Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 12

The Breakdown
It was another upset-filled week in college basketball and because of that, another week which resulted in several changes to our previous projections. The last 10-12 teams considered this week were all very close in terms of resumes, which made us really project ahead to best-case scenarios for each team's conference record. Maryland's win over Duke wasn't all that surprising considering Duke's recent free-fall, but it was extremely important for the Terps' hopes. We had previously said that the best Maryland could do is 7-9 in conference, but that win gives them a halfway-decent shot at 8-8. Two games vs. NC State will help, and if they can split their other four games (tough, but doable), they'll get a bid. Georgia Tech is at 4-6 in conference as well, but their pathetic road history (0-5 this year) and the schedule they have left (@FSU, @ Duke, Wake, @Virginia, UNC, BC) will make it very difficult to get to 7-9 in conference (nevermind 8-8) so we left them out. As it stands right now these two teams would face off in the first round of the ACC tourney and if that holds the winner of that game would likely get the bid.

For all of the bashing its taken this year, the Big Ten might actually have the biggest group of teams on the bubble that have a legit shot at earning a bid. Michigan State dropped out this week and were replaced by an Illinois team that may not have a lot of marquee wins, but has the schedule working in their favor. They have a great shot of winning out (they have Northwestern, Michigan, @ PSU, and @ Iowa left) and finishing 10-6, which would put them in. Purdue barely missed the bracket this week, but they have a great chance at a big win with Indiana coming in this week, and after that have an easy schedule remaining as well. The Big Ten in the end will definitely get four teams in, and if everything works out perfectly, they could get five.

We added Georgia to the bracket once again out of the SEC and removed Arkansas. With the schedule that Georgia has left is tough to see them going worse then 9-7 in conference, which will be enough for a bid. Arkansas suffered a devastating loss at LSU this week to give them their 6th loss out of their last 9 games. They will need to win 5 of their last 6 to get back into the field. Alabama also lost a crucial road game this week at Mississippi (who made their first ever appearance on a Chris and Craig bubble sheet) and their next three game (@Florida, Kentucky, @Tennessee) will determine their fate.

The other notable change is in the Colonial where Old Dominion replaces Hofstra, who we had in for several weeks as the CAA's automatic bid. The Colonial is tough to call right now, but here's how we see it shaping up down the stretch: VCU's loss to ODU was a huge hit to their at-large hopes, and essentially means that they must win out and lose in the conference tourney final to even be considered for an at-large. Our faith in the inconsistent Pride finally came to an end this week, thanks to their loss at home to Drexel. ODU, meanwhile, is on a roll (seven wins in a row) and hosts Hofstra Tuesday in a game they should win. Two teams is not out of the question from the CAA if things break perfectly, but right now we project ODU as the lone bid.

One small conference which we are standing firm on is the WAC, where we still have New Mexico State in as the automatic despite the fact that the Aggies lost a pair of games this week. The decision to still include them may seem ridiculous, but keep in mind that both losses this week were on the road to decent competition. We still believe their perfect home record means something, and with the WAC tourney in their gym, we think the Aggies - not Nevada - will win it. It may seem like a stretch, but mid-major tournies hardly ever go according to plan. If any WAC, Horizon, C-USA, or A-10 team is going to crash the party and steal a bid, we think it'll be New Mexico State.

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for Feb. 12:

Last Four In
Kansas State, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland

Last Four Out
Georgia Tech, Purdue, Arkansas, Oklahoma

Conference Breakdown
ACC (8), Pac-10 (6), SEC (6), Big East (6), Big XII (5), Big Ten (4), MVC (3), MWC (3), WAC (2)
(Teams listed first from multiple bid conferences are automatics.)

America East - Vermont

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier

Big East - Pittsburgh, Marquette, Georgetown, West Virginia, Villanova, Notre Dame

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois

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

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Old Dominion

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Marist

MAC - Akron

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Southern Illinois, Creighton, Missouri State

MWC - Air Force, UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - Holy Cross

SEC - Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Georgia

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SWAC - Jackson State

Sun Belt - South Alabama

WAC - New Mexico State, Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga

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

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

The 3s
Memphis, Marquette, Washington State, Indiana

The 4s
Southern Illinois, Boston College, Nevada, Kentucky

The 5s
Oregon, Air Force, Butler, Arizona

The 6s
Georgetown, USC, UNLV, Virginia

The 7s
Duke, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Clemson

The 8s
BYU, West Virginia, Tennessee, Stanford

The 9s
Florida State, Texas, Villanova, Vanderbilt

The 10s
Creighton, Missouri State, Xavier, Notre Dame

The 11s
Alabama, Gonzaga, Kansas State, Georgia

The 12s
Illinois, Maryland, Old Dominion, Davidson

The 13s
New Mexico State, Winthrop, Akron, Holy Cross

The 14s
Oral Roberts, Vermont, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Penn

The 15s
South Alabama, Marist, Long Beach State, Weber State

The 16s
East Tennessee State, Austin Peay, Central Connecticut State, Delaware State (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
This Week's Bracket - Feb. 12

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Anonymous said...

Interesting comments on the Big Ten. Illinois and MSU have virtually the same resume (even splitting their games). However, Illinois has a huge advantage with the Big Ten scheduling. Illinois plays Wisconsin and Ohio State only once, with both games at Assembly Hall, and gets to play bottom feeders Minnesota, Penn State, and Northwestern five times.

Meanwhile, MSU has to play both OSU and Wisconsin home and away, and only plays Minnesota, Penn State, and Northwestern once each.

Illinois could easily be 2-3 games better than MSU in the standings, simply by virtue of scheduling.

Anonymous said...

With Butler's loss this week, I think a 5 is a little high for them. They do have 3 top 25 wins, which is impressive, but they also have two bad losses. I think with the loss to Wright State they probably ought to move down to a 6/7, with an opportunity to play their way back up to a 5 against S. Ill. in BracketBusters.

Anonymous said...

I really think the Big 10 Conference Tournament will be the deciding factor in which of the teams get NCAA bids.

It seems like MSU, Illinois and Purdue will have very similar resume's towards the end of the year. Illinois has had the toughest non-conference schedule and should get to 10 conference wins. MSU has the next 4 games at home and can beat anyone at the Breslin center. But have had the toughest conference schedule of the bubble teams. Purdue has beat both Illinois and MSU, but at home. It was favourable for them to only play each team once and to do it at home. If they can beat Indiana and Iowa then i think Purdue is in.

Also, i don't rule out Iowa. They are 6-5 in the conference and have some winable conference games left. They have also played very well in the conf. tournament the past few years, and have shown great improvement from the beginning of the season.

I expect one of these 4 teams to make a run in the conf. tournament. Also, most likely they will square off against each other at some point in the tourney and that could be the deciding factor between teams with such similar resumes.

andrew said...

I appreciate your including at least one upset in a conference tournament to make things more realistic. I find it maddening all the projections that are made this time of year where they are always assuming a best case scenario in terms of at-large spots. I think you have to leave two spots open at the end for tournament upsets--at minimum one.

Anonymous said...

Georgetown only a six seed....Come on now

Sam said...

As much as I hate Duke, it is unfair how Virginia has such an easier conference schedule. It is a joke the difference in the 2 schedules is astounding! The same thing with MIchigan State & Iowa in the Big 10. Iowa has a very soft conference schedule. Meanwhile, Michigan States is brutal. These conferences need to balance out their schedules somewhat at least. This is a disgrace!

How could MSU only get Minnesota, Northwestern, & Penn State only once a piece? These 3 teams were picked in the basement of the Big 10. Iowa should not be rewarded for playing an easy conference schedule. Michigan State should not be punished for playing a very tough slate.

Anonymous said...


Bracketology 101 said...

Ohio State can not play in Columbus since they are the host school for that site.

Michigan State does have a much tougher Big 10 schedule but if they can pick up some big wins down the stretch then their harder schedule could be to their benefit.

In the next few weeks we will likely pick another team, along with New Mexico State, as an upset special for their conference tourney. It is likely that 2-3 bids will get stolen in conference tournaments. At this point it is difficult to pick a second team that we have enough confidence in. Wright State is an option after their upset over Butler this week but should they both win out in conference it is likely that Butler will win the tie-breaker and have the championship on their home court so we can't bet against them at this point.

Georgetown was close to a 5 seed in our bracket (they got the top 6 seed). They are one of the hottest teams in the country and have played better lately than every team on the 5 line, but we like our 5 seed's overall profile's better then Georgetown right now. If Georgetown can pick up another 2 wins this week (WVU, @'Nova) then they will likely see their 6 seed turn into a 4 seed.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys really penalized UVA for their loss at V. Tech. Projecting their final ACC record at 11-5 (or so), so you really see them as only a 6 seed? Also, despite your explanation, Georgetown has no business on the 6 seed line after their win v. Marquette (and they are pasting WVU as I write this). They are a solid 5 right now.

Anonymous said...

Stanford got swept by the Washington schools and lost Anthony Goods for at least 2 games maybe 4. What do you think Stanford needs to do to be a lock for the NCAAs? Would beating Oregon State, Arizona State and one out of these four...Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and USC be enough?

Anonymous said...

I know I've only seen BYU play on national television twice, and they got beat handily both times. Since then, I've noticed them slowly creeping up the polls to an 8 seed now (and a 6 seed in Joe Lunardi's bracketology). Are they deserving of these higher seeds? Have they gotten better or just beaten up on inferior teams?

Bracketology 101 said...

We didn't penalize Virginia. We had them as the last 6 seed last week. They picked up a nice road win at Maryland and then were routed at Virginia Tech and remained the last 6. An 11-5 final ACC record probably wouldn't help their seed much with the easy schedule they have left (FSU, @Miami, GT, VT, @Wake).

Stanford needs to win 3 out of their last six to feel safe.

BYU has won six straight including wins over Air Force and UNLV (by 27). They are in first place in a solid MWC and have a 23 RPI. The only reason they aren't higher is because of their dismal out of conference resume (losses to Lamar and Boise State). If they can win their tough road games coming up (Air Force, SDSU) then they will really see their seed climb.

James G. said...

Washington State as a 3 seed would be put in Spokane not Sacramento. You guys made a mistake on that. Pittsburgh got to play in Pittsburgh as a #3 seed in 2002 so there is no reason why Wazzou would not be allowed to play up the road in Spokane as a #3 seed.

Cort said...

Another rough home loss for FSU. Are they toast if they lose at Virginia & Maryland? Cause beating Miami would prove absolutely nothing because everything beats Miami.

Bracketology 101 said...

Since their win at Duke (which is becoming less impressive by the day), FSU has really hit the skids. The Georgia Tech loss tonight is especially bad because it was at home and it puts GT for the moment a half game better in conference. Losing to both Virginia and Maryland would be devastating. A split would put them in real good shape to finish 8-8 and leave them needing an ACC tourney win to feel totally safe.

Dan Holmes said...

I think that Wichita St. has a decent chance of making a run in the MVC tournament.

Bracketology 101 said...

It's tough to count the Shockers out in what will be a very interesting MVC tourney. Southern Illinois is the clear favorite, but Wichita is certainly streaky enough (they've won five of six) to win the whole thing.

In other sleeper news, keep a close eye on San Diego State. The pre-season favorites in the MWC were a disppointment for much of the year, but are on fire of late. The Aztecs have won five straight, including home blowouts over Air Force and UNLV and a nice road win at Colorado State. We are still a little wary of SDSU away from home and their next two (@ Wyoming and @ New Mexico) will be tough, but if they can get past those two games and get a home win over BYU next Saturday, they will find themselves in a bracket very soon.

matt r said...

Unfortunately for Washington State, they are the "host" school for the Spokane site so they have to be bracketed away from Spokane. Pittsburgh almost certainly was not the host school in the example you are talking about. For a list of host schools by site go to Actually, I don't know why a school would want to be the host because the most geographically desirable locations are impossible to play in; maybe they get a sizable chunk of change to do it.

Paymon said...

Great call on San Diego State. They're peaking at the right time.

Regarding FSU, they're a tough case. If memory serves correct, they're the last team to defeat Florida. But of course, when they beat an ill Florida team, Brewer did not play and Joakim Noah was hacking up his lung on every dead ball situation. How much is this win devalued because of (a) when it was played, (b) where it was played, and (c) the circumstances allowing for the signature win?

Bracketology 101 said...

FSU is the last team to Florida and that win is still - regardless of time, place, or illness - a resume-maker (esp. considering Florida's status as the top 1 seed). The Noles shouldn't be worried about the circumstances surrounding that win as much as they should be worried about the fact that they were swept by fellow ACC-bubble boy Georgia Tech. They also cant afford a road loss next week to a Maryland team that is fighting for one of the last at-large bids as well.

Cort said...

It is wrong to pretend that FSU's win over Florida was with FLorida at full strength. A 5-7 conference record outweighs a win back in December.

unreal said...

Cort???.....You were probably the same person last year saying "FSU's 9-7 record in the conference means nothing since they didn't have a very tough out of conference schedule", so they go out and play top ten teams, they are the only team in the conference to have to go on the road to UNC and Duke and not get to host either one. If you want to argue that they've had 2 bad home losses in the last week, that is fine, but to say that the conference record outweighs a win in December is ignorant, considering that is the reason they were not selected last year, because of their out of conference schedule. To all the other posters, if we were to analyze the circumstance of every single win from every game, it would take years to determine what is a "legit" win and what is not, the fact of the matter is, Florida has lost twice this year, one of them in OT to a top 10 team, and the other FSU...bottom have to look at the whole picture, not just one part

One Shining Moment Bloggers said...

FSU's win over Florida shouldn't minimized. It's a signature win. I'll entertain the point that Brewer was out, but you can't devalue a win because Joakim Noah was "coughing." That is worthy of Dan Hawkins "go play intramurals, brother" type rant Injuries and illness are a part of the game. The Noles may have fared better against BC and GT if Toney Douglas were in the lineup, but he wasn't. You have to deal with it.

With that said, I have to agree that FSU needs wins in the worst way. I'm thinking 8-8 with a win in Tampa just to be on the bubble come selection sunday.

natty said...

FSU has a huge game today vs. UVA but it would also be big for the Hoos as it would pretty much secure a bid to the big dance.

Jared said...

Florida State getting blown out at Pitt & Wisconsin is not impressive. You can't just play tough teams, you have to beat them or at least be competitive. It cannot be ignored that Florida was not at full strength when FSU beat them. The bottum line is FSU is a horrible 5-8 in conference. Beating Miami at the end of the year should mean nothing for the Noles.
Or do you think FSU should be rewarded for losing home games?

Bad news for the MVC as Missouri St. and Wichita St. both lost home games in Bracket Buster

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that FSU's recent skid has come without their starting PG and 2nd leading scorer Toney Douglas who has been out with a fractured hand. He's missed 3 1/2 of the last 4 games which were all losses. He is expected to be back for the ACC tournament if not sooner. Assuming he is back at full health for the ACC tournament, doesn't the committee have to evaluate FSU on the games played while he was in the lineup? If that's the case FSU would easily be in the field, especially if they can get a win or 2 with him back in the lineup.

Bracketology 101 said...

The fact that FSU's losing skid has come without Douglas will be taken into account but with games against NC St. and Miami left they need to right the ship before the ACC tourney. If they end up 6-10 in conference they will need to win at least two games in the conference tourney to have a chance at a bid.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that a loss to NC State or Miami would be devastating with or without Toney in the lineup. 6-10 and it looks like we'll be headed to the NIT, but the big question mark is whether a loss to Maryland combined with wins vs NC St, @Miami, and 1 win in Tampa will be good enough to get us in.

ERudited said...

Louisville doesn't even make your last four out....hmmm.

Sounds like you have it all figured out.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Florida State were to go 7-9 in conference they will likely end up being the 8th or 9th seed in the conference tourney and have to play Maryland, GT, or Clemson in their first game. If they were able to win that game and lost their next game they would have a decent chance at a bid so long as their weren't too many upsets in conference tournies. Florida State fans would surely be sweating it out come selection Sunday though.

Our last bracket was made before Louisville's wins over Pitt and Marquette. They will be in our bracket that will come out late tonight.

Anonymous said...

Arizona has an interesting profile. They have a great RPI and nice non-conference wins over Louisville, Marquette, & Illinois. But on the other hand, Zona went 0-6 against the top 3 teams in the PAC 10. What kind of seed will Arizona get? Or are they in any danger of missing the big dance?

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, I meant Arizona beat Memphis not Marquette*

Tony Orr said...

It is very possible that Clemson will finsish 6-10 in the ACC & lose 10 of their final 12 final games. Despite the 17-0 start, Clemson looks to belong in the NIT not the NCAA. You can't forget that Oliver Purnell played a cupcake OOC schedule. Clemson has choked in conference play against the big boys.

James G. said...

Texas Tech should be a lock if they finish 9-7 in the conference. They only have 1 bad loss(Baylor) & have some really good wins.(A&M twice, Arkansas, K-State, Kansas). The Red Raiders have great road wins at Arkansas, K-State, & Texas A&M. A lot of people say Texas Tech is on the bubble but if they finish 9-7 they should be a lock regardless of what happens in Oklahoma City. They have beaten the best 2 teams in the conference. (A&M & Kansas)

The Babaganoosh said...

Today's (2/18/07) results made things a bit clearer - the Maryland/Clemson game was basically an at-large knockout game - Clemson will probably have to go the distance in the ACC tournament to get in now, whereas if Maryland can get to 8 - 8 in conference with one of those two wins being UNC, they'd almost definitely be in, even after losing at home to Miami.

Duke is in, GT may have just played their way out.

Illinois' less than impressive win over Northwestern is noted because Illinois finishes with Michigan (at large KO game!), @ 10-15 Penn State, and @ Iowa, which they could certainly win. That would make them 10 - 6, 22 - 9 and very difficult to exclude. If Illinois had Wisconsin's schedule (finishing with Ohio State and Michigan State twice), they'd be screwed.

BU lost to UMBC today in America East, but that conference tournament is in Boston and a run by BU to the play-in game would not be surprising.

How is the PAC-10 tournament set up? Do they take everyone, or just the top eight teams?

Anonymous said...

The PAC 10 has all 10 teams play in tourney. They have 2 play in games on Wednesday with the 7 playing the 10 & the 8 playing the 9. The 1 seed plays the winner of 8/9 & 2 seed plays winner of 7/10.

Does Gonzaga have to win the WCC tourney to get in? It looks like Zags won't get an at large slot now

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