Bracketology: January 9th, 2012

Today’s Bracketology comes to you after we have completed the first 1-2 weeks of the conference season. So far some conferences have gone as we thought, while others like the Big East, ACC, and Pac 12 have not. With so many teams competitive this year, it also means many large conferences have some really bad teams on the bottom. For those who are on the bubble it will be important for them to not slip up against them. What I find amazing is the fact I have 10 conferences with at least three bids right now. This is very unheard of. The depth in many leagues outside the big 6 is amazing and will prove to be helpful for some teams trying to earn bids. On the other hand it can hurt those teams that might not be everything they’ve shown so far, as losses to conference foes with RPI’s below 150 or 200 will halt the chances of so many at large bids from mid majors. In the end, I think we’ll see things even out a bit, but the bubble will be crazy in March.

The Big Ten is the nations best conference this year with the chance of getting as many as 9 bids. The Big East is way down from the past, but still is very strong at the top. The Pac 12 is borderline horrific and I’m amazed I have three teams in right now, that will likely change for the worse as conference play continues. The SEC is OK, but losses to the lower teams might push some inconsistent squads like Florida and Vanderbilt in the wrong direction. The Big 12 is down, but a strong top 5 looks to make noise in March. The ACC is struggling as well, and teams other than UNC, Duke and maybe Virginia will have to play well in conference to get on the right side of the bubble. The A-10, MWC, and MVC are all peaking at the right time, and we’ll see if the out of conference play these conferences achieved can hold up and not get torn down by the few bad teams in each conference.

For now we can still say it is quite early, and this bracket is bound to experience some majors changes even before the month ends. I’m excited to see if mid majors teams that have excelled can avoid slip ups in conference to teams they shouldn’t lose to. Additionally, the RPI rankings are bound to change dramatically too. Right now teams like Seton Hall, Southern Miss, and Dayton all appear to be very overrated, while others like Wisconsin seem rated way too high. Anyway, here’s the seeds for this edition of bracketology, enjoy.

#1- Syracuse, Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina

#2- Baylor, Indiana, Duke, Michigan State

#3- Georgetown, Missouri, Louisville, Kansas

#4- UConn, UNLV, Florida, Michigan

#5- Murray State, Gonzaga, Alabama, Kansas State

#6- Creighton, Mississippi State, Virginia, Seton Hall

#7- Marquette, Vanderbilt, San Diego State, Illinois

#8- Wisconsin, Purdue, West Virginia, St. Mary’s

#9- Harvard, Wichita State, Southern Miss, Temple

#10- California, St. Louis, Stanford, Dayton

#11- BYU, New Mexico, Texas, Memphis

#12- Xavier, Florida State, Northwestern, (NC State/Memphis)

#13- Iona, Long Beach State, Davidson, (Northern Iowa/Virginia Tech)

#14- Belmont, Oral Roberts, Cleveland State, Nevada

#15- Coastal Carolina, Bucknell. Virginia Commonwealth, Ohio

#16- Lamar, Weber State, Norfolk State, Wagner, Texas Southern, Albany

Teams on the bubble but out:

Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Miami FL, Maryland, LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi, Colorado State, Wyoming, Massachusetts, St. Joseph’s, Missouri State, Indiana State, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Marshall, UCF

By Conference:

Big Ten-8

Big East-7

ACC-6

Big 12-5

SEC-5

A10-4

MWC-3

MVC-3

Pac 12-3

WCC-3

CUSA-2

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