BLOG EXCLUSIVE: My Initial Picks for All 68 Teams Hoping To Make the 2016 NCAA Tournament

SONG SELECTION:  Metric, “The Shade”

Taken from their September 18, 2015 album release titled, Pagans In Vegas

Before I begin, I would be remiss if fans are not privy to the simple fact that the NCAA could be throwing more than the legal books at three proud, tradition rich schools at any time before the draw is revealed.

With that said, please note the x, y, and z special notations below by North Carolina, Louisville, and Pacific and their recent egregious transgressions.  Depending on the possible severity of North Carolina’s academic cheating problems with players during the mid 2000’s, Louisville’s recruiting sex scandal, and Pacific possibly following SMU to being banned for the 2016 version of the “Big Dance” since administrators admit to giving players online courses just so they wouldn’t miss any flights to any road games that they were scheduled to play in.

And since we have 125 days until Selection Sunday, I hereby present my gut feeling picks by conference (since full-time bracketologists like Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com and Jerry Palm from CBSSports.com do get paid quite well for trying to successfully choose and place into the proper brackets) for each of the 68 schools that hopefully will be deserving of an invite to the greatest tournament in the world IMHO.

Rather than making a mock bracket–I will not do that largely to save my online fans old and new both a lot of time and heartache.  I am sure you will instead appreciate the concise list organized by conference.

Each multi-bid league will have an * that will indicate which school that I believe will receive that conference’s automatic tournament bid (but may not necessarily dominate during conference play in the season’s Dog Days during January and February).

Ready?  Here we go, and remember–check back to this blog on March 13, 2016 and see how I did compared to the last two seasons.

CONFERENCE                         TEAM(S) TO EARN BID(S)

American Athletic (AAC)           Cincinnati, Connecticut, Memphis, Tulsa*

America East                             Stony Brook

Atlantic Coast (ACC)                 Duke*, Florida State, Louisville-x, Miami (Fla.),

North Carolina State, North Carolina-y,

Syracuse, Virginia

Atlantic Sun                            North Florida

Atlantic 10                              Davidson, St. Louis, VCU*

Big East                                  Butler, Georgetown, Villanova*, Xavier

Big West                                 UC Irvine

Big Sky                                    Montana

Big South                                 Winthrop

Big Ten                                     Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State,

Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue*

Big 12                                        Iowa State*, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas,

West Virginia

Colonial Athletic (CAA)               College of Charleston

Conference USA                        Western Kentucky

Horizon League                           Valparaiso

Ivy League                                   Yale, will beat either Harvard or Princeton in

one-game playoff to win automatic bid since the Ivy League does not hold a postseason tournament.

Metro Atlantic

Athletic Conference (MAAC)        Iona

Mid-American (MAC)                    Central Michigan

Mid-Eastern

Athletic Conference (MEAC)       Hampton

Missouri Valley                            Wichita State, y-Illinois State, if Louisville

is declared ineligible for postseason play

Mountain West                            San Diego State, Wyoming

Northeast (NEC)                          Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley (OVC)                        Belmont

Pac-12                                         Arizona*, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA

Patriot League                              Bucknell

Southeastern (SEC)                     Kentucky*, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

Southern Conference                   Wofford

Southland                                     Stephen F. Austin

Summit League                            South Dakota State

Southwestern Athletic (SWAC)     Southern

Sun Belt Conference                     Louisiana-Lafayette

West Coast (WCC)                       Gonzaga*, z-San Diego, if Pacific is ruled

ineligible for 2016 postseason play, St. Mary’s (California).

Western Athletic (WAC)              New Mexico State

LAST FOUR IN:   Auburn, LSU, x-Northwestern, if North Carolina is found to be ineligible for 2016 postseason and thereby breaking a very long drought between tournament appearances (otherwise, Dayton), Wisconsin–Oh, how the mighty have fallen, from last season’s runner-up to the 68th best team in the nation just barely getting pecking order on the seed list ahead of:

FIRST FOUR OUT:  Richmond, Alabama, New Mexico, Manhattan

We shall see what we shall see, right?

Let the games begin!  See you with my first game recaps next weekend, in hopes there will be one upset of epic proportions.  Take care, everybody.

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