## 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:
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
CollegeHoopsNet: 59
7 tied at 58

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

Top overall brackets (Paymon scoring):
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

## Friday, March 07, 2008

### Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 7

The Breakdown
The only major question that needed to be answered in this Friday bracket was whether Arizona State would hold on to its spot in the field after losing at Oregon. We considered the Ducks and St. Joseph’s as replacements, but in the end we stuck with the Sun Devils. We think that Arizona will win at Oregon on Saturday, which would give the Ducks 10 conference losses and burst their bubble. The bigger debate was ASU vs. St. Joseph’s, and we almost went with the Hawks, but we couldn’t get over the fact that even with their win over Xavier last night, their resume is still pretty unattractive. They have no OOC resume and their only other Top 50 wins are against a UMass team that is clinging to a bid in its own right at the moment. To get in, St. Joe’s needs to win at Dayton Saturday and get the three seed in the A-10 tournament, avoiding Xavier until the final. A berth and the final and they’re almost certainly in, but they’re not there yet.

A couple more tidbits:

Villanova’s game at Providence Saturday got a whole lot more interesting after the Friars’ upset of UConn on Thursday night…

Ohio State is looking a lot better after beating Purdue, but the fact that they have to beat Michigan State twice in a row coming up makes it impossible to put them in yet…

Look out for Mississippi…

Even if Virginia Tech wins at Clemson Sunday, they still aren’t assured a bid. They have a very good chance of facing Maryland in their first ACC tourney game, which would be an elimination game for both…

Syracuse has a chance to triple its Top 50 win total in the next week (from 1 to 3) if it can beat Marquette and win its first round Big East tourney game. If they do that, and then lose to a Georgetown or Louisville in the next round, they would be a very tough call at 20-13 and essentially 10-10 in conference. Will the committee help out a team it screwed over last year? We’ll see...

*Note: Our next bracket will be released on Monday. It will be updated daily next week leading up to Selection Sunday.

Out This Bracket
CS-Northridge

In This Bracket
UC-Santa Barbara

Last Four In
Villanova, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, UAB

Last Four Out
St. Joseph’s, Oregon, New Mexico, Syracuse

Next Four Out
Ohio State, Mississippi, Temple, Florida

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

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

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL, Maryland, Virginia Tech

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Massachusetts

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - UNC-Asheville

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - VCU

C-USA – Memphis, UAB

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

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

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

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

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

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Duke, Georgetown

The 3s
Wisconsin, Stanford, Louisville, Xavier

The 4s
Vanderbilt, Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame

The 5s
Connecticut, Purdue, Marquette, Drake

The 6s
Washington State, Gonzaga, Butler, BYU

The 7s
Clemson, USC, St. Mary’s, Pittsburgh

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

The 9s
West Virginia, South Alabama, Baylor, Texas A&M

The 10s
Arizona, Kent State, UNLV, Arkansas

The 11s
Illinois State, Maryland, Kentucky, Villanova

The 12s
Massachusetts, Davidson, VCU, Arizona State

The 13s
Virginia Tech, UAB, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin

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

The 15s
Portland State, UNC-Asheville, Belmont, Robert Morris

The 16s
American, 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

### Friday's Games To Watch

Here's our take on the night's biggest games:

Missouri Valley Quarterfinals
It wouldn’t be a surprise if any of the top four seeds win this tournament. The most interesting team here is Illinois State…if they get knocked off by Southern Illinois in the semis, will their second place finish (by two games) in conference and their season sweeps of SIU and Creighton be enough to get them an at-large?

Horizon Quarterfinals
The winner of Wright State-Valparaiso gets Cleveland State in Saturday’s semis.

Ohio Valley Semifinals
Top seed Austin Peay and No. 2 seed Murray State appear to be on a collision course to the final.

Colonial Tournament
First round action kicks off in what should be a very competitive tourney. VCU faces the winner of Hofstra-Towson in the quarters, and could face a hot Old Dominion team (who beat them at home) in the semis. The Rams will be a very interesting at-large candidate if they get knocked off.

West Coast Tournament
Host San Diego faces the winner of Friday’s Portland-Pepperdine game in the quarterfinals. The Toreros, who have won 10 of 12, hold the key to the WCC potentially being a three-bid league.

Southern Conference Tournament
Will Davidson’s 20-0 conference record mean anything if they get tripped up here? It's hard to see the committee leaving them out (this year especially).

## Monday, March 03, 2008

### Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 3

The Breakdown
Picking the last few at-large teams is always extremely difficult at this point in the season, but this year it has become ridiculous. There are probably about 58 teams that deserve bids at this point, and everyone else – on the good side of the bubble and the bad – is playing like they have Spring Break trips to Cancun already booked. We really had to hold our noses putting the last three teams in the field and it was difficult to envision scenarios for the last few teams to make the field.

In the end, though, we settled on the following. Maryland, after their huge win at Wake Forest, made it back into the bracket this week. They could have really secured themselves a bid if they would have held on against Clemson. We went with Virginia Tech for the last at-large bid, and the only reason they got it is because of their two wins over the Terps. Both teams still have work to do and the only way both will make it is if Miami ends up as the 4th or 5th place team in the conference. That way Maryland and Virginia Tech won't meet in an ACC tourney quarterfinal elimination game. Virginia Tech has the opportunity to get to 10 wins in conference this week, which could end up being their golden ticket to the tourney (even if they lose in the ACC quarterfinals to Miami or Maryland). If they only manage to get to 9-7 that means they will need one or two more wins in the conference tourney (two if they don't finish in the top four in the conference). Maryland needs to take care of business this week at Virginia. If they manage to get to the semifinals of the ACC tourney, they will lock down a bid. Anything less and they will have to sweat it out on Selection Sunday and hope fellow bubble teams go down. Florida State has also worked itself back into the picture in the last week, but will have to win two this week (at UNC, Miami) to have a chance.

Despite dropping two games this week, Villanova managed to hang on to their bid (because everyone else played so poorly). They need to win their next three to have any chance at a bid (USF, at Providence, and most likely Cincinnati). We like their chances of winning their next three much better than we like Syracuse winning its next three, so we went with the Wildcats.

We still like Kentucky to be able to get an at-large bid even without Patrick Patterson. They played well without him at Tennessee on Sunday and the schedule really breaks in their favor down the stretch. We like their chances to go 2-0 this week and finish up at 12-4 in conference which would give them second place in the SEC East. This would give them a very favorable draw in the SEC tourney since they wouldn't have to worry about Vanderbilt or Tennessee until the championship. Last week, we said that for the SEC to get six bids everything needed to break right, which meant that Florida had to beat Mississippi State. With the Gators' tough schedule remaining (Tennessee, at Kentucky) we no longer like their chances at getting a bid.

We went with two bids out of C-USA for the first time this season. As we see it right now second place in conference and a trip to the C-USA final may actually be enough to get a bid in two weeks. UAB is playing better ball then Houston right now so we went with them. They also have a better opportunity to prove themselves with their game at Memphis this week.

You will also notice that for the first time since the beginning of the season the A-10 is down to a two-bid league. Too much parity is killing the league as you have 12 teams within four games of each other and nine teams within two games of each other. The conference is wide open for one of the bubble teams (St. Joe's, Dayton, Temple, URI) to make a deep run into the conference tourney and steal one of the last at-large bids to the dance. It's just hard to pick which team will be able to make that run right now with everyone being so hot and cold and with so much potential change in the standings before the conference tourney. We'll watch things closely throughout the final week of the regular season and see if someone emerges.

Oregon was our 66th team this week. They have a great opportunity with the Arizona schools coming in this week to make a big statement and play themselves back into the field. They just have not been playing well enough lately to give us confidence in them winning both games. Plus, if we included Oregon in the field we would have seven teams in from the Pac-10, which at this point seems like an impossible scenario to play out.

*Note: Our next bracket will be released on Friday. Starting next Monday, we will make daily updates.

Out This Bracket
St. Joseph’s, Florida, Wake Forest, Southern Illinois, CS-Northridge, Winthrop

In This Bracket
Illinois State, Maryland, UAB, Virginia Tech, CS-Fullerton, UNC-Asheville

Last Four In
Kentucky, Villanova, UAB, Virginia Tech

Last Four Out
Oregon, Florida, Syracuse, Dayton

Next Four Out
Temple, Texas Tech, Houston, Ohio State

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

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

America East - UMBC

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL, Maryland, Virginia Tech

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Massachusetts

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - UNC-Asheville

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State

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

Big West - CS-Northridge

Colonial - VCU

C-USA - Memphis, UAB

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Drake, Illinois State

MWC - UNLV, BYU

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

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

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

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

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

The 2s
Kansas, Texas, Duke, Xavier

The 3s
Stanford, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Louisville

The 4s
Connecticut, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Indiana

The 5s
Michigan State, Notre Dame, Clemson, Marquette

The 6s
Drake, Washington State, Gonzaga, Butler

The 7s
Pittsburgh, USC, St. Mary’s, BYU

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

The 9s
Arkansas, Kansas State, South Alabama, Arizona

The 10s
UNLV, West Virginia, Texas A&M, Kent State

The 11s
Arizona State, Illinois State, Maryland, Kentucky

The 12s
Massachusetts, Davidson, VCU, Villanova

The 13s
UAB, Virginia Tech, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin

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

The 15s
Portland State, UNC-Asheville, Belmont, Robert Morris

The 16s
American, 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

### Tuesday's Games To Watch

Here's our take on the night's biggest games:

Purdue at Ohio State
No one has more chances to go from out to in this week than the Buckeyes do.

Wake Forest at Virginia Tech
Attention Hokies: tournament teams win games like this.

Miami (OH) at Kent State
The Golden Flashes better avoid a two-game losing streak if they want to feel good about their at-large chances.

Arkansas at Mississippi
A dangerous game for a Razorbacks team that couldn’t win at Alabama last week.

UNLV at New Mexico
It’s amazing (and ridiculous) that so many people already have New Mexico in the field. If they win this game, then we’ll consider.

The ‘Cats need to go on a run to get out of the 8-9 game.

Can the Longhorns and their 11 Top 50 wins (three more than anyone else in the country) make a late push for a No. 1 seed?

Big South Tournament
Top seed UNC-Asheville tries to end Winthrop’s run of three straight NCAA tourney appearances.

Horizon Tournament
Butler and No. 2 seed Cleveland State only have to win one game to reach the Horizon final. Will we see a bid-stealer?

Ohio Valley Tournament
Top seed Austin Peay faces Eastern Kentucky in first-round action.

### Monday's Games To Watch

Here's our take on the night's biggest games:

Pittsburgh at West Virginia
The Mountaineers are 1-7 against the RPI Top 50. They need this one big time.

Texas Tech at Kansas
The Red Raiders can’t pull off back-to-back stunners…can they?

Santa Clara at Gonzaga
A win or a Saint Mary’s loss would give the Zags their eighth straight WCC regular season title.

Saint Mary’s at Portland
Keep this in mind: The Gaels, who will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tourney, lost by eight at third-seeded and tourney host San Diego in late January.

### Thursday's Games To Watch

Here's our take on the night's biggest games:

Arizona State at Oregon
This is a must win for the Ducks, while a win for the Sun Devils would pretty much lock up their bid (barring an upset against Oregon State).

Xavier at St. Joseph's
The Hawks need to win this one and on the road against Dayton to have a legitimate shot at an at-large.

Arizona at Oregon State
The Wildcats need to take care of business in Oregon this week. The Pac-10 doesn't have a good track record of teams getting in at .500 in league play (it's never happened), nevermind under .500.

Cal at USC
A win for the Trojans locks down their bid.

Stanford at UCLA
A battle for first place in the Pac-10 as the Bruins look to hold onto their #1 seed.

Big South Semifinals
All 4 top seeds moved on so it should be 2 good games.

Northeast Conference Tournament
First round action in what should be a competitive tournament.