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Jerry Palm | Bracketologist & College Hoops Analyst

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The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2024 6:00 am

Jerry Palm | Bracketologist & College Hoops Analyst

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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February 26, 2024 6:00 am

Bracketologist & College basketball analyst Jerry Palm from CBS Sports joins the show.

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No. I was actually able to redo it last night before I went to bed because games ended early and the NCAA got the net rankings out and so I was able to make tweaks last night. Now you, as someone who's been doing this for a long time, you're really well able to track what happens going towards Selection Sunday.

But for people who aren't familiar with your work, what do you average? One wrong per bracket? Oh yeah, one team out. Yeah, I miss one team a year, I guess you'd say. What?

Stop it. Every once in a while I get them all. I can't remember the last time I missed two. But yeah, it's usually one team the committee will have and that I don't. So then Purdue, which is your alma mater but also one of the best teams in the country, had a loss, kind of got stunned.

Was it last week or the week before? And so they certainly now thinking about just the unfinished business of it all and wanting to take advantage of a team that is still really good. How do you have them in terms of, or how right now are they in terms of overall number one seed? Yeah, they are in my bracket the overall number one seed. And it has to do with the depth and quality of their wins. The committee gave us their top 16 a week and a half ago and they had Purdue overall number one as well and then Purdue went out and lost right away at Ohio State.

And so then UConn jumped them and then UConn lost and Purdue jumped them back. But Purdue, Connecticut, Houston are the top three. They'll be barring some sort of an epic collapse, the top three again on selection Sunday in some order or another. It would take, there's an enormous gap between those three teams and number four. And number four for me currently is North Carolina.

There are cases to be made for Arizona. Maybe Tennessee can make a case for themselves. It's been a bit of a revolving door, the fourth spot. But there's an enormous gap like Houston, Connecticut, Purdue would have to lose at least twice before you even think about making them fourth.

What else did you learn from what you found out with the committee and their version of bracketology? Well, they put a lot of value on quality wins and we saw that with Wisconsin being one of the four seeds. They've had a rough stretch going into that time. They've lost four in a row.

But the committee doesn't get into recency bias. We saw it with North Carolina as well as a two. They've been playing poorly going into the show as well. But Wisconsin has got, in terms of like quad one and two wins, at that time, I think they had the fourth most behind, you know, Purdue and Connecticut and I think Houston.

But they had more losses, which is why there were four, not up there with the one. But, you know, they want to see you beat good competition. They want to see you beat good competition away from home. So if you're only able to beat good teams on your home floor, you're not going to get seeded as highly.

You may not even get in because the tournament, of course, is not being played on your home court. What? No way. Just a refresher, right? It's been a year. Although there are times when we end up with a home court advantage of sorts for teams.

So how much? Home crowds anyway. Yeah, right.

There you go. Being in a city that's nearby or being sometimes in the actual city, how much do the top three teams that you're speaking of get maybe a favorite status or maybe a favorable, I guess would be the word, a favorable status with the committee when it comes to where they play? Yeah, so the three teams at the top. Purdue can be placed in Indianapolis. Connecticut can be placed in Brooklyn.

Houston. Haven't got a place any closer than Memphis for the first and second round, but the regional would be Dallas. So, yeah, some some pretty favorable sites for the teams at the top this year.

Of course, the sites are determined years in advance, but it's it's worked out well so far. In fact, the fourth number one seed the committee gave us was Arizona. They've since lost maybe twice, but they would have fit in really well, too, in the West in Los Angeles region. So it's yeah, we had a top four where they could have been in any order and still kept the geographic preference they wanted because there was no competition for.

Jerry Palm with CBS Sports is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio. You do in the bubble watch last night. Got in front of me. How much did Wake Forest help itself with the victory over Duke? Yeah, it was big. It was their best win of the year. That's a team that is the like one I was just talking about. They've ever been able to really get it done off their home floor yet, but don't have any bad losses. We've got nine, I guess, nine losses, most all in quad one and to do because they're only quad one win. They beat Florida at home and they kind of go back and forth. But they're a probable tournament team, you know, but they don't really have Virginia. I guess probably going to make the tournament. There's not a lot of probable tournament teams that they've beaten. But Duke was you know, that's a that's a gold star on the resume. But now they need to show they can do it away from home if they really want to stay in the bracket.

You watch a lot of college basketball, obviously college football, too. And we're seeing a couple of these incidents like the Duke Wake Forest where fans storm the court and either a player gets impacted or gets stuck or in the case of Kyle Filipowski gets hurt. This is what he had to say, just so people can hear it. Jay, if you want to play Kyle for us, this comes from WFMY News.

Do you not have it? OK, never mind. So anyway, he called it ridiculous.

We'll get to it. Sorry about that. Jerry called it ridiculous and just mentioned that he got stepped on and his ankle got turned and then John Shire talks about it after the fact. I don't know what can be done, but what are you hearing in college basketball in terms of this being kind of a headline and coming to the forefront again? Yeah, you may remember Kaitlin Clark got bumped into and knocked over when Ohio, I think it was Ohio State, stormed the court after they beat Iowa, which is weird. You don't normally see a team ranked as high as Ohio State's women storm the court.

But it's yeah, it's ridiculous. Really, it should never happen. Doesn't happen in any other sport anywhere else. You might see a football field storm, but those players are pretty well protected. Yeah, it just shouldn't happen.

And you know, there are drastic steps that you could take to prevent it from happening. Fines obviously don't work because he's been fining schools for a few years now and nobody seems to care. But you know, as far as I'm concerned, you storm the court first time, next game the student section is empty.

Whoa, that's drastic. That's what I'm saying. It's going to take you have to do something that affects the kids.

Finding the school does not affect the kids. Purdue, my team, has been good now for a few years and has been court stormed 10 of it the last 11 road losses. And so far, it's been without incident. But it's just a matter of time. You know, it's it's and you lose, you know, if you're Duke and I don't know how badly injured Filipkowski is. But you hope it doesn't affect him, you know, going forward as he can play. But, you know, you could you can really change the course of a team season by being an idiot and allowing all these idiots on the floor.

And that just can't happen. And I don't think schools try. I don't even think they care.

That's the problem is the schools don't care if the students storm the court. In fact, they use it to market. You know, hey, look, our fans are having fun. This is, you know, whatever, you know, come come join our fans. And it's yeah, it's just dumb. And actually, according to Kyle, in his in his comments, he thought it was intentional because he felt like there was something to it.

Where once the fans got down there and figured out who he was, that he was getting elbowed and he was actually taking some contact that he felt had a little bit of vim and vigor behind it. So, yeah, that could certainly happen. Yeah.

If you got it, I mean, obviously it would be an isolated case. I don't think most fans are out there trying to hurt someone. But if you combine, you know, let's say there's alcohol, whatever. I know people don't necessarily buy it there, but they can come not being sober. And so then you've got some fans who think, oh, I'll take this opportunity, maybe help my team a little bit. I mean, that it is scary. And I can imagine the athletes are pretty scared, too. You know, you saw guys trying to help other athletes off the court just to get out of the fray. And I agree with you.

I mean, I laughed at this last week. LSU gets fined because the fans stormed the court after it was a late win. The school pays that fine. The students couldn't care less.

Yeah. And not only that, the school doesn't care. I mean, because the school gets fined and they don't do anything about it. You know, I guess as a school, you'd prefer your team be good enough that your fans don't have to storm the court when they win.

But, you know, I guess you'll take whatever positive energy you can get. I don't know how much longer storming the court is going to be positive energy, but it is strictly a college thing. You know, I don't know if it happens in high school or not, but, you know, pro sports, nobody storms nothing. NCAA tournament, you don't see people storming the court, the NCAA tournament. You know, there are ways to figure out how to make it happen and schools just aren't interested in figuring out those ways.

Well, as you point out, though, these are not home courts. Now, there might be, you know, more fans that are at the NCAA tournament, but they are really strict about security. So is this a thing of maybe putting more security? I mean, I like your drastic move there of keeping the student section empty. But what about adding security? Yeah, well, I mean, schools need to do something. They need to make an effort. You know, you don't have to have super ramped up security at every game, right?

You just where you could have the kind of, you know, got the kind of opponent coming in where your fans might want to storm the court after the game. But, yeah, it's just something needs to be done. My answer is drastic. But if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes.

Doing nothing or finding the school is not solving the problem. No, it definitely isn't. And we hope it doesn't take someone really getting hurt, like tearing an ACL or something like that. You know, something that cost them months. Oh, gosh, yeah.

That would be drastic. It's possible that you're committing actual crimes out there. True. And how possible is it that you couldn't even find the people who did it unless you happen to have a video of it. Right.

That is very specific or you can zoom in on. Jerry Palm is with us here after our CBS Sports Radio. We always like to play the game of first four in, last four in, first four out. So right now, who are sitting in those spots? Yeah, for me, at the bottom of the bracket, you've got it's Utah, Wake Forest, Gonzaga, Mississippi are the last three.

That's actually not the correct order. It's Mississippi, Gonzaga, Utah, Wake Forest. And then the first four out are Texas, Seton Hall, Providence and Oregon. And really, you know, those eight teams, you can make a case for any of them to get in and you can even make a better case to leave them all out. It is jarring to see Gonzaga near the cut line.

Yeah, it is. You know, it's they've got a good team. They've got good players.

They're maybe not quite the level of talent we're used to seeing, but, you know, they're still pretty talented team. They played a good non-conference schedule, as they always do, because they know they can't count on their league to give them the kinds of games they need to be to build to that large profile. But they just did win most of those games. And until they beat Kentucky, they hadn't won any of those games that helped them.

And, you know, they lost it home to St. Mary's. They have St. Mary's on the road at the end of the regular season, which is this weekend for them. And then the conference tournament, and I think if they get to selection Sunday and their only good win is at Kentucky, that they're not going to make it. And their streak goes back to like 1998 in terms of Michigan State has, I think, the only one that's longer. And they're in a little bit of trouble, too, after losing home to Ohio State yesterday. How much does that speak to the competition of college basketball that you can have a team in Gonzaga that's 22 wins and will probably have at least one or two more, and still they could be on the cut line?

Yeah. Well, it's because they've got, you know, Kentucky's a quad one win on the road. They have a couple of games that are quad two, but not teams that are a threat to make the tournament, San Francisco and Syracuse. Everything else is quad three and four. And, you know, if you're trying to build an NCAA tournament resume, those games aren't helping you do that.

Everybody's got them. But, you know, that's just, you know, that's most of your schedule. And you're there three and seven, three and six against, you know, teams in quad one and two. And, you know, when two of those three aren't really tournament level teams, you're hanging on by a thread. Lots of drama still to come, though. We're getting toward the end of conference play, conference tournaments, which is really the precursor, the hors d'oeuvre, if you will, because I love food, to March Madness.

And then, obviously, we've got Selection Sunday and on into the perfect, perfect tournament. I can't imagine. If you could change it, Jer, before I let you go, is there anything you would change about it? Yeah, I'd go back to 64. Okay, so get rid of the Dayton. Yeah, I mean, you know, Dayton's great.

That's fun. But 64 was the perfect number. And they're, of course, talking about making it even bigger. No, no. It really needs to be smaller. It does.

Well, I don't know about that. See, here's what I love about Dayton. You generally have one of those teams that then wins in the main bracket, too, which I feel like legitimizes it a little bit.

I like that kind of opportunity. Yeah, we've twice had a team go through Dayton to the final four, the very first year of the first four. VCU did it.

And then during the pandemic tournament, the bubble tournament, UCLA did it. See, so I'll tolerate it for that reason. But 68 is an odd number.

I'll agree with you on that. So find Jerry on Twitter at JP Palm CBS. And he's got how many times a week do you update your brackets? This time of year it's daily.

I haven't posted today's update yet, but it'll be up shortly. Well, considering that it's 539 Eastern Time, I think you're a lot of little leeway. I'm Central Time. OK, it's 439 Central Time.

This is why we love Jerry. Hope to see you soon. Thank you so much for a couple of minutes. It's good to talk to you. All right. Good to talk to you, too.

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