Thursday, February 18, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Thursday

Our quick thoughts on Thursday's results:

Georgetown came thisclose to pulling off the most improbable comeback of this college basketball season on Thursday night, before ultimately falling to Syracuse 75-71 at the Verizon Center. The Orange led by 23 with 12:37 left in the game, but then went ice cold from the field and allowed the Hoyas to mount a near-miraculous charge. Led by Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, and Greg Monroe (and against the cheering of Vice President Biden), the Hoyas cut the Syracuse lead to single digits with six minutes to play, and then got it down to one on a Monroe free throw with 1:10 remaining. But that's where the comeback ended. A Kris Joseph basket put the Orange back up three with 8.4 seconds left, and after a free throw by Georgetown's Jason Clark, Andy Rautins sealed the win for Syracuse with a pair of free throws of his own. Rautins finished with a game-high 26 points for the Orange, who guaranteed themselves a spot on the 1 line next week with the win. They don't play again until Tuesday at Providence. Georgetown's next game is at Louisville on Tuesday, and there's a chance they could take the floor for that game as a low 4 or high 5 seed. The Hoyas less-than-impressive 8-6 Big East record has them in sixth place in conference, a game behind West Virginia and Pitt and a half game behind Louisville.

Syracuse wasn't the only Big East team to come away with a big road win on Thursday night. Thanks to a key 14-5 run at the start of the second half, Pitt beat Marquette 58-51 at the Bradley Center to extend its win streak to four games and to improve to 9-4 in conference. The Panthers, who were playing their first game since their triple OT win over West Virginia last Friday, snapped a three game road losing streak in conference with the victory. They host Villanova this weekend, and if they can upset the Wildcats, they will be at the top of the 4 line at worst next week. Next up for Marquette is a huge bubble battle at Cincinnati on Saturday. If the Golden Eagles lose that game, a strong case could be made that they should be out of next week's field. Looking ahead, though, their final four games are all winnable (at St. John's, at Seton Hall, vs. Louisville, vs. Notre Dame), so we'll have to do some projecting of their schedule - and the schedules of the rest of the Big East bubble teams - as we hand out bids on Sunday night.

Mississippi's season-long stay in our bracket is officially over. The Rebels, who were clinging to a 13 seed in our latest field of 65, missed out on a golden opportunity to pick up a marquee win at home against Vanderbilt on Thursday night, blowing an 11-point first half lead in an 82-78 loss to the Commodores. It was Mississippi's fourth loss in its past five games, and it dropped them to 5-6 in conference and into third place in the SEC West. The Rebels still have no wins over tourney-caliber SEC teams, and even if they beat Florida at home this weekend, they'll be on the outside of the bracket looking in on Monday. A.J. Ogilvy had 27 points and eight rebounds in the win for Vandy, who welcomes 2nd-ranked Kentucky to Nashville this weekend. If the Commodores can upset the Wildcats (they're 13-0 at home this season), they'll be a 3 seed in our bracket next Monday.

Minnesota's at-large hopes appeared all but over after a road loss to Northwestern this past weekend, but they showed Thursday night that they can't be written off just yet. With their heads shaved in honor of teammate Paul Carter's sister - who was recently diagnosed with cancer - the Gophers played inspired ball and blew out Wisconsin 68-52 at Williams Arena. Blake Hoffarber scored 18 points and added nine rebounds to lead Minnesota, who improved to 6-7 in the Big Ten with the win. The Gophers still have a long way to go to get back in the bracket - they already have 10 losses and still have games left against Purdue at home and against Illinois on the road - but they are now ahead of Northwestern in the race for the Big Ten's sixth bid. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is now two games behind Michigan State for first place in conference with just four games remaining. The Badgers host Northwestern this weekend and then finish with games at Indiana, at home against Iowa, and at Illinois.

The silver lining for Wisconsin fans was that leading scorer Jon Leuer made his long-awaited return to the lineup against Minnesota, scoring four points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field. Leuer missed nine games with a broken wrist, and the Badgers went 6-3 without him.

For the second time in three weeks, Gonzaga got more than it could handle from a WCC opponent on the road. The Zags lost at San Francisco back on Jan. 30, and on Thursday night, they blew a double-digit first half lead and were upset 74-66 at Loyola Marymount. It was the first win for the Lions over a ranked team since the 1990 NCAA tournament, when they upset Alabama in the West Regional semis. Gonzaga led by three at the half, but made seven of their 27 field goal attempts in the second half to let Loyola back in the game. The loss will knock the Zags down a seed line next week, and even if they win out, there's a chance they might not get back to the 4 line that they were on to start the week.

Just when the Pac-10 looked like it might be a two-bid league, it reminded us just how pathetic it really is. Cal, who was in line for a potential at-large bid next week if it could just sweep the Oregon schools on the road, lost by 16 at Oregon State, and Washington, who would have been the front runner to be our automatic bid had we given the Pac-10 two bids, lost at home to USC. The Huskies had won five of their past six games coming in, but their loss to the Trojans (who, let's face it, may be the best team in the Pac-10) dropped them to 7-7 - and sixth place - in the Pac-10. The Bears fell to 9-5 thanks to their loss to the Beavers, and they're now just a half game up on Arizona State in conference. Whoever is in from the Pac-10 next week (it'll probably still be Cal) will be a 10 seed at best.

And finally, a big B101 fist bump goes out to Tim O'Shea and the Bryant Bulldogs, who snapped a 28-game losing streak and picked up their first victory of the season Thursday night, winning 53-51 at Wagner. Raphael Jordan hit two free throws with one second left to clinch the win for Bryant (1-26), which won for the first time since a 70-46 victory over NJIT on Feb. 17, 2009. The win moved the Bulldogs up two spots to No. 344 in the RPI, but they still aren't worthy of any at-large consideration just yet. They have no absolutely OOC resume to speak of, and they are a mediocre 0-26 against the RPI Top 330. They'll have to win at Mount St. Mary's on Saturday to get themselves back in the bubble discussion.

Of note: Florida beat Auburn at home; Dayton beat LaSalle at home; St. Mary's won at San Diego.

42 comments:

jetsfootball177 said...

Mr. K

If Uconn goes 4-1 in their next 5 and their one loss is to WVU, do they need to win more then 1 in the BE tournament?

ScarShoulders said...

Could the ACC be the most underrated conference in college basketball?

http://kenpom.com/conf.php?y=2010&c=ACC

7 teams in the top 28 of Pomeroys rankings. Look to ride a number of ACC teams into the second weekend in your March Madness bracket...

Anonymous said...

Even though they are 0-4 in big OOC games (Cuse being the only blowout), does Memphis have a shot at an at large bid if they go 4-1 down the stretch and finish 13-3 in Conference USA (potentially tied or ahead of UAB)? Or is their only shot at making THE DANCE in winning the conf. tournament?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the washington loss keeps the pac-10 to a 1 bid league if Cal wins the tourney. If W&M wins at Iona in the bracketbuster today, that will give them another top 100 rpi win. So does that get them back into your first eight out list (or maybe first four out list)?

Anonymous said...

Do the gophers have to win it in order to get into the tournament? If not what do they have to do?

DavidATL said...

Georgia Tech is right now 6-6 in ACC. They have 4 games left (at MD and Clemson, home v BC and VT), and could very well lose 3 of the 4. Assuming that they do, and therefore end up 7-9 in ACC, are they still in?

OOC is nothing impressive -- best win = at Charlotte. Otherwise, just home wins over Siena and USC, neutral over G Mason. OOC losses are neutral ct loss to Dayton and away loss to Georgia.

Not really sure how they deserve an 8 seed at this point, but if they lose 3 of their 4, how much repair will they need to do in the ACC tourney to feel comfortable?

Miles said...

Doesn't Minnesota also have to go to Michigan? They already lost to the Wolverines in Minneapolis. One win is not enough to get the Gophers in the bracket. They have lost to too many teams not in your bracket to deserve a bid.

Anonymous said...

DavidAtl, Georgia Tech also got swept by Florida State but for some reason, Georgia Tech is seeded higher than FSU. An 8 seed is too high for Georgia Tech. They should be at 10/11 and on the bubble.

Kym said...

Matt,
Real Time RPI still has Syracuse in Oklahoma CIty and also has Duke in OKlahoma City. They also have Villanova traveling to the midwest rather than one of the two northeast sites. Is their bracket meant as a joke?

Bracketology 101 said...

Quick hits:

(Nelson, is that you? What's up?) If UConn goes 4-1 but doesn't beat WVU, they'll need to win two Big East tourney games to be alive for a bid.

Memphis need to win the C-USA tourney to get a bid.

Minnesota needs to win out to feel good about its chances heading into the Big Ten tourney. If they go 4-1, they'll need to win two Big Ten tourney games to be in the at-large mix.

Georgia Tech is an 8 seed right now, despite a .500 ACC record, because of their big wins in conference (Duke, Wake, Clemson) and their win at Charlotte, but their spot in the field is far from safe. They need to win an ACC road game in the worst way, and they have a chance to do that this weekend in College Park. If they lose to the Terps, they will be a double-digit seed and be firmly on the bubble next week. If they end up finishing 7-9 (we think they'll go 8-8 at worst), they are going to be on the wrong side of the bubble heading into the ACC tourney. The only way the Yellow Jackets would get back in the at-large mix at that point is if they made a run to the semifinals or better.

A win over Iona doesn't do much for William & Mary's at-large hopes. They'll still be just outside the Last Eight list even with a win over the Gaels.

jetsfootball177 said...

Yep its me haha, nice success you guys are having on this site in the last year. Congrats on the partnership with Fox too. Hopefully Uconn can ride the Villanova win but I doubt it considering what they did after the Texas win.

Anonymous said...

I would be stunned if Minnesota makes it in. They have losses to non-tourney teams Indiana, Northwestern, Michigan, Miami, and Portland. They also got lucky to beat Penn State. Minnesota is not worthy of a bid.

Anonymous said...

Georgetown to a 5 seed is a little harsh no?

Avs Fan said...

Could Siena or ODU lock up a bid with road wins this weekend?

49ers Fan said...

Cal really didn't do much in ooc play. Couple that with their bad losses within the conference, Cal doesn't have much of an at large case. The Pac 10 looks like a 1 bid league despite having a Pac 10 AD as selection committee chair.

Anonymous said...

Georgetown to a 5 seed is not harsh. The Hoyas lost at home to bubble teams Old Dominion and South Florida and bad loss to Rutgers.

Anonymous said...

No way Georgetown is a 5 seed. Yes they are 8-6 in the big east, but they have also already played both Villanova and Syracuse twice. No other team in the league has done that.

They have the number 1 SOS in the country and still have 5 wins over the RPI top 25, including 2 over the RPI top 10.

They will likely finish 3-1 in regular season play (11-7 overall), leaving them in 5th place. Yes, that will be behind Pitt, but they have a head to head win @ Pitt and the SOS difference.

They belong at the bottom of the 3 line.

Anonymous said...

What kind of seed could Butler get if they win out? Is Northern Iowa a lock to make it? Or would 2-3 more losses knock out NIU?

Bracketology 101 said...

A 5 seed is a worst case scenario for Georgetown at this point, but it's definitely not out of the question. They'll most likely be on the 4 line next week.

ODU and Siena won't "lock up" bids with wins this weeekend, but each would improve their at-large chances significantly. Siena needs a victory more than ODU, because despite a gaudy record, the Saints still have no wins over tournament teams. Even with a win at Butler, they'll have to get to the MAAC final (which they should) to be in the at-large mix on Selection Sunday.

ODU, meanwhile, has the luxury of already having wins over Georgetown, Charlotte, and William & Mary (twice). A win at Northern Iowa doesn't guarantee them a bid, but they'd have at least a 75% chance of getting one if they beat the Panthers. It would be nice if the Monarchs had at least win at least a share of the Colonial title on their resume, too. They're tied with Northeastern (who plays at George Mason in its season finale) with two games to play in conference.

Brian said...

Georgetown the second 3 seed in bracketology released today...Agree they are sliding but don't overreact

Bracketology 101 said...

Butler would probably max out as a low 4/high 5 seed if they were to win out.

Northern Iowa will still be at-large worthy if they lose to ODU, but the Panthers can't afford more than one more loss the rest of the way if that happens. They should have no problem winning their last two MVC games (at Evansville, vs. Illinois State) and would then just need to make the MVC semis to feel pretty safe.

Bracketology 101 said...

Lunardi still has St. Mary's in that new bracket, too. Keep that in mind when quoting his seeding.

BEISketbol said...

Can't really wrap my head around how UNI is so safe if they don't win the MVC tourney. If they lose to ODU at home, they should be no higher than an eleven seed even if they get the MVC auto bid.

Their best wins are Siena, who hasn't beaten anyone, and Wichita St, who were gracious enough to give Evansville their only conference victory. They have two pretty bad losses (against the worst Big East team on a neutral floor and at Bradley). The Panthers shouldn't be ahead of any Big East tournament team with that loss on their resume.

I guess you have them a 7 seed because of their high RPI? In that case, I guess Cal will be an 8 or 9 next week even after losing to OSU? And Siena should be a 10 right?

Too much love for UNI.

Brian said...

I agree but lets at least agree that past the 2 line things are pretty weak so Georgetown really should be no worse than a high 4 at the moment

SRIV94 said...

Does the Ole Miss at large bubble burst with a loss to Florida? Is it possible that no teams from the SEC West make it to NCAA tourney?

Anonymous said...

Why does Joe Lunardi get so much TV time? He doesn't even know the bracket principles and is not very accurate. ESPN would be wise to hire Craig and Chris. They are more accurate than Lunardi.

Bracketology 101 said...

Mississippi probably won't be in next week even if they beat Florida. Mississippi State is the West's best bet for a bid right now, but the Bulldogs have been awful on the road of late and still have three road games left, including one at LSU on Saturday. The SEC is looking more and more like a four bid league.

Bracketology 101 said...

Thanks mom.

DavidATL said...

SRIV94 --

If the season ended today, no team from the SEC West deserves to make it.

But watch out for Arkansas: (1) They have been playing well lately; (2) Their remaining schedule is favorable (with a chance of statement games at home against Vandy and on the road against Tenn -- both winnable -- and the other games are road v truly bad teams at LSU and Auburn and home v. OleMiss) great schedule for them; and (3) MOST IMPORTANTLY the West #1, no matter how bad it is, gets a bye the first round of the SEC tourney in Nashville and then gets the winner of East4/West5 (East4 will almost certainly be Florida). That game would likely amount to a play-in game for SEC 5th slot in Big Dance.

Anonymous said...

Some projections have Seton Hall in. Do you guys see Seton Hall making it as at large?

DavidATL said...

* Meant to say "last SEC slot in Big Dance."

SRIV94 said...

There was a big deal in the early season about how the SEC could go from 3 teams last year to 6 or 7 bids this year. But they could only get 4 teams if the Mississippi teams keep laying eggs. What has gone wrong for the SEC?

Anonymous said...

Exactly! Thats why I think Kentucky could struggle earlier in the tournament than people think. The SEC is not as strong as the Big East, ACC, or Big 10. Kentucky would have at least 4 losses in those other leagues and possibly more in the brutal Big East. Kentucky is lucky to play in the softer SEC.

Couteau Hills said...

I am stunned to not see Dayton included in your bracket. They have wins over Xavier and Georgia Tech, who you have in the bracket. How many more wins does Dayton need to make it?

Paymon said...

Arkansas and Seton Hall need to do the same thing - defeat the teams who they are not supposed to beat. Neither have a real shot.

Bracketology 101 said...

Only one bracket (out of the 59 tracked by the Bracket Project) has Seton Hall in. (Who knew Bobby Gonzalez was a bracketologist?)

The only way Seton Hall can get back in the at-large mix is to win at West Virginia on Saturday. The Pirates have three good conference wins (Pitt, Cincinnati, Louisville) but all of those wins werre at home and they have no OOC resume to speak of. South Florida, Cincinnati, and UConn are all ahead of Seton Hall on the Big East bubble.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Dayton wins at Duquesne on Sunday, they'll be in our next bracket.

Dan said...

Is Missouri a mortal lock at this point?

Anonymous said...

Could San Diego State overtake UNLV to nab the 3rd bid out of the Mountain West?

Bracketology 101 said...

Missouri's not a mortal lock, but as long as they win three of their last five games, they'll be fine.

SDSU is going to have to win out (which would include a win at BYU) if they have any chance of leap-frogging UNLV.

Anonymous said...

Can we finally lay to rest the idea that William and Mary is a bubble team?

Bracketology 101 said...

Who's William & Mary?