The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 12, 2023

PiRate Ratings College Basketball — Sunday, March 12, 2023

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:00 am
PurduePenn St.6.2
AlabamaTexas A&M7.3

Sunday’s Conference Championship Games

All Times Eastern DAYLIGHT Time (Did you remember to Spring forward?)

American Athletic Conference — Fort Worth, TX

3:15 PM on ESPN

#1 Houston (31-2) vs. #2 Memphis (25-8)

Atlantic 10 Conference — Brooklyn

1 PM on CBS

#1 VCU (26-7) vs. #2 Dayton (22-11)

Big Ten — Chicago

3:30 PM on CBS

#1 Purdue (28-5) vs. #10 Penn St. (22-12)

Ivy League — Princeton, NJ

12:00 PM on ESPN2

#1 Yale (21-7) vs. #2 Princeton (20-8)

Southeastern Conference — Nashville

1 PM on ESPN

#1 Alabama (28-5) vs. #2 Texas A&M (25-8)

Selection Sunday Shows

6 PM on CBS

7 PM on ESPN

March 11, 2023

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Schedule

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:30 am

Saturday, March 11, 2023 All Times Eastern Standard

America East Conference — Higher Seed Hosts


#2 UMass Lowell (26-7) at #1 Vermont (22-10)

American Athletic Conference — Fort Worth, TX

Semifinals (ESPN2)

#1 Houston (30-2) vs. #4 Cincinnati (21-11) 3 PM

#2 Memphis (24-8) vs. #3 Tulane (20-10) 5:30 PM

Atlantic 10 Conference — Brooklyn

Semifinals (CBSSN)

#1 VCU (25-7) vs. #4 Saint Louis (21-11) 1 PM

#2 Dayton (21-11) vs. #3 Fordham (25-7) 3:30 PM

Atlantic Coast Conference — Greensboro, NC


#3 Virginia (25-6) vs. #4 Duke (25-8)

Big 12 Conference — Kansas City


#1 Kansas (27-6) vs. #2 Texas (25-8)

Big East Conference — New York


#1 Marquette (27-6) vs. #2 Xavier (25-8)

Big Ten Conference — Chicago

Semifinals (CBS)

#1 Purdue (27-5) vs. #13 Ohio St, (16-18) 1 PM

#3 Indiana (22-10) vs. #10 Penn St. (21-12) 3:30 PM

Big West Conference — Henderson, NV (Las Vegas)


#2 UC Santa Barbara (26-7) vs. #4 Cal St. Fullerton (20-12)

Conference USA — Frisco, TX


#1 Florida Atlantic (30-3) vs. #3 UAB (25-8)

Ivy League — Princeton, NJ

Semifinals (ESPNU)

#1 Yale (20-7) vs. #4 Cornell (17-10) 11 AM

#2 Princeton (19-8) vs. #3 Penn (17-12) 1:30 PM

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — Atlantic City, NJ


#1 Iona (26-7) vs. #11 Marist (13-19)

Mid-American Conference — Cleveland


#1 Toledo (27-6) vs. #2 Kent St. (27-6)

Mideastern Athletic Conference — Norfolk, VA


#1 Howard (20-12) vs. #3 Norfolk St. (22-10)

Mountain West Conference — Las Vegas


#1 San Diego St. (26-6) vs. #3 Utah St. (26-7)

Pac-12 Conference — Las Vegas


#1 UCLA (29-4) vs. #2 Arizona (27-6)

Southeastern Conference — Nashville

Semifinals (ESPN)

#1 Alabama (27-5) vs. #4 Missouri (24-8) 2 PM

#2 Texas A&M (24-8) vs. #6 Vanderbilt (20-13) 4 PM

Southwestern Athletic Conference — Birmingham, AL


#2 Grambling (24-8) vs. #8 Texas Southern (13-20)

Western Athletic Conference — Las Vegas


#3 Southern Utah (22-11) vs. #5 Grand Canyon (23-11)

Dance Tickets Punched

Atlantic Sun: Kennesaw St.

Big Sky: Montana St.

Big South: UNC Asheville

Colonial: Charleston

Horizon: Northern Kentucky

Missouri Valley: Drake

Northeast: Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley: SE Missouri St.

Patriot: Colgate

Southern: Furman

Southland: Texas A&M-CC

Summit: Oral Roberts

Sun Belt: Louisiana

West Coast: Gonzaga

March 10, 2023

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Schedules

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:45 am

Friday, March 10, 2023 All Times Eastern Standard

American Athletic Conference — Fort Worth, TX


#1 Houston (29-2) vs. #9 East Carolina (16-16) 1 PM (ESPN2)

#4 Cincinnati (20-11) vs. #5 Temple (16-15) 3 PM (ESPN2)

#2 Memphis (23-8) vs. #7 Central Florida (18-13) 7 PM (ESPNU)

#3 Tulane (19-10) vs. #6 Wichita St. (17-14) 9 PM (ESPNU)

Atlantic Coast Conference — Greensboro, NC

Semifinals (ESPN2)

#1 Miami (Fla) (25-6) vs. #4 Duke (24-8) 7 PM

#2 Virginia (24-6) vs. #3 Clemson (23-9) 9:30 PM

Big East Conference — New York

Semifinals (FS1)

#1 Marquette (26-6) vs. #4 Connecticut (25-7) 6:30 PM

#2 Xavier (24-8) vs. #3 Creighton (21-11) 9 PM

Big Ten Conference — Chicago

Quarterfinals (Big Ten Network)

#1 Purdue (26-5) vs. #9 Rutgers (19-13) 12 PM

#4 Michigan St. (19-11) vs. #13 Ohio St. (15-18) 2:30 PM

#2 Northwestern (21-10) vs. #10 Penn St. (20-12) 6:30 PM

#3 Indiana (21-10) vs/ #6 Maryland (21-11) 9 PM

Big West Conference — Henderson, NV (Las Vegas)


#1 UC-Irvine (23-10) vs. #4 Cal St. Fullerton (19-12) 9 PM (ESPN+)

#2 UC Santa Barbara (25-7) vs. #3 UC Riverside (22-11) 11:30 PM (ESPNU)

Conference USA — Frisco, TX

Semifinals (CBSSN)

#1 Florida Atlantic (29-3) vs. #5 Middle Tennessee (19-13) 12:30 PM

#2 North Texas (26-6) vs. #3 UAB (24-8) 3 PM

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — Atlantic City, NJ

Semifinals (ESPNews)

#1 Iona (25-7) vs. #5 Niagara (16-14) 6 PM

#10 Saint Peter’s (14-17) vs. #11 Marist (12-19) 8:30 PM

Mid-American Conference — Cleveland

Semifinals (CBSSN)

#1 Toledo (26-6) vs. #5 Ohio U (19-13) 5 PM

#2 Kent St. (26-6) vs. #3 Akron (22-10) 7:30 PM

Mideastern Athletic Conference — Norfolk, VA

Semifinals (ESPN+)

#1 Howard (20-12) vs. #4 Maryland Eastern Shore (18-12) 6 PM

#2 North Carolina Central (18-11) vs. #3 Norfolk St. (21-10) 8:30 PM

Mountain West Conference — Las Vegas

Semifinals (CBSSN)

#1 San Diego St. (25-6) vs. #5 San Jose St. (20-12) 9:30 PM

#2 Boise St. (24-8) vs. #3 Utah St. (25-7) 12 AM

Pac-12 Conference — Las Vegas


#1 UCLA (28-4) vs. #4 Oregon (19-13) 9 PM (Pac-12 Network)

#2 Arizona (26-6) vs. #3 Arizona St. (22-11) 11:30 PM (ESPN)

Southeastern Conference — Nashville


#1 Alabama (26-5) vs. #9 Mississippi St. (21-11) 1 PM (ESPN)

#4 Missouri (23-8) vs. #5 Tennessee (23-9) 3 PM (ESPN)

#2 Texas A&M (23-8) vs. #7 Arkansas (19-13) (SEC Network)

#3 Kentucky (21-10) vs. #6 Vanderbilt (19-13) (SEC Network)

Southwestern Athletic Conference — Birmingham, AL

Semifinals (ESPN+)

#5 Alabama A&M (15-17) vs. #8 Texas Southern (12-20) 3 PM

#2 Grambling (23-8) vs. #3 Jackson St. (14-18) 9:30 PM

Western Athletic Conference — Las Vegas

Semifinals (ESPN+)

#1 Sam Houston St. (25-6) vs. #5 Grand Canyon (22-11) 9 PM

#2 Utah Valley (25-7) vs. #3 Southern Utah (21-11) 11 PM

Dance Tickets Punched

Atlantic Sun: Kennesaw St.

Big Sky: Montana St.

Big South: UNC Asheville

Colonial: Charleston

Horizon: Northern Kentucky

Missouri Valley: Drake

Northeast: Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley: SE Missouri St.

Patriot: Colgate

Southern: Furman

Southland: Texas A&M-CC

Summit: Oral Roberts

Sun Belt: Louisiana

West Coast: Gonzaga

March 9, 2023

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Schedule

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:06 am

Thursday, March 9, 2023 — All Times Eastern Standard

American Athletic Conference — Fort Worth, TX

1st Round (ESPNU)

#8 South Florida (14-17) vs. #9 East Carolina (15-16) 12:30 PM

#7 Central Florida (17-13) vs. #10 SMU (10-21) 2:30 PM

#6 Wichita St. (16-14) vs. #11 Tulsa (5-24) 7 PM

Atlantic 10 Conference — Brooklyn

Quarterfinals (USA Network)

#1 VCU (24-7) vs. #8 Davidson (16-15) 11:30 AM

#4 Saint Louis (20-11) vs. #5 George Mason (20-12) 2 PM

#2 Dayton (20-11) vs. #10 Saint Joseph’s (16-16) 5 PM

#3 Fordham (24-7) vs. #11 La Salle (15-18) 7:30 PM

Atlantic Coast Conference — Greensboro, NC

Quarterfinals (ESPN or ESPN2)

#1 Miami (Fla) (24-6) vs. #9 Wake Forest (19-13) 12 PM

#4 Duke (23-8) vs. #5 Pittsburgh (22-10) 2:30 PM

#2 Virginia (23-6) vs. #7 North Carolina (20-12) 7 PM

#3 Clemson (22-9) vs. #6 North Carolina St. (23-9) 9:30 PM

Big 12 Conference — Kansas City

Quarterfinals (ESPN or ESPN2)

#4 Baylor (22-9) vs. #5 Iowa St. (18-12) 1:30 PM

#1 Kansas (25-6) vs. #8 West Virginia (19-13) 4 PM

#2 Texas (23-8) vs. #7 Oklahoma St. (17-14) 8 PM

#3 Kansas St. (23-8) vs. #6 TCU (20-11) 10:30 PM

Big East Conference — New York

Quarterfinals (FS1)

#1 Marquette (25-6) vs. #8 St. John’s (18-14) 12 PM

#4 Connecticut (24-7) vs. #5 Providence (21-10) 2:30 PM

#2 Xavier (23-8) vs. #10 DePaul (10-22) 7 PM

#3 Creighton (20-11) vs. #6 Vilanova (17-15) 9:30 PM

Big Ten Conference — Chicago

2nd Round (Big Ten Network)

#8 Michigan (17-14) vs. #9 Rutgers (18-13) 1 PM

#5 Iowa (19-12) vs. #13 Ohio St. (15-18) 3:30 PM

#7 Illinois (20-11) vs. #10 Penn St. (19-12) 7:30 PM

#6 Maryland (20-11) vs. #14 Minnesota (9-21) 10 PM

Big West Conference — Henderson, NV (Las Vegas)

Quarterfinals (ESPN+)

#1 UC-Irvine (22-10) vs. #8 Cal St. Bakersfield (11-21) 3 PM

#4 Cal St. Fullerton (18-12) vs. #5 Hawaii (22-10) 5:30 PM

#2 UC Santa Barbara (24-7) vs. #10 Cal Poly (8-24) 9 PM

#3 UC Riverside (21-11) vs. #6 Cal Davis (18-13) 11:30 PM

Conference USA — Frisco, TX

Quarterfinals (ESPN+)

#1 Florida Atlantic (28-3) vs. #8 Western Kentucky (17-15) 7:30 PM

#4 Middle Tennessee (18-13) vs. #5 Charlotte (18-13) 8 PM

#2 North Texas (25-6) vs. #10 Louisiana Tech (15-17) 10 PM

#3 UAB (23-8) vs. #6 Rice (18-14) 10:30 PM

Tournament uses two courts separated by giant curtain

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — Atlantic City, NJ

Quarterfinals (Day 2) (ESPN+)

#3 Quinnipiac (20-11) vs. #11 Marist (11-19) 7 PM

#4 Siena (17-14) vs. #5 Niagara (15-14) 9:30 PM

Mid-American Conference — Cleveland

Quarterfinals (ESPN+)

#1 Toledo (25-6) vs. #8 Miami (O) (12-19) 11 AM

#4 Ball St. (20-11) vs. #5 Ohio U (18-13) 1:30 PM

#2 Kent St. (25-6) vs. #7 Northern Illinois (13-18) 4PM

#3 Akron (21-10) vs. #6 Buffalo (15-16) 6:30 PM

Mideastern Athletic Conference — Norfolk, VA

Quarterfinals (Day 2) (ESPN+)

#4 Maryland Eastern Shore (17-12) vs. #5 Morgan St. (15-15) 6 PM

#3 Norfolk St. (20-10) vs. #6 Coppin St. (9-22) 8 PM

Mountain West Conference — Las Vegas

Quarterfinals (CBSSN)

#1 San Diego St. (24-6) vs. #8 Colorado St. (15-17) 3 PM

#4 Nevada (22-9) vs. #5 San Jose St. (19-12) 5:30 PM

#2 Boise St. (23-8) vs. #7 UNLV (19-12) 9 PM

#3 Utah St. (24-7) vs. #6 New Mexico (22-10) 11:30 PM

Pac-12 Conference — Las Vegas

Quarterfinals (1st 3 games Pac-12 Network/Game 4 ESPN)

#1 UCLA (27-4) vs. #9 Colorado (17-15) 3 PM

#4 Oregon (18-13) vs. #5 Washington St. (17-15) 5:30 PM

#2 Arizona (25-6) vs. #10 Stanford (14-18) 9 PM

#3 USC (22-9) vs. #6 Arizona St. (22-9) 11:30 PM

Southeastern Conference — Nashville

Quarterfinals (SEC Network)

#8 Florida (16-15) vs. #9 Mississippi St. (20-11) 1 PM

#5 Tennessee (22-9) vs. #13 Ole Miss (12-20) 3 PM

#7 Auburn (20-11) vs. #10 Arkansas (19-12) 7 PM

#6 Vanderbilt (18-13) vs. #14 LSU (15-18) 9 PM

Southwestern Athletic Conference — Birmingham, AL

Quarterfinals (Day 2) (ESPN+)

#3 Jackson St. (13-18) vs. #6 Prairie View A&M (13-18) 9:30 PM

#4 Southern (15-16) vs. #5 Alabama A&M (14-17) 3 PM

Western Athletic Conference — Las Vegas

Quarterfinals (ESPN+)

#1 Sam Houston St. (24-6) vs. #8 Cal Baptist (17-15) 3 PM

#4 Seattle (20-11) vs. #5 Grand Canyon (21-11) 5:30 PM

#2 Utah Valley (24-7) vs. #7 Tarleton St. (17-15) 9 PM

#3 Southern Utah (20-11) vs. #11 Utah Tech (14-18) 11:30 PM

Automatic Qualifiers

Atlantic Sun: Kennesaw St.

Big Sky: Montana St.

Big South: UNC Asheville

Colonial: Charleston

Horizon: Northern Kentucky

Missouri Valley: Drake

Northeast: Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley: SE Missouri St.

Patriot: Colgate

Southern: Furman

Southland: Texas A&M-CC

Summit: Oral Roberts

Sun Belt: Louisiana

West Coast: Gonzaga

March 8, 2023

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Schedule

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:05 am

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

All Times Eastern Standard

Atlantic 10 Conference – Brooklyn

2nd Round (USA Network)

#8 Davidson (15-15) vs. #9 St. Bonaventure (14-17)  11:30 AM

#5 George Mason (19-12) vs. #12 Richmond (15-17)  2 PM

#7 George Washington (16-15) vs. #10 Saint Joseph’s (15-16)  5 PM

#6 Duquesne (20-11) vs. #11 La Salle (14-18)  7:30 PM

Atlantic Coast Conference — Greensboro, NC

2nd Round

#8 Syracuse (17-14) vs. #9 Wake Forest (18-13)  12 PM (ESPN)

#5 Pittsburgh (21-10) vs. #13 Georgia Tech (15-17)  2:30 PM (ESPN)

#7 North Carolina (19-12) vs. #10 Boston College (16-16) 7 PM (ESPN2/ESPNU)

#6 North Carolina St. (22-9) vs. #11 Virginia Tech (19-13) 9:30 PM (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Big 12 Conference – Kansas City

1st Round

#8 West Virginia (18-13) vs. #9 Texas Tech (16-15)  7 PM (ESPN2/U)

#7 Oklahoma St. (17-14) vs. #10 Oklahoma (15-16) 9:30 PM (ESPN2/U)

Big East Conference – New York

1st Round (FS1)

#8 St. John’s (17-14) vs. #9 Butler (14-17)  3 PM

#7 Seton Hall (17-14) vs. #10 DePaul (9-22)  5:30 PM

#6 Villanova (16-15) vs. #11 Georgetown (7-24) 8 PM

Big Sky Conference – Boise, ID


#2 Montana St. (24-9) vs. #9 Northern Arizona (12-22) 11:30 PM

Big Ten Conference — Chicago

1st Round (Big Ten Network)

#12 Wisconsin (17-13) vs. #13 Ohio St. (13-18)  6:30 PM

#11 Nebraska (16-15) vs. #14 Minnesota (8-21)  9 PM

Conference USA – Frisco, TX

1st Round (ESPN+)

#8 Western Kentucky (16-15) vs. #9 UTEP (14-17)  6:30 PM

#7 Florida Intl. (14-17) vs. #10 Louisiana Tech (14-17) 9 PM

#6 Rice (17-14) vs. #11 UTSA (10-21) 9:30 PM

CUSA uses a 2-court setup where two games can be played simultaneously

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference – Atlantic City, NJ

Quarterfinals Day 1 (ESPN+)

#1 Iona (24-7) vs. #8 Mount St. Mary’s (13-19) 7 PM

#2 Rider (16-13) vs. #11 Marist (13-19)  9:30 PM

Mideastern Athletic Conference – Norfolk, VA

Quarterfinals Day 1 (ESPN+)

#1 Howard (19-12) vs. #8 South Carolina St. (5-25)  6 PM

#2 UNC Central (17-11) vs. #7 Delaware St. (6-23) 8 PM

Mountain West Conference – Las Vegas

1st Round (Mountain West Network)

#8 Colorado St. (14-17) vs. #9 Fresno St. (11-19)  2 PM

#7 UNLV (18-12) vs. #10 Air Force (14-17)  4:30 PM

#6 New Mexico (21-10) vs. #11 Wyoming (9-21)  7 PM

Pac-12 Conference – Las Vegas

1st Round (Pac 12 Network)

#8 Washington (16-15) vs. #9 Colorado (16-15)  3 PM

#5 Washington St. (16-15) vs. #12 California (3-28)  5:30 PM

#7 Utah (17-14) vs. #10 Stanford (13-18)  9 PM

#6 Arizona St. (20-11) vs. #11 Oregon St. (11-20)  11:30 PM

Patriot League – Colgate Hosts


#1 Colgate (25-8) vs. #6 Lafayette (11-22)  7:30 PM

Southeastern Conference – Nashville

1st Round (SEC Network)

#12 South Carolina (11-20) vs. #13 Ole Miss (11-20) 7 PM

#11 Georgia (16-15) vs. #14 LSU (13-18)  9 PM

Southland Conference – Lake Charles, LA


#1 Texas A&M-CC (22-10) vs. #2 Northwestern St. (22-10)  5 PM

Southwestern Athletic Conference – Birmingham, AL

Quarterfinals Day 1 (ESPN+)

#2 Grambling (22-8) vs. #7 Bethune Cookman (12-19)  3 PM

#1 Alcorn St. (18-12) vs. #8 Texas Southern (11-20) 9:30 PM

Still to Come: Updated Bracketology

August 18, 2022

Big Ten Conference Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:00 am

Will the Big Ten Conference become the Big Billion? Rumors from multiple sources indicate that this league is on the precipice of signing a TV and media rights package that will be north of a billion dollars. This deal does not include Notre Dame. Should the Irish end up in this league, the Big Ten will dwarf even the SEC in money paid out per school.

USC and UCLA are set to join the league in two years. Whether other teams join as well is anybody’s guess.

Both divisions this year figure to have competitive races. Ohio State is the odds-on favorite to win the East and the league overall, but there are multiple teams capable of upsetting the Buckeyes. Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State are strong once again, and it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that at least one of these contenders upsets the Buckeyes.

Maryland has an easy out of conference schedule and has a good chance to gain bowl eligibility. Rutgers and Indiana will bring up the rear.

In the West, five different teams could contend for the division title. Purdue has the benefit of avoiding Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State from the East. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa are all about equal in talent this year, while Nebraska could finally return to the plus side of .500. Illinois and Northwestern are one or more excellent recruiting classes away from being contenders.

Big Ten Preseason PiRate Ratings

East Division
Ohio St.128.6126.6129.5128.2
Michigan St.118.9117.3116.7117.6
Penn St.115.0114.5114.0114.5

West Division

Big Ten112.7112.0111.4112.0

Preseason Official Big Ten Media Poll

#East1st PlaceOverall
1Ohio St.36252
3Penn St.0169
4Michigan St.0162

#West1st PlaceOverall

Ohio St.36

The PiRate Ratings are designed to look at just the next week’s schedule of games and not to use to look forward. Nevertheless, here are the predicted won-loss records for the league.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

Ohio St.9-013-0
Penn St.6-38-4
Michigan St.6-39-3


August 13, 2022

FBS Independents Preview

In 1971, there were 34 major college independents playing football. In 2022, there are seven independents, and the ranks are going to shrink soon. Liberty and New Mexico State will join Conference USA next year. BYU is headed to the Big 12. The question remains what will Notre Dame do?

Can the Irish afford to remain an independent? By the time the season starts, we may know the answer. With NBC rumored to be ready to pay big bucks to get a weekly Big Ten game in prime time, there may be little need to offer Notre Dame the vault the Irish desire. The Big Ten may be on the precipice of paying out 9-figures to its teams. If the Irish are only offered 30 to 40 million dollars, they may be willing to become Big Ten team number 17.

Of the seven indies this year, four figure to be good, and three will struggle to win three ball games apiece.

FBS Independents PiRate Ratings

Notre Dame119.0117.0118.9118.3
New Mexico St.74.877.174.075.3

There are no official Independent Media Polls like there are for conferences, but I have included the consensus of seven of my friends that produce computer ratings like the PiRate Ratings.

Computer Power Rating Poll

#West1st PlaceOverall
1Notre Dame648
5N. Mexico St.018
7U Mass09

The PiRate Rating are designed to be used for the next week of football games and not meant to be used to predict won-loss records. Nevertheless, here are the projected won-loss records.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

Notre Dame11-1
New Mexico St.3-9

August 8, 2022

The PiRates Are Leaving The Port For 2022-23

It’s Football Time In Tennessee! Actually it’s football time everywhere, but when you live in the Volunteer State and spent 30+ years listening to the radio play-by-play GOAT, John Ward, say that phrase 11 or 12 times a season, it becomes the adrenaline boosting tagline to put one in the mood for “THE SPORT” that matters.

College football as we know it has reached the dawn of evolutionary change. Massive restructuring of the game is forthcoming, and some of that change will be apparent this season, as the Sun Belt Conference has more teams at the expense of Conference USA. With Texas and Oklahoma possibly becoming SEC members as early as next season, and USC and UCLA making the move to the Big Ten, there are a couple more major dominoes that could fall and send the conventional football alignment falling en masse.

I have tried to stay in the loop with more than a dozen insider contacts developed from my years in sports journalism in radio, TV, and in print. There are many differing opinions about what could happen and what they have heard is in the works. However, nearly every one of them agree on one thing: everything is in a holding pattern concerning the move beyond 16 teams in the Big Ten and SEC, until Notre Dame learns what their potential media contract will be and what the Big Ten media contract will be.

Notre Dame is getting $22 million from NBC and $12 million from the ACC. Next year, the final year of that contract with NBC, it will rise by $2.5 million. The Big Ten is being rumored to distribute possibly $1.2 billion in media revenue share. Notre Dame is seeking $75 million a year from NBC to renew the contract. If the offer is not in that ballpark, the Irish are likely to bite the bullet and join the Big Ten. One or two Southern insiders believes Notre Dame has not completely eliminated the possibility of seeking SEC membership, but my Midwest contacts say that their fan base will demand Big Ten membership so that travel will be minimized.

Let me address something else that has come to my attention. In various ways, I receive comments from others asking what I think about the big conferences forcing the small private schools out of their leagues. It usually goes something like, “Why does the SEC allow Vanderbilt to remain in the conference, when they sponge millions of dollars and don’t contribute much to the total pot?”

Three private schools have departed the SEC through the last eight decades. Sewanee, Georgia Tech, and Tulane left on their own account. Tech and Tulane would gladly return to the league today if they could. Vandy is not leaving the SEC, and the SEC is not kicking the Commodores out either. Even though all this realignment and expansion is 100% about football, and Vanderbilt football is basically a perpetual expansion team, their value to the conference comes in multiple essential ways. First, the league now considers Nashville their most essential city in their footprint. The 2023 Football Media Days will relocate from Atlanta to the Music City. The league’s annual postseason men’s basketball tournament is under contract for Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for many years to come. Yes, the Tennessee Vols are the top college team in the city, but Knoxville is 185 miles to the east.

There is another major reason that every conference wants to have a private school as a member. When every conference member is a public institution, then the entire league is subject to open records laws. With just one private school in the league, that school closes those records. The SEC isn’t going to give up their covert operating methods.

Now for the real reason that 99% of you come to this site to read. Beginning Tuesday, August 9, 2022, the annual PiRate Ratings’ Conference Previews will begin posting here one league at a time, debuting in order of lowest-ranked conference to highest-ranked conference.

Here is the schedule for each preview:

August 9: Conference USA

August 10: Mid-American Conference

August 11: Sun Belt Conference

August 12: Mountain West Conference

August 13: FBS Independents

August 14: American Athletic Conference

August 15: Pac-12 Conference

August 16: Atlantic Coast Conference

August 17: Big 12 Conference

August 18: Big Ten Conference

August 19: Southeastern Conference

March 13, 2022

Sunday Morning From The Hull

This early Sunday morning on the PiRate ship, we are hunkered down in the hull with a spreadsheet full of numbers. After New Mexico State, Arizona, and Cal St. Fullerton enjoyed late night trophy raisings in Las Vegas, we added the updated numbers to our Bracketology and narrowed the field of hopefuls down to 70 and then realized we had one more team that maybe should not have been sent to the SS NIT and one team that maybe shouldn’t be considered a lock for the Dance. So, we are sitting at 72 teams this morning. There are six teams at the bottom of the Bubble, and three of them will be happy around 6:30 PM EDT, while three will have to settle for a possible trip to the flowerless garden in the Big Apple rather than the Garden District in the Crescent City.

The six bubblers this morning (in alphabetical order) are: Rutgers, SMU, Texas A&M, Xavier, Wake Forest, and Wyoming. Let us add the last potential bid-stealer to this formula. If Richmond upsets Davidson today in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Game, the Spiders will receive an automatic bid, while Davidson receives an at-large invitation. That will reduce one spot at the bottom of the Bubble. Additionally, if Texas A&M upsets Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, the Aggies will move ahead of the Last Four in, as they would be guaranteed immunity from going to Dayton early next week. That would then take a team that currently has a bye and drop them into First Four purgatory.

By 3:00 PM EDT, we will know whether Richmond secured a spot in the Field of 68 and if Texas A&M is either an automatic bid-earner or Bubble team in the last decisions to be made. One of our fine Buckaroo lasses then pointed out that the outcome of the American Athletic Conference Championship Game between Houston and Memphis could affect the resume of SMU. A Memphis win might drag the Mustangs along in the Tiger draft. Additionally, the Iowa-Purdue Big Ten Championship Game tips off after 3:00 PM EDT, and both teams’ seed line could move one spot from this game. A Purdue loss and a Tennessee win could see the Boilermakers and Vols switching spots on the seed line. Iowa could possibly jump up one spot with a win, especially if Houston loses today.

Therefore, our final Bracketology prediction will go live only once the outcomes of the last two games are known. If both games are blowouts, we will go ahead and publish the final prediction before the games end. If either game is undecided until the closing minutes, then expect our final Bracketology to go live within 10 minutes of the final horn.

Coming Monday afternoon (Eastern Time Zone), our first installment of Bracketnomics for the 2022 NCAA Tournament will post here. This will be the explanation for how to go about picking your brackets using analytics that have been back-tested for maximum accuracy. We cannot guarantee you will win your bracket-picking contests, but we have a history of many of our subscribers doing that over the two decades this page has existed. And, you cannot beat the price of this information–only the time it takes you to read it.

There is one small warning for this year: Using the criteria we rely on, there is way too much parity in this forthcoming tournament. Usually, five to eight teams have Final Four worthy resumes. As of this morning, only two teams have such wonders. That means that two teams that do not have Final Four resumes are guaranteed to make this year’s Final Four. It also means that a team like Connecticut in both 2011 and 2014 might be poised to make a run to the National Championship Game, and it is a much higher probability that a Mid-Major makes the Final Four like Loyola, Wichita State, Virginia Commonwealth, Butler, and George Mason have done in this Century and Indiana State and Penn did in 1979. If you are wondering when was the last time a team from outside of a power conference actually won the tournament, it was UNLV in 1990, 32 years ago. Gonzaga has come close twice, losing in the final game to North Carolina and to Baylor. Butler came within a final shot rolling on the rim and falling off of winning against Duke.

This shapes up to be a very exciting NCAA Tournament this year. There will be a lot of interesting story lines, so today, we are informing you that you probably feel a bit off. By Thursday morning, you just won’t be able to get up and going, and you will have to call in sick to work with a 48-hour bug, forcing you to take sick days on Thursday and Friday. Being self-employed or a member of sports media through the years, I was fortunate not to have to get Madness Fever.

Today’s Conference Tournament Schedule

All Times Eastern Daylight

12:00 PM on ESPN2: Ivy League Championship Game

Princeton vs. Yale

1:00 PM on ESPN: Southeastern Conference Championship Game

Tennessee vs. Texas A&M

1:00 PM on CBS: Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Game

Davidson vs. Richmond

3:15 PM on ESPN: Conference USA Championship Game

Houston vs. Memphis

3:30 PM on CBS: Big Ten Conference Championship Game

Iowa vs. Purdue

6:00 PM on CBS: Selection Sunday Show

March 12, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Saturday, March 12, 2022

Saturday’s Conference Tournaments
America East Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher Seed at Home
VermontMaryland Baltimore Co.14.3
American Athletic Conference–Semifinals
Fort Worth, TX
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Atlantic 10 Conference–Semifinals
Washington, D.C.
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
DavidsonSaint Louis0.2
Atlantic Coast Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
DukeVirginia Tech5.6
Big 12 Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Kansas City
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
KansasTexas Tech1.1
Big East Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
New York
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Big Sky Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Boise, ID
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Montana St.Northern Colorado3.4
Big Ten Conference–Semifinals
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
PurdueMichigan St.5.4
Big West Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Henderson, NV
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Long Beach St.Cal St. Fullerton-0.5
Frisco, TX
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
UABLouisiana Tech4.8
Ivy League–Semifinals
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Atlantic City, NJ
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Saint Peter’sMonmouth1.8
Mid-American Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Kent St.Akron0.4
Mideastern Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Norfolk, VA
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Norfolk St.Coppin St.8.1
Mountain West Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Las Vegas
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Boise St.San Diego St.-1.4
Pac-12 Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Las Vegas
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Southeastern Conference–Semifinals
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
ArkansasTexas A&M5.3
Southland Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Katy, TX
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Southeast LouisianaTexas A&M-CC-1.6
Southwestern Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Texas SouthernAlcorn St.4.5
Western Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Las Vegas
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
New Mexico St.Abilene Christian3.1

Dance Tickets Punched
1Murray St.Ohio Valley27-2
2LongwoodBig South26-6
3Loyola (Chi.)Missouri Valley25-7
5Georgia St.Sun Belt18-10
6Jacksonville St.Atlantic Sun21-10
8DelawareColonial Athletic22-12
9Wright St.Horizon21-13
10South Dakota St.Summit30-4
11GonzagaWest Coast26-3

Hunkered Down In The Hull

The PiRates have had their tea and bickies and swabbed the deck. It’s time to head down to the hull and hunker down with typical PiRate ship tools. We have no torpedos and no swords. Our weapons are power ratings, strengths of schedule, quad ratings, and strengths of record. We will be carefully perusing the field to see which team to pillage and which team to let pass into the Dancing waters.

The Florida Gators have been scuttled and sunk to the bottom where they have met the sandy silt known as NIT. Texas A&M just might pass through if the Aggies can fire more shots at the SS Razorback today then they take on.

With a late Winter storm plunging most of the Eastern half of the nation back into January-like weather, this is a good day to stay indoors and watch teams qualify for the Big Dance. We will be looking at a lot of Bubble teams as well as teams that can greatly alter our Bracketology.

Our final Bracketology prediction will be published here tomorrow afternoon. Depending on the games to be played after 1 PM EDT (yes, remember it will be D and not S tomorrow), we may have to have two different brackets prepared and waiting to use one over the other depending on the outcome of the final games. Fortunately, almost all the Cinderella teams that could only get into the Field of 68 by qualifying automatically lost yesterday. Colorado, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Cincinnati, and Central Florida helped teams like Wake Forest, BYU, and Xavier feel a little better when they bowed out of their tournaments. Indiana probably worked their way into the field by topping Michigan and Illinois, so the Hoosiers can win or lose today and tomorrow and not change the teams getting bids.

There are still some potential bid-stealers where the top seed could lose and still get an at-large bid, but if the top seed wins, the conference in question will not receive the extra bid. In the Atlantic 10, Davidson is now a lock to make the field without winning their tournament. If Saint Louis wins today, or if today’s Richmond-Dayton winner beats Davidson tomorrow, the A-10 will get one extra team in the field, and one bubble will burst. In the American Athletic, should Tulane upset Houston today and then beat the winner of today’s SMU-Memphis game, the AAC will receive an extra bid, and another bubble will burst. If Tulane is put out of the tournament today, then the only game that will affect the 68 teams tomorrow would be the A-10 Championship Game. That game should end between 2:45 and 3:00 PM EDT, so our final projections should publish soon after the conclusion of that game and possibly earlier if this game is a blowout.

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