Not too many changes from last week. The reason that Marquette gets a bid this week is because they have 2 winnable road games this week and a favorable schedule after that (since they have only one more road game left). Stanford who we have left out has a similar situation with only 2 road games left and could very well finish up 6-1 in Pac-10 play, but Marquette gets the nod over them because of their better out of conference play and overall record. LSU hangs on for another week because they have 2 winnable conference games this week. Texas A&M continues to be plagued by their low RPI. Notre Dame really could have used that win at Syracuse on Saturday. Things don't get any easier for them with BC coming in and playing at Pitt this week. We think ND can pull off an upset in one of these games but if they can't, then don't expect to see them here next week. Having the toughest Big East schedule in the league will help there RPI and make up for a weak out of conference showing but if that leads to a .500 or worse conference record they will be left out of the dance.
Mid-Major/Small Conference ramblings....There are a number of teams coming from one bid conferences right now that have a good chance of getting an at large bid if they did not win their conference tourneys. Utah and Pacific (unless they get screwed like Utah St. did last year) should both receive at-large berths, while Vermont and GW also have resumes that would land them on the bubble. Every year upsets happen in conference tourney's which end up costing the big conferences at-large berths and we don't expect this year to be any different. Starting next week we will try to predict some of the potential upsets by looking at past conference tourney history and by looking at the venues where conference tourney's are being held this year. This will give a more realistic bracket in terms of the number of at-large berths that the big conferences will be fighting for.
Big East (7), ACC (6), C-USA (6), Big XII (5), Big Ten (5), SEC (5), PAC-10 (4), MVC (2), WAC (2), WCC (2).
Last Four In
UTEP, Miami-Fla., LSU, Marquette
Last Four Out
Texas A&M, South Carolina, Stanford, Boston University
The Field Of 65
North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami-Fla.
Oklahoma St., Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech
Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Villanova, Georgetown
Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota
Cincinnati, Louisville, Charlotte, DePaul, UAB, Marquette
Southern Ill., Wichita State
Washington, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State
Kentucky, Miss. St., Alabama, Florida, LSU
Gonzaga, St. Mary's
*Note - In the conferences where mulitple bids were given the first place team was given the automatic bid. In the case of a tie, overall record was the tiebreaker.
Illinois, Boston College, North Carolina, Kansas
Wake Forest, Duke, Kentucky, Oklahoma State
Syracuse, Washington, Louisville, Arizona
Oklahoma, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Wisconsin
Cincinnati, Alabama, Utah, Pittsburgh
Connecticut, Texas Tech, Texas, Mississippi State
Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Pacific, Florida
Villanova, Wichita State, Maryland, Georgetown
Southern Illinois, St. Mary's, Charlotte, Depaul
Vermont, Nevada, UAB, Iowa
George Washington, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona State
Miami-Ohio, LSU, UTEP, Miami-Fla.