Friday, March 06, 2009

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 6

The dust has finally cleared on what was a wild four days of games, and here is how we see the bubble - and the bracket - at this point. Two teams dropped out of our field from Monday: Notre Dame (after their bubble bursting home loss to Villanova) and Florida (after their road loss to Mississippi State). They were replaced by Oklahoma State and Providence. The Cowboys were the only team on our Last Eight Out list to win a game over the last four days, and they earned a spot on the 10 line as a result. Providence lost its regular season finale at Villanova on Thursday night, but we still think that the Friars deserve a bid and that they'll be safe as long as they win one game in the Big East tournament.

The only other significant changes to the bracket were Memphis moving back up to the 2 line and Kansas falling to the 3 line, Purdue falling from a 4 to a 6 after their home loss to Northwestern, Penn State moving up to the 9 line after its thrilling win over Illinois, and South Carolina and Arizona falling down to the 12 line after home losses to Tennessee and Cal, respectively.

*Note: We will be back on Monday with our next Field of 65. In the meantime, we will provide running commentary on the weekend's games in the comments section. We will update our bracket daily starting Monday.

Bracket Breakdown
In This Week

Oklahoma State, Providence

Out This Week
Notre Dame, Florida

Last Four In
Maryland, Providence, Arizona, South Carolina

Last Four Out
Michigan, Rhode Island, Florida, New Mexico

Next Four Out
Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Northwestern, San Diego State


Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), ACC (7), Big Ten (7), Big XII (6), Pac-10 (5), MWC (3), SEC (3), A-10 (2), WCC (2)

America East - Binghamton

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

Atlantic Sun - Jacksonville

A-10 - Xavier, Dayton

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Radford

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

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

Big West - Cal State Northridge

Colonial - VCU

Conference USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Buffalo

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Creighton


Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - UT-Martin

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

Patriot - American

SEC - 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 - St. Mary's, Gonzaga


The Seeds
The 1s

Connecticut, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma

The 2s
Louisville, Duke, Michigan State, Memphis

The 3s
Wake Forest, Villanova, Kansas, Missouri

The 4s
Washington, Xavier, Florida State, Marquette

The 5s
Clemson, UCLA, Illinois, Gonzaga

The 6s
Purdue, Butler, California, Syracuse

The 7s
Texas, LSU, Tennessee, Arizona State

The 8s
West Virginia, Utah, BYU, Ohio State

The 9s
Minnesota, Dayton, Texas A&M, Penn State

The 10s
Boston College, Wisconsin, Creighton, Oklahoma State

The 11s
UNLV, Maryland, St. Mary's, Providence

The 12s
Arizona, South Carolina, Davidson, Utah State

The 13s
Siena, Western Kentucky, VCU, Buffalo

The 14s
Binghamton, Weber State, North Dakota State, American

The 15s
Stephen F. Austin, Cornell, UT-Martin, Robert Morris

The 16s
Cal State Northridge, Morgan State, Jacksonville, Radford (Play-In Game), Alabama State (Play-In-Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Anonymous said...

So... If FSU beats Va tech, gets the 4 seed and then beats clemson to get to the semi's,before losing a very close game to UNC or Duke, could you envision a 3 seed, if... say... Xavier is upset in their conference tourney, washington doesnt win theirs, and Kansas/mizzou fail to make the semi's of their tourney?

Bracketology 101 said...

The highest seed that FSU fans can realistically hope for at this point is a 3, and the scenario you put forth would probably get them there. Keep in mind, too, that there are a couple of teams behind the 'Noles on the current S-curve that could eventually surpass them. Marquette could get a 3 with a deep Big East tourney run and Illinois could snag a 3 if they were to win the Bin Ten tourney.

Anonymous said...

illinois being a 3 seed is ridiculous... this is a team that scored 48 points! on tulsa!, 33 on penn state,and 36 in an embarassing 25point loss against minnesota, a team that has the 113th ranked OOC sos, even though they played 2 very good teams in clemson and mizzou... They are 1-3 vs top 25 opponents, at some point, something other than conference wins have to matter...

Adam said...

After Cincinnati lost to South Florida I was getting ready for the NIT. After all the losses the last few days, its funny that they still have a feint heartbeat for making the NCAA. If Cincy beats Seton Hall and wins two games in the Big East tourney will they have any shot or do they need at least three wins to leap frog teams to get into the dance?

Bracketology 101 said...

We don't have a lot of faith in Illinois getting a 3, but if the Illini win the Big Ten tourney (and beat Michigan State in the process), there's a good chance that's where they would end up.

Anonymous said...

texas a&m as been on a hot streak lately, but in all of their games they havent really been playing that well. what do you think the chances are that theyll beat missouri in college station tomorrow and what do you think theyll have to do in the big 12 tournament if they lose?

Anonymous said...

URI goes from not even in the last 8 out to 3rd out. Glad to see we're getting closer.

Dan said...

If KU beats Texas tomorrow and wins the Big XII tourney, how good are their chances at recovering their 2 seed?

Snapple said...

Wow, Northwestern on the last eight out. So you're basically saying that if Northwestern goes on some kind of run like to the Big Ten finals, they can get an at-large bid. I didn't think they were even being considered.

Bracketology 101 said...

Couple of quick hits...

If Cinci wins their next 3, Adam, they would be right in the mix for an at large bid. If that second win come against Providence then they would probably pass the Friars in the Big East pecking order which would be a big boost. Another win to get the semis (against one of the Big 3) would make them a lock.

We expect the Aggies to win at home against Missouri and lock up a bid. If they lose then they will need two Big 12 tourney wins to feel completely safe.

URI is right in the mix now and got a boost with Dayton losing to Xavier. The Rams now can lock up a second place finish with a win over UMass. Their OOC win over Penn State is also has some more luster on it. They may have enough of an at-large profile if they can get to the A-10 final and beat Dayton on the way there. Dayton has better wins overall than URI, but should they fall again to the Rams in the A-10 tourney they would clearly be behind them after losing twice to them and finishing behind them in the A-10 standings.

If Kansas wins out they will be a 2 seed.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Northwestern gets to the Big Ten final, they'll get an at-large. They would have 8-9 Top 50 wins at that point, depending on who they played en route to the final. They also have a nice OOC win over FSU on their resume, which is something that other Big Ten bubble teams, like Wisconsin and Penn State, don't have.

Anonymous said...

After watching the amazing finish to the Creighton-Wichita State game (CU up 16 with 4 minutes left, WSU goes on crazy run to pull ahead with 13 seconds left, CU hits a shot at the buzzer to win)... are the Bluejays finally in the lock category?

They've now won 11 games in a row. With so many other teams losing their way out of the Dance, the Jays have to be safely in, right? The committee's supposed to choose teams that win their way into the field, not struggle down the stretch.

Anonymous said...

Are ND/Gtown in with a run to the BET finals? (4 wins)

Bracketology 101 said...

We wouldn't put Creighton into the lock category just yet. They have certainly been on a roll lately, but still only have 2 top 50 wins and it is a down year for the Valley overall. If they can get past Illinois State on Saturday they should be in good shape, but we recommend taking care of business and winning the MVC title. Every year there seems to be a Valley bubble team who looks to be in good shape at this point but then continues to fall down the bubble as championship week plays out. Last year Illinois State was this team.

And yes, a Big East tourney final run would get ND or G'town in.

Anonymous said...

"They have certainly been on a roll lately, but still only have 2 top 50 wins..."

Of course, they've only been fortunate enough to get two top 50 teams to play against this year. Creighton's 2-0 vs. the top 50 and a solid 10-4 against the top 100.

"... and it is a down year for the Valley overall..."

Yep, I'll agree that Creighton's the only solid at-large pick out of the MVC, but the league is mere percentage points behind the A-10 for 8th overall by conference RPI rankings, and the MVC finished 8th last year. The conference strength is still very much there. Just because there's an apparent lack of at-large worthy teams shouldn't severely diminish what Creighton's done.

"...Every year there seems to be a Valley bubble team who looks to be in good shape at this point but then continues to fall down the bubble as championship week plays out. Last year Illinois State was this team..."

Here's where I think the long week between the MVC final and Selection Sunday hurts this league tremendously. Last year, if Illinois State's loss in the MVC final happened on the same day as Selection Sunday, I truly believe that the committee would have put them into the field. Having the committee stew over the team's loss for a whole week while other teams played their way in... that's what ultimately doomed Illinois State.

I can't believe that even with an 11-game win streak, Creighton STILL might need another win to be in good shape?

Anonymous said...

Interesting numbers on Creighton. Also interesting that you say that ND still has a shot at an at-large.

Lemme see... Creighton is 10-4 against the top 100, has a top-40 RPI, and has that long winning streak going for them. Plus, they were co-champs of the MVC, still a top-10 league the last I checked.

Notre Dame is 4-12 against the top 100, has an RPI in the 70's, and is 5-5 in their last ten games. Plus, they didn't even finish at .500 in the Big East.

Yep... I can see perfectly why someone might choose ND over Creighton...

Name recognition... nothing else.

Bracketology 101 said...

ND would likely have to defeat 2 out of the Big East top 3 teams to make the final so that would be a very impressive run and would get them an at-large bid.

Creighton may be deserving already, and would probably remain in our Monday bracket regardless of what they do this weekend. All we are saying is that we don't necessarily like their chances of staying there after a crazy and long championship week.

Anonymous said...

So if ND wins a few big games and then loses in the Big East final, they'd likely end up with something like a 6-13 mark against the RPI top 100, and that would gain them a spot?

That's exactly what's wrong with the entire BCS atmosphere, both in basketball and in football.

Instead of rewarding those teams that have been winning their way into the field since January, we'll toss a bid to a team that has had shot after shot after shot at beating ranked teams in their conference, only to get run over time and time and time again...

lost by 15 to UNC
lost by 14 at Louisville
lost by 19 at Syracuse
lost by 13 at Pitt
lost by 10 at Cincinnati
lost by 26 at UCLA
lost by 11 at West Virginia
lost by 17 at home to Villanova

But let's gloss over these little roadbumps. How soon we forget an entire season of disappointing results when we can just put abig spotlight on the conference tourney and say, "OK, NOW if you can win a few big games, we'll toss a bid your way".

I guess I'm just tired of seeing overrated BCS teams get chance after chance after chance to get that one big win to put them win, despite failing numerous times in the regular season to do so.

Anonymous said...

So uconn loses, AGAIN, if duke wins tomorrow do they get uconn's 1 seed?

Bracketology 101 said...

UConn will keep its 1 seed, but Louisville, Duke, and Michigan State are now very much in the mix for a 1.

Anonymous said...

So if duke wins tomorrow, but loses in the final to UNC, amd OU ends up not winning thier conference tourney, does duke get the slot?

Anonymous said...

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