Monday, January 15, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Jan. 15

The Breakdown
Another week full of upsets meant another week full of change in the bracket. After 13 new additions last week, 11 more changes were made this week, including some mix-ups in both the big and small conferences. The ACC had the most movement, as Georgia Tech (fresh off its upset of Duke) and Boston College replace slumping Virginia and Florida State. Washington's free-fall (1-5 in conference...yikes) finally landed it out of the bracket, but the Pac-10 kept its six bids as Stanford (off a state of Washington sweep) made the field. In the Big Ten, which continues to be anyone's guess at this point, Michigan State replaces Michigan, while Creighton, the MVC's new first place team, gets the league's fifth bid.

The most interesting and toughest-to-call conference this week proved to be the Colonial. For weeks, the CAA had been a two-bid league, with Drexel - thanks to its nice OOC wins over Syracuse and Villanova - earning an at-large. The Dragons have slipped since then, though, capped by a drubbing at Old Dominion, and aren't at-large worthy anymore. Until Saturday, it looked like Hofstra (winners over both ODU and Drexel already) would get the league's lone bid, but the Pride lost to lowly Northeastern. The easiest solution would be to put unbeaten VCU in the field, but their spotless mark has come entirely against the league's bottom feeders. They'll still need to beat someone noteworthy to get a look. In the end, we decided the conference deserved only one bid (for the time being), and gave it to Hofstra (despite the NE hiccup) based on head-to-head wins over ODU and Drexel.

The CAA is one of many mid-majors who are on the two-bid bubble. The A-10 is a crowded mess at this point with UMass playing well and Xavier playing inconsistenly, and in the end the league may deserve two bids. For now, we kept the Musketeers in by themselves, based on the fact that they get a shot at the Minutemen at home Thursday. In the WAC, New Mexico State keeps winning (13 in a row) and remains in our bracket, where they have been for weeks. Will they finally make into anyone else's?

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for Jan. 15:

Last Four In
Arkansas, UConn, Indiana State, Michigan State

Last Four Out
Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas Tech, Michigan

Conference Breakdown
ACC (7), Big East (7), Pac-10 (6), SEC (6), MVC (5), Big XII (4), Big Ten (4), MWC (2), WAC (2)

America East - Vermont

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Georgia Tech

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier

Big East - Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Marquette, Georgetown, West Virginia, Syracuse, UConn

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Winthrop

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

Big 12 - Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Hofstra

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Loyola (MD)

MAC - Ohio

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Indiana State

MWC - Air Force, UNLV

Northeast - Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

Pac-10 - UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, Washington State, USC, Stanford

Patriot - Holy Cross

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

Southern - Appalachian State

Southland - Sam Houston State

SWAC - Jackson State

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WAC - Nevada, New Mexico State

WCC - Gonzaga

The Seeds
The 1s
UCLA, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin

The 2s
Oregon, Kansas, Ohio State, Arizona

The 3s
Pittsburgh, Air Force, Alabama, Texas A&M

The 4s
Oklahoma State, Duke, LSU, Memphis

The 5s
Nevada, Clemson, Notre Dame, Butler

The 6s
Washington State, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Tennessee

The 7s
Texas, Marquette, Kentucky, Southern Illinois

The 8s
USC, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Missouri State

The 9s
Creighton, West Virginia, Indiana, Boston College

The 10s
Stanford, Syracuse, UNLV, Georgia Tech

The 11s
Xavier, Northern Iowa, Arkansas, UConn

The 12s
Michigan State, Indiana State, New Mexico State, Hofstra

The 13s
Winthrop, Western Kentucky, Ohio, Appalachian State

The 14s
Oral Roberts, Holy Cross, Penn, Vermont

The 15s
Loyola (MD), Sacred Heart, Weber State, Long Beach State

The 16s
Belmont, Austin Peay, Sam Houston State, Delaware State (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
This Week's Bracket - Jan. 15

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Shawn (Tampa FL) said...

Why is UCONN in your bracket?? What have they done that deserves even a look right now??

Cort said...

You could argue that Oregon or Kansas are more deserving of a #1 seed than North Carolina. But since UNC is a big name program, they put them in over a less historic program like Oregon. You guys continue to favor the big name schools. very sad

lifter33 said...

As an Air Force fan, I completely agree with your #3 seed of the Falcons. Any looks at a third team from the MWC, like BYU or Wyoming???

Bracketology 101 said...

Some quick reponses...

We were waiting for the "Why is UConn in?" question, and it didn't take long to get one. The Huskies' inclusion in the field at this point is based solely on a projection. UConn, as Jim Calhoun put it, is "the youngest team in the country," and while they still have no real marquee wins, they certainly have the potential and the young talent to finish 10-6 or 9-7 in the Big East and earn a low seed in the tourney. They almost didn't make it in this week, but their upcoming schedule is full of upset potential (at Pitt, vs. Indiana) and meant we had to give them one more chance...

Cort - you could definitely make the case for Oregon to be a 1 seed with their wins over UCLA and Arizona, but the point of this bracket is not only to reward teams for what they have done so far, but also to project on what will happen the rest of the way. Oregon, if they continue playing at this level, will surely be a 2 seed in March, and could be a 1. The Pac-10 is the best league in the country and its top 3 teams all could get 1 or 2 seeds. We still project, though, that in the long run, UCLA is a better team than Oregon (remember the Ducks' win was at home) and therefore they still get the 1 seed. The Ducks have another month and a half to prove us wrong...

With 5 MVC teams, 2 MWC teams, and 2 WAC teams in the bracket, we would like to think we don't favor anyone (we also had 2 Colonial in until this week). If you compare B101 to any other bracket, you'll find more mid-majors in here than you will anywhere else. Names don't matter, resumes and projected resumes do...

Three teams out of the MWC is a pretty big stretch at this point, but not entirely impossible. The team with the best chance to join Air Force and UNLV in the dance is BYU, since they still have two games against Air Force remaining. Wyoming missed out on a huge chance by losing to the Falcons by two at home, and now have only one more shot to get a marquee win in conference. BYU is unbeaten at home and has its first crack against AF on Jan. 27. A win and they move up the bubble list in a hurry...

Paymon said...

I'm having a tougher time buying 7 bids from the Big East more than anything else. The conference RPI is 7, which is the worst among the power conferences.

At most, the Big East should receive 6 bids, as 9-7 (or 10-6 in some cases) won't do it without a strong non-conference schedule/resume.

Anonymous said...

Kentucky as a 7 seed? RPI is as high as 4 with three L's to teams in the top ten. Then #1 UCLA, #4 North Carolina, and #9 Memphis. If the Cats make some noise and split the series with Florida and Tennessee plus a win over Alabama or LSU you really have to re-evaluate.

Just cause UK is overlooked in the polls doesn't mean they're not worthy of something more. I'd say at least a 5 at this point in time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping New Mexico State around. We suffered a setback against La Tech. And then last night....we go and beat down #13 Nevada. I hope everyone sleeps on them come March.

craiger said...

"and VCU, who was in our bracket for all of 22 hours, inexplicably lost at home to Northeastern."

REALLY?!? INEXPLICABLY!?!? NU has won 10 in a row as of today 6 or so at the time. Not really an avid watcher of the CAA are you? The league deserves two bids, these teams kill each other.