Final Bracketology: 78 Teams Listening for Bid and 6 Factors for Filling Out Brackets

Below is an alphabetical list of the 78 teams who will be listening for their names to be called on the NCAA Selection Sunday show at 6 p.m. ET. We included any team that was listed as a tournament lock or at least within six spots of the tournament by any of three sources; Joe Lunardi of ESPN, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, or the Breitbart Sports "Middle 20" and locks. In addition, we will be running boxes on each team like the Notre Dame example below to give teams a 0 to 50 score based on the six most important items to consider when filling out your bracket - 1, first and foremost how good the team is based on total Value Add; 2, future NBA players; 3, best three players, 4, how hot the team is; 5, injuries; 6, experienced guards. Here is an example of Notre Dame before we get to the other 77 teams:

Selection Sunday, Notre Dame (29 points out of 50) 

Rnk Player/Team Last Name Class Ft In Value Add NBA?
28 Notre Dame 2013 Team       24.13 1
24 Notre Dame Top 3       16.07  
22 Jack Cooley 4 Sr 6 9 7.29 PF NBA
116 Eric Atkins 3 Jr 6 2 5.25 No
308 Jerian Grant 3 Jr 6 5 3.53 No

1. How good is the team? Notre Dame's score of 29 on a scale of 0 to 50 starts with their team Value Add of 24.13 (top line below the word "Value Add."). If you look under "Rnk" for Rank, that is the 28th best total of any team in the country. So they start with 24 points rounded off, while Indiana is the best in the country with 41 points (40.82 Value Add rounded off). So start with 24 points out of 50.

2. NBA Talent? Notre Dame has one player who could be in the NBA in the next two seasons, Jack Cooley, therefore the "1" under "NBA?" If you look down you will see that Jack Cooley is the player, and his "PF NBA" indicates he may be a Power Forward in the NBA. Most Final Four teams over the years have had at least three NBA players. One NBA player on the 24th best team is about average, so we leave the total score at 24.

3. Top 3 Players? Legendary Marquette coach and NBC Sports commentator Al McGuire used to say you need three stars to win a championship, and we have found having three big options is a big indicator a team may advance. Deeper benches are great during the regular season, but not as many players play during the tournament, so it is more important to have a better top three than the other team. While Notre Dame is 28th in Value Add, their top three players actually have the 24th best Value Add of any trio in the country, so we add a point to give Notre Dame a 25.

4. How hot is the team? While the overall rating shows how good a team was over the course of the season, some teams play their best basketball early and are duds by tournament time, while others "peak" at just the right time. To determine which teams were hot and cold, we compared each team's ranking on www.kenpom.com on February 20 to their current rating. Notre Dame is one of the hottest teams in the country, having improved from the 52nd best team in the country at www.kenpom.com to the 31st best in less than a month. That is worth four extra points to bring them to a score of 29.

5. Injuries? Notre Dame did have a big injury in Scott Martin, who went down February 28 with a season-ending knee injury. Martin was close to Grant for the third best Value Add when he was injured, so normally this would cost a couple of points. However, because the Irish have adjusted with others stepping up to make up for the loss of Martin we take only one point to lower their score to a 28.

6. Sr. Guard Play? Notre Dame has two very good junior guards in Erik Atkins and Jerian Grant, and experienced guards tend to keep teams under control under the glare of the NCAA light. We add one extra point for the two junior guards, bringing Notre Dame's final score to 29 points out of 50.

As we post other capsules later Sunday you can compare Notre Dame's 29 to whichever team they draw in the first round and beyond for our advice on who to pick. The only adjustment you need to make when comparing two teams' ratings are where the game will be played - which is worth a point or two. If Notre Dame ended up playing a western team which also had a rating of 29, then you might go with Notre Dame if the game was in Michigan, but with the other team if the game were out west.

Below is a list of the 78 teams listening for their names to be put on a bracket Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. For the 59 teams who have a Bid Status that says, "In the tournament," Lunardi, Palm and I agree the team is definitely in the the tournament with room to spare. For the other 19 teams, we note how the three of us come down on if the team should make it or not:

  1. Akron - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  2. Alabama - Bid Status: Breitbart Sports and Lunardi/ESPN have them clearly out, but Palm/CBS has them only 2nd team out.  
  3. Albany - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  4. Arizona - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  5. Baylor - Bid Status: We have them in on a close call, ranked 7 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN and Palm/CBS both say they aren't even close to getting a - Bid, so probably out even though we believe they deserve to sneak in.
  6. Belmont - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  7. Boise St. - Bid Status: We have them in on a close call, ranked 6 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them one of last four in as we do, and Palm/CBS has them even stronger as a 10-seed.
  8. Bucknell - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  9. Butler - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  10. California - Bid Status: We have them solidly in, ranked 2 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them strongly in as an 11-seed, and Palm/CBS even stronger as a 10-seed.
  11. Cincinnati - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  12. Colorado - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  13. Colorado St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  14. Creighton - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  15. Davidson - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  16. Duke - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  17. Florida - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  18. Florida Gulf Coast - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  19. Georgetown - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  20. Gonzaga - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  21. Harvard - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  22. Illinois - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  23. Indiana - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  24. Iona - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  25. Iowa St. - Bid Status: We have them just missing,ranked 9 in Middle 20 rankings. While we have them just missing, Lunardi/ESPN has them as a very strong 9-seed, and Palm/CBS almost as strong as an 11-seed.
  26. James Madison - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  27. Kansas - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  28. Kansas St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  29. Kentucky - Bid Status: We have them as a long shot, ranked 14 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them missing by five spots and Palm/CBS by three spots - so noone has them IN.
  30. LaSalle - Bid Status: Breitbart Sports has them solidly in as a LOCK, but Lunardi/ESPN has them as the last team IN and Palm/CBS as the third to last team IN - so a close call. lock 
  31. Liberty - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  32. Long Island - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  33. Louisiana Tech - Bid Status: We have them just missing,ranked 11 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN and Palm/CBS give them no chance of a - Bid - tough news for a team that was ranked No. 25 by the AP at the end of the year.
  34. Louisville - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  35. Marquette - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  36. Maryland - Bid Status: Breitbart Sports has them clearly out, but Lunardi/ESPN have them just missing by two spots, and Lunardi by 4 spots.  
  37. Massachusetts - Bid Status: Breitbart Sports and Lunardi/ESPN have them out, but Palm has them last one out.  
  38. Memphis - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  39. Miami FL - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  40. Michigan - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  41. Michigan St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  42. Middle Tennessee - Bid Status: We have them solidly in, ranked 1 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them in by only 3 spots, and Palm/CBS has them out.
  43. Minnesota - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  44. Mississippi - Bid Status: We have them in on a close call, ranked 8 in Middle 20 rankings. All three of us have them as one of the last two IN the tournament, so an upset of Florida would make them rest easier.
  45. Missouri - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  46. Montana - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  47. Nevada Las Vegas - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  48. New Mexico - Bid Status: In the tournament.   
  49. New Mexico St. - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  50. North Carolina - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  51. NorthCarolina A&T - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  52. NorthCarolina St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  53. Northwestern St. - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  54. Notre Dame - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  55. Ohio St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  56. Oklahoma - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  57. Oklahoma St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  58. Oregon - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  59. Pacific - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  60. Pittsburgh - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  61. Providence - Bid Status: We have them as a long shot, ranked 13 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN and Palm/CBS give them no chance.
  62. San Diego St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  63. South Dakota St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  64. Southern - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  65. Southern Mississippi - Bid Status: We have them just missing,ranked 12 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them where we do - four spots OUT, while Palm/CBS says they are not even that close.
  66. St. Louis - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  67. St. Mary's - Bid Status: We have them solidly in, ranked 4 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them strongly in as an 11-seed, and Palm/CBS has them a little weaker than as as a last four in.
  68. Syracuse - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  69. Temple - Bid Status: We have them in on a close call, ranked 5 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN and Palm/CBS both are even stronger on them - both saying 10-seeds.
  70. Tennessee - Bid Status: We have them just missing,ranked 10 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN has them one spot behind us as the third team OUT, while Palm/CBS has them next to last team IN.
  71. UCLA - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  72. Valparaiso - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  73. Villanova - Bid Status: We have them solidly in, ranked 3 in Middle 20 rankings. Lunardi/ESPN have them very strongly in as a 10-seed, and Palm/CBS almost as strong as an 11-seed.
  74. Virginia - Bid Status: Breitbart Sports and Palm/CBS have them clearly out, but Lunardi has them just missing by one spot.  
  75. Virginia Commonwealth - Bid Status: In the tournament.   
  76. Western Kentucky - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  77. Wichita St - Bid Status: In the tournament.  
  78. Wisconsin - Bid Status: In the tournament.  

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