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,
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,
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.
Athletic Conference (MAAC) Iona
Mid-American (MAC) Central Michigan
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.