Blogger So Dear Bracketology: First Edition


Hello and welcome to Blogger So Dear's first ever bracketology post. My name is Zach, and I'll be projecting the field all year- with a unique twist. There are many places on the internet where you can find bracketology. What makes this one worth reading? These seeds and auto bids are based entirely on Pomeroy projections. One of the obvious flaws with bracketologists such as Joe Lunardi is that they refuse to make any predictions. Joe is adamant about projecting the field, as it is today. I'm much more interested in trying to figure out what the bracket will look like in March. It doesn't matter who the #1 seeds are right now (remember Texas last year?). What's interesting to look at is who will be the #1 seeds. I've never done this before, but I believe that the "Pomeroy bracket" will out-predict Lunardi's brackets for much of the season. Later in the year, I will switch to using Pomeroy's game predictions (as opposed to the rankings) for increased accuracy as the tournament picture takes shape.

Can Pomeroy beat Lunardi? Will this sentence be the first and last time "Wake Forest" is mentioned in this feature all year? There is only one way to find out. Click through for the first bracket of the year, complete with a conference breakdown, which teams you should be "buying" and "selling," and the first installment of, "Joe, what are you thinking?"

Note that the teams are listed based on the S-curve. For example, Syracuse is the top #2 seed. If the seeds held, Duke would play the winner of a play-in game, Utah St, Missouri, and Memphis on the road to the final 4. At this juncture in the season, I don't see any reason to project regions/pods. Those predictions will come later in the year.

1s) Duke, Ohio St, Pittsburgh, Kansas
2s) Memphis, Kansas St, Michigan St, Syracuse
3s) Illinois, Baylor, Wisconsin, Kentucky
4s) Missouri, Georgetown, Texas, Washington
5s) North Carolina, Villanova , Purdue, WVU
6s) Florida, Maryland, San Diego St, Brigham Young
7s) Tennessee, Florida St, Arizona, Clemson
8s) Utah St, Nevada-Las Vegas, Vanderbilt, Temple
9s) Richmond, Marquette, UCLA, Virginia Tech
10s) Boston College, Texas A&M, Gonzaga, Louisville
11s) North Carolina St, Connecticut, Minnesota, Miami
12s) Butler, Old Dominion, Alabama/Xavier****, Arizona St/Seton Hall****
13s) Missouri St, Murray St, Belmont, Wofford
14s) Oakland, Western Kentucky, Siena, Pacific
15s) Kent St, Stephen F. Austin, Northern Colorado, Boston U
16s) Jackson St/Robert Morris****, UNC-Asheville/Morgan St****, Princeton, American

****Play in game

Bids by Conference:
ACC- 9
Big East- 9
Big 10- 6
Big 12- 6
SEC- 5
PAC 10- 4
MWC- 3
A14- 3

Last 4 IN:
Arizona St
Seton Hall

Last 4 OUT:
Notre Dame
St. John's

In Lunardi's bracket, but not in Pomeroy (i.e these teams are overrated by ESPN):
-Wichita St (7)
-Georgia (8)
-Mississippi St (10)
-Dayton (11)
-New Mexico (11)
-Northwestern (12)
-Ohio (13)
-Fairfield (14)
-Coastal Carolina (14)
-Weber St (14)
-UC Santa Barbara (15)
-Quinnipiac (16)
-Lipscomb (16)

In Pomeroy's bracket, but not Lunardi's (i.e these teams are underrated by ESPN):
-Clemson (7)
-Boston College (10)
-Miami (11)
-Arizona St (12)
-Alabama (12)
-Seton Hall (12)
-Belmont (13)
-Pacific (14)
-Siena (14)
-Kent St (15)
-Northern Colorado (15)
-Robert Morris (16)
-UNC-Asheville (16)

In next week's update, I'll provide a breakdown of the roots of these inconsistencies. Most notably, the mainstream media appears to be dramatically underrating the ACC this year (either that or Pomeroy is overrating the ACC. I think it is the former). That'll be one of many interesting storylines to watch as the two lists jockey for supremacy.

And, last but not least, the inaugural...

Joe, what are you thinking?

Lunardi currently has Jackson St as a 15 seed. Don't know much about Jackson St? That's understandable, considering that they play in the SWAC, perennially the worst conference in the country. Last year they won the regular season title, compiling a 19-13 (17-1) record. That's right, they went 2-12 in non-conference games (including a win over a non-D1 team). They went on to lose in the SWAC tournament to 7-21 Grambling. Arkansas Pine-Bluff won the SWAC's auto bid into the NCAAT, barely managing to stay within 30 points of Duke in an incredibly exciting 1 v. 16 game. After losing their leading scorer, Jackson St has had some issues scoring the basketball, ranking 319th nationally in offensive efficiency this year. Following their season opening 24 point loss to basketball powerhouse TCU, Jackson St lost to Central Florida 80-39 on Monday. 80-39. Baylor is a 30 point favorite in their third game of the year tonight. It would not be surprising at all if Jackson St did not win a non-conference game against a D1 opponent this year (no-one in the SWAC has done so as of yet. Seriously.).

Remember that there are six 16 seeds this year because of the play-in games. I can't see any argument one could make for the SWAC champion not being the worst of the 68 teams in the field. To project them as the 7th worst is absolutely laughable. Unless something dramatic happens, the SWAC champion should always be penciled in on the 16 seed line. I'm honestly wondering if the Selection Committee has some sort of rule prohibiting one conference's champion from being slotted as a 16 seed a certain number of years in a row, and thus this year the SWAC champ must be a 15. I truly can't believe anyone could believe Jackson St is better than 6 other conference champions. Unless there is some obscure, inane Selection Committee rule I'm missing, I think this is a prime example of Joe's lack of understanding of mid-major basketball.

Long story short: I don't know who the SWAC champion will be (that conference tournament is a complete crapshoot), but I am quite confident that whoever it is will be a 16.

I can't wait to see who turns out to be right. Hope y'all will follow along with me this season. I can't promise that the Pomeroy ratings will beat Lunardi, but I can promise you that following bracketology is a great way to stay attuned to postseason college basketball, particularly in a year when your team won't be involved.

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