Thursday, February 12, 2009

B101's Bracket Bag - Feb. 12

Some of the best questions we get each week aren't from people posting in the comments section, but from those who send us questions via e-mail. In a semi-weekly feature to B101, we will answer some of these questions posed by our readers.

Chad writes:
After Michigan's loss to Michigan State on Tuesday, any chance that 19-12 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten gets them in the dance?

B101: Michigan's loss at home to Michigan State certainly wasn't unexpected, but their performance against the Spartans - especially on the offensive end - left a lot to be desired. Big-picture wise, the Wolverines, who have now dropped seven of nine, can only lose once more if they want to finish with a winning conference record. Your 9-9 scenario is much more likely, and depending on who they beat to get to that mark, it might be enough to get them a bid. Michigan is in dire need of road wins to put on its resume (they are 1-6 on the road this season), so winning Sunday at Northwestern and then next week at Iowa is imperative. After that, they need Penn State to keep losing, they at least one win against Minnesota (they still play the Gophers twice) and they really, really, really need to win March 1st against Wisconsin, which is their biggest Big Ten bubble rival right now. The Badgers beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor back on New Year's Eve, and a season sweep could prove fatal for Michigan's tourney hopes. If we assume they lose at Minnesota plus once more (we'll say at home to Purdue), that gets them to 9-9. A win in the Big Ten tourney and they'd be one of the last four in or last four out come Selection Sunday.

Daniel writes:
If Temple wins their next two on the road (St. Joesph's, Duquesne), they have a three-game home stretch against Fordham, St. Bonaventure, and LaSalle. If they were to win all five and be at 18-9 heading into Dayton, would that put them on the bubble? I understand it will be tough given their road woes, but if they did win five in a row, could they be on the bubble?

B101: If Temple wins their next two games (which is unlikely given their 6-7 road record), and then takes care of business in the three easy home games they have after that, they will make their way into the bubble discussion - but barely. The Owls already have nine losses and if they lose at Dayton, and then lose again in the A-10 tournament, they'll finish with 11 losses, which is a lot for what would be the third team out of the A-10. Temple's OOC resume is OK, but their win over Penn State is looking less and less meaningful by the day, and their win over Tennessee, which looked good at the time, isn't nearly as noteworthy with the Vols all the way down to a 10 seed. Their best and most realistic chance at a bid is through the A-10 tournament, and it's not out of the question that the Owls could win that tournament and steal the automatic bid. Xavier has certainly shown over their last two games that it's far from perfect, and Dayton just lost to lowly Charlotte before they upset the first-place Musketeers.

Randal writes:
Any chance Memphis gets higher than a 3 seed with only conference games remaining?

B101: With it's 9 RPI and good OOC wins, Memphis certainly has an outside chance at a 2 seed, but it's going to be tough, even if the Tigers win out. Right now, you have to figure there is going to be some combination of 2 ACC/1 Big East or 2 Big East/1 ACC on the 2 line, which leaves one spot open. That spot could go to the Big Ten winner (Michigan State), the Pac-10 winner (UCLA), or Memphis. The Tigers obviously get hurt because they have no more chances at a marquee win, but they have the luxury of sitting back and watching everyone else ahead of them lose. Given the depth of the ACC and Big East, and the unpredictability of the Big Ten and Pac-10, anything can happen, and Memphis is the team most likely to be the beneficiary of some late-season upsets. If we had to bet we would say Memphis ends up a 3, but a 2 is not out of the realm of possibility.

Do you have a question for a future Bracket Bag? E-mail Bracketology 101 at bracketologyblog@yahoo.com

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