Welcome back, reader. We go again.
Last year’s bracket finished moderately well in the Bracket Matrix, in the top quartile. But I failed to reach the very high bar I set for myself two years ago.
If you’re new to my bracketology column, welcome! Please, come in, make yourself at home. The column is usually longer and more focused on college basketball, but I’m short on time. The bracket is usually not already a day behind when published (read: Tuesday’s games are not included), but I’m short on time. And I meant to publish all of this sooner, but I was short on time.
The first bracket of the year is always the most mentally challenging and time-consuming, because there’s nothing to build on from previous weeks. You start from scratch with 90-100 teams and rank each and every single one of them. It’s brutal. That’s why this bracket is a day late, and it’s why this bracket makes no sense to me at all.
Technically to be viable in the Bracket Matrix you only need to publish a final projection. Bracketology in January is like practice. It’s supposed to help me learn something about the teams’ resumes.
This entire bracketology process is a search for a clarity, a quest to reveal a picture of truth obscured by a cloud of fog and uncertainty.
There’s still fog everywhere. Maybe I’m just rusty, maybe it’s too early in the season, maybe I’m still reeling from the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi along with 7 others in a helicopter crash.
Time. They were too short on time. They deserved more time.
There is never enough time.
Former-Northwestern basketball player Charlie Hall tweeted the following:
So here I am, in January, practicing Bracketology. Devoting hours and hours to a passion project/exercise in futility. Syracuse is long gone from this bracket by now, and Tennessee too. I’m not sure what to do with Purdue. I’m not sure how I ended up with East Tennessee State as a 10-seed. I don’t have the answers.
I do have a new graphic. I learned Adobe Illustrator over winter break so I could make this graphic. And I’m damn proud of it. I just wish I had more time.
I wish we all did.
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.
- Asterisks in the graphic denote conference champions.
- Keep all of this in mind if you choose to @ me on Twitter.