Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 5

The Breakdown
As the season goes on, it gets harder and harder to pick the last few teams in the field. We added 5 new at-large teams to the bracket this week and said goodbye to Georgia, Maryland, Syracuse, VCU, and Northern Iowa. We welcomed Alabama, Missouri State, Kansas State, and West Virginia back into the field and added first timers BYU.

BYU followed up their home win against Air Force with a blowout win over UNLV. Their 29 RPI along with the fact that they are tied for first in a solid MWC puts them safely in the field. Alabama took care of business this week and have 5 more games remaining against lowly SEC West foes to build on their gaudy record. Picking up a quality victory along the way will be key for them to drastically improve their seed to match their strong record and RPI. Missouri State took care of business on the road this week (which is never easy in the MVC) to jump back into the field. They have a huge game Saturday @Northern Iowa which they need to pick up since they don't want to get swept in the season series against them. Kansas State made the field because of their 7 game win streak along with their huge win at Texas this week. With the schedule they have left they have a great chance to get at least 10 wins in conference which should be enough for a bid out of the Big 12.

Our last team in the field this week was West Virginia. Their 17-4 record is very superficial since they only have 3 wins over teams in the top 100 of the RPI (UConn and DePaul are 2 of those wins). They have 2 chances this week to pick up huge victories with Pitt and UCLA coming in.Georgia was the toughest team to leave out this week. They had two tough road losses this week to solid teams (Vandy and Tennessee) but at 12-8 it is difficult to include them right now. After a matchup with Florida this week, they have a soft schedule and if they can take care of business in that stretch they will find themselves back in the field. Illinois has picked up some huge home victories in the past two weeks to get them back on the top of the bubble. They will need to pick up some road victories down the stretch (4 out of 6 games remaining on the road) to get into the field. We can't see Maryland getting more then 7 wins in the ACC with their remaining schedule so we can't keep them in the field. VCU's at large hopes took a major blow with their loss at Hofstra this week. They still have an outside chance at an at-large bid if they can win out until the conference tourney.

Now for a few comments on teams still in the field. It's really almost a coin flip to try to pick between Illinois and Michigan State as to who should be the fourth team to come out of the Big 10. They have both beat each other once and have nearly identical RPIs and records. While Michigan State has better OOC wins (BYU and Texas), Illinois has a better win in conference (Indiana). Michigan State has a better chance to pick up a big victory down the stretch so we went with them. We can't figure out Texas Tech. First they win against Texas A&M and Kansas and then they lose three winnable games in a row. Surprisingly, what likely kept them in the bracket this week was their win a few weeks ago at Kansas State.

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for Feb. 5:

Last Four In
Texas Tech, Michigan State, Kansas State, West Virginia

Last Four Out
Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Syracuse

Conference Breakdown
ACC (7), Pac-10 (6), SEC (6), Big XII (6), Big East (6), Big Ten (4), MVC (3), MWC (3), WAC (2)(Teams listed first from multiple bid conferences are automatics.)

America East - Vermont

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Hofstra

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Loyola (MD)

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, Oregon, Washington State, USC, Stanford, Arizona

Patriot - Holy CrossSEC - Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas

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, UCLA, North Carolina, Wisconsin

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

The 3s
Memphis, Marquette, Oregon, Duke

The 4s
Air Force, Washington State, Butler, Oklahoma State

The 5s
Nevada, Kentucky, USC, Indiana

The 6s
Southern Illinois, Boston College, Stanford, Virginia

The 7s
Florida State, Arizona, Georgetown, UNLV

The 8s
Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Texas

The 9s
Clemson, Gonzaga, Creighton, Villanova

The 10s
BYU, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri State

The 11s
Arkansas, Texas Tech, New Mexico State, Michigan State

The 12s
Kansas State, Xavier, West Virginia, Hofstra

The 13s
Winthrop, Davidson, Akron, Holy Cross

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

The 15s
South Alabama, Loyola (MD), Weber State, Long Beach

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. 5

Questions? Comments?
E-mail Bracketology101 at


Anonymous said...

No way Ok State is a 4 seed. They will finish about 6th in their league.

Anonymous said...

I agree that OK ST is not a 4 seed. Losing at Colorado is BAD. I think they'll go 0-2 this week. Other than the home win over Pitt, I don't see a good win thus far.

Paymon said...

Did you post this before or after Duke's home loss to FSU? I purposely did not touch my brackets beyond the top 10 teams and the lower automatics because of the upset potential given the shenanigans Duke needed last year to win. Duke could be 4-5 if the refs called the Clemson game fairly and their non-conference resume is somewhat weak.

Btw, Lunardi was actually more informative than arrogant in his ESPN appearance today. A pleasant surprise.

Bryan said...

Huge win for FSU against Duke on Sunday..another big road game against Clemson on Wed... The ACC looks to be very competetive for the last 2 or 3 bids.. Just a quick ? for you bracketologists.. I enjoy keeping up with each weeks brackets, but don't understand all the terms that are used. I see many people comment on the "S-Curve". Could you guys please define what this is, and how it is used to determine teams for the NCAA's? Thanks a lot - Go Noles!

Anonymous said...

ACC is highly overrated. When your five top teams possess losses to Vermont, Duquense, Appalachian State, Marshall, Kansas ( by 40), Purdue, Stanford, George Washingnton, Southern Illinois, Providence, Western Michigan, Montana, Gonzaga, and so forth you know your conference has issues.

Bracketology 101 said...

OSU's loss at Colorado was awful, but their profile, with wins over Pitt, Missouri State and Texas, is still stronger than that of our top two 5 seeds, Kentucky (best Ws over Indiana, Tennessee and Arkansas) and Nevada. Indiana was looking solid as the last four earlier in the week after beating Wisconsin, but their loss to Iowa landed them on the five line...

The S-curve is used for seeding purposes when putting together a bracket. Teams are essentially ranked 1-65, with teams 1-4 ending up as 1 seeds, teams 5-8 endng up as 2 seeds, etc. When it's time to make the bracket (or when Matt makes ours in our case) he ideally tries to group the top 1 seed with the bottom 2 seed, the second best 1 seed with the second worst 2 seed, etc. That way, each of the four regions of the bracket stay as balanced as possible. Ideally the top four seeds in each region are comparable in strength to the top four teams in every other region, and the pattern contnues for the rest of the seed lines. Sometimes, other other bracket rules (geography, etc.) make exact S-curve seeding impossible, but in the end, seeding teams on the curve make each region pretty equal in terms of difficulty...

The Noles are flying high right now and are all the way up to a 7 seed, but have two tough games this week (@ Clemson and vs. BC). They need to avoid a post-Duke letdown, and they have a good chance to do it against the free-falling Tigers on Wednesday...

Anonymous said...

Where's the bracket?

Here We Go Again said...

Welp, despite a great start to the season, my beloved Terps have found a way to play themselves into a bubble team. If they win both games at home this week against UVA and Duke, which gets them to 5-5 in the ACC, with some quality out of conference wins, would you put them back in your bracket?

P.S.....J.R. Reynolds and Sean Singletary are going down tonight, 9 pm Comcast Center

Anonymous said...

Singletary and Reynolds, of course, balled on Maryland at the Comcast Center to take sole possession of 1st place in the ACC, I think a win at Virginia Tech on saturday should have UVA as a legit top 4 seed at 17-6 (9-2). The ACC is not overrated: it has the #1 Conference RPI--every conference has leaders who lose inexplicable games (Oral Roberts over Kansas?), and whoever said stanford, purdue, and gonzaga were bad losses needs to do their homework (app state is also in the top 50 RPI by the way). If any conference is overrated, its the Big 12, the MO Valley has a higher RPI.

natty said...

Thanks for giving UVA respect. If they can pull out a win at Tech then their winning streak would be at 8. Two home games after that would probably put them on a 10 game winning streak.

tap dancing.................... said...

Well, I ate my words on the comments about MD taking out UVA, it was a great game to see live, but I just don't understand what the hell is wrong with the Terps, they miss more short range shots than anyone in the country, and the missed free throws just killed them, DJ Strawberry is probably the worst shooter in the country at his position, he was 1-6 from the strike last night....can anybody offer a subjective opinion as to why they have struggled so much in the last month???

Anonymous said...

How do you decide who is in the play in game?

Anonymous said...

How far out of the dance is Old Dominion right now?

matt r said...

The selection committee determines who is in the play-in game by simply seeding all 65 teams in the field and putting who they feel is 64th and 65th. In the past this has usually turned out to be teams from weak conferences that also didn't have particularly great years and upset the "better" teams in that conference. I'm sure at B101 they do something similar, figure out who they think will be the 65 left standing at the end of the year and then project who is 64th and 65th.

Cort said...

Bad home losses for Texas Tech & Maryland Tuesday night. People need to realize that Maryland's OOC wins do not look very impressive anymore. Michigan State & Illinois are very mediocre teams. But it probaly won't matter anyways as Maryland will be lucky to even finish 7-9 in the conference.

Bracketology 101 said...

Virginia's seed seems to be constantly on the rise now. They have a great chance to win the ACC because of their easy conference schedule (they get to play Wake Forest, NC State, Miami, Maryland, and Virginia Tech twice).

Maryland's loss to Virginia isn't devastating it just puts more importance on the Duke game this weekend. If Maryland can pull that game out (which is very possible with the way Duke is playing) then they will basically be in the same position as they were coming into the week. If they drop the game to Duke then it will be hard for them to get more then 6 wins in conference and would be on our extended bubble.

Tough to see ODU getting a bid without winning the conference tourney. Maybe if they won out and ended up with at least a tie of the regular season title and then lost in the conference championship game they would have an outside shot at an at-large bid but that is a long shot.

James G. said...

Why are you guys favoring Maryland so much? They continue to lose home games in conference & have a very mediocre non-conference resume. Heck Notre Dame beat them in D.C. Another bad thing for Maryland is that Duke has lost 3 in a row.

What do you guys make of Iowa? Steve Alford talks like they should get in if they win 10-11 conference games. But I disagree. Iowa was awful in the non conference. Plus, Iowa gets to play Minnesota & Penn State twice. Will you guys reward Iowa for playing a weaker schedule than teams like Michigan State?

Cort said...

A home loss to Virginia was very bad for the Terps. NIT teams lose games like that. There is now way a mediocre team like that should get in the big dance.

Anonymous said...

Why Hofstra? They have terrible losses and don't play well on the road at all. VCU should definitely be in, ODU probably won't make it in but they are finally playing like a real basketball team now. Hofstra and Drexel played their ways out a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

The Big Ten will have 5 teams in the tourney by season's end. The 5th team in the BT should get more consideration than the 3rd team in the MVC.

Also, I see Purdue left out of this bracket(as well as most brackets i've seen). 16-8 now, 5-5 in the BT. Rpi 38. Big wins recently over Mich ST. and illinois. They should finish around 20-10 and 9-7 in the conference. That's good enough in my book.

Bracketology 101 said...

I don't see how we are favoring Maryland. We don't have them in our bracket while most other Monday brackets still included them. All we said is if they can beat Duke they will be in the same spot they were coming into the week (last four out).

We haven't even considered Iowa for a bracket yet. Their out of conference performance was dismal and they will likely just play a spoiler role to other bubble teams in the Big 10 down the stretch.

We considered Purdue for this week's bracket and with their win over Michigan State if we had to do a bracket today they would likely be one of the last four teams in.

Right now we like Hofstra to win the CAA conference tourney. They have had their struggles this season and it has been a tough decision to keep them in the bracket at times. Their performance in their next 3 games (Drexel, @Mason, @ODU) will determine whether or not they will remain our bracket up till the conference tourney.

Good questions and comments this week. Keep 'em coming

Overated said...

I think its a shame how both Duke's ranking and seeding are simply based on reputation. Somehow they're in here as a freakin' 3 seed, and ranked 16th in the country. They're 5-5 in the conference, in 6th place. They're biggest OOC win was against Air Force at a neutral site.

I know this is not in your control, but how is it that 4 of the teams that are well ahead of them in the conference, have better overall records are not even ranked, yet Duke is still sitting at 16, its an absolute joke. How can anyone explain that the ACC have just 2 ranked teams, and the 2 teams that are tied for 1st aren't even ranked. Some may argue that the Pac 10 is better, which would be a good debate, but for them to just trump the ACC in rankings is absurd. In the ESPN poll, the Big Ten has more ranked teams, yet the ACC absolutely destroyed them in the Challenge. That challenge is a waste of time, because the ACC never loses, yet in recent years, the Big Ten continually gets more respect w/rankings and tournament bids.

Can anyone offer any insight as to why teams like Duke and Arizona are given rankings and seeds simply based on reputation and not play on the court, and how BC and Virginia are not even ranked for being atop such a brutal conference.

Bracketology 101 said...

You are going to have trouble finding anyone to sympathize with your claim that the ACC is underrated. But you do make a good point about the lack of ranked teams in the conference. This is because Clemson and Virginia Tech has struggled recently and dropped out of the rankings.

Duke's out of conference profile is a little better then you stated. They have wins over Indiana and Georgetown which are both quality victories. They have struggled mightily in the ACC but should they win tomorrow at Maryland they might end up with the same seed since most of the teams seeded around them have lost.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but close home wins over Georgetown and Indiana is not that impressive, i mean don't get me wrong i still think they're a good team, but they played the best they could have played for 35+ mins against UNC at home, and couldn't win, which just shows right now i'm sorry but i don't see them anything higher than a 6. I know you think tomorrow's game at MD is a lock, but MD is extremely desperate for a win, and they're at home, so I wouldn't be surprised if Duke lost, which would put them under .500 in the conference.....they're in some trouble right now, and certainly don't look like a 3 seed

Paymon said...

The rankings mean squadoosh. Pollsters have been and are out of touch with reality. Even an RPI top 25 team can miss out (Missouri St.).

Regarding Duke, their strongest wins are probably neutral wins versus Gonzaga and Air Force. The Indiana and Georgetown look good on paper but neither were convincing.

Arizona got the wake-up call after losing to WASU at home. Jordan Hill rounds out a stronger 7-man rotation and has added much-needed physicality to their frontline. They're still too finesse for my liking, but the away Civil War sweep was impressive.