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Way Too Early Bracketology

Photo by Anthony Giacomino/ Paint Touches

Photo by Anthony Giacomino/ Paint Touches

It has been a long dry summer for college hoop fans. Duke cut down the nets almost 4 months ago. The coaching carousel went for a spin but has long since come to a stop. Even the epic domino game that is the transfer epidemic has slowed down to almost a crawl. But as the national media focuses on baseball and the monstrosity that is college football, the dedicated fans of college hoops are entertaining themselves with news of schedules being announced and rumors of who is tearing it up in practice. The start of the season might be over three months away, but it is starting to feel like college basketball is almost here.

Given that transfers have finally slowed down and teams are starting to release their official rosters, we can now start to analyze what the season ahead holds for us. And because fans always take things way too far, Paint Touches has decided to look past the regular season and look at what the end of the season might look like. What better way to do that than a WAY too early bracketology?

To create this bracketology, a formula was used that looked at KenPom rankings, conference ranking, percentage lost of major categories (points, rebounds, steals, blocks, 3PM), assigned value to incoming players (including freshmen, Jucos, transfers, graduate transfers, players coming off a redshirt, and players returning from injury suffered during the 14-15 season). This formula gave all 351 teams a score that was used to put each team on an s-curve. Teams were then plugged into the bracket and then adjusted to fit as many of the unofficial tournament committee rules as possible (Indiana got bumped down a seed line, sorry Tommy).

Important disclaimer! A lot of this is very basic statistics. There are much more accurate advanced stats out there. If you want to pay me or give me an intern who works for free, I would be happy to use them. This is meant to be a fun project to pass the time that gives fans a rough prediction of their team’s prospects going into season.

So, without further ado:

SOUTH

1: WICHITA STATE
16: NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
8: Indiana
9: Connecticut
5: VANDERBILT
12: STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
4: Texas
13: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
6: West Virginia
11: Wisconsin
3: Utah
14: HIGH POINT
7: Xavier
10: Davidson
2: Virginia
15: CHATTANOOGA

EAST

1: NORTH CAROLINA
16: LEHIGH/MOUNT SAINT MARY’S
8: Purdue
9: Florida
5: Baylor
12: OLD DOMINION
4: CINCINNATI
13: STONY BROOK
6: Georgetown
11: Rhode Island/California
3: Duke
14: HOFSTRA
7: LSU
10: Boise State
2: MARYLAND
15: HARVARD

WEST

1: ARIZONA
16: NEW MEXICO STATE
8: SAN DIEGO STATE
9: Texas A&M
5: GONZAGA
12: Pittsburgh/Michigan
4: Southern Methodist
13: UC IRVINE
6: UCLA
11: South Carolina
3: Butler
14: LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE
7: Miami (FL)
10: Ohio State
2: Oklahoma
15: BELMONT

MIDWEST

1: KANSAS
16: MONTANA/TEXAS SOUTHERN
8: Louisville
9: DAYTON
5: Oregon
12: VALPARAISO
4: Michigan State
13: CENTRAL MICHIGAN
6: Kentucky
11: Syracuse
3: Iowa State
14: IONA
7: Notre Dame
10: Iowa
2: VILLANOVA
15: NJIT

Last Four Byes

Ohio State
Syracuse
South Carolina
Wisconsin

Last Four In

Pittsburgh
Rhode Island
Michigan
California

First Four Out

Georgia
Florida State
Illinois
North Carolina state

In the Hunt

Memphis
Clemson
Oklahoma State
Richmond
VCU
Temple
BYU
Creighton
Oregon State
Providence
Arkansas
Marquette
Northwestern
USC
Auburn

Conference Breakdown:
ACC: 8
B1G: 8
B12: 6
SEC: 6
P12: 5
BE: 4
AAC: 3
A10: 3
MWC: 2
MVC: 1
WCC: 1

Some quick analysis based on these results:
College basketball as a whole should be a lot better than it was last year. Last year, the national average for % of scoring lost was 44%. This year, the national average is 39%. Of the teams with the top 28 KenPom scores from last season, only six are losing 45% or more of their scoring. Of those six, four have recruiting classes ranked in the top 10 by Top247sports. The two that don’t? Wisconsin and Northern Iowa.

The Big 12 will be the most beastly conference in college hoops. The top 6 teams in the conference all scored in the top 20. Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas, and West Virginia were all moved down a seed line in anticipation of the brutal conference schedule.

The top and the bottom of the B1G is losing a lot while the middle is getting a lot better. The result will be a very tight 10 team race that leaves all involved battered and bruised. The conference strength will get them eight bids but they will be lower seeds than one might expect.

The Big East will have a down year compared to last year. Providence and Saint John’s will fall off and while the bottom of the conference gets better, it won’t be enough to get anymore teams into the tournament.

The AAC will continue to be the most top heavy conference in sports. The top five will all have legitimate tournament aspirations. The rest…they will all be lucky to crack the top 200. 

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Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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