WNUR Bracketology 2019 – Week 3: What’s That Smell?

Y’all smell that?

Blue Ivy GIF - Blue Ivy GIFs

It smells like a stale bracket. That’s the thing about brackets––they don’t stay fresh very long, especially if the bubble is */sniffs* */gags* garbage.

Which brings me to why you’re receiving this week’s projections on a Wednesday even though they do not account for any games played since Monday.

One reason is that schoolwork is time-consuming. But the other reason, the reason far more pertinent to this discussion, is that NO ONE WANTS TO MAKE THE TOURNAMENT. The bubble is a dumpster fire, and it’s hard to compare charred remains to other charred remains. 36 teams have to receive at-large bids, but there are only 30 teams that deserve to go dancing. And thirty is being generous.

We are well beyond the realms of the bracketology sciences. The bubble is a crime scene and I’m being forced to conduct forensic analysis. And forensics take time.

Meanwhile, I could take solace in a relatively clear-cut 1-line. Duke, UVA, Tennessee, Gonzaga, in that order. But then Kentucky curb-stomped Tennessee, and then Tennessee lost to LSU, and then UNC beat Duke, and that’s a mess now too.

At this point, I’m only left with three insightful takes which I’m even remotely confident in. They are as follows:

  1. NC State will pay a very heavy price for having the second-weakest non-conference schedule in all of Division I. Being ranked 352nd in NCSOS cynical and borderline offensive.
  2. I need everybody to take some deep breaths with regards to Washington. The Bracket Matrix has the Huskies at a 7-seed, which is awfully generous for a team with zero quadrant 1 wins. Washington has yet to beat a tournament-quality opponent. That line of reasoning was enough to make USC last season’s surprise snub.
  3. People pressing the panic button on Minnesota are jumping the gun. I presume a lot of the pessimism surrounding the Golden Gophers’ tourney prospects have something to do with their 1-8 road record, but let’s not overlook the fact that they’re 5-8 away from home, having gone 4-0 on neutral court, including a win against Washington.

And now for the projections, right after the usual disclaimers:

The Usual Disclaimers

  • This is what I think the committee would do given what we know about each team. I do not necessarily agree with the committee’s projected evaluations of these teams.
  • My bracketology does not aim to predict what will happen; it is a simulation of what would happen if the season ended today.
  • Italics in the graphic denote conference champions.
  • Projections do not account for games played on the day the projections are made (ex: games played on Monday, February 25th, are not accounted for in these projections).
  • Keep all of this in mind if you choose to @ me on Twitter.

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