Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 19

The Breakdown
There were several teams this week that had huge wins and now find themselves in the bracket, as well as a handful of teams that played badly enough to find themselves out or very close to being out altogether. The ACC had two teams (Clemson and Florida State) who were fairly comfortably in last week and now find themselves out. Clemson has really struggled, losing 7 of 9, and with the way they are playing and the schedule they have left it's tough to envision them getting to even 7-9 in conference. Florida State has now lost 4 in a row and have been swept by fellow ACC bubble boys Georgia Tech and Clemson. A win at streaking Maryland this week is necessary to get themselves back on the good side of the bubble. Georgia Tech picked up a huge road win against Florida State (their first in 2 years) to make a jump back into the field. They still have plenty of work to do but if they can win 3 more games this season they will get a bid. They have 3 out of their last 4 at home (Wake, @UVa, UNC, BC) and if they can pick up 2 more wins and another win the in ACC tourney it will be enough for a bid given their solid out of conference wins. Maryland had a solid week, picking up two road wins, which jumped them from a 12 seed to a 9.

In the Big 12, Texas Tech picked up a big win at Texas A&M to end their five game skid and land themselves back in the field. They have a huge home game this week with Oklahoma State which will likely be a must win game for both teams. Oklahoma State ended up being the most hotly debated team this week between Chris and Craig and even though their seed may not indicate it they were essentially the last team in. Their road troubles has killed their seed in recent weeks but losing to Missouri at home almost get them knocked out of the field. Their quality neutral court wins (Syracuse, Pitt, Missouri State) is what is keeping them in the field but they will need to pick up some road wins down the stretch to remain there. Their games coming up against Texas Tech and Kansas State are huge. Kansas State dropped out of the field because of their loss at Nebraska. Their 8-4 Big 12 record is deceiving since all but one of those wins came against teams in the bottom half of the league. They have a great chance for a resume making win with Kansas coming in Monday.

Purdue grabbed one of the last 4 bids with its win over Indiana and will need to prove itself on the road this week to remain in the field. Illinois needs to win out with the schedule they have left to feel secure about getting a bid. Michigan State faces a must win next weekend with Indiana coming in (assuming they lose to Wisconsin). Every other Big 10 bubble boy was able to beat Indiana at home so MSU needs to follow suit.

Georgia was left out this week because they lost their second leading scorer, Mike Mercer, for the season. They have some tough games left to try and prove themselves without Mercer but we don't like their chances.

BracketBusters was entertaining this weekend but it may have ended up hurting more teams then it helped. VCU's at-large chances took a major blow with the home loss to Bradley. Missouri State no longer has room for error after dropping their BracketBuster game to Winthrop (who they must cheer hard for to get the Big South auto) and Creighton really damaged their profile with a home loss to Drexel. ODU picked up a big road win against Toledo and now look the best for an at-large bid out of the CAA. Drexel has some nice wins on their resume but too many head scratching losses and 4th place out of the CAA will not get an at-large. Bradley picked up its first good OOC win but 0-4 against Missouri State and Creighton really hurt's their chances at a bid. Appalachian State picked up a big win at Wichita State but they also have too many head scratching losses to warrant an at-large bid.

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for Feb. 19:

Last Four In
Oklahoma State, Purdue, Missouri State, Illinois

Last Four Out
Georgia, Clemson, Kansas State, Michigan State

Conference Breakdown
ACC (7), Big East (7), Pac-10 (6), Big XII (5), Big Ten (5), SEC (5), MVC (3), MWC (3), WAC (2) (Teams listed first from multiple bid conferences are automatics.)

America East - Vermont

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois

Big 12 - Kansas, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma 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, BYU, UNLV

Northeast - Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - Holy Cross

SEC - Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SWAC - Jackson State

Sun Belt - South Alabama

WAC - New Mexico State, Nevada

WCC - Santa Clara

The Seeds
The 1s
UCLA, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio State

The 2s
North Carolina, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M

The 3s
Memphis, Washington State, Southern Illinois, Georgetown

The 4s
Air Force, Nevada, Virginia, Duke

The 5s
Marquette, Butler, Vanderbilt, Kentucky

The 6s
Boston College, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Indiana

The 7s
USC, Arizona, BYU, Texas

The 8s
UNLV, Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia

The 9s
Maryland, Louisville, Notre Dame, Xavier

The 10s
Alabama, Villanova, Texas Tech, Creighton

The 11s
Old Dominion, Georgia Tech, Winthrop, Purdue

The 12s
Oklahoma State, Missouri State, Illinois, Santa Clara

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

The 14s
Vermont, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Oral Roberts, 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. 19

(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Eric said...

I don't see why 2 conference losses are carrying so much weight in Bracketologists' eyes in regards to App State.

Conference losses happen, even against inferior competition. Let's review though - ASU has beaten these teams on the road:


And these at a neutral site:


Not alot of schools have that on their resume. 7-5 on the road, 3-2 against the RPI Top 50. Sounds like an at-large team to me.

Anonymous said...

App State has three bad losses. One or two with those wins probably wouldn't be a killer, in conference and on the road. However they have one of the worst losses ever for an at-large if needed: Home to Elon. Elon is close to 300 in the RPI and to lose to them at home is inexcusable.

If you are going to punish the big conferences for really bad losses, you have to do it to the little guy too. Strange year on the bubble with teams having some good wins, but some terrible losses.

wow said...

Wow, the reaction of voters and brackets to Vandy's win is a freakin' joke. They go from not being ranked to #17 in the polls, and go from a 9/10 seed to a freakin' 5 seed, based on 1 win...granted that was a great win, but lets be serious here. They're 18-8, most teams with that record are on a serious bubble, especially playing in the 4th best conference in the country. I'll take ACC/Pac-10/Big East over them any day. Vandy lost at home to G-town, at Wake Forest, the 2nd worst team in the ACC, freakin' Lamar....they just lost by 27 points to Tennessee a week ago, obviously with that win against Florida it makes them a deserving team to get in, but to bump them all the way up to a 5 seed is ludacris, they were a below average team out of the conference....only have one real good road win against Kentucky, between them and BYU with their rankings its freakin' ridiculous....these are average teams with a couple good home wins, we jump on bandwagons waaaaaay too quickly

Eric said...

FWIW - one of those "bad losses" by ASU came against Furman, a team that also beat media darling Vandy.

Elon is killing them, for sure...and when you consider they had double digit leads against both Furmand and Elon with 5 or so minutes left, it's even more maddening. Win both of those, and they are undoubtedly a very strong at-large candidate.

Paymon said...

I think Drexel has a stronger current resume than many give them credit for.

They've played 8 true non-conference road games (6-2). Five of them were against teams with a RPI of 100 or better (4-1). They have 1 head-scratching loss since Nov 27.

Their non-conf RPI (3) and SOS (7) are both in the top ten nationally.

I like App St's case too, but I'm pretty certain that the 19th best conference won't send an at-large.

Anonymous said...

In response to "wow's" comments I agree about Vandy, however lumping BYU in the rant I don't understand. BYU has dominated (along with Air Force) a very good MWC. They are blowing decent teams out at home and on the road (4 in a row), have won 7 in a row (including 2 top 25 teams) and 15 of their last 17. With a 20-6 record, I see no problem having them ranked 21st and getting a 6 seed. And if they win out at #15 Air Force, at San Diego State, and win the conference tourney, don't be surprised to see them with a 3 or 4 seed when the final brackets come out.

Bracketology 101 said...

Vandy may seem high at a 5 seed since they did suffer some early season head scratching losses but they have been outstanding in SEC play. They have been unbeatable on their home court and are the second best team in the top rated conference in the RPI. They also benefited from teams who could have been #5 over them having bad losses late in the week (USC, Indiana, Virginia Tech). With the favorable schedule that Vandy has left they have a great opportunity to climb even higher.

Appalacian State didn't help itself in scheduling 3 non-D1 games. They do have some very good non-conference victories and they may very well deserve a bid should they go down to Davidson in the conference championship. We just don't think at this point that the committee will give them one. One thing that they have going for them is that they have to be considered ahead of VCU now because of their win in Richmond and because of VCU's recent struggles.

Drexel is going to get killed by finishing in 4th place in conference and you can't lose @William and Mary late in the season.

WOW said...

Oh I can throw BYU into the argument, while the MWC might be a "tough" conference, it is nowhere comparable to the ACC, Pac-10, Big East, etc. I know it seems unfair, but I think that for a mid-major team to be ranked, they have to beat a good team out of conference....yes, they destroyed UNLV at home, but those games happen in conference, they also lost by 12 at UNLV....UNLV has been milking their win at Nevada all season, and Air Force has been drastically overated all season, they handidly lost to a Duke team who is struggling in the ACC..yes they beat a TT team w/out Jackson, and they beat a Stanford team who was awful in the beginning of the year, thats about that George Mason made a run to the final four, we honestly think these teams are now worthy of their ranking, etc. Trust me, that won't happen again for a very long time, whether we want to believe it or not....yes there will be plenty of upsets, but now with the age requirement in the NBA, these top tier teams will only get better....I'm sorry but I would take a team like Louisville, MD, VT, etc. over BYU any day of the week, and so would most of the why are they ranked, and those other teams are not???........because they play in a conference where 10 of the games are almost automatic, where these other teams are having to fight and scrap night in and night out, because the talent level/atmoshpere is so much higher.....and those teams are gonna get penalized much more now thanks to George Mason

Eric said...

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you that it's unlikely that the selection committee gives App a bid...although I think it's a little foolish. If you look at the fact that all of their big RPI wins came either on the road, or at a neutral site, and that 3 of their losses came prior to the arrival of Donte Minter (basically THE biggest reason we beat UVa, Vandy, VCU, and Wichita). You're looking at a team that should be playing its ball late in the year.

Obviously, I'm hoping we take the math out of it and just win the freakin' SoCon. But I also don't think you should punish App because the other teams in its league (other than Davidson and CofC) are having off years. When they've had to face tough competition, they've answered the call...

Anonymous said...

What do you think the chances are the Central Conn State can stay out of the play in game?

Anonymous said...

Vandy may have gone up a bunch this week, but if you want to talk about overrated, let's talk about Nevada. I can't see them as a 4. Honestly, if they win out maybe a 5. They have played only one RPI top 50 team and they lost....2 losses is impressive, but the WAC is weak and their OOC SOS is over 100. You can only count 150+ wins so much...

sprawlnuts said...

Nevada as a 4 or 5 seems about right if they win out. The SOS will improve aside from the first game against Idaho. Still, with the overall weak schedule no one really knows how good they are, like Memphis.

Living in Reno, I have seen a lot of their games. They are still a bit inconsistent despite the record. The interior defense is a bit weak. However, the team is very good and has many scoring options, not just Fazekas. With the right draw they could reach the FF, but just as easily flame out in the first round like last year.

Anonymous said...

I don't like UVA and Duke being so high. Neither of those teams deserve a 4, especially Duke. The only reason the Devils are above a 8 seed is because they are the Blue Devils, any other team with a season like they're having would be struggling to even make the tourney. Maybe the only reason I don't like UVA being so high is because I'm a VT man. But, honestly, UVA only has three good wins ( the first week, Duke...who is way overrated anyway, and Clemson...who was overrated at the time). I'm happy with where my Hokies are, because they have played extremely disappointingly (is that a word...oh well). But I need to know why UVA is so high with such a weak ACC schedule and a weak out of conference schedule.

Bracketology 101 said...

At this point in the season, it's easy to pick apart any team - even the top teams in the country. Virginia and Duke may look high as 4 seeds, but if you look at their resume as a whole, they deserve to be on that line. Duke, despite their recent four-game losing streak, has bounced back in a big way with wins at BC and at home against a Georgia Tech team that has played well of late. Their OOC wins (Air Force, Georgetown, and Indiana) are also very impressive, and better than anyone else's on the 5 or 6 line. Virginia's 4 seed may raise eyebrows because of their lack of a quality OOC resume (Ws over Arizona and Gonzaga only), but of late, they have been one of the hottest teams in the country. Virginia has won nine of 10, a streak that includes road wins at Maryland and Clemson, and overall they are 4-1 vs the RPI Top 25 and tied for first in the second rated conference in the country. That profile deserves a 4 seed right now.

James G said...

10 wins in the MWC are automatic? If that's the case, you forgot to tell Virginia of the ACC and Washington State of the Pac-10, who both lost to 7th place in the MWC Utah.

WOW said...

OK fine, maybe 10 was a little exaggerated....but you know what I mean...the MWC is nowhere comparable to the ACC, etc. Also, thank you Vandy for proving all my points, and for proving that the polls mean absolutely nothing and are just based on what a team has done in the past couple days rather than a whole season.....we overact to so many situations, I also feel that Florida should still be ranked #1, why should a team with 2 cupcake wins move ahead of a team who blew them out earlier in the year, and lost a tough road is such a bad system its not even funny

OKonheim said...

My list isn't by the numbers. I still have faith in a team like Alabama to do well in the SEC tourney, and Marquette to do well down the stretch, for example. It would be. Criticize at will:
1 UCLA, Florida, UNVC, Wisconsin
2 Texas A&M, Kansas, Ohio St, Pittsburgh
3 Memphis, Nevada, Washingotn St., Maquette
4 Indiana, Texas, USC, Oregon
5 Air Force, Butler, Alabama, Oklahoma St
6 Georgetown, Stanford, Duke, Boston College
7 Va Tech, WVU, Kentucky, S Illinois
8 Notre Dame, Az, Villanova, Vanderbilt
9 Creighton, Louisville, UMd, UNLV
10 Tennessee, Illinois, Xavier, VCU
11 Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas St, Santa Clara
12 Michigan State, Nex Mexico St, Central Florida, Toledo

Anonymous said...

Well, Wow was vindicated by Vandy (but BYU continues to dominate). I think the MWC is this years top mid major and BYU, UNLV, and Air Force are better than most think. Their problem is that no one gets to see them because of the stupid TV deal the conference did. Your argument is not new, we (fans of mid major teams) hear the same thing in football. Boise State and BYU this yr finished in the top 15 and BYU dominated their "superior" Pac-10 opponent (38-8 in case you weren't paying attention). I Expect the same thing to happen with Bball. The talent gap is almost non-existent anymore, and the GMU, Bradley, and Wichita States of last yr will be Southern Illinois, Nevada, and yes BYU this yr!

Paymon said...

I think the key is rating teams based on resume rather than name or reputation.

I'll ignore that there are only 48 teams listed.

1. Texas would have to win out and win the Big 12 tournament to be a 4-seed. Ditto that on Alabama & Okie St.

2. Southern Illinois has a stronger resume than Nevada and play in a stronger conference.

3. GTown is much higher than a 6 after winning its last 10.

4. WVU has no business being a 7. I'll piss off the entire Mountaineer nation in saying that they don't get that signature win if Darren Collison played.

5. Central Florida has a RPI of 106. New Mexico St. is 71. No chance of an at-large. Just to put things in perspective, Utah St. was 46 and Air Force was 50 last year when they had no right being in the tourney.

There are other things, but those are the five that jumped out to me.

Anonymous said...

How is Oregon a 4 seed? They are in danger of playing their way out of the tourney field.

go terps said...

MD has to be higher than a 9 right now.....yes they struggled in the beginning of the ACC schedule, but, they have really clicked lately, their freshman guards are playing like experienced vets....strawberry finally realized his game is slashing to the basket and has actually become a scorer, and the big guys have been a lot better on the boards.....the have good out of conference wins, and have won 5 of their last 6 and 3 straight on the road......if they beat UNC on Sunday, that puts them to 22-7 and 8-6 in the ACC after starting 2-5 and ahead of Duke in the ACC.....

If they beat UNC on Sunday, I believe they legitimately should be a 5 seed and ranked in the top you guys agree and think they will finally get back into the rankings??

OKonheim said...

I just like Conference USA and figured they might field a second time, but that's unlikely, i know.

You know, I check college results a few times a week, but i might not be updated about a couple things lately. Let's say this is my list from about a week ago.

Traditioanlly, I've always felt that WAC, MWC, C-USA, and Atlantic 10 were the mid majors, so i just have that slight bias. I'm not used to think of MVC. To be honest, i've always disliked the Missourri Valley Conference.

But one thing is that teams fluctuate every week. So Oregon is cold this week, Virginia is hot. Those could easily be reversed next week.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Maryland were able to beat UNC this weekend they would likely get back into the rankings (which we could care less about because they mean nothing). After their win over FSU this week they are probably up to a 7 seed (8 at worst). If they were able to beat UNC this weekend (which is very possible) then they would be at least a 6 seed and likely higher.

Anonymous said...

Big shakeup after today....Will Georgetown be a #1 seed? What's up with FLA?

mike said...

What does everybody think about an at-large for Gonzaga if they don't when the WCC tournament? They are at 20 wins and have beaten North Carolina, Texas and Stanford. Granted, they had a bad loss to Loyola Marymount but most of their other losses are a result of an insane pre-conference schedule. These include losses to Duke, Nevada, Virginia, Memphis and Washington State. Do they have a chance at an at-large?

Bryan said...

Hey Bracketology 101 guys (and anyone else that would like to leave a response to this): Consider the following: If after the ACC reg. season is over, and FSU / Clemson / Ga. Tech all end up at 7-9 ( I know the ACC tourney will have some impact on the decision), who would you take? Would you automatically take Clemson and GT over FSU since both teams swept FSU, or would the fact that FSU's 2nd leading scorer Toney Douglas has been out for the last 6 games or so make any difference to the committee? Just trying to see what thoughts might be out there.. really would like to see FSU get in if they finish 7-9.. I think their 2 wins over UF and Duke, plus wins over Providence and Maryland should be enough (not to mention a top 10 SOS in the country)... what does everyone else think?? Thanks for taking the time to read this and give your opinions!! Keep up the great work everyone!

Anonymous said...

I think that UNLV is being vastly underrated. Their RPI is 12. Their SOS is 36. Earlier in the season they played a then-very-good Arizona team...and lost by 15 in Tuscon. They beat Nevada AT NEVADA. They barely lost to Air Force at Air Force...and crushed them at home. I think this team deserves a 6 seed right now and maybe, if they when the tournament (which seems to be likely, it's in vegas) a 4 seed...