As an avid bracketologist, I'm excited that conference play is in full swing, and even though the bracket picture is a mess right now I'm excited to announce The Maneater's first edition of Bracketology.
I've been doing it on my own the past few years just as a hobby, but I'm happy I have an outlet now. It definitely helps that Missouri basketball is coming off a fantastic season finishing in the Elite 8, and that the Tigers look ready to head back to the NCAA tournament.
Before I get into the matchups, I want to lay out my methods and a little extra info to focus on Missouri and the Big 12. When I pick out which teams make the field of 65, I use my opinion — based mostly off ESPN RPI rankings, overall record and quality wins — to decide who's in and out. As for seeding, I take a mix of my own opinions and what I believe the bracket committee will do.
So first, let's look at Missouri. I have them as a No. 7 seed in today's bracket, despite yesterday's loss at Oklahoma. Their first round matchup would be in Milwaukee against No. 10 UAB, which is coach Mike Anderson's former team. If the tournament were to start today, I think the Tigers have a good shot at returning to the Sweet 16, but not much further than that.
The rest of my Big 12 outlook is this: No. 1: Texas, Kansas No. 4: Kansas State No. 6: Texas A&M No. 7: Missouri No. 8: Baylor No. 12: Oklahoma State
So that's seven total teams, more than every conference except the Big East (eight teams). Here's my bracket. The SOUTH region winner would play the WEST region winner in the Final Four. Let me know what you think:
Oklahoma City 1. Texas 16. Utah Valley/Quinnipiac 8. California 9. Mississippi State
Spokane 4. Pittsburgh 13. Murray State 5. Gonzaga 12. Oklahoma State
New Orleans 6. Texas A&M 11. Tulsa 3. Tennessee 14. Texas A&M-CC
Milwaukee 7. Missouri 10. UAB 2. Purdue 15. Pacific
MIDWEST (St. Louis)
Oklahoma City 1. Kansas 16. Lafayette 8. New Mexico 9. Butler
Providence 4. Clemson 13. William & Mary 5. Temple 12. Siena
Spokane 6. North Carolina 11. Louisville 3. Wisconsin 14. Western Kentucky
Providence 7. St. Mary's 10. Ohio State 2. Villanova 15. Morgan State
New Orleans 1. Kentucky 16. Jackson State 8. Wake Forest 9. Xavier
San Jose 4. Kansas State 13. Akron 5. Connecticut 12. Cornell
Buffalo 6. Northern Iowa 11. Louisiana Tech 3. West Virginia 14. Coastal Carolina
Jacksonville 7. UNLV 10. Vanderbilt 2. Duke 15. Charleston
WEST (Salt Lake City)
Buffalo 1. Syracuse 16. Campbell 8. Baylor 9. Rhode Island
San Jose 4. BYU 13. Oakland 5. Ole Miss 12. Arizona State
Jacksonville 6. Georgia Tech 11. Richmond 3. Georgetown 14. Vermont
Milwaukee 7. Florida State 10. Cincinnati 2. Michigan State 15. Weber State