RTC Bracketology: A Look at Early Winners & Losers

Posted by Daniel Evans on November 14th, 2013


Daniel Evans (@bracketexpert) is RTC’s resident bracketologist. According to Bracket Matrix, he ranks as one of the top bracketologists among those who have produced brackets for more than three years, including two seasons with perfect bracket projections. He updates the field daily on his site, Bracketology Expert, and will be producing a weekly bracket update here at RTC on Thursdays. 

Right now, guessing the NCAA Tournament field with less than a week of game results would be like finding a needle in a haystack. Well, maybe more like finding a needle in the ocean. No matter the analogy you use, it’s pretty impossible. So for this week at least, let’s look at the few teams that have already helped their NCAA Tournament hopes and those who have already fallen behind the eight ball.

No. 1 Seed Race

Kansas' Win Over Duke Tuesday is Likely to Look Great in #1 Seed Discussions in March

Kansas’ Win Over Duke Tuesday is Likely to Look Great in #1 Seed Discussions in March


  • Michigan State and Kansas: Obviously wins over the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 ranked teams help the cause of getting a No. 1 seed, but I think it’s also important that both teams won their games a neutral floor. Doesn’t it seem like Kansas always gets these kinds of wins?


  • Florida, Kentucky and the SEC: Obviously losses hurt your case to be a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday but I think there is a little more to it than that with these two teams. Florida has not been at full strength and a loss in Madison, Wisconsin, is nothing to lose sleep about, but the Gators didn’t look great in losing. While Kentucky looked young and super-talented (as expected) in its loss to Michigan State, the ‘Cats and Gators are both hurt by the SEC’s early struggles as a league. Alabama has already lost to Oklahoma. LSU lost to Massachusetts. Tennessee fell to Xavier. South Carolina came up short against Baylor. What is the SEC’s best win so far? Is it Mississippi’s win over Troy? Ouch!

Tournament Chances Already in Trouble

  • Miami (FL): I think we all saw a bad season coming for the Hurricanes, but this is ridiculous. A loss to St. Francis and then a one-point overtime victory over Georgia Southern doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Next they play head coach Mike Davis and Texas Southern, who could run through the SWAC undefeated.
  • Boston College: Not to hate on the ACC here, but the Eagles had a legitimate shot to make a run for an at-large berth, but losses to Providence and Massachusetts — who looks like a NCAA Tournament team as of today — have already derailed some of those early hopes. Next up is Toledo. The Eagles better win that one.
  • West Virginia: Considering Virginia Tech started its season by losing to USC Upstate, it was a shock to learn that West Virginia had blown a big lead and fallen to the Hokies. It’s not that I expected West Virginia to be good, but I did at least expect them to be competitive in the Big 12 this season.
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ACC Morning Five: 10.07.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 7th, 2011

  1. USA Today: Marien Garcia talked with Roy Williams and Tyler Zeller about North Carolina‘s upcoming game on the aircraft carrier against Michigan State. Williams sounded excited about the game, though it definitely sounds like he expects a few early game jitters from the environment. Zeller indirectly supported Williams’ thoughts, wondering how the boat’s movement would affect shooting. Magic Johnson has confirmed his role as honorary captain for the Spartans, while rumor has it that Michael Jordan may be wavering on his commitment to attend on behalf of the Tar Heels.
  2. Raleigh News and Observer – ACC Now: Rejoice NC State fans! Alumnus Sidney Lowe has already landed on his feet (not counting the million dollar check he’ll be receiving from the Wolfpack athletic department). Lowe was hired by the Utah Jazz as an assistant coach. Lowe’s departure was a double-edged sword: on the one hand his team’s performances and lack of NCAA Tournament invitations mandated his dismissal; on the other Lowe has a lot of history with the program, which made the parting more than a little bittersweet.
  3. Baltimore Sun – Recruiting Report: Matt Bracken profiles Syracuse sophomore CJ Fair, focusing on his rollercoaster recruitment. While Fair played a more limited role for the Orange last season, Jim Boeheim expects him to take on more responsibility for this year’s team. But the coach’s praise didn’t stop there: “But he’s on a tremendous path. I think he can be a dominant player before he leaves here.”
  4. Washington Post – Terrapins Insider: Maryland freshman Alex Len still hasn’t been cleared to play by the NCAA. This isn’t very surprising as Len signed very recently (August) and is from overseas. In other news Mark Turgeon expressed his excitement to play Mike Brey and Notre Dame in the BB&T Classic this fall: “Mike was on the staff at Duke when I played in the Final Four [in 1986 with Kansas]. I lost when I played, but we won the next time…”
  5. The Heights: A new student group at Boston College, Donahue’s Disciples, is out to generate more student enthusiasm for Eagle home games. Having attended a couple of games in Conte Forum, Ryan Dunn and his friends have a lot of work to do. Both games sported a half-empty student section, and the only real noise came from the band (for the record one of these games was a crucial NCAA Tournament bubble game against Virginia Tech). Donahue’s Disciples have some good ideas to get students involved: namely, free food and possibly a three-on-three basketball tournament. The official Donahue Disciple twitter account is @BookOfDonahue, which is already up to 189 followers.
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