Monday, January 26, 2009

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Jan. 26

All of the upsets this past week led to big changes in the bracket. Numerous teams moved up or down at least two seed lines and not one team on the 6-9 lines from last week is still there. The biggest upward mover was Washington after their wins over USC and UCLA. These wins, along with sole possession of first place in the Pac-10, shot them from a 10 to a 6. The hottest team of the week was undoubtedly Virginia Tech after picking up wins at Wake Forest and Miami. This sent them from off the radar to a 9 seed. The biggest downward movers were Ohio State and Georgetown. The Buckeyes dropped two Big 10 games to fall below .500 in league play which dropped them from a 4 to a 8. The Hoyas also lost two games, including one to lowly Seton Hall, and fell from a 3 to a 6.

In choosing the final teams to make the field we started projecting ahead a bit more. The MWC still looks like a 2 bid league, so we kept BYU in the field since we think they are the second best team in the conference. Penn State had a nice two-win week, but we still had to leave them out of the field. They have picked up some nice wins in conference but they will need at least 10 Big Ten wins to have any chance at a bid since they have no OOC resume to speak of. With the schedule they have left, we just can't see them getting to 10-8 in conference, nevermind 11-7. Some may be surprised that we went with Wisconsin over the Nittany Lions. The Badgers have dropped four straight, but we think they will get this back on track and shouldn't have too much trouble getting to nine wins in conference, which would be enough for a bid given their solid RPI. We went with LSU as our last team in because we feel they have the best chance to win the SEC West which should mean an at-large bid. They have been dominant in their last 3 SEC games and there are plenty of easy W's for them to pick up the rest of the way. It will be tough for the committee to leave out an SEC team that wins 11 or 12 conference games.


Bracket Breakdown
In This Week
Virginia Tech, LSU, Northern Iowa, VCU, Buffalo, Binghamton, Morgan State

Out This Week
Texas A&M, Arkansas, Illinois State, George Mason, Miami (OH), Albany, Hampton

Last Four In
Wisconsin, BYU, USC, LSU

Last Four Out
Penn State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Boston College

Next Four Out
South Carolina, Arkansas, Stanford, Illinois State


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

America East - Binghamton

ACC - Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier, Dayton

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - VMI

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

Big XII - Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Baylor

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - VCU

Conference USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Buffalo

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Northern Iowa


Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, LSU

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
Duke, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh

The 2s
Wake Forest, North Carolina, Louisville, Michigan State

The 3s
Marquette, Xavier, Clemson, Texas

The 4s
Arizona State, Butler, Illinois, Syracuse

The 5s
Purdue, Gonzaga, Memphis, Minnesota

The 6s
Washington, Kentucky, Georgetown, California

The 7s
UCLA, West Virginia, Kansas, Notre Dame

The 8s
Florida, Ohio State, St. Mary's, Florida State

The 9s
Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, Missouri, Baylor

The 10s
Michigan, Davidson, Tennessee, Utah State

The 11s
Dayton, Villanova, UNLV, Wisconsin

The 12s
BYU, Siena, USC, LSU

The 13s
VCU, Northern Iowa, Buffalo, Western Kentucky

The 14s
VMI, Stephen F. Austin, Weber State, North Dakota State

The 15s
Long Beach State, Cornell, Binghamton, East Tennessee State

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

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Anonymous said...

I love FSU, but I am deeply concerned about their games down the stretch. Their last 5 games is against VTech(twice), Duke, Clemson, and BC. They could feasibly finish 0-5 with these teams. At best, I see FSU going 3-2. I think we'll be another bubble team whose performance in the ACC tournament gets us in this season.

Anonymous said...


Robbie said...

When does the bracket usually come in?

Anonymous said...

Will the Big East champion be protected - not face a conference opponent until a potential regional final?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2, Does BC really deserve a bid?

Robbie said...

Yeah BC is trash. The ACC schedule will show that to be true.

Anonymous said...

It's time to put Notre Dame where they deserve to be... the NIT. If not for the preseason hype, Notre Dame wouldn't just be out of the field, they wouldn't even be anywhere near the bubble.

A 7 seed is laughable.

Anonymous said...

after watching them tonight, I really don't think Notre Dame is that bad considering how good the Big East is. They play solid, fundamental ball, but tire out by the end of the game due to a lack of bench. I see them emerging as an 8 or 9 seed that will either bow out in the first round, or make it to the sweet sixteen

craiger said...

where is Northeastern University? beat george Mason 59 rpi, and top 10 defense in country. they are in one of those mid-range conferences that need to be recognized along with VCU and Mason. BC and Notre Dame should NOT get in

Bracketology 101 said...

ND has certainly struggled lately and will continue to fall down the bracket to a double digit seed (unless they can find a way to win at Pitt this weekend). Their recent losses have come to Big East powers so we have cut them some slack, but with 11-7 and 3-5 records they need to turn things around fast. Their schedule doesn't get any easier till mid-February and their biggest upcoming game is probably out at UCLA next weekend. The Bruins aren't the power that they have been the past few years but if the Irish can travel across country and pick up a W it would be huge. We still think the Irish will be ok come March since they have enough wins left on their Big East slate to reach 9-9, they will have some good wins on their resume, and they should have a good record over their last 10.

We considered Northeastern this week for the auto bid out of the Colonial, but instead went with preseason favorite VCU. The Rams seemed to have gotten things figured out after their rough start. The CAA will only be a one bid league this year and we think VCU is the favorite to win the conference tourney in their home city. The Northeastern @ VCU matchup is definetely a game to wathc for Tuesday.

matt r said...

"Will the Big East champion be protected - not face a conference opponent until a potential regional final?"

If there are 8 or less Big East teams, then yes. If there are 9 or more, then really all bets are off. They could face a conference opponent as early as the second round, and there is nothing that gives them special "protection" by being conference champion.

craiger said...

thanks for the feedback, the NEU vs. VCU game will be great and it is on ESPNU. is the colonial too small of conference where two teams can make it? VCU will most likely win the conference tourney, i agree with you on that point. but will George Mason and Northeastern be out of the discussion? And can that ever change so that more than one team can make it fro the CAA.

Bracketology 101 said...

The Colonial isn't too small of a conference to get two bids, it just doesn't have a team this year with a resume worthy of an at-large bid. The league's best OOC win this season was Northeastern's victory at Providence on Nov. 15, which is impressive, but not something that's going to get the Huskies a bid.

The Colonial received two bids just two years ago, when VCU won the conference tournament and Old Dominion received an at-large. That ODU team finished 24-8 overall, 15-3 in conference, split with VCU, had a 40 RPI, and won at Georgetown early in the season. That same year (2007) was the year that the Colonial should have actually received three bids, but Drexel (who we had in our final Field of 65) got left out despite the fact they won at Syracuse and at Villanova. The Dragons lost in the Colonial semis to VCU, and finished the year a combined 0-4 against VCU and ODU.

craiger said...

thanks again for the explanation.

matt r said...

And the final four George Mason team was a Colonial at-large.

Anonymous said...

How does Utah not get in the field thats the 7th best conference if the sec gets 3 bids then the mountain west deserves to too

gtmoBlue said...

You've got 10 bubble teams in your bracket. Eight (8) of them should be NIT or CBI participants. Below .500 BCSer's are not 'automatic' nor should they be at-large entries. The purpose of playing is to win, not politic our way to the post-season NCAA's.

Drop like a hot potato: Wisconsin - Texas - G'twn -Notre Dame - Tenn - UK - Michigan.

Should miss, but won't: S'cuse - WVA - Nova - Ohio St - Arizona St.

These "Beauty Contest" brackets are a BCS Homers' delight.

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