Friday, February 27, 2009

Bracket Watch - TGIBWF

Nothing really witty to say right now, except to say there is a new team to the top line'll have to find out who it is.

Final Four Pairings
East(1) vs. West(4)
Midwest(2) vs. South(3)

East Region
1-Connecticut/Big East vs. 16-Radford/Big South
8-Ohio State vs. 9-Oklahoma State
4-Utah/Mountain West vs. 13-Western Kentucky/Sun Belt
5-Arizona State vs. 12-St. Mary's
2-Duke vs. 15-Binghamton/America East
7-Texas vs. 10-Tennessee
3-Michigan State/Big Ten vs. 14-Akron/Mid-American
6-Xavier vs. 11-Creighton

West Region
@Kansas City
1-Memphis/Confernce USA vs. 16-Long Beach State/Big West
8-West Virginia vs. 9-California
4-Wake Forest vs. 13-Davidson/Southern
5-Louisiana State/Southeastern vs. 12-Cincinnati
@Kansas City
2-Oklahoma vs. 15-Morgan State/Mid-Eastern
7-Brigham Young vs. 10-Dayton
3-Villanova vs. 14-Cornell/Ivy League
6-Florida State vs. 11-Siena/Metro Atlantic

Midwest Region
1-Pittsburgh vs. 16-Opening Round winner
Opening Round: Tennessee-Martin/Ohio Valley vs. Alabama State/Southwestern
8-Wisconsin vs. 9-Boston College
4-Washington/Pacific-10 vs. 13-Weber State/Big Sky
5-Gonzaga/West Coast vs. 12-Kentucky
2-Kansas/Big 12 vs. 15-Stephen F. Austin/Southland
7-Syracuse vs. 10-Utah State/Western Athletic
3-Clemson vs. 14-American/Patriot
6-Illinois vs. 11-Florida

South Region
1-North Carolina/Atlantic Coast vs. 16-Jacksonville/Atlantic Sun
8-Arizona vs. 9-South Carolina
4-Purdue vs. 13-Northern Iowa/Missouri Valley
5-Marquette vs. 12-Virginia Commonwealth
2-Louisville vs. 15-Robert Morris
7-Butler/Horizon vs. 10-Minnesota
3-Missouri vs. 14-North Dakota State/Summit
6-Ucla vs. 11-Miami(FL)

New to the field: Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Akron, Northern Iowa, St. Mary's

Last four in the field: Cincinnati, St. Mary's, Creighton, Kentucky
First four left out: Nevada-Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Notre Dame
Next four left out: Penn State, Providence, Texas A&M, Rhode Island
Also in the mix: Temple, Georgetown, Nebraska, Tulsa, UAB, Illinois State, San Diego State, New Mexico, Southern California, Mississippi State

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Myths and Realities

If you've been doing bracketology for a long time(or following it), you probably come to the realization that there are certain people that will complain to no end about your work, claiming that they know more about the subject than you do. But they don't. Here are a few myths you can use to defend yourself from the onslaught of Joe Homers.

Myth 1
CBS has a hand in picking teams in order to maximize ratings.

Reality 1
In truth, CBS does nothing to influence the selection committee. It only places one camera in the selection room(soundless of course) and occasionally checks in to see how far the committee is along in the process. For the past few years, reporter Seth Davis is allowed in, but only for a general look at the process and not for anything relating the bracket.

Myth 2
20 wins means an automatic invite to the dance.

Reality 2
In truth, 20 wins mean nothing to the committee in this era of multi-team tournaments, mega conferences and imbalanced schedules. Who you beat and where you beat them mean more than does the actual win count. Always has and always will.

Myth 3
Traditional powers will always get the benefit of the doubt, even if they have losing records.

Reality 3
If traditional powers have losing records, their only way to make the field is to be victorious in their conference tournament. The elites have to earn their way in, just like the proletariats in the lower leagues.

Myth 4
Conferences get bids based on how well the media perceives it.

Reality 4
The NCAA makes it quite explicit in the selection procedures and principles that teams get bids to the dance, not conferences(except the automatic qualifiers). An egregious example occured in 2007 when Brent Musburger said, during a Big Ten game no less, that the Big Ten would get five bids to the dance, causing a mild controversy. Turned out that his Museness was right, there were five teams from the Big Ten in the field.

Myth 5
Hyped-up matchups are contrived by the committee before the bracket is setup

Reality 5
Hyped-up matchups are actually the byproduct of the bracketing process. For instance, the top 3 teams from a given conference must be placed in different regions, no team may meet a fellow conference member until the regional finals, and so on.

Myth 6
The RPI is the be all and end all

Reality 6
The RPI is just one of many tools at the committee's hand, the most important one though is the observations of the ten members of the committee and it's their work that produces the most famous bracket in sports.

So if you find a Joe Homer who thinks he knows what he's talking about, pepper him with this material. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, February 23, 2009

For my 50th post

I want to announce that the Bracket Watch Open Brackets challenge is once again open on Yahoo!'s Tournament Pick 'em site:

All you need to do is to enter at the site and enter ID# 3994. It's open to the public so call your friends to enter.

Bracket Watch - Into the stretch drive

The only thing that would make the stretch run to the big dance even more exciting would have to be choosing either Dave Johnson, Tom Durkin or Paul Allen doing the call as if it were the Kentucky Derby. Yes the battle to stay on the good site of the bubble or getting on to it is turning into a horse race. At this point the top 4 teams are stabilizing(despite the fact three of them lost week) and most at-large spots are close to being spoken for(if not claimed already). But there is no settlement at this point for most of the seeds and placements(Indeed after finishing the bracket this morning, I reshuffled the sites of a few pods).

Final Four pairings:
Midwest(1) vs. West(4)
East(2) vs. South(3)

Midwest region
1-Pittsburgh vs. 16-Opening Round winner
Opening Round-Radford/Big South vs. Alabama State/Southwestern
8-Kentucky vs. 9-Creighton/Missouri Valley
4-Kansas vs. 13-Penn State
5-Florida State vs. 12-Siena/Metro Atlantic
2-Michigan State/Big Ten vs. 15-Long Beach State/Big West
7-Ucla vs. 10-Utah State/Western Athletic
3-Duke vs. 14-American/Patriot
6-Syracuse vs. 11-South Carolina

West region
@Kansas City
1-Oklahoma/Big 12 vs. 16-Tennessee-Martin/Ohio Valley
8-Dayton vs. 9-California
4-Wake Forest vs. 13-Western Kentucky/Sun Belt
5-Illinois vs. 12-Davidson/Southern
@Kansas City
2-Memphis/Conference USA vs. 15-Stephen F. Austin/Southland
7-Florida vs. 10-Arizona
3-Villanova vs. 14-Buffalo/Mid-American
6-Utah/Mountain West vs. 11-Maryland

East region
1-Connecticut/Big East vs. 16-Binghamton/America East
8-Ohio State vs. 9-Tennessee
4-Gonzaga/West Coast vs. 13-Weber State/Big Sky
5-Washington/Pacific-10 vs 12-Miami(FL)
2-Clemson vs. 15-Morgan State/Mid-Eastern
7-Texas vs. 10-Brigham Young
3-Marquette vs. 14-North Dakota State/Summit
6-Butler/Horizon vs. 11-Wisconsin

South region
1-North Carolina/Atlantic Coast vs. 16-Jacksonville/Atlantic Sun
8-West Virginia vs. 9-Minnesota
4-Arizona State vs. 13-Virginia Commonwealth/Colonial
5-Xavier/Atlantic 10 vs. 12-San Diego State
2-Louisville vs. 15-Robert Morris/Northeast
7-Purdue vs. 10-Boston College
3-Missouri vs. 14-Cornell/Ivy
6-Louisiana State/Southeastern vs. 11-Nevada-Las Vegas

Differences within the seed list:
Dayton(true 9 seed)
Minnesota(true 8 seed)
Siena(true 11 seed)
Wisconsin(true 12 seed)

New to the field: Binghamton, Maryland, Miami(FL), Penn State, Long Beach State, Virginia Commonwealth, Tennessee-Martin, Stephen F. Austin, Western Kentucky

Last four in the field: San Diego State, Miami(FL), Wisconsin, Penn State
First four left out: Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, St. Mary's, Temple
Next four left out: Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, UAB, Cincinnati
Also in contention: North Carolina State, Georgetown, Providence, Michigan, Baylor, Kansas State, Nebraska, Tulsa, New Mexico, Southern California, Mississippi State, Nevada

The next projection will come out on Friday. Indeed for the next for the next two weeks, I'm doing twice-weekly projections. For the week of Selection Sunday, there will be daily updates(except Saturday) with the final projection after the SEC final.