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We Still Booze 2.18: Bracketologist Shelby Mast

How nervous should Cyclone fans be about missing the tournament?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-City Views Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, there was a day in time when Cyclone fans would get excited about having their basketball team on the bubble. After five straight NCAA Tournaments, we have become a bit spoiled, and the word “bubble” has become a four letter word in Ames, Iowa.

Now that conference play has started, the mock brackets are starting to sprout up left and right. We were fortunate enough to be joined by Shelby Mast, head bracketologist for the USA Today to discuss bracketology, where he has ISU sitting right now and how he deals with haters on Twitter.

Shelby adjusts his brackets almost daily based on results from the previous night of games. His projections try to model what he believes the selection committee will do and he always evaluates teams based on what they have done thus far, not what he believes they will do.

We discussed the infusion of additional metrics this year such as KenPom, Sagarin and Massey ratings. Is this a good thing and will they replace the RPI?

The term marquee win is thrown out a lot by spectators, commentators and bracketologists. Shelby helps us define a marquee win and talks about the importance of Iowa State earning one going forward.

How should Iowa State fans weigh rooting for teams they beat against rooting against them as they compete for the same at-large berths?

We plan on bringing on Shelby again during conference play. If there are questions you have about the selection and seeding process, you can leave them in the comments below and we’ll ask him on the next podcast.

You can follow Shelby on Twitter: @BracketWAG

His daily updated bracket can be found here.