Monday, February 18, 2008

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 18

The Breakdown
Does any bubble team want to make the tournament? The answer this past week was a resounding “no,” as a ton of teams on the 9-12 lines lost one or more games. When the dust cleared, a couple of major changes were made to the bracket, and then we were left scrounging to find teams to put on our Last Four Out and Next Four Out lists.

Even after terrible weeks, Florida and Ohio State managed to stay in this week's field, in large part because there weren't any other teams out there that could take their place. The Buckeyes and Gators were lucky, but two other major conference teams were not. After losses to Alabama and Auburn, Mississippi fell to 3-7 in the SEC and fell out of this week’s bracket. North Carolina State also dropped a pair of games – at Boston College and at home against Clemson – and was knocked out as well. Those losses left two empty spots, and stepping up to fill them was, believe it or not, the much-maligned ACC. Thanks to its upset of Duke on Sunday night, Wake Forest jumped into the field this week, as did Miami-FL (remember them?) after the ‘Canes were able to win their only game of the week at Georgia Tech. Even though Miami is still only 4-6 in conference, we think they have an excellent chance of being on the right side of the bubble come Selection Sunday. They have a very favorable schedule left, including two chances at big wins this week with Duke and Maryland coming in. Their last three games of the year (Virginia, Boston College, @ Florida State) are also very easy and should help give them a late push toward 8-8, which would get them in.

Noticeably absent from this week’s Field of 65 is Syracuse which, despite losing to South Florida early in the week, bounced back in a big way by upsetting Georgetown at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. That win almost certainly put the Orange in everyone’s field this week, but we think that including them – even off a huge win – is still extremely short-sided. Syracuse has a very good chance of going 0-2 this week as they head to Louisville and Notre Dame. Two losses would drop them to 17-11 and 7-8 in the Big East with a lot of work left to get to 9-9. Their well-documented remaining schedule is brutal, and in the end, we just don’t think the Orange are consistent enough to get it done. Winning at home against an up-and-down Georgetown team is one thing; winning the games they have left on the road is another. We’ll see what happens, but we are sticking to our guns and keeping ‘Cuse out.

A few other things to keep an eye on: Houston is shaping up to be a fascinating case come Selection Sunday. If they can win at UAB on Wednesday, and then win out but lose to Memphis in the C-USA title game, they will be one of the most debated at-large teams in recent memory. The Cougars would have no Top 50 wins but no bad losses, and would have lost to the top ranked team in the country in three of their six losses...

In the Pac-10, meanwhile, Cal and Oregon continue to fight to be the league’s seventh bid. Neither team is worthy of a spot just yet, but both have chances this week to bolster their resumes as the Ducks head to the L.A. schools and Cal travels to Stanford. Cal’s win at Arizona State last week was huge for their profile…

In the Horizon, keep an eye on streaking Wright State. The Raiders have won 10 in a row and they still have potentially resume-building road games left at Illinois State (in their BracketBuster game) and at Butler (who they already beat once). Could they steal a second bid from the Horizon again this year? Consider this a heads up...

In the MAC, Kent State continues to win games, and is creeping more and more into the at-large picture. Their resume isn’t eye-popping, and we all know the MAC’s track record for getting multiple bids is awful, but keep in mind that the Golden Flashes do have OOC victories over Illinois State and George Mason and do have a huge BracketBuster game at St. Mary’s coming up. If they could ever find a way to win that game and then make it to the MAC championship game, their RPI would be in the mid 30s, they would have an obscene amount of wins, and they would have an extremely good chance at a bid…

Finally, in the MWC – keep in mind that we have UNLV in as the automatic bid because we like their chances to win the conference tourney on their home floor. If they don’t win it, their at-large profile is not great, and they very well may not get a bid…

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Out This Bracket
Mississippi, North Carolina State, Utah State, Pacific, UNC-Asheville, Lafayette, Sacred Heart

In This Bracket
Wake Forest, Miami-FL, New Mexico State, CS-Fullerton, Winthrop, American, Robert Morris

Last Four In
Florida, St. Joseph’s, Miami-FL, Ohio State

Last Four Out
Syracuse, Houston, California, Oregon

Next Four Out
Mississippi, New Mexico, Wright State, Western Kentucky

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

America East - UMBC

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Maryland, Wake Forest, Miami-FL

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Rhode Island, Dayton, St. Joseph's

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

Big West - CS-Fullerton

Colonial - VCU

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

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

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oral Roberts

Sun Belt - South Alabama

SWAC - Alabama State

WAC - New Mexico State

WCC - St. Mary's, Gonzaga

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The Seeds
The 1s
Memphis, Tennessee, Duke, Kansas

The 2s
Texas, North Carolina, UCLA, Connecticut

The 3s
Stanford, Xavier, Purdue, Wisconsin

The 4s
Georgetown, Indiana, Butler, Louisville

The 5s
Drake, Washington State, St. Mary’s, Michigan State

The 6s
Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Clemson

The 7s
Marquette, Texas A&M, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh

The 8s
Mississippi State, Arkansas, Arizona, BYU

The 9s
Rhode Island, West Virginia, Oklahoma, USC

The 10s
Maryland, Baylor, Dayton, UNLV

The 11s
Arizona State, Kent State, Wake Forest, Florida

The 12s
St. Joseph’s, Miami-FL, Ohio State, South Alabama

The 13s
Davidson, VCU, Stephen F. Austin, Oral Roberts

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

The 15s
Winthrop, Portland State, Belmont, American

The 16s
Robert Morris, UMBC, Morgan State, Austin Peay (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)



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

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You somehow arrived with UConn as a 2 seed? They barely survived at home against ND (who you have as a 6 seed) and hen barely survived against the bottom-dweller of the Big East, USF. I think you'll see how good UConn is come the Big East tourney. That's definitely too high.

Lee said...

ACC cream rising to the top. I might seed MD a bit higher though. Only losses in the last 10 games to Duke (and you might even give them psuedo props to the flat game Duke played last night in a let down game)...

Jameson said...

UCONN has done enough i hate to admit as Syracuse student to gain a 2 seed with the teams they've beaten. They are really rolling and that's without Dyson.

I kind of disagree with SU not being in your field just from the stand point they have three very winnable games the rest of the way that will get them to 9-9 in the conference which will get them in the tourney if they win one game in the BET.

Miami is under .500 in their conference and I don't know if they can get back to that mark.

Anonymous said...

This is for the first comment. Since when does a win not count as a win? You have to blow out everyone? Since when as the NCAA selection process become the original BCS? This UConn team wins games, and they are not blowing anyone out. (See Indiana and Georgia Tech.) According to your account, how good is Memphis then? They "struggled" against Houston and UAB this week.

When you play in the Big East and have a road game some 1500 miles away in Tampa (where it is 77), of course you will struggle. Games at Miami was always a little shop of horrors for UConn back in the 1990s.

UConn has the RPI to back up this ranking, so you can't accuse Chris or Craig of being homers.

I will agree, the BET is going to be fun. Anyone can win it!

Bracketology 101 said...

UConn earned a 2 seed this week because they are the best team in the Big East right now. The Big East champ, whoever it is, is going to get a 2 seed when all is said and done. Based on how they've played of late, we like the streaking Huskies to be that team.

Big Rick said...

As a hardcore Gtown fan, its tough for me to agree with the UConn fans. But the truth of the matter is, they are a phenomenal team who is on fire right now. They remind me a lot of our run in the second half of the BE season last year. They are going to be a tough out.

Bracketology 101 said...

One more quick tidbit on UConn - the Huskies are one of only two teams (UCLA is the other) to have five wins against the RPI Top 25. Tennessee and Memphis have five combined, North Carolina has two, and Kansas has one.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that UCONN is hot right now, and if they can keep up their current streak, they'll be playing really well going into the BET. The 'Ville is very dangerous, and playing very well going down the stretch. Also, while GTOWN has been on a bit of a slide lately, it's important to remember three things about them:
1. All four of their losses have been on the road against the RPI top 50.
2. When they are playing well, it's almost impossible to score on GTown.
3. They are the only team that controls their own destiny for the BE regular season title.

Assuming Gtown wins at home vs. Cincy, I'm not sure how they're below a three seed next week (especially considering the RPI). I think in the end, UL, Gtown, and UCONN will be fighting for a 2,3, and 4 seed, and the end of the regular season and BET will determine who gets which of those seeds.

Forbesy said...

good stuff in here - i would only disagree with UNLV being in there, seeing as their resume is pretty light with few (if any) good wins and having just been blown out at BYU. i think that conference gets one bid.

uconn is hot right now, but i think louisville could slip into the 2 seed instead of them. both teams are hot right now and i'm expecting both to make a deep run in the big dance.

Bracketology 101 said...

We agree with you on UNLV's soft resume. Remember, we have the Rebels in not as an at-large but as the MWC's automatic bid, because the conference tourney will be played on UNLV's home floor.

Anonymous said...

This is why I love your blog. You give love to New Mexico State when no one else does. I don't know if it's a product of you seeing NMSU playing at full strength and taking out teams by 20 on a consistent basis as of late or the fact that the WAC tourney is at home? Or is it the fact that Utah State has lost three in a row?

NMSU's true test will be coming up at Nevada on the 28th. Nevada did a good job against NMSU in the first match up. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Thanks again for the love!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your comments on Houston...normally I don't really care about Conf. USA, but their probable end-season resume is a great point that no one else is recognizing right now. Should things play out like this, make sure you claim credit for your powers of prognosis on that storyline...

Bracketology 101 said...

We've had our eye on New Mexico State all season because we love the fact that the WAC tournament is on their home floor. We also love the way the Aggies have played the last two weeks, and decided it was time to put them in the field. They have won five of six, including home wins over Utah State and Boise State, and we feel that right now they should be considered the favorites to come out of the WAC.

Anonymous said...

Connecticut a 2 seed? Are you smoking crack?

Anonymous said...

So, how about that UConn pick as a 2 seed now? Maybe your anonymous poster that led off dicussion was smarter than you...