College Basketball Roundup – Prospect Notes, Bracketology, and Games to Watch


Welcome to our first edition of our College Basketball Roundup. In these articles, we will feature Bracketology and games to watch provided by Torey Jones, with some prospect notes provided by Eric Brandt! We plan to put out these articles every three days or so to keep you in tune with final stretch of the college basketball season, prepare you for March Madness, as well as give you a feel into who you might want your Portland Trail Blazers to select in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft.

BRACKETOLOGY (by Torey Jones)
Since this is my first article of the college basketball season, I’ll give you an introduction into this hobby of mine. “Bracketology” is the art of trying to predict which teams will make the NCAA Tournament (March Madness) and where they will be seeded. Each edition of bracketology will predict the NCAA Tournament bracket as if the tournament started today. My Bracketology is featured on Bracket Matrix, a website that compiles many different bracketologists from across the web and compiles their rankings into one easy to read format. At the end of the season, bracketologists are ranked based on the accuracy of their predictions.

My bracketology is based upon a mathematical formula that I’ve been working on for five years now, which weighs numerous different criteria and adjusts the weights based on inaccuracies between my bracketology and the final March Madness bracket. The goal is to develop a rating system that accurately scores each team’s resume over the course of the season. The ratings and seed lines for each team are included below.

Seed List / Ratings
1 – Gonzaga (99.0), Kansas (95.1), Arizona (94.6), Auburn (94.3)
2 – Baylor (94.1), Kentucky (93.0), Purdue (91.0), Duke (90.7)
3 – Villanova (90.1), Texas Tech (87.9), Tennessee (86.3), Wisconsin (86.3)
4 – Providence (85.7), Illinois (83.3), UCLA (83.1), Houston (81.6)
5 – UConn (81.1), Ohio State (81.1), Arkansas (80.9), Texas (80.1)
6 – USC (79.9), LSU (79.7), Alabama (78.2), Michigan State (76.9)
7 – Saint Mary’s (75.8), Iowa (75.4), Colorado State (74.8), Iowa State (74.8)
8 – Xavier (74.4), Murray State (74.2), Wake Forest (74.0), Seton Hall (73.4)
9 – Marquette (73.2), Boise State (73.2), Wyoming (72.6), San Diego State (72.3)
10 – TCU (72.2), San Francisco (71.4), North Carolina (70.8), Miami (70.8)
11 – Michigan (70.5), Notre Dame (69.9), Davidson (69.8), SMU (69.2), Creighton (69.1)
12 – North Texas (68.6), Indiana (67.8), Memphis (66.7)
First 4 Out – Florida (66.5), Mississippi State (66.4), Rutgers (66.1), Virginia (65.1)
Next 4 Out – Oklahoma (64.1), Virginia Tech (64.1), Kansas State (64.0), VCU (63.2)
Automatic Qualifiers:
12 – Loyola Chicago (65.7), New Mexico State (60.6)
13 – South Dakota State (59.8), Iona (59.6), Wagner (56.0), Vermont (55.9)
14 – Chattanooga (55.8), Toledo (52.9), Princeton (49.5), Texas State (44.9)
15 – Montana State (43.9), Longwood (43.1), Liberty (42.4), UNC-Wilmington (42.3)
16 – Norfolk State (41.4), Cleveland State (39.8), Colgate (36.2), Long Beach State (35.7), Southern (32.0), New Orleans (31.3)


GAMES TO WATCH (by Torey Jones)
As stated in the beginning of this article, we plan to put out an article every three days or so. Therefore, this segment will look at key games and some key prospects to watch in the next three days.

(6) KENTUCKY vs LSU | Wednesday, 6:00PM (PT) | ESPN
Prospects to Watch:
TyTy Washington (PG, Kentucky)
Tari Eason (SF, LSU)

(3) AUBURN vs OLE MISS | Wednesday, 5:30PM (PT) | SECN
Prospects to Watch:
Jabari Smith (PF, Auburn)
Walker Kessler (C, Auburn)

(15) ILLINOIS vs (21) OHIO STATE | Thursday, 6:00PM (PT) | FS1
Prospects to Watch:
E.J. Liddell (PF, Ohio State)
Kofi Cockburn (C, Illinois)

UTAH vs (2) ARIZONA | Thursday, 8:00PM (PT) | FS1
Prospects to Watch:
Bennedict Mathurin (SF, Arizona)
Christian Koloko (C, Arizona)

NEBRASKA vs (25) IOWA | Friday, 6:00PM (PT) | FS1
Prospects to Watch:
Keegan Murray (PF, Iowa)
Bryce McGowens (SG, Nebraska)

PROSPECT NOTES (by Eric Brandt)

Keegan Murray (PF, Iowa)
Draft Range: Mid Lottery 6-12
Notes: The sophomore power forward from Iowa continues to light up the Big-10. Iowa is 4-1 in their last 5 games and during that stretch Murray is averaging 27.6 points per game on 61.6% shooting on 2 point field goals and 50.0% from 3 point range. He’s also grabbing 8 rebounds per game over those 5 games. While there seems to be some limitations with Murray in terms of star potential, he can absolutely score and get his shots off in a variety of ways. Murray’s draft stock is pretty locked in the mid to late lottery so there isn’t much left for him to prove this year, but it will be fun seeing if he can lead Iowa to a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

AJ Griffin (SF, Duke)
Draft Range: 4-8
Notes: Griffin’s overall numbers of 9.9 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game don’t look overly impressive, but don’t let those numbers fool you. Playing on a loaded Duke squad means less touches and sacrificing shots for the good of the team. Griffin is making a name for himself on the defensive end and by being a sniper, shooting 48.5% from three this season. 3 & D wings are always a hot commodity in the NBA. As long as his wingspan and standing reach measurements aren’t too bad, Griffin could find himself entering the conversation as early as pick #4 in the draft.

Tari Eason (SF, LSU)
Draft Range: 10-20
Notes: One of the biggest knocks on Tari Eason has been his three point shooting. Quietly his three point percentage for the season has risen up to a respectable 35.6%. Over his last 4 games, he’s shooting 53.8% from deep while scoring 22.5 points per game. In those 4 games he’s also filling up the stat sheet in other areas, averaging 9.3 rebounds, 2.8 steals, and 1.8 blocks in that span. Now that his shooting is becoming less of an issue, if Eason can develop his playmaking skills he could be the type of player that people look back at the 2022 draft and wonder how he wasn’t selected much higher.