Like Xmas Day For A Basketball Junkie
5:30 PM Eastern DAYLIGHT Time cannot come quickly enough. Today is the day fans of 68 teams get to open their March Madness presents. Most of the teams that will be dancing know they are in, be it with an automatic bid or a for sure at-large bid. The Bubble has shrunk to just a few teams, and our Bracketology Gurus believe they have the 68 teams this morning before any games are played today. Only the seeding may be altered by today’s games, but they agree in 100% unison that the teams we will list are the 68 teams that will continue to pursue their National Championship dreams.
THE FINAL BUBBLE
Room at the Inn for six of these 10 teams, so which six make it, and which 4 are number one seeds in the NIT?
The six we have in are (alphabetically): Kansas State, Rhode Island, USC, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Xavier.
The four that will need tissues to wipe their tears are: California, Illinois State, Iowa, and Syracuse
The one that the Gurus believe should be in over one that should be out is Illinois State rather than USC. However, the Gurus are selecting based on how they predict the Selection Committee will select, and even through the rules state that teams are not chosen within a conference by conference basis, subconsciously the members will look and see that they cannot exclude both Cal and the Trojans. USC’s win over SMU is the reason the men of Troy get in over the men of Berkeley.
There are six games left to be played, and the seed lines could change based on who wins, but the Committee does not change their final seedings within the last two hours, so the final scores of some of the games will be official after the final seeding has been done. Thus, the AAC and Big Ten Championship Games will still be underway when the final seeds are completed. Only the name of the Sun Belt Conference Champion will have to be added late, and the Committee can already put the first letter of that champion on the board–a “T” (Texas State or Troy).
Here is today’s schedule.
|American Athletic Conference Championship|
|Atlantic 10 Conference Championship|
|4||Rhode Island||23-9||vs.||2||VCU||26-7||12:30 PM||CBS|
|Big Ten Conference Championship|
|Ivy League Conference Championship|
|Southeastern Conference Championship|
|Sun Belt Conference Championship|
|4||Texas St.||20-12||vs.||6||Troy||21-14||2:00 PM||ESPN2|
|5:30 PM EDT on CBS|
|First Four: March 14-15|
|Second Round: March 16-17|
|Third Round: March 18-19|
|Sweet 16: March 23-24|
|Elite Eight: March 25-26|
|Final Four: April 1|
|National Championship: April 3|
The Bracketology Gurus Field of 68
- Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina
- Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon
- Baylor, Louisville, Florida St., UCLA
- West Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame, Cincinnati
- Florida, Iowa St., Virginia, Purdue
- Wisconsin, SMU, Minnesota, Michigan
- Creighton, Arkansas, Saint Mary’s, Wichita St.
- Maryland, Miami (Fla.), VCU, Virginia Tech
- Northwestern, Oklahoma St., Dayton, Seton Hall
- Michigan St., South Carolina, Marquette, Providence
- Middle Tennessee, Xavier, Vanderbilt, USC, Wake Forest
- UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Vermont, Rhode Island, Kansas St.
- Bucknell, Princeton, Winthrop, East Tennessee St.
- Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico St., Iona, Northern Kentucky
- Texas Southern, Kent State, Jacksonville St., North Dakota
- Texas St., UNC-Central, New Orleans, South Dakota St., UC-Davis, Mount St. Mary’s
Last Four Byes: Marquette, Providence, Vanderbilt, Xavier
Last Four In (Dayton Bound): USC vs. Wake Forest, Rhode Island vs. Kansas St.
First Four Out (#1 Seeds in NIT): California, Illinois St., Iowa, and Syracuse
Coming Next: We go dark for 48 hours. Tuesday morning, we will premier PiRate Bracketnomics for 2017 with a total primer on how we handle our bracket picking and outright winners of games for you that failed to heed our warnings and chose to wager your hard-earned dollars in Vegas or offshore. FWIW, we have heard from a half-dozen of you that you have found something in our Blue Ratings that have made you handsome profits this year. We hope that continues for you, but please do not rely on just our ratings to wager money with books in Vegas. We don’t want the guilt trip when you cannot pay your April Mortgage or car payment.
In addition to Bracketnomics, we will also give you all the raw data to use for yourself. We will have a spreadsheet of all 68 teams with their Four Factors, their PiRate Specific Ratings, and then follow that up with how the teams fit in our Final Four footprint. We have backtested the data we use as far back as each statistic allows us to do, and we will include that in our preview.
Tell all your friends to check us out. The Tuesday preview is our most visited entry of the year, even more than our Super Bowl and College Playoff National Championship football editions.
But remember our axiom: We are just a bunch of math nerds doing this for fun. Please wager responsibly, or like us just wager a lunch with your friend. Also, remember that you have a better chance of being abducted by aliens from space while being struck by lightning, as you hold the winning Power Ball and Mega Millions lottery tickets while getting a kiss from a supermodel (all at the same time) than you do of picking a perfect bracket.
Note: Special Congrats go to Renato Nunez on his impressive home run at Hohokam Park yesterday against the Rangers.