Bracketology – Bracket Projection

Bracket Projection

From games played through 2/19/18.

This is a projection of what the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday (March 11th) – not who would be in if the tournament started today.  This projection is based on team ratings from (whose ratings have proven better than ESPN’s BPI at picking against the spread). I used those ratings as a starting point and made adjustments based off of projections of what the selection committee will do.

Check out the Bracket Matrix to compare the bracketology projections of many bracketologists.

Bracket Projection

1 Michigan St. 1 Villanova
16 Wagner 16 Penn
8 Seton Hall 8 Arizona St.
9 Virginia Tech 9 St. Mary’s (CA)
5 Clemson 5 Tennessee
12 Texas/Miami (FL) 12 Kansas St./Syracuse
4 Wichita St. 4 West Virginia
13 Old Dominion 13 East Tenn. St.
6 Florida St. 6 TCU
11 La.-Lafayette 11 UCLA
3 North Carolina 3 Texas Tech
14 Northern Ky. 14 Col. of Charleston
7 Michigan 7 Rhode Island
10 St. Bonaventure 10 New Mexico St.
2 Purdue 2 Cincinnati
15 Buffalo 15 Bucknell
1 Virginia 1 Duke
16 Prairie View/Hampton 16 Stephen F. Austin/FGCU
8 Oklahoma 8 Nevada
9 Alabama 9 Arkansas
5 Butler 5 Arizona
12 Loyola (IL) 12 Murray St.
4 Houston 4 Ohio St.
13 Vermont 13 South Dakota
6 Creighton 6 Texas A&M
11 Southern California 11 Baylor
3 Auburn 3 Gonzaga
14 Montana 14 UC Santa Barbara
7 Louisville 7 Kentucky
10 Missouri 10 Florida
2 Kansas 2 Xavier
15 Winthrop 15 Rider

Overall Seeds

1 Michigan St.
2 Villanova
3 Duke
4 Virginia
5 Purdue
6 Cincinnati
7 Xavier
8 Kansas
9 North Carolina
10 Texas Tech
11 Gonzaga
12 Auburn
13 Wichita St.
14 West Virginia
15 Ohio St.
16 Houston
17 Clemson
18 Tennessee
19 Arizona
20 Butler
21 Florida St.
22 TCU
23 Texas A&M
24 Creighton
25 Michigan
26 Rhode Island
27 Kentucky
28 Louisville
29 Seton Hall
30 Arizona St.
31 Nevada
32 Oklahoma
33 Virginia Tech
34 St. Mary’s (CA)
35 Arkansas
36 Alabama
37 St. Bonaventure
38 New Mexico St.
39 Florida
40 Missouri
41 La.-Lafayette
43 Baylor
44 Southern California
45 Texas
46 Miami (FL)
47 Kansas St.
48 Murray St.
49 Syracuse
50 Loyola (IL)
51 Old Dominion
52 East Tenn. St.
53 South Dakota
54 Vermont
55 Northern Ky.
56 Col. of Charleston
57 UC Santa Barbara
58 Montana
59 Buffalo
60 Bucknell
61 Rider
62 Winthrop
63 Wagner
64 Penn
66 Stephen F. Austin
67 Hampton
68 Prairie View

Projected Conference Champions – Automatic Bids

Conference Predicted Champion
America East Vermont
American Athletic Cincinnati
Atlantic 10 Rhode Island
Atlantic Coast Duke
Atlantic Sun FGCU
Big 12 Kansas
Big East Villanova
Big Sky Montana
Big South Winthrop
Big Ten Michigan St.
Big West UC Santa Barbara
Colonial Athletic Association Col. of Charleston
Conference USA Old Dominion
Horizon League Northern Ky.
Ivy League Penn
Metro Atlantic Athletic Rider
Mid-American Buffalo
Mid-Eastern Athletic Hampton
Missouri Valley Loyola (IL)
Mountain West Nevada
Northeast Wagner
Ohio Valley Murray St.
Pac-12 Arizona
Patriot League Bucknell
Southeastern Auburn
Southern East Tenn. St.
Southland Stephen F. Austin
Southwestern Athletic Prairie View
Sun Belt La.-Lafayette
Summit League South Dakota
West Coast Gonzaga
Western Athletic New Mexico St.

Last Four In – the last four teams projected to earn at-large bids

  • Texas
  • Miami
  • Kansas State
  • Syracuse

First Four Out – the best four teams projected to be just short of getting at-large bids

  • Penn State
  • Providence
  • Oregon
  • Mississippi State

Next Four Out – the next four best teams

  • MTSU
  • San Diego State
  • Boise State
  • Western Kentucky

22 thoughts on “Bracketology – Bracket Projection

    1. gotstremph

      Thanks for the question. I agree Washington has some good wins. ASU has now lost more conference games than they’ve won, so that one’s losing some luster. There are a lot of teams this year with multiple good wins. Looking past the good wins, they’ve had close games against much weaker opponents and too many of their losses were not close. Another thing hurting the Huskies is how the Pac-12 isn’t as strong this year as it often is. If they finish the season strong, they’ll definitely make the tournament. But their performance against some of the middle-range teams isn’t giving me a high level of confidence that they’ll finish strong. I’m excited to see how it plays out!

    1. gotstremph

      Good question, Brian. Thank you for your comment! 103 out of 108 brackets in the matrix have them in. If today was Selection Sunday, I’d have them in too, but we still have a month of basketball left. Providence has a tough final stretch, where they will most likely go 3-4, to finish the season 19-12 (10-8). They have some good wins, but so do lots of other teams. I consider scoring margin, and Providence had some close wins against weaker opponents (Belmont-1 pt, Rider-4 pts, Brown-5 pts, Stony Brook-2 pts). They’re sitting at a 10-seed in the matrix right now, and losing 4 of their last 7 and an early exit from the conference tournament would very well knock them out.

      1. Brian

        Wow so you are banking on them losing 5 out of 8, even though they are 7-4 with the third toughest sos so far in the BE.
        Pretty ridiculous.. only 1 team from the big east has not gotten in with 10 wins in the last 5+ years… andy you think pc would be one even though they would finish the year with 5+ quad 1 wins, an rpi of around 40 and sos under 20.

        Okay so this isn’t worth my time.

      2. gotstremph

        Probably more like 5 out of 9 (they’ll win in the first round of the Big East tournament). They might still make it. You’re right about the 10-win trend. Last year was the perfect example. 4 teams were 10-8 in conference and all made it in. 11-seed Providence lost their play-in game. 6-Creighton, 9-Seton Hall, and 10-Marquette all lost in the first round. Maybe the committee will think twice this time?
        Seriously, though, it’s really too soon to say Providence is a lock. Please check back in 4 weeks.

  1. TJ

    It is time to adjust your team rankings when you are consistently sliding Duke up to the top line. They lost to Virginia — you keep them on the top line. They lose to St. Johns — you keep them on the top line.

    Any ranking system that still projects them to be seeded ahead of Virginia is just wrong.

    1. gotstremph

      Thanks for the comment, TJ. I agree that I need to adjust. In fact, I was in the middle of updating when you commented. I disagree, however, that projecting Duke ahead of Virginia is absolutely wrong. There’s still a whole month of the season left before Selection Sunday. I’ll agree with “probably wrong” but not “just wrong.”

  2. GPJ73

    Curious why you would have Old Dominion – with its zero wins over the top 100 RPI or KenPom – over teams like Alabama and Missouri … or, frankly, any of the other teams in your first 8 out. Their resume is *terrible*.

    1. gotstremph

      That’s a really good question. Thank you for bringing that up. This far away from Selection Sunday, my projections are still largely (though not entirely) based on my model’s team ratings, and Old Dominion scores well in a lot of the key team stats that go into that calculation. As we head down the stretch, I will shift more to a prediction of how the committee will make their selections. Old Dominion’s team rating is close behind MTSU’s rating for tops in C-USA, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ODU wound up winning the C-USA Tournament and got the automatic bid.

    1. gotstremph

      Great question, Ed. If Selection Sunday was yesterday, Virginia would’ve been given a 1-seed, without a doubt. This projection is my best guess on how the bracket will look on March 11th. Duke and Virginia are really close, which last week proved. My model helps look at the whole season and not put too much weight on any single game. Given the season performance of all teams to this point, Duke scores a little bit better than Virginia. I’m really excited to watch the ACC conference race down the stretch.
      Thanks for the question. Please check back later to see how my projections look as we get closer to Selection Sunday.

  3. You can't Forecast

    I think you need a new computer. Seton hall is a lock and you have them as the. Next four out. LMAO…..every other site has them easily in. There are other laughable seedings in your bracket as well. Too many to mention. LOL

    1. gotstremph

      You can’t, thank for your comment! You’re totally right about my projection for Seton Hall. I based my projections (maybe too much) on my computer ratings for all of the teams. I think my model may need some tweaking to account more for strength of schedule. Nonetheless, playing Villanova close and winning by 9 @ Hawaii isn’t impressing me much. I think I might be the one laughing when Seton Hall makes their early exit from the tournament. Joking aside, I will be adjusting my bracket projection soon to how I think the committee will make their decisions. Stay tuned! And thanks, again, for the comment!

      1. You can't Forecast

        Joking aside, both providence and Michigan state are getting in as well. also Houston is not making the tournament. I believe you have them as a 9 seed. Just a few more observations

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