St, Rutgers, Texas, Charleston, Evansville, Illinois St, Boise St, New Mexico, Arizona St, Stanford, Washington, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Chattanooga

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