Busky’s 2022-2023 December Bracketology (11/27/2022)Click Here for Seed List
Feast week has come and gone so I think it’s as good a time as any to post the December Busky Brackets update. The dust has finally settled after a smorgasbord of action. A peek into the process here. Non-Conference play is like playing the stock market. Each conference is trying to build out their respective portfolios as best they can hoping that once they start battling it out in conference play the wins will mean more and the losses will be meaningless. The better a conference plays in November and December, the less “bad loss” candidates there are lurking in the depths of your conference and more “quality wins” available to your favorite team in the dog days of February. With that being said here’s my seed list for the December matrix update and my two cents on each conference’s (With Multi-Bid Aspirations) non-conference performance and outlook for their resume’s as we move into League play in December.
Big Ten (Apple Inc. circa 1980) – Awesome start for the Big Ten. 4-2 Result in the Gavitt Games highlighted by nice wins by IU at Xavier and Iowa slamming Seton Hall in Jersey. Wisconsin with a nice showing at Atlantis to once again show they will be better than expected. Purdue mowing down folks (Sorry Zags) out in Portland this weekend. The Big Ten looks like it’ll be another gauntlet with the path to the tournament being clear: Win your home games, grab a few roadies, and avoid Nebraska/Minnesota like a plague. 10 Team Big Ten very much in play. Mark your calendars on Selection Sunday, the Twitter firestorm is coming.
SEC (Air Bnb) – Hey we are new here, but we are going to continue to disrupt things and we’re probably not going away anytime soon. SEC continues to showcase why they are the most athletic conference and play wildly entertaining basketball games. No team embodies this more than Arkansas with an impressive showing at Maui. Kentucky has struggled out of the gate but it’s only a matter of time. Tennessee got the result of the weekend with a very impressive win over Kansas. The bottom of this league may be loaded with landmines however. That being said, the SEC is on track to send 7 teams to the Dance.
Big 12 (Walmart) – Steady, solid, secure. That’s the Big 12. Not much room to grow but they take care of business pretty regularly. Sitting as the top Conference in KenPom, the only thing preventing 10 bids is math. Can’t get 100% participation in March. With each team having a chance at a Quad 1 win night in and night out, the teams on the outs come selection Sunday won’t have anything to cry about. Iowa State and Texas have both flexed their muscles early with high profile wins over UNC and Gonzaga, respectively. More non-con wins will come in December and in January for the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Big East (Hostess) – Remember a few years ago when a cornerstone brand like Hostess was struggling through bankruptcy and everyone was sad? Or wait was that the Big East? Anyway, both are now flourishing just fine. Hostess has grown 10% annually since 2020, and the Big East is as entertaining as it gets these days with 2 teams with top seed aspirations (And neither are named Villanova!!). The bottom is bad bad (Looking at you Georgetown and DePaul). Nova, Georgetown and DePaul have done the league no favors this past month, but UConn, Xavier, Creighton, and St. John’s (The Johnnies!!) have done enough work to put the league at 4th in the pecking order this year. The middle of this league figures to give us all headaches this season bouncing around the 8-12 seed range.
ACC (Subway) – Back in the early 2000’s Subway was a wonderful sub shop franchise. However, they kept adding restaurants. When you keep adding as many restaurants as Mcdonald’s, it’s really hard to maintain that “Fresh and Healthy” image. Well, that’s the ACC. They have too many teams quite simply. 15 teams. And the bottom is bad. Like really bad. Virginia is the only undefeated team remaining after 2 weeks of play with some impressive wins in Vegas over Baylor and Illinois. That’s important for them because there will not be a ton of opportunity once league play starts. Louisville is winless (Worst record since WWII), Florida State is 1-6 (WTF) with serious depth issues, Cuse just lost to Bryant at home, and the usual bottom feeders are exactly who we thought they were (Looking at you Pitt, GT, and BC). The conference has lost to the likes of Maine, Bellarmine, Colgate, Troy and Loyola Marymount. We could see some teams that rack up a ton of ACC wins struggling on the bubble in March. If we see chaos at the ACC tournament then we could see teams suffer the same fate as Wake Forest last year.
Pac 12 (FTX) – The ship is sinking early this year. Sadly this has become an annual tradition with the Conference of Champions. Here are some highlights: 1) Cal is 0-7 with losses to UC Davis, UC San Diego, Southern, and Texas St. (All sub 150 Kenpom teams). 2) The conference tied the SWAC (Lowest rated Kenpom Conference) 3-3 in its Legacy Series. 3)Andy Enfield took an L to his former employer at home (FGCU #166 in KenPom). 4) Finally, UCLA, one of the conference’s darlings, had two swings and misses in Vegas against Illinois and Baylor. They have one more opportunity to prove themselves against Kentucky on December 17th. The conference will need that one badly. Arizona is awesome, no denying that. However who else is grabbing a bid in this conference? Outside of bid thieves, we could be looking at a 2-3 bid conference.
AAC, MWC, WCC, and A10 (Penny stocks) – I love these conferences. So it breaks my heart that they have STRUGGLED out of the gate. Dayton, everyone’s preseason darling, has massively disappointed with zero top 100 KenPom wins in 4 tries this month. They currently have 6 top 100 KenPom games remaining on their schedule. Gonzaga will figure it out, but I think they have lost their path to a one seed which is a disappointment out in Spokane. San Diego State scored a nice win over Ohio State in Maui, but then lost back to back games to Arizona and Arkansas. No shame there, but when you only have one more top 50 KenPom opponent remaining on your schedule, that could be a problem if they slip up one too many times in league play. One final team to be on the look out for is UNLV. The Running Rebels are undefeated with a win over Dayton. Maybe Vegas basketball is back?
11/27 Seed List
|1||1||Houston – AQ||AAC|
|2||1||Kansas – AQ||B12|
|3||1||Arizona – AQ||P12|
|4||1||Virginia – AQ||ACC|
|5||2||Tennessee – AQ||SEC|
|8||2||Gonzaga – AQ||WCC|
|10||3||Illinois – AQ||B10|
|12||3||Creighton – AQ||BE|
|24||6||San Diego St. – AQ||MWC|
|37||10||Saint Louis – AQ||A10|
|41||11||Drake – AQ||MVC|
|48||12||North Texas – AQ||CUSA|
|49||12||Toledo – AQ||MAC|
|52||12||Liberty – AQ||ASUN|
|51||13||South Dakota St.- AQ||Sum|
|52||13||UC Irvine – AQ||BW|
|53||13||Towson – AQ||CAA|
|54||13||Morehead St. – AQ||OVC|
|55||14||Vermont – AQ||AE|
|56||14||Furman – AQ||SC|
|57||14||Iona – AQ||MAAC|
|58||14||Grand Canyon – AQ||WAC|
|59||15||Colgate – AQ||Pat|
|60||15||Louisiana – AQ||SB|
|61||15||Princeton – AQ||Ivy|
|62||15||Longwood – AQ||BSTH|
|63||16||Montana St. – AQ||Bsky|
|64||16||Norfolk St. – AQ||MEAC|
|65||16||Northern Kentucky – AQ||Horz|
|66||16||Wagner – AQ||NEC|
|67||16||Texas Southern – AQ||SWAC|
|68||16||Texas A&M CC – AQ||Slnd|
|First Four Out||Next Four Out|
|Miami FL||Ole Miss|