2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology February 19

It’s under three weeks until Selection Sunday and college basketball continues to surprise. With teams having resumes that are almost complete, fans can start to get pumped for the madness in March. Here is the latest 2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

First four out: USC, Washington, Louisville, Boise State

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology February 12

The NCAA selection committee released their top 16 seeds this Saturday to give a look into how they would seed the teams right now. This can officially put everyone in the mindset for March Madness. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

 

First four out: SMU, Nebraska, St. Bonaventure, Utah

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 2/5/18

Only a month and a half until March Madness begins. Teams are about half way through their conference schedules and are jockeying for position. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

First four out: UCLA, SMU, Nebraska, Marquette

 

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 1/29/18

Only a month and a half until March Madness begins. Teams are about half way through their conference schedules and are jockeying for position. The NCAA Tournament is just over two months away. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

 

First four out: Syracuse, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Maryland

Next four out: Notre Dame, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington

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Cinderella teams to watch for in March Madness

The NCAA Tournament is less than two months away and the excitement around college basketball is starting to build. It won’t be long before the nation starts filling out their brackets. In order to win a bracket challenge, it will likely take knowing what teams can pull off some upsets. Here are the Cinderella teams to watch for in March Madness:

Boise State Broncos

Boise State is the only team on this list that could get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They play in a Mountain West Conference which features Nevada, who are the favorites. If they are unable to win the conference, the Broncos are still off to a great start at 17-4, which has them on the bubble for the big dance.

While they haven’t beaten any teams in the RPI top 50, Boise State has beaten two teams in the top 100: Loyola (Ill) and Oregon. They have no bad losses and are within a few possessions of only having one or two losses. To along with this theme, they have no home losses on the season, only having dropped road and neutral site games.

Their competitive advantage lies in Chandler Hutchison. The 6’7″ wing player has been one of the best players not to be known by too many fans. This season he averages 19.9 points per game and is a matchup nightmare. With 3.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game, Hutchison can do it all.

If Boise State makes the NCAA Tournament and Hutchison can get some good support from his teammates, the Broncos can win a few games.

Vermont Catamounts

Cinderella teams in March Madness

Trae Bell-Haynes (Photo by blacktoptv.com)

The Catamounts have made a postseason tournament every year since 2008 and are always competitive in the America East Conference. They look primed for their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Vermont sits at 17-5 on the season and look like they can win the AEC once again.

This season, they too don’t have any wins against the RPI top 50, but have competed well. They lost notable games at Kentucky by four and at Marquette by 10. Their best win this season was over Bradley, who resides in the RPI top 100. They also don’t have a loss at home, losing four on the road and one at a neutral site.

Vermont has been without their best player, Anthony Lamb since the end of December with a foot fracture. The Catamounts are undefeated without him in their last nine games. If he can get back healthy, the team is dangerous. Hopefully with the 6’6″ forward back in the lineup, Vermont can improve on their 323rd ranking in rebounds per game.

With Lamb and Trae Bell-Haynes the Catamounts can compete with most teams in the country.

Buffalo Bulls

Ever since Bobby Hurley arrived on campus the Bulls have been competitive. Even without Hurley anymore Buffalo continues to succeed. They have made the last two NCAA Tournaments, playing tight games with both West Virginia and Miami. This could be the year that the Bulls break through.

Buffalo is 29th in RPI at the moment. While they haven’t beaten any RPI top 50 teams all five of their losses have come to teams in the RPI top 100. Those losses include games to: Cincinnati, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Texas A&M and South Dakota State. Their one RPI top 100 win came over Toledo.

They have four guys who can score and average over 13 points per game, which makes them hard to guard. Junior guard C.J. Massinburg averages 18.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He can play with anyone in the country, scoring 29 on Cincinnati and 20 on Texas A&M.

If Massinburg gets hot and gets a little help from his other talented teammates, Buffalo might just surprise people.

Middle Tennesse Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee is another team that is used to playing in March with two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. They have gotten past the first round in both years, but can’t get out of the opening weekend of the tournament. This season they have gotten off to a great start at 14-5.

The Blue Raiders also have a very good RPI at 25. They got a big RPI top 50 win over Western Kentucky and a solid RPI top 100 win over Ole Miss. Middle Tennessee has no losses outside the RPI top 100 and all of their losses have come in close games.

Two players have led this team to success. Nick King started his career at Memphis, transferred to Alabama and has finally made his way to Middle Tennessee. He averages 21.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Giddy Potts has been around for the last two NCAA Tournament runs and has 13.4 points per game.

When King and Potts both start to heat up, the Blue Raiders will be hard to beat.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Cinderella teams in March Madness

Mike Daum (Photo by cbssports.com)

The Jackrabbits are another team that won’t be fazed playing on the big stage due to their two tournament appearances the last two seasons. At 17-6 this year, the Jackrabbits could very well make their third straight NCAA Tournament and win a game.

South Dakota State have two solid wins over Buffalo (RPI top 50) and Ole Miss (RPI top 100). They only have one bad loss, which came at the hands of their rivals South Dakota. Other than that bad loss, they have losses to Kansas, Missouri State, Wyoming, Colorado and Wichita State.

If there is one thing the Jackrabbits can do, it is score. They rank 10th in the country at 86.2 points per game. Against Wichita State they scored 85 points, while against Colorado they dropped 103 points. Junior forward Mike Daum is the team leader with 22.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Daum is a big reason the Jackrabbits have made the last two NCAA Tournaments and could be the player that gets them a win or two in this year’s tournament.

 

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 1/22/18

Conference play is now in session, which means a lot is known about college basketball teams already. There is still more to be known throughout conference play, as a lot of teams have already been upset in the first few weeks. The NCAA Tournament is just over two months away. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

First four out: Syracuse, Maryland, Georgia, Washington

Next four out: Western Kentucky, Baylor, UCLA, St. Bonaventure

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 1/8/18

Conference play is now in session, which means a lot is known about college basketball teams already. There is still more to be known throughout conference play, as a lot of teams have already been upset in the first few weeks. The NCAA Tournament is just over two months away. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

 

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College basketball preseason top 25: 20-16

It is the end of October so that means college basketball is right around the corner. What teams should be looked at as the best of the best? This is the second installment in the top 25 rundown. For teams 25-21 click here.

20. St. Mary’s Gaels

College basketball preseason top 25

Jock Landale (Photo by zimbio.com)

St. Mary’s made the big dance for the first time since 2013 last season. There run ended in the round of 32, but it was a big step just to get back to the dance. With most of their scoring returning, the Gaels should make it to the second consecutive NCAA Tournament.

Leading scorer Jock Landale returns after averaging 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He will receive serious consideration for WCC Player of the Year. Calvin Hermanson is the second leading returning scorer and plays on the wing. He lights up the scoreboard, which is a theme for this team.Evan Fitzner is another returning starter in the frontcourt, who will start at power forward, even though he only played 15 minutes a game. He can stretch the floor as a three point shooter. Kyle Clark and Tanner Krebs will provide experience and depth.

Emmett Naar will be the sole point guard this season and brings back a good all around game. Starting at the two guard will be Cullen Neal who is a senior transfer from Ole Miss.This is his third college team as he played for three seasons at New Mexico before becoming a Rebel He has over 1,000 career points already and brings a lot of experience. They aren’t very deep at the guard spots so Jordan Ford, Tommy Kuhse and Kristers Zoriks will need to step up.

The Gaels have a good enough team to beat Gonzaga in the WCC and also do some damage in March.

19. Minnesota Golden Gophers

College basketball preseason top 25

Nate Mason (Photo by kare11.com)

Last season Minnesota was one of the biggest surprises in all of college basketball. They had eight wins two seasons ago and last year improved to 24 wins. They did end up losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but with a lot of players returning the Golden Gophers’ future looks bright.

Jordan Murphy and Reggie Lynch are two great inside players for Richard Pitino. Murphy is more of an inside scorer and rebounder, while Lynch is a great defender who blocks a lot of shots. Lynch was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last season. Eric Curry played 19.9 minutes per game as a freshman and will have to eat up a lot of minutes again and be effective. Davonte Fitzgerald had a torn ACL last year, but is figuring to make impact this season.

The backcourt returns a lot of experience. The best player on the team is point guard Nate Mason. He averaged 15.2 points and five assists per game and is a great floor general. Amir Coffey is a lengthy wing who started all 33 games as a freshman and should improve in his second season. Dupree McBrayer is the best three point shooter on the team at 41.6% and played 27.8 minutes per game in his sophomore campaign last year. Not too many other guards play a lot of minutes so those three will need to stay out of foul trouble or the Golden Gophers will have to rely on freshmen.

While they likely won’t beat out Michigan State in the Big Ten, Minnesota will be a really solid team that will make another NCAA Tournament.

18. Louisville Cardinals

College basketball preseason top 25

David Padgett (Photo by thecardinalconnect.com)

Louisville got knocked out in the round of 32 last season, but a lot has happened since. Rick Pitino is out and they lost incoming star prospect Brian Bowen because of the Adidas scandal. The Cardinals still have a lot of good players returning, but David Padgett has a lot of work ahead of him coaching this team.

The Cardinals’ best player is Deng Adel, who is a good wing athlete. He does a little bit of everything for Louisville and will need to be the go to guy this season. Adel needs to improve his three point shooting and if he can, he will be one of the best players in the ACC. Anas Mahmoud and Raymond Spalding are the only returning interior player, who provide some experience, but they won’t wow anyone. They will be asked to defend, make open interior shots and rebound. For depth, their talented freshmen will need to step up. Malik Williams, Jordan Nwora and Lance Thomas need to provide an impact down low, while transfer Dwayne Sutton has to provide depth on the wing.

Quentin Snyder has been at Louisville for what seems like forever. He is the floor general that needs to be the leader of the team as they go through this difficult time. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.1 assists per game, which will need to improve this year. V.J. King was a great recruit who saw some minutes as a freshman, but will need to be a star for the Cardinals for the team to be successful. Depth will be a question as recruits need to step up and make a difference.

The Cardinals may not be eligible for the NCAA Tournament when the FBI investigation is all said and done, but Louisville has a talented roster that is deserving of being ranked.

17. Northwestern Wildcats

College basketball preseason top 25

Bryant McIntosh (photo by indystar.com)

Northwestern finally made the NCAA Tournament in 2017. They also got their first ever win and now are looking for more. The Wildcats return four players who averaged over 30 minutes per game last season and have good veteran leadership to rely on.

Dererk Pardon returns on the inside for Northwestern and with improvement can average a double double, even though he is a little undersized. Barret Benson will see an increased role this season after averaging eight minutes last season. Vic Law is a talented wing that can get to the basket and knock down threes. He also is the teams second leading rebounder. His defense is a game-changer. Gavin Skelly is a senior that will get minutes an help out more on the inside.

Senior point guard Bryant McIntosh can score and set up his teammates with 14.8 points and 5.2 assists per game. He will be flanked by shooting guard Scottie Lindsey. Lindsey will get to the basket and is the second leading returning scorer behind McIntosh. Isiah Brown will be asked to do more as a sophomore as the lone returning depth piece at the guard spot. Anthony Gaines is a freshman that will need to fill in some minutes for the Wildcats.

Back to back NCAA Tournaments is a probability for a team that took so long to get one appearance in the big dance.

16. Purdue Boilermakers

College basketball preseason top 25

Isaac Haas (Photo by draftexpress.com)

Purdue broke through to the Sweet 16 last season. They lost their double-double machine in Caleb Swanigan, but have a lot returning to help them be successful once again. The Boilermakers are coming off a big offseason of representing USA in the World University Games and came away with a silver medal.

The middle of the floor is anchored by Isaac Haas. He hasn’t been the prime time player yet in his Purdue career due to Swanigan and A.J. Hammons getting more minutes in years past. He will have to use his 7’2″ frame to score over shorter defenders and grab all the rebounds lost by the departure of Swanigan. At the four spot Vince Edwards is a very versatile player that can shoot the three and get to the basket. He is the perfect power forward for college basketball and averaged 12.6 points per game last season. Jacquil Taylor was redshirted last year due to injury and will need to provide depth.Matt Haarms is bigger than Haas and will back him up at center, while Eden Ewing and Aaron Wheeler will be asked to step in and provide depth.

Perimeter play is not something Purdue will be lacking. Carson Edwards, P.J. Thompson, Dakota Mathias and Ryan Cline all return. Carson Edwards is a great defender that had a good freshman season. Thompson, Mathias and Cline all knock down shots from deep. Mathias adds senior leadership and a good perimeter defender to the team. With these four players, the Boilermakers are in great hands.

The sky is the limit for this Purdue team even without Swanigan. Matt Painter will have this team ready for another run in March.

For teams 15-11: Click here.

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 10/26/17

The basketball season is fast approaching and it is never too early to start thinking about the NCAA Tournament. This bracketology will project how teams will finish this season. Here is the preseason bracketology for the 2018 season. Click on bracket to zoom.

First four teams out: Missouri, Oregon, Virginia, VCU

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The Luck of the Irish: Bonzie Colson is Coming Back

Notre Dame fans can rejoice in their unending luck. Bonzie Colson is coming back to South Bend for his senior year, and this is bigger news than you think.

Colson had an outstanding junior year. He shot 52.6 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from 3-point land. Colson also averaged almost seven field goals per game, so I think it’s safe to say he was a big factor for the Irish. He will be next year too.

Notre Dame could clinch the ACC

College basketball fans have expected Duke or North Carolina to take the ACC over the last few years. These top two teams have strong recruiting classes, great programs and legendary coaches. Notre Dame is starting to come into this conversation and Colson will have a big part in this for the 2017-18 season.

Bonzie Colson of Notre Dame (Photo Courtesy of si.com)

Colson has made significant jumps each year at Notre Dame. He averaged 5.6 points in 12.1 minutes per game in his freshman season. Next year he went up to 11.1 points in 25.3 minutes per game. This past season he really broke out, averaging 17.8 points in 32.1 minutes per game, as well as 10.1 rebounds.

He will be expected to play big minutes as a senior. His improvement over the summer will be paramount to the team’s success. He and Matt Farrell will be leading the Irish against some very good ACC teams.

However, Joel Berry II, Theo Pinson and Tony Bradley of UNC have all declared for the draft. Duke is also losing Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard, Harry Giles and Frank Jackson to the draft. Both top-contending teams will be very young next year, and Notre Dame has the opportunity to grab and ACC title with their experience coming back.

You lose some, you gain some

It is important to note that Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem have graduated. These two seniors accounted for a lot of minutes on Notre Dame’s squad this past year and combined for 27.6 points per game.

Matt Farrell will be returning as a senior and hopefully improves his stats from this year. He averaged 14.1 points and 2.5 turnovers in 34.4 minutes per game. Farrell will have to finish around the rim consistently and be more cognizant of turnovers if he is to truly impact his team next year. The Irish also have Temple Gibbs, Nikola Djogo, Austin Torres and John Mooney coming back.

Notre Dame has bonzie colson returning

Matt Farrell of Notre Dame (Photo Courtesy of sportingnews.com)

More importantly, they are bringing in D.J. Harvey Jr., who is ranked 50th in ESPN’s top 100 recruits. He’s a 6-foot-6, 205 pound small forward that will have a direct impact his freshman year. He is a hard-working player, and it helps that Notre Dame lost Vasturia and Beachem. This will give him greater opportunity to learn and earn minutes right away. Colson will be able to guide Harvey and hopefully pull together all of these players for a successful year.

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