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Predicting the March Madness Bracket Based on Milwaukee Bucks Connections

Whose Alma-Mater Has the Best Chance to Win?

Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors
UCLA might be the best chance the Bucks’ have
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

Today, I’m going to bring a little bit of March Madness to Brew Hoop! I’m going to project the NCAA tournament bracket based on ties to the alma maters of the Milwaukee Bucks’ players and coaches. We have seven players and one coach eligible, and that makes a very large portion of the team ineligible due to their school not making it. If any team doesn’t have a Bucks connection, I leaned towards mid majors, non-traditional good teams or, more often, the team viewed more as a Cinderella (i.e. South Dakota State over Kentucky). Here are the ways teams will advance, with subsequent tie-breaking rules for Bucks-related teams in order of priority.

1) Alma Mater on the Bucks’ playing or coaching staff (i.e. Jrue Holiday’s UCLA) advances

2) Years played at that college

3) Games played for their college

4) Higher seed advances if they both are even

5) Tiebreaker goes to the Badgers

A few more notes before we get started. Grayson Allen, congrats that I’m mentioning your name, is having his alma mater be North Carolina because I hate Duke and his championship team in 2015. Duke would also likely win the bracket if I allowed him to represent Duke. Also, since I don’t believe we have any duplicates, this likely won’t apply, but if there is more than one player/coach from a school then that team advances.

Who We Have:

  • Grayson Allen (North Carolina)
  • Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame)
  • Jrue Holiday (UCLA)
  • Wesley Matthews (Marquette)
  • Sandro Mamukelashviili (Seton Hall)
  • Bobby Portis (Arkansas)
  • Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State)
  • Darvin Ham (Texas Tech)

Players and coaches not in the tournament:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (N/A) (thought about Dayton for Kostas, but they missed anyway)
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo (N/A)
  • DeAndre Bembry (St. Joseph’s)
  • Jevon Carter (West Virginia)
  • George Hill (IUPUI)
  • Serge Ibaka (N/A)
  • Brook Lopez (Stanford)
  • Khris Middleton (Texas A&M)
  • Jordan Nwora (Louisville)
  • Mike Budenholzer (N/A)
  • Ben Sullivan (CS Northridge & Portland U)
  • Charles Lee (Bucknell)
  • Patrick St. Andrews (N/A)
    *N/A means non-division 1 school or foreign player (or I couldn’t find it easily)

West Region

Bucks’ Teams in Contention: Arkansas, Texas Tech, Notre Dame

So, we have Bobby Portis, Darvin Ham and Pat Connaughton all in the mix here, with Pat getting off the bat in a play-in game. Coach Ham actually is the highest seed with Bucks’ direct ties, meaning he will win the tournament overall. Bobby Portis is also here as the four seed. The overall one seed is Gonzaga, and the two seed is Duke. Let’s take a look at how each game goes.

First Round

  • 1 Gonzaga vs. 16 Georgia State goes to Georgia State
    Easy
  • 8 Boise State vs. 9 Memphis goes to Boise State

This was tough, but I feel like with Derrick Rose and Penny Hardaway involved with the program among others, Boise State feels more like an underdog to me

  • 5 Connecticut vs. 12 New Mexico State goes to New Mexico State
    This was easy, even though NM State has generally been a better program in recent years
  • 4 Arkansas vs. 13 Vermont goes to Bobby Portis’ Arkansas
    Auto bid to Bobby, but in the real bracket don’t sleep on the Catamounts
  • 6 Alabama vs. 11 Rutgers/Notre Dame goes to Pat Connaughton’s Notre Dame

Auto bid to Pat, and frankly these three teams are not ones I would pick over Texas Tech

  • 3 Texas Tech vs. 14 Montana State goes to Darvin Ham’s Texas Tech

Auto bid saves the Red Raiders here

Interesting that Davidson’s best player is a Michigan State transfer

  • 2 Duke vs. 15 CS Fullerton goes to CS Fullerton

Easy call here

Second Round

  • 8 Boise State vs. 16 Georgia State goes to Georgia State

Easy choice here

  • 4 Arkansas vs. 12 New Mexico State goes to Bobby Portis’ Arkansas

I really hope this game actually happens

  • 3 Texas Tech vs. 11 Notre Dame goes to...

This is the first time two Bucks’ teams match up. Pat Connaughton and Darvin Ham both were drafted as seniors in their respective classes, BUT, Darvin Ham transferred to Texas Tech from JUCO. So, the edge goes to Pat Connaughton’s Notre Dame

  • 10 Davidson vs. 15 CS Fullerton goes to CS Fullerton

Sweet 16

  • 4 Arkansas vs. 16 Georgia State goes to Bobby Portis’ Arkansas
  • 11 Notre Dame vs. 15 CS Fullerton goes to Pat Connaughton’s Notre Dame

Elite 8

  • 4 Arkansas vs. 11 Notre Dame goes to Pat Connaughton taking Notre Dame to the Final Four

Pat has the edge in years, even though Bobby had a great two seasons at Arkansas

South Region

Bucks’ Teams in Contention: Seton Hall

Just Sandro Mamukelashvili (Mamu) in this region, so it looks like the two-way contracts are preventing a major underdog from making the Final Four.

First Round

  • 1 Arizona vs. 16 seed goes to 16 seed

Mamu has the 8 seed so he will take this one anyway

  • 8 Seton Hall vs. 9 TCU goes to Mamu’s Seton Hall

Auto bid, but TCU would be my actual choice here

  • 5 Houston vs. 12 UAB goes to UAB

UAB and Houston are both kind of underdogs, but Houston is much better right now

  • 4 Illinois vs. 13 Chattanooga goes to Chattanooga

This could be a fun game to watch

  • 6 Colorado State vs. 11 Michigan goes to Colorado State

I don’t even know how Michigan is in the tournament, maybe Juwan smacked his way in

  • 3 Tennessee vs. 14 Longwood goes to Longwood

The funniest name in the tournament gets the win here

  • 7 Ohio State vs. 10 Loyola Chicago goes to Loyola

Easy pick

Easy pick

Second Round

  • 8 Seton Hall vs. 16 seed goes to Mamu’s Seton Hall

The only reason we don’t have all the 16 seeds in the sweet 16

  • 12 UAB vs. 13 Chattanooga goes to Chattanooga

This was tougher, but Chattanooga seems to be more of an underdog, and UAB has a FBS football team too

  • 6 Colorado State vs. 14 Longwood goes to Longwood

Longwood reigns

  • 10 Loyola Chicago vs. 15 Delaware goes to Delaware

Delaware is the smallest state, and the underdog of this bracket thanks to Mamu

Sweet 16

  • 8 Seton Hall vs. 13 Chattanooga goes to Mamu’s Seton Hall

What if this actually happened?

  • 14 Longwood vs. 15 Delaware goes to Longwood

Longwood seems to be more of an underdog. Delaware may be a small state, but it’s still the main school for that state, you know?

Elite 8

  • 8 Seton Hall vs. 14 Longwood goes to, well, Mamu and the Pirates in the Final Four

Midwest Region

Bucks’ Teams in Contention: Iowa State

All we have here is Lindell Wigginton, and if it weren’t for two-way deals, we wouldn’t have anybody on an entire half bracket. Meaning we would get Longwood or whomever meets Iowa State in the Elite 8 in the Final.

First Round

  • 1 Kansas vs. 16 Texas Small School goes to Texas Small School

You know what, I’ll do Kansas because these names are too long

  • 8 San Diego State vs. 9 Creighton goes to Creighton

I really didn’t know, so I chose the lower seed here

  • 5 Iowa vs. 12 Richmond goes to Richmond

I’m not excited about this one, but Richmond is the clear choice

  • 4 Providence vs. 13 South Dakota State goes to SD State

Pretty easy here, Providence is in the Big East

  • 6 LSU vs. 11 Iowa State goes to Wiggy’s Iowa State

Auto bid

  • 3 Wisconsin vs. 14 Colgate goes to Wisconsin

Wisconsin gets the automatic win until they play the Bucks, too bad for them

  • 7 USC vs. 10 Miami Florida goes to Miami

A power 5 matchup of non-blue bloods, so I picked the lower seed

  • 2 Auburn vs. 15 Jacksonville State goes to Jacksonville State

Duh

Second Round

  • 1 Kansas vs. 9 Creighton goes to Creighton

It would have been weird had all 16 seeds won

  • 12 Richmond vs. 13 South Dakota State goes to SD State

South Dakota is like the underdog state in general

  • 3 Wisconsin vs. 11 Iowa State goes to Wiggy’s Iowa State

Too bad for Wisconsin getting eliminated this early

  • 10 Miami vs. 15 Jacksonville State goes to Jacksonville State

Pretty easy pick here in this Floridian matchup

Sweet 16

  • 9 Creighton vs. 13 South Dakota State goes to SD State

I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually got here

  • 11 Iowa State vs. 15 Jacksonville State goes to Wiggy’s Iowa State

The run ends here for whatever the team’s nickname is

Elite 8

  • 11 Iowa State vs. 13 South Dakota State goes to Wiggy’s Iowa State all the way to the Final Four

East Region

Bucks’ Teams in Contention: North Carolina, Marquette, UCLA

Okay, so we have Grayson Allen, Wesley Matthews and Jrue Holiday all here. Let’s see what happens.

First Round

  • 1 Baylor vs. 16 Norfolk State goes to Norfolk State

And that’s it for the champs

  • 8 North Carolina vs. 9 Marquette goes to...

Wow, already. I thought about it, and since Allen isn’t even with his regular school, I went with Wes Matthews and home state Marquette

  • 5 St. Mary’s vs. 12 Wyoming goes to Wyoming

Wyoming is a bigger school, but St. Mary’s is always here

  • 4 UCLA vs. 13 Akron goes to Jrue Holiday’s UCLA
  • 6 Texas vs. 11 Virginia Tech goes to Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is a worse team and usually worse overall

  • 3 Purdue vs. 14 Yale goes to Yale

I feel like this has been a matchup before

  • 7 Murray State vs. 10 San Francisco goes to San Francisco

This is very intriguing, but I’ll go with the Don’s since this is their first time in forever

  • 2 Kentucky vs. 15 St. Peter’s goes to St. Peter’s

Do I have to explain?

Second Round

  • 9 Marquette vs. 16 Norfolk State goes to Wesley Matthews’ Marquette

Tough Sweet 16 coming

  • 4 UCLA vs. 12 Wyoming goes to Jrue Holiday’s UCLA

Poor Wyoming

  • 11 Virginia Tech vs. 14 Yale goes to Yale

Pretty obvious

  • 10 San Francisco vs. 15 St. Peter’s goes to St. Peter’s

Can anyone tell me where St. Peter’s is?

Sweet 16

  • 4 UCLA vs. 9 Marquette goes to...

Wesley Matthews played four years at Marquette, whereas Jrue only played one. Jrue is eliminated for Wesley Matthews’ Marquette

  • 14 Yale vs. 15 St. Peter’s goes to St. Peter’s

I’ve heard of Yale, but not St. Peter’s

Elite 8

  • 9 Marquette vs. 15 St. Peter’s goes to Wesley Matthews’ Marquette in the Final Four

Final Four

Okay, finally we are here. We have Pat Connaughton and Notre Dame vs. Wesley Matthews and Marquette. On the other side we have the two-way battle between Mamu and Lindell Wigginton. Let’s see what happens.

Mamu vs. Wiggy

So, this was a tough one, and with a battle of smaller, power conference schools, it is a unique matchup. However, Wiggy only played two seasons at Iowa State (maybe he should have stayed and possibly not bounced around for 3 seasons) so the winner is Mamu and Seton Hall

Pat vs. Wes

This is the tough one, and since they both played four years it was even tougher. Pat played 139 games, whereas Wes only played in 127. So, Pat’s Notre Dame will advance.

Final Winner goes to Notre Dame over Seton Hall

Mamu didn’t even play as long as Wes did, so Pat gets the win here. Hopefully you enjoyed this exercise, and fill out your brackets. Based on your own criteria, I do have a poll for you to vote in and comment why below

Poll

Which Bucks-Adjacent School Do You Think Has the Best Chance to Win It All?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Notre Dame
    (2 votes)
  • 27%
    Texas Tech
    (11 votes)
  • 5%
    Iowa State
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    Marquette
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    Arkansas
    (5 votes)
  • 40%
    UCLA
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    Seton Hall
    (0 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now