Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Final Six Pack For 2008

A look at the six most notable games on the New Year's Eve schedule:

Wisconsin at Michigan
We never thought we'd say this, but we're pretty pumped for the Big Ten season to tip off. The conference is deeper than it's been in years, and it already boasts five ranked teams, with Illinois and Wisconsin closing in. Michigan faces those two teams back-to-back at home to start its Big Ten schedule, beginning with the Badgers tonight. This one has all the makings of a close game, and the result might hinge on whether Wisconsin can keep Michigan's Manny Harris (he had 29 points and 16 rebounds last time out) away from the rim.

Michigan State at Minnesota
The Gophers have shocked everybody with their 12-0 start, but they might be running into a buzzsaw in their Big Ten opener against the Spartans. Michigan State is a different team with Goran Suton in the lineup (see: their win over Texas a week and a half ago) and they should be able to own the paint against Minnesota. The Gophers do have the home court and a solid group of guards that could give Michigan State problems, but in the end, look for Minnesota to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten.

North Carolina at Nevada
This match-up would be a pretty juicy one a couple of years ago, but this is far from a vintage Nevada team. They are still one of the better teams in the WAC, but they shouldn't give the top-ranked Tar Heels - whose closest win of the season has been by 15 points (yikes) - much of a challenge. Tyler Hansbrough, who grabbed his 1,000th career rebound in Carolina's win over Rutgers on Sunday, has scored 20 or more in six straight games - and he should easily make it seven here.

Gonzaga at Utah
Let's assume that the Zags bounce back from two straight losses and handle the Utes, and instead use this space to throw our first jab of the season at our buddy Joe Lunardi. In his latest bracket, which was released on Dec. 23, Lunardi inexplicably has Utah IN his field as an 11 seed (and going up!). The Utes, at the time, were 6-5 with losses to Division II Southern Baptist and Idaho State, and had just lost the day before at Utah State. It doesn't appear to be a typo, either; nothing has changed with his bracket since. To recap: if the season ended today, according to Joe Lunardi, the Utes are dancing. Nice to see you're in mid-season form, Joe. Happy holidays.

UNLV at Louisville
Louisville finally played like a ranked team in pounding UAB on Saturday, and they get another chance at a good mid-major win tonight against a red-hot UNLV team. The Rebels have won six straight, a streak that includes a double-digit win over Arizona, and they're 3-0 in road games this season (they've won at UTEP, Fresno State, and Nevada). If the "good" Cardinals show up, they could win by double figures; if the "bad" Cardinals show up instead, this one could get dicey.

Evansville at Illinois State
How long can Illinois State keep this up? The Redbirds squeaked past Missouri State in OT on Sunday to remain unbeaten, but now they host the Aces, who have beaten Western Kentucky (by 32) and Buffalo (by 15) already this season and whose only losses are to North Carolina and Butler. Illinois State's explosive backcourt should be the difference in this one, but expect a close game and don't be shocked by an upset.

Also receiving votes: Pittsburgh at Rutgers, Notre Dame at DePaul, Iowa at Ohio State, Loyola (MD) at Duke, Texas A&M at Rice

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Six Pack For Tuesday

A look at the six most notable games on Tuesday's schedule:

Illinois at Purdue
The uber-balanced Illini (four players average between 12.2 and 11.6 ppg) earned a spot in our latest bracket thanks to their beatdown of Missouri last week. Now they get a crack at the Big Ten's best team (so far) in what would be a ginormous road win. Our friends at the Illinois message boards better not get their hopes up, though; the Illini haven't beaten a Top 10 team on the road in almost a decade.

Seton Hall at Syracuse
The Orange are already off to a great start, and it doesn't look like that streak is going to stop anytime soon. Syracuse opens up its Big East schedule tonight against the very beatable Pirates, and then play three more conference cupcakes (South Florida, DePaul, and Rutgers) before they have to face any of the league's big boys. The Orange also get Eric Devendorf back from his slapping suspension tonight; Jim Boeheim said he plans on using him off the bench for the time being.

UAB at Butler
The Bulldogs jumped into the Top 25 and jumped up to a nine seed (and rising) in our latest bracket by upsetting Xavier on the road last week. Now they host a Blazers team that at times looks like a tourney team (Arizona) and at times fails to show up (Louisville). Both of these teams play great defense, and it might be a "first to 60" wins-type game. Expect Butler to get to 60 first.

Clemson at South Carolina
The unbeaten Tigers (and K.C. Rivers specifically) looked great their last time out as they pounded Miami in their ACC opener. Now they begin a three-game non-conference interlude with what should be an easily winnable roadie at South Carolina. The Gamecocks are the most fraudulent one-loss team in the country; they only have one victory over a team with a winning record, and that win came against Jacksonville State in their season opener.

Oklahoma at Arkansas
The Razorbacks may have a gaudy record and some impressive offensive numbers (they're averaging over 80 ppg), but they've also played one of the weakest OOC schedules imaginable. Let's see how they fare against the Player of the Year front-runner and a Sooners squad that may be the best in the country defensively.

BYU at Tulsa
BYU dropped its first game of the season in heartbreaking fashion last time out against Arizona State, as an apparent game-winner by Charles Abouo was ruled to be released just after the final buzzer. That's the bad news. The good news is the Cougars get another crack at a good road win right away, as they head to Tulsa to face a dangerous Golden Hurricane squad which already has wins over Texas A&M and Missouri State.

Also receiving votes: George Mason at Dayton, Massachusetts at Houston, Siena at Holy Cross

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Six Pack For Monday

A look at the six most notable games on Monday's schedule:

Georgetown at Connecticut
The Big East is going to be full of Top 25 battles this season, so it's only fitting that the second-ranked Huskies and ninth-ranked Hoyas kick off the conference schedule in Hartford. The UConn frontcourt was dominant last time out, and if they can come close to that performance against DaJuan Summers and Greg Monroe, the Huskies should stay unbeaten.

Cincinnati at Memphis
The Bearcats have been the most surprising Big East team not named Georgetown this season, and now they get another chance to add to their impressive start. The Tigers, meanwhile, are seeded where they are in our latest bracket based on reputation alone - they haven't beaten anyone and if they lose this one, they will tumble dangerously close to the bubble.

Portland State at Baylor
The underrated Vikings already have one huge road win on their resume, and they probably like their chances in this one, too. The Bears have been less than impressive in recent wins over Texas-Arlington and Hartford (Curtis Jerrells excluded), which could be bad timing against a Portland State team whose three losses have been by a combined 10 points.

Temple at Villanova
The Wildcats go for a Big Five sweep against the up-and-down Owls, who haven't won since they stunned Tennessee two weeks ago. 'Nova opens up its Big East season after this one; they start with two straight road games at Marquette and at Seton Hall.

Davidson at Charleston
Nobody in the Southern Conference could beat Davidson a year ago. If the Wildcats are going to lose a conference game this year, it might very well be this roadie against a Charleston team that has already beaten South Carolina and has clearly established itself as the league's second best squad.

Weber State at Arizona
Fresh off their blowout of Kansas, the Wildcats get one final tune-up before Pac-10 play starts. Jordan Hill (an All-American candidate?) already has eight double-doubles this season, and he looks like a lock to get another against a Weber State team that only has one player averaging over five boards per game.

Also receiving votes: Central Connecticut State at Arizona State, James Madison at UTEP (at Santa Clara, CA)

And Then There Were 9....

Ohio State's blowout loss to West Virginia last week dropped the number of unbeaten teams to nine.

Here's a look at when their first loss might come:

North Carolina - 1/11 @ Wake Forest
Connecticut - 12/29 Georgetown, 1/6 @ West Virginia
Pittsburgh - 1/3 @ Georgetown
Oklahoma - 12/30 @ Arkansas, 1/12 Texas
Wake Forest - 1/3 @ BYU, 1/11 North Carolina
Clemson - 12/30 @ South Carolina, 1/6 Alabama
Minnesota - 12/31 Michigan State, 1/3 Ohio State
Stanford - 1/2 Arizona State, 1/4 Arizona
Illinois State - 12/31 Evansville, 1/3 Creighton

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Six Pack For The Weekend

A look at the six most notable games on this weekend's schedule:

West Virginia at Ohio State
B.J. Mullens finally made an impact for Ohio State against UNC-Asheville on Saturday, scoring 19 points and grabbing eight boards. If he puts up those numbers again against the smallish Mountaineers, the Buckeyes should be able to stay unbeaten.

Washington State at LSU
Neither of these teams has a bad loss, but they don't have any good wins, either. LSU is still in the bracket because on paper they should win the SEC West; if they lose here, though, they might be on the wrong side of the bubble very soon.

UAB at Louisville
This game could have huge at-large implications down the road for the Blazers, who already have a road win against Arizona on their OOC resume. The Cardinals, meanwhile, could shake their Most Disppointing Team title (a little) by holding serve at home.

Illinois State at Missouri State
The Redbirds stayed unbeaten and snuck into our latest Field of 65 by beating Illinois-Chicago last weekend. They have no OOC resume to speak of, though, which means they will probably need to win the MVC down the road to get a bid. A road win here would be a nice start.

Western Kentucky at Florida State
The Seminoles weren't able to pull of the upset against Pitt their last time out, but they hung tough and held the Panthers to 33 percent shooting from the field. That defense will come in handy against a balanced and dangerous Hilltoppers team (just ask Rick Pitino).

Siena at Saint Joseph's
The (over-hyped?) Saints haven't been able to knock off any of the headliners on their brutal non-conference schedule, but they did look good in a home win against Buffalo on Tuesday. They have an opportunity to make it two solid mid-major wins in a row here as they visit the Flying Lunardis.

Also receving votes: Texas Tech at Stanford, Rutgers at North Carolina, Miami (FL) at St. John's, Drake at Evansville

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Dec. 24

It's been a while since our Preseason Field of 65, and as could be expected, there are a ton of changes to our latest bracket. Putting together the field before teams have started or gotten into the teeth of conference play is still tough, but the following is how we see things bracket-wise right now.

You'll notice that some teams have essentially "earned" their ranking and are seeded where they are because of one or more huge non-conference wins (see: Michigan, Minnesota), while others are hanging on to a decent seed line or are still in the field because even though their resume is weak right now (see: Louisville, Florida, Kansas), we project that once conference play starts, they will regroup and do enough damage to get in.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In
Florida State, California, Kansas, Creighton

Last Four Out
Missouri, UAB, Stanford, USC

Next Four Out
Boston College, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Washington

---------------------------------------------------------------

Conference Breakdown
Big East (9), ACC (7), Big Ten (7), Big XII (5), Pac-10 (4), SEC (4), A-10 (2), MVC (2), MWC (2), WCC (2)

America East - Vermont

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, Maryland, Florida State

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier, Dayton

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - VMI

Big Ten - Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois

Big XII - Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Kansas

Big West - Pacific

Colonial - VCU

Conference USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Buffalo

MEAC - Hampton

MVC - Illinois State, Crieghton

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

Pac-10 - UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, California

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Kentucky

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - North Dakota State

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's

----------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma

The 2s
Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse, Texas

The 3s
Michigan State, Notre Dame, UCLA, Clemson

The 4s
Tennessee, Purdue, Wake Forest, Gonzaga

The 5s
Xavier, Georgetown, Baylor, Arizona State

The 6s
Villanova, Davidson, Michigan, Louisville

The 7s
Arizona, St. Mary's, Minnesota, Texas A&M

The 8s
Florida, Memphis, Miami (FL), Marquette

The 9s
Butler, Maryland, Illinois, Wisconsin

The 10s
UNLV, LSU, West Virginia, Kentucky

The 11s
BYU, Dayton, Illinois State, Florida State

The 12s
California, Kansas, Creighton, Western Kentucky

The 13s
Utah State, VCU, Buffalo, Siena

The 14s
VMI, Pacific, Stephen F. Austin, Vermont

The 15s
North Dakota State, Portland State, East Tennessee State, American

The 16s
Cornell, Central Connecticut State, Austin Peay, Hampton (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
Bracket coming soon...

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

Happy Holidays From Bracketology 101

To all of our readers,

Thank you for your continued support of Bracketology 101. We wish you all the best this holiday season. We will be back Friday with a preview of this weekend's games and we will return with our next Field of 65 after the New Year.

Until then, Happy Holidays...

Chris & Craig
Bracketology 101

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Six Pack For Tuesday

A look at the six most notable games on Tuesday's schedule:

Texas at Wisconsin
The Longhorns (and A.J. Abrams) didn't look very good at all against Michigan State on Saturday, but this game is still much bigger for the Badgers, who only have one win over a big conference team so far (at Virginia Tech).

Kansas at Arizona
The Wildcats laid a pretty big egg against UNLV last weekend, but their schedule gives them an immediate chance to redeem themselves - in this case a home game against the inconsistent defending champs. The winner of the Nic Wise-Sherron Collins match-up could decide the game.

Butler at Xavier
Two of the best mid-major teams not named Gonzaga (maybe the two best?) battle it out in Cincinnati. The Musketeers certainly have something to prove after getting embarrassed against Duke, but this one won't come easy against a Bulldogs team that is holding opponents to under 55 points a game.

Missouri at Illinois
The Tigers are back in the Top 25 for the first time in five years. That's the good news. The bad? They've lost eight straight Braggin' Rights games to the Illini, who have already assumed their annual spot on the bubble.

Buffalo at Siena
The Saints continue their tough OOC schedule as they host the dangerous Bulls, who already have a win over Temple and a near-stunner against UConn on their resume.

Creighton at DePaul (at Las Vegas)
The opponent could certainly be a little better, but a neutral court win against a Big East team certainly won't hurt the streaking Bluejays' OOC resume.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Six Pack For Monday

A look at the six most notable games on Monday's schedule:

Marquette at North Carolina State
The Golden Eagles faded big-time in the second half against Tennessee on Tuesday. They get a chance at a little redemption - and a chance at a good OOC road win - against the one-loss Wolfpack.

Wake Forest at East Carolina
The Demon Deacons have looked very good in the early going. Let's see if they can avoid a hiccup here on the road against a Pirates team that does have a win over VCU already on its resume.

Georgia Tech at USC
Is DeMar DeRozan a B101 reader? After being semi-called out last week for his slow start, he put up a career-high 18 points and six rebounds in a win over North Dakota State.

Oklahoma at Rice
Blake Griffin already has eight double-doubles this season. The Owls, as a team, have two. Advantage, Sooners.

Cornell at Saint Joseph's
Both of these teams got a lot of preseason pub, have played rough non-conference schedules, and have beaten nobody (the Hawks' win against Indiana doesn't count). Now they get a chance to boost their OOC resumes a bit against each other before conference play starts.

Southern vs. USC Upstate
Not sure what's funnier: the fact that these teams are a combined 0-19, or that this game is actually part of a tournament (the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational). We know the automobile industry is in trouble, but this is the best Toyota could do? Southern vs. USC Upstate? Was NJIT not available?

And Then There Were 10....

Syracuse, Xavier, BYU, and LSU all went down this past week, but these 10 teams are still without a blemish. Here's a look at when their first loss might come:

North Carolina - 1/11 @ Wake Forest
Connecticut - 12/29 Georgetown
Pittsburgh - 1/3 @ Georgetown
Oklahoma - 12/30 @ Arkansas, 1/12 Texas
Wake Forest - 1/3 @ BYU
Ohio State - 12/27 West Virginia, 1/3 @ Minnesota
Clemson - 12/30 @ South Carolina
Minnesota - 12/31 Michigan State
Stanford - 12/28 Texas Tech, 1/2 Arizona State
Illinois State - 12/28 @ Missouri State

Friday, December 19, 2008

B101's 12 Games To Watch This Weekend

Here's our take on the 12 biggest games of the weekend:

Connecticut at Gonzaga (at Seattle)
There are a bunch of must-watch games this weekend, but this potential Final Four preview is at the top of the list. Getting Stanley Robinson back comes at a perfect time for UConn, as he will likely have to guard Austin Daye and, occasionally, Josh Heytvelt. Expect a lot of points in this one - and a narrow win by the Huskies.

Xavier at Duke (at East Rutherford, NJ)
With all of the players they lost and all of the injuries they have had to fight through, you have to give the Musketeers all kinds of credit for how they've started this season. Asking them to win at a neutral site against Duke, though, is a little much.

Michigan State at Texas (at Houston)
The Spartans' so-so start has taken a little luster off of this one, but it's still a big OOC match-up for both teams. A.J. Abrams is playing like every bit of a first-team All-American right now; he's averaging over 28 points per game over his last four.

Syracuse at Memphis
The Orange play their first game without slap-happy Eric Devendorf, who begins his minimum six-game suspension. His absence might be the difference Saturday in a match-up of two very evenly-matched teams.

Davidson at Purdue (at Indianapolis)
The Currys, err, Wildcats already have two decent OOC wins on their resume, but now they get a shot at an even bigger accomplishment - a neutral court win against a ranked team. Davidson hasn't beaten a ranked opponent in the regular season in almost 25 years.

Pittsburgh at Florida State
The Seminoles have been winning ugly lately, and now they play the team that invented the term "winning ugly." FSU does have the height inside to neutralize Pitt for a little while, but they aren't as deep or talented as the Panthers are overall - and that'll show in the final score.

BYU at Arizona State
A lot of undefeated teams might lose this weekend, but none might be more likely to than BYU. The Cougars haven't beaten anyone of note yet, and they don't appear to have anyone to match up with James Harden.

Louisville at Minnesota (at Phoenix, AZ)
The Golden Gophers have probably played the softest schedule and have the worst resume of all of the remaining unbeatens. They can change that in a big way with a neutral court win over the Cardinals.

VCU at Oklahoma
Blake Griffin gets all the pub (and deservingly so) but the Sooners aren't just a one-man show; five players scored in double-figures in the team's win Saturday against Utah. VCU's Eric Maynor (who's sixth in the country in scoring) will have to go off again for the Rams to have a chance in this one.

Clemson at Miami (FL)
The unbeaten Tigers open up their ACC season with a tough assignment - a road game against a pretty good Miami team. Clemson hasn't lost a game before Dec. 22 in the last three years; that streak might very well end Sunday night.

Arizona at UNLV
Jordan Hill has been on fire of late for the underrated Wildcats, who opened a lot of eyes by beating Gonzaga last weekend. They have a great chance to pick up another quality win here against a UNLV team that has already lost twice at home this season.

Illinois-Chicago at Illinois State
The best mid-major match-up of the weekend features the unbeaten Redbirds and the upset-minded Flames. Illinois-Chicago already has two impressive road wins (at Vandy and at Georgia Tech), and if Illinois State can't stop explosive Josh Mayo, UIC very well could make it three.

Also receiving votes: LSU at Texas A&M, Temple at Kansas, Nevada at California, Miami (OH) at West Virginia, St. Mary's at Southern Illinois

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Six Pack For Thursday

A look at the six most notable games on Thursday's schedule...

Mississippi at Louisville
Rick Pitino's crew hasn't played great, but they should easily handle the disappointing Rebels, who barely got by Alabama State their last time out and whose coach spent the morning in jail after allegedly shouting racial slurs at and punching his cab driver. Happy Holidays!

Mississippi State at Cincinnati
Give the Bearcats the slight edge at home in this matchup of middle-of-the-pack big conference teams.

Evansville at North Carolina
When this one gets too boring to watch (like midway through the first half), get on your computer and read Rick Reilly's column on Tyler Hansbrough. Good stuff, as always.

Texas Southern at Gonzaga
The Zags get to pound on one final cupcake before their Saturday showdown against the Huskies.

Western Kentucky at South Alabama
The Sun Belt's Big Two from a year ago try to get an early leg up on each other. The Jaguars swept the series last season (and made the tourney because of it).

Charleston Southern at Florida State
Hi Bryan - we look forward to your analysis.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Six Pack For Wednesday

A look at the six most notable games on Wednesday's schedule:

Siena at Pittsburgh
The Saints deserve a lot of credit for their stacked non-conference schedule, but they still haven't been able to notch a marquee win. To get one here, Edwin Ubiles and Co. will have to outrun and outshoot the bigger and more physical Panthers.

St. Mary's at Oregon
The Gaels have a great opportunity to pick up an OOC road win against the struggling Ducks, who have lost four of five.

UNC-Asheville at Duke
It's going to be a long night for Asheville against the angry Blue Devils, who return to the court for the first time since their loss to Michigan 11 days ago.

Akron at VCU
A good mid-major match-up between the best in the Colonial and (maybe) the best in the MAC.

Illinois State at Central Michigan
The slightly surprising Redbirds take their perfect record on the road. Will they be able to stay unbeaten through the weekend (they face a dangerous Illinois-Chicago team on Saturday)?

Canisius at Syracuse
Don't worry Syracuse fans - no matter whan happens in this one, it can't be any more brutal than the other night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Six Pack For Tuesday

A look at the six most notable games on Tuesday's schedule:

Marquette at Tennessee
Bruce Pearl admitted after Tennessee's loss to Temple last weekend that his team is ranked too high. The Vols get a chance to prove their coach wrong tonight against a Marquette team that may actually be ranked too low.

South Florida at Vanderbilt
The Bulls and Commodores kick off the second annual SEC-Big East Invitational at the Sommet Center.

Texas Southern at Texas
The Longhorns were kind of sloppy last time out against Texas State; this one shouldn't be as interesting.

North Florida at Clemson
The newly-ranked Tigers get one final tune-up before opening their ACC schedule Saturday at Miami.

Tennessee Tech at Florida State
The surprising Seminoles look to keep up their solid early-season play.

North Carolina Central at South Carolina
NCCU (0-11) tries to keep pace with Mississippi Valley State for the worst record in Division I.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Six Pack For Monday

A look at the six most notable games on Monday's schedule...

Stony Brook at Connecticut
The Huskies get in one final tune-up - and one final chance to shake off the rust they showed against Buffalo - before their huge showdown with the Zags on Saturday. UConn also welcomes Stanley Robinson back after a semester at the scrap yard.

Cleveland State at Syracuse
The unbeaten Orange have creeped up to #11 in the latest rankings. They should have no problem getting to 10-0 against the offensively-challenged Vikings.

Alabama State at Mississippi
The disappointing Rebels look to bounce back from the 33-point beatdown they took at the hands of New Mexico on Saturday.

Florida A&M at Texas A&M
The Aggies may get overlooked in the top-heavy Big XII, but it's hard to argue with an OOC resume that includes wins over Arizona and at Alabama.

Pepperdine at USC
It's early, but highly-touted frosh DeMar DeRozan hasn't exactly lived up to the hype. He's averaging just 9.8 points per game and shooting 64% from the line.

Southern at Creighton
The Bluejays scored a huge OOC win last week by beating Dayton. They have two more non-conference games left before Missouri Valley play begins on December 28.

And Then There Were 14...

Gonzaga's loss on Sunday leaves us with 14 undefeated teams. Here are those teams and their best chance for a loss in the coming weeks:

Xavier - 12/20 vs. Duke, 12/23 Butler
Clemson - 12/21 @ Miami, 12/30 @ South Carolina
Wake Forest - 12/22 @ East Carolina, 1/3 @ BYU
North Carolina - 1/11 @ Wake Forest
Illinois State - 12/20 Illinois-Chicago, 12/28 @ Missouri State
BYU - 12/20 @ Arizona State, 12/30 @ Tulsa
Oklahoma - 12/30 @ Arkansas, 1/12 Texas
UConn - 12/20 vs. Gonzaga, 12/29 Georgetown
Pittsburgh - 12/21 @ Florida State, 1/3 @ Georgetown
Syracuse - 12/20 @ Memphis, 12/30 Seton Hall
Stanford - 12/28 Texas Tech, 1/2 Arizona State
Minnesota - 12/20 vs. Louisville, 12/31 Michigan State
Ohio State - 12/27 West Virginia, 1/3 @ Minnesota
LSU - 12/20 @ Texas A&M

The slate of games this weekend will likely reduce the number of undefeated teams to single digits.

Friday, December 05, 2008

ACC - Big Ten Challenge and Big 12 - Pac-10 Hardwood Classic Kick Off

Here's our take on the results from this week's ACC - Big Ten Challenge and Big 12 - Pac-10 Hardwood Series:

Saturday
Stanford 76, Colorado 62
The Cardinal got the Pac-10 off to an early 1-0 lead in the Series with a convincing double-digit win.

Monday
Wisconsin 74, Virginia Tech 72
Trevon Hughes' floater with less than a second left gave the Badgers a hard-fought road win over a pesky Hokies squad.

Tuesday
Ohio State 73, Miami 68
Not only did the 'Canes blow a 14-point halftime lead at home, they likely lost Jack McClinton for their next game after he got ejected for slapping Ohio State's Anthony Crater. (THURSDAY UPDATE: McClinton WILL play against Kentucky on Saturday.)

Boston College 57, Iowa 55
The Eagles almost blew this one, but Tyrese Rice hit two late FTs to give BC the victory.

Clemson 76, Illinois 74
A nice resume-building road win for Clemson, who had four players in double figures.

Duke 76, Purdue 60
The Blue Devils are looking like a 1 seed right now thanks to the play of Kyle Singler, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds in Duke's impressive road win.

Minnesota 66, Virginia 56
They haven't beaten anyone of note yet, but Tubby Smith's Gophers are still unbeaten (7-0) after disposing of the Cavaliers.

Wednesday
Wake Forest 83, Indiana 58
It is going to be a very long season in Bloomington.

Penn State 85, Georgia Tech 83
The Nittany Lions improve to a surprising 7-1. Maybe some of the football success is rubbing off in the early season.

Maryland 75, Michigan 70
The Terrapins own Michigan state schools this year. The Wolverines have disappointed since their win over UCLA. They get another crack at Duke this weekend at home.

North Carolina 98, Michigan State 63
The blowout win clinched the challenge for the ACC for the 10th straight year. This year, like 4 others, was decided by one game.

Northwestern 73, Florida State 59
Just when we thought FSU might have a chance to make a run this year, they go and get blown out by lowly Northwestern. Their matchup with Florida this weekend will tell us a lot.

Thursday
Oklahoma 73, USC 72
Not even an elbow to the groin could stop Blake Griffin in this one. The All-American scored 25 points as the Sooners held off a late Trojans rally to stay unbeaten. USC, meanwhile, lost out on its final chance at a quality OOC win.

Texas 68, UCLA 64
UCLA's non-conference credentials aren't looking that hot at the moment, either. The Longhorns, meanwhile, now have one great OOC win and a chance for a lot more - they still have games left with Villanova, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Arkansas.

Washington 83, Oklahoma State 65
Washington finally played well against a decent team, and delivered the Pac-10 a win in the Series. The Huskies shouldn't lose another game before Pac-10 play starts.

Friday
Texas A&M 67, Arizona 66
Arizona's brutal five-game stretch begins with a heartbreaking loss against the Aggies. The Wildcats led by 16 midway through the second half, but Nathan Walkup's chuck-it-up three with 23 seconds left won it for A&M.

Saturday
Iowa State 63, Oregon State 50
The Beavers' only lead in this one was at 2-0; the Cyclones cruised from there.

Baylor 58, Washington State 52
The Bears celebrated their long-awaited return to the AP poll with a huge road win. LaceDarius Dunn led four Baylor players in double figures with 14 points.

Sunday
Arizona State 64, Nebraska 44
A huge second half from James Harden helped the Sun Devils improve to 7-1 - their best start since the '91-'92 season.

Missouri 93, California 66
The Tigers picked up their second win over a Pac-10 team on the young season by blowing out the Bears.

Oregon 75, Kansas State 70
The Ducks snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over the Wildcats. Even with Kansas State's loss, the Big 12 came out on top in the Hardwood Series by a final of 6-4.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bracketology 101's First Field of 65

The 2008-2009 college basketball season is officially underway, and so is a new season at Bracketology 101. Over the next five months - just as we have for the last five years on this site - we will bring you our projections, insight, and opinions on all things bracket-related. As always, our focus will remain on our weekly bracket, but we will supplement the bracket with fresh editorial content, polls, mailbags, and more.

Our first order of business is our first Field of 65, which is listed below. Our preseason Final Four and national championship picks are also posted.

Enjoy,

Chris & Craig
Bracketology 101

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Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In

UAB, BYU, Virginia Tech, Southern Illinois

Last Four Out
San Diego, Missouri, St. Joseph's, Mississippi

Next Four Out
Maryland, Washington State, UTEP, Mississippi State

---------------------------------------------------------------

Conference Breakdown
Big East (9), ACC (6), SEC (6), Big XII (5), Pac-10 (5), Big Ten (4), A-10 (2), Conference USA (2), MVC (2), MWC (2), WCC (2)

America East - Vermont

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Miami-FL, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia Tech

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Temple

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

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

Big XII - Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas, Texas A&M

Big West - CS-Northridge

Colonial - VCU

Conference USA - Memphis, UAB

Horizon - Cleveland State

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Hampton

MVC - Crieghton, Southern Illinois

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Mount St. Mary's

Ohio Valley - Murray State

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Alabama, Vanderbilt

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - Middle Tennessee State

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's

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The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Connecticut, UCLA, Michigan State

The 2s
Louisville, Texas, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh

The 3s
Duke, Tennessee, Purdue, Notre Dame

The 4s
Oklahoma, Memphis, Arizona State, Miami-FL

The 5s
Florida, Marquette, Davidson, Baylor

The 6s
USC, Wisconsin, Villanova, UNLV

The 7s
Wake Forest, Syracuse, Xavier, Ohio State

The 8s
Georgetown, LSU, Kansas, St. Mary's

The 9s
Clemson, Arizona, Siena, West Virginia

The 10s
Kentucky, Temple, Texas A&M, Creighton

The 11s
Alabama, Vanderbilt, Washington, UAB

The 12s
BYU, Virginia Tech, Southern Illinois, Nevada

The 13s
Cleveland State, VCU, Kent State, Cornell

The 14s
Middle Tennessee State, CS-Northridge, Winthrop, American

The 15s
Oral Roberts, Belmont, Vermont, Portland State

The 16s
Stephen F. Austin, Murray State, Hampton, Mount St. Mary's (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
Bracket coming soon...

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

Bracketology 101's Preseason Final Four

Here are B101's preseason Final Four picks:

Final Four
North Carolina
Connecticut
Louisville
Gonzaga

National Championship
North Carolina over Connecticut

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coming Soon...

Our pre-season bracket and predictions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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Monday, March 17, 2008

More Bracket Analysis...

The Bracket Matrix has posted his final results matrix for all 53 brackets he monitors on his Bracket Matrix blog. He has ranked the top brackets by category (number of exact seeds, etc.) and also lists overall results based on two bracket scoring systems. One of them, proposed by Gary Parrish at CBS Sportsline, gives bracketologists one point for every team, exact seed, and seed with one line correct. A better and fairer system, proposed by our buddy Paymon at PHSports, gives brackets three points for each correct team, two points for each exact seed, and one point for each team within one seed line.

Here's how we did:

Top brackets with the most teams seeded exactly right:
March Madness All Season: 41
Bracketology 101: 40
DantheMan4250: 39
Facts & Bracks: 38
Bracket WAG: 38

Top brackets with the most teams seeded within one of the actual seed:
Bracketology 101: 60
Mike on Sports: 60
March Madness All Season: 59
CollegeHoopsNet: 59
7 tied at 58

Top overall brackets (Gary Parrish scoring):
Bracketology 101: 164
March Madness All Season: 164
Mike on Sports: 161
CollegeHoopsNet: 161
Bracket WAG: 160
Facts & Bracks: 160
Lunardi's score: 148

Top overall brackets (Paymon scoring):
March Madness All Season: 333
Bracketology 101 : 332
CollegeHoopsNet: 328
Facts & Bracks: 328
Mike on Sports: 326
Lunardi's score: 307

For more Bracket Matrix stats and results, go to http://bracketproject.blogspot.com/ or http://bracketproject.50webs.com/comparison.htm

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bracketology 101's Final Bracket Stats

Here are our final numbers for this year's bracket:

Teams correct: 64/65
Exact seeds: 40/65
Seeds within one of seed line: 60/65

Joe Lunardi's final stats:
Teams correct: 65/65
Exact seeds: 32/65
Seeds within one of seed line: 54/65

Jerry Palm's final stats (CSTV and CollegeRPI.com):
Teams correct: 65/65
Exact seeds: 31/65
Seeds within one of seed line: 57/65

David Mihm's final stats (Bracketography.com):
Teams correct: 64/65
Exact seeds: 34/65
Seeds within one of seed line: 58/65

For a complete breakdown of how every bracketologist did in predicting the field, click here:

http://bracketproject.atspace.com/comparison.htm

Overall, we are very pleased with how we fared. We set career highs in all three of the above statistics, and cracked the 60 mark in terms of seeding teams within one line. When all of the bracketologists tally up their statistics, we think we might have the best overall bracket.

We are obviously disappointed that Illinois State was left out and that Oregon got in. The Ducks' seeding at a 9 is ridiculous; they should have been one of the last four teams in at best. What ended up killing Illinois State's chances was probably the fact that other mid-majors like Western Kentucky and San Diego stole bids. The committee only gave six at-large bids to mid-majors and unfortunately (and we think unfairly), that list did not include the Redbirds.

In the next couple of days, we will post our Final Four picks and our complete brackets. We will also set up the annual Bracketology 101 Tournament Challenge group on ESPN.com.

Bracketology 101's Final Field of 65

The Breakdown
Here is Bracketology 101's Final Field of 65:

Last Four In
Kentucky, Illinois State, St. Joseph's, Villanova

Last Four Out
Oregon, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, VCU

Next Four Out
Ohio State, Massachusetts, Syracuse, New Mexico

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Memphis, UCLA, Kansas

The 2s
Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Duke

The 3s
Georgetown, Stanford, Xavier, Louisville

The 4s
Pittsburgh, Drake, Notre Dame, Connecticut

The 5s
Michigan State, Washington State, Indiana, Clemson

The 6s
Purdue, Butler, Marquette, Vanderbilt

The 7s
USC, West Virginia, Gonzaga, Oklahoma

The 8s
BYU, Arkansas, UNLV, Texas A&M

The 9s
Mississippi State, Kent State, St. Mary's, Kansas State

The 10s
Miami-FL, Baylor, South Alabama, Davidson

The 11s
Arizona, Kentucky, Temple, Illinois State

The 12s
St. Joseph's, Villanova, Western Kentucky, George Mason

The 13s
Georgia, Oral Roberts, San Diego, Siena

The 14s
Cornell, Boise State, CS-Fullerton, Winthrop

The 15s
Portland State, UMBC, American, Belmont

The 16s
Austin Peay, Texas-Arlington, Mississippi Valley State, Mount St. Mary’s (Play-In Game), Coppin State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)


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

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 15

The Breakdown
Here's how we see things through Friday's games. A lot can (and probably will) change on Saturday, and those changes will be reflected in our final bracket when it's released on Sunday.

Our final Field of 65 will be released in stages throughout the day tomorrow and our final complete bracket will be posted sometime around 4:30 p.m. ET. We plan on having our fourth annual Selection Sunday live chat at 4:45 p.m. ET to discuss the bracket.

Enjoy the last 28 hours of craziness...

Out This Bracket

Ohio State, Arizona State, Stephen F. Austin, UC-Santa Barbara, Alabama State

In This Bracket
St. Joseph's, Oregon, Texas-Arlington, CS-Fullerton, Mississippi Valley State

Last Four In
Arizona, St. Joseph's, Villanova, Oregon

Last Four Out
Virginia Tech, Arizona State, VCU, Ohio State

Next Four Out
Massachusetts, Syracuse, New Mexico, Stephen F. Austin

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Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), Big XII (6), Pac-10 (6), SEC (5), ACC (4), Big Ten (4), WCC (3), A-10 (3), MVC (2), MWC (2), Sun Belt (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10
- Xavier, Temple, St. Joseph's

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

Big West - CS-Fullerton

Colonial - George Mason

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Mount St. Mary’s

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Kentucky

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Texas-Arlington

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky,
South Alabama

SWAC - Mississippi Valley State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - San Diego, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s

North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke

The 3s
Wisconsin, Stanford, Louisville, Xavier

The 4s
Michigan State, Notre Dame, Drake, Pittsburgh

The 5s
Purdue, Indiana, Connecticut, Butler

The 6s
Marquette, Washington State, USC, Vanderbilt

The 7s
BYU, Gonzaga, Clemson, West Virginia

The 8s
Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UNLV

The 9s
Kansas State, Miami-FL, Arkansas, Davidson

The 10s
Kent State, St. Mary's, Kentucky, Baylor

The 11s
Illinois State, South Alabama, Temple, Arizona

The 12s
St. Joseph's, Villanova, Oregon, Western Kentucky

The 13s
George Mason, Oral Roberts,
San Diego, Siena

The 14s
New Mexico State, Cornell, CS-Fullerton, Winthrop

The 15s
Portland State, Belmont, Austin Peay,
Texas-Arlington

The 16s
UMBC, American, Morgan State, Mount St. Mary’s (Play-In Game), Mississippi Valley State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)














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

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 14

The Breakdown
The weakest bubble in recent memory showed its true colors once again last night. A whopping 10 teams playing for their tournament lives (Arizona, Arizona State, UMass, Oregon, Villanova, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, and UAB) all lost games, and many did so in pitiful fashion. UMass blew a 17-point second half lead to Charlotte, Maryland blew an early 20-5 lead against Boston College, Florida trailed by 23 at the half before losing by 11 to Alabama, and even Baylor, who wasn't in the bubble discussion heading into the Big XII tourney, now is after losing to (ugh) Colorado in double OT in their opening round game.

The night's ridiculous results were good news for a couple of bubble teams, specifically Ohio State (who jumps back into the field on the eve of their huge Big Ten tourney showdown with Michigan State) and VCU, whose early exit in the Colonial doesn't look as bad now that a ton of other bubble teams did the same. The upsets should also help mid-major bubble boys like lllinois Sate, South Alabama, and Saint Mary's feel a lot safer about their chances as they count down the hours until Selection Sunday.

Out This Bracket
Oregon, Massachusetts

In This Bracket
Ohio State, Temple

Last Four In
Ohio State, Temple, Arizona State, Villanova

Last Four Out
Syracuse, Oregon, VCU, St. Joseph's

Next Four Out
Virginia Tech, Charlotte, New Mexico, Mississippi

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Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), Big XII (6), Pac-10 (6), Big Ten (5), SEC (5), ACC (4), WCC (3), A-10 (2), Colonial (2), MVC (2), MWC (2), Sun Belt (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Temple

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - George Mason

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena


MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Mount St. Mary’s

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky,
South Alabama

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - San Diego, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke

The 3s
Wisconsin, Xavier, Stanford, Louisville

The 4s
Purdue, Notre Dame, Indiana, Drake

The 5s
Michigan State, Connecticut, Vanderbilt, Marquette

The 6s
Washington State, USC, Pittsburgh, Butler

The 7s
BYU, Gonzaga, Clemson, West Virginia

The 8s
Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Miami-FL

The 9s
Texas A&M, Kentucky, Kent State, St. Mary's

The 10s
UNLV, Illinois State, Baylor, Davidson

The 11s
Arizona, Arkansas, South Alabama, Ohio State

The 12s
Temple, Arizona State, Villanova, San Diego

The 13s
George Mason, Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts,
Stephen F. Austin

The 14s
Cornell,
New Mexico State, UC-Santa Barbara, Siena

The 15s
Winthrop, Portland State, Belmont, Austin Peay

The 16s
UMBC, American, Morgan State, Mount St. Mary’s (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)













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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 13

The Breakdown
We hate to say we told you so, but....when we took Syracuse out of our bracket almost two months ago (January 14th to be exact), we did so because we thought that their end-of-the-year schedule was ultimately going to be too much for the young Orange squad to handle. We took a lot of criticism for sticking to our prediction and refusing to put them back in the field ever since then (even after some good wins), but as it turned out, everything played out just as we thought. 'Cuse's tourney hopes were officially extinguished by Villanova on Wednesday in the opener of the Big East tournament, as 'Nova caught fire in the second half and cruised to an 82-63 victory. The blowout win was obviously a huge resume booster for the Wildcats, who may now be just a good showing against Georgetown away from locking down a bid. If 'Nova doesn't play well against the Hoyas, they are going to have to pull hard for Memphis, Xavier and BYU to win their conference tournies and hope that no more huge upsets occur to feel safe on Sunday.

Out This Bracket
Sacred Heart

In This Bracket
Mount St. Mary's

Last Four In
South Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon, Villanova

Last Four Out
Syracuse, Ohio State, VCU, Temple

Next Four Out
Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia Tech, Maryland

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Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), Pac-10 (7), Big XII (6), SEC (5), ACC (4), Big Ten (4), WCC (3), A-10 (2), Colonial (2), C-USA (2), MVC (2), MWC (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Massachusetts

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - George Mason

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Mount St. Mary's

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky,
South Alabama

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - San Diego, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke

The 3s
Wisconsin, Xavier, Louisville, Stanford

The 4s
Notre Dame, Connecticut, Purdue, Drake

The 5s
Michigan State, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Washington State

The 6s
Marquette, USC, Butler, BYU

The 7s
Gonzaga, Clemson, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh

The 8s
Oklahoma, Kansas State, West Virginia, Baylor

The 9s
Miami-FL, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Kent State

The 10s
St. Mary's, UNLV, Illinois State, Davidson

The 11s
Arizona State, Arizona, Arkansas, South Alabama

The 12s
Massachusetts, Oregon, Villanova, San Diego

The 13s
George Mason, Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts,
Stephen F. Austin

The 14s
Cornell,
New Mexico State, UC-Santa Barbara, Siena

The 15s
Winthrop, Portland State, Belmont, Austin Peay

The 16s
UMBC, American, Morgan State, Mount St. Mary's (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)


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

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 12

The Breakdown
After a wild set of games on Monday, it turned out to be a pretty quiet Tuesday - just the way teams on the bubble like it. In the biggest game of the night, Butler avoided Monday's mid-major upset bug and kept the Horizon a one-bid league by beating Cleveland State by 15, and favorites Western Kentucky and Oral Roberts earned automatic bids by winning the Sun Belt and Summit, respectively.

The real fun starts up again Wednesday as the Big East, A-10, Pac-10, and MAC open tournament play. The headliner, of course, is the Syracuse-Villanova 8-9 game at the Garden. The loser of that game is toast, and thanks to the events of Monday night, the winner (especially if it's Villanova) still might need to knock off Georgetown in the quarters to be safe. In the Pac-10, Arizona faces Oregon State in an obvious must-win, and in the A-10, Dayton faces Saint Louis and St. Joseph's takes on Fordham. A win by the eighth-seeded Flyers sets up a potential win-and-your-in showdown with Xavier in the quarters on Thursday. In the MAC, the storyline remains Kent State and its quest for an automatic/at-large bid. The Golden Flashes, whose resume took a slight hit Monday with St. Mary's' loss, face the winner of Wednesday's Toledo-Bowling Green game on Thursday.

Two more automatic bids will be handed out Wednesday. In the Northeast, Sacred Heart shoots for its first ever NCAA bid against Mount St. Mary's, who last made the dance in 1999, and in the Big Sky, top-seeded Portland State faces Northern Arizona.

Out This Bracket
None

In This Bracket
None

Last Four In
South Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon, Villanova

Last Four Out
Syracuse, Ohio State, VCU, Temple

Next Four Out
Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia Tech, Maryland

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Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), Pac-10 (7), Big XII (6), SEC (5), ACC (4), Big Ten (4), WCC (3), A-10 (2), Colonial (2), C-USA (2), MVC (2), MWC (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Massachusetts

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - George Mason

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena


MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky, South Alabama

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - San Diego, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke

The 3s
Wisconsin, Xavier, Louisville, Stanford

The 4s
Notre Dame, Connecticut, Purdue, Drake

The 5s
Michigan State, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Washington State

The 6s
Marquette, USC, Butler, BYU

The 7s
Gonzaga, Clemson, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh

The 8s
Oklahoma, Kansas State, West Virginia, Baylor

The 9s
Miami-FL, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Kent State

The 10s
St. Mary's, UNLV, Illinois State, Davidson

The 11s
Arizona State, Arizona, Arkansas, South Alabama

The 12s
Massachusetts, Oregon, Villanova, San Diego

The 13s
George Mason,
Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin

The 14s
Cornell, New Mexico State, UC-Santa Barbara, Siena

The 15s
Winthrop, Portland State, Belmont, Austin Peay

The 16s
UMBC, American, Morgan State, Sacred Heart (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)














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

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 11

The Breakdown
This wasn't exactly what teams in "Last Four Land" had in mind. San Diego's upset of Gonzaga in the WCC title game and South Alabama's stunning loss in the Sun Belt semis meant that two at-large teams - VCU and Ohio State - got knocked out of the field, and meant that a handful of other big conference bubble boys slid a little bit further from the dance.

Ohio State fans can at least take comfort in the fact that unlike VCU, their team still has a chance to improve its resume. A win over Michigan State on Friday will put the Buckeyes back in the bracket, and could spell doom for teams like Oregon (if the Ducks don' t beat Wazzu), the Villanova-Syracuse winner if the winner doesn't win a second game (especially if it's Villanova), or UMass, Arkansas, Arizona, or Arizona State depending on their respective conference tourney showings. VCU's chances, meanwhile, are in serious trouble. Their decent but not spectacular resume looked good Sunday night, but it's already two spots worse after Monday's upsets and there are six days of games still left to play.

One team that is probably safe regardless of further chaos is South Alabama. The Jaguars would have locked up a bid with a Sun Belt finals appearance, but losing in the semis on their home floor to Middle Tennessee State makes their future a little more cloudy. In the end, though, their solid RPI (38), their win over Mississippi State (which is looking better and better) and their season sweep of Western Kentucky should be enough to grab an at-large. That's assuming, of course, that there aren't too many more bid stealers or huge upsets.

After Monday's craziness, that might be wishful thinking.

Out This Bracket
Ohio State, VCU

In This Bracket
San Diego, Western Kentucky

Last Four In
South Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon, Villanova

Last Four Out
Syracuse, Ohio State, VCU, Temple

Next Four Out
Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia Tech, Maryland

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), Pac-10 (7), Big XII (6), SEC (5), ACC (4), Big Ten (4), WCC (3), A-10 (2), Colonial (2), C-USA (2), MVC (2), MWC (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Massachusetts

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - George Mason

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky, South Alabama

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - San Diego, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke

The 3s
Wisconsin, Xavier, Louisville, Stanford

The 4s
Notre Dame, Connecticut, Purdue, Drake

The 5s
Michigan State, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Washington State

The 6s
Marquette, USC, Gonzaga, Butler

The 7s
BYU, Clemson, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh

The 8s
Oklahoma, Kansas State, West Virginia, Baylor

The 9s
Miami-FL, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Kent State

The 10s
St. Mary's, UNLV, Illinois State, Davidson

The 11s
Arizona State, Arizona, Arkansas, South Alabama

The 12s
Massachusetts, Oregon, Villanova, San Diego

The 13s
George Mason, Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin

The 14s
Cornell, New Mexico State, UC-Santa Barbara, Siena

The 15s
Winthrop, Portland State, Belmont, Austin Peay

The 16s
UMBC, American, Morgan State, Sacred Heart (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)







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

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 10

The Breakdown
The already hard-to-figure bubble got even more complicated this weekend. Here's how we see things right now, with seven days to go until Selection Sunday:

Despite losing at Oregon, we think that Arizona is still safe. They obviously have to beat Oregon State in their Pac-10 opener to stay safe, but if they do that, we think the Wildcats' SOS, their RPI, and the return of Nic Wise will sway the committee into giving them a bid. In any other year, they'd be done at 8-10, but this year, the way the bubble is, even two games under .500 in conference can get you in.

We also think that Illinois State is safe despite being blown out by Drake in the MVC final. After finishing second in conference, all the Redbirds needed to do was get to the conference tourney final to get a bid. Kentucky, meanwhile, is looking better and better and is up to a 10 seed in or latest field after beating Florida on Sunday. The Wildcats are the fourth best team in the SEC right now, and will probably be able to survive even if they lose to (we'll assume) Mississippi in the SEC quarters.

As for some other bubble issues:

We still aren't 100% sold on Ohio State, and we think they probably have to beat Michigan State again in the Big Ten tourney to get a bid, but right now, they're in. The committee does love teams that are playing late, and OSU certainly fits the bill...

Oregon needs to beat Washington State in their Pac-10 tourney game to lock down a bid, and the way they are playing right now, we think they'll be able to pull the upset...

Even with their semifinal loss to William & Mary, we think VCU deserves a bid (right now, at least). The Rams dominated the Colonial's regular season and, while they don't have a Top 50 win, their wins over Maryland, Houston, Richmond, and Bradley aren't shabby. VCU also has its own NCAA success and the Colonial's success in past years going for them, plus they have committee chair and George Mason AD Thomas J. O'Connor in their corner in the selection room. If mid-major teams aren't going to get a few extra bids this year, when will they?...

Yes, we still have Villanova (and not Syracuse) in as our final Big East team. As fate would have it, the two teams meet in the first round of the Big East tournament. The loser of that game is done; the winner might need one more to be totally safe. We've been saying for over two months now that the Orange wouldn't make the tourney. We're not about to jump ship now - we're sticking with 'Nova...

We considered putting Temple in as a third A-10 team this week, but in the end we decided against it. To get a bid, the Owls have to beat UMass in the A-10 semis. A spot in the final (on top of their second place regular season finish) should get Temple in, and it might knock UMass out, depending on what transpires elsewhere...

The above scenario also applies to New Mexico. If they beat UNLV in the MWC semis, they're in, and the Rebels might be squeezed out...

In the SEC, Mississippi and Florida each need two wins to get a bid. If Florida can get by Alabama in the first round, they face Mississippi State; if Mississippi gets past Georgia, they get Kentucky...

UAB's at-large chances are on life support after getting embarrassed by Memphis on Saturday. Even if they get to the C-USA final and lose to the Tigers again, we don't think they deserve a bid. We'll see if the committee agrees...

And finally, the ACC is down to a four-bid league after Maryland's pitiful loss to Virginia and Virginia Tech's loss at Clemson. The Terps need to beat BC and Clemson in the ACC tourney to get back in the mix, and the Hokies (after a first round bye) need to get past Miami/N.C. State and then have a good showing against Carolina in the semis. Even that might not be enough for a team that, despite a nice 9-7 conference record, has no Top 50 wins and sports a less-than-impressive RPI (57)...

Out This Bracket
Maryland, Virginia Tech, UAB, UNC-Asheville, Robert Morris

In This Bracket
Ohio State, Oregon, George Mason, Winthrop, Sacred Heart

Last Four In
Ohio State, Oregon, VCU, Villanova

Last Four Out
Syracuse, Temple, Mississippi, UAB

Next Four Out
New Mexico, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida

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Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), Pac-10 (7), Big XII (6), Big Ten (5), SEC (5), ACC (4), A-10 (2), Colonial (2), C-USA (2), MVC (2), MWC (2), WCC (2)

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Massachusetts

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - George Mason, VCU

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - South Alabama

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

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The Seeds
The 1s
North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke

The 3s
Wisconsin, Xavier, Louisville, Stanford

The 4s
Notre Dame, Connecticut, Purdue, Drake

The 5s
Michigan State, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Washington State

The 6s
Marquette, USC, Gonzaga, Butler

The 7s
BYU, Clemson, St. Mary's, Pittsburgh

The 8s
Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, West Virginia

The 9s
Baylor, Miami-FL, South Alabama, Texas A&M

The 10s
Kent State, UNLV, Illinois State, Kentucky

The 11s
Arizona State, Arizona, Arkansas, Davidson

The 12s
Massachusetts, Ohio State, Oregon, VCU

The 13s
Villanova, Oral Roberts, George Mason, Stephen F. Austin

The 14s
Cornell, New Mexico State, UC-Santa Barbara, Siena

The 15s
Winthrop, Portland State, Belmont, Austin Peay

The 16s
UMBC, American, Morgan State, Sacred Heart (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)


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