Preseason Bracketology: 10.28.11 Edition

Posted by zhayes9 on October 28th, 2011

Zach Hayes is RTC’s official bracketologist.  He will periodically put together his latest bracket projections throughout the season.  Tell him where you agree or disagree @zhayes9 on Twitter.

  • Last Four In: Drexel, Illinois, Kansas State, Notre Dame.
  • First Four Out: Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Oregon, Minnesota.
  • Next Four Out: Northwestern, BYU, Princeton, Oklahoma State.

Click to Enlarge Bracket


  • This was the most clear-cut foursome for the top line that I can recall during any previous preseason bracket and all four deserve to be anointed Final Four teams here in October.
  • Maybe a bit of a surprise in both instances, but I’m taking Texas A&M and California to win their respective leagues. Maybe their talent level is not up to par with the likes of Kansas and UCLA, but I like their stability, coaching and players like Khris Middleton and Allen Crabbe are primed to explode.
  • One annual blueblood is in real danger of missing the tournament: Texas. I gave them a #11 seed purely based on an acclaimed incoming freshman class and the wide-open state of the Big 12, but it wouldn’t shock me one bit to see them in the NIT.
  • I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but Xavier is a tremendous Final Four sleeper. They’re loaded with a legitimate star in Tu Holloway and valuable secondary pieces like Mark Lyons, Kenny Frease, Travis Taylor, Brad Redford, Dez Wells and Justin Martin.
  • Virginia, Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech (shocker) out of the ACC all scream bubble to me. I included the first three teams – Virginia because I love the way they defend and Mike Scott returns, Miami because of their guard duo and the expected contribution of Reggie Johnson during league play, and Clemson because of the respect I have for Brad Brownell as a coach. As for the Hokies, they’re once again talented, but the losses of Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen from an NIT team may be too much to overcome.
  • My non-BCS league at-large qualifiers: Wichita State, Fairfield, Marshall, Saint Mary’s and Drexel.
  • My champion: Kentucky over North Carolina. John Calipari has the ideal mix of freshmen, sophomores and seniors this season to claim his first title. Cue the vacated-at-a-date-to-be-named-later joke.

Seed Rundown (italics indicate automatic bid):

  • #1 Seeds: North Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, Ohio State.
  • #2 Seeds: Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Duke, Louisville.
  • #3 Seeds: Florida, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Xavier.
  • #4 Seeds: California, Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Alabama.
  • #5 Seeds: Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Florida State.
  • #6 Seeds: Michigan, Temple, Purdue, Memphis.
  • #7 Seeds: Missouri, New Mexico, UCLA, Creighton.
  • #8 Seeds: Marquette, Mississippi State, Wisconsin, UNLV.
  • #9 Seeds: Villanova, Wichita State, Michigan State, Harvard.
  • #10 Seeds: Virginia, West Virginia, George Mason, Iona.
  • #11 Seeds: Butler, Texas, Miami (FL), Belmont.
  • #12 Seeds: Fairfield, Marshall, Washington, Saint Mary’s.
  • #13 Seeds: Clemson, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Illinois, Drexel, Kent State.
  • #14 Seeds: Weber State, Long Beach State, Davidson, Nevada.
  • #15 Seeds: Oral Roberts, Austin Peay, Bucknell, UNC-Asheville.
  • #16 Seeds: Long Island, Boston University, Florida Atlantic, Hampton, Texas-Arlington, Texas Southern.

Conference Call

  • America East (1)– Boston University
  • Atlantic 10 (2)– Xavier, Temple
  • ACC (6)- North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Virginia, Miami (FL), Clemson
  • Atlantic Sun (1)– Belmont
  • Big 12 (6)- Texas A&M, Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Kansas State
  • Big East (9)- Connecticut, Syracuse, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Marquette, Villanova, West Virginia, Notre Dame
  • Big Sky (1)– Weber State
  • Big South (1)– UNC-Asheville
  • Big Ten (6)– Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Illinois
  • Big West (1)– Long Beach State
  • CAA (2)– George Mason, Drexel
  • Conference USA (2)– Memphis, Marshall
  • Horizon (1)– Butler
  • Ivy (1)– Harvard
  • MAAC (2)– Iona, Fairfield
  • MAC (1)– Kent State
  • MEAC (1)– Hampton
  • Missouri Valley (2)– Creighton, Wichita State
  • Mountain West (2)– New Mexico, UNLV
  • Northeast (1)– Long Island
  • Ohio Valley (1)– Austin Peay
  • Pac-12 (4)– California, Arizona, UCLA, Washington
  • Patriot (1)– Bucknell
  • SEC (5)– Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State
  • Southern (1)– Davidson
  • Southland (1)–  UT-Arlington
  • Summit (1)– Oral Roberts
  • Sun Belt (1)– Florida Atlantic
  • SWAC (1)– Texas Southern
  • WCC (2)– Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s
  • WAC (1)– Nevada
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