Friday, February 15, 2013

A Non-Automated Bracket Prediction

Man, it's been awhile. Move over, S-Factor. Time for a bracket prediction by a human!

Last 4 in: Charlotte, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Washington
First 4 out: West Virginia, St. Mary's, Creighton, Rutgers

Conferences with multiple bids:
Big 12: 6
Big East: 6
Big Ten: 7
SEC: 7
ACC: 5
Pac-12: 5
Atlantic 10: 4

Some comments:
1. Three of the four #1 seeds are Notre Dame, Connecticut and Baylor. No one even debates this.  The fourth #1 seed will go to a winner of one of the other big conferences (Duke in the ACC, Stanford in the Pac-12, unlikely but possibly Penn State in the Big Ten). I chose Duke because I assumed Duke would go undefeated in conference.

2. Anyone who tries to do a bracket prediction and doesn't account for the geographic complexities of first round sites is not doing it right. This year there's a chance for home teams to play at 14 of the 16 sites. I believe Iowa and LSU will get an advantage from the selection committee over other bubble teams like West Virginia and Creighton, even if those other teams have marginally better tournament resumes. 

3. Notre Dame is the only #1 seed that does not host the first and second rounds. Penn State and California are the only #2 seeds that do not host the first and second rounds.  In a typical year, these low seeds would probably be sited on neutral courts rather than on a potential second-round opponent's court, but there are only two neutral courts this year (St. John's Queens, and Ohio State's Columbus). I stuck Notre Dame in Queens, but put Cal and Penn State in nightmare second round scenarios against the home team from Lubbock and the home team from Boulder.  I doubt this will actually occur.

4. San Diego State is not an 11 seed. More like a 13 seed. They got bounced around the most in the name of balanced brackets, no potential intraconference matchups, and geographic necessity.

5. Charlotte gets in because they have a really good chance of going 13-1 in the A10 conference, and they beat St. Joseph's and Duquesne. But they don't play Dayton this year. How do you have 16 teams in your conference and not play at least 15 games, Atlantic "Ten"?  So weird.

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