Bracket Preparation

With the college basketball season beginning to wrap up, we begin looking forward to the greatest part of march – the big dance. 68 teams will punch their ticket to compete for the national championship of college hoops. The official bracket unveils on Sunday, March 17th during the CBS Selection Show, but until then, prepare for a lot of speculation.

So how can we here at TSB help you prepare for the bracket this early? Well we have a few ideas. Consider this one of  your “kits to preseason March Madness.” Below we will have our conference championship coverage and talk about the bracket itself. We will bring updates as they come, and discuss some bubble teams as they progress through Championship Week.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Atlantic Coast – March 14-17: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: North Carolina State, Maryland, Virginia
Tournament Locks: Miami, Duke, North Carolina
TSB Predicted Champion: Duke

America East – March 8-10 & 16:
#2 Vermont vs #7 New Hampshire (3/8)
#3 Hartford vs #6 UMBC (3/8)
#1 Stony Brook vs #8 Binghamton (3/8)
#4 Albany vs #5 Maine
TSB Predicted Champion: Stony Brook

Atlantic 10 – March 14-17: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve:  Virginia Commonwealth, Temple
Tournament Locks: Butler, Saint Louis
TSB Predicted Champion: Butler

Atlantic Sun – March 6-9:
#2 Florida Gulf Coast vs #7 North Florida (3/6)
#1 Mercer vs #8 Lipscomb (3/6)
#3 Stetson vs #6 East Tennessee State (3/7)
#4 Jacksonville vs #5 USC Upstate (3/7)
TSB Predicted Champion: Florida Gulf Coast

Big 12 – March 13-16: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor
Tournament Locks: Kanas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State
TSB Predicted Champion: Kansas

Big East – March 12-16: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Cincinnati, Villanova
Tournament Locks: Georgetown, Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh

TSB Predicted Champion: Louisville

Big Sky – March 14-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Montana

Big South – March 5-10:
#5 Winthrop 60, #4 Radford 58 – Winthrop advances (3/5)
#6 Longwood 87, #3 UNC Asheville 72 – Longwood advances (3/5)
#3 Campbell 81, #6 Presbyterian 73 – Campbell advances (3/5)
#5 Liberty 78, #4 Coastal Carolina 61 – Liberty advances (3/5)
#1 Charleston Southern vs #5 Winthrop (3/7)
#2 VMI vs #6 Longwood (3/7)
#2 Gardner Webb vs #3 Campbell (3/7)
#1 High Point vs #5 Liberty (3/7)
TSB Predicted Champion: High Point

Big Ten – March 14-17: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Illinois, Minnesota
Tournament Locks: Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin
TSB Predicted Champion: Indiana

Big West – March 14-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Long Beach State

Colonial – March 9-11: 
#4 George Mason vs #5 Drexel (3/9)
#2 Delaware vs #7 Hofstra (3/9)
#3 James Madison vs #6 William & Mary (3/9)
TSB Predicted Champion: Northeastern

Conference USA – March 13-16: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Southern Miss, UTEP
Tournament Locks: Memphis
TSB Predicted Champion: Memphis

Horizon League – March 5-12: 
#4 Green Bay 62, #9 Milwaukee 46 – Green Bay advances (3/5)
#5 Illinois-Chicago 82, #8 Cleveland State 59 – Illinois-Chicago advances (3/5)
#6 Youngstown State 62, #7 Loyola (IL) 60 – Youngstown State advances (3/5)
#4 Green Bay vs #5 Illinois-Chicago (3/8)
#3 Wright State vs #6 Youngstown State (3/8)
TSB Predicted Champion: Valparaiso

Metro Atlantic  – March 8-11:
#8 Marist vs #9 Sienna (3/8)
#7 Fairfield vs #10 St. Peters (3/8)
#4 Iona vs #5 Canisius (3/9)
#3 Loyola (MD) vs #6 Manhattan (3/9)
TSB Predicted Champion: Niagara

Mid American – March 11-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Akron

Mid Eastern – March 11-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Norfolk State

Missouri Valley – March 7-10:
#8 Bradley vs #9 Drake (3/7)
#7 Missouri State vs #10 Southern Illinois (3/7)
#4 Evansville vs #5 Indiana State (3/8)
#3 Northern Iowa vs #6 Illinois State (3/8)
Teams who need to improve: Evansville, Northern Iowa
Tournament Locks: Creighton, Wichita State
TSB Predicted Champion: Creighton

Mountain West – March 12-16: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Boise State
Tournament Locks: New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State,  Colorado State
TSB Predicted Champion: New Mexico

Northeast – March 6-12:
#1 Robert Morris vs #8 St. Francis (3/6)
#4 Bryant vs #5 Mount St Mary’s (3/6)
#3 LIU Brooklyn vs #6 Quinnipiac (3/6)
#2 Wagner vs #7 Central Connecticut (3/6)
TSB Predicted Champion: Robert Morris

Ohio Valley – March 6-9:
#5 Morehead State vs #8 Tennessee-Martin (3/6)
#6 SE Missouri State vs #7 Eastern Illinois (3/6)
TSB Predicted Champion: Belmont

Pac 12 – March 13-16: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Colorado
Tournament Locks: Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, Cal
TSB Predicted Champion: Arizona

Patriot League – March 6-13:
#1 Bucknell vs #8 Navy (3/6)
#4 Army vs #5 American (3/6)
#3 Lehigh vs #6 Colgate (3/6)
#2 Lafayette vs #7 Holy Cross (3/6)
TSB Predicted Champion: Bucknell

SEC – March 13-17: Seeds not set
Teams who need to improve: Kentucky, Ole Miss, Alabama
Tournament Locks: Florida, Missouri
TSB Predicted Champion: Florida

Southern – March 8-11:
#8 Wofford vs #9 Georgia Southern (3/8)
#5 Samford vs #12 Furman (3/8)
#7 Chattanooga vs #10 UNC Greensboro (3/8)
#6 Western Carolina vs #11 Citadel (3/8)
TSB Predicted Champion: Davidson

Southland – March 13-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Stephen F. Austin

Summit League – March 9-12:
#1 South Dakota State vs #8 IUPUI (3/9)
#2 Western Illinois vs #7 South Dakota (3/9)
#4 Oakland vs #5 IPFW (3/10)
#3 North Dakota State vs #6 UMKC (3/10)
TSB Predicted Champion: South Dakota State

Sun Belt – March 8-11:
#8 UL Lafayette vs #9 North Texas (3/8)
#7 Florida Atlantic vs #10 Troy (3/8)
#6 Western Kentucky vs #11 UL Monroe (3/8)
TSB Predicted Champion: Middle Tennessee State

Southwestern Athletic – March 12-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Southern

Western Athletic – March 12-16: Seeds not set
TSB Predicted Champion: Louisiana Tech

West Coast – March 6-11:
#8 Portland vs #9 Loyola Marymount (3/6)
Teams who need to improve: Bringham Young
Tournament Locks: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s
TSB Predicted Champion: Gonzaga

WHAT ABOUT THE BRACKET

Now that we have cleared the colorful speculations, lets talk about the tournament itself. 2013 will mark the second year of the 68-team format. Four play in games will be played on March 19 and 20th. These games, in most cases, are not apart of the bracket contests, but could be used as a tie breaker. The round of 64 will be played on March 21 and 22. The remaining 32 teams will play on the 23rd and 24th, leaving the Sweet Sixteen remaining. Those games are to be played the 28th and 29th. The Elite Eight will play on the 3oth and 31st. The Final Four will begin on April 6th, leaving the championship game to be played on the 8th.

So now that you know the basic schedule of the tournament, lets begin taking some notes about the 68 team bracket. Although we are 11 days from the unveiling of the bracket, there are still a lot of things we should know about the seeds that can help you succeed in your pool.

  • In the history of the tournament, there have only been three tournaments where a #1 seed did not make the Final Four. Two of them have happened in the last decade (2011, 2006). Although it is uncommon to see four #1 seeds lose before the Final Four, it is a possibility.
  • On the other hand, 2008 was the only year in tournament history where all four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four: Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, and Memphis. Again, it is extremely rare for all four #1 seeds to make the Final Four (although you wouldn’t expect it) but it can happen.
  • The #1 seed is 112-0 against the #16 seed. The last time a #16 seed lost by two or less points was Western Carolina’s two point loss to Purdue in 1996.
  • 2012 was the only tournament in history in which two #15 seeds advanced to the Round of 32.
  • The lowest seed to ever reach the Final Four is #11. This has happened only three times: LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, and VCU (Virginia Commonwealth) in 2011.
  • The lowest seed to ever reach the Championship game is #8. This has happened three times. UCLA in 1980 (vacated due to ineligible players), Butler in 2011, and Villanova won the championship in 1985. Don’t count the little guys out, they can win it too.
  • The #1 ranked team, according to the USA today, has won the tournament four times since 1994: Arkansas (1994), UCLA (1995), Duke (2001), and Kentucky (2012).

Now let’s compare the seeds against each other.

ROUND OF 64

  • #1 vs #16
    • #1 seeds are a perfect 112-0 against #16 seeds.
  • #2 vs #15
    • #2 seeds are 106-6 (.946) against #15 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of #15 upsetting #2: Lehigh over Duke (2012), Norfolk State over Missouri (2012), Hampton over Iowa State (2001)
  • #3 vs #14
    • #3 seeds are 96-16 (.857) against #14 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of #14 upsetting #3 Ohio over Georgetown (2010), Northwestern State over Iowa (2006), Bucknell over Kansas (2005)
  • #4 vs #13
    • #4 seeds are 88-24 (.786) against #13 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of  #13 upsetting #4: Ohio over Michigan (2012), Morehead State over Louisville (2011), Murray State over Vanderbilt (2010)
  • #5 vs #12
    • #5 seeds are 74-38 (.661) against #12 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of #12 upsetting #5: VCU over Wichita State (2012), South Florida over Temple (2012), Richmond over Vanderbilt (2011), Arizona over Utah (2009)
  • #6 vs #11
    • #6 seeds are 74-38 (.661) against #11 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of #11 upsetting #6: Colorado over UNLV (2012), North Carolina State over San Diego State (2012), Marquette over Xavier (2011), VCU over  Georgetown (2011), Gonzaga over St Johns (2011)
  • #7 vs #10
    • #7 seeds are 67-45 (.598) against #10 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of #10 upsetting #7: Purdue over Saint Mary’s (2012), Xavier over Notre Dame (2012), Florida State over Texas A&M (2011),Georgia Tech over Oklahoma State (2010)
  • #8 vs #9
    • #8 seeds are 54-58 (.482) against #9 seeds.
    • Recent Occurrences of #9 upsetting #8: Saint Louis over Memphis (2012), Illinois over UNLV (2011), Northern Iowa over UNLV (2010), Wake Forest over Texas (2010), Sienna over Ohio State (2009)

ROUND OF 32

  • #1 vs #8/9
    • #1 seeds are more likely to beat the #9 seeds (54-4) than the #8 seed (44-10).
    • Recent Occurrences of #8 upsetting #1: Butler over Pittsburgh (2011), Alabama over Stanford (2004), UCLA over Cincinnati (2002)
    • Recent Occurrences of #9 upsetting #1: Northern Iowa over Kansas (2010), UAB over Kentucky (2004), Boston College over North Carolina (1994)
  • #2 vs #7/10
    • #2 seeds are more likely to beat the #7 seed (48-17) than the #10 seed (24-17).
    • Recent Occurrences of #7 upsetting #2: West Virginia over Duke (2008), UNLV over Wisconsin (2007), Georgetown over Ohio State (2006)
    • Recent Occurrences of #10 upsetting #2: Florida State over Notre Dame (2011), Saint Mary’s over Villanova (2010), Davidson over Georgetown (2008)
  • #3 vs #6/11
    • #3 seeds are more likely to beat the #11 seed (23-12) than the #6 seed (34-27).
    • Recent Occurrences of #6 upsetting #3: Cincinnati over Florida State (2012), Xavier over Pittsburgh (2010), Vanderbilt over Washington State (2007)
    • Recent Occurrences of #11 upsetting #3: North Carolina State over Georgetown (2012),  George Mason over North Carolina (2006), Southern Illinois vs Georgia (2002)
  • #4 vs #5/12
    • #4 seeds are more likely to beat the #12 seed (17-11) than the #5 seed (32-28).
    • Recent Occurrences of  #5 upsetting #4: Arizona over Texas (2011), Michigan State over Maryland (2010), Purdue over Washington (2009)
    • Recent Occurrences of #12 upsetting #4: Cornell over Wisconsin (2010), Milwaukee over Boston College (2005), Butler over  Louisville (2003)
  • #5 vs #4/13
    • #5 seed is more likely to beat the #13 seed (11-3) than the #4 seed (28-32).
    • Recent Occurrence of #13 upsetting #5: Bradley over Pittsburgh (2006)
  • #6 vs #3/14
    • #6 seed is more likely to beat the #14 seed (11-2) than the #3 seed (27-34)
    • Recent Occurrence of #14 upsetting #6: Chattanooga over Illinois (1997)
  • #7 vs #2/15
    • #7 seed is more likely to beat the #15 seed (2-0) than the #2 seed (17-48).
  • #10 vs 2/15
    • #10 seed is more likely to beat the #15 seed (4-0) than the #2 seed (17-24).
  • #11 vs 3/14
    • #11 seed is more likely to beat the #14 seed (3-0) than the #3 seed (12-23)
  • #12 vs 4/13
    • #12 seed is more likely to beat the #13 seed (8-2) than the #4 seed (11-17)
    • Recent Occurrences of #13 over #12: Ohio over South Florida (2012), Valparaiso over Florida State (1998)

Stay with us over the next 11 days as we prepare you for March Madness! We will open an ESPN Tournament Challenge group on Sunday, March 17.

Thank you all, and God bless!

Moose

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