This year’s bracket forecasts are fairly uniform in the teams that are in the field. Once again, though we might claim to be correct on 67 out of 68 or whatever, this really comes down to a few teams. For this year’s media sample of projections, I used the following: Jerry Palm of CBS, Joe Lunardi of ESPN, Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated, Dave Ommen of NBC College Basketball Talk, and Patrick Stevens of USA Today. In addition, I include Basketball Predictions, and Crashing the Dance, which is a site that uses computer algorithms based on RPI and record vs. Top 50, Top 100 compared to past candidates to try to project the field.
When it comes to the #1 Seeds, there really is a lot of agreement, though many others are clamoring for teams like Miami, it has settled to five teams. Everyone is in agreement on Louisville, Indiana, and Kansas, except for Crashing the Dance (which has Indiana in the 5th spot, just missing). The issue is Duke or Gonzaga, with Palm, Lunardi, Basketball Predictions (and myself) having Gonzaga, and Dauster, Stevens, and Glockner going with Duke.
Meanwhile, the bubble seems to be pretty tight this year. Everyone has La Salle at the bottom of the at-large entries, but all have them in. Everyone is either going to correct or wrong on that one together. St. Mary’s, Villanova, and Boise State all appearing near the bottom, but in for everyone.
So it comes down to four teams that comprise the disagreement for one final spot.
Middle Tennessee: Lunardi, Stevens (and myself)
Tennessee: Palm, Glockner, Ommen
Kentucky: Crashing the Dance
Virginia: Basketball Predictions