Preseason Bracketology

Welcome back to the college basketball season. It’s Christmas Eve, and we’re all excited to have games tipping off tomorrow. No more secret scrimmages and exhibitions against D2 and D3 teams. I couldn’t be more excited. We got the surgery done before the college basketball season so no more having to fret about pausing my writing and research to sit at the hospital. I have off Tuesday and Wednesday, which has some exciting games.

What is really exciting is Baylor vs. Central Arkansas tips off at 11 a.m. CST Tuesday. It’s available on ESPN+. See Erik, this is why I pay for the subscription. And then if you want, you can pull up ESPN3 at the same time and watch Champion Christian vs. Lamar. Princeton vs. Duquesne starts at 5 on ESPN+. And then the craziest thing of them all. There’s a conference game. In the ACC. Louisville vs. Miami on the ACC Network at 5:30 p.m. That’s wild.

Obviously there’s the Champions Classic. The top-four nationally ranked teams will be there. Probably the first time this has ever happened. No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 4 Duke and No. 1 Michigan State vs. 2. Kentucky. How many times will ESPN make the comment, “this could easily be the preview of the Final Four.” Or the other quote you’ll be hearing a lot Tuesday night, “we have 1 vs. 2 in basketball tonight and there will be 1 vs. 2 in football Saturday.”

Outside of the Champions Classic and the actual conference game in the ACC, Wisconsin vs. Saint Mary’s is the next best match up on opening night. Tune into ESPNU at 8 p.m. for that one.

When you look at the ACC schedule for Wednesday, you’ll think it’s probably the middle of January. North Carolina vs. Notre Dame. Florida State vs. Pitt. Virginia vs. Syracuse. And the game that will determine who finishes last, Wake Forest vs. Boston College. Other top-25 games features Purdue vs. UWGB, Northern Arizona vs. Arizona and the second leg of the home and home series for Ohio State vs. Cincinnati.

College basketball is not going to disappoint for the first two days. But then it will until a week or so before Thanksgiving. So let’s all enjoy the first two days of the season and breakdown what the NCAA Tournament may look like. Then we’ll all laugh at how silly this Bracketology is in the middle of March.

Welcome back, college basketball!


1. Kentucky
16. Wright State/North Carolina Central

8. Cincinnati
9. Harvard

5. Memphis
12. Dayton/Iowa

4. Saint Mary’s
13. Liberty

6. Arizona
11. Wisconsin

3. Virginia
14. Colgate

7. Washington
10. Notre Dame

2. Villanova
15. Radford


1. Kansas
16. Fair. Dickinson/Abilene Christian

8. VCU
9. Illinois

5. Utah State
12. ETSU

4. Ohio State
13. Belmont

6. Colorado
11. Oklahoma/Georgia

3. Gonzaga
14. South Alabama

7. Oregon
10. Alabama

2. UNC
15. Iona


1. Michigan State
16. Grambling

8. Marquette
9. Iowa State

5. Baylor
12. New Mexico State

4. Seton Hall
13. Bowling Green

6. Purdue
11. Houston

3. Texas Tech
14. Eastern Washington

7. Auburn
10. Michigan

2. Duke
15. Charleston


1. Louisville
16. South Dakota

8. Davidson
9. Tennessee

5. LSU
12. Western Kentucky

4. Xavier
13. Vermont

6. NC State
11. Oklahoma State

3. Florida
14. UC Irvine

7. Florida State
10. Georgetown

2. Maryland
15. Missouri State

Last Four Byes

Oklahoma State

Last Four In


First Four Out

Oregon State
Kansas State

Next Four Out

Mississippi State
Ole Miss

Awesome photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

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