NCAA Men’s Tournament 2016 Bracketology #3: January 18, 2016

Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners look poised to make a run at a #1 seed come NCAA Tournament time. While there's plenty of time between now and then, they have the look of a legitimate national title contender, yet only one of the CCR writers has them on the 1-line in the latest edition of CCR Bracketology.
Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners look poised to make a run at a #1 seed come NCAA Tournament time. While there’s plenty of time between now and then, they have the look of a legitimate national title contender, yet only one of the CCR writers has them on the 1-line in the latest edition of CCR Bracketology.

With 2015 firmly in the rear-view mirror, being nothing but a distant memory, teams are fully engaged in the gauntlet that is known as conference play, and they all have the same goal in mind: advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

For the smaller programs, a strong performance in conference play is much more important to them achieving their goal as opposed to power conference programs. Power conferences get multiple bids in the tournament, creating a ton of intrigue as to what teams make it in and what ones do not. Selection Sunday is always a hot topic, as several teams find themselves on the bubble, anxiously awaiting their post-season fate. Some will find their name on a line in the NCAA Tournament bracket, while others will make their way to the NIT.

Conference play hasn’t been too kind to the teams ranked in the top 25, especially in the past 7 days. Over the past week (Jan. 11-17), a total of 11 ranked teams have fallen to an unranked opponent, creating quite the shake-up in the seeds for the latest edition of CCR Bracketology.

With the New Year under way, College Court Report’s own Maverick and Bennett offer up the latest edition of CCR Bracketology, giving their opinions of what the field of 64 could look like. As conference play moves along, we will expand to a field of 68 teams, complete with opening round match-ups. We will be doing a weekly Bracketology report every Monday morning!

Below, take a look at both sets of predictions, and let us know what you think!

We will be doing a 2016 March Madness Challenge on College Court Report, so stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for more details as the tournament approaches!

Maverick Bracketology Jan 18

Maverick’s Bracket Notes

  • After the crazy week that saw 11 ranked teams fall to an unranked opponent, major changes took place in Maverick’s bracket. When all was said and done, 30 (!) new teams found their name in his projected field of 64 teams.
  • The last time the South Carolina Gamecocks made the NCAA Tournament was back in 2004. They were awarded a 2-seed once in their history, in 1997, and that didn’t go so well. South Carolina was eliminated in the first round by the Coppin State Eagles, who were a 15-seed. In each of their last four appearances in the Big Dance, the Gamecocks haven’t made it out of the Round of 64.
  • Since they made the jump from Division II to Division I, the South Carolina State Bulldogs have made 5 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and have gone 0-5 overall. They have never made it past the Round of 64, and have been awarded either a 15-seed or a 16-seed each time.

Bennett Bracketology Jan 17

Bennett’s Bracket Notes

  • The Tennessee State Tigers last appeared in the post-season back in 2013, when they made their second straight appearance in the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament. In both 2012 and 2013, the Tigers lost in the first round (2012 to the Mercer Bears; 2013 to the Evansville Purple Aces). The last time they made the NCAA Tournament was in 1994, losing to the Kentucky Wildcats in the opening round. Tennessee State is a combined 0-2 in two NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • After 6 seasons as an Independent program in Division I, and 7 years in the Summit League, the IPFW Mastodons are still looking for their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. They have appeared in the CIT in each of the past two years, but haven’t advanced to the Big Dance.
  • Their last appearance in the NCAA Tournament was back in 1998, but the Navy Midshipmen have 11 appearances to their name in the Big Dance. In those 11 appearances, the Midshipmen have reached two regional finals (“Elite Eight”), in 1954 and 1986. They also reached the regional third-place game in 1959.
  • Lon Kruger and the Oklahoma Sooners look to be on pace for a 1-seed in this year’s Big Dance, and are a legitimate national championship contender. Oklahoma has been a 1-seed five times in their history, and have reached two Elite Eights and 1 National Championship game in those five tries.
  • After missing the NCAA Tournament for 7 years (2007-2013), the Iowa Hawkeyes have since made back-to-back appearances in the field of 68. They have been seeded as a #2 only once in their history, back in 1987. The seeding did them well, as they advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.

– T.B.