The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 13, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday’s Conference Tournaments
American Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Fort Worth, TX
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Atlantic 10 Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Washington, D.C.
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Big Ten Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Southeastern Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
TennesseeTexas A&M7.8

Final Bracketology coming this afternoon after SEC Championship Game Concludes

After last night’s late games on the West Coast concluded, our Bracketology hopefuls shrunk to 70 teams. We still have to eliminate two teams from our field of 68 and then do a final seeding after the conclusion of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The outcome of that game will most definitely affect the field, possibly changing who plays an opening round “play-in” game in Dayton.

March 12, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology–Saturday Morning, the day before Selection Sunday

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:27 am
3VillanovaTennesseeTexas TechWisconsin
6Saint Mary’sLSUAlabamaColorado St.
7Michigan St.Boise St.Ohio St.USC
8San Diego St.TCUMurray St.Creighton
9MemphisNorth CarolinaIowa St.Seton Hall
10MarquetteDavidsonLoyola (Chi.)San Francisco
11IndianaMiami (Fla.)Notre DameMichigan
12South Dakota St.UABSMUWyomingRutgersVirginia Tech
13VermontChattanoogaNew Mexico St.Princeton
14Kent St.Montana St.LongwoodColgate
15Long Beach St.MonmouthDelawareJacksonville St.
16Wright St.BryantNorfolk St.Georgia St.Texas SouthernTexas A&M-CC

Teams That Can Steal a Bid (Alphabetical Order)

Saint Louis
Texas A&M

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.

January 28, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

4IllinoisTennesseeTexas TechMichigan St.
5LSUProvidenceOhio St.Connecticut
7XavierIowa St.IowaColorado St.
8Wake ForestIndianaBYUMiami (Fla.)
9Saint Mary’sLoyola (Chi.)Boise St.Florida St.
10ArkansasNorth CarolinaOregonDavidson
11CreightonMurray St.TCUOklahoma
12UABIonaSan FranciscoWyomingSan Diego St.Notre Dame
13ChattanoogaToledoVermontSouth Dakota St.
14WagnerPrincetonSeattleJacksonville St.
15Cleveland St.Appalachian St.Cal St. FullertonWeber St.
16LongwoodColgateNorfolk St.SouthernUNC-WilmingtonNew Orleans

Best Of The Rest

69Mississippi St.
72West Virginia
73Seton Hall
74Texas A&M


I try to mimic what the Selection Committee Does each year. I weigh several factors, including the NET Rankings, Strength of Record, a few select computer ratings (not my own, since as far as I know, only one former Committee member has ever acknowledged knowledge of the PiRate Ratings), wins against Quadrant 1 opponents and Quadrant 2 opponents versus losses against Quadrant 4 opponents, results away from home, and to a lesser extent conference record, and even though they will never admit it, there is a political aspect involved. The eighth best team in the Atlantic Coast or Big Ten Conference will beat out the second best team in the Missouri Valley Conference nine out of ten times when their resumes are similar.

Every year, the selection criteria claimed to be the most important by the Committee changes a little to fit what I believe are the desired results. For instance, in one year, in order to include a team like Syracuse at 19-14 over a team like Murray State at 29-4 that lost in the OVC Tournament to Belmont, the Committee referred to the fact that Syracuse went 2-8 against Quad 1 teams on the road, while Murray State went 1-1, and thus Syracuse’s schedule was so much stronger.

Then the next year, Kansas State gets in at 19-14 over Wofford at 30-4 that lost in the SoCon Tournament Championship to UNC-Greensboro; the Committee ignores the fact that Wofford went 5-2 against Quadrant 1 opponents while Kansas State went 3-9. Now, they state that Kansas State’s overall schedule strength was number 11, while Wofford’s was number 103. Never mind that West Virginia swept Kansas State during the regular season and then knocked the Mountaineers out of the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals, while Wofford beat WVU by eight points in Hawaii in November.

One additional factor used in today’s Bracketology was conference record to date. If a team is three games under .500 in their conference at the halfway point of their conference season, such as Seton Hall at 3-6, the rest of their resume is strong enough to be considered, but if The Hall finishes 7-11 or worse in the Big East, I don’t see them getting into the field with so many strong teams in conferences that normally receive a maximum of two teams getting into the Field.

Mid-Major Spoilers

This year, there are more Mid-Major teams in the running for at-large bids, and if a couple are upset in their conference’s tournament, they are still likely to be considered. Let’s take a look.

Atlantic 10: Davidson will most likely receive a bid if they don’t earn the league’s automatic berth. A team like Dayton, Saint Louis, or VCU is capable of winning the automatic bid, and personally, I think the Billekens are the team to beat in March in DC.

Conference USA: Andy Kennedy has done a fantastic job at UAB, but if the Blazers don’t win the CUSA Tournament at the Cowboys’ practice facility in Frisco, Texas, they have a decent shot at getting in as an at-large team. Louisiana Tech and North Texas must be considered co-favorites to win the conference tournament, especially with Frisco being almost a home game for the Mean Green from nearby Denton. Keep an eye on both Charlotte and Middle Tennessee, as the 49ers and Blue Raiders are rounding into shape.

Metro Atlantic: Rick Pitino knows how to win, even if he may cut corners at times. His Iona Gaels are definitely a Bubble team if they are 29-5 but runners up in the MAAC Tournament to Monmouth or Saint Peter’s.

Mid-American: Both Toledo and Ohio U are on the cusp of being at-large worthy. If the Rockets meet the Bobcats in the MACtion Title Game, the loser has a small chance to earn a spot.

Missouri Valley: Loyola of Chicago is a near lock to get into the Dance even if they fall short in Arch Madness. The MVC has multiple teams with enough talent and excellent coaching to win in Saint Louis. Missouri State, Drake, Northern Iowa, and Bradley are teams to watch.

Mountain West: It is likely that at least three and possibly four MWC teams will hear their names called on Selection Sunday. Colorado State and Boise State are near locks at this point, while San Diego State and Wyoming are strong candidates. Also, Utah State is recovering from a rough patch, but even at 2-5 in the league, the Aggies are talented enough to win the conference tournament if totally healthy.

Ohio Valley: Murray State might be deserving of a single-digit seed if the Racers win out from here. Even if they lose a game to Morehead State or Belmont, and they lose in the finals of their conference tournament, the Racers could still get in, just like Belmont a couple years ago.

West Coast: The WCC is used to getting Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s into the Field in the same year, but this year four teams have Tournament-worthy resumes. BYU and San Francisco also have decent shots to get into the field.

January 21, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

4DukeTexas TechConnecticutXavier
5WisconsinTexasUCLAOhio St.
6Loyola (Chi.)AlabamaIowaIowa St.
7Michigan St.USCIndianaSeton Hall
9BYUSan Diego St.North CarolinaMiami (Fla.)
10Colorado St.DavidsonCreightonWake Forest
11Saint Mary’sBoise St.West VirginiaOregonFlorida St.
12Murray St.UABChattanoogaTCUSan Francisco
14WagnerGrand CanyonSouth Dakota St.Oakland
15LibertyTexas St.UC-IrvinePrinceton
16NavyMontana St.LongwoodNorfolk St.Texas A&M-CCTexas Southern

Last Four Byes: Wake Forest, Saint Mary’s, Boise St., West Virginia

Last Four In: Oregon, Florida St., TCU, San Francisco

First Four Out: Wyoming, Mississippi St., Texas A&M, Michigan

Next Four Out: Belmont, Arkansas, Dayton, Fresno St.

January 10, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

4TennesseeKentuckyTexasMichigan St.
5UCLAXavierConnecticutTexas Tech
6AlabamaOhio St.WisconsinSeton Hall
7Loyola (Chi.)IowaBYUIndiana
8Iowa St.North CarolinaOklahomaVirginia Tech
9West VirginiaSan Diego St.San FranciscoProvidence
10Saint Mary’sMississippi St.Washington St.Marquette
11Colorado St.MemphisFloridaBoise St.Wake ForestMichigan
13OhioIonaTowsonNew Mexico St.
15VermontSouth Dakota St.LibertyNavy
16Texas St.Weber St.Gardner-WebbNicholls St.Texas SouthernHoward

Last Four Byes: Washington St., Marquette, Colorado St., Memphis

Last Four In: Florida, Boise St., Wake Forest, Michigan

First Four Out: Clemson, Wyoming, VCU, TCU

Next Four Out: Texas A&M, Murray St., Fresno St., Creighton

January 7, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology–January 7, 2022

4IllinoisMichigan St.USCKentucky
5AlabamaUCLAConnecticutIowa St.
6WisconsinXavierOhio St.Texas Tech
7Loyola (Chi.)Seton HallBYUIndiana
8IowaColorado St.W. VirginiaN. Carolina
9OklahomaVa.TechSan FranciscoMississippi St.
10ProvidenceTCUFloridaWake Forest
11Saint Mary’sMichiganSan Diego St.MemphisTexas A&MClemson
14WagnerSouth Dakota St.NavyOakland
15Grand CanyonUC-IrvineLibertyPrinceton
16LouisianaWeber St.Nicholls St.Gardner-WebbTexas SouthernHoward

First Four Out

Florida St.

Next Four Out

Boise St.
Washington St.

Process: The PiRate Ratings use a combination of NET Rankings, Computer Rankings, Strength of Schedule, Strength of Wins, The Eye-Test, and unfortunately Politics to attempt to mimic what the NCAA Selection Committee does leading up to Selection Sunday.

January 3, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:27 am
4TexasIllinoisMichigan St.USC
5Ohio St.AlabamaUCLAConnecticut
6Texas TechLoyola (Chi.)IowaXavier
7Iowa St.ProvidenceSeton HallColorado St.
8Virginia TechBYUNorth CarolinaFlorida
9MichiganWisconsinSan FranciscoMississippi St.
10OklahomaSaint Mary’sIndianaClemson
11West VirginiaMemphisNorthwesternMinnesotaArkansasFlorida St.
13IonaNew Mexico St.OhioTowson
14WagnerOaklandNavySouth Dakota St.
16Georgia St.Nicholls St.Southern UtahTexas SouthernCampbellHoward

First Four Out

San Diego St.
Central Florida

Next Four Out

Wake Forest
Boise St.
Washington St.
Texas A&M

March 14, 2021

PiRate Ratings Final Bracketology Prediction

2Ohio St.AlabamaIowaHouston
3Oklahoma St.ArkansasKansasTexas
4West VirginiaPurdueVirginiaFlorida St.
5TennesseeVillanovaCreightonTexas Tech
8ConnecticutSan Diego St.WisconsinFlorida
9Virginia TechLoyola (Chi.)Georgia TechNorth Carolina
10RutgersSt. BonaventureMarylandVCU
11LouisvilleMichigan St.UCLASyracuseUtah St.Drake
12Oregon St.GeorgetownNorth TexasWinthrop
13Ohio ULibertyUNCGUCSB
14ColgateMorehead St.Abilene ChristianE. Washington
15Cleveland St.DrexelGrand CanyonIona
16Oral RobertsHartfordNorfolk St.Mount St. Mary’sTexas SouthernAppalachian St.

1st Four Out

69Wichita St.
70Colorado St.
71Saint Louis
72Boise St.

1st 4 Games

11 UCLA vs. 11 Drake

11 Syracuse vs. 11 Utah St.

16 Norfolk St. vs. 16 Mount St. Mary’s

16 Texas Southern vs. 16 Appalachian St.

Sunday Morning Bracketology

Preliminary to Final Prediction

The PiRates have been busy these last 12 hours rearranging the seed lines and replacing unfortunate at-large teams that were bumped twice yesterday, as Georgetown and Oregon State crashed the Dance party with impressive wins.

Five games remain to be played before the regular season comes to an end, and all five games could affect the final seed lines:

In the first game today, if Colgate beats Loyola of Maryland, the Raiders could move up one line, but the bigger possibility is the movement of more than a dozen seeds if Loyola pulls the upset. Colgate figures to be a 13 or 14 seed, but Loyola would be a 16 seed with a win. Colgate is somewhat of another issue, because the Raiders are a Top 10 team according to the NET Ratings, but they did so by facing no serious competition from top 100 teams. We believe the Committee will overrule their own criteria and send Colgate down the seed line.

In game two, St. Bonaventure faces VCU for the Atlantic 10 Championship. We believe both teams are locks to get into the Dance, but the winner and loser could be one seed apart. Or, the Committee might decide that this game doesn’t really matter and keep the two teams where they have them today. This is highly likely, and we are using that belief in our second to last seeding prediction. The Committee will be faced with an afternoon headache, where many teams will have to be shifted to accommodate a potential bid-thief. In fact, they will have two different brackets and keep one depending on what happens later in the day.

LSU and Alabama face off in what brings up memories of the Game of the Year in football, but this is the SEC Basketball Championship Game. Alabama has a sliver of hope to move to the 1-seed line with an impressive win and an Illinois loss in the Big Ten, but we believe they are probably locked in at the 2-seed line. However, should LSU pull off the upset, the Tigers might move up one line and knock somebody back a line.

The big mover and shaker game is the American Athletic Conference Championship Game this afternoon. Cincinnati could steal a bid away with an upset of Houston, and at the same time knock the Cougars down a spot in the seedings. If Houston wins, then everything is copacetic.

Because it will be the last game of the day, and both teams are rather secure in their destinies, we believe the Big Ten Conference Championship Game will be meaningless toward the final seedings. Illinois has done the work to earn a 1-seed, while Ohio State has worked their way back to a 2-seed. The Committee will not have time to alter their brackets at this point, so they will choose to ignore this game.

The important news then is who are the teams on the Bubble? Rather than announce 68 teams like in other years, the Committee will announce 72 teams, the regular 68 plus four alternates in case teams like Virginia and Kansas cannot field rosters for the tournament.

As we see it this morning, Drake is the last team in the field, currently an 11-seed looking at a First Four game against possibly UCLA. Should Cincinnati upset Houston today, the Bearcats would be looking at a 12 or 13-seed, and Drake would be dropped to the alternate pool, while Boise St. or Saint Louis would be dropped from the alternate pool to the NIT. Other teams just on the thin line include Utah State and Syracuse, two teams we show in the First Four, and Wichita State and Colorado State, two teams we show in the alternate list.

The First Four seedings moved from 12 to 11 last night when Georgetown and Oregon State kicked through the Dance hall door. The Hoyas and Beavers cannot be 11 seeds. We slotted them both on the 12-seed line, but we are not totally convinced yet that they will remain there. Doing a little research, the last time a power conference team with a similar record crashed the party like this, Georgia earned a 14-seed. Because teams like Colgate, Winthrop, UNCG, and UCSB are capable of moving up a line, there is a chance for chaos if Cincinnati wins today, because the Bearcats are not deserving of a 12-seed and maybe not even a 13-seed.

Here is how our field looks this morning with Cincinnati not in the Tournament.

Date3/14/2021Morning Edition
2Ohio St.AlabamaIowaHouston
3Oklahoma St.ArkansasKansasTexas
4West VirginiaPurdueFlorida St.Virginia
6ColoradoTexas TechLSUMissouri
8ClemsonSan Diego St.WisconsinFlorida
9Virginia TechLoyola (Chi.)RutgersNorth Carolina
10Georgia TechSt. BonaventureMarylandVCU
11LouisvilleMichigan St.UCLASyracuseUtah St.Drake
12Oregon St.GeorgetownUCSBWinthrop
13Ohio ULibertyUNCGNorth Texas
14ColgateMorehead St.Abilene ChristianE. Washington
15Cleveland St.DrexelGrand CanyonIona
16Oral RobertsHartfordNorfolk St.Mount St. Mary’sTexas SouthernAppalachian St.

Four Alternates

69Wichita St.
70Colorado St.
71Saint Louis
72Boise St.

Note: We have already begun putting our

Bracketnomics Data into a spreadsheet, and we will

have it completed late tonight. We will then spend

Monday looking at the data and be ready to reveal

our opinions on the field on Tuesday. Look for our

annually most read post to publish

Tuesday afternoon, approximately 3 PM Eastern

Daylight Time, giving you plenty of time to read and

then fill out the brackets in your competitions.

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