The 2020 college basketball season is about halfway through. These means it is time for the first installment of LWOS Bracketology 1.0. Throughout the rest of the NCAA season, LWOS will produce an updated bracket, including overall seeding, bi-weekly.
Here is the first version of the bracket.
LWOS Bracketology 1.0
Much has been discussed about the lack of talent and increasing parity in the college basketball landscape. Unsurprisingly, the number of teams from conferences across the country varies greatly. The Big Ten leads all conferences with nine teams, followed by the Big East, Big 12, ACC, and SEC, with seven, six, five, and five teams, respectively. For the mid-major fans out there, the WCC, American, and Atlantic 10 lead the way with three, three, and two teams, respectively.
Probably the most surprising conference is the Big East. They have been brilliant this season and have earned all seven of their current spots. Leading the conference are the Butler Bulldogs, along with Villanova and Seton Hall.
The East region is led by the number one overall seed, Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils have been the best team in college basketball this season and have earned the number one overall seed with wins over Michigan State and Kansas.
Adding to this region, Auburn, one of only two remaining unbeaten teams is a three seed. The Tigers’ resume is not as strong as some other teams, but they have been impressive to start the season.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Ohio State who has lost three straight games, making them a four seed.
Lastly, Wisconsin enters the field after starting the season a disappointing 5-5. They have now won four of their last five including knocking off Ohio State on the road.
The South region begins with the second number one seed, Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas has been great outside of two games against Duke and Villanova. They have earned the title as the second-best team in college basketball and a number one seed in Bracketology 1.0.
Notably, Florida State is the number two seed in this region after knocking off Louisville last week and cementing their case for an ACC title.
Additionally, San Diego State and Wichita State find themselves as a three seed and five seed, respectively. Both teams have started to cement impressive resumes, especially San Diego State, who is making a case to finish the season undefeated.
Rounding out the mid-majors is BYU. The Cougars have suffered some difficult losses this season, but four of those five have happened without their best player, Yoeli Childs.
Maryland, Michigan, and Iowa all represent the Big Ten in this region. All three teams have been stuck in basketball purgatory this season, essentially being unable to cement a case to elevate their resume.
The West region begins with Gonzaga who is the number one team in the AP Poll and the third number one seed in Bracketology 1.0. They have struggled in their first two conference games this season, which dropped them behind Duke and Kansas. However, it would be surprising if they did not end the season as a number one seed.
Michigan State is the number two seed in this region. After starting 5-3 and being ranked as low as 16th, they have rattled off eight straight wins and look to be returning to the expected form. Michigan State certainly has the potential to earn a one seed.
The rest of this region is full of talented teams that have not been as good as expected to start the season. Louisville, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Memphis, and Florida all have been discussed as a potential Final Four team at some point this season. At this point, none of the aforementioned teams have made any sort of case that those aspirations will come true. However, if any of these teams do find their groove, it could be game over.
The most surprising team in this region may be Virginia. They enter Bracketology 1.0 as an eight seed. Virginia has struggled mightily and lost two of their last four games to bad teams. They are still searching for their signature win and lack any sort of offensive punch. At this point, it would be surprising to see Virginia survive the first weekend if they can even make the tournament. That is shocking considering the Virginia teams of the last few years.
The Midwest region begins with the Baylor Bears. Baylor is a surprising number one seed to some, considering they were ranked 24thin the nation after week one, but are now fourth. They have a huge matchup with Kansas this weekend but seem to be very much a real threat to contend for a championship this year.
Butler, Dayton, and West Virginia round out the top four. All three teams are surprisingly high seeds, but they all have been outstanding this season. Dayton and Obi Toppin made themselves known in Maui and nearly knocked off Kansas to win that crown. Butler has quietly gone 14-1 with the lone loss coming by one point at Baylor. West Virginia lost two close games on the road to good teams, racking up a 12-2 record.
Other notable teams in this region are two teams from New Jersey. Seton Hall was projected to be a great team this year, but they have struggled at points. They are currently 11-4, but they do not have a bad loss. Once Myles Powell gets going, this team will be deadly again.
Additionally, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights make a surprise entrance as an eight seed. Rutgers has not made the NCAA tournament since 1991. They are 12-3 with wins over Penn State, Seton Hall, and Wisconsin. They have the team and the resume to break the tournament drought this season.
The bubble is as weak as it gets at the halfway point in the season. The last four in are North Carolina State, Stanford, Georgetown, and Oklahoma State. These teams all have some good wins and some bad losses. No one has made a great argument to be included yet.
The first four teams out are Utah State, Georgia, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota. These teams are very talented but suffered too many questionable losses. All of them will need to knock off a highly ranked team to cement their case.
LWOS Bracketology 1.0
That concludes Bracketology 1.0. Take a look at the bracket. Please copy it and fill it out if you have time. Make arguments for teams you think should be in or out. The more you play with the bracket, the better chance you will have to successfully fill one out in March.
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