Frank’s Bracketology for Dummies returns

Frank's Bracketology for Dummies returns

With college football season in the books and college basketball coming on strong, it’s time for another season of Bracketology for Dummies.  Same format as last year, let’s just hope I fair better when I fill out my bracket.

Fantastic Four (Projected top four seeds):

1. Duke: The preseason number eight Blue Devils have made the most of some other upsets thus far in college basketball.  Indiana and Kansas went down early on in the season, and Michigan suffered their first loss earlier in January.  Just two weeks ago the Blue Devils were number one in all polls but after their loss to NC State slipped, only to see the new number one Louisville lose to Syracuse which enabled Duke to move back to number one.  As of now the Blue Devils are the top dogs, but in the ever so changing world of college basketball, in late January that may not mean a whole lot. They’re @ Miami and home to Maryland this week.

2. Michigan: The loss to Ohio State doesn’t seem to mean much right now.  Sitting at 17-1 this is the best basketball team Michigan has had since the days of the fab five.  They rank in the top ten in the nation in points per game and field goal percentage.  Guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. have both seen their averages rise this season and the backcourt duo will look to continue to carry the load for the Wolverines.  Purdue and @ Illinois this week.

3. Kansas: Last year’s runner ups are certainly having a better season than last year’s champions.  In fairness Kentucky is a totally revamped team but Kansas lost its best player in Thomas Robinson and still sits at three in the nation.  The man in the middle Jeff Withey is back with a vengeance as his numbers have gone from nine points and eight rebounds a game last year to over thirteen points and just under ten rebounds this year.  Their loss came very early in the season in their second game against Michigan State.  Since the Jayhawks have climbed the ladder and gotten all the way to three and will look to continue in their winning ways this week against Oklahoma.

4.Syracuse: The Orange have had some close calls, like most Jim Boeheim teams almost always do, but nevertheless here they are at 18-1.  Not that it’s ever good to lose but it certainly doesn’t hurt as much when the loss is out of conference which was the case for Syracuse.  They’ll get tested in their next game by a Villanova team that’s fresh off of an upset of Louisville and brimming with confidence.

 

Bubble Watch

 

Villanova: After a win against Louisville this week, Jay Wright’s team is searching to find its way back into the big dance after a disappointing 2011-2012 campaign.  The win against Louisville helps, but in the ever so deep Big East the higher up you are the better it looks.  Villanova gets another chance on Saturday to boost it’s resume some more as they play Syracuse for the second time this season.

 

Illinois: The Big 10 has a lot of depth this year.  Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Minnesota are all nationally ranked and all appear on the schedule for the Fighting Illini. They’ve beaten Ohio State already and will play them again in March.  They get Michigan next which is another chance to add to the list of signature wins, and after Michigan they play Michigan State and shortly thereafter Minnesota and Inidana.  It’s safe to say Illinois can play its way off the bubble and into the field with some nice wins.

 

Cinderella Watch

 

Belmont: I’ve picked them in years past to win a game in the NCAA tournament as a double digit seed.  They seem to always be in that kind of position.  They enter the tournament as a low seed but a scary low seed that a lot of people pick to pull at least one upset in the dance.  They should win the Ohio Valley Conference and once that happens the Bruins are a team to look out for.

 

Don’t Sleep on Me

 

Wisconsin: Bo Ryan is a great coach.  Every year his Badgers are a staple in the tournament and rarely go out without posting a few W’s.  They have a win at Indiana this year and the more they kind of quietly rest in that Big 10, which I mentioned is deep, the scarier a team Wisconsin becomes.  They’ll have lots of other chances before season’s end to put the college basketball world on notice.