Bracketology: December 27th, 2011

The college basketball landscape is changing, and changing for the better. This year we are seeing the most competitive pool of teams in recent memory. Many teams from lower conferences are emerging as contenders, or at least middle of the road teams, while the major conferences are suffering through a recession. This might finally be the year we see the most mid major teams out there in the tournament, but are any of them as good as Butler the last few years? Perhaps not, but this year’s NCAA tournament will be stocked with upsets and mid majors running into later rounds.

It’s too early in the season for me to go into a long rant about teams, but the debate looming later on in the season looks to be epic. Right now there are a lot of teams with RPI’s that are all over the place, for better or worse. This is usual for the early season, but its not that early anymore. Almost two months of basketball and the craziness is amazing. Teams like Murray State, Creighton, Southern Miss and St. Joseph’s will all be very interesting to follow because of how their season’s have unfolded. The non-conference success of many of these mid major’s is dependent upon them also continuing it into their own conferences. A few loses to halfway decent teams will do, but start blowing a bunch of games to crappy teams and what are we supposed to think? I love these mid majors, and really hope a team like Murray State runs the table, or other have great success in conference so that the committee will give them worthy seedings. No one in the country is unbeatable. It’s still early, but in the coming months expect me to really start diving into how I see these teams and the bracket.

I still put great thought into the seedings, but we’ll give more extensive analysis later on. Thanks for reading.

Right now lets take a look at how teams are faring and what the tournament might look like if it started today:

#1- Syracuse, Ohio State, Kentucky, UNC

#2- Duke, Louisville, Baylor, Missouri, UConn

#3- Wisconsin, Florida, Indiana, Georgetown

#4- Marquette, Creighton, Michigan, Murray State

#5- Kansas, UNLV, Virginia, Harvard

#6- Michigan State, Alabama, Kansas State, Gonzaga

#7- Alabama, Xavier, St. Louis, Stanford

#8- Northern Iowa, California, San Diego State, FSU

#9- Vanderbilt, Arizona, St. Joseph’s, Wichita State

#10- Illinois, Northwestern, West Virginia, Minnesota

#11- Memphis, Seton Hall, St. Mary’s, Iona

#12- Temple, Marshall, Indiana State, Texas A&M, NC State, Oklahoma

#13- Cleveland State, Long Beach State, Belmont, Southern Miss

#14- VCU, Charleston, Middle Tennessee State, Ohio

#15- Norfolk State, Coastal Carolina, Weber State, New Mexico State

#16- Maine, Mississippi Valley State, Wagner, Bucknell, Lamar, South Dakota State

Just outside the field:

Davidson, UW-Milwaukee, BYU, UCF, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, UMass, Dayton, New Mexico, Colorado State, LSU, Mississippi, Miami FL, Purdue, Iowa State, Providence, Cincinnati

By Conference:

Big Ten- 8

Big East- 8

Big 12- 6

ACC- 5

SEC- 5

A10- 4

MVC- 4

Pac 12- 3

CUSA- 3

MWC- 2 

WCC- 2

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