Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 7

The Breakdown
(Updated to include Tuesday night's results)
Life on the bubble just got a little more difficult. As we had projected, Wright State's "upset" of Butler sent the Raiders dancing out of the Horizon, and left our Last Four Out looking elsewhere for an open spot. Butler's seed, meanwhile, remained a 9 since we had already placed them assuming that they would lose in the final. With five days of games left, how many more spoilers will follow Wright State's lead?

Heading into Wednesday's games, there is still 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 7:

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. Teams 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 - North Texas

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
North Texas, Weber State, Central Connecticut State, Delaware State (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 7

(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at bracketologyblog@yahoo.com

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


Cort said...

How do you have Purdue in & not Illinois. They seem to either both be in or out since they have nearly identical resumes. They only played each other once & that was at Purdue where they beat almost everyone. Illinois is rated 11 spots higher in the RPI than Purdue. They both are 7-3 in their last 10. IMO, The Big 10 should get 4 teams or 6 teams cause neither Illinois or Purdue deserve to make it over the other.
I was just hoping for your explanation of why you would put Purdue in & not Illinois.

NCAA Insider 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.

Bracketology 101 said...

Here's our take on Purdue vs. Illinois (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.

natty said...

Texas a 6 seed??

Bracketology 101 said...

Texas has done well in Big 12 play but like many other Big 12 teams has no OOC profile (best win is Arkansas). Unless they can beat Texas A&M again in the semi's we don't see them higher then a 6.

Anonymous said...

The only way the WAC will receive multiple bids is if Nevada loses the conference championship (which could happen, look at Butler). Besides Nevada, the other teams simply do not have a high enough RPI (New Mexico State - 73, Fresno State - 74, Utah State - 63). Remember bids are supposed to be based on the team, not the conference, and the other WAC teams simply do not have the resume.

BSquare said...

I agree with anonymous on the WAC and what SHOULD happen, however, I think the reason that Utah State got in last year was because the committee thought that the WAC, a top 10 RPI conference, deserved another bid.

Is Syracuse good to go now with the first round win over UConn?

Anonymous said...

Syracuse was a lock before the win today. 10 wins in Big East was plenty.

JGibson said...

Syracuse was NOT a lock before today. 10 wins in the Big East doesn't always get it done. Just ask Boston College and Seton Hall from 2003. And you can't just say 10 wins in the Big East is good enough because the unbalanced schedule helped cause that. Villanova's 9-7 is actually significantly more impressive that Syracuse's 10-6. The 10 wins only includes 3 over tournament bound teams. I think if they lost to UConn, they were out. They seem likely to be in now, but the criticism holds. And they lost at home to Drexel, who is also angling for a bid.

rushmania said...

this is wednesday so things are going to change. but no way can you keep mizz state out. heres why. 38 rpi, 37 sos solid.12-6 in conf, especially how the valley showed their strength last year, is a big plus.7-3 last 10 and 10-6 road again both solid. of course a win over a possible 1 seed (wisky) on the neutral site clinches it. same thing goes for drexel. very similar numbers to mizz state and another conf that impressed last year. the clincher is those great road wins. lets compare that to butler who i think should be out. yes they have great win but wow what a slide against a 98 sos!!! and look at those bad losses. i'm surprised i am the only one who thinks this. check this site for the great information i received.


Anonymous said...

maryland looks like the darkhorse

Anonymous said...

I agree the Missouri State should be firmly on the bubble, and depending on the way things turn out over the next few days, in the tournament. I also agree about Butler, I don't think that they should get in. So they beat 4 or 5 good teams in the first few weeks of play, when it came to their conference games they did nothing to differentiate themselves from anyone else in the Horizon League. And of course they lost their conference tournament to Wright State... How is a team like Butler any different than App State? I know that they have an RPI that will now be somewhere in the mid-to-high 40's, but is that really enough to get them in from a 1 bid conference? The committee will let them in because of their size and since they have grabbed the public attention, but there is not question in my mind that that bid would be better spent on an Illinois, or a West Virginia, or a Florida State.

BSquare said...

Butler has beaten ND, Indiana, Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Purdue, as well as Wright State once. That's five tournament teams, possibly six if Purdue gets in.

That's much better than either West Virginia or Illinois. As far as FSU is concerned, maybe they should finish .500 or better in conference.

I say this as someone who is generally sympathetic to the big schools in the large conference vs small conference debate. However, I think you should pick another team besides Butler to make this argument.

Bracketology 101 said...

Syracuse was by no means a lock before today's game, but their win over UConn now gives them 11 conference wins and should have sewn up their bid to the dance. We will move them up to an 11 seed and off the Last Four In list in tomorrow's bracket.

It's not worth wasting key strokes arguing Butler vs. Appalachian State. The Bulldogs have slipped up a little of late, but are a solid nine seed right now (10 at the worst come Selection Sunday), while Appalachian State isn't even Next Four Out worthy.

Anonymous said...

are you joking about the WAC?? california has a losing record, #90 rpi, gonzaga (57) isnt that great, and neither are akron (67) or northern iowa(77). if anything nevada is overraed, they may not have any bad losses (sub 100 rpi) but they have NO wins against teams in the rpi top 50...they havent beaten anybody and they lost to the only top 50 team they played, UNLV (11)(SOS 115) no way should the wac get two bids unless nevada loses in the tourney... why should new mexico state or utah state be in? nmst's rpi isnt even in the top 60, 1-2 against the top 50 and only 4 wins agains the rpi top 100 (2 of them against 94 Hawaii), losses to 160, 190, 191, and SOS #157 are not going to cut it. No way should they be in, theyre not even close to being on the bubble, same with utah state (1-2 against the top 50, 4-7 against the top 100, losses to 119, 186, and 191)
no wac team has a good at-large profile, nevada's rpi (19) makes them stand out but they havent played anybody, other than that none of them deserve consideration

NCAA Insider said...

Ya, Tell me all about the RPI crap!
Cal just beat UCLA... Stick that in your RPI. And there are upsets like that all over the country... Computers don't play the games... And now that Nevada was upset tonight the WAC will have two teams in the dance... We'll see how they do now! Make no mistake, Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State are all very dangerous teams.