Cohen’s Corner Bracketology – 2/21/18

Seeing guys like Joe Lunardi from ESPN constantly spout off during games about this and that which can effect a college basketball team’s NCAA Tournament seed always annoyed me. I figured…how hard could it really be to analyze some stats, make a few projections, and forecast the future?

And after taking nearly four hours to put together the following of how I PROJECT the field to look when announced on Sunday, March 12th, let me say that Bracketology is REALLY HARD.

Take a look below and I’ll share some additional thoughts towards the end:

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 5.02.01 PM.png

Final Four matchups:
East (1) vs. West (4)
South (2) vs. Midwest (3)

East
1 Villanova
16 Rider vs. Grambling
8 Alabama
9 Florida State
(First two rounds played in Pittsburgh)

5 Nevada
12 Utah vs. NC State
4 Rhode Island
13 Vermont
(Boise)

6 Michigan
11 Buffalo
3 Texas Tech
14 Wright State
(Dallas)

7 ASU
10 Middle Tennessee
2 North Carolina
15 Penn
(Charlotte)

West
1 Duke
16 UNC-Asheville
8 Texas A&M
9 Seton Hall
(Charlotte)

5 Tennessee
12 Louisiana
4 Gonzaga
13 New Mexico State
(Boise)

6 Missouri
11 Nebraska
3 Arizona
14 UCSB
(San Diego)

7 Creighton
10 Virginia Tech
2 Kansas
15 Montana
(Wichita)

South 
1 Virginia
16 Lipscomb
8 Houston
9 Arkansas
(Nashville)

5 Ohio State
12 Providence
4 Auburn
13 ETSU
(Dallas)

6 St. Mary’s
11 Texas vs. Syracuse
3 Wichita State
14 Bucknell
(San Diego)

7 TCU
10 Butler
2 Purdue
15 Stephen F. Austin
(Detroit)

Midwest
1 Michigan State
16 Wagner vs. NC A&T
8 Oklahoma
9 Miami
(Detroit)

5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago
4 Clemson
13 South Dakota St
(Nashville)

6 West Virginia
11 St. Bonaventure
3 Cincinnati
14 Murray State
(Wichita)

7 Florida
10 USC Pittsburgh
2 Xavier
15 Northeastern
(Pittsburgh)


Last Four In

Texas
Syracuse
NC State
Utah

First Four Out
Kansas State
Baylor
Louisville
UCLA

-Their RPI may be in the teens right now but I think Michigan State still has a reasonable path to a #1 seed. At this point if they win the Big Ten Tournament in two weeks, they should receive the benefit of the doubt. Purdue, if they win out, also has a shot to switch places with MSU.

-Choosing the fourth #1 seed was darn near impossible but I project Duke to come around and win the ACC Tournament.

-I’m putting Arizona as a #3 seed assuming they don’t lose again through the Pac-12 Tournament. I expect ASU, USC, and Utah to make up the conference’s final four in Las Vegas and hence all of them make The Big Dance.

-Based on this bracket, my Final Four would be Villanova, Arizona, Purdue, and Michigan State. I’ll go with Nova over Michigan State in the Championship for now.

-I’ll never question those who make these projected brackets ever again. Trust me folks, it’s harder than it looks.

 

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.

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