Friday, November 14, 2014

The 2015 Bracket Matrix Links

All the links used in the 2015 Bracket Matrix are listed here. New contributors should contact me to be added. Those who are listed on the rankings page can be grandfathered in.

Tiers are based on the Bracket Matrix rankings page.

Tier 1 (3+ years; above average)

Blacketology (Gotham Hoops)
Bracket WAG
Bracketville
ESPN Bracketology with Joe Lunardi
Jason Wells' Bracketology
Midwest Sports Fans
Oak Creek's March Madness
Patrick Stevens - Syracuse.com
RFS Bracket Science
Roundball Chat
SBNation - Blogging the Bracket
The Sports Bank
Wild Bill's Bracketology

Tier 2 (1-2 years; above average)

The Bracket Blog
Busting Bracketology
Dudes on Sports
ncaabracketology
Sports News Huddle

Tier 3 (3+ years; all others)

Basketball Predictions
Bracket Predictions
The Catch and Shoot
CBS Sports - Jerry Palm
Kerry Miller's Bracketology
SportsRatings
Team Rankings

Tier 4 (1-2 years; all others)

Badger Nation
The Bracket Bracketology
Bracket Odds
Bracketball
College Sports Madness
The Courier-Journal - Jeff Greer
GMoney's Sports Page
HoopsHD
Rocco Miller's Bracketology

Tier 5 (New)

USA Today FTW - Scott Gleeson and Tim McGarry

Welcome back! 2015 Edition

Welcome to another edition of The Bracket Project. My first bracket projection won't be released until January 2015 but you can see the Bracket Matrix later today.

If you want to contribute to the matrix, please read this:

1. You need to set up a web site to place your bracket that will be consistent throughout the season. A blog will do. A web site will most definitely do. A bracket posted on a message board will not do. The link will change frequently and will get lost in various discussions, making it difficult for the average reader to find it. (Exception: A message board devoted exclusively to bracketology.) Also, you can't post it on Facebook or some other social networking site because not everyone can access it. However, in order to promote discussion, an email address or some comment platform must be provided so that readers can praise or criticize your bracket.

2. You have to tell me where your site is. I don't have a sixth sense when it comes to finding these things. I rely on you and readers like you to tell me what kind of sites to add to this page.

3. The NCAA sets up procedures and principles for building a bracket. Read them! A seriously flawed bracket won't be posted. However, if your seedings are out of the norm, I'll still most likely post it provided that the principles are followed and you have an explanation as to why you've built the bracket like you did. I reserve the right to not post a bracket with something like a winless team as a #1 seed.

4. Please date-stamp your bracket. Brackets of a certain age will be removed from the list, and if there's no date-stamp, obviously I can't tell when your bracket was updated.

5. To make it easier on me, please format your bracket so that at least half of it can be seen on the screen at any one time. You can make it even easier for me by publishing a seed list of your 68 teams. Brackets must have at least 48 seeded teams to be listed in the matrix. Sites that merely list teams with no seeding can be linked to the page but will not be added to the matrix. To be listed in the final matrix of the season, you must have all 68 seeded teams.

6. No new sites will be added to the 2014 page after March 1, 2015 unless you appear in the rankings page (linked to the side), in which case, you will be grandfathered in. In addition, no bracket will be accepted to the final matrix of the season after the beginning of the Selection Sunday show.

7. Link to my site! I've linked to yours!

8. I'm only one guy. If this could pay me what I get at my regular job, I'd update this site 24/7. That simply is not the case. If someone else can do this better, I'll gladly step aside, but from the looks of it, I'm the only (crazy) one. So if you don't see your site on here, an update hasn't been done for a while or I don't respond to you, I hope you'll understand why.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2015 Preseason Bracketology Links

Here's a list of sites which have gotten an early start on next season by creating a preseason bracket. Also, read my 2015 primer with dates, sites, etc. for next season's tourney.

This list is now closed. Sites updated in November will appear in the Bracket Matrix starting November 14.

October 27 - The Catch and Shoot

October 25 - Bracketball

October 22 - Basketball Predictions

October 20 - Patrick Stevens - Syracuse.com (Countdown)

October 18 - Bracket WAG

October 17 - Bracketville Fan Bracket (Twitter Updates)

October 16 - Busting Bracketology 

October 3 - Big Apple Buckets NIT

September 3 - Bracket Odds

September 2 - The Bracket Bracketology

August 11 - Dudes on Sports

July 22 - Bleacher Report - Kerry Miller

June 21 - Kyle's Bracket Projections

June 19 - College Sports Madness (Countdown)

April 28 - Jason Wells' Bracketology

April 9 - ESPN Bracketology with Joe Lunardi

April 9 - Bracket Briefer

April 8 - The Sports Bank


Monday, April 7, 2014

2015 NCAA Tournament Primer

Here is a 2015 NCAA Basketball Tournament Primer featuring tournament dates as well as teams changing conferences or not participating.

Tournament Sites

First Four (March 17 and 18)
University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio (Host: University of Dayton)

Rounds of 64 and 32 (March 19 and 21)
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida (Host: Jacksonville University)
KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky (Host: University of Louisville)
Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Host: Duquesne University)
Moda Center in Portland, Oregon (Host: University of Oregon)

Rounds of 64 and 32 (March 20 and 22)
Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina (Host: University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio (Host: Ohio State University)
CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska (Host: Creighton University)
KeyArena in Seattle, Washington (Host: University of Washington)

Regional Semifinals and Finals (March 26 and 28)
Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio (Host: Mid-American Conference)
Staples Center in Los Angeles, California (Host: Pepperdine University)

Regional Semifinals and Finals (March 27 and 29)
Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York (Host: Syracuse University)
NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas (Hosts: Rice University and University of Houston)

Final Four and the National Championship (April 4 and 6)
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana (Hosts: Butler University, IUPUI, and the Horizon League)

Conference Changes
Appalachian State - Southern to Sun Belt
Davidson - Southern to Atlantic 10
East Carolina - CUSA to American
East Tennessee State - Atlantic Sun to Southern
Elon - Southern to Colonial
Georgia Southern - Southern to Sun Belt
Idaho - WAC to Big Sky
Louisville - American to ACC
Maryland - ACC to Big Ten
Mercer - Atlantic Sun to Southern
Oral Roberts - Southland to Summit
Rutgers - American to Big Ten
Tulane - CUSA to American
Tulsa - CUSA to American
VMI - Big South to Southern
Western Kentucky - Sun Belt to CUSA

Ineligible Teams

Alabama State, Appalachian State, Florida A&M, Houston Baptist, Lamar, San Jose State, Southern, Central Arkansas, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee due to APR issues

Abilene Christian, Grand Canyon, Incarnate Word, Massachusetts-Lowell, Omaha, and Northern Kentucky due to D-1 Transition

Bracket Principles

So here are some things to keep in mind when the NCAA basketball committee starts placing teams in the bracket (I wrote these as they came to me so it's not in any order of importance):
  • The top 4 teams on the NCAA seed list of 68 are the number one seeds and placed in the region closest to them. If two or more teams claim a particular region to be closest, the team ranked higher on the seed list gets to stay. In the Final Four, the "#1" region will be paired with the "#4" region while #2 is paired with #3.
  • Teams 5-16 on the seed list are then assigned to the closest region available in "true seed" order. At this point, you can calculate each region's relative strength by adding up the true seeds of the top 4 teams in each region.  Generally, the difference between the highest ranked region and lowest should be 5 or less but in 2012, the difference was 8, which tells us geography is playing a much larger role in the bracketing process.
  • At this point, teams 1-16 on the seed list are assigned in "true seed" order to the closest pod (round of 64/32) site as possible.  After that, everybody else is placed in the bracket.
  • Teams in the top 4 seed lines cannot be placed into a home crowd disadvantage in the round of 64 (it used to be the top 5 seed lines, but the NCAA changed it).
  • Host schools can't be placed in the sites where they're hosting. So this season, Jacksonville, Louisville, Duquesne, Oregon, Charlotte, Ohio State, Creighton, Washington, Pepperdine, Syracuse, Rice, and Houston won't be placed at their home sites if they make the tourney. The exception is Dayton if they participate in the First Four. Schools in a pod or regional that's hosted by its own conference can be placed there. 
  • Schools who played more than 3 times in a host facility (excluding postseason conference tournaments) also can't play there in the tournament. 
  • BYU doesn't play on Sunday so if they make the tournament, they will not be placed in Charlotte, Columbus, Omaha, Seattle, Syracuse, or Houston.
  • First Four winners playing on Tuesday will funnel into a Thursday pod. If they play on Wednesday, the winners will go to a Friday pod. The committee will try to place these teams in a pod as close to Dayton as possible to minimize travel.
  • If possible, the committee will look back at the last two tournaments and make sure schools haven't been placed out of their geographic area an "inordinate number of times."  What's an inordinate number of times? I don't know. Can't be more than 4. 
Among the non-geography considerations:
  • The top 4 teams from each conference in the top 4 seed lines can't be placed in the same region.
  • No rematches between two conference teams until:
    • the round of 32 if the two conference teams met once in the regular season.
    • the round of 16 if the two conference teams met twice in the regular season.
    • the round of 8 if the two conference teams met three or more times in the regular season.
  • If possible, regular season rematches should be avoided in the First Four and the round of 64. In addition, rematches from the previous two tournaments should be avoided in the round of 64.
In order to work through all the principles, the committee has the option of moving a team up or down one seed line (even two under extraordinary circumstances) from its true seed line.

Everybody got that?

For more on how the NCAA committee builds the bracket, read the principles and procedures.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 FINAL SEED LIST PROJECTION

Read em and weep.

1 - Florida, Arizona, Wichita State, Michigan
2 - Kansas, Villanova, Wisconsin, Virginia
3 - Iowa State, Creighton, Duke, Louisville
4 - Syracuse, UCLA, Michigan State, San Diego State
5 - VCU, Kentucky, Ohio State, Cincinnati
6 - Connecticut, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Carolina
7 - Gonzaga, Massachusetts, Texas, Baylor
8 - Pittsburgh, George Washington, Oregon, Saint Louis
9 - Oklahoma State, Stanford, Memphis, Colorado
10 - Iowa, St. Joseph's, Kansas State, Providence
11 - Tennessee, Arizona State, Xavier, BYU/Dayton
12 - Nebraska/SMU, Harvard, North Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin
13 - Manhattan, Tulsa, New Mexico State, Delaware
14 - Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Michigan, NC-Central, Mercer
15 - Eastern Kentucky, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Weber State
16 - Albany, Wofford, Cal Poly/Mount St. Mary's, Coastal Carolina/Texas Southern

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bracket - March 15

Here's my bracket for games played thru March 14. As always, this is my opinion and not based on the Bracket Matrix.

Bracket

1 - Arizona, Florida, Wichita State, Michigan
2 - Wisconsin, Kansas, Creighton, Villanova
3 - Iowa State, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia
4 - Louisville, Michigan State, San Diego State, UCLA
5 - Ohio State, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Cincinnati
6 - Baylor, VCU, North Carolina, Kentucky
7 - New Mexico, Oregon, St. Louis, Texas
8 - George Washington, Massachusetts, Pittsburgh, Gonzaga
9 - Memphis, Kansas State, Colorado, Oklahoma State
10 - Arizona State, Iowa, Tennessee, Stanford
11 - BYU, Xavier, St. Joseph's, Providence/SMU
12 - Dayton, Nebraska, Harvard, North Dakota State, Louisiana Tech
13 - Manhattan, Stephen F. Austin, Georgia State, New Mexico State
14 - Western Michigan, North Carolina Central, Mercer, Delaware
15 - Eastern Kentucky, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, American, Stony Brook
16 - Weber State, Wofford, Mount St. Mary's/Coastal Carolina, CS-Northridge/Texas Southern

The NIT Bracket Project