Tuesday, February 27, 2024


 Bracket Projections Through Games Played on Monday, 2/25/24


Bracketing Notes

Seed Bumps to meet NCAA Bracketing Principals:

  • Oklahoma - DOWN from a 7 Seed to an 8 Seed
  • BYU - DOWN from a 7 Seed to an 8 Seed
  • Nebraska - DOWN from a 9 Seed to a 10 Seed
  • St, Mary's - UP from an 8 Seed to a 7 Seed
  • Boise State - UP from an 8 Seed to a 7 Seed
  • Utah - UP from a 10 Seed to a 9 Seed

New to the Field

  • New Mexico (At Large)
  • Wake Forest (At Large)
  • Fairfield - New leader of the MAAC Conference
  • South Dakota State - New leader of the Summit League Conference
  • Little Rock - New Leader of the Ohio Valley Conference 

At-Large Teams Out of the Field (For Now)

  • Ole Miss
  • Butler
  • Texas A&M

2nd and 3rd Round Site Projections

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

 Bracket Projections Through Games Played on Monday, 2/19/24

Procedural Seed Bumps to Meet NCAA Bracketing Principles:

Moved UP 1 Seed Line:
  • Texas Tech - from a 6 Seed to a 5 Seed
  • Oklahoma - from a 6 Seed to a 5 Seed
  • Nevada - from a 10 Seed to a 9 Seed
  • Indiana State - from a 12 Seed to an 11 Seed

Moved DOWN 1 Seed Line:
  • Clemson - from a 5 Seed to a 6 Seed
  • South Carolina - from a 5 Seed to a 6 Seed
  • Texas - From a 9 Seed to a 10 Seed
  • Mississippi State  - from an 11 Seed to a 12 Seed

Multi-Bid Conferences:

  1. Big 12 (9)
  2. SEC (8)
  3. Big East (6)
  4. Big Ten (6)
  5. Mountain West (5)
  6. ACC (4)
  7. PAC 12 (3)
  8. American Athletic (2)

Monday, February 5, 2024


 Bracket Projections Through Games Played on 02/04




No Procedural Seed Changes required for this bracket

New Teams to the At-Large Field Since Last Week
  • Butler (Big East)
  • Virginia (ACC)
Teams Removed from the At-Large Field Since Last Week
  • Villanova (Big East)
  • Providence (Big East)

Multi-Bid Conferences

  • Big 12 - 9 Teams
  • SEC - 8 Teams
  • Big Ten - 6 Teams
  • Big East - 6 Teams
  • Mountain West - 5 Teams
  • ACC - 4 Teams
  • PAC 12 - 3 Teams
  • Atlantic 10 - 2 Teams
  • American Athletic - 2 Teams

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

 Bracket Projections Through Games Played on 01/28

Seed List

Projected Site Assignments for Rounds 2 & 3

Bracket Notes

Procedural Seed Changes from Seed List:

  • Florida Atlantic (FAU) - UP to a 7 Seed
  • Memphis - UP to a 7 Seed
  • New Mexcio - UP to an 9 Seed
  • Texas A&M - UP to an 8 Seed
  • South Carolina - DOWN to an 8 Seed
  • Northwestern - DOWN to an 8 Seed
  • Boise Stae - DOWN to a 9 Seed
  • Saint John's - DOWN to a 10 Seed

New At Large Teams IN since Last Week:

  • Washington State
  • Texas
At Large Teams that dropped OUT since last week:
  • Oregon
  • Cincinnati
  • Syracuse

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Bracket Prophet Projections Return

"What a long strange trip it's been"

The last time I posted here was March 11th, 2020. It was a Wednesday, and I was gearing up for my second favorite sports weekend of the year, when the NCAA Men's Basketball Major Conference Tournaments would be held, final projections for the Men's Championship Tournament would be published, and would conclude with Tournament Selection show on Sunday evening. That Sunday evening is the time when bracket projection nerds like me would learn just how well, or poorly, we had done projecting the field of 68 Teams included in the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament. In less than 48 hours after that post, our nation would change forever. On Friday, March 13th at approximately 12:30 PM CST, at half time of the first game of the Big East Tournament Friday slate of games featuring Creighton and St. John's, the Big East Tournament was cancelled. Every remaining conference tournament followed suit within minutes, and the United States was plunged into what we all would go on to call the COVID-19 Pandemic. The NCAA Men's basketball tournament was cancelled. The country essentially shut down that day. 

 Among the many things that changed in my life that day was my passion for college basketball, and for sports more generally. Slowly my interest in the sports I used to follow so closely has returned. But my decade plus long passion for attempting to project the NCAA Men's tournament field didn't. 

 The following year the NCAA Tournament was held, but it wasn't the same. In fact, the season wasn't the same. Games during the regular season were played in largely empty gyms. One conference refused to compete at all. The NCAA Tournament itself was played solely in sites the state of Indiana. Venues were limited to 25% capacity. Artificial crowd noise was pumped into gymnasiums during games. I don't think I watched more than a few passing minutes of college basketball the entire season. I remember wondering if I would ever regain in interest in the sport, or what I once considered the greatest sporting event in the world, its Champion crowning tournament. 

In 2022 my passion turned to local politics, and I became deeply involved in helping candidates with their campaigns for local school board. I had Neither the interest or time that year to watch college basketball, let alone try to project an NCAA Tournament field. 

Last year, I undertook running my own campaign for school board, and once again had no time to watch college basketball or project a field. With the college basketball landscape largely returning to normal, I did find myself watching the occasional Badger game when time permitted. My interest in the sport was slowing starting to return. 

Early in the 2023/24 College Basketball season, and knowing my involvement in Spring elections in 2024 would be a fraction of the previous two years, I committed to returning to this hobby that I once loved so much. And so, here I am again after 4 long and strange years. As I have gotten back into watching games, collecting data and analyzing it, and putting together my first projections in nearly half a decade, my love of college basketball has been renewed. I'm busier now than I have been in past years I have done this, so I doubt I will post as often in February and March as I used to, or offer up quite as much commentary. But I'm going to try. 

And now, without further adieu, here is my first Projection of the NCAA Tournament Field, as of games played through Sunday, January 21st ... and my first since March 11th, 2020.

Seeds and Pairings (Through Games held on 01/21/2024)

Projected True Seed (1-68)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bid & Bubble Math - 3/11

As we approach the mid-way point of Championship week, and with the Major Conference Tournaments swinging into gear today its time to take a fresh look a the field and figure out how many at-large bids remain available and identify how many teams are left competing for them.

Here is the breakdown of where the field stands, through games played on Tuesday, March 10th.

Field Construction and definition of terms used in 'Bid Math':

  • Total Field Size is 68 Teams
  • Conference Champions:  32 Teams Qualify for the Tournament by winning their conference tournament.
  • At-Large Selections:  The 36 Remaining spots in the field are chosen by the NCAA Selection Committee and are intended to be awarded to the 36 remaining teams in the NCAA who the Committee determines have done the most through the season to earn a bid in the tournament.
  • Definition of Terms:
    • Clinched - Teams that have won their Conference Tournament and clinched and Automatic Bid for the Tournament.
    • Conference Leaders - Teams who are currently in first place in their respective conference, and would be considered the 'Favorite' to win the tournament and earn the Automatic Bid.
    • At Large Locks - A team which has done enough already to be assured of being awarded an At-Large Bid even if they failed to win their conference tournament.
    • Bubble - Describes the universe of teams who have done enough to warrant consideration for inclusion as an At-Large Team, but have not done enough to guarantee they would be selected
      • Bubble Team In - A team that is projected to be an At-Large Team if the tournament field were selected today
      • Bubble Team Out - A team that is projected to be left out of the field if it were selected today, but still have an opportunity through remaining games to be played to earn a spot
    • Bid Thief - A team that has not done enough to earn an AT-LARGE bid, but earns an automatic bid by winning a conference tournament in a multiple bid conference. 

The Current Math:

  • Clinched an Automatic Bid (12)
  • Conference Leaders (20)
    • 7 Are AT-Large Locks if they don't earn Auto-Bid
    • 1 Are Bubble Teams (IN) if the don't earn Auto Bid
    • 12 Are Leading One Bid Conferences (Still Alive in Conference Tournament)
  • At-Large Locks (25)
    • Remaining At-Large Bids ( 11)
    • At Large Teams on the Bubble (22) - Which includes Conference Leaders who would be in contention for an at-large bid if they fail to win their conference Tournament Auto-Bid)
    • Possible 'Bid Thieves' (8)
    • This leaves 22 teams competing for between 3 and 11 At-Large Bids over the next 5 days.
Clinched an Automatic Bid

Status of Current Conference Leaders 
The teams below are currently leading their conference.  They are broken down into 3 Groups:

  • LEADERS with AT-LARGE LOCKS - These teams lead their respective conference and would be the favorite today to win their conferences Automatic Bid.  However, if they don't, they have done enough already to guarantee they would be selected as an At-Large team.
  • LEADERS "ON THE BUBBLE" - These teams lead their respective conference and would be the favorite today to win their conferences Automatic Bid.  However, if they don't, they likely will have to win more games to have done enough to get selected as an At-Large Team.
  • LEADERS of 'ONE BID' CONFERENCES - These teams currently lead in Conferences that do not have any teams who have done enough to be selected as an At-Large.  These Conferences will only get 1 Team in ... their Conference Tournament Champion.


The teams below are currently not leading a conference.  They have done enough to guarantee being selected as an At-Large Team even if they don't win their conference's Automatic Bid


The teams below are the remaining teams in contention for the remaining open At-Large Bids.

  • Teams on the LEFT would be IN if the season ended today.
    • Teams shaded in GREEN above are the Last 4 At-Large Teams selected that are given a 'BYE' and would not have to play a 'Play-In' game in the opening round in Dayton on March 24th or 25th
    • Teams shaded in YELLOW below are the Last 4 At-Large Teams selected, and would be required to 'Play In' to the field of 64 by winning an opening round game in Dayton.
  • Teams on the RIGHT would be OUT if the season ended today.
    • Teams shaded in ORANGE are the first four teams left out of the field, and are therefore, in the best position to still earn an at-large bid by winning, and/or teams ahead of them losing
    • Teams shaded in MAROON are the next four teams out.  They are still in contention to earn an at-large bid, but have more work to do, and will need more help, then the first four out.  
    • Teams shaded in Blue are still under active consideration, or are 'on the radar', for consideration.  These teams are in most cases just one more loss away from being eliminated from contention, but could, if everything broke right for them, get back into serious contention for an At-Large Bid. 

Full Update - 03/11

Here is a full update for games played through Tuesday, March 10th.

Major and many Mid-Major Tournaments will swing into full gear over the next couple of days while most Smaller Conferences who have not yet crowned their Champions to earn automatic bids will do so over the next coupe of days as well

Bracketed following NCAA Bracketing Principles
Bracket Notes

Procedural Seed Changes from Seed List:

  • Ohio State - UP to a 5 Seed
  • Xavier - UP to a 9 Seed
  • Virginia - DOWN to a 6 Seed
  • ETSU - DOWN to a 10 Seed
Conference Tournament Champions (Clinched Automatic Bid)
  • Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)
  • East Tennessee State (Southern Conference)
  • Utah State (Mountain West Conference)
  • Liberty (Atlantic Sun Conference)
  • Bradley (Missouri Valley Conference)
  • Belmont (Ohio Valley Conference)
  • Winthrop (Big South Conference)
  • Robert Morris (Northeast Conference)
  • Yale (Ivy League)*
* The Ivy League announced yesterday that they were cancelling their conference Tournament and awarded the automatic bid to their regular season conference champion.