Thursday, November 17, 2016

2017 Predictions: Small Conferences

The way I am building my bracket is maintain a tracker of each conference, top to bottom.  "Wow, that sounds like a lot of work."  Well so is playing basketball!

I strongly feel that much of my "expert" analysis come from understanding what is happening on the court, sometimes moreso than the players, coaches, and broadcast teams... actually, especially the broadcast teams.  With these teams, it is that much more difficult because despite dozens more coverage options, they are rarely on TV.  It's not like I can just roll on over to Bender Arena and catch a game any time, as my wife and kids would change the locks.

I have captured the screen shot so I can look back and compare results, as well as track standings, hot teams, and use this to populate the bracket.

These are clearly all one bid leagues that will typically have a great deal of entropy transitioning from non-conference to conference schedules, so it will be interesting to see who lives up to their billing.

What I am pretty sure of:
Long Beach State looks to be the class of the Big West, with recent losses at Irvine and Hawaii.  I can't imagine them losing more than 3 conference games.

Bryant will rebound in a big way.  The Northeast isn't very strong, which allowed a suspect Fairleigh Dickinson team to sneak through last year.

Stephen F. Austin will lose games in conference this year.  That hasn't always been a given, dropping a 53-1 spot the last 3 years... 12-6 looks about right, but could fall further if the new staff and team don't click right away.

Howard is a pick and roll away from being a dominant force in the MEAC, but right now rely too much on their guards' ability to get to the rim.  That ability is a great equalizer, but can be easy to stop when the calls are not going your way.

Not picking on any doormats either, but there will be some rough transition seasons out there.

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