Monday, February 02, 2009

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 2

It was probably the craziest week of the season in college basketball, which meant lots of changes for this week's bracket. From last week's bracket, we had 11 different teams seeded on the top 12 seed lines lose 2 games. The four teams on last week's 4 line went a combined 1-4 and the four teams on the 6 and 9 lines each went a combined 1-7. There was even some change at the top of the bracket with UNC replacing Pitt as a 1 seed. It was a tough decision between Wake Forest and UNC for the last 1 seed but we went with UNC because of their overall resume and the fact that Wake has now lost 2 of 3. The difference between the teams on the 1 and 2 lines is minuscule, and a case can be made for any of the eight teams to be 1 seeds.

After weeks of just missing out on the bracket, Penn State makes a B101 bracket for the first time ever. They started a brutal seven game stretch on Sunday with a huge win at Michigan State and are looking good to have their first winning conference record since 1996. If they can manage to win 3 of their next 6 then they would be a virtual lock for a bid. The Big Ten ended up losing a spot in the field as both Michigan and Wisconsin continue to falter. Wisconsin has been in a freefall having lost 6 in a row, while Michigan has dropped 5 of 6. Both teams get another game with Penn State this week and if Michigan can pull off a 2 win week (which would include a win at UConn) they will find themselves right back in the bracket. Another team that has fallen fast is Miami. They have dropped 3 straight winnable games right before the most brutal stretch of their schedule. How's this for a next five games?: Wake Forest, Duke, UNC, Florida State, and BC. With that kind of schedule it is doubtful that they will get the 9 wins that they will need to warrant any at-large consideration. Boston College ended up replacing the Hurricanes after picking up two nice wins over Maryland and Virginia Tech this week and raising their conference mark to 5-3.

One other significant note on this week's bracket is the difficulty we had trying to seed the Big East teams. We had to swap numerous teams around to ensure a 4-4 split on seed lines. Georgetown was moved from a 10 to a 9, West Virginia from a 7 to a 8, and Syracuse from a 6 to a 5.


Bracket Breakdown
In This Week

Penn State, Boston College, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Utah, Northeastern, Vermont, Morehead State

Out This Week
Notre Dame, Miami (FL), Michigan, Wisconsin, BYU, VCU, Binghamton, Austin Peay

Last Four In
Texas A&M, South Carolina, Baylor, Utah

Last Four Out
Arizona, BYU, Miami (FL), Notre Dame

Next Four Out
Providence, Michigan, Kansas State, Maryland


Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), ACC (7), Big Ten (6), Big XII (6), Pac-10 (5), SEC (5), A-10 (2), MWC (2), WCC (2)

America East - Vermont

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Boston College

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier, Dayton

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - VMI

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

Big XII - Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Texas A&M, Baylor

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Northeastern

Conference USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Buffalo

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Northern Iowa

MWC - UNLV, Utah

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Morehead State

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

Patriot - American

SEC - Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina

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

Connecticut, Oklahoma, Duke, North Carolina

The 2s
Wake Forest, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Marquette

The 3s
Clemson, Xavier, Michigan State, Purdue

The 4s
Butler, Minnesota, Texas, UCLA

The 5s
Gonzaga, Memphis, Illinois, Syracuse

The 6s
Kansas, Washington, Ohio State, Villanova

The 7s
Arizona State, California, UNLV, Dayton

The 8s
West Virginia, Florida State, Florida, Missouri

The 9s
Davidson, Penn State, Kentucky, Georgetown

The 10s
LSU, Utah State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech

The 11s
St. Mary's, Boston College, USC, Texas A&M

The 12s
Siena, South Carolina, Baylor, Utah

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

The 14s
VMI, Stephen F. Austin, Vermont, Weber State

The 15s
North Dakota State, Cornell, East Tennessee State, Long Beach State

The 16s
Morehead State, 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


Kyle said...

Would 20 regular season wins and a win in the Pac-10 tournament (so 11-7 Pac-10, 21-11) get Arizona in by your estimation?

Bracketology 101 said...

The scenario you gave would definitely get Arizona in, but it's a little ambitious. The Wildcats have won a grand total of zero road games this year (they're 0-6) and they have five road games left. They also have tough home games left against UCLA and Cal. Arizona's sweep of the Washington schools last week is encouraging, but expecting them to win seven of their last nine, given their schedule and their road woes, may be a bit much.

kped0088 said...

How many more wins do you think BC needs to get into the tourney? 4 would make them 21-10 (9-7), is that a good guess of how many they need?

Bracketology 101 said...

Nine ACC wins would likely be enough to get BC a bid, with 10 wins making it a guarantee. The Eagles don't have much of an OOC resume so they'll need to finish with a winning conference record to be dancing. They already have their marquee win (UNC) but a couple more solid wins (@Miami or FSU) certainly wouldn't hurt.

Zoomie said...

You have Penn State listed as part of the 9s, meaning that you think they are off the "bubble" for now? Obviously a loss or two to lower-half Big Ten teams would change their status, but for now are they solidly in?

How many wins do they need to finish with to maintain this status? Would 4-5 get the job done (21-10)? Or do they need to go 5-4 or better (22-9)?

How do you see this playing out?

Bracketology 101 said...

Right now, Penn State is solidly in. We don't think people are giving them enough credit for the wins they have. They might not have any OOC resume to speak of, but they have beaten the two best teams in the Big Ten (one on the road), and they also have a good home win against Michigan.

As far as Penn State's long-term prospects go, obviously a lot will be determined by who the Nittany Lions' wins come against. If they win three of their next six games (which is doable), they should be able to get to 11 wins in conference. If they go 2-4, those two wins better be against top-tier teams if they want to feel safe. Completing a sweep of Michigan this weekend would be expecially huge, as would a win at Ohio State on the 24th. Those two teams are Penn State's main bubble competition right now and beating them both would key come Selection Sunday.

Joe said...

In this scenario, why would UNC play in Dayton with Wake Forest in Greensboro? Shouldn't the #1 seed be rewarded over the #2?

matt r said...

UNC is in Dayton because the play-in winner has to play in a Fri/Sun site, and UNC gets the shaft for being the fourth #1. There is no exception listed for a case where all four number 1 seeds are best suited for Thurs/Sat sites (probably because it hasn't happened yet), so until there is some sort of leeway placed on that rule, it's hard to bend on it. We can't assume they will change their rules on selection sunday.

Anonymous said...

I think your bracket has been pretty soild with exception to this week. USC is a joke and in my mind should be replaced by Oklahoma St. 20-9 Strength of schedule 11. With wins over Siena, A&M, Texas, URI, and Kansas St. Though these are all over bubble teams, a win over Oklahoma would be a signature win. Also, Notre Dame has played its way out and instead replace with Miami, whose credentials are lackluster but at 16-10 with a decent RPI and SOS of 12 is looking strong. Let me know what you think

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You have Penn State listed as part of the 9s, meaning that you think they are off the "bubble" for now? best cheap android phoneObviously a loss or two to lower-half Big Ten teams would change their status, but for now are they solidly in?