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


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


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
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


Miami Vice said...

Oregon had a better Pac-10 conference record than Arizona and swept them this season, yet you have the Wildcats getting in over the Ducks? Dumb. Hope the committee is smarter than you!

Anonymous said...

Oregon and Arizona St should not even be in the discussion. Both lost to Nebraska by a fair margin and you are not even going to mention Nebraska as a bubble team. They should take IUPUI or VCU over either one of these teams for sure.

Anonymous said...

IUPUI? I guess that statement win over UMass is better than I thought.

Teams like Illinois St, St.Mary's, UNLV and South Alabama should be dead locks at this point.

I think teams like VCU, New Mexico and perhaps one of Temple/St. Joe's deserve a shot before any of the lesser big conference teams.

But even after that, there will be 2 to 4 spots remaining for somebody, and most of those teams have already lost in their tournaments. Teams like Virginia Tech and Ohio State have tons to play for today and iffy teams Texas A&M and Arkansas should wrap up spots with wins.

jeremy said...

Guess New Mexico is out. They would have had a good chance with all the bubble teams losing if they just beat Utah.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I hadn't noticed New Mexico had lost. They're certainly out now.

Anonymous said...

I think Baylor is in for a surprise come Sunday. They really have very little when you look at the record -- a mid-Nov win over Notre Dame (3rd game of the season), a home win over Kansas State and a 5-overtime road win over Texas A&M (Tex A&M later beat Baylor at Baylor by 14). No wins at all over any of Kansas, Texas or Oklahoma (combined 0-5). 2-6 against the upper half of the Big 12, including 1-3 at home. That all with only 1 game (road) against Kansas and 1 (home) against K-State. 5-8 in their last 13 (including the tourney loss).

I don't know, but to me that record is not looking to super-dee-duper these days.

Anonymous said...

Don't see Baylor as a 10-seed. See them as a NIT seed.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of hard to believe that VCU was in the "Last Four Out" group, then everyone theoretically above them "On the Bubble" went down in flames, yet VCU remains "Last Four Out"...granted, VCU's loss in the CAA tourney prevents them from making any additional case for themselves this week, but, still, when the teams above them start falling and considering that their case isn't getting worse (even if it isn't getting better, either), one would imagine they'd be moving up, by default.

Surely, the CAA isn't a power conference, but given George Mason's Final Four run and VCU's ousting of Duke and overtime loss to Pitt last year, one would also expect them to be moving closer (at least considering that the teams above them are severely faltering).

Anonymous said...

Although Ole Miss was 7-9 and lost a heartbreaker in the first round, why isn't this team getting more consideration? They finished two games below .500, just like Arizona and they have five wins against RPI Top 50.

Anonymous said...

I just heard that BYU can not be a 7 seed because of the Friday Sunday play the first or second week... so does that mean they get moved down to a 8 or up to a 6

Anonymous said...

A: Because Mississippi cannot win on the road. They one exactly one SEC game away from home -- at 4-12 Georgia the last game of the year. And then they promptly lost to Georgia in the first round of the SEC tournament. Other than that, every one of their quality away-from home was during one single neutral court holiday tournament. That is why they are getting essentially no consideration for the Tourney.

Oh, and the 7-9 in-league record in weaker than normal SEC did not help either.

Anonymous said...

The IUPUI case is merely an overall statement that the Summit had some decent basketball teams this year. Even the worst teams had some decent wins. Centenary beat Texas Tech. Oakland beat Oregon. As mentioned above IUPUI beat UMass aned took Marquette to the limit. I just think we try so hard to find ways toget the bigger programs who scraped out a .500 conference record and ignore teams that went like 13-4 in their leagues.

Anonymous said...

You know it is kinda funny that we are so quick to jump on one team and ignore another similar one. VCU went 15-3 in their league and had nice wins over Maryland, Houston and Bradley. IUPUI also went 15-3 and beat UMass and had Marquette on the ropes in Milwaukee until the last 4 mins of the game thanks to a 23-8 run to finish out the game. I personally would still take VCU because of past tournament pedigree and the strength of the Colonial as a whole.

Anonymous said...

With this loss today, Ohio St. better not make the tournament. That would be a crime....they have 0 big wins away from home. Every big game they played on the road they lost, I'm sorry but they needed to win today to justify being a tournament team. Their 2 "big" OOC wins are against teams in the NIT, they only beat 2 tourney teams, and both were at home, one of which was in OT.

That being said, I believe VT took their place today, there's no way you finish 4th in the ACC, beat a tourney team in the conference tournament and get snubbed....ACC locked up their 5th team today.

Anonymous said...

Does B101 focus solely on numbers and other objective factors when deciding who gets in and who doesn't?

I ask because Ohio State's AD is on the committee this year. And the chair is the AD from George Mason which I would think would help VCU. I realize this is not supposed to play a role in the selection process as they're supposed to leave the room when teams they are associated with are talked about, however, subconsciously (or consciously), I'm sure the other committee members would like to please a fellow member if possible. Spending a weekend together a month for the last year, they probably develop some friendships.

I remember last year Syracuse got snubbed and no one associated with the Big East was on the committee. A couple years ago, Air Force was put into the field (after almost everyone had them out), and it turned out their commissioner and a fellow conference AD was on that committee I think.

Just something to keep in mind when you guys produce your final bracket I guess. My personal opinion is OSU does not belong and flip a coin for VCU.

Bracketology 101 said...

A couple quickies...

We know it's taboo to even suggest it, but having one of your conference's athletic directors on the committee certainly can't hurt. We admit that one of the reasons we still think VCU can get a bid (and the Rams are looking better and better after Ohio State's loss today) is that Thomas J. O'Connor (Mason's AD) is the committee chair. The Air Force inclusion Anonymous brought up is a perfect example of this "favoritism" at play. In 2006, Air Force and Utah State were shocking at-large picks - and on that year's committee were Utah AD Chris Hill and WAC commissioner Karl Benson. Looks a little fishy to us too...

The last day and a half (cluminating with the Buckeyes' loss to Michigan State on Friday) has been the perfect storm that VCU needed to potentially get back on the right side of the bubble. Like Drexel last year, they may be the toughest call to make come Selection Sunday...

Virginia Tech looks very good right now (uh oh, Villanova)...

Mississippi, and their 2-7 road record and losing record in a very weak SEC, has no chance of making the field now. Neither does IUPUI, the second best team in the 22nd-ranked conference in the country. One top 50 win and a SOS of 236 doesn't exactly scream out "at-large"...

Baylor is certainly shaky (hint: bet against them in the tourney), but their spot in the field is safe...

matt r said...

On the BYU comment and the 7 seed... where the Thurs/Sat or Fri/Sun sites land on the bracket is not determined by seed. It is true that the committee will put BYU in Thurs/Sat sites instead of Fri/Sun sites. That means they definitely will be placed in the East or West region. As for their first/second round placement, these locations are doled out based solely on where the 1-4 seeds are on the bracket. The first steps in bracket placement are placing the 1-4 seeds into regions, then assigning the first/second round sites based on geography for those high seeds. If BYU is a 7 seed, there first/second round site is determined by the 2 seeds, so if you look at the current bracket, BYU would either be with Georgetown in Raleigh (a Fri/Sun site), or Kansas in Omaha (a Thurs/Sat site).
That is why BYU is forced into the spot they are, in Omaha. To see which sites are which dates, check out

-matt r

matt r said...

One more thing... if there wasn't a combination that would allow them to stay at a 7 seed (like if the East and West regions both had Fri/Sun sites for the 2 seeds), then the committee will probably have no choice but to lower their seed to get them in a place that would fit. That may be why you saw at a different site that they couldn't put BYU at a 7, because the sites just didn't line up right in that bracket. This potential seed penalty is sort of an unfortunate side effect for the scheduling situation that they have.

-matt r

Anonymous said...

What do we do with SFA now that they have blown it in the Southland Tournament. The Southland was arguably the strongest non "mid major conferences" in the country with the top 3 teams in the league all scoring some very nice wins on the road against "tourney teams". SFA most notably beat Oklahoma in Norman and also San Diego and both wins were in December not super early.

It just seems very unfair that this team will have won 25 games and teams that they have beaten are going dancing...

JD said...

SFA's non-conference SOS is in the upper 200's.
Looks like NIT.

Still can't see how Ariz. St. gets in. 6-8 away from home. Non-conf SOS in the low 300's. Losing record against top-50 and 51-100 RPI's.
RPI in the 80's.