Friday, March 02, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 2

The Breakdown
To start things off, we would like to get on our soapbox and let off some steam: There is no way that the Colonial will get three bids. Anyone out there with 3 CAA teams in is being foolish, and is ignoring that fact that the potential Drexel vs. VCU game in the semifinals is an elimination game. The only way that the CAA could get 3 bids is if Hofstra wins the auto bid and somehow the winner of the Drexel/VCU game gets a bid along with ODU. That is still a long shot, though, unless there are no other upsets in conference tournies (Memphis, Nevada, Butler, Xavier all win). Another thing that will be tough to see happening is 8 teams dancing out of the Big East (unless there is an upset conference tourney winner). It is definitely possible after the results of the games so far this week (Syracuse and 'Nova both winning), but once again it is not likely because things would need to break perfectly in the conference tournament.

Now on to the breakdown....

Many may be surprised that we removed Illinois from this bracket. Here is our reasoning behind their exclusion: Illinois has a tough road game this weekend at Iowa, which we are not that confident in them winning. Should they get by Iowa, then they will likely end up a #4 seed in the Big Ten Tourney and likely have to play Purdue in the quarterfinals. We like Purdue's chances in this game on a neutral court. For Illinois to feel completely safe, they need to win their next 3 games (assuming Indiana beats Penn State and gets the 3 seed). Otherwise they will be right on the top of the bubble. Many believe that the Big Ten can not possibly get 6 teams in the field. We still disagree with this sentiment. With Michigan's win against Michigan State, the conference now has 7 teams that have a legitimate shot at a bid. It is all going to come down to the conference tourney.

As previously stated we believe there is no chance for 3 bids out of the CAA, but we have come around to the idea of 2 bids. Should Drexel and VCU meet in the semifinals, then the winner of that game has a good chance of receiving a bid (especially if Drexel wins). Should VCU make it to the finals they would have a good chance at a bid unless numerous bids were stolen in other conference tournies. Right now we are going with Drexel and ODU out of the CAA.

Many posted this week about the merits of FSU getting an at-large bid. They are still very much alive for a bid, but need to win 2 more games to feel somewhat comfortable. We are weary of the game at Miami (who recently beat UVa at home) this weekend, since no conference road game is easy. If they can win that game, then they will have another meeting with Clemson in the conference tourney. If the 'Noles can get by Clemson, they can be seriously considered for an at-large bid.

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for March 2:

Last Four In
Missouri State, Syracuse, Purdue, Drexel

Last Four Out
Florida State, Illinois, West Virginia, VCU

Next Four Out
Kansas State, Alabama, Appalachian State, Massachusetts

Conference Breakdown
ACC (7), Big East (7), Pac-10 (6), Big Ten (5), Big XII (4), SEC (4), MVC (3), MWC (3), Colonial (2), Horizon (2), WAC (2)
(Teams listed first from multiple bid conferences are automatics.)

America East - Vermont

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Old Dominion, Drexel

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Wright State, Butler

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Marist

MAC - Kent State

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Southern Illinois, Creighton, Missouri State

MWC - UNLV, BYU, Air Force

Northeast - Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - Holy Cross

SEC - Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky

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

UCLA, Ohio State, Kansas, Wisconsin

The 2s
Florida, North Carolina, Georgetown, Southern Illinois

The 3s
Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Virginia

The 4s
Maryland, Washington State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee

The 5s
Virginia Tech, UNLV, Nevada, Duke

The 6s
Texas, Marquette, Oregon, Arizona

The 7s
Kentucky, Boston College, USC, Louisville

The 8s
BYU, Butler, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech

The 9s
Indiana, Stanford, Villanova, Xavier

The 10s
Air Force, Michigan State, Creighton, Old Dominion

The 11s
Texas Tech, Winthrop, Missouri State, Gonzaga

The 12s
Syracuse, Purdue, Drexel, Davidson

The 13s
New Mexico State, Wright State, Holy Cross, Kent State

The 14s
Vermont, Oral Roberts, Penn, Long Beach State

The 15s
South Alabama, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Marist, East Tennessee State

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

The Bracket
This Week's Bracket - March 2

(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


natty said...

If UVA can beat Wake, then the espn bracket will be looking bad. They still have Tech above UVA and now the Cavs have a better record then them, and are about to win the ACC. I like a 3 seed for them because they will win the regular season and maybe go on to the finals in the ACC tourney

Anonymous said...

As a UVA grad, I have to say that I think a #3 seed is probably a bit high for the Cavs, who traditionally do not win games in the ACC tournament. The Committee also tends to under-seed teams like Virginia who had surprising seasons (while over-seeding underachieving powers like Michigan St. and Duke). I predict UVA will end up at a #4 seed, the same line as Maryland.

Yawner said...

Way down the bracket, but I don't think Delaware State gets sent to the play-in game. I think the committee is sensitive to sending HBCUs to the play-in game consistently and will probably slot them at one of the other 16 seeds.

Bracketology 101 said...

The last 3 seed for this bracket came down to Virginia and Maryland and for now Virginia got the nod for a couple of reasons. Assuming they both win their final game (UVa @ Wake, Maryland vs. NC State), Virginia would finish two games better in conference and have a sweep of the Terps on their resume to boot. For that, they deserve to be a seed line higher than their ACC rival.

With a finals appearance in the ACC tourney, the Cavs' current 3 seed will stick; a semifinals loss would almost certainly knock them down to the 4 line.

Anonymous said...

If the Hokies can regroup, beat Clemson and make a run in the ACC tourney, does this make sense...

semifinals of ACC - 4 seed
finals of ACC - possible 3 seed
champions of ACC - 3 seed

good work on the bracket, VT should be a 5 after last night.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your call on West Virginia out of the bracket. How many games do the Mountaineers have to win in the Big East tourney to get in the bracket? I also agree that Illinois will lost to Iowa. Why is Syracuse in your last 4 in? They have 10 conference wins & have been playing their best at the right time of the year. I think Syracuse is a lock even if they lose their last 2 games.
Is Marquette in any danger of backing out of a bid?

adam said...

Does Stanford need to beat Arizona on Saturday to secure a bid?

Bracketology 101 said...

Anonymous' analysis of Va Tech is right on seed-wise. Like Virginia, the Hokies will be a 3 if they win the ACC tourney, will be a four with a finals appearance, and will maybe be a 4 (maybe a 5) with a semifinals loss.

Syracuse is by no means safe right now, and if they were to lose their last two games, they would be on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday. The Orange have a non-existent OOC resume and a mediocre 49 RPI, and they only have three quality conference wins (two coming at home). A loss at Villanova Saturday (even on the road) means Syracuse has to win at least one Big East game to get a bid, and they might have to win two depending on how other conference tournies play out. A first round Big East loss - against a to-be-determined non-tourney team - would be killer and would keep them from dancing.

Marquette and Stanford are safe, but their final seeds will rely heavily on their conference tourney performances.

Anonymous said...

I want to know how Purdue gets in and not Illinois? I can accept both not getting in, but Purdue has nothing more tournament worthy than Illinois, save beating the Illini in West Lafayette in a conference that doesn't lose home games much. Illinois has a better RPI, won more road games (5-3), has a better record, has a better conference record, is 7-3 in their last 10 games (Purdue is 6-4), has lost only to tourney teams or teams on the bubble (purdue has lost to indiana state, minnesota, and iowa) and has a stronger schedule.

If Illinois loses to Iowa, then it would be more appropriate to talk about Purdue over Illinois, but certainly Illinois is the more worthy team at this moment.

SamENole said...

How many wins in the MWC Tourney do you think Air Force needs to feel safe? Would 1 be enough?

They've now lost 3 straight including a horrible loss to TCU and a home loss against BYU. Yes, they had an impressive win @Stanford and beat Texas Tech on a neutral court but those were all the way back in November. They went 2-4 vs. the good teams in the conference and had 2 losses to the horrible teams in the conference.

Is it safe to say that they are out without a win in Vegas?

Anonymous said...

I would like to commend bracketology 101 for their comments on FSU. I'm a huge FSU fan and I hope like anything that they make it into the tournament, especially after last year However, as 101 stated, it really is in their hands to win two games. If they beat Miami (who played Clemson into OT) and win at least one game in the ACC tourney, I think they'll be a lock, if not, it'll be another bid to the Not Invited Tournament. Of course any fans of bubble teams right now have to be crossing their fingers that Butler wins the Horizon League.

As some final food for thought, what does everyone think about the Villanova-Syracuse game? I think that this may very well be considered the first round of the Big East tourney, and that likewise, the loser may be left behind.

Dan Holmes said...

I was wondering what everybody's thoughts were on the Kansas-Texas game tomorrow from a seeding perspective. If Kansas loses, are they absolutely locked out of a 1 seed?

BSquare said...

I think whoever wins the Cuse/Nova game is definitely in. If the loser wins their first round Big East tourney game, they are also more than likely in.

jbeek said...

Because I like to geek out on the bracket principles ----

BYU shouldn't be setup to play UCLA in the second round because they already played this year.

Notre Dame shouldn't be in Chicago - that's less than 100 miles from South Bend, kind of a nasty ambush for Kansas who should have a better protected seed.

Anonymous said...

Memphis being a 3 is ridictulous. You can argue them out of a 1.But they are adleast a definite top 2.
They doing the best they can do under confrence circumstances. All the other top seeds are coasting to the finish line loosing games against med level talented teams. give me a break. Win it's all said in done Memphis would have only lost 3 games, other top seeds 5&6.
Are you kiddin me. UCONN,DUKE,VILLANOVA earned the other top seeds last year no team outside maybe UCLA is winning out. They are loosing every other game. It means nothing to play in a big time conference if you are taking care of business. ENDPOINT

Anonymous said...

Yeah I hate to say it but you have a point. I think it would be fair to put teams in front of Memphis if they were wining as many games against maybe better talent. But loosing against qaulity teams is not credited in my eye. If the teams like Ohio St., Wis, Kansas, ect. like loose more than 4 games Memphis should be maybe a 1 by default.

Anonymous said...

Stanford just lost a heartbreaker to Arizona. They trailed by 20 and game back to lose in OT. Does this game keep them out of the dance? Or do you think they are in?

Anonymous said...

I think that there is no question that Memphis should be a 2 seed simply because of their conference record. It's hard to go undefeated in any conference let alone one that is so traditionally strong as CUSA. However, the conference is down this year, and I think that that will inhibit them from receiving a 1 seed, but they definiely deserve a 2.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Stanford is completely out, but it certainly places them below teams like Florida State and Purdue in the pecking order. Assuming that the Cardinal wins at least one game in the Pac 10 tourney, and some other teams mess up, then they'll be in. It certainly doesn't help their cause though.

BSquare said...

I agree that there's a little more pressure on Stanford now, but I'm pretty sure they still have a leg up on both Purdue and FSU. Of course, that's just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. The committee and this website may see it differently.

Bryan said...

Huge, HUGE win for FSU against Miami this afternoon..very nice comback from 6 down with 1:30 remaining, and thank heaven for Toney Douglas question that his absence from the team really hurt their performance. If FSU can get by Clemson in rd. 1 of the ACC tourney, I think they have a real shot at upsetting the #1 seed in the tourney, since they've played the top of the division very competitively (except against UNC).. Going to be interesting to see who is the #1 seed though since UVA blew their chance by losing to Wake Forest. I'd hate to have to figure out the tie-breaker for the top 4 teams if they all finish 11-5.

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

40+ points from Al Thornton against Miami today?? I really hope he gets his shot in the NCAA this year.. he's also got a great chance for ACC player of the year honors, in my opinion.

Bracketology 101 said...

In response to the Memphis posts...They only have one quality win and lost to the three other good teams they played. C-USA is terrible this year as well. Even so, their run thru the conference has been impressive. They do have an outside shot at a 2 seed but we don't think it will happen.

The reasons for us including Purdue over Illinois were posted in the breakdown. We anticipated the Illinois loss to Iowa and we were right.

If Air Force losses in their first MWC tourney then they may be sweating things out a little bit come Selection Sunday. They do have some OOC wins to fall back on though and as we see it now they would still likely get a bid.

Villanova probably locked up their bid today while Syracuse will need a win in the Big East tourney to have a chance to make the tourney. One win will likely be enough for Syracuse to get a bid.

Stanford is still pretty safe. They just need one conference tourney win and they are a lock.

matt r said...


BYU is in the same pod as UCLA because BYU isn't supposed to play on Sundays for religious reasons - at least I've read that in a few places. Because of this that narrows them down to only two regions (San Jose and San Antonio). Then as an 8 seed we have to either put them with UCLA in Sacramento (Thurs/Sat site) or Wisconsin in Chicago (Fri/Sun site), which leaves them with UCLA.

As for Notre Dame in Chicago, the bracketing principles only protect from home court disadvantages for the top five seed lines in the first round. Notre Dame was kind of locked into that spot due to other conferencing rules, and that's probably one of reason they limit the home-court disadvantage limitations. If you tried to eliminate that stuff all over the bracket it would be almost impossible to follow the other principles.

Anonymous said...

Is the loser of the USC-Stanford game out of big dance? Stanford has a very iffy resume.

Is West Virginia NIT bound? They have basically just beaten the easy teams they should beat. WVU has done nothing away from home. Is Texas Tech a lock now?

Tony French said...

What do you mean Stanford "just needs 1 win in conference tourney to be safe"? It would be a surprise if the Cardinal beat USC. I don't think you guys are correct about Stanford being a lock. Their RPI is over 50 & they have been slumping now. Anthony Goods is not the reason they are losing. They had him for the bad home loss to Gonzaga. If Stanford loses to USC, I think they are out. Just look at their resume. It isn't any better than Purdue or Illinois.

Anonymous said...

Why is Memphis a 2 for sure? Who have they beaten? Memphis should be no higher than a 3 but a 4 would be more fitting. They lost their 3 toughest games. That guy who said that they should be no lower than a 2 must be John Calipari whining again! Memphis would be a 9-7 type team in the ACC. Heck they have trouble beating awful teams like SMU or UTEP. Memphis overrated and ripe for an early exit in the big dance.

James G. said...

Can someone please explain how Alabama has such a good RPI rating? They are 2-6 against the top 50 and got swept by Auburn and Arkansas. Arkansas has a better resume than Bama but they both belong in the NIT. The SEC should only get 4 teams. Even if MIke Slive is on the committee.

BSquare said...


You make some good points on Stanford. And they may very well be left out, but they have an advantage over the teams you mention (Illinois and Purdue) based on who each have won against IMO.

Key Wins:

Stanford - UCLA, Texas Tech, @Virginia, USC, Washington St, Oregon (that's a nice list of wins as all these teams will probably be in the tourney)

Illinois - @Bradley, Indiana, Mich St, @Mizzou, Michigan, Iowa

Purdue - @Oklahoma, DePaul, Virginia, Mizzou, Michigan, Illinois, Mich St, Indiana

matt r said...

On Alabama RPI: the problem with the RPI is that in takes into account Win Pct (25%), Win Pct of your opponents (50%), and Win Pct of your opponents' opponents (25%). So if you play a stacked schedule, you don't even have to beat anybody good to get to 75% of a good RPI. In other words, if you go 20-10 against schedule A, it doesn't matter which teams you beat or lose to in schedule A.

Bracketology 101 said...

A couple loose ends...

Texas Tech just needs to win their Big XII tourney game against Colorado to secure a bid, while West Virginia needs a finals run in the Big East tourney (very unlikely) to get back in the discussion. Their only road wins in conference were against sub-.500 teams, and aside from beating Villanova, their Big East record is full of cupcake wins. They had their chance for a marquee win at Pittsburgh last week and lost by 14.

Stanford's stock has definitely dropped quickly of late - maybe to the point where they get in the Last 4 In discussion - but their well-documented big wins should be enough to get them in the final field. It wouldn't be shocking if they were left out (the committee could easily cite their last 10 games as a reason), but we feel that they'd have a legit gripe if they were excluded.

Sean said...

Purdue's win over Oklahoma was in Maui at the Preseaon NIT, not on the road.

Therefore, all the big wins you posted for them are at home. I'm sorry, doing nothing but winning at home does not impress me. I really hope they are not given a bid.

Bracketology 101 said...

One more quick thing on Memphis: It's easy to play the "it's not their fault they play in a bad league" card when arguing that Memphis deserves a two seed, but the argument would be better if Tigers supporters also included which team they want to take off the 2 seed to make room for Memphis. One team that continues to be overlooked as a solid two seed - and one that has a much better resume than Memphis - is Southern Illinois. Provided the Salukis beat Creighton today to win the MVC championship, they (along with the Big East champ if its GTown or Pitt), and the rest of the teams we have on the 2 line all deserve a 2 more than Memphis. Things could break in a way that Memphis gets a 2, but barring big upset champs in power conference tourneys, the Tigers deserve and will get a 3.

Paymon said...

Spot on with Memphis. When they've had to impress on the big stage, they have not. The statistics are there to back it up.

Purdue still has work to do, although they're in position for a bid.

As for the SEC, I think one team from the bubble pack will separate itself at the conference tournament.

natty said...

Will VT be bumped down to maybe even a 7 seed or so with that terrible loss vs. Clemson. Also GT is playing really well right now, I see them making a huge run in the ACC tourney

Anonymous said...

West Virginia does not need a finals run to get in the tournament. That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard yet. If they beat Providence and Syracuse lays an egg against UCONN WVU will be in. If they then go on to beat Louisville in the second round they are definately in. To say that WVU has to beat Providence, Louisville and Georgetown is absurd.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys serious, Memphis lost all 3 games at the start of the year due to freshmanism. Here's my point. G.Tech is clearly not better than Memphis they blew that game because of youth. They certainly would not blow a 16 point lead to anybody in the country now! The Tennessee game was like a deer in headlights type of thing. They had to play their first road game against a rival team who are undefeated at home in SEC play. The Arizona game was a good game. AZ was a better team at the time, better than most teams. On the road loosing in the last minuts against a top 10 team is not a let down. At the end if Memphis had the ability to play easier games at the start of the year like everybody else they would be cool.But instead they play a top heavy schedule. This is clearly a team that you have judge with your eyes and not paper because they are a way better team now. Thats why the Tigers played the zags at home this late on ESPN. So that you can juge with your eyes.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on FSU and Clemson now that FSU beat Miami and Clemson upset VT? Is the winner of their ACC 1st round meeting in? Or would they need to beat UNC also?

Anonymous said...

VCU's win today will hopefully put to rest the idea that had Frank Elegar been playing during their previous meeting, VCU would have lost.

How about those Patriots? Yet another improbable run through a tournament, beating both Hofstra and ODU teams who were getting ahead of themselves and looking towards the finals. They both put up terrible performances this weekend. While I was hoping for an ODU/VCU final, this matchup will be just as fun to watch. Mason has great inside defense, but VCU likes to stay around the perimeter. Should be a great game.

This puts the CAA in an interesting position for at-large bids. VCU's at-large should be secured with a trip to the CAA finals. Drexel needed to beat VCU to get in, so I believe a trip to the NIT is in their future. ODU has a legit case, and I feel they are safe even though they lost today. If Mason were to win the tournament, could this be a 3-bid CAA? If that happened, but the committee only decided two teams were good enough, I don't think they would pick ODU over VCU, as they finished 2nd in the conference (don't talk to me about a supposedly unbalanced schedule - VCU won games that mattered against the CAA bottom feeders, while Drexel, Hofstra, and ODU did not always pull through) and made an early exit in the tournament. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Bracketology 101 said...

A win over Providence doesn't guarantee West Virginia anything, and the way the mid-major tournaments are going, a win over Louisville might not be enough either. If Wright State (and more importantly George Mason) win their respective finals, WVU might get squeezed. A Mason win brings 3 from the Colonial into play, and depending on how the committeee judges VCU if they were to lose, another at-large bid could be taken away from teams like West Virginia. That's not to say a win over Louisville would not do the job for WVU (they actually got lucky the Cardinals ended up the 2 and gave them a shot at a big second round win), but it doesn't 100% guarantee anything.

SIU's loss opened the door for Memphis to sneak onto the 2 line, but that's not a guarantee either, especially if Texas A&M were to make a finals run in the Big XII. It's hard to see the committee rationalizing all of Memphis' losses as in-depth as Anonymous did. If they did that for every team, you could make the argument for dozens of teams to be higher than what they are. The bottom line is that the Tigers' OOC resume is weak and their conference is weaker, and shoudn't be an outcry if they end up on the 3 line.

Anonymous said...

Alright dude I'm no Memphis fan but I must agree with you, if they could play more teams right now they could do alot of damage. "Judging with my eyes" I must say the times they were on ESPN late in the year they have impressed me. I mean there spurtability can go off against ANYBODY! They will get a 2

Bracketology 101 said...

We started out this week's Breakdown by blasting the idea of three teams out of the CAA, but incredibly, thanks to Mason's upset of ODU, the perfect storm has occured for that to happen. ODU should feel pretty good about their chances even with their semifinal loss, and the committee could easily justify VCU's inclusion even if they were to lose to Mason in the final. The biggest losers in all this are Drexel, who is all-but NIT bound, and a handful of big conference bubble boys who might see last year's Cinderella pull off some more magic by stealing a bid this year.

Anonymous said...

Bracketology your right, The committee would not do that for Memphis. But isn't that a problem, Considering they will for Duke! I Guess thats when your jersey name and coach come into play! Duke is just now pulling there team together, and it's tournament

Anonymous said...

Should Ohio St and Wis. get #1 seeds, when only one team will be the best in the conference. Same for Texas A&M and Kansas. We saw this in football and I'm smelling dejavu! Two teams look amazing in their conference. But when they play against a team from other conf. They look adverage. The two times OSU & WIS have played they were not playing top of the line ball. It was more like a allision since the rankings were so high. Now the Texas, Texas A&M games were good to watch. This is the the equation bad team versus bad team equals good game,TO THE UNTRAINED EYE!lol

Anonymous said...

Should Memphis get a higher seed if others keep loosing every day. UCLA lost the other day. Taking this into consideration are we willing to put 3 or 4 teams as top spots loosing late conference games. 5 & 6 losses in my eye is not a #1 type year, it's a 2 or 3.

Anonymous said...

No because these teams are losing to very good teams. Memphis is beating non tourney teams. Their win over is not impressive cause of Heyfelt being out. The Zags may wind up in the NIT. No Memphis should not be rewarded just because they play in a bad conference.

This is some teams record against the top 50.

Memphis- 1-3
UCLA- 9-1
Ohio State- 8-3
North Carolina- 10-4
Wisconsin- 7-4
Florida- 6-4
Kansas- 3-2

It is obvious that Memphis doesn't merit a 1-2 seed. They should feel lucky to even get a 3 with the horrible schedule they have played. Memphis has lost when they played the top teams on their schedule.

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