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NCAA Basketball Predictions Revisited & Bracket Projections

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Back on November 16th, I made my prognostications about how the college basketball season would play out. Anyone can make a prediction, but it’s important to hold yourself somewhat accountable, to see how they played out to figure out why you were wrong and learn from it. The college basketball season isn’t over, but it is getting to crunch time, so I will take a look back, see how my thoughts have translated and attempt to project which teams will make the tournament.

Big East:

Nov. 16th Prediction: The Big East lost some prime talent from a year ago, but Pitt and Villanova looked stacked and primed for deep runs in March. The bottom of the conference is flat out awful, and the middle tier needs thing to come together quickly. It won’t be easy for teams to replace the leaders and stars that they lost, but if they can, the sky’s the limit.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Pittsburgh
  2. Villanova
  3. Syracuse

Feb. 15 Revised: Things certainly have come together quickly and the Big East again reigns supreme as college basketball’s best conference…by a wide margin. They look to qualify 10 if not 11  teams this year and have a legit title contender in Pitt. Qualifiers (11): Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Villanova, Syracuse, St. Johns, Cincinnati, Marquette, West Virginia.

Big 10:

Nov. 16th Prediction: The big 10 is not only loaded, but it’s deep. As many as 9 teams enter the season with hopes of getting into the field of 68. With 7 should be qualifiers, 2 legitimate national title contenders and a ton of returning talent, the Big 10 finally gets to claim the top spot on the college basketball conference throne.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Michigan State
  3. Purdue

Feb. 15 Revised: With the exception of Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Big 10 certainly hasn’t lived up to their talent level this season. The 7 should be qualifiers are down to 6, and Michigan State is far from a lock. Qualifiers (6): Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan State

Big 12:

Nov. 16th Prediction: After the big 2 of Kansas and Kansas State, the Big 12 could flourish or flop. Texas, Baylor, and Missouri could transform the Big 12 into a war zone, but all have questions. The bottom of the Big 12 is weak, but they should still send 6 to the dance.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Kansas State
  2. Kansas
  3. Missouri

Feb. 15 Revised: Truth be told the Kansas State projection was more of a hope than a logic-based decision. I would’ve loved to see Frank Martin’s reaction if Kansas State earned a one seed then got bounced in the 2nd round. He literally may have dropkicked Jacob Pullen across the court. The Wildcats were headed down the road of missing the tournament completely until they took apart Kansas last night. Oklahoma State has an outside shot of qualifying, but as of now I have them on the outside looking in. Qualifiers (6): Texas, Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State

SEC:

Nov. 16th Prediction: No power conference is as wide open as the SEC. They should send 6 to the tourney, and any of those 6 could win the conference. With 5 of the 6 in the SEC east, they should be tested come March and could be scary matchups for anyone.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Florida
  2. Kentucky
  3. Tennessee

Feb. 15 Revised: Most knew the SEC would have a down year, but I don’t think many expected it to be this bad. They will qualify at-least five, maybe six with Alabama, but I’d be hard pressed to see any of these teams deserving more than a #4 Seed. Qualifiers (6): Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama

ACC:

Nov. 16th Prediction: Aside from Duke, no team in the ACC should be dominant. Harrison Barnes at UNC is the hot name to watch and should easily get them back to the dance. Aside from the old guard, the ACC will field some exciting teams and could be a fun conference to watch. 8 teams think that they have what it takes for a tourney run.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Duke
  2. North Carolina
  3. North Carolina State

Feb. 15 Revised: While 8 teams felt they could make a tourney run, I think anyone that knows even a little about college basketball could tell you eight was a pipe dream and six was a stretch. The ACC joins the SEC as another mostly bad conference. Duke is very talented; the remainder of their qualifiers are dangerous for a game or two in a tournament setting, but not much more. As of now I have 5 in, but Clemson could be a sixth with a win against Duke in a few weeks. Boston College on the other hand is on their way to falling out. Qualifiers (5): Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Boston College

Pac-10:

Nov. 16th Prediction: Another season like 2009-10 and the Pac 10 will have to beg to stay in the “power 6.” The conference was terrible last year, but there are some signs of life heading into this season. The conference won’t be good, but it shouldn’t embarrass itself either.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Washington
  2. Arizona
  3. UCLA

Feb. 15 Revised: I tried to give the PAC-10 the benefit of the doubt with regards to not embarrassing itself, but it couldn’t stay out its own way. The PAC-10 is flat-out terrible. They will qualify 3 this year, four at the very most if Washington State finishes strong. The Pac-10 could have six of their 10 finish with a losing record for the first time in a while. As a conference they only have two non-conference wins against ranked opponents and out of those one of the teams they defeated: BYU, is still ranked. Qualifiers (3): Arizona, UCLA, Washington

Major Mid-Majors:

Atlantic 10:

Nov. 16th Prediction: The A-10 has a pretty solid first four in Temple, Richmond, Xavier & Dayton. Any of those 4 could walk away with the conference title. After that, things get a bit dicier, but there are few teams that might be able to put a scare into some of the big boys.  Best case scenario, A-10 qualifies 5, but I don’t see them getting quite that many.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Temple
  2. Richmond
  3. Xavier

Feb. 15 Revised: The A-10 has lived up to their billing as having a very solid front line. They should qualify 3 and all will be tough outs in March. Qualifiers (3): Temple, Richmond, Xavier

Mountain West:

Nov. 16th Prediction: The Mountain West takes their basketball seriously, and they should be able to get 4 into the final 68. Each of the top teams has to deal with the loss of a key player, but they should be able to compete on a national scale. This will be a fun conference to watch.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. San Diego State
  2. UNLV
  3. BYU

Feb. 15 Revised: The Mountain West has two teams in the top 10; both are really good, but only one has The Jimmer. The conference might not qualify four, but Colorado State isn’t out of consideration. With games against San Diego State and BYU still remaining, if they win those they are in for sure.  Qualifiers (3): San Diego State, BYU, UNLV

Missouri Valley:

Nov. 16th Prediction: Wichita State could very well be this year’s Butler, well maybe not that good, but the Shockers are a team that could do some major damage to the big boys. Along with them are 2 other probably tournament teams in Creighton and Northern Iowa. That doesn’t even mention a very good Missouri State squad that could very well contend in the MVC. No one wants to see any of these teams in their half of the bracket.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Wichita State
  2. Creighton
  3. Northern Iowa

Feb. 15 Revised: Witchita State is still the class of the MVC, but they are getting pushed by a strong Missouri State squad. The two will meet in the last game of the regular season and undoubtedly in the MVC tournament. It’s not a reach to think both will qualify, but I’ll stick with only the Shockers for now Qualifiers (1): Wichita State

Colonial Athletic:

Nov. 16th Prediction: The CAA is returning a ton of talent from a year ago. Everyone’s favorite George Mason could be primed for a run to the top of the CAA, but VCU and Old Dominion will be standing in their way. Hofstra’s Charles Jenkins, last season’s player of the year is back as well. This is conference is filled with potential sleepers.

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Old Dominion
  2. VCU
  3. George Mason

Feb. 15 Revised: Not a stretch to see the CAA qualifying 3, but VCU has work to do in order to punch their dance card. A win tonight over George Mason would go a long way, but I don’t see them pulling it out and have them in the NIT instead. Qualifiers (2): George Mason, Old Dominion

Conference USA:

Nov. 16th Prediction: Memphis is clearly the class of the conference, but they won’t be nearly as good as a season ago. Aside from them, there are some interesting teams to watch in UAB, UTEP, UCF, and Southern Miss, but this is not a good conference, so Memphis should put up a ridiculous win total again, only bow out early in March

Nov. 16 Predicted Top 3:

  1. Memphis
  2. UTEP
  3. UAB

Feb. 15 Revised: Not a very good year for the Conference USA. They will get two bids out of respect, but who gets those bids remains a mystery. There are four teams vying for them and the results of the next two weeks will make a big statement to the committee. Qualifiers (2): UTEP, Memphis

Mid-Majors:

MAC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Akron

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Kent St.

WCC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Gonzaga

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: St. Mary’s

Horizon:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Butler

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Cleveland State

Southern:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Wofford

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Charleston

Big West:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: UC Santa Barbara

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Long Beach State

WAC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Utah State

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Utah State

OVC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Murray State

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Murray State

MAAC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Siena

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Fairfield

Big Sky:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Weber State

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Montana

The Rest…

Southland:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Stephen F. Austin

Feb. 15 Projected Winner:  Stephen F. Austin or McNeese St.

Sun Belt:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Western Kentucky

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Florida Atlantic

Summit:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Oakland

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Oakland

Ivy League:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Harvard

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Harvard or Princeton

Atlantic Sun:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: East Tennessee State

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Belmont

Patriot League:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Lehigh

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Bucknell

America East:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Vermont

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Vermont

Big South:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Winthrop

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Coastal Carolina

NEC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Robert Morris

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Long Island

MEAC

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Morgan State

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Hampton

SWAC:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: Jackson State

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Texas Southern

Great West:

Nov. 16 Projected Winner: South Dakota

Feb. 15 Projected Winner: Utah Valley

Discussion

3 Responses to “NCAA Basketball Predictions Revisited & Bracket Projections”

  1. YOU MUST FEAR “CHOPS”!!!!!

    Posted by Bobby Digital | February 17, 2011, 3:19 pm
  2. I knew that Great West prediction wouldn’t hold!!!

    Posted by Dubba | February 22, 2011, 10:54 am
  3. The worst thing that the polls can do is to deny the Shockers a fair ranking. By doing so some of the bigger boys will play them early in the NCAA tournament. They will say “what just happened”. I’ll tell you what just happened. A great team was denied respect and they took you by surprise. When Wichita State is firing on all cylinders you do NOT want to play them.I feel sorry for teams that are overconfident in meeting them.They do not know that they are just about to be had. I don’t care about your flashy star players and those that can shoot the lights out at the 3 pt. line. The Shockers are deep..and i mean DEEP with capable weapons to counteract whatever you have.The Shockers are true giant killers.(and truth be told) are in the land of the giants as well.Who is Butler.That’s what you will be saying when the Shockers make the final 4. GOOOO!! SHOCKERS!!!

    Posted by Gary | February 15, 2012, 7:11 pm

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