Bracketologist

Bracketologist

BracketDobberSBN

Arlington, VA

Male, 34

I'm currently the resident bracketologist for SB Nation and I've been attempting to accurately project the NCAA Tournament field since 2006. My goal is not only to be correct in picking at-large teams and the seeding of all 68 teams, but to inform the public about the process and how the sometimes bashed college basketball regular season does really have importance. I'd be glad to answer your questions on how the field of 68 is put together, but I won't be much help with your bracket picks.

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26 Questions

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Last Answer on May 03, 2013

Best Rated

What do you think is the biggest flaw in the existing seeding system?

Asked by Rudddddddd over 6 years ago

This is one of the toughest questions I've been asked here, so it's taken me awhile to come up with a decent answer. I'm going to say the inconsistency between the Committee's stated emphasis on placing the top four seed lines in true seed order (which appears in the Principles and Procedures document) and their actual, demonstrated emphasis on geography. Duke, in particular, suffered because of this incongruence this past season.

As someone who (I assume) loves college hoops, do you get annoyed by the staggering number of fair-weather fans who emerge during the NCAA tourney?

Asked by jackson hornblower over 6 years ago

It's only annoying when they decide to bash the regular season as being meaningless, especially if they spend their time following pro sports with a less restrictive postseason (by percentage of qualifiers). It does get tiresome to hear someone to say the regular season doesn't matter in a sport where 68 of 347 teams play 30 or so games to make the postseason when they follow a sport that has 30 teams playing 82 games for a spot in a 16-team bracket. 

What teams, if any, do you think get overrated (overseeded) because of their history and brand? (e.g. Duke, Gonzaga)

Asked by sawishhhh over 6 years ago

I think this happens to conferences more than teams, with certain leagues being viewed as tougher and their teams getting a boost in seeding (or selection) as a result. This season, the Big East falls in this boat (as I think Villanova and Cincinnati may be seeded a bit too highly), while the Pac-12 didn't get enough respect (see what Oregon and Cal did yesterday, though both did get a geography boost).

Do you think the BCS did a good job in creating the new college football playoff system? Is there anything they should have borrowed from how NCAA basketball does it?

Asked by TERR over 6 years ago

I wish the field was a little bigger and that there was more of a potential for mid-majors to get a chance at the championship. To me, it seems like the new system will probably be similar to the current one with the only difference being two more teams are invited. The small step is significant though.

When sizing up a team to determine if and where they belong in the tournament, what are the top 5 factors you consider? Where do the "intangibles" fit in?

Asked by slowgrind over 6 years ago

The numbers (RPI and strength of schedule) are important, but delving into those numbers is even moreso. I tend to study quality wins (against teams in the Top 100 in the RPI, with those in the Top 50 carrying more weight), bad losses (outside of the Top 100, with far more emphasis placed on losses against teams ranked 150th or worse ... and yes, I'm looking at you, Virginia Cavaliers). Non-conference scheduling and performance away from home is also a significant factor, since the Committee chair says something to this effect every season.

Finally, I look at whether a team has won its regular season league title, the tournament title, or both ... for seeding purposes at least. The Committee has historically given seeding bumps to teams who have claimed both (see Kansas and Louisville this season) while punishing teams that win neither (Duke).

Intangibles are tricky. The eye test is helpful, but mostly for seeding and not selection. More often than not, the numbers win out over what happens on the court, especially for teams outside of the power conferences. Middle Tennessee's selection this time around gives me hope on that front.

How did you find yourself at SBNation? Have you been with them since the beginning?

Asked by Try-n-Save over 6 years ago

I've been with SB Nation since 2009, since even before SBNation.com started. Previously, I just had my own Blogspot and Blogger sites. Our college blogs manager found me on twitter and the tech team got Blogging the Bracket up in time for March 2009. 

Is this something you can do full-time, and do you apply it to other sports besides college hoops?

Asked by jayzilla over 6 years ago

This isn't even my full-time job during basketball season, so no. I've thought about doing other NCAA sports, particularly baseball, but don't know the procedures (which are quite different) as well.