Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 20 Update

I'm happy to say that these bracket projections are now appearing here, on the Bracket Matrix, and now on Mondays in the Dunkirk Observer along with my weekly column there. I'm grateful for the opportunity to do the column (and grateful to the Bracket Matrix for all their work as well!). When I took Joe Lunardi's bracketology certificate course five years ago, it was mostly to satisfy my own curiosity and understand Syracuse's bracket position better. But I enjoyed the process so much that I couldn't resist trying to build my own brackets. And I didn't do that consistently until I found The Bracket Matrix, which gave me a venue to share my projections and compare myself to others doing the same thing. This is the third year I've sent brackets to the Matrix, and while last year I tried to do a brief article here with each bracket update, this is the first time I've really tried to "put it out there." I'm still learning, and I welcome comments. I just want to point out that I do the bracket on Saturday evening for publication on Monday, and that means that some Saturday games and all Sunday games are not considered for that week's bracket. Sorry for the lag, but these take time to build, and I work two jobs.

This week we had some activity on the 1-seed line, but while I shifted the order I didn't bounce anyone down to a 2-seed. This is partly because none of the losses were really earth-shattering and partly because I still couldn't justify putting any of the 2's ahead of the current 1's. Michigan's, Virginia's and Duke's losses were all to teams currently in the field. I might've dropped Duke had they got beaten badly by Virginia, but their win over Virginia shows they belong on the top line (and the narrow loss at Cameron Indoor is no reason to drop the Cavaliers down either). Michigan's loss at Wisconsin isn't terrible either. Michigan State would be a worthy 1-seed, but I'm not ready yet to restore Gonzaga there. Kansas is unlikely to reclaim a 1-seed, and UNC is my last 2-seed right now (taking Texas Tech's spot after TTU's loss to Baylor).

The Atlantic 10 is making a comeback of sorts, with St. Louis and VCU both barely in the field. They're sort of interchangeable in the standings but I considered St. Louis to be the auto-bid team and VCU to be the at-large. Dayton's on the radar too, but VCU's victory over the Flyers puts the Rams in for now. We'll have to see if a team in that conference can separate themselves enough to lift their champion out of the 12/11 seed range.

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