Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Jan. 22

Here is Chris and Craig's latest field:

Last Four In
Arkansas, Southern Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville

Last Four Out
Miami (FL), St. John's, Missouri, Kansas

Conference Breakdown
(Automatic bids in multiple-bid conferences in CAPS, unless otherwise noted)
Big East (9), Big Ten (7), SEC (6), ACC (5), Big 12 (5), MVC (4), PAC-10 (3), C-USA (2), A-10 (2)

America East - Binghamton

ACC - DUKE, North Carolina State, Maryland, North Carolina, Boston College

Atlantic Sun - Florida Atlantic


Big East - UCONN, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Marquette, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Louisville

Big Sky - Montana

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - MICHIGAN STATE, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan

Big 12 - TEXAS, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Colorado, Kansas State

Big West - UC-Irvine

Colonial - Old Dominion

C-USA - MEMPHIS (automatic), UAB

Horizon - Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Manhattan

MAC - Akron

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - NORTHERN IOWA, Creighton, Wichita State, Southern Illinois

MWC - Air Force

Northeast - Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley - Murray State

PAC-10 - WASHINGTON (automatic), UCLA, Arizona

Patriot - Bucknell

SEC - FLORIDA (automatic), Tennessee, LSU, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Northwestern State

SWAC - Southern

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WCC - Gonzaga

WAC - Nevada

The Seeds

The 1s
UConn, Duke, Memphis, Texas

The 2s
Florida, Villanova, Michigan State, Gonzaga

The 3s
Illinois, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Indiana

The 4s
Tennessee, Ohio State, Washington, North Carolina State

The 5s
George Washington, Wisconsin, UCLA, Northern Iowa

The 6s
Maryland, Iowa, LSU, Bucknell

The 7s
North Carolina, Georgetown, Boston College, Marquette

The 8s
Arizona, UAB, Syracuse, Cincinnati

The 9s
Vanderbilt, Creighton, Xavier, Michigan

The 10s
Iowa State, Nevada, Oklahoma, Wichita State

The 11s
Old Dominion, Air Force, Kentucky, Colorado

The 12s
Southern Illinois, Wisconsin-Milwuakee, Kansas State, Arkansas

The 13s
Louisville, Winthrop, Western Kentucky, Akron

The 14s
Manhattan, Davidson, Penn, Montana

The 15s
Oral Roberts, Northwestern State, Murray State, UC-Irvine

The 16s
Binghamton, Sacred Heart, Delaware State, Florida Atlantic (Play-In Game), Southern (Play-In Game)

The Bracket

This Week's Bracket

Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves.

Questions? Comments? E-mail Chris and Craig at


Anonymous said...

Can you explain how Louisville made your bracket? They are 82 in the RPI. They have zero wins vs. the top 50 but have 1 loss outside the top 100. What would you say their best win is? Akron? Providence? Miami? There is no case for Louisville to be in the bracket. It won't matter as they won't make the field in March.

Have you seen those 6 road games they have left? Only a rabid Louisville fan thinks they belong in the field now.

Bracketology 101 said...

We figured this would be the first comment we got on this week's bracket. Your comments are all valid and it was a tough call (they were the last team in). They may not deserve to be in the bracket but its also tough to find someone else that is. Here was our reasoning...their losses this week came without their best player (Dean) and we feel they will be able to get to 8-8 in conference which will be good enough for a bid with their tough Big East schedule. They got the nod over Miami since they recently beat them and are in over St John's because of the Johnnies ugly out of conference resume. Louisville definetly needs to step it up and start beating some quality opponents or else they will be on the outside looking in very soon.

Anonymous said...

Pitino will deserve Coach of the Year if his Cards can go 8-8 in the Big East. Honestly, there is no way this team will finish 8-8. 6-10 will be hard to achieve with that schedule. you guys really dropped the ball this time

Anonymous said...

this year is shaping up like last year. it will be tough for the committee to find 65 deserving teams to make the field. there are so many mediocre teams out there

Bracketology 101 said...

It is looking like last year with a lack of quality teams to put into the bracket but a major difference from last year is the lack of quality teams from mid-major conferences.

The MVC has basically taken the place of C-USA as the 7th best conference. After the Big 6 conferences and the MVC its tough to find too many teams who will definetly get at-large bids. Memphis, Gonzaga, George Washingon, and Bucknell are the only teams that look like they will definetly get an at-large bids if they can't win their conference tourneys. Then you have teams like Xavier and UAB who are right now on track for at-large bids. Then there is teams like Nevada, Air Force, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and ODU who all have decent resumes but if they can't win their conference tournaments then they better have the regular season title under their belt or else there may not be an at-large bid waiting for them.

As of right now if you look outside the Big 6 conferences and the MVC it's hard to envision any conferences getting more then 2 bids which means that there might be 9 bids out their for the Big East to pick up and 7 bids for the Big Ten.

Anonymous said...

is there any chance the Missouri Valley could get 5 teams? if Missouri State gets back on track.

Bracketology 101 said...

The chances are slim for the MVC getting 5 bids. The conference is solid, right now its rated higher then the Big 12 and Pac-10 and there are five teams in the top 34 RPI. It's definetly not out of the question but things would really have to fall into place for the conference in the regular season and conference tourney for 5 bids to be handed out.

Presently Missouri State and Southern Illinois are both on the bubble. SIU has a slightly better RPI (26 to 34), a win over Wichita, and is two games better then Missouri State in conference. SIU's fault comes out of conference where their best win was against Kent State and they suffered losses against St. Louis, Monmouth, and Alaska-Fairbanks (Div. 2). Missouri State would have been in the bracket this week if they held on against Wichita State on Sunday afternoon. Missouri State does not have the bad out of conference losses that SIU has but they don't have any good wins either. Missouri was able to beat SIU at home on Thursday. Missouri State's problem lies in the fact that they are running out of opportunities to get quality wins in confernce. They have lost to Wichita twice now, at Creighton, and at home to UNI. So with there 3 games remaining against the top of the league (Creighton, @UNI, @SIU) they will probably need to pick up 2 wins to improve their resume which will be difficult. We just don't like Missouri State's chances at this point.

Anonymous said...

it is laughable that Louisville is still in your bracket. Kansas is much more deserving than Louisville. The Jayhawks have won at Colorado, also beat Cal and completely hammered Kentucky. In case you forgot, Louisville got pounded in Lexington. There is no way in hell UL belongs in the tournament.
Chris n Craig are rewarding Lousiville for playing a cream puff pre-conference schedule.

Bracketology 101 said...

We knew Sunday night when we put together our bracket that we would be the only people with Louisville in. As we explained in a prior comment, we agree that the Cardinals may not belong in the bracket, but it is nearly impossible - at least this week - to find someone else that does. While others put two teams in out of the WAC (including 11-7 Louisiana Tech) or two out of the Mountain West (which is impossible to defend at this point; there is zero chance of Air Force or San Diego receiving an at-large bid), we went to the rest of the at-large pool. Thanks to a head to head win, Louisville got in over Miami and got in over St. John's thanks to the Johnnies' pathetic non-conference showing.

Your Kansas-over-Louisville argument is not as clear cut as you think. For having such a "cream puff" non-conference schedule, Louisville's RPI is sill almost 40 points higher than Kansas'. The Jayhawks do have two good wins (Cal doesn't count as a good win right now), but Louisville has one (Miami) and has a much better chance in a stacked Big East and with Dean coming back to pick up some quality wins than Kansas does in a weak Big 12. You could also make the argument that their schedule is too tough, but we believe they will turn it around soon. They can start tomorrow night at home against Cincinnati.

Anonymous said...

How is Miami a good win? They are currently ranked 86th in the RPI. Louisville has no business being in your field of 65. Here is the cream puff schedule of Louisville.

RPI rank of these teams

Chicago State 261
Tenn. Martin 288
Prairie View A M 333
Middle Tenn. ST. 113
College of Charleston 220
Detroit 187
Fairleigh Dickinson 226
Arkansas State 206
Richmond 193
UC Davis 274
Miami 86
Kentucky 43
Akron 76

Yes no cream puffs there! Louisville only played 7 teams 200 or worse in the Rpi. 10 teams 100 or worse

Anonymous said...

Louisville should definately win a home game against Cincy. But that is not turning it around. They have 6 very tough road games on the docket. You guys are crazy if you think they will get to 8-8

Anonymous said...

I actually think you guys made a good call with Louisville this week. There is no question, at this point, they are right on that line with Miami and Kansas. When that happens, I think conference strength plays a big factor. This year it almost seems as if there are two major league conferences (Big East, Big 10) and the rest are just the minors.

I'm sorry to the KU fan, but Colorado and Cal are big wins? If these teams were in the BE or B10 they'd be in the bottom third of both conferences.

As Far as Louisville getting to 8-8, it could happen, but they'll need to pull out two of their close three (Home and Away with Cincy, @Syracuse), and then sweep the lower teams. Other than DePaul, who seems to be falling out of the picture rapidly, you have three tough games. Playing RU at the RAC is not an easy out, just ask Nova. Marquette's win over UCONN shows they can play. Even South Florida has given the league's upper half a scare (GU, NOVA, WVU). The bottom line, yes 'Nova could get to 8-8, but they have a lot of work to do.

Is 'Nova in today? Maybe, but they have a chance to show the Committee who they are over the next month.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand why everyone is all over the Big Ten this year, they have more ranked teams than the ACC, and they are all consistantly ranked higher, except for Duke me it is a joke, because the Big Ten has to yet to ever beat the ACC in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge...even this year, where the Big Ten has its "best" group in years, while the ACC is in a "re-building" stage and it didn't even include Boston College in the challenge who you have in the tournament. Lets just face the fact that the bottom of the ACC is a hundred times better than the bottom of the Big Ten, therefore the top half of the Big Ten looks so much better. Please explain how you have 7 Big Ten teams in and only 5 ACC, ACC teams just get punished for playing such a brutal schedule.....also, what do you think of the possibility of just erasing the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, because clearly the Big Ten will never win, and just replace it with an ACC/Big East challenge, so the ACC can prove biased ESPN that they are better than the Big East

Anonymous said...

Anon ACC lover up there needs to relax. Could he be a Maryland fan perhaps? And where do you get off asserting dominance over the Big East. You guys have a disappointing BC squad and we have the only win over Duke and a #1 ranked UConn team THAT ISN'T EVEN LEADING THE CONFERENCE. Go do... whatever it is... ACC fans do.

Anonymous said...

Rick Pitino seems to have a lot of power over people

Anonymous said...

Good call on being a Maryland fan....I don't know how you deciphered that one, but good work. I understand that this year, the Big East may have a step up on the ACC, only because the ACC lost so many great players from last year and the Big East gained Louisville, Cincinatti and Marquette.....but you have to admit last year the ACC was def better than the Big East, it was a joke to see the Big East get so many more teams than the ACC in the tourney...the only team that did anything in the tourney for the Big East was West Virginia, who just got extremely lucky by shooting 75% from beyond the arc....but i would still love to see a big east/acc challenge, because the big ten just isn't worth our time anymore

Bracketology 101 said...

Back in the day (about 10 years ago) it used to be the ACC-Big East challenge. It was changed to the current ACC-Big Ten challenge for better competition I suppose. I would agree that they should go back to the ACC-Big East challenge though. I think there is more anomousity between the two conferences, especially after the ACC stealing schools from the Big East.

Anonymous said...

What is the highest number of team from one conference? BigEast @ 9 possbily more and Big 10 @ 7 are big numbers. MVC @ possibly 5 is amazing. Not sure on all the factors they use to pick but Pac 10 and Big 12 with fewer teams than the MVC seems like a stretch.

Bracketology 101 said...

As it stands right now, the Big East has a real good shot of getting a eight and even nine teams in the tourney. The conference is just that good and that deep. Right now, the interesting Big East teams are Louisville, St. John's, and Seton Hall (after a huge road win at NC State). Can they get to 8-8 in conference and get a bid? We'll see. The Big Ten is also stacked, with seven virtual locks at this point. That conference is the easiest to figure of all the Big 6 right now, with so many guarantees and zero bubble teams.

Four teams out of the MVC may sound high, but this year thanks to down years in so many big conferences it might happen. (By the way, it doesn't look good for five teams to make it. Missouri State has hit the skids big time, including a loss tonight at Bradley. Southern Illinois needs to play a little more consistently as well to keep maintain a weekly spot in the bracket.)

The Pac 10, meanwhile, is way down this year, and as it stands now, they don't have four teams worthy of dancing. The Big 12 is anyone's guess. Their middle of the pack teams seem to beat each other up every week, and each week it seems like new teams are on or off the bubble. In the end, the Big 12 and MVC may indeed have the exact same number of teams in the tourney, and while that may sound strange, that's the way this season has played out. There aren't any St. Marys or Pepperdines or Utah States to grab second at-large bids out of mid-majors this year, so conferences like the MVC reap the benefits.

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