Saturday, March 07, 2009

Running Weekend Commentary

Friday and Saturday's Games
*Cornell was the first team to lock up an automatic bid, for the second year in a row, with its win over Penn on Friday night.

*As we head in to the final weekend of the regular season, here are the differences between our bracket and the brackets of other bracketologists:

Joe Lunardi (ESPN.com)
He has: Michigan, New Mexico, Northern Iowa
We have: Arizona, Providence, St. Mary's

Jerry Palm (CollegeRPI.com)
He has: Michigan, Rhode Island, Northern Iowa
We have: Providence, St. Mary's, South Carolina

*R.I.P. Cincinnati...and the Big East getting 9 bids.

*Michigan picked a pretty good time to win a road game. The Wolverines will be in Monday's field, but they'll still need to win a Big Ten tourney game to be safe. Minnesota's fate for Monday will be determined by how the rest of the bubble fares today and tomorrow. Even if they hang on as the eighth Big Ten team, they'll need one (and maybe two) Big Ten wins to like their chances on Selection Sunday. Keep in mind that Minnesota did sweep Wisconsin this season.

*Rakim Sanders just saved BC's season. The Eagles probably would have been out on Monday had Sanders' fadeaway jumper not fallen.

*Albany holds on to upset Vermont. Tony Kornheiser's Binghamton Bearcats have an easier NCAA tourney path now.

*POP! goes Kentucky. The Wildcats are going to have to get to the SEC final, and maybe win it, to get a bid. Their first round game will be against Alabama, followed by LSU and (barring an upset) South Carolina.

*How does Rhode Island reward us for showing them a little Last Four Out love? They lose at home to UMass. The Rams may have to win the A-10 tourney now to get a bid.

*South Carolina avoided the upset bug, and will stay in the field Monday as a result.

*Ginormous win for Texas A&M. They're solidly in right now.

*Interesting move by St. Mary's to add a game against Eastern Washington to the schedule for later this week after the WCC tourney.

*What an absolute mess the Big Ten is. Penn State was unable to lock down its bid at Iowa. Here is what we are left with: Wisconsin swept Penn State and Michigan, Michigan swept Minnesota, Minnesota swept Wisconsin, Ohio State swept Michigan, and Penn State swept Illinois and won at Michigan State. If Northwestern can win at Ohio State today then things will get even messier. It is going to take the conference tourney to sort this all out.

*Maryland blew it at Virginia and opened up a huge door for Virginia Tech if they can win at FSU. All of our ACC posters must really love the fact that the Big Ten is looking more and more like an 8 bid league (we still won't say it is an 8 bid league yet), while the ACC is looking like a 6 bid league.

*New Mexico picked up a huge road win at Wyoming. A trip the the MWC final would put them in good position for an at-large. There are also now some plausible scenarios where the MWC gets 4 bids.

*Creighton down big early...Creighton down big at the half...and Creighton losses big in the end. The Bluejays will be talked about all week and they are definitely in the mix for an at-large bid. They have wins over fellow bubble boys Dayton and New Mexico, and they have an RPI that will likely be in the low 40s. The big problem we think the committee may have with them is that they were only able to share the regular season title with Northern Iowa and that they were unable to reach the conference final. It will be a long week for them (like it was for Illinois State last year) and they will need to have things go their way throughout the week to make it in the end.

*Big win for Auburn today. They are officially on our bubble now having won 8 of 9 and finishing with 10 wins in the SEC. If Florida gets by Arkansas they will face off with the Tigers in the quarters in what will be an elimination game with the winner being right in the mix.

*Radford, East Tennessee State, and Morehead State (wow, what a game) - welcome to the Big Dance.

*We'll be back later tonight...keeping an eye on Stanford at Arizona, Wright State at Butler, and UNLV at SDSU.

*...And we're back. Butler was able to squeeze past Wright State and into the Horizon final, where they will face potential bid-stealer Cleveland State on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs will be in the field win-or-lose come Wednesday. Arizona also held serve at home against Stanford to finish 9-9 in the Pac-10. That should be good enough for a bid, but the Wildcats might want to beat ASU in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament to feel really good about their chances.

*UNLV has the best OOC resume of any MWC team, but they finished with seven conference losses and are on the outside looking in right now after losing at SDSU. It was the second win of the season for the Aztecs over the Rebels, who ended up with the 5 seed in the MWC tourney as a result. SDSU earned the 4 seed, which means that these two will play again on Thursday in an elimination game. The loser of that game will have no at-large hopes, while the winner will need to beat BYU in the semis to like its at-large chances on Selection Sunday. Both of these teams will enter the conference tourney behind New Mexico in the MWC pecking order. The Lobos split with every good MWC team during the regular season, but they finished a game ahead of SDSU in conference and three games ahead of UNLV. They've also won eight of nine overall. The Lobos' first round match-up against Wyoming (again) in the MWC tourney is very winnable. If they beat the Cowboys, and then upset Utah to get to the final, they'll be in great shape for an at-large.

Sunday's Games
*Who would have thought a week or so ago that all three ACC bubble teams (Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Miami) would finish 7-9? The "luckiest" of these three teams is Maryland, who ended up getting the 7 seed in the ACC tourney. They'll face N.C. State in the opening round. Miami and VT will square off in the 8/9 game. The loser of that is obviously done, while the winner is going to need to upset Carolina to get an at-large. The Terps will also need two wins to get serious at-large consideration.

*Congrats to Northern Iowa for winning the Valley (and for making our lives a little harder over the next week). Creighton is going to be one of the most-discussed and most debated bubble teams all week long. We'll give our updated take on their at-large chances when we release our Monday bracket.

*Ohio State survived Northwestern's upset bid and pulled out a five-point win in Columbus. The loss ends Northwestern's at-large hopes, but we wouldn't be surprised if the still-hot Wildcats make a little noise in the Big Ten tourney.

*Wow...down goes Davidson - to Charleston in the Southern semis. Unlike Creighton, who has a legit at-large resume as a mid-major, Davidson's tournament hopes are all but over. The Wildcats have just one win over the Top 100 (West Virginia), they get crushed in their Bracketbuster game by Butler (with Stephen Curry in the lineup), and they couldn't even get to the championship game of the 20th-ranked conference in the country. Davidson may be clinging to a spot in the Next Four Out list in our bracket tomorrow, but they will need a miracle (or a lot of Steph Curry love from the committee) at this point to get a bid.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

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MattLion said...

BC wins at the last second against a game GT squad.... they in?

Bracketology 101 said...

The Eagles are still in, but they might want to win an ACC tourney game to feel 100% safe.

Anonymous said...

Is Cincinnati completely done now? Or do they still have a shot if they have a good run in the BE tourney?

Anonymous said...

B101, MICHIGAN FINALLY WON A ROAD GAME, GUESS BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. WHERE DO THEY STAND NOW??

Anonymous said...

Bracketology101, has St. Mary's, even with Patrick Mills, done enough to make the tournament? Only 3 of their 22 wins are vs the Top 100. Or will the selection committee pick them based on star power alone?

MattLion said...

PSU loses a heartbreaker in Iowa... how much does that hurt them?

Anonymous said...

huge win, followed by a terrible loss... they should be out

Anonymous said...

i think penn state should be in regardless...just like bob knight said

Anonymous said...

Guessing maryland has fallen out of the bracket?

Anonymous said...

If Michigan is not a lock then something is wrong! What else more do you want from them??!!

Anonymous said...

A .500 record in their conference!

Anonymous said...

Guessing Tamu, NW and Auburn are the big winners today so far?

Anonymous said...

ACC BLOWS, BIG 10 IS GETTING 8

Howard Salwasser said...

I happened to catch a scroll of the Creighton score on the ESPN2 line, before it had to extoll the travels of TO to Buffalo, and I thought to myself, damn, Creighton really got jinxed by last night's last second win.

As to the Big Ten, I've got a hunch it may be Northwestern, not Minnesota(full disclosure: I'm a Gopher fan), that may be the Big Ten's eight team in the field.

dg12x said...

Penn State fan here. I was impressed with another fast and furious comeback by the Lions in the last 2 min of today's game down 51-42, especially after playing just 36 hours prior and having an injured Cornley. But Jake Kelly just hit some ridiculous 3's in the 2OT to beat us.

My fear about their bid is, assuming OSU and Wisconsin win tomorrow, PSU would have the 6th seed and play Indiana in the BTT, which would lower their RPI, win or lose. Do they need 2 wins in the BTT to be a lock now? How far with the 6 top 50's wins go, when a team like South Carolina has Zero?

I certainly think Maryland and URI losing today helps and I still feel PSU has a better overall resume than Minnesota, even with their Louisville win.

Anonymous said...

As the fan of a bubble team (Minnesota) should I be rooting for Creighton in today's game? If they lose this one is the MVC a two bid league, or does that ensure it's a one bid league?

Anonymous said...

Wolverines get the nod over Minnesota.

Bracketology 101 said...

For Penn State it really might come down to how much the committee cares about what you did OOC. Every other Big Ten team they are competing with beat at least a bubble team in their OOC play. The Nittany Lions have fared a little better in conference at 10-8. We really think things will sort itself out in the Big Ten tourney (someone losing to Iowa or Minnesota losing to an 8-10 N'Western) and it will be clear who the 7 best are from the Big Ten. But right now it is still just a jumbled messs.

Bracketology 101 said...

You need to chear for Creighton

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, Creighton has done enough for an at-large. They won 11 straight games going in today, have a top-40 RPI, 10-4 against the top 100 and losing to Illinois State shouldn't be too much of a knock. But getting blown out and a week to let it fester will. Will those who matter take into consideration all that happened before that, including a crazy game the night before or will the 11th place Big East team get a nod?

Anonymous said...

Good lord, Creighton is still receiving an ass-kicking. 56-34 last I checked. Odds on the ILSTU taking down Northern Iowa tomorrow?

-Normalite

Howard Salwasser said...

And boom go the Bluejays. Another spot open.

Anonymous said...

Full disclosure, I am a Creighton fan, but again, why does this loss automatically kill the Jays' hopes? This is their first loss in 12 games against a team that they beat during that streak. Illinois State will probably have a top 50 RPI with this win. They also have hit like 70 percent of their threes in the game. It's ugly for Creighton today but if a Big East team had the same exact resume they'd be in without question. This loss shouldn't be enough to end Creighton's hopes, although I am realistic enough to know it will.

Matty said...

What the heck has South Carolina done to deserve an NCAA bid? Their non-con schedule is absolutely horrid and they don't have a single victory over a team that has a decent chance of making the tournament.

I'm not a Creighton fan (SIU grad), but don't they deserve a bid over South Carolina? Wins against Dayton, New Mexico, and George Mason.

Bracketology 101 said...

South Carolina still needs to win 2 games in the conference tourney to lock up their bid. Anything less and they are very borderline.

Doug Elgin said...

The Mountain West gets 4 bids over my dead body.

Anonymous said...

Penn State is in. Sweeping Illinois, and beating Michigan State on the road and beating Purdue. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Penn St. is OUT

Anonymous said...

Yes...Penn St. needs at least 2 wins in the B10T

Dan said...

Auburn is certainly a team to keep an eye on. I wouldn't bet against them in the SEC tourney.

Anonymous said...

It's too early to say teams such as Miami and Cincy are out because they have chances to pick up quality wins next week.

Auburn beat nobody outside the league.

I believe any of the three ACC bubble teams gets in with two more wins. VT might make it with a win at FSU.

Anonymous said...

Cincy is done they just lost to 15-15 Seton Hall at home

Anonymous said...

Xavier lost, so FSU moves up a spot in the S-curve, right? And ditto Mizzou, as long as FSU completes the sweep tomorrow at home v Va tech...

Anonymous said...

go lobos! 4 teams from the MWC will make it in, not because the MWC is all that but because a lot of bubble teams are blowing it.

Anonymous said...

go lobos! 4 teams from the MWC will make it in, not because the MWC is all that but because a lot of bubble teams are blowing it.

Anonymous said...

Out of Michigan, NW, Minnesota, Penn state, and wisconsin at least 3, maybe 4, will lose their first big 10 conference game... Doesnt that leave the ones that lost on the outside looking in?

Anonymous said...

ISU? plz........cmon we got the shaft last year the 2 home loses we have came on buzzer beater ( not an excuse for ind st. at all) but damn throw us a bid already

Anonymous said...

HAHA BIG 10 HATERS, Big 10 is for real probably going to get 7 or 8 bids.

Anonymous said...

11:14, yes, seriously. Let's hope we just play into it and don't have to worry like Creighton's doing. Though, not to leave any illusions about it, if we don't take it tomorrow, we're not dancing. The Indiana State losses did that in.

-Normalite

Anonymous said...

ND or Gtown will play their way into a bid

Keith Waters said...

I agree that the Big Ten is a great league, especially when it plays the ACC in December.

Anonymous said...

Michigan has a resume that rivals some 6 seeds. There's no way they'll not make it, even if they lose to Iowa in the first round game.

Chris in NC said...

"*What an absolute mess the Big Ten is. Penn State was unable to lock down its bid at Iowa. Here is what we are left with: Wisconsin swept Penn State and Michigan, Michigan swept Minnesota, Minnesota swept Wisconsin, Ohio State swept Michigan, and Penn State swept Illinois and won at Michigan State. If Northwestern can win at Ohio State today then things will get even messier. It is going to take the conference tourney to sort this all out."

Isn't that the truth. The Big 10 hasn't been the best conference this year, but I think they have been the funnest to watch for the bubble action. Looking at say Michigan who beats Duke and UCLA then drops a turd in Iowa and has to go OT against Indiana. Or Ohio State who just as they lock it up, tank worse than the DOW and now can't lose in the BTT. Crazy.

BenjiF said...

It's certainly getting very interesting. I'm a Cincinnati fan, but they've clearly played their way out, and only a B10 Tourney championship will do. I think the BE is pretty set with Providence being the last team in, provided they don't lose in the 1st round of the BE tourney. The SEC and B10 are much more interesting. Besides LSU and Tenn, it's all up for grabs in the SEC. Could Vandy/Miss St. have a chance if they made a run to their conference finals? Doubtful with the rigor of their OOC schedules, but it's conceivable if they're knocking out Auburn/USC on their path. As far as the B10, beyond the top 3, it's a mess that is only inextricable with the existence of the B10 conf. tourney. The quarterfinal games will basically be play out games. Do you put PSU in if they lose in the 4-5 game to OSU/Wisconsin? Hard to say...One can only hope that a few of the seeds from 4-9 separate themself from the pack by beating a Purdue/Illinois/MSU. But what if it's NU that goes on a run and PSU/Wis/Mich/OSU/Minn all fade before the finals? Another headache...

Anonymous said...

This isnt really your area of expertise, i would imagine, but Toney Douglas has to be ACC POY, right?>

MattLion said...

VT done?

Anonymous said...

Seth Davis says URI is one of the last 4 in...any chance they get an at-large?

Anonymous said...

I think St. Mary's has to beat Gonzaga to make the tournament. They just don't have enough quality wins, even with Mills healthy.

I'm predicting that Patrick Mills is not going to be 100% tonight and that Portland will beat them a 3rd time.

Brian said...

URI out of the discussion

Bracketology 101 said...

We like St. Mary's to win the WCC tourney (Portland and St. Mary's split this year).

URI still has at-large possibilities.

VT will need to win at least 2 in the ACC tourney to have a chance.

Anonymous said...

What's the bubble pecking order for Maryland, Miami, and Va Tech? Maryland has a better resume than the other 2 right?

Doug said...

The Mountain West Conference is pretty intriguing. There is still a possibility that they could send four teams to the tourney. However, two teams--UNLV (my projected conference winner) and Utah--representing the conference is probably more realistic. I would not even be surprised to see a team like Wyoming take the title this year; they have played well at times this season...anything can happen in the conference tournament. Though, what happens if a Wyoming or TCU takes the MWC championship this year? How many teams does the conference get? My guess would be two at the most.

Anonymous said...

B101 IS MICHIGAN A LOCK???

Bracketology 101 said...

Maryland, Miami, VT. But they all need to win 2 games to have a shot so it probably won't matter.

BYU and Utah are likely locks out of the MWC unless things really go crazy in Vegas. We think New Mexico only needs to get to the final. But there are lots of wild cards depending on how well UNLV and SDSU do. New Mexico really needs to hope that BYU gets to the final. We still don't think the league has a good shot at 4. Maybe 15-20%.

Bracketology 101 said...

Michigan needs one more win and they should be good.

Anonymous said...

Davidson out with a loss?

Anonymous said...

Bracketology101, just by chance, were Michigan to lose to Iowa again, exactly WHO would you choose over them?

Anonymous said...

thats my biggest question, no one has a better resume than Michigan when it comes to bubble teams.

Brian said...

Even as down as I am on the quality of the Big 10 this year, Michigan has to be in already.

Anonymous said...

is PENN STATE in already? what if they win/lose to indiana?

Anonymous said...

So FSU gets the 4 seed and the bye... would a loss to clemson in the quarter knock them off the 4 line?

Bracketology 101 said...

Penn State is still in, but they'll be out if they lose to Indiana. If they win, they are probably safe, but not 100% safe. Two wins and they're a lock.

FSU may hang on to a 4 in that scenario, but it would depend on how far Clemson got in the ACC tourney after beating FSU, as well as how far teams like Missorui, Xavier, UCLA, Syracuse, and Illinois went in their conference tournies.

Anonymous said...

Am i right in saying that Minnesota-NW is an elimiantion game, and that penn state and michigan would be out with first round losses? Also, if michigan goes on to lose to illinois, are they out?

Anonymous said...

Michigan is a lock, regardless what other bubble team is better than them??? PSU loses to Indiana they are out no doubt, also Minny-NW is an elimination game for Minny, NW must win the conf. tourney.

Anonymous said...

NW must win the conf. tourney.
You came off as a homer, and i wasnt going to say anything, since michigan may get a bid with a first round loss, but come on...
Northwestern, admittedly, is only 8-10 in the big 10, but they only have 1 bad big 10 loss, at iowa, and big wins vs MSU, Purdue, Florida state, and minnesota... They may need to beat minnesota in the tournament to clinch a bid, and you know what, they may even have to go on to beat michigan state, but you really think that they would need to beat Minnesota, Michigan State, Wisconsin/ohio state and then likely purdue or illinois to make the tournament? Are you kidding me? NW is in the same boat with the 3 ACC teams, needing an upset in the conference tourney quarters over a top 10 team.

Anonymous said...

WEll Shit northern iowa is just a pain in ISU's back but to honstly to give criegton a bid over ISU is absurd they slimed thier way into the 2nd round only to get blown out and then isu loses in overtime............an how about Osirus Eldg, granted hes streaky but that was Stephon Curry esk I dono who gona be the come from nowhere player this year deffntly wont be woodfox if crei gets in (sure as hell wont be the 7footer from UNI, he looks like sherk)goodbye tourney hello NIT.....oh joy

Anonymous said...

Illinios State done?

Anonymous said...

more losses out side the top 100 than wins inside the top 50... i think so

jack neuman said...

Hey guys.....the tourney participants are decided by your entire body of work. Yes there is some emphasis on the last 12 games. Minnesota is well ahead of all these teams. They are 4-6 last ten. Some of these other bubble teams are 6-4 5-5 4-6. 7 of 10 were against top 50. Everybody needs to remember that these are not tourney games. Minnesota is in. South Carolina is 1-5 vs. top 50. Minn 5-7. Better Rpi, SOS. SC is 6-4 vs 2 top 50 which they lost both. It is not even debatable...... WAKE UP and stop spreading nonsense.

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