It feels like it was just last week but so much has happened since the UConn Huskies took home the title in April. Once again, a deluge of schools, players, and coaches have changed places. That is all over now and the season is well underway and we now have enough data to start looking at teams and where they stand when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.
Some teams are building their resumes to be No. 1 seeds and national title contenders, while others are fighting to show they deserve an invitation. By this time in the season, while the guest list for the NCAA Tournament is far from finalized, it has been whittled down from the 350-plus hopefuls at which it started.
The selection process is as transparent as it has ever been and because of that, we can gain insight into how the committee is thinking and what aspects of a team's resume they are valuing from year to year. Now that we are into the new year, there is enough of a baseline to begin building a field. With the New Year upon us, it is bracket time!
Twice a month leading up to Selection Sunday, I will give you a look at what I think the bracket could look like up to that point by looking at resumes and metrics that the committee will use such as KenPom, Sagarin, and Strength of Record among others. The results, rankings, and metrics included in this column will be through Sunday of the previous week. The automatic qualifiers will be a conference’s top team in the NET When I begin building the bracket. With all of that being said, it’s bracket time, here is the latest bracket of the season.
We've reached the point in the season where the bubble is as soft as the Pillsbury Doughboy's belly. There are many spots to be had, but outside of a few teams, nobody seems to want to take control and grasp them. Things should tighten up over the next couple of weeks like they always do, but let's take a look at the first bracket of February.