Monday, January 22, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Jan. 22

The Breakdown
Two heads are always better than one when compiling a bracket, and for the first time in a while, that was the case again at Bracketology 101. Craig took some time off from his Marine schedule and chipped in with his opinions and bracket expertise this week. The result, as has been the case in recent weeks, was a lot of movement on and around the bubble.

This week proved to be particularly interesting because it involved some changes to our projections of several teams and conferences. The team suffering the biggest fall this week was Boston College, who dropped out of the bracket altogether (from a 9 seed) with the news that center Sean Williams - the team's second best player and top defender - had been kicked off the team. Another factor in BC's removal was their brutal stretch of conference games at the end of February that, without Williams, could ultimately doom their tourney hopes. Overall, the ACC is getting tougher to figure out each week, as eight teams are viable options for bids. Florida State's upset win over Virginia Tech earned it the ACC's sixth bid. Maryland, at 1-4 in conference, is the league's seventh and final team in right now, and the Terps need to pick up some more good ACC wins soon to stay there.

The second biggest free-fall of the week was made by LSU, who fell from an admittedly high 4 seed to a 9 seed. Their current seed is mostly a projection, as the Tigers have too much talent to continue to play as inconsistently as they have in recent weeks. LSU was joined in this week's backet by the SEC's seventh bid, Vanderbilt. The Commodores make the field thanks to huge wins this week over Alabama and Kentucky.

The MVC continues to be a mess, as Missouri State and Creighton both lost twice (the Bluejays did win at Bradley, though). Both teams are hanging on to spots in the bracket, but more and more it looks like the MVC might end up being a 3-team league. Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois look solid right now, but all of the top- and middle-tier teams in the conference are beating each other up too much, especially on the road, for this to be a 5-team or maybe even a 4-team league as some predicted. Creighton, which already has seven losses, will be the next MVC team out if they don't beat Missouri State this week.

The Big East saw two of its teams, UConn and West Virginia, drop out of the bracket this week, while a hot Villanova team, off wins over Notre Dame and Texas, made its bracket return. The Big XII, meanwhile, picked up a bid thanks to Texas Tech's upset of Kansas.

The mid-majors also proved to be very interesting this week. Despite their loss to St. Joe's and thanks to a win over UMass last Thursday, Xavier remains our pick out of the one-bid A-10. Even though VCU finally had a semi-credible conference win in beating ODU, we still project the Colonial right now to be a one-bid league and are sticking with Hofstra as that one team. Our lone two-bid conferences remain the MWC and the WAC. We admittedly looked pretty foolish Wednesday as New Mexico State lost to pitiful Louisiana Tech, but our season-long love of the Aggies was rewarded Saturday, as they knocked off Nevada. The win not only confirmed our projection that they pose a huge threat to the Wolfpack come conference tournament time, but it also gave a serious boost to their at-large hopes. We'll see how many bracket experts jump aboard the Aggies bandwagon now...

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for Jan. 22:

Last Four In
Syracuse, Creighton, Missouri State, Maryland

Last Four Out
Boston College, West Virginia, Michigan, Drexel

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

America East - Vermont

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Maryland

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier

Big East - Pittsburgh, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Syracuse

Big Sky - Idaho State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

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, Northern Iowa, Creighton, Missouri 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, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, Vanderbilt

Southern - Appalachian State

Southland - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SWAC - Jackson State

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WAC - New Mexico State, Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga

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

The 2s
Oregon, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Kansas

The 3s
Pittsburgh, Duke, Memphis, Oklahoma State

The 4s
Air Force, Clemson, Alabama, Arizona

The 5s
Washington State, Marquette, Butler, Nevada

The 6s
Indiana, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Kentucky

The 7s
USC, Tennessee, UNLV, Southern Illinois

The 8s
Texas, Georgetown, Northern Iowa, Texas Tech

The 9s
Villanova, Stanford, Michigan State, LSU

The 10s
Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Florida State, Vanderbilt

The 11s
Gonzaga, Syracuse, Creighton, Missouri State

The 12s
Maryland, Xavier, New Mexico State, Hofstra

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

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

The 15s
Loyola (MD), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Idaho State, Long Beach State

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

The Bracket
This Week's Bracket - Jan. 22



Questions? Comments?
E-mail Bracketology 101 at bracketologyblog@yahoo.com

53 comments:

Natty544 said...

UVA beat Maryland and Wake last week. They are sitting at 11-6 (3-2 in ACC play). They don't deserve a bid to the big dance?

Anonymous said...

As an NMSU fan, I appreciate all the love you have given us. We have gotten some recognition in the last couple days by the "Major" sports stations as being a quality team. But your blog has been keeping our name around for awhile now. The beating that we gave Nevada was a thing of beauty. 20 offensive rebounds will do that! Anyways, thanks for the love!

Bracketology 101 said...

Natty544...UVa only has 10 D1 wins, a 92 RPI, and they have no wins on road or neutral courts. They do have a few good wins but they are all at home. They pick up two wins this week on the road
(@NC St. and @Clemson) then they will be in the field.

Anonymous said...

I think marquette should be a 4 maybe even a 3 after that big win at pitt. they also beat duke and tex tech.

Anonymous said...

Stanford got robbed at Oregon, IMO. The refs were terrible, but Stanford couldnt find a way to win at the end so I cant complain. However Stanford has two huge home games against USC and UCLA. I am thinking they are going to split, what do you think?

Anonymous said...

I think Marquette should be a 4 maybe even a 3 after a big win at pitt. They also beat duke and texas tech.

Anonymous said...

Question: If Oregon drops losses the next UCLA matchup but plays strong throughout the rest of the season and beats UCLA for the Pac-10 title, do they get the 1 Seed?

Bracketology 101 said...

A couple quick hits...

The New Mexico State bandwagon is filling up fast...

Alabama may seem high at a 4, and right now, they might be. However, we project that, like LSU, they will start playing up to their potential and be close to a 4 line come tourney time. We like the voters and selection committee, though, can only take so many losses. The Tide have two more dicey games this week (@ Auburn, Arkansas) but will be favored in both. If they lose one, their seed will fall a couple of lines...

At home, stanford has a real good chance to get a split. We'll say they beat USC before falling in a close one to UCLA...

The Oregon-UCLA battle for Pac-10 suppremacy and for a No. 1 seed is going to fun to watch all year. Right now, UCLA has the RPI edge (1 vs. 12) and the rankings edge (3 AP poll vs. 7 AP poll), while Oregon has the head-to-head advantage. In the end, the Pac-10 champ gets a 1 seed. The runner-up gets a 2. We'll see what happens...

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you.....Las Cruces is a madhouse nowadays for NMSU games. The definitely deserve the recognition they are recieving. They need to keep it up and don't let Louisana Tech slipups keep them down. Remember Nick Fazekas is overrated. Nevada is overrated. Nevada fans need to quit making excuses for Nick pertaining to his health.

natty said...

I don't see Duke as a 3 seed in the tournament. They are only 3-2 in ACC play with wins over Miami, Wake, and NC State. I see them loosing around 5 of there next games, putting them at probably a 5 seed.

Anonymous said...

So uh...who's the 7th SEC team? Vanderbilt I presume?

Bracketology 101 said...

Vanderbilt is the last SEC team in right now, but that title might go to LSU or Alabama (the Tide's projected 4 seed is free-falling right now) pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

Now with the loss to vandy, lsu should definitely be on the outside looking in.

Paymon said...

This is the best coaching job by Reggie Theus since his work on Hang Time.

Cort said...

Alabama is lucky that Ronald Steele is allowed to travel to hit game winning shot against Georgia. But if Bama stays in this free fall, that win can't even save them in March. Georgia & Vandy are both playing their way up in the conference. Meanwhile, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee & LSU have been struggling mightily. What do you guys make of this mess in the SEC? Teams like Arkansas are playing very poorly these days.

Scott D. said...

Creighton recorded a huge season sweep of Missouri State. Does this leave Missouri State on the outside?
Do you guys think UNLV, Air Force, & BYU all could make the big dance?

Bracketology 101 said...

It's better to be an unranked SEC team than it is to be a ranked SEC team these days, as Georgia and Vanderbilt are playing lights out. (How about an Alabama vs. LSU NIT final?) Vandy's seed will get another bump next bracket, and Georgia is in next week provided they give LSU another loss Sunday. Arkansas, after its loss to South Carolina is out and LSU will almost surely be joining them...

The only way BYU makes the dance is if they sweep Air Force and make a run in the Mountain West tournament. The MWC is looking like a pretty good lock to be a two-bid league...

The MVC is a big mess, too, with half the league seemingly on the bubble. Creighton's sweep over Missouri State is huge and could prove to kill the Bears' dance hopes come March. Missouri State can't hang its hat on its Wisconsin win forever. They've now lost four of five games and still don't have a marquee conference win. MVC coaches have been on record lately saying the league's parity is a plus, but at this rate (Creighton and Missouri State each have seven losses already) that parity is probably going to make the MVC a three-bid league...

Speaking of the MVC, the Missouri State-Bradley game Saturday is an absolute must-win for both...

Anonymous said...

Hey, the link to your bracket is not working. Fix it if you get a chance.

Bracketology 101 said...

Sorry about the bracket problem. We just upgraded to the new edition of Blogger and are still trying to work out the kinks.

The bracket should be fixed now. Just click on the miniature version in the post to see the full-size version.

Thanks,
B101

Anonymous said...

I'm anti but Duke looks good....will the SIU win over VaTech prove to be more significant than MoSt over Wisc...How high will Villanova go 3 or 4 seed?

natty said...

Villinova should definetley not be that high. They have lost to nobody in the top 25 and they have only beaten 2 teams which were ranked somewhere between 20-25. I see them loosing @ Notre Dame and vs. Pitt in there next 2 games. When It's all said and done I give them a 6 seed

Anonymous said...

Florida shouldn't be the one seed. They have only beat UNC. Once they start playing quality teams they will lose.

Anonymous said...

The Hoos should be in now as they conclude a 4 game ACC win streak with wins @ NC State and Clemson. They look to expand that win streak with 2 ACC home games coming up.

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