If you have been following sports news in general or college football in particular in recent weeks, you are familiar with the history of the Purdue student Tyler Trent, Trent fights osteosarcoma, a particularly aggressive form of bone cancer. In his case it is now terminal.


I had the opportunity to meet Tyler last fall, between his previous struggle with this disease and his current one. The things that attract people to Tyler – his courage, his grace, and his belief – were an inspiration to everyone in the Purdue community, especially the football team that called him captain. His story has now become national news.

Tyler has also used its platform to raise awareness and money for children's cancer research. If you want to help, Purdue has one set up Tyler Strong Fund for this purpose.

When I first met Tyler, we talked about many of our common traits. One of them was the interest to combine sports and analytics. His main focus was on the analysis of business data, but until recently he was also sports author of Purdue exponent, the student newspaper of the university.

I was hoping to introduce him to Bracketology last season and get him on a brace. The circumstances have not worked, but now they have. Tyler worked with me to put together the pre-season season this season.

Here are the best seeds from each region on the eve of the college basketball season 2018-19:

Bracketology: Palm's complete bracket, 1-68 start list and the first four

The SEC with eight teams in the bracket prediction and the ACC with seven teams in the field of 68 are each strong at the top. This is typical for the ACC, but for the SEC, the cotton is relatively high, which will be right with the ACC in the fight for the best conference this season. In the end we had two seeds # 1 from the ACC, but it's easy to see how this could end up as two of the SEC.

Tennessee narrowly missed the top line of the bracket. The volunteers returned to most of the team, which was surprisingly co-champion of the regular SEC title, and went to Sweet 16. Tennessee was fought in the tournament by the team of fate, Loyola. The Vols are led by reigning SEC Player of the Year, Grant Williams, who now receives American attention. You'll probably be on Kentucky's heels all season in the SEC, or vice versa.

Preview from 2018-19

Gonzaga could be a tough argument for the committee if the Killian Tillie center's breach affects the Bulldogs' non-conference play. Like all non-majors, Gonzaga has to fight for high seeds in the NCAA tournament. Then they can play their better opponents. Without an unexpectedly speedy recovery, Tillie will miss games against Washington, Tennessee and North Carolina. Losses in all three cases could make it difficult for the Zags to create a resume that would put them in the top line of the brackets.

The Big Ten ties the SEC to eight for most of the teams in this group, but none is higher than Michigan's No. 3. Michigan is considered the runner-up by consensus, but several teams behind these two could occupy the middle to the end of the brace. They could bring the six other conference teams in line, from # 6 seed Purdue and Indiana to # 11 seed Minnesota, in any order, and no one should be surprised. Iowa, who is not in the bracket, can also get a seat. It would be surprising if fewer than six Big Ten teams had received offers and eight were likely to be the maximum.

As with all preseason brackets, we do not have any data we can work with. I usually have data for the next bracket projection, which is mid-December. It is expected that the first rankings come out then. It seems unlikely that we will get the formula to do the calculations ourselves.


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