Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Be safe and have fun tonight.

Come Monday, the Bracket Project moves into conference mode as you can expect bracket updates at least every Monday from here on out and, perhaps more importantly, the matrix gets updated once a day everyday as brackets from other sites are updated.

Remember, if you're a new bracketologist who would like to submit a site to the matrix, follow the principles described a few posts ago. And if you just follow the site, start up a discussion at the Facebook group.

See you Monday!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bracket - December 28

Quiet past couple of weeks as we celebrate the holidays. It's during these quiet weeks where small streaks get noticed. Just look at USC. With their new transfer Gerrity, they are rolling with a 6-game winning streak with wins over Tennessee, St. Mary's, and UNLV. And with the Pac-10 ripe for the taking, USC is in a great position. Can't overlook the 4 losses yet (which is why they're not in the field) but they have a chance to make a great statement against the Arizona schools at home this week.

On the flip side, Florida was in danger of falling out of the field with their own 3-game losing streak (Syracuse, Richmond, and South Alabama). They settled at an 11 seed. Luckily, they've got 2 easy games before a road test at North Carolina State and the start of the SEC schedule.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bracket - December 14

I'm slowly catching up. Obviously, this bracket is week old, so if I was re-doing it for today, I'd consider taking out Cincinnati, Memphis, and Seton Hall. I'd consider putting in a host of teams including Wake Forest and Richmond. But alas, I'm not studying it too much since my next bracket comes out next Monday, the 28th. Also, at that point, new brackets will start being released every Monday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BCS 2009

Now for my annual BCS post. Today's announcement that Alabama and Texas will play for the BCS championship may satisfy most people but what about TCU? Cincinnati? Boise State? As I've said before, a playoff is inevitable but probably won't be done in the near future. But sometime, the next step has to be a plus-one. This is how I would do it. It's the same thing as last year with a couple of tweaks.

1. Promote the Cotton Bowl to BCS status. This will keep the 10 team system the BCS has.
2. The champion from each of the BCS conferences receives an automatic berth.
3. The top non-BCS conference champion (or Notre Dame) will receive an automatic berth provided it is ranked higher than the lowest ranked BCS conference champion. If this lowest ranked team is unranked in the BCS, then the non-BCS team (or Notre Dame) must be ranked in the top 25.
4. Fill out the rest of the lineup with the highest ranked teams remaining in BCS order. Ignore the two-team limit per conference.
5. Pull out the Pac-10 and Big 10 champions and place them in the Rose Bowl.
6. The top 4 teams remaining will play each other. The highest ranked of these 4 will play the lowest ranked team of these 4 that avoids a rematch. Then the remaining two teams will play each other. The same will apply to the bottom 4 teams.
7. Once matchups are determined, assign them to bowls. Apply conference affiliations (Big 12-Fiesta, ACC-Orange, SEC-Sugar) with the remaining game to the Cotton Bowl. If a bowl needs to give up a conference affiliated with them to another bowl, that bowl will have priority over the Cotton Bowl.
8. Play the games!
9. After the games are played, run the BCS system one more time and pit the top 2 teams against each other for a BCS champion.

So how would it work this year?

This year's BCS conference champions were 1. Alabama (SEC), 2. Texas (Big 12), 3. Cincinnati (Big East), 7. Oregon (Pac-10), 8. Ohio State (Big Ten), and 10. Georgia Tech (ACC).

The highest ranked non-BCS conference champion was 4. TCU and it gets an automatic berth since it's ranked higher than Georgia Tech.

The highest ranked teams left in the BCS are 5. Florida, 6. Boise State, and 10. Iowa.

Thus, the matchups would be:

Rose: 7. Oregon vs. 8. Ohio State
Fiesta: 2. Texas vs. 3. Cincinnati
Sugar: 1. Alabama vs. 4. TCU
Orange: 9. Georgia Tech vs. 6. Boise State
Cotton: 5. Florida vs. 10. Iowa

Then use the BCS after these games are played and then match the top 2 teams. It allows TCU and Cincinnati to at least have a shot at the championship. Ok, it doesn't solve Boise State, but years down the line when a playoff is viable, that problem will be solved too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bracket - November 30

Lots of changes fill this week's bracket. The big winners were Syracuse, which won the Coaches v. Cancer tournament beating California and North Carolina in the process, Florida, with its impressive win over Michigan State, and UNLV, which is undefeated and has a win over Louisville. Portland also made its first appearance in the bracket, but has since lost to Portland State to fall back to earth.

Chief among the losers is UCLA. Sure, it lost a few key guys from last year and the rest are pretty much injured, but the Bruins were still expected to contend for best team in the Pac-10 behind Washington and Cal. But losses to Cal State Fullerton, Portland, Butler, and Long Beach State mean they may be fighting to avoid last place in the conference, which itself is going through a down year.

Next bracket will be posted on December 14.

Monday, November 9, 2009

First matrix of 2009-10 posted

The next update is on November 16.

The 2009-10 Bracket Matrix Links

All the links used in the Bracket Matrix for 2009-10 are listed below. If you would like to contribute, please read this. The sign-up window for new contributors is now closed. Those who have submitted a bracket in previous years may still submit a bracket for the final matrix.

The Bracket Project - BP

CBS Sports - Gary Parrish and Jerry Palm
ESPN - Joe Lunardi
FOX Sports - Bracketology 101
Rivals - Mike Huguenin
The Sporting News - Ryan Fagan
Sports Illustrated - Andy Glockner
Yahoo Sports - Brad Evans

ASN College Basketball
Baseline Stats - Brendon Desrochers
Basketball Predictions - BaP
Bleacher Report - Kevin Burke (BR-KB), Jameson Fleming (BR-JF), Jesse Kramer (BR-JK), Thomas Nolan (HTTV), Jeff Pencek (BR-JP) and Jordan Schwartz (BR-JS)
Blogging the Bracket - BtB
Bluejay Banter Bracketology from White and Blue Review- BBB
Bracket Ball
The Bracket Board - TBB
Bracket Madness - MAD
Bracket Mensa - BM
The Bracket of Truth - BT
Bracket Predictions - BrP
The Bracketeer - TB
Bracketology 65 - B65
Bracketology 101 - B101
Bracketville - BV
Brackonomics - Brack
Bryce's Brackets and Observations
Bucky's Bracket
Chop Culture
College Hoops Net - Shawn Siegel - CHN
College Hoops Net - March Madness All Season - MMAS
D1SCOURSE - Patrick Stevens - D1
Daily Bracket - DB
D-World Entertainment Inc. - DW
The Eclecticist - TE
Everyday is March (Bracketville USA) - EIM
Facts & Bracks from The HoopGroup - F&B
Grant's Bracketology
Howard Salwasser's Bracket Watch - BW
Joey's Sports Blog
March Madness '10 - MM10
NCAA Hoops Digest - NHD
Oak Creek's March Madness
Rainmaker's Bracketology
Ramblings from the Ultimate Sports Sentimentalist - SS
Rock M Nation
Rush the Court - Zach Hayes
Russel's Bracketology - RB
Schmolik 64
Storming the Floor - STF
The Washington Post's 65 - Eric Prisbell - WP

2010 March Madness - MM
Athlon Sports - ATH
Basketball Forum - Coolpohle (CB) and JuniorNoboa (JN)
Beer's Bracket
Bracket WAG
Bracketography - Graph
Busting Bracketologists - Bryce and CJ (Also Willo on Basketball Forum) - Jerry Palm - CSF
The Columbus Dispatch - Bill Rabinowitz - CD
Crashing the Dance - CtD
Feature Presentation Online -FPO
Jason's Bracketology - JB
Lobofan2003's Bracketology
MAG NCAA Tournament Projections
My San Antonio - Stephen Fontenot - SA
NCAA Bracket - NB
Online Sports Fanatic - Daniel Evans (OSF-E) and Blake Hofstad (OSF-H)
Real Time RPI
RPI Forecast
Seed Madness
The Hoops Report - Ryan Feldman - THR
The Sports - TSB
VanDongen Computer Rankings - VCR
VTS Bracket 2010
Warren Nolan - WN
Ya Sports! - LAOJoe and GTucker

Want to contribute??? 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, Myspace, or some other social networking site because not everyone can access it.

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 65 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.

6. No new sites will be added to the 2010 page after March 1, 2010 unless you have appeared in previous versions of this page, 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.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pre-season Bracket 2009-10

The 50webs homepage now features The Bracket Project's preseason bracket. As always, throw this bracket out once the games begin.

The Bracket Matrix will release its first edition Monday night. Currently, there are 12 brackets in the matrix.

If you would like to submit your own bracket for the matrix, publish it and lemme know where it is. New matrices will be published every Monday night until after the new year begins, at which point, the matrix will be updated every day. The matrix will include preseason brackets until the November 30th edition.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome back!

It's November, so welcome to another season of The Bracket Project.

I will release my pre-season bracket for The Bracket Project next Sunday, November 8. Future releases will be as follows:

November 30
December 14, 28
January 4, 11, 18, 25
February 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26
March 1, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14

Most people, however, come here for The Bracket Matrix. The first edition for this year will be published on Monday, November 9 and will be updated every Monday until January 4. After this day, the matrix will be updated once a day everyday (time permitting).

If you have a new bracket to submit to the matrix, please note that you have until March 1 to tell me about it and be sure to read the NCAA rules and regulations concerning the bracket to help you structure it and my own expectations.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bracket Project is in hibernation

With UNC's victory tonight over Michigan State, we bid farewell to another college basketball season. Before signing off, I've reorganized the pages on the 50webs site a little bit and gave the matrix archives a more consistent look. The links are on the right-hand side of this blog.

I'll see you in November.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Bracket Project Predictions for 2009

There are nine quintillion ways a 64-team bracket can turn out. This is one of them. This post will be updated as needed during the tournament (meaning I'll probably be wrong a lot and I'll be scribbling out teams and putting new teams in. Hey, I'm good at picking who goes into the tournament, not who's gonna win).

I was right about Morehead State. I'm 1 for 1! Can I stop now?

OK, guess not. Here we go. (Printable version of my original predictions here)

First Round

Louisville over Morehead State (Correct)
Ohio State over Siena (Wrong!)
Utah over Arizona (Wrong!)
Wake Forest over Cleveland State (Wrong!)
West Virginia over Dayton (Wrong!)
Kansas over North Dakota State (Correct)
USC over Boston College (Correct)
Michigan State over Robert Morris (Correct)

Connecticut over Chattanooga (Correct)
BYU over Texas A&M (Wrong!)
Purdue over Northern Iowa (Correct)
Washington over Mississippi State (Correct)
Utah State over Marquette (Wrong!)
Missouri over Cornell (Correct)
California over Maryland (Wrong!)
Memphis over Cal State Northridge (Correct)

Pittsburgh over E. Tennessee State (Correct)
Tennessee over Oklahoma State (Wrong!)
Wisconsin over Florida State (Correct)
Xavier over Portland State (Correct)
UCLA over Virginia Commonwealth (Correct)
Villanova over American (Correct)
Minnesota over Texas (Wrong!)
Duke over Binghamton (Correct)

North Carolina over Radford (Correct)
Butler over LSU (Wrong!)
Illinois over Western Kentucky (Wrong!)
Gonzaga over Akron (Correct)
Arizona State over Temple (Correct)
Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin (Correct)
Michigan over Clemson (Correct)
Oklahoma over Morgan State (Correct)

Second Round

Louisville over Ohio State Siena (Correct)
Utah over Wake Forest over Arizona over Cleveland State (Correct)
West Virginia over Kansas over Dayton (Correct)
Michigan State over USC (Correct)

Connecticut over BYU Texas A&M (Correct)
Purdue over Washington (Correct)
Missouri over Utah State Marquette (Correct)
Memphis over California Maryland (Correct)

Pittsburgh over Tennessee Oklahoma State (Correct)
Xavier over Wisconsin (Correct)
Villanova over UCLA (Correct)
Duke over Minnesota Texas (Correct)

North Carolina over Butler LSU (Correct)
Gonzaga over Illinois Western Kentucky (Correct)
Syracuse over Arizona State (Correct)
Oklahoma over Michigan (Correct)

Sweet 16

Louisville over Utah Arizona (Correct)
Michigan State over West Virginia Kansas (Correct)

Connecticut over Purdue (Correct)
Missouri over Memphis (Correct)

Pittsburgh over Xavier (Correct)
Duke over Villanova (Wrong!)

North Carolina over Gonzaga (Correct)
Syracuse over Oklahoma (Wrong!)

Great Eight

MIDWEST - Louisville over Michigan State (Wrong!)
WEST - Missouri over Connecticut (Wrong!)
EAST - Pittsburgh over Duke Villanova (Wrong!)
SOUTH - North Carolina over Syracuse Oklahoma (Correct)

Final Four

Louisville over Missouri Michigan State over Connecticut
North Carolina over Pittsburgh Villanova


North Carolina over Louisville (I know, not exactly original) Michigan State

An Alternate View

The people at The Quest For 65 have come up with another way to grade how bracketologists fared on Selection Sunday called the QPI. Check it out here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Bracket Project...Projects - 2009

To be honest, I didn't actually see the real bracket until today. I heard Greg Gumbel announce the seed numbers yesterday then moved on to updating the matrix with the rest of the brackets. Some parting thoughts about the bracket before we move on:

San Diego State, Creighton, and St. Mary's were all more deserving than Arizona to be in the bracket but I can understand why they did it. Arizona beat tourney at-large teams Kansas (3), Washington (4), and Gonzaga (4). Creighton beat one at-large team - Dayton, an 11 seed. St. Mary's beat no at-large tourney teams and had 3 cracks at Gonzaga and lost all of them. San Diego State did beat Utah and BYU, but lost head-to-head against St. Mary's and Arizona.

The thing that glares at me about Arizona is something I thought the committee emphasized: who you play and where you play them, and how you are playing down the stretch. They were 2-9 on the road with its only wins against Oregon and Oregon State. They followed up a 7-game win streak by losing 5 of their last 6.

Location will always be a problem for the committee and this year moreso because most of the sites are so far from the schools. Portland, Boise, and Miami barely have any tourney schools near them but all are hosting this year, creating weird travel situations such as Arizona State, Arizona, and Utah traveling to Miami, Florida State traveling to Boise, UCLA to Philadelphia, and so on. The NCAA should limit the far-out destinations to just one or two a year.

Not too many complaints about seeding...Boston College was too high. I thought they were closer to the bubble due to their rocky finish but beating Duke and UNC helps. Wisconsin was too low. I heard they were a true 11 so maybe that's okay. I guess I didn't penalize them enough for the 6-game losing streak during conference play.

My no rhyme or reason, straight from the gut predictions will be out Wednesday and will be updated with new predictions as we move along through the tournament. Except for the Elite Eight round. I will be in Reno/Tahoe with spotty Internet access. Hopefully, I can make it to a sportsbook to catch the games or a hot spot where I can update the blog.

My first prediction: Morehead State over Alabama State in the play-in game. Let's hope I don't start 0 for 1.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The 2009 Bracket Matrix Post-Mortem

Overall, the bracketologists' performance was down from last year as this year's average Paymon score was 303.6, about 5.5 points below last year's average bracket. Here are the highlights:

Bracketologists who were 65 out of 65:
Bracketography, Bryce Durgin, FOX Sports, and Round Table Sports

Top brackets with the most teams seeded correctly:
Rivals, Bracketville, and Bracketology 101 tied with 35. Right behind were Bracketography, Baseline Stats, Jerry Palm, The Bracket Board, and Hofstad at the Online Sports Fanatic with 34.

Top brackets with the most teams seeded within one of their actual seed:
Bracketography and March Madness All Season had 62. VTS follows with 61 and College Sports Fans had 60.

Finally, the highest Paymon scores this year:
Bracketography - 325
Rivals - Mike Huguenin - 318
Baseline Stats - 317
Bracketville - 316
Bracketology 101, Jerry Palm, and The Bracket Board - 315

Bracket - FINAL

This is the most uncomfortable I've ever been after submitting my final bracket. Mississippi State and USC took the spots Creighton and St. Mary's were desperately holding onto. We'll see if I was right to let San Diego State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Dayton, Boston College, and Texas A&M (not in that order) keep their spots.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bracket - March 14

Florida and South Carolina faltered in the SEC tournament and now find themselves out of the field. St. Mary's and Maryland are back in. The Terps' stay may be short-lived depending on today's game vs. Duke and the state of the bubble.

Temple/Duquesne stole a bid with their wins over Xavier and Dayton and I decided to take Penn State's spot away. They suffer from the same problem South Carolina and Providence have: decent conference record but terrible non-conference performance.

Michigan State, with their loss to Ohio State, doesn't really have a shot at the #1 seed. Louisville, Connecticut, and Memphis are now fighting for the last two spots.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Bracket - March 13

It's times like these when it's great to live in California. A 6 OT game late at night on the east coast. Pshh. It ended like at 10:30 here. And boy, was that a great game until the last OT where Syracuse got out to a big enough lead to close out the game. That game pushes UConn to a #2 seed for now and has to wait to see if Louisville, Memphis or Michigan State stumble to try to re-gain the #1 seed.

Arizona lost a must-win game against arch-rival Arizona State and now finds itself outside of the field. New Mexico also lost, but to a comparably weaker Wyoming team, which baffles the mind. I guess it is tough to beat a team three times in a season. Also falling out was UNLV, which lost on its home floor to San Diego State.

For these three spots, one was taken by Cleveland State, which beat Butler to take the Horizon championship and the automatic spot. San Diego State also takes a spot after beating UNLV on its home floor. (Please note that SDSU and Boston College switched spots to conform with bracketing principles.) After that, it was tough. The teams which have games to go haven't done enough as of yet, so I took the best of the teams in the clubhouse, which looks to be Creighton. The Jays still have to dodge USC, Auburn, Maryland, Baylor, and the WAC/Atlantic 10/Mountain West/CUSA teams aiming for an automatic spot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today at around 8:30 this morning marked a milestone for The Bracket Project as the site has now been accessed one million times. I started this site as a time killer in 2005 as I was trying to find a job and now people use it everyday to track where their favorite team is in the scheme of things (Cleveland State really messed things up, didn't they?).

Thanks for visiting.

A look at the number of hits by year (April 1-March 31):

2005: 18,201 hits
2006: 122,729 hits
2007: 231,452 hits
2008: 357,919 hits
2009: 269,699 hits and counting

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bracket - March 9

Another varied series of events this past weekend. Let's recap:

Creighton put up two very poor performances in the Missouri Valley tournament last week as they blew a 22-point lead in the second half against Wichita State and needed a last-second jumper to win. They followed that up with a 24-point loss to Illinois State. They are currently the first team out and are at the mercy of the tourney gods as other tournaments get started. It is their hope that an 11-win streak right before the tourney will turn some heads.

Penn State was pushed to last team in as they lost to Iowa. Wins by Penn State, Michigan, and Minnesota may ensure eight bids from the Big Ten.

Rhode Island was rewarded with a bid last Friday but followed that up with a loss against UMass, so they move back to first 4 out joining Creighton, UNLV, and Maryland.

New teams joining the madness include Michigan, with a huge win at Minnesota, and New Mexico, looking better after UNLV lost to SDSU.

For the NIT bracket, Davidson makes its first appearance here as they lost to College of Charleston in the semifinals of the SoCon tournament. A 5th seed may seem low but it's a reflection of the fact that they have little chance at an at-large and the teams above them do with their conference tournaments getting underway. In the end, their seed will probably settle at a 3 or 4.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bracket - March 6

If you read the blog post prior to this one, you can deduce that if a bubble team won this week, they're in the bracket this week. If you lost, no guarantees.

So: Kentucky. Loss. Out. Maryland. Loss. Out. And Miami. Loss. Out.

On the other hand, Rhode Island. Win. In. They've now won 10 of their last 11.

Penn State. Win. In. They have 10 wins in the Big 10 after a huge last-second win vs. Illinois.

And UNLV. Win. In. Ok, they won against lowly Air Force. But I'm rewarding them moreso for their non-conference schedule rather than their conference play. New Mexico is in a three-way tie for first and is on the cusp of breaking through. UNLV is two games behind. Let's pray that the conference tournament solves this mess.

Arizona and Florida lost this week and are part of the last 4 in, with includes URI and St. Mary's (still unproven with Mills back in the lineup).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So lemme get this straight...

A check on the teams just fighting to get into the tournament so far this week. (Is fighting the right word for these teams?)

Notre Dame loses to Villanova. Ok, to be expected though the Irish shouldn't have stopped playing with 10 minutes left in the game.

Cincinnati loses to South Florida. Hmm, that's not good. The Bearcats have suddenly lost 4 of 5 and the Bulls were supposed to be the easiest opponent to play of those 5.

Georgetown loses to St. John's. That's not good either. No way the NCAA's will accept a team with a 7-11 conference record. (The Hoyas will beat DePaul, right?)

Kansas State loses to Oklahoma State. One goes up, one goes down. The Cowboys still need a couple of wins to assure themselves a spot in the tourney, but hey, a bubble team that won! It's suddenly an accomplishment! OTOH, Kansas State needs to get to the Big 12 finals just to even get a shot.

Maryland loses to Wake Forest. The Terps go cold for 4 minutes in the 2nd half and loses by 2. They continue bouncing in and out of the tournament projections.

Florida loses to Mississippi State and Kentucky loses to Georgia. HAHAHAHA. Now, this is getting ridiculous. Now the Gators and Cats play what amounts to be an elimination game on Saturday.

Boston College loses to North Carolina State. The Eagles are still in it, mainly because all these teams around them in this blog post have lost.

Virginia Tech loses to North Carolina. Another great effort by the Hokies. They always give great efforts, but rarely get great wins. A road victory against Florida State is now pretty necessary.

Miami (FL) loses to Georgia Tech. Whoa. I wasn't expecting this. A 7-9 ACC mark could make it in, but only with a deep run in the tourney. It won't start out well as they probably get the 8/9 game vs. Maryland or Virginia Tech, both of which will also be desperate teams.

UAB loses to UTEP. The Blazers were the CUSA's best shot at an at-large bid other than Memphis, of course.

New Mexico beats Utah. Ending on a good note. The Lobos move into a first-place tie with the Utes in the Mountain West, though their non-conference schedule keeps them out of an at-large.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bracket - March 2

Washington was the big winner this week as they swept the Arizona schools en route to at least a share of the Pac-10 championship. They move up to the highest 4 seed on the S-curve.

Turning our attention to the cut line, Oklahoma State finally got a good win on their resume with a home win vs. Texas. No matter what happens against Kansas State on Tuesday however, they really need to win against Oklahoma to get in the NCAAs without a deep run in the Big 12 tourney. Fellow Big 12 member Texas A&M joins the bracket as a 12 seed. They're on a 4-game winning streak and hold wins against Texas, Arizona, and LSU.

From the ACC, Maryland and Miami (FL) re-joins the field of 65. A competitive game against Duke and a road win vs. NC State pushed Maryland into the field. Miami's 6-8 conference record isn't particularly attractive but when those wins include Maryland, Wake Forest, Florida State and a sweep of Boston College, that's better than some teams' entire resumes. Plus, their remaining schedule (@GT and vs. NC St.) sets up well for an 8-8 record heading into the ACC tournament.

Losses by Cincinnati, Michigan, and Virginia Tech dropped them out of today's bracket.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bracket - February 27

I usually don't update the site on Saturdays but I do answer emails and make corrections when I can. However, tomorrow, I will be completely away from my computer as I head to Berkeley to see ESPN's College Gameday and the game vs. UCLA. As a Cal alum, I must say...Go Bears!

I moved Oklahoma down to the 2 seed. Many bracketologists are giving them the benefit of the doubt with Blake Griffin out of the lineup (though some moved up Kansas because of the win...come on, be consistent guys). I gave them that benefit at Texas. I'm not with a home loss to Kansas. However, based on remaining strength of schedule, Oklahoma is in prime position to re-capture a #1 seed.

Dayton and Temple both lost this week, setting up a huge matchup on Saturday. The winner I think will be in the bracket come Monday.

Teams moving back into the bracket include Virginia Tech, with a great road win vs. Clemson after losing three straight, Cincinnati, spoiling Huggins' return, Michigan, also bouncing back with a win over Purdue, and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys benefit the same way as Kansas State did last Monday...they just keep winning (winners of 4 straight). However, if they can't beat Texas or Oklahoma, it'll move them right back out because they have no wins against any Big 12 teams projected to be in the NCAAs (0-4 against Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri). Just ask last year's VaTech what the lack of wins against ACC teams that went to the NCAAs got them.

St. Mary's moves up to an 11 seed, as a result of a switch with Dayton to satisfy bracket principles. However, with the weak remaining schedule and the continued uncertainty of the availability of Patty Mills, it seems they need to win the conference tournament to get in.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who can you trust?

Lost in the sea of brackets of The Bracket Matrix lies this question: who can I trust? Just because a national writer is making a bracket doesn't mean it's going to be right. At the same time, you shouldn't always disregard the opinion of a lowly blogger. Being the best at predicting a bracket in any given year is a crapshoot. However, if you consistently produce good brackets year after year, you build trust. After 3 full years of The Bracket Matrix, which sites fit the bill?

Using the final results from each year, every site had a Paymon score calculated. Then the variance was calculated to see how much better each site did compared to the average for that year.

17 sites have submitted a final bracket to the matrix in all three years. The results confirm that Bracketology 101 has been the best, most consistent site out there for the last three years, averaging 15 points higher than the average bracket produced. My site and March Madness All Season are tied for second. It's interesting to note that while 2007 was my best year, it was generally considered to be a poor year for the committee. I guess I just channeled them pretty well that year.

In addition, MAG, The Bracket Board, Bracketography, Bracket Predictions, and Warren Nolan are the other active sites that have, over the course of three years, produced better-than-average brackets.

Everybody's favorite bracketologist, ESPN's Joe Lunardi, comes in tied for 12th.

Of course, just because these sites may not perform well in the final exam doesn't mean they are not valuable sources of information throughout the season. Bracket Express, while 15th, was always a must-read for me. It's too bad it hasn't been updated this year. Plus, with only 3 years, it's a small sample size. Some of these guys have been doing this for a lot longer than 3 years.

The complete results, including sites with less than 3 years in the matrix, can be found in the link below.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bracket - February 23

First off, thanks to links from Sports Illustrated and the Wall Street Journal, the Bracket Matrix reached 10,000 hits in a single day today. Usually, this occurs in March so thank you for reading and for those here for the first time, welcome.

For today's bracket, we bid farewell to Cincinnati, which suffered a home loss to Louisville, San Diego State, with a 26-point loss to New Mexico, Michigan, which shouldn't be losing to Iowa but they did, and USC, which fell further behind in the Pac-10 race with a loss to Washington.

Who replaces them? Kansas State and 3 mid-majors. KSU has won 8 out of 9 and while I did knock their non-conference schedule in the previous post, at least they're winning, which is more than what I can say for quite a few bubble teams. UNLV got a big win over BYU, albeit by a point. Temple has good non-conference wins against Tennessee and Penn State and they're also in the thick of things in the Atlantic 10 race. The winner of Dayton and Temple on Saturday will stay in the bracket next week (as long as they both win their games against Rhode Island and La Salle this week respectively). Finally, St. Mary's seems to have found its stride as Patrick Mills recovers from his injury with 3 wins in a row over Portland, San Diego, and Utah State. With Mills slated back for the conference tournament, we need to see if they can finish what they started against Gonzaga before Mills got injured.

Maryland has had a topsy-turvy season so far, but with its upset over North Carolina, they are right on the bubble. I still have them out though. One win vs. Duke or Wake Forest greatly reduces the need to perform well in the conference tourney and secure an at-large bid. If their inconsistency continues, they'll be hitting the NIT for the fourth time in 5 years.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bracket - February 20

For this bracket, I had two spots open after Virginia Tech fell to Virginia and UNLV fell to Wyoming. I had three teams in mind: Penn State, Michigan, and Kansas State. Kansas State pretty much lost out with the lack of a quality win in their non-conference schedule. In fact, its only significant win is against Missouri. Instead, it has a bad loss against Oregon. Arguably, Penn State also doesn't have a non-conference quality win (Georgia Tech?), but it doesn't have a bad loss. Thus, the Nittany Lions and Wolverines make it in. (For bracketing purposes, Michigan switched with Davidson on the 11/12 lines to make things fit.)

Georgetown is also at the edge but a simple win over South Florida isn't enough right now. Win 2 of the next 3, and then we'll talk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bracket - February 16

No change at the top again as UConn, UNC, OU, and Pitt kept their spots on the top line. As for the bottom, well.

Miami and Georgetown lost again in conference play. With only 4 wins apiece in their respective conferences, it was tough to keep them in even with their stellar computer numbers. Boston College re-joins the dance with a big home win over Duke. UNLV also comes back with two wins to right the ship. With games remaining against all the Mountain West leaders except New Mexico, where everything shakes out will still be a mystery until the end of the conference tourney. (Oh, in Las Vegas.)

The Pac-10 looks to be a muddled mess again as UCLA last week looked to break from the pack but the Arizona schools pulled them right back in. Washington currently tops the standings with Arizona St., UCLA, and Cal one game back, and the red-hot Wildcats of Arizona two back.

The aforementioned Canes and Hoyas join Michigan and Oklahoma State on the top line of the NIT projection.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bracket - February 13

The only change to the at-larges was the addition of Kentucky, fresh off its much-needed win over Florida. The Wildcats replaced Michigan, which lost to Michigan State at home.

Clemson leaped to a #2 seed after Louisville, Wake Forest, and UCLA lost.

For the NIT, the top seeds currently projected are Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, UNLV, and Boston College.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bracket - February 9

Connecticut, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh constitute the top line of the bracket on this day. Duke had a number one seed before this bracket but a Clemson loss and a close OT win over Miami at home cost them.

Memphis headed to the northwest to face Gonzaga and got out with a convincing victory. The Tigers now have a signature win, on the road no less, and that pushed them into the #2 seed. However, UTEP, UAB, and Houston are still ahead of them, all on the road.

The bubble is quite muddled right now. It's like that every year, but every year, we always seem to forget. Virginia Tech, Michigan, Cincinnati, and Dayton were my last teams in. The Hokies will probably battle BC for the last ACC spot unless Maryland starts getting hot. Michigan got a much-needed win against Penn State and hung tough with UConn. Cincinnati got good wins over floundering Big East teams Notre Dame and Georgetown. And the Flyers need a win over Xavier on Wednesday to stay in the bracket.

Ok State, UNLV, Kentucky and BC were the first teams out (and the #1 seeds in my NIT bracket). Oklahoma State joins a bunch of Big 12 teams that are failing to distance themselves from the pack (Kansas State, Nebraska, Baylor, Texas A&M, and possibly Texas if it doesn't get its act together). UNLV finds itself out after losses to New Mexico and San Diego State. It'll be interesting to see if the Mountain West can settle down just a bit and be able to support 4 bids out of that conference.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bracket - February 6

Yep...just a tad late putting this blog post out. So really it's just a formality for the archive.

Duke kept its #1 seed in this bracket. (It won't on Monday.)

UNLV dropped out of this bracket. (It'll stay out on Monday.)

Same with Kentucky.

Kansas State and Cincinnati are still out. (But they'll be knocking on the door, if not in, on Monday.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bracket - February 2

Today marks the first day of increased tourney coverage by the Bracket Project. Brackets will be released on Mondays and Fridays and the NIT bracket will also be released. Last year, I tried to cover the CBI tournament as well, but with the tournament poised to make its debut (do we even need a fourth tournament?), I'm just going to list the next 32 teams after the NIT cut line.

Remember the ACC's performance in football this year? No dominant teams but lots of parity. SEC basketball is slowly becoming like ACC football. No SEC team in my bracket is higher than a 7 seed with the likes of Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky starting to lose. However, in the past weeks, South Carolina and LSU have started to string together some wins and now the SEC has pushed their representation to 5 teams in the bracket when common thinking used to be 3 or 4.

The first teams out this week were Miami, Wisconsin, San Diego State, and UAB.

(Edit: Obviously, I'm a little rusty with placing teams in the NIT. Iowa and Mississippi were switched to avoid a potential conference rematch with Michigan.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bracket - January 26

Keeping this short tonite. A couple of big movers this week as Washington swept the LA schools and Virginia Tech beat Miami and previously unbeaten Wake Forest, both on the road. On the flip side, Notre Dame lost to UConn at home (plus lost to Marquette tonite) to keep its losing streak alive. Minnesota also tumbled a bit with its loss to Purdue and a close 4-point win over lowly Indiana.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bracket - January 19

A relatively stable bracket this week as last week's number one seeds held onto their seeds but in a slightly different order as Wake Forest hits the #1 spot with its victories over Clemson and Boston College. Pittsburgh is still a number one seed but #3 overall after a loss at Louisville. The Cardinals got to move up to a #3 seed.

The 12 teams of the SEC are fighting for what looks to be at most 4 spots in the tourney. This week, however, only three teams make it into the bracket: Florida (rising), Kentucky (rising), and Tennessee (falling).

USC is back in the bracket after a home sweep of the Arizona schools. In addition, Washington and Stanford strengthened their positions with wins over the Oregon schools and Cal respectively.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bracket - January 12

Wow, beat North Carolina and you're on top of the world. Lose to Harvard and Miami at home and you're out of the bracket. That's where Boston College is right now after a stunning turn of events. And it doesn't get any easier for the Eagles as the latest UNC killer, Wake Forest, comes into town.

The Mountain West had a great year on the football side, but don't look past the year its basketball teams are having. 4 teams have a realistic shot at an at-large bid (San Diego State, Utah, UNLV, and BYU) with two more needing a string of wins to be considered (New Mexico and TCU). Three are in the bracket at this point, but it's probably more realistic to have two come Selection Sunday.

It's probably a little early to speak of the bubble, but right now, the first teams out are Utah, Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Temple.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bracket - January 5

Yesterday's bracket featured a lot of movement as a lot of top teams lost last week.

The slaying of North Carolina by Boston College didn't really affect the Tar Heels too much (they kept their #1 seed) but it certainly improved the Eagles' standing. Once at the brink of the cut line, they now carry the biggest road win by anyone this season. The loss to St. Louis will stick out like a sore thumb, but a decent showing for the rest of the season will get them qualified for the tournament. (To fit with bracket principles, BC and Miami (Ohio) were moved up a seed line and Florida State and Butler were moved down a seed line.)

California was picked eighth in a weak Pac-10 this year, predicted to be on the outskirts of the NIT/CBI tournaments. But the hiring of Mike Montgomery has paid off big and now the Bears are thinking conference championship. This team is shooting more than 50% from outside the 3-point line (no team has shot even 45% in the last 15 years) and posesses wins @UNLV, @Utah, and at home against the Arizona schools. Road dates in Washington are next up.

The Big East currently has 9 teams safely in the bracket (all their teams have a 6 seed or higher) but as the teams beat each other up, look for 9 teams to be the ceiling with 8 teams being most likely. At the same time, if the SEC teams beat each other up, we could very well have 3 teams come out of there. Only Tennessee and Florida can consider themselves likely to be in. Teams in the mediocre pack (Kentucky, LSU, Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt) will need to distinguish themselves in order to get consideration.

At stated earlier, the Bracket Matrix will be updated nightly from now on. (Well, except for this Friday...I'll be away from the computer that day.) Only brackets refreshed within a week will be included.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year folks and in the college basketball world, that means conference play is about to begin in earnest. Around here, it also means the bracket activity increases. So, if you're a bracketologist that is contributing to The Bracket Matrix, here's a reminder of the rules and regulations that makes things easier for me to maintain it.

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.)

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 sites to add to this page.

3. The NCAA sets up procedures and principles for building a bracket. Follow the link on the right-hand side of this page and 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 or containing wild inconsistencies week-to-week.

4. Please date-stamp your bracket. Brackets more than 7 days old 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 65 teams. Only brackets that seed at least 48 teams will be listed in the matrix.

6. No new sites will be added to the 2009 page after March 1 unless you have appeared in previous versions of this page, 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. 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.