Bracketology: January 5, 2021

First bracketology of 2021. Happy new calendar year. Happy new NET year. It’s finally 2021 and the first NET rankings were put out on Monday. Next Monday night will mark when college basketball takes center stage, but I’m always here for you and your college basketball fix. The official NET rankings will update each day until Selection Sunday. Bookmark it and study it. I do also use KenPom, Jeff Sagarin and my guy Haslametrics. For schedule strength (which I don’t know if we’re really going to care about with a lot of games being canceled) I use SOR from ESPN and SOS from Warren Nolan.

The first NET rankings weren’t terrible. They did get the top two teams correct. Gonzaga and Baylor sit on top of every ranking. Michigan is undefeated, which means it will continue to climb rankings, but I’m not a firm believer in the Wolverines quite yet. Saint Louis has looked impressive with its only loss coming to Minnesota. And Missouri’s only loss came to Tennessee.

Boise State was my team at the beginning of the season, but after losing to Houston and having games canceled the Cougars fell off. With San Diego State losing to Colorado State in its first of a two-game series and Boise now 7-1, the Broncos are the auto-bid for the Mountain West. Colorado is a tad high, and Clemson should be higher. The Tigers are my highest ranked ACC team right now. Crazy.

The other fun thing to point out is Duke at 117, Kentucky at 143 and Michigan State is at 120. I told you this was the year the Blue Bloods were going to struggle. Kansas is at 26, but it got smacked at home by Texas. North Carolina is in the top-70 but doesn’t look good at all.

Conference play means so much more than usual. Many mid-majors and low mid-majors are only playing conference games. Some are only playing conference teams close to their home, and there’s a possibility some conference tournaments are canceled, which means the regular season champion gets the automatic bid.

It is also worth noting that the NCAA, on the same day the first NET was released, came out and said all NCAA Tournament games will be played in the state of Indiana. That includes Hinkle, Assembly Hall, Bankers Life, Mackey and Lucas Oil among others. Dates are still yet to be finalized but for now we’re rolling with the dates that were put in place already. The structure still hasn’t been finalized either, which means I will continue to put teams into pods. We should be knowing the full details soon. Hopefully.

I’m glad 2021 is here and we have college basketball to watch.

As always check us out on the Bracket Matrix.

A couple other notes: Arizona self-banned themselves from postseason play this season. And the Oklahoma State situation is still a little confusing so for now I’m keeping them out.

Pod 1

1 Gonzaga
16 Norfolk State/Prairie View A&M

8 NC State
9 Oklahoma

5 Missouri
12 SMU/Marquette

4 West Virginia
13 Belmont

6 Minnesota
11 Duke

3 Creighton
14 Hofstra

7 Virginia Tech
10 Seton Hall

2 Michigan
15 Rice

Pod 4

1 Texas
16 Sacramento State

8 Xavier

5 Rutgers
12 Furman

4 Creighton
13 Colgate

6 Texas Tech
11 Purdue

3 Tennessee
14 Iona

7 San Diego State
10 Stanford

2 Wisconsin
15 Illinois-Chicago

Pod 2

1 Baylor
16 Stephen F. Austin/Jacksonville

8 Syracuse

5 Saint Louis
12 Drake

4 Virginia
13 South Dakota State

6 Louisville
11 UConn/Indiana

3 Houston
14 Little Rock

7 Florida State
10 Alabama

2 Iowa
15 UC Irvine

Pod 3

1 Villanova
16 Mt. Saint Mary’s

8 Arkansas
9 Michigan State

5 Florida
12 Winthrop

4 Oregon
13 Akron

6 Colorado
11 Boise State

3 Illinois
14 New Mexico State

7 Ohio State
10 North Carolina

2 Kansas
15 Stony Brook

Last four byes

Seton Hall
North Carolina

Last four in


First four out


Next four out

Saint Mary’s
Arizona State

Four more

Penn State

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