Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 26

Bracket Reasoning

Colonial...Hofstra's huge win over George Mason earlier in the week made us believers in them again. They still have work to do though. They will most likely face Mason again in the conference tourney semi's and if they can win that game then they can get an at-large bid even if they were to lose to UNC-Wilmington in the championship. UNC-Wilmington needs to reach the championship game to feel safe.

MVC...A huge mess. The conference tourney starting this week will determine so much. The game between Creighton and Bradley on Friday is the most important one. Both teams have their share of good wins and bad losses in and out of conference (Creighton's resume is slightly better). With the Bluejays tourney history we like them in this game so they received one of the last bids. Bradley has really played well down the stretch but they still will need this one to secure an at-large bid for themselves. If Creighton were to lose they would really be sweating it out come Selection Sunday. Southern Illinois kept themselves alive with their win over UNI but they will need to get to the the conference championship to get an at-large because of their bad losses and poor finish. UNI and Missouri State are probably both safe regardless of the outcome of their game.

MWC...We still like SDSU to win the conference tourney (their at-large hopes are non-existant) and as long as Air Force can get by BYU and into the championship it will be enough for a bid.

ACC...No bubble team wants to be the 5th bid out of this league. Out of the teams still clinging to the bubble Miami has the best chance to finish 9-7 in conference, but even if they do they still most likely need to make it to the tourney semi's to get an at-large. Someone will really need to step up to make the ACC a 5 bid conference.

Big 12...Colorado cannot afford anymore bad losses and still get a bid and will need to get to the semi's of the conference tourney to get a bid. Texas A&M is coming on strong but they need a big win for their ugly resume before they can be taken too seriously.

A-10...St. Louis is playing really well right now and look like they are the only team with a shot to take down GW in the conference tourney. If they can take care of business this week there is a good chance you'll see them in the bracket next week as the A-10 automatic bid.

Here is Chris and Craig's latest field:

Last Four In
Colorado, Air Force, Creighton, Hofstra

Last Four Out
Bradley, Southern Illinois, Texas A&M, Seton Hall

In This Week
Indiana, Hofstra, Kent State, Manhattan, Oral Roberts, Lipscomb

Out This Week

Seton Hall, Florida State, Akron, Iona, IUPUI, Gardner-Webb

Conference Breakdown
(Automatic bids in multiple-bid conferences are the first teams listed.)
Big East (8), Big Ten (7), SEC (6), ACC (4), MVC (4), Big 12 (4), PAC-10 (4), Colonial (3), MWC (2), C-USA (2)

America East - Albany

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Boston College

Atlantic Sun - Lipscomb

A-10 - George Washington

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

Big Sky - Northern Arizona

Big South - Winthrop

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

Big 12 - Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado

Big West - Pacific

Colonial - UNC-WIlmington, George Mason, Hofstra

C-USA - Memphis, UAB

Horizon - Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Manhattan

MAC - Kent State

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Wichita State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Creighton

MWC - San Diego State, Air Force

Northeast - Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley - Murray State

PAC-10 - UCLA, Washington, Arizona, California

Patriot - Bucknell

SEC - Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky

Southern - Georgia Southern

Southland - Northwestern State

SWAC - Southern

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WAC - Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga

The Seeds
The 1s
Duke, UConn, Memphis, Villanova

The 2s
Texas, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Illinois

The 3s
Pittsburgh, Tennessee, UCLA, George Washington

The 4s
Iowa, West Virginia, LSU, North Carolina

The 5s
Washington, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Michigan State

The 6s
Boston College, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina State

The 7s
Marquette, Michigan, Florida, Nevada

The 8s
Wichita State, Arkansas, Alabama, Bucknell

The 9s
Arizona, George Mason, Missouri State, Kentucky

The 10s
Cincinnati, California, Northern Iowa, Syracuse

The 11s
Indiana, UNC-Wilmington, UAB, Creighton

The 12s
Colorado, Air Force, Hofstra, San Diego State

The 13s
Western Kentucky, Kent State, Manhattan, Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The 14s
Northwestern State, Winthrop, Murray State, Northern Arizona

The 15s
Pacific, Albany, Penn, Oral Roberts

The 16s
Georgia Southern, Delaware State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Lipscomb (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...

Not really sure how you can keep Michigan State up that high. They do have a pretty solid RPI and a good amount of quality wins. Yet they are nonetheless only 7-7 in the conference. Also, their struggles on the road will be taken into account. Their only good road win (in or out of conference) is @Ohio State early in the Big10 season. Also, they have lost 4 out of their last 5 and have some pretty tough tests, albeit at home, to close the regular season.
Keeping in mind both the way they have been playing and the overall(pretty darn good) quality of team they have, I figure they will split their last two games and take a game in the Big10 tourney. That would leave them with a 8-8 conference record, a pretty decent RPI, a few quality wins(@Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa)yet very poor road play and a record of 4-6 going into selection Sunday. With all of that being considered, I believe the comittee will take one of 2 steps with Mich. St. They will either give them a higher seed(4-5), but make them play away from the Detroit pod, or give them a mid-level seed(6-7) while letting them play in Detroit.
Any feedback on this analysis would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

1) A-Sun: How can you justify Lipscomb as your pick from the A-Sun? Belmont is playing much closer to home and easily has more talent than Lipscomb. Don't sleep on ETSU at home either.

2)BC will not be seeded at 6 if MSU and Wisconsin are 4 and 5 respectively. A 6-loss ACC team is going to be a 5 or better automatically no matter how many Kennesaw's are on their OOCS.

3) MVC: Creighton is injury-riddled. The loss of Funk is catching up to them. I don't see them beating Bradley and I can't see them justifying a bid.
Agree with your analysis of SIU. Overrated team with inexcusable losses galore. You can't sell short the UNI/SWMS game. I doubt those teams really feel safe.

duke referees said...

how can you guys justify Air Force getting an at large? they have zero top 50 wins and 2 100 plus losses. why doesn't Air Force need any marquee wins? you guys critisize other teams that don't have marquee wins. why the double standard Chris?

Anonymous said...

Pitt deserves a 2 seed more than Illinois

Anonymous said...

How can UK be seeded ahead of Cincinnati at this point. UK's best win is WVa early on a neutral floor. Name another quality win they have? UC has wins against LSU. @ Vandy @ Marquette & SOS of #3. Please explain!

Anonymous said...

I think it is an absolute joke that you have Northern Iowa in the tourney and Florida State're telling me a road loss to a mediocre southern ill team is more respectful than a road loss to any ACC blows my mind, Northern Iowa has 4 straight conference losses, who really cares if they beat Iowa in December, any team from the ACC who has the same amount of losses from any mid major conference in the country should not lose out on making the tourney to that mid major team.......we all know its insane

Anonymous said...

i mean they lost by 22 at home to a bad bradley team, come on!!!!...there is just no justfiable reason for giving any mid major 3 or more at large bids, its just not realistic, these teams would finish in the bottom half of every major conference in the country.......wake forest would win the MVC hands down, and their dead last in the ACC

orson said...

Northern Iowa won at LSU & beat Iowa at home. Creighton crushed Nebraska. Air Force should not get an at-large spot. Who have they beaten?

Anonymous said...

All QFA:

You can't sell short the UNI/SWMS game. I doubt those teams really feel safe.
it blows my mind, Northern Iowa has 4 straight conference losses, who really cares if they beat Iowa in December, any team from the ACC who has the same amount of losses from any mid major conference in the country should not lose out on making the tourney to that mid major team.......i mean they lost by 22 at home to a bad bradley team, come on!!!!...there is just no justfiable reason for giving any mid major 3 or more at large bids, its just not realistic, these teams would finish in the bottom half of every major conference in the country.......wake forest would win the MVC hands down, and their dead last in the ACC

Hmmm, MOstate not feel safe...RPI in the 20's, no bad losses--met every challenge handed to them. Personally, I think it's funny this year that the "major" conferences are complaining about the overrated MVC, when it's just the same system that gives those same "majors" 6 bids . Maybe if the major conferences would stop running and play the MVC we could settle this--but they won't take the chance. Bottom line:
MoState, Creighton, N Iowa, Wichita St. all go dancing

Anonymous said...

the real joke is that Colorado is in the bracket. Nobody who gets hammered by K State and Nebraska belongs in the bracket. they lost to fellow bubble team A&M

orson said...

Well those MVC teams belong in over Air Force. The Mountain West isn't even a top 12 conference this year. I also agree that the Big 12 only has 3 deserving teams.

Bracketology 101 said...

Some quick hits...

There is a good chance Michigan State's seed will continue to fall especially with the schedule they have left if they can't turn things around. Keep in mind though that they have played the toughest schedule out of any Big 10 school.

The individual talking about Cinci and Kentucky's seeds made good points. Kentucky is the last 9 right now and Cinci is the top 10 so there is really no difference between the two. The Bearcats bigger worry is getting to 8-8 in the Big East. You would expect them to be able to pick up the W at Hall with the way they are playing but if they can't they'll need a home win over WVU to get to 8-8.

Air Force may not have any quality wins but at 21-5 (D-1) and a 39 RPI they have a good chance at an at-large. If they make it to the conference championship and lose they will end up 24-6 out of the MWC (8th rated conference) with a top 40 RPI and they have a good chance to get a bid. I know you can't ignore their lack of quality wins but you also can't ignore their impressive record and they fact that they win games. Both Air Force and UAB are very alike in their profiles and you can make a case that Air Force deserves a bid over UAB. UAB does have the opportunity that Air Force doesn't have to pick up a big win (Memphis).

The MVC is really anyone's guess right now. We looked at the conference realistically and gave them 4 bids which I doubt anyone else will do. I haven't looked around but I imagine most if not all will give the conference 5 or 6 bids. UNI has the out of conference wins that can't be ignored which will get them a bid. The only team that can really feel that safe right now is Wichita State though.

More later....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time out to answer some of the issues/questions that were brought up by readers. Keep up this good work. Can you feel the madness starting to spread baby!

Anonymous said...

Air Force is a team everyone loves to dis, but no one wants to play. Big name programs won't come to a small, loud arena at 7000' and risk losing to a bunch of overachieving student athletes. A mid season spate of injuries resulted in stumbling on a couple of road conference games. Sandwiched around their mid season swoon were early season victories against two ACC teams, pushing Washington to the limit in Seattle in the BCA Classic and a strong conference finish. The Falcons are a deserving team.

Kortany H. said...

Great job on the bracket Matt. All 4 regions appear very competitive & wee seeded. You also did a good of placing teams in the right pods. well done.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if FSU beat Duke then lost to Miami?

pokerplayr said...

Same thing that happened to Maryland last year after they beat Duke twice.... FSU would need to make the ACC finals to even have a sliver of a chance to get in.

BTW, for all of you whining and b*tching about how so-and-so team would perfom in such-and-such conference, maybe next year your school could move to a mid-major and then they could be outrecruited, get screwed in competitive scheduling, struggle for TV exposure and get ignored on selection sunday with a record that is just as mediocre as this years. Teams from the "Big 6" have a distinct advantage over teams from other so-called "mid-majors" in ways beyond those mentioned earlier. If they are unable to stay even with those "other" teams from the "other" conferences, then perhaps they should fire their coach and hire a new one... who would likely come from another one of those "mid-major" schools.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I miss the good old days when all you guys got was posts for penis enlargement and love notes from Melissa looking for money!

Bracketology 101 said...

Couple more quick hits...

Illinois has the edge over Pitt for the last two seed for a couple of reasons. Despite a couple of questionable losses of late, the Illini still have a stronger overall resume than the Panthers. Illinois has seven Top 25 wins (compared to Pitt's two) and has a much much OOC resume, beating Georgetown, UNC and Wichita State while Pitt beat only Wisconsin. Illinois also gets the edge as they are the second team right now out of the Big Ten, while Pitt is the third team out of the Big East.

The FSU-over-Northern Iowa argument is tough to defend. Not only is UNI's resume vastly superior in terms of top 50 wins, OOC wins, RPI, etc. but FSU is coming off a horrible loss to Virginia Tech and can easily lose out and finish 7-9. If they had beaten the Hokies, they would have still been staring at a 9-7 finish and would be in much, much better shape. A better argument would be to compare FSU to UAB or Air Force, who have equally unattractive resumes. Those teams have an advantage right now though because UAB still has a game with Memphis left, and Air Force may need to just get to the MWC tournament final with their RPI and overall record in the 8th best conference in the country to get a bid. Florida State needs a huge finish to get back in. Even a split (losing to Duke and beating Miami) will mean the Noles will need two wins in the ACC tourney and some other conference tournaments to go their way to get in.

Bracketology 101 said...

Anonymous said...
"Gee, I miss the good old days when all you guys got was posts for penis enlargement and love notes from Melissa looking for money!"

Ahh the good 'ole days...but we've finally paid off Melissa and gotten her to stop spreading those nasty rumors.

Anonymous said...

oh come on, give me a're saying that fsu isn't even comparable to northern iowa???.....dumbest thing i've ever heard, they both have the same amount of overall losses. How is the VT loss a horrible loss??.....a road game in the ACC is not a horrible loss, this same "horrible" VT team lost on a half court shot at duke. Fsu beat Duke in Cameron except for the simple fact the refs took the game from them, and anyone who watched it knows it.......fsu lost to duke, bc, and unc by a combined total of 5 points.......three top 12 teams in an actual ranking, not this stupid RPI everyone talks about that is a bad ranking system, we shouldn't determine stuff from a stupid mathemtical formula, there's a reason the AP/ESPN polls are a lot different, cuz actual people know more than a computer.......and how is losing at home by 22 points not "horrible"???....or losing 4 straight conference games not "horrible"......losing by one point at Duke, in a game where Sheldon Williams was allowed 20 fouls is much more impressive than beating Iowa at home, and beating Bucknell in double OT at to say they aren't comparable is absurd, i would love to see these two matched up in the tourney and see fsu win by 20+ so i can just laugh at everyone, we gotta get over this mid major craze.....they never do anything passed the second round

duke referees said...

Northern Iowa has 5 wins against the rpi top 25. Florida State has zero. FSU beat nobody in the OOC. Northern Iowa won at LSU & beat Iowa at home. Iowa & LSU are rated in the top 14 of the rpi.

Anonymous said...

FSU has a better resume than Air Force. They swept bubble team Virginia & beat Maryland. Can either Chris or Craig please answer this question honestly? Why is Air Force in your bracket? They have 0 top 50 wins & 2 over 100 losses.

Bracketology 101 said...

Air Force is one of our last teams in right now so by no means are we saying they will definetly get a bid, but there is really not much of a case for FSU to be in over Air Force. Both of their out of conference resumes are equally unimpressive. FSU does not have a top 50 win right now either and has a loss outside the top 100. Air Force's losses outside the top 100 were tough conference road games (New Mexico and Wyoming when the Cowboys were playing decent). Air Force has an RPI 25 points higher then FSU though and might very well end up with some top 50 wins in the RPI if BYU or SDSU climb in the top 50, which might very well happen. We give Air Force a bid right because we project that they will make it to the MWC championship game which would mean 3 more wins with one likely coming against BYU. Anything less then that and they will not get a bid. Enough already about FSU's loss at Duke. They got screwed but it's still a loss. If they can beat Duke and win at Miami (which will be tough since they have only won one conference road game this year) then next week they will be in our field and would be looking pretty safe for a bid at 9-7 out of the ACC, but until they do that there is no reason to talk about them.

Anonymous said...

Air Force and Northern Iowa would lose by at least 20+ at home to Duke, let alone go into Cameron and outplay them, again if you have the ball with the chance to win against both Duke and UNC, you belong in the tourney more than a mid major team who is struggling, and wouldn't even make a game against any of the top teams in the nation, especially Air Force...and how is Air force's losses outside the top 100 legit?? but FSU's road loss to VT(which is outside the top 100) not legit, that makes no sense...

pokerplayr said...

I am constantly amused with people who whine about the RPI, yet have little concept about what it actually is..... RPI is NOT a ranking, it is a RATING. A ranking is defined as "a position on a scale relative to others in a sport." A rating, in this case, is a value assigned to a team relative to their number of wins, losses and the same associative criteria as their opponents. It is when we compare different team's RPI that we lose the value of each rating. As a comparative value, RPI is a rather useless rating, much like statistical variance, because it does not signify a value or correspondence (for instance, just what does an RPI of .600 mean ???)

BTW, I always appreciate how people who b*tch about a "mathemtical formula" are unable to either correctly spell or type the word mathematical.

Bubbleteams said...

Hmmmm, all this kvetching about a mediocre Florida State team reminds of the "good old days" when teams like 16-14 Villanova (in 1991) and 17-14 Kansas State (in 1990) earned at-large bids because they has a schedule full of "good losses". Forget RPI and look at the teams Florida State has defeated this year. The Seminoles have beaten just five teams with winning records. The Seminoles have no wins against any team with less than 10 losses and the team with the BEST record FSU has beaten is 17-10 Nebraska (in comparative scores, FSU beat the Huskers 74-60 at a neutral site in Florida while MVC bubble team Creighton beat the Huskers 70-44 at Creighton). The Huskers are also the ONLY non-conference team with a winning reacord that FSU has beaten. In addition, the nest win the Seminoles could muster since their mighty defeat of the Huskers is a home win against 15-11 Maryland, yet another team FSU has beaten with double digit losses.

Do the Seminoles deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament ?? Hell NO !! Then again, neither do 6 or 7 of the other bubble teams every "bracketologist" has included in the field . If you wanna make a real case for FSU, start there. Just hope the selection committee finds FSU as the best of a VERY bad lot !!!!!

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, Bracketology 101 guys, you do a terrific job. Keep up the good work.

Not to belabor the fsu/air force/ uni argument, but this is interesting:

Nov. 14 - Air Force 57, Miami 53
Jan. 29 - Miami 84, FSU 78
- both games were road games for Miami.

Plus, I think the "armchair bracketologists" among us sometimes get so caught up in rpi, SOS, road record, etc. that we overlook a very important stat: Win-loss record. Air Force is 23-5, FSU is 17-8. When profiles are close, (like these) that is a pretty good tiebreaker. (Oh, and if we are going to talk about the 1pt. loss to duke, let's bring up that 22 point loss to nc state)

As for UNI, give me a break. Someone keeps conveniently forgetting UNI's huge ROAD win against LSU (in my humble opinion, the most underrated team in the nation - rpi #10). That, along with the win over Iowa, I believe counts as "making a game against a top team in the nation".

Just my opinion. No offense to anyone intended.

andrew said...

The Air Force-Miami game was on a neutral site in Seattle. Win-Loss records can be very deceiving. Air Force has 0 wins against the rpi top 50

nando123 said...

we demolished UAB

nando123 said...

we demolished UAB