Every week it gets harder and harder to find 65 teams.
The Big East has become a big mess. Four teams (ND, Pitt, G'town, and WVU) are on the bubble now. ND is in the best shape out of all of them. The only reason they are in this position is because of their loss at home against UCLA Sunday. They still have a good chance to get to 10-6 in conference with two home games remaining (Rutgers and Pitt) and should be fine. Pitt in next in line because of their 3 game losing streak. Their out of conference schedule was very weak which gives them a lousy RPI; it also doesn't help that they lost to WVU twice. But they have beaten Syracuse twice and won at UConn. They do have the toughest schedule remaining (@BC, @ND). They need to win one to get to 9-7 in conference and if they do it should be enough to get them in especially considering their strength of schedule in the Big East. G'town and WVU both sit in about the same boat. G'town has a 3 game losing streak and a lousy RPI because of some bad losses out of conference. What they have going for them is a 4-5 mark against the top 8 in the Big East. They should be able to get to 9-7 since they have a home game against Providence left. After that they'll need to win at least a game in the conference tourney and hope there aren't to many upsets elsewhere. WVU has been on a roll lately winning 7 of 9, they have a decent RPI, and have some good wins out of conference. Their problem is they have played an easy Big East schedule and have only one big win (Pitt). They finish up at Seton Hall, and if they win that and one game in the Big East tourney they basically sit in the same boat as G'town, except with a stronger finish.
The ACC cleared up a little bit this week. Georgia Tech's win against Miami was huge for them and devastating for Miami. Virginia Tech and N.C. State have the best chances of getting the sixth bid out of the league but both have some work to do. Maryland needs a win at Virginia Tech this week to finish .500 in conference and feel safe about their chances. The ACC tourney should be interesting because if VT, N.C. St., or Miami can manage to win 2 games then they will have a good shot at a bid.
Iowa St. really took a huge step backwards this week. They need to win their last two conference games and get to 9-7 in conference or all of their bad losses will come back to haunt them. Texas A&M gave itself a big boost by beating Iowa St. The problem is they need to win at Oklahoma St. to have a chance at 9 conference wins. Right now Iowa St. is has a better chance at a bid because of their big wins. Houston got the last at-large bid. They have won six of seven including wins over TCU and Memphis and if they can win out (@Marquette, UAB) and get to 11-5 in conference they should get in. Indiana needs one more big win, which it can get at Wisconsin this week or in the Big 10 tourney, to get in the tourney since right now their record is a ugly 14-11. Vanderbilt is still getting some consideration and with a 2 win week could see its name in the bracket next week.
The MAC is another big mess. We still think Miami-Ohio and Buffalo are the two best teams in the conference, but the conferences chances for two bids are fading with everyone beating everyone else up so much. Buffalo and Miami-Ohio (despite a solid RPI) both need to win out probably until the conference finals to have a chance at an at-large. Bottom line: There is still a ton of basketball yet to be played in the MAC.
UTEP played itself into the bracket this week by winning three games. They need to still win out till the conference tourney final and at least have a strong showing against Nevada to get a bid. We no longer think St. Joe's has what it takes to win the A-10 conference tourney (see their loss at Rhode Island). GW needs to win out until the tourney championship game to hold on to an at-large. New Mexico has helped its at-large chances this week with its win over Utah, and if they can win out till the conference title game they hold on to slim hopes for an at-large bid.
Big East (8), Big XII (6), ACC (5), SEC (5), C-USA (5), Big Ten (4), PAC-10 (4), MAC (2), MVC (2), WAC (2), WCC (2).
Last Four In
UTEP, Buffalo, Iowa State, Houston
Last Four Out
Wichita State, Indiana, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech
The Field Of 65
North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, Maryland, Georgia Tech
Oklahoma St., Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State
Boston College, Connecticut, Syracuse, Villanova, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, West Virginia
Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Louisville, Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Houston
Southern Illinois, Creighton
Arizona, Washington, Stanford, UCLA
Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi State, LSU, Florida
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, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Kansas
Boston College, Duke, Kentucky, Washington
Oklahoma State, Arizona, Gonzaga, Louisville
Michigan State, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Syracuse
Charlotte, Utah, Wisconsin, Alabama
Cincinnati, Pacific, Villanova, Southern Illinois
LSU, Nevada, Florida, Texas Tech
Mississippi State, DePaul, UCLA, Texas
Maryland, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh
Holy Cross, Minnesota, St. Mary's, Stanford
George Washington, Georgetown, West Virginia, Miami-Ohio
UTEP, Buffalo, Vermont, Iowa State
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Houston, Creighton, Old Dominion
PENN, Davidson, Winthrop, Denver
Portland State, Tennessee Tech, Coppin St.,
CAPS denotes automatic bid earned.
Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves.Questions? Comments? E-mail Chris and Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org