Bracketology: 2018 Final Edition

Here is a my final Bracketology of this 2018 season. Before Davidson beat Rhode Island in the A-10 final, I had made the decision to have Oklahoma State as my last team in. I was convinced the committee would ignore Oklahoma State’s poor RPI and SOS and weigh the quality wins more. The selection committee is moving away from the RPI more and more. Next year, there’s discussion that it will not be used at all. A great way to send it off would be including the lowest ever RPI for an at-large bid. I had thought the discussion on Oklahoma State had moved in this direction. Maybe it still has. But with Davidson winning, I just don’t have room for them in my field.

Before I get to the bracket, here’s a quick reminder on how the NCAA is bucketing wins this year:

One important development since my last Bracketology post is that the NCAA has revealed some of their new logic in selecting teams for this year’s tournament. No longer will we see the historical Top 25, Top 50, Top 100 wins. Now, the committee has placed more importance on road/neutral games and have created “quadrants” to properly place these games. Straight from the linked article above from the NCAA website, here is how the quadrants will be bucketed:
  Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

So now instead of talking about top-50 wins, you’ll hear and read about Quadrant 1 wins when you read Bracketology posts. If a site is still talking about top-50 wins in regards to a team’s NCAA Tournament chances without mentioning if that win came at home, on the road, or at a neutral site, quit reading that site. It is uninformed. There are two tools I like to use to see how a team’s wins will look at the end of the season: RPIForecast and barttorvik.com. Both sites show a current projection of where a team’s RPI is expected to be at the end of the season, but you can also tinker with results to see what it would mean for their RPI. At barttorvik.com, there is an RPI Forecast page and a TeamCast page. The latter allows you to input results into future games for a specific team to see the RPI and NCAA Tournament likelihood effects on that team — it’s a great tool. Use these tools if you’re curious about your favorite school’s Selection Sunday chances.

Here is the bracket for this edition, and I’ve seeded the teams 1-68. Also included below is group of teams I have just outside of the field currently. I’ll break down what this all means for each Big 12 team below. Continue reading

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Bracketology: March 10, 2018 Morning Edition

Here is a quick Bracketology before today’s games. Here are the biggest changes involving Big 12 teams since yesterday’s bracket:

  • I’ve switched West Virginia and Texas Tech in the seed list. Both are still 4-seeds currently, but the Mountaineers are now one spot ahead of the Red Raiders.
  • I’ve moved Kansas ahead of Xavier in the seed list, which means the Jayhawks are now the 3rd 1-seed and are bracketed into the Midwest region, which would mean a Wichita-Omaha path for Kansas.
  • Because of Alabama winning and Nevada losing (which means the Mountain West will receive 2 bids now, Nevada is getting a bid), Oklahoma has fallen into the First Four games.
  • After re-examining resumes, Baylor has been removed from the field. Louisville has taken their place. Oklahoma State is still listed as the First Team Out. They are a great test case for the selection committee. Can they or will they ignore Oklahoma State’s high RPI?

As always, here’s my reminder about how the NCAA is bucketing wins this year:

One important development since my last Bracketology post is that the NCAA has revealed some of their new logic in selecting teams for this year’s tournament. No longer will we see the historical Top 25, Top 50, Top 100 wins. Now, the committee has placed more importance on road/neutral games and have created “quadrants” to properly place these games. Straight from the linked article above from the NCAA website, here is how the quadrants will be bucketed:
  Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

So now instead of talking about top-50 wins, you’ll hear and read about Quadrant 1 wins when you read Bracketology posts. If a site is still talking about top-50 wins in regards to a team’s NCAA Tournament chances without mentioning if that win came at home, on the road, or at a neutral site, quit reading that site. It is uninformed. There are two tools I like to use to see how a team’s wins will look at the end of the season: RPIForecast and barttorvik.com. Both sites show a current projection of where a team’s RPI is expected to be at the end of the season, but you can also tinker with results to see what it would mean for their RPI. At barttorvik.com, there is an RPI Forecast page and a TeamCast page. The latter allows you to input results into future games for a specific team to see the RPI and NCAA Tournament likelihood effects on that team — it’s a great tool. Use these tools if you’re curious about your favorite school’s Selection Sunday chances.

Here is the bracket for this edition, and I’ve seeded the teams 1-68. Also included below is group of teams I have just outside of the field currently. I’ll break down what this all means for each Big 12 team below. Continue reading

Bracketology: March 9, 2018 Morning Edition

Here is my latest updated Bracketology post, my first during Conference Tournament week. As always, here’s a permanent reminder of how the NCAA is doing their RPI bucketing this season:

 

One important development since my last Bracketology post is that the NCAA has revealed some of their new logic in selecting teams for this year’s tournament. No longer will we see the historical Top 25, Top 50, Top 100 wins. Now, the committee has placed more importance on road/neutral games and have created “quadrants” to properly place these games. Straight from the linked article above from the NCAA website, here is how the quadrants will be bucketed:
  Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

So now instead of talking about top-50 wins, you’ll hear and read about Quadrant 1 wins when you read Bracketology posts. If a site is still talking about top-50 wins in regards to a team’s NCAA Tournament chances without mentioning if that win came at home, on the road, or at a neutral site, quit reading that site. It is uninformed. There are two tools I like to use to see how a team’s wins will look at the end of the season: RPIForecast and barttorvik.com. Both sites show a current projection of where a team’s RPI is expected to be at the end of the season, but you can also tinker with results to see what it would mean for their RPI. At barttorvik.com, there is an RPI Forecast page and a TeamCast page. The latter allows you to input results into future games for a specific team to see the RPI and NCAA Tournament likelihood effects on that team — it’s a great tool. Use these tools if you’re curious about your favorite school’s Selection Sunday chances.

At this point, I’ve got it narrowed down to 9 teams for 4 spots. I think it’ll be between Alabama, Arizona State, Baylor, Louisville, Marquette, Middle Tennessee, Oklahoma State, St. Mary’s, and Syracuse for those First Four at-large spots. I think Alabama and St. Mary’s might be just a tiny bit ahead of those other teams. So that would leave 7 teams for 2 spots. For now, I’ve got Middle Tennessee and Baylor as the last two teams in the field. I do not feel great about that. I am going to take a closer look at each of these resumes over the next couple of days to see if I’m missing something, so Baylor fans, don’t get too confident. There could be changes coming to this bracket before Sunday.

Once again, I’ve built an actual bracket for this edition, and I’ve seeded the teams 1-68. Also included below is group of teams I have just outside of the field currently. I’ll break down what this all means for each Big 12 team below. Continue reading

Guide to the Big 12 Offseason: An Early Look at Each Team’s 2019 Roster/Outlook

Yesterday on Twitter, I tweeted out something I’ve been working on the last couple of days — a detailed look at each Big 12 team headed into this offseason and how each team will look during the 2019 season.

It was well received, and I want to post it here at the blog, so everyone can find it easily without having to dive into my Twitter feed. This also gives me a chance to explain everything with more characters to use. Here’s the link to the sheet. (I embedded the sheet here as well. The links won’t work as well and the formatting might be a bit off with the embedded version so you’re probably just better off clicking the link that takes you to the actual sheet.) Continue reading

2018 Big 12 Tournament: Let’s Predict It! – Quarterfinals

It’s time for the busiest day of the Big 12 Tournament — the Quarterfinals round. As a reminder, here were my picks for the tourney before the whole thing started.

First Round:
  9 Oklahoma over 8 Oklahoma State
  7 Texas over 10 Iowa State

Quarterfinals:
  1 Kansas over 9 Oklahoma
  5 TCU over 4 Kansas State
  3 West Virginia over 6 Baylor
  2 Texas Tech over 7 Texas

Semifinals:
  1 Kansas over 5 TCU
  3 West Virginia over 2 Texas Texas

Finals:
  3 West Virginia over 1 Kansas

I’m taking the Mountaineers to capture their first Big 12 Tournament title. You could make an argument West Virginia has been the best team in the Big 12 this season. They have the best point differential in Big 12 play. They finished two games back of Kansas, but they blew both of their matchups vs. Kansas. They also lost close games at Texas Tech, vs. Oklahoma State, and at Texas. This conference title could have very easily have been West Virginia’s to claim this season. Instead, the tournament title will have to do.

West Virginia has been the runner-up in each of the last two Big 12 tournaments, losing to Kansas two seasons ago and to Iowa State last season. I think the third time will be the charm for the Mountaineers. They’ll have to overcome the Kansas City crowd which will be primarily the shade of Kansas blue, but I think they can do it. Add another career achievement to Bob Huggins’ resume.

Let’s get to today’s games. Continue reading

2018 Big 12 Tournament: Let’s Predict It!

Starting tonight, the Big 12 Tournament tips off in Kansas City for the 9th straight season. There’s been some recent debate/complaints about the Big 12 Tournament being in Kansas City, considering the clear distance advantage for Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. I’ve been in the camp that Kansas City is a great spot for the tournament, despite the advantage for those three schools. It’s resulted in a great atmospheres in games involving any one of those three schools, especially when they play each other. The way Iowa State fans have traveled to Kansas City in the last four seasons has been ridiculously fun.

With Iowa State struggling this season to a 10th place conference finish, I’m curious if I’ll view the Kansas City location the same this season. There are already reports of the Sprint Center having difficulty selling tickets — it looks like Iowa State fans have wisely chosen to take a break from the Power & Light District this season.

I’m curious how well the southern fanbases like Texas Tech and TCU will travel. Those two schools are having their most successful seasons in a long time — will they make the trek to Kansas City? If not, we could have a muted atmosphere or one in which Kansas has a significant crowd advantage all weekend. If the final consists of TCU facing Texas Tech in a half-empty arena, we might start to see more clamoring for the tournament to move to a more central location like Oklahoma City. We’ll see.

The season-ending tournament is still set to be in Kansas City through 2020, so no rash decisions will be made. That’s a good thing — the Big 12 shouldn’t overreact if attendance is slightly down just due to Iowa State having a down year. The Sprint Center has been a great atmosphere the last nine seasons.


Let’s get to my predictions now. Here’s this year’s bracket. Continue reading

Bracketology: February 27, 2018 Edition

Here is my latest updated Bracketology post, my first since February 7th. With just six days left in the regular season and nine more Big 12 Tournament games, we are officially at the time of the season where Bracketology posts are popping up all over the internet and we get a creepy look-in to Joey Brackets’ lair. It’s time for me to give an update as well (hopefully it’s not as creepy as Mr. Lunardi’s).

A permanent reminder for this post — the NCAA has changed their “bucketing” of wins this season. It’s no longer top-25 or top-50; wins are now separated into quadrants that consider the impact of home vs. road games. These changes are slightly better than what was done in previous years, but it’s still incredibly flawed. The quadrant system is still based on the RPI which is the first major problem, and the random buckets can create a scenario where a win over the 75th team in RPI is far more important than a win over the 76th team in RPI. The system should not function in that way.

Ultimately, my opinion doesn’t matter, so I will write this post adhering to the new system. Below is what I’ve written previously about these new changes.

One important development since my last Bracketology post is that the NCAA has revealed some of their new logic in selecting teams for this year’s tournament. No longer will we see the historical Top 25, Top 50, Top 100 wins. Now, the committee has placed more importance on road/neutral games and have created “quadrants” to properly place these games. Straight from the linked article above from the NCAA website, here is how the quadrants will be bucketed:
  Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

So now instead of talking about top-50 wins, you’ll hear and read about Quadrant 1 wins when you read Bracketology posts. If a site is still talking about top-50 wins in regards to a team’s NCAA Tournament chances without mentioning if that win came at home, on the road, or at a neutral site, quit reading that site. It is uninformed. There are two tools I like to use to see how a team’s wins will look at the end of the season: RPIForecast and barttorvik.com. Both sites show a current projection of where a team’s RPI is expected to be at the end of the season, but you can also tinker with results to see what it would mean for their RPI. At barttorvik.com, there is an RPI Forecast page and a TeamCast page. The latter allows you to input results into future games for a specific team to see the RPI and NCAA Tournament likelihood effects on that team — it’s a great tool. Use these tools if you’re curious about your favorite school’s Selection Sunday chances.

Once again, I’ve built an actual bracket for this edition, and I’ve seeded the teams 1-68. Also included below is group of teams I have just outside of the field currently. I’ll break down what this all means for each Big 12 team below. Continue reading