Monday, March 05, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 6

The Breakdown
(Updated to include Monday night's results)
The top of the bubble is getting very crowded and there is little difference between at-large teams seeded 10-12 and some of the teams on the last 8 out list. Stanford has struggled of late losing six of their last 10. They have a tough first round matchup against USC in the Pac-10 tourney so it will be tough for them to pick up another win. Should they lose the game against USC they will be one of the last teams in if they get a bid, and we think they still will. They have good wins in and out of conference (vs. Texas Tech, @UVa, Wazzu, UCLA, Oregon) and no head scratching losses. Their resume will stack up favorably against fellow bubble boys. Our last three teams in (Syracuse, Purdue, FSU) all gained their bids by predicting future results. Right now Missouri State and Drexel may have better resumes then these teams but we feel that one more win for each of these three will propel them into the tourney. We like FSU against Clemson this week and with a good showing against UNC in the quarterfinals we think it should be enough to get the Seminoles a bid. Should Clemson come out on top in that game there is a chance that we put them into the bracket and take FSU out. Purdue has a huge quarterfinal matchup with Iowa this week and if they can win that we like their chances. They would be 7-3 in their last 10 (assuming a loss in the semis) and would have enough quality victories to warrant a bid. Syracuse needs to get by UConn on Wednesday to secure their bid.

We didn't like doing it but we had to take Missouri State out of the field for now. The reasons for this were their 0-5 record against SIU and Creighton, their recent home loss to Winthrop, and the fact they lost by 17 to Creighton in the MVC semis. It will be a long week and Selection Sunday for Missouri State. Kansas State, WVU, and Illinois, meanwhile, all have great opportunities this week to play themselves into the field by picking up two wins in their conference tournies.

The CAA tourney certainly didn't break as we had expected. Bubble teams all over the country who were rooting hard for VCU last night can now exhale, as the Rams held off Mason's Cinderella finals run. The attention in the CAA now turns to the bubble, where ODU is safer then Drexel at this point given their two wins over the Dragons and the fact that they finished two games better in conference. Drexel's 13 road wins are impressive, especially since 3 of them were Syracuse, Villanova, and Creighton. Their struggles in conference may come back to kill them, though. The Dragons are in for a long week and lots of discussion. For Drexel fans, the first bit of help came in the WCC final, where Gonzaga muted the potential debate about their at-large credentials by taking care of business against Santa Clara.

New Mexico State's recent struggles have left us less then enthusiastic about their chances in the WAC tourney. The main reason we kept them in the field is because we think there is a better then 50% chance that Nevada goes down, and if it's not New Mexico State that beats them, it will be someone else in the conference. We just like New Mexico State's chances better than anyone else since they are at home.

Some final notes on the bracket: In our original seeding we had Georgia Tech as a 7 seed and Kentucky as an 8. We had to change that because we ended up with too many ACC teams on the 2,3,6,7,10,11 seed lines. We also had to move BYU from a 7 seed down to an 8 and Creighton from an 8 up to a 7 to avoid seeding BYU in New Orleans, which is a Fri./Sun. site.

We will continue to update the bracket this week daily or as necessary.

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for March 6:

Last Four In
Stanford, Syracuse, Purdue, Florida State

Last Four Out
Missouri State, Drexel, Clemson, Kansas State

Next Four Out
West Virginia, Illinois, Massachusetts, DePaul

Conference Breakdown
ACC (8), Big East (7), Pac-10 (6), Big Ten (5), Big XII (4), SEC (4), MWC (3), Colonial (2), Horizon (2), MVC (2), WAC (2)
(Teams listed first from multiple bid conferences are automatics. Team in bold have already clinched an automatic bid.)

America East - Vermont

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

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

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 - VCU, Old Dominion

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Wright State, Butler

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Niagara

MAC - Akron

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Creighton, Southern Illinois

MWC - UNLV, BYU, Air Force

Northeast - Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley - Eastern Kentucky

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

Patriot - Holy Cross

SEC - Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SWAC - Jackson State

Sun Belt - Arkansas State

WAC - New Mexico State, Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga

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

The 2s
Florida, North Carolina, Georgetown, Texas A&M

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

The 4s
Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Virginia, UNLV

The 5s
Arizona, Nevada, Marquette, Oregon

The 6s
Texas, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Duke

The 7s
Louisville, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Creighton

The 8s
BYU, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Boston College

The 9s
Butler, USC, Villanova, Xavier

The 10s
Air Force, Texas Tech, Michigan State, Gonzaga

The 11s
Winthrop, VCU, Old Dominion, Stanford

The 12s
Syracuse, Purdue, Florida State, Davidson

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

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

The 15s
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Belmont, Niagara, Eastern Kentucky

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

The Bracket
Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 6

(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at

Want more Bracketology 101? Read about B101 in Eric Prisbell's Bracketology story in this past Sunday's Washington Post:
Need For Information Is Creating A Bracket


Bryan said...

Should FSU manage its way into the tourney, what's the best seed they could hope for?? Maybe an 11 seed unless they happen to make the ACC finals, or win the tourney?

Bracketology 101 said...

If FSU were to beat Clemson and then lose to UNC in the ACC tourney (a very likely scenario), they would get no higher than an 11 and would likely still be a 12 as one of the last 4 teams in. Anything higher would mean the 'Noles had won multiple ACC tourney games.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have Illinois out of the bracket? They are 7-3 in their last 10 and have 21 wins and are 35 in the RPI. I realize they havent done much on the road but I think the Illini are in the field.
How can Drexel be left out? They have road wins over Villanova, Creighton, & Syracuse. If you put Nova & Syracuse in your bracket, how can you justify keeping Drexel out? They beat both those teams on the road? Old Dominion beat Big East champ Georgetown on the road.

I think the Colonial will get all 3 teams in, but if they only get 2, Drexel would get in ahead of ODU despite the head to head games. Drexel's OOC resume is more impressive than Old Dominion. That is the reason George Mason got in ahead of Hofstra last year despite Hofstra winning head to head. The Colonial will bet all 3 teams.

BSquare said...

Illinois needs to win 2 games this week to be in. Their best wins are at home against IU and Mich St, an 8 and 10 seed in the bracket right now. They didn't really do much out of conference. Their computer numbers look okay, and their record looks good. However, I think it would be very difficult to put them ahead of Purdue if Purdue beats Iowa. Purdue beat them head to head (yeah, I know in W. Lafayette, but still) and Purdue has a nice nonconference win against UVA. Of course, Purdue also has worse losses than Illinois.

Bracketology 101 said...

We cannot understand how anyone can feel that Drexel is in over ODU. ODU has a better win (@G'town), better record vs. top 50 (4-3 to 2-4), better last 10 (9-1 to 7-3), they finished 2 games ahead of them in conference, and they beat them twice by double digits!! It is obvious that ODU is a better team. We know that Drexel has all these road wins which is impressive but that alone is not enough to put them ahead of ODU. I know some may say well George Mason got in over Hofstra last year when Hofstra beat them twice but the difference is that Hofstra never won at Mason and Mason still finished a game better in the regular season. What will likely end up killing Drexel was the late season loss at William and Mary. You can't lose games like that late in the season as a bubble mid-major and expect to get a bid. With all that said Drexel will be right there on Sunday but as we see things now we feel they are last four out.

Illinois will need to win two games in the Big Ten tourney to earn a bid. If they can't do that they will need some help to get in.

natty said...

Who are you predicting to win the ACC tourney? I have to go with the team thats doing the best right now, GT, even though I'm cheering for UVA. If Georgia Tech won the tournament, then what seed would they have?

Kirk said...

Everytime I see a bracket with Purdue in it, I dismiss it as nonsense. They have played a very unbalanced schedule in the Big Ten and don't deserve any consideration unless they win the big ten.

Compare Missouri State and Purdue. You say MSU was 0-5 against the top of the Valley. How about Purdue 0-3 - Big Ten (didn't play everyone twice) and one of those teams Missouri State beat (WI). Purdue 2-7 road record. MSU 8-4. Purdue lost at Ind State 135 RPI. Missouri St. Swept them home and road. Purdue - Bad losses - 135 Ind State, 179 Minn. MSU - 136 Evansville.

Stop drinking the BCS koolaide. And you can take Stanford out as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a UVA fan, but I think there's no way they hold the 4 seed line after the loss to Wake Forest. UVA certainly isn't going to be at Duke in the ACC tourney and that means they will close the year on a two game losing streak. The 5 line looks like their ceiling.

InterNole said...

How can Wright State make the tournament if they loss to Butler tonight? I just don't see a team with a SOS of 187 and losing so many games to bad teams. How many top 50 teams have they beat? 1?

JGibson said...

Wright State won't make the tournament if they lose to Butler. You have to remember that these guys use prediction/projection in their rankings, and they are predicting a Wright State win over Butler.

James G. said...

i agree that the CAA will get 3 bids. There is no way Drexel can be left out and have Syracuse/Nova in the field. Drexel has 14 true road wins. The committee will reward that. I agree that ODU should also get in. However your logic that ODU has a better non-conference resume than Drexel is BS. They also won at Creighton. It doesn't hold much water to say that the win at Georgetown is better than Drexel's 3 marquees road wins. Georgetown lost to both Nova and Syracuse.
Like it or not, all 3 CAA teams will get selected on Sunday. Unlike teams like Purdue & Illinois, Drexel got a lot of good road wins.

Anonymous said...

Bubble teams will not be happy when a 2nd team gets in from the WAC. New Mexico State will likely win the tourney on their home court. But if not, look out for Utah State. They always play well in the tourney. I don't think Nevada will win it

Anonymous said...

Barring a set of bizarre circumstances favoring bubble teams in major conferences, the CAA will have 2 of the best 34 at-large teams.

The conversation shouldn't be how many teams will X conference get into the field. Rather, it should be who are the best 34 at-large teams. In that conversation, it would be neglectful to exclude both ODU and Drexel.

Sadly, due to last year's mistakes by the committee (Utah State, Air Force), we might see the A-10 and WAC with a 2nd bid before the CAA gets a 3rd bid.

natty are you kidding??? said...

Natty????????......How in the world can you say that Georgia Tech is the hottest team in the ACC?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????......that is the most nonsense posting I have ever read. Just because they have won 2 in a row in no way makes them the hottest team in the ACC.....yes UNC was a good win and BC at home was a decent win, but really not that impressive as they have looked bad as of late. Do you not see MD winning 7 in a row, which included a win at Duke where GT just got spanked at Cameron just a few games ago.....please post a more intelligent comment than GT being the hottest team in the

Buda said...

I just don't see how you can have Purdue ahead of Illinois right now.

Purdue had three okay out of conference wins. Two at home against Virginia (RPI 41) and Missouri (RPI 77) and one neutral DePaul(67).

Illinois beat Bradley (RPI 47) and Missouri on neutral court.

Any edge Purdue has there is lost by losing at Indiana St. (RPI 139).

They both finished the Big 10 at 9-7, with the only major difference being that Purdue lost at Minnesota (RPI 178).

That two bad losses for Purude and none for Illinois. If the committee looks at these two teams head-to-head, I don't see any way Purdue comes out on top.

The bottom line is that these schools have the same record right now while Illinois had the harder schedule and thus higher RPI.

JGibson said...

I like Purdue slightly more than Illinois. First, I think 1 or 2 bad losses get ignored. At the level of the final teams, I think the wins tend to be more important. Purdue has the OOC wins over Virginia and DePaul, and Illinois has the OOC win over Bradley. In conference, Purdue has wins over Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, and Indiana. Illinois has wins over Indiana, Michigan State, and Michigan.

Unfortunately for Illinois, Purdue didn't have to return the trip in conference play, and I think Purdue's wins over Virginia and Illinois bump them just ahead.

They are almost exactly even and probably deserve the same fate, but you may be forced into making one of them the last team in and the other one the last team out.

Bracketology 101 said...

Some good Purdue-Illinois banter today. Here's our take (as mentioned in previous breakdowns): The two have almost identical conference resumes, but Purdue has a big "best OOC win edge" (Virginia, a top 5-6 seed vs. Bradley, an NIT team), an OOC resume edge (the DePaul win is nice), and the head-to-head advantage. Yes, a couple of Purdue's losses are tough to defend, but on Selection Sunday it's usually more about who you've beaten rather than who's beaten you.

For those reasons, Purdue deserves the edge over Illinois. That does not, however, make them a lock by any means. Purdue needs to beat a dangerous Iowa team in its Big Ten opener to get a bid, while Illinois needs two wins to like its chances. It's very possible that both don't make it in the end, but right now, Purdue deserves to be in and Illinois deserves to be out. If one of the two ends up making it, our bets are on the Boilermakers.

Bracketology 101 said...

Credit to Anonymous earlier for mentioning the potential for a team other than Nevada to win the WAC. We have had New Mexico State in our bracket for months now, and while we aren't nearly as confident in Reggie Theus' crew as we once were, we are still very confident in holding spots for two WAC teams. Utah State is a potential spoiler, but also keep an eye on Fresno State. The Bulldogs have won six in a row, a streak that includes two wins over NM State and a win at Utah State. They also beat Creighton back in mid-December.

Bracketology 101 said...

In response to James G. we said that ODU has a better win (@G'town). We admit that overall Drexel has a better OOC resume. Drexel fans need to just chear hard against bubble teams and for Xavier, Butler, Nevada, and Memphis. Right now in our bracket we are reserving two spots for conference tourney "upsets" (Wright State and New Mexico State) and we are expecting FSU, Purdue, Syracuse, Air Force, and Texas Tech to do well enough in their conference tournies to lock down a bid. Obviously we don't expect everything to break this way and we will have to make changes but at this point we feel this is the most realistic approach. Historically speaking bubble teams who don't shine in early week conference tournies (i.e. Drexel and Missouri State this year) tend to get forgotten about come Selection Sunday after days of upsets and chaos.

Anonymous said...

How far does Depaul have to go in the Big east tourney to make it to the big dance?

Anonymous said...

If any of the 2's loose early wich will happen should Mem get a 2.

Anonymous said...

pretty much considering they win their touney.

Bracketology 101 said...

DePaul will be right in the mix on Selection Sunday if they can get by Villanova and then upset Pitt in the Big East tournament. Keep this in mind, though: The Blue Demons are 1-4 in their last five Big East games away from home, that lone win coming at South Florida.

Anonymous said...

As a 2 seed, Georgetown should be put in Winston-Salem not Columbus. It would be unfair to let 7 seed Kentucky have a home crowd advantage. Plus the Hoyas are much closer to Winston Salem than Columbus.

Anonymous said...

I would be pissed if I were the one seed who got set up against a BYU team that should have been a 5 seed but had to be dropped to an 8 because of their religious affiliation. If BYU ends up in the 8-9 to be the #1 in that region

natty said...

UVA went on a 7 game winning streak just like Maryland. They both have the great gaurd play which is fun to watch, but UVA and Maryland arn't consistent enough. I didn't mean to say GT was the hottest team but they look the best. They gave UVA a scare at home and the Cavs have lost a single game by 1 point at the JPJ. In my oppinion Maryland and UVA are similar but i see them strugling and since Carolina hasn't done THAT well lately look for GT to step up, because i don't know any team that can get past them easy right now.

Anonymous said...

marlyand and gt are both playing very well right now but gt is just scary when crittendon goes on a tear, they played well at uva despite a 1-7 true road record, i see a potential uva/gt rematch in the semis that would be interesting, assuming both make it out of the quarters which is by no means a gurantee, but don't assume uva will be playing duke, nc state has shown they can beat good teams and uva beat them by double digits in raleigh. dont count uva out in the tourney--reynolds has been cold the past couple of games but don't count on him staying that way

The Bracketman said...

The WAC certainly gets no respect! Make no mistake about it, the WAC teams would be tough for anyone in the country. (With the exception of Idaho & San Jose State). Just look at the Bracket Buster games! Teams in the WAC were winners in 95% of the games. And even out of conference games, the WAC has a great winning percentage all season long. The WAC deserves at least two teams in the NCAA tournament no matter what, but unless someone beats Nevada that likely won't happen. As for the WAC tournament... It will be Nevada and New Mexico State in the championship game. Nevada has the best road record in the country (only 2 loses) and has wins over Gonzaga (in Seattle), California, Akron (at Akron), and Northern Iowa in the Bracket Buster game.(from the mighty MVC) With Nick Fazekas, Marcelus Kemp, Ramon Sessions and many other weapons the Wolfpack is experienced and tested. Over the last few years the Pack has wins over Kansas (at Kansas), Michagan State, Gonzaga, Texas, Vermont, and almost beat Connecticut (at Connecticut). They really deserve to be a 3 seed. Watch for Nevada to go deep in the NCAA tournament. They could even shock some teams and make it to the Final Four. It's time to give Nevada and the Western Athletic Conference some respect.

natty?? said...

how in the world can you say that md isn't consistent enough????....they are hot right now....UVA was hot in the middle of the season, you can't compare the two....if md lost a couple at the end, then you could say that, but its hard to say they're up and down, when they haven't shown any downsides since the winning streak.....there is no chance you can say GT looks like the best team right now, that is ludacris....UVA lives and dies by Singletary and Reynolds, yes they swept MD this year, but the 2nd half of the MD-UVA at Maryland was the turning point in MD's season, despite losing the game....MD would wipe the floor with Georgia Tech right now, and they'd beat UVA as well, don't worry about what happened a month and two months ago....MD is just a lot more balanced team right now.....they may not beat UNC in the semi's....but I'd almost rather that happen so they're not dead for the NCAA tourney, just get 2 wins and that'll be enough to make a run in the NCAA