Friday, March 13, 2009

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 13

The Thursday of Championship Week is always exciting, as all of the big conferences get their tournaments started. This one was no different. The biggest shocker of the day was that three No. 1 seeds went down. The upsets started when Pitt got beat up by West Virginia, and that was followed by Oklahoma getting knocked off by Oklahoma State in a last-second thriller. To top it all off was the 6OT epic battle/game of the year between UConn and Syracuse. The Huskies had plenty of opportunities in just about every OT period to put the game away, but they were unable to do so. It eventually became a game of attrition and by the sixth overtime, too many UConn big men had fouled out and they just went cold from the field. Syracuse continues to have the Huskies' number in the Big East tourney the past few years.

By the end of the night, Pitt was the only team that played that was able to hold onto their 1 seed. Oklahoma dropped down to the third 2 seed and really has no chance to climb back up. UConn, on the other hand, may be able to get back on the 1 line should Louisville lose to Villanova or Michigan State go down before the Big Ten final. Duke is also in the running for a one seed if they can make a run to the final of the ACC tourney, and even Wake Forest could get itself in the mix if it won the ACC tourney. Despite what some commentators may believe, we still think that Memphis has no shot at a 1 seed.

Now onto the all important bubble talk. The bigget winners of the day were the Big Ten bubble bunch, San Diego State, and Oklahoma State. The biggest losers were Providence, Arizona, and New Mexico. Here's another conference-by-conference breakdown:

In the A-10...
Rhode Island completely knocked themselves out of at-large consideration with their loss to Duquesne. Meanwhile, Dayton is now a lock for the tourney and Temple is back in the mix. The Owls' slim tourney were revived with URI going down, but they are still on life support. If the Owls can take out Xavier on Friday they would be back in the mix for an at-large, but they would still need a lot of help and only a close loss to Dayton in the final would give them any hope. They have some nice OOC wins and a solid RPI, but simply have too many bad losses.

In the ACC...
Maryland and Virginia Tech moved on to keep their tourney hopes alive, while BC locked up their bid. Now both the Terps and the Hokies have a chance to pick up another marquee win and play their way into the field. We wouldn't go so far as saying that both would be a lock with a win on Friday, but they would be in good shape and would likely find themselves in the tourney.

In the Big XII...
One of the big winners of the day was Oklahoma State. Their win over Oklahoma erases any doubt concerning their tourney chances and also moved them up to a 8 seed. Kansas State is officially done after they went down in a close battle with Texas. Kansas became the first conference one seed to go down out of the major conferences and opened up the possibility of Baylor running the table to steal a bid.

In the Big East...
The best games of the day were played at Madison Square Garden. Early in the day, Villanova dropped Marquette on a last second lay-up, and more importantly for those on the the bubble, Providence get blown out by Louisville. The Friars will remain in the mix until Selection Sunday because of their above-.500 conference record and wins over Syracuse and Pitt, but we can't see anyway that they climb back into the field. Their OOC resume contains no wins over any tourney teams (the loss to St. Mary's really hurts right now) and they continue to get blown out by Big East tourney teams away from their home court.

In the Big Ten...
We never like the admit we were wrong, but it looks like we have no choice in this one. We finally were forced to cave and put eight Big Ten teams in the field. Minnesota, Michigan, and Penn State all won easily to move onto the Big Ten quarters and all eight teams left in the Big Ten field look like they will be dancing. If we had to pick one team that would miss out on the dance at this point we would have to say Penn State. Their RPI is 25-30 points lower than the rest of the bubble teams and if they were to get blown out by Purdue it would not be unthinkable for the Nittany Lions to be left out.

In the Pac-10...
Arizona suffered yet another loss, making it five out of six losses to end the year. This team has a ton of talent, but they really just can't seem to make that translate into wins on the court. They will now have a long wait till Sunday and their streak of 24 straight tourney appearances is in serious trouble. They have plenty of good wins on their resume, but none of them were a true road game. The one point loss that the Wildcats suffered at Texas A&M back in December must really hurt UofA fans. They let a big lead slip away late in that one and if they could of just hung on they would be in ahead of the Aggies now. They are currently our last team out so they will remain in the mix throughout the weekend and will be the focus of plenty of debate. Will their five Top 50 wins be enough to earn them a bid, or will their poor finish keep them out? USC was able to keep their slim tourney hopes alive by knocking off Cal. They will need a win over UCLA on Friday to really recieve any serious consideration.

In the MWC...
Bubble teams throughout the land couldn't be happier with the way things went in the MWC today. We have been saying all season that the conference has no chance for four bids and it looks like we'll at least get that one correct. SDSU won yet again at UNLV to keep their tourney hopes alive, and in the process, destroy UNLV's chances. In the night cap, New Mexico was stunned by Wyoming. The Lobos can start preparing for the NIT since their at-large hopes are over. They may have finished in a three-way tie for first and have won 8 of their last 10, but they also have a 65 RPI, a disgusting OOC resume, and have no good road wins. Their loss also takes some luster off of Creighton's resume. The Aztecs, on the other hand, may have been the biggest winners of the day. Not only did they pick up another road win against UNLV, which helped pump their RPI up seven spots, but they are also the clear cut third choice out of the MWC. A win over BYU in the semis would be a good idea, though. They have only one win over a team in our current bracket, which is also their only top 50 win. If they can't get by BYU then their resume will not stack up very favorably when compared with fellow bubble teams that they lost to - Arizona and St. Mary's.

In the SEC...
There were really no surprises in Tampa yesterday. Florida beat Arkansas to set up an elimination game with Auburn. A win for Florida may be enough to get them a bid, and if they can get to the finals they would be a lock. Auburn, on the other hand, will need to beat Florida and Tiger fans should actually hope Tennessee avoids another upset against Alabama. Auburn needs all the good wins it can get and they will need to beat Florida and Tennessee to really like their at-large chances heading into the SEC championship. South Carolina faces a must-win against a Mississippi State team that they recently lost to. The Gamecocks also will need a run to the final to lock down a bid. Bubble teams throughout the land will have a close eye on the SEC, since right now the third and fourth best teams are looking like teams on either the Last Four In or Last Four Out lines come Sunday.

We will post one more bracket on Friday night before going into lockdown to produce our final bracket, which will be released Sunday afternoon. Enjoy the rest of Championship Week...

Bracket Breakdown
In This Bracket
Minnesota, St. Mary's, San Diego State

Out This Bracket
Arizona, Providence, New Mexico

Last Four In
South Carolina, Creighton, St. Mary's, San Diego State

Last Four Out
Arizona, Florida, Providence, Maryland

Next Four Out
Auburn, Virginia Tech, Temple, USC


Conference Breakdown
Big Ten (8), Big East (7), ACC (6), Big XII (6), Pac-10 (4), MWC (3), SEC (3), A-10 (2), Horizon (2), MVC (2), WCC (2)

America East - Binghamton

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Xavier, Dayton

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

Big Sky - Portland State

Big South - Radford

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

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

Big West - Cal State Northridge

Colonial - VCU

Conference USA
- Memphis

Horizon - Cleveland State, Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Buffalo

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Northern Iowa, Creighton

MWC - Utah, BYU, San Diego State

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Morehead State

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

Patriot - American

SEC - LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina

Southern - Chattanooga

- 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
North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Michigan State

The 2s
Connecticut, Duke, Oklahoma, Memphis

The 3s
Wake Forest, Villanova, Washington, Missouri

The 4s
Florida State, Xavier, Syracuse, Kansas

The 5s
UCLA, Gonzaga, Illinois, Arizona State

The 6s
Purdue, Texas, West Virginia, Marquette

The 7s
Utah, California, Clemson, LSU

The 8s
Oklahoma State, Tennessee, BYU, Ohio State

The 9s
Butler, Dayton, Boston College, Michigan

The 10s
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas A&M, Penn State

The 11s
Siena, South Carolina, Creighton, Utah State

The 12s
St. Mary's, San Diego State, Cleveland State, Western Kentucky

The 13s
Northern Iowa, VCU, Buffalo, Binghamton

The 14s
North Dakota State, American, Portland State, Stephen F. Austin

The 15s
Cornell, East Tennessee State, Robert Morris, Morgan State

The 16s
Cal State Northridge, Morehead State, Radford, Chattanooga (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In-Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


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Ryan West said...

Lunardi also has Creighton ahead of Maryland. No way.

evenues said...

Slow finishes mean nothing, overall is everything.. Oklahoma has lost 4 of their last 6, are you going to deny them a top 5 seed?

So you take 20-12 Michigan and 19-11 Wisconsin (Who MN beat twice) over a 22-9 Minnesota team who beat #1 seed Louisville? Makes sense...

Anonymous said...

Ryan West...

Minnesota's "bad finish" was 7 losses, six of which were on the road. Their loss at home was last second to Michigan (who is in the tournament) and their worst other loss in that "bad finish" was on the road at Penn State.

If you look at the rest of the resume' it's practically flawless in comparison to some of these other teams.

Good records against Top 25 teams. Good records against Top 50 team.
Zero losses to teams outside the top 100.

evenues said...

and Lunardi was 65 for 65 last year... you probably know better though. That's why you have your own syndicated radio show and make millions commentating on NCAAB every year for every major network out there.

when does the Ryan West show air again? I wanna know what he thinks!

Ryan West said...

Michigan has a very good OOC schedule. Beat Duke and UCLA. Also beat Illinois and swept Minnesota.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are so close its not even funny. You could flip a coin.

Wisconsin swept Michigan, Minnesota swept Wisconsin, Michigan swept Minnesota. So throw that argument out.

Matty said...

I can't settle the argument over how good the Big 10 is this year, but I can offer some historical analysis.

Here are the NCAA tournament records and win pctg for the 6 major conferences for the past 5 years (2004-2008):

1. ACC 45-25, .643
2. Big12 38-23, .623
3. SEC 40-26, .606
4. BigEast 48-33, .593
5. Pac10 32-23, .582
6. Big10 32-24, .571

And in the last 3 years, the Big10 is only 17-16. Each year is different, but the Big10 has not impressed me lately.

Ryan West said...

For arguments sake, I think Minnesota is in.

The only "bad" loss Michigan/Wisconsin have are @ Iowa each. So its really not too much of a difference.

The committee is going to look and see how Wisconsin rebounded also.

Mark said...

What does Gonzaga need to have happen to get a 4 seed? A UCLA loss would help, but is Syracuse and Arizona State now ahead of them even if they lose tomorrow?

Ryan West said...

I said I disagreed. I am entitled to my own opinion. Who's to say he doesn't change it by Sunday?

By no means am I stating or implying I'm better than Lunardi. If I were, I'd have all those shows you were talking about. ;)

Ryan West said...

I really don't think Gonzaga can get a 4 seed. The only team that can really drop is UCLA. They could get the top 5 seed though, which could send them out West.

Bracketology 101 said...

Syracuse and Arizona State winning tonight likely means Gonzaga will have to settle for a 5 seed.

Anonymous said...

i think ryan west was just stating his opinion on a BLOG, just like the rest of us. he isn't implying that he is better than lunardi. i hope lunardi is right about penn state though. as long as they get in, i don't care if they are the last team in.

evenues said...

so close its not even funny.. they have 2 more losses, 3 less wins and never beat a top 20 team.

Minnesota beat 2 including a top 10. AND a sweep of Wisconsin. And if you want to be critical about digging up comparable schedules.. Minnesota beat Louisville who beat Pitt who beat UConn who beat Wisconsin.. so they've beat every #1 seed and Wisconsin.

That doesnt sound like a coin flip to me..

evenues said...

so i can't state my opinion of his opinion on a BLOG?

Ryan West said...

Who is the other top 10 team?

And if you go by "who beat who" I could probably dig up that some crap team ended up beating North Carolina.

That argument doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Sure, but he can state his opinion of your opinion, right?

Mark said...

i think the committee tries to give location preferences to the top 4 seeds and that's it. so at a 5 seed, in theory gonzaga would only be in portland or boise by random chance

MattLion said...

Just to chime in on this minn/wisc comparison -

Minnesota has the better wins, but have they beaten anyone good on the road other than Wisconsin?

Anonymous said...

UNC is 26-3 with losses to marylnad, BC and Wake... none of which are bad

MattLion said...

"And if you go by "who beat who" I could probably dig up that some crap team ended up beating North Carolina."

because BC lost to Harvard, there are actually some pretty wild ones involving Ivy league teams.

Anonymous said...

Be nice everyone. Creighton had a tough night but all these teams barely on the bubble still have a lot to worry about. Baylor can steal a bid tomorrow, UCLA can't figure out USC and if Utah State doesn't win tomorrow there are more problems. That's potentially three gone spots right there.

Ryan West said...

Wisconsin's SOS is also much tougher than Minnesota's.

I don't think you are reading what I'm typing...I think Minnesota is in.

evenues said...

and p.s. anonymous... lunardi will update in the morning. i would say that penn state has about a 0% chance of getting in. maryland will be in, temple will be in, saint mary's may be in and penn state will be out. i'd put $1k on it.

evenues said...

i'm not the one who started the who beat who.. that was all you brosef.

Ryan West said...

Temple/Duquense take the Auto-bid. Loser doesn't make it.

I agree with the St. Mary's assessment. If Utah State doesn't make it...St. Mary's might get knocked out. They beat them earlier in the year.

Ryan West said...

I did it within the conference. To settle a tiebreaker.

Minnesota beat Wisconsin
Wisconsin beat Michigan
Michigan beat Minnesota

That would be considered a tie.

Ryan West said...

For the record, Lunardi also has Wisconsin ranked above Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

Hey B101 what about Georgetown. Yes, GEORGETOWN!!

How come Georgia at 16-14 and not Georgetown?!!!


Bracketology 101 said...

Minnesota and Wisconsin will both be safe barring all of the potential bid stealers left winning. You can agrue till you are blue in the face about who is best between Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota but it really makes no difference. All three of them will likely end up on the 9 and 10 lines.

And to evenues...a teams finish is very important. Minnesota may have only lost to tourney teams on the road down the stretch but losing 7 of 11 does not look good no matter who it is too. It did suck that they had to play so many tough road games down the stretch but their results just showed that the Gophers weren't a very good road team which has caused their seed to plummet.

We won't be posting to this board anymore this evening as we will now hash out a bracket to be posted in a few hours.

Anonymous said...

One decent thing happened to bubble teams tonight, Utah beat Wyoming.

Bracketology 101 said...

Georgetown? Sure, we'll put in ND while we're at it, too.

Ryan West said...

But USC is beating UCLA. Bubble teams are getting worried.

Anonymous said...

I think Nova looks good for a 3 still since they've got the sweep over Syracuse to fall back on. This has to keep them ahead of Cuse on the s-curve. No shame in losing to Louisville tonight. I think Syracuse compares favorably to other potential 3 seeds though like Wake, FSU, Kansas, Mizzou, Illinois, Az State, and Washington though.


Anonymous said...

USC looks pretty good vs. UCLA right now.

Any chance for USC?

Ryan West said...

USC also beat Arizona State in January at home.

Could happen tomorrow.

Ryan West said...

Villanova should be safe.

FSU will only get a 3 if they win the ACC tournament I think. Syracuse gets a 3 if they beat Louisville tomorrow. Arizona State could possibly get a 3 if they win, because they would take the West's spot.

Bracketology 101 said...

One more thing...we suspect that Doug Gottlieb is stealing from B101. He is also not an objective critic of SDSU since his brother is an assistant there.

Anonymous said...

The west doesnt have a spot...

Anonymous said...

Gottlieb's a little punk. He couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with his jumper back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Ryan West obviously youre forgetting that Minnesota SWEPT Wisconsin. As far as the big ten goes i think it should be:

Mich St, Purdue, Illinois,Ohio St, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Penn St.

Ryan West said...

If you're going by the assumption of sweeping...Illinois is above Purdue. Illinois swept Purdue.

Also: Wisconsin beat Ohio State two out of 3 times? How does that work?

Ryan West said...

Why won't the West have a spot? ASU beat Washington today, and its looking like UCLA is going to lose.

Anonymous said...

What i meant was that the West doesnt have a "spot" they arent guaranteed a 3 sed

Anonymous said...

Not going by sweeping overall body of work. Though i guess if i say that Michigan probably can go over OSU.

IMO Wisconsins body of work is really bad you can argue that they could be below penn st. Idk what the result of Wis vs. Penn St was during the season.

evenues said...

Bracketology 101:

Finishes being so important.. so then Oklahoma should be a 5 or 6 seed since they lost 4 of their last 6, right? Its funny how that doesn't work. It does not effect the RPI, it most likely will not effect the tourney bid. Timing can be important, but you are stressing the importance when it is not critical. Records, RPI and SOS become important when it becomes time to pick. The timing of a big win (or win at all) does not matter, it only matters that it happened.

Sift through your archives, there are plenty of teams with below .500 finishes that did not lose their bids. If their record, RPI and SOS added up.. finishes mean nothing.

Unless you want to tell me that if Oklahoma lost their last 10 they would not have made the tourney. They lost 4 of them, and will be a 3 seed.

Good ups on the SEO with your blog, but I'm not taking your advice over the next guys.. you do a solid job of covering the dance, but then again anyone could with Joe Lunardi in their back pocket.

BenjiF said...

What would you guys say about USC being in now? Sure, they've beaten two quality P10 teams the past two games, but their OOC resume is not good (best win: Georgia Tech or...North Dakota State?!), and they only beat ASU/Zona/Cal during the regular season, all at home.

evenues said...

PS: New RPI is out.. confirming that Minnesota IS a higher RPI than Wisconsin AND Michigan.


Ryan West said...

What has Purdue done that Illinois hasn't?

Illinois' worst loss were the Penn State losses.

Purdue lost to Northwestern and @Ohio State.

Ryan West said...

evenues do you not think the Big Ten gets 7 bids?

Anonymous said...

Purdue and Illinois are similar. Winner tomorrow will be able to claim #2 in Big 10 and assure at least a 5 seed.

evenues said...

I don't think, I know.

Mich St.
Ohio State

Penn State will be about 2 on the out list.

Ryan West said...

So if Missouri beats Baylor, ArizSt beats USC, Memphis beats Tulsa, Utah State wins, Tenn/LSU wins...Big Ten doesn't get 7 in?

Ryan West said...

Well if you are right....its between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

So best of luck to your Gophers.

evenues said...

read the post over. minnesota is in, as is wisconsin.. i have no doubt about it.

Ryan West said...

Then we are debating this so much?

They are going to be the same seed probably. And if they aren't, its anywhere between a 9-11. For your Gophers' sake, a 10 or 11 would be great.

evenues said...

so their seed is 9-11 and an 11 would be great?

that's like saying UConn could be a 1-3 seed, for their sake a 3 seed would be great.

i don't think i've heard a single valid point from you all night. i'm going to bed.

a means to an end said...

so whats your final word on temple? need to win vs. duquesne to be in?

Ryan West said...

Do you really want Minnesota playing a 1 seed in the 2nd round?

Ryan West said...

Whoever wins that game is in. Loser is out.

Anonymous said...

so whats your final word on temple? need to win vs. duquesne to be in?

Anonymous said...

I agree... 11 and 12 are much better than 8, 9 and 10

Ryan West said...

I agree... 11 and 12 are much better than 8, 9 and 10

10 isn't even that bad as long as you can matchup against the right #2 seed.

Anonymous said...

"i hope 6 top 50 wins and 4-2 against the top 3 in the conference pull a lot of weight. B101, do you think those stats will strongly convince the committee?

It shouldnt be... 68 RPI, 93 SOS, 7-9 vs top 100... And how exactly do you justify scheduling NJIT? Come on, youve got to do better than that, PSU"

They scheduled NJIT as part of the Philly Hoop Group Classic, a tournament that included Rhode Island and Vilanova. Although they never played 'Nova because of a loss to RI, it was still a necessary move to get quality OOc opponents. Fact is, that Ed Dechellis really screwed up this year when he scheduled and it might end up costing them the tournament.

Someone mentioned before how they were 4-2 against the top 3 of the Big Ten, which is their most impressive stat. i think their second most impressive trait is their ability to beat good teams away from home, which they had done at Illinois and at Michigan State. I still don't understand why people don't think this team can do damage in the tournament, in fact, it's the exact opposite. They have proven they can beat good teams, but they weren't given the chance out of conference because of the terrible scheduling. Also, lets not forget that PSU was 1 win, a game which they lost in double OT, away from being the #2 team in the conference. To say they don't deserve any sort of consideration is absolutely ridiculous.

However, if they're out, they have nobody to blame but themselves. They lost to freaking Iowa, which probably would have put them in as a lock right now, or at least ahead of Michigan and Minnesota. Winning at Iowa would have meant a 2 seed in the BTT and a much easier road to the semis, facing Michigan instead of a Purdue team that couldn't miss. Like I said, if they don't make it, certainly can't say they didn't have their chances...

Anonymous said...

In Coach Dechellis' defense, going into this season, an NIT bid would've been a step forward for the Penn State program. He probably figured he could schedule enough cupcakes OOC to still be above .500 after going 6-12 in the Big Ten. I'm sure he never expected the team to be competing for a tournament bid.

This is probably laughable to most people on this board, but as a Penn State fan, an NIT bid really is a step forward. If we make the dance, that's great. If we don't, I still consider it a good year and would like to see us make some noise in the NIT.

Anonymous said...

Little Ten Basketball is brutal.....

No way can they get more teams in than the Big East or ACC. 3 teams at 10 seed come on for the Little Ten

evenues said...

You don't have to debate about Penn State anymore. They're out. For sure.

Big Ten will have 7 teams as will ACC. No need to debate it, its going to happen.

purdue fan 101 said...

what do u think about purdue

Anonymous said...


eda said...


Anonymous said...

Exactly who did USCBuy D3 Gold press out of the area? I will speculate its Penn Condition, ever since the Lions' marquee is victorious in the prefers a Il, MSU as well as Purdue can be overshaowed simplyBuy GW2 Goldby lo RPI.

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