Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 14

On Friday we saw the amount of available bids shrink dramatically and we saw at least one bid stealer develop with both Dayton and Xavier falling in the A-10 semis. Virgina Tech, Florida, and South Carolina all lost games that will cost them tourney bids, while Maryland and SDSU may have punched their tickets with big wins. Here is how we see the field going into the weekend...

If we had to put a number on it we think that there are 4 bids still in question. All of the teams on the last 4 in line are still vulnerable, while everyone above them (the 10 line and better) are relatively safe.

SDSU held on against BYU to reach the MWC final. In the past two days, they have seen their RPI climb to all the way to 31. If the Aztecs lose to Utah in the MWC final they will have to sweat it out on Sunday. They still only have two Top 50 wins plus losses to St. Mary's and Arizona on their resume. It wouldn't be unthinkable for the Aztecs to be left out if they don't win the auto bid, especially if there are anymore bid stealers.

Maryland got into the bracket on the strength of their win over Wake Forest. The win sent their RPI up 10 points to 50 and gives them the chance to lock up a bid against Duke. So long as the Terps put up a good effort against the Blue Devils, it's tough to envision the committee not giving them a bid as the 7th best team out of the ACC.

Penn State hung onto a bid in our current field despite their blowout loss to Purdue. The Nittany Lions are clearly the #8 team from the Big Ten, which we have said for weeks is not a good place to be. They have six Top 50 wins on their resume, which is more than anybody else in consideration and finished above .500 in Big Ten play. They even have road wins over Michigan State and Illinois. The problem is that all of their Top 50 wins (Top 100 for that matter) came in conference and they blew a chance to lock up a bid at Iowa last week. They laid an egg on Friday against a red-hot shooting Purdue team and will now have to hope things hold throughout the weekend and no more bid stealers pop up.

Our last team in is St. Mary's, barely. Scheduling another game against Eastern Washington looks like it may pay off. It didn't hurt their RPI and the 20-point win on Friday night gives the committee another look at them, as opposed to their season ending on Monday with a blowout loss to Gonzaga. All week we liked Creighton ahead of the Gaels, but that changed with the results of Friday night. Dayton losing completes an absolute disaster week for Creighton. Not only has the bubble gotten squeezed, but all of the Bluejays' good OOC wins have lost. New Mexico lost to Wyoming, George Mason got blown out by VCU to drop out of the RPI Top 50, and now Dayton lost - giving Creighton ZERO Top 25 wins. St. Mary's, on the other hand, has benefited from SDSU playing so well, and they've seen Utah State (another team they beat) also climb into the Top 25 of the RPI. The Gaels also got some of their wins away from home (neutral vs SDSU and Providence). The biggest issue in all of this is the fact that the Gaels are 18-2 when Patty Mills has played the whole game. We think their bad road losses without Mills will get overlooked and, so long as no more bid stealers pop up, they will get a bid.

Here's what the bubble team fans needs to hope for in Saturday's action: Memphis over Tulsa, LSU over Mississippi State, Tennessee over Auburn, Duke over Maryland in a blowout, ASU over USC, Temple over Duquense, Utah over SDSU, Utah State over Nevada, and most importantly - Missouri over Baylor. The potential of 4-5 more bid stealers still exists, so nobody on the last 4 in line is safe.

Our next and final bracket will be published on Sunday afternoon. Enjoy the weekend and good luck to your bubble team.

Bracket Breakdown
In This Bracket

Maryland, Temple

Out This Bracket
South Carolina, Creighton

Last Four In
San Diego State, Maryland, Penn State, St. Mary's

Last Four Out
Creighton, Arizona, USC, Auburn

Next Four Out
Providence, South Carolina, Florida, New Mexico

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

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

America East - Binghamton

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Temple, Xavier, Dayton

Big East - Louisville, Pittsburgh, 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

MWC - Utah, BYU, San Diego State

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Morehead State

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

Patriot - American

SEC - LSU, Tennessee

Southern - Chattanooga

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
North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Michigan State

The 2s
Connecticut, Duke, Oklahoma, Memphis

The 3s
Missouri, Wake Forest, Villanova, Syracuse

The 4s
Florida State, Kansas, Washington, Illinois

The 5s
Arizona State, Gonzaga, Xavier, UCLA

The 6s
Purdue, West Virginia, Texas, Utah

The 7s
LSU, California, Clemson, Tennessee

The 8s
Marquette, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Butler

The 9s
BYU, Boston College, Michigan, Texas A&M

The 10s
Siena, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dayton

The 11s
San Diego State, Utah State, Maryland, Penn State

The 12s
Temple, St. Mary's, 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 bracketologyblog@yahoo.com

203 comments:

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Run Up The Score said...

I did forget Penn State's recent OT loss at Iowa (essentially without our best player, but hey, we're counting that win against Purdue without Hummel). Oh, well. Good luck to everyone this afternoon. Except Creighton and St. Mary's.

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