Tuesday, February 09, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Tuesday

Our quick thoughts on Tuesday's results:

Chalk up two for the road teams in the Big Ten as Purdue took down Michigan State and Illinois shocked Wisconsin. It was just over a week ago when the Spartans were sitting at 9-0 with a multiple game lead in conference, and now there are five teams within a game of each other atop the Big Ten standings. The most surprising team in that bunch is the Illini, who are now tied for first in conference after winning their fifth straight. After their win over the Badgers, talk can start to transition from whether or not they will make the tourney to whether or not they will win the Big Ten. The favorites, though, have to be the Boilermakers. Four of their last seven are at home and they get both the Illini and Spartans in West Lafayette down the road. If they are able to distance themselves from the pack in the Big Ten, they would be in great position to pick up a 1 seed should any of our current teams there slip up.

The second highest seed in the SEC is no longer Tennessee. That honor now belongs to Vanderbilt, which completed a season sweep of the Vols by blowing them out 90-71 in Nashville. Jeffery Taylor scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Commodores, who are now just a half game behind Kentucky in conference with the win. They play five of their next six games at home (where they still have not lost this season), so they might stay a top-four seed for a while. Tennessee, meanwhile, has to regroup quickly and get ready for a trip to Lexington this weekend. An 0-2 week will drop the Vols to a low 5 seed at best next week.

VCU's stay in our bracket may be short-lived. The Rams dropped a heartbreaker in overtime at George Mason after blowing a 13-point halftime lead. They had been our flavor of the week out of the Colonial because they had won eight of nine and because the Colonial conference tourney is being held in their backyard. The conference tourney is going to be as wide open as any this year and we'd give five or six teams a chance to win it. We'll wait for the rest of the games to play out this week before picking our horse. The loss for VCU means the only team with any at-large hopes in the conference now is ODU. The Monarchs would need at least a share of the regular season title or a BracketBuster win against Northern Iowa and a run to the conference final to have any chance.

Losses don't get more resume-killing than the one Wichita State suffered on Tuesday night. The Shockers fell 65-62 on the road to Evansville, which came into the game a cool 0-13 in the MVC. It's safe to say we won't be talking about Wichita much anymore. Their at-large chances are toast.

Of note: Georgetown won at Providence (Greg Monroe had 12 points and 12 assists for the Hoyas in the win); Kentucky took care of Alabama (John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins each had double-dubles for the Wildcats); Wake Forest beat Boston College at home.


Anonymous said...

Love your work folks! Welcome to Fox! I had a couple questions.

Is Northern Iowa a lock for the tourney, or do they still have work to do?
Is this finally the year that Conference USA gets 2 bids.

Bracketology 101 said...

We really can't see a scenario developing where UNI doesn't make the tourney. They will likely clinch the regular season title this weekend and will be favored in every game from here on out. It would take an absolute collapse for them not to make it (lose 3 or 4 games down the stretch and an early exit from the conference tourney).

We've liked C-USA getting 2 bids for weeks now. UAB has the OOC resume and RPI to warrant a bid, although they have struggled a little bit of late. A 7-2 record and a deep run in the conference tourney should be enough. We like UTEP to win the conference tourney right now given the hot streak they have been on. If they can win out they will also have a solid at-large resume. You also can't count out Tulsa since the conference tourney is on their home court.

Anonymous said...

How much of a chance does the CAA have of getting two bids? Also, what confrences are mid-majors?

Bracketology 101 said...

The CAA has about a 15% chance of getting two bids since ODU is the only team that has at-large potential at this point.

A mid-major is any conference that is not a part of the Big 6 but not a small conference. Some examples would be the MWC, A-10, C-USA, MVC, WCC, and the WAC.

DavidATL said...

I think mid-major should mean any conference that has a realistic shot of getting more than just 1 invite in any given year. So A-10, MWC, MVC, WAC, and Pac 10.

Brian said...

No word on Texas Tech's win?

BRJ said...

Brian makes a very good point about Texas Tech. They have been playing good ball and picking up some wins. How many big 12 wins does Texas Tech need?

Bracketology 101 said...

How far the Pac-10 has fallen...now they're in the mid-major conversation. Ouch.

Texas Tech picked up a nice road win at Oklahoma, but they still have some work to do to get back into the bracket. They first need to get back to .500 in conference (which they can do with a home win over A&M this weekend) and then they need to find a way to get to 9-7. Their schedule is certainly favorable enough to do that (they still play Texas, Kansas State, and Baylor at home) and they have a clear schedule edge over Oklahoma State right now in the battle for the Big XII's seventh bid. Ultimately, if they can get to 9-7 and win at least a game in the Big XII tourney, they'll be right in the mix for a bid.

Anonymous said...

Northwestern has a pretty easy schedule which will allow them to get to 22-23 wins, but also drop their RPI. Given that Illinois is approaching lock status, does NW need to either beat Purdue on the road, or make a deep run in the B10 tourney to have a shot?

Keith said...

Does the unbalanced conference schedules play any factor in your decisions? For example, Virginia Tech only has to play Duke,Florida State, Clemson, Wake, Georgia Tech, and Maryland once and they play the 5 ACC teams not in your bracket 2 times a piece. The SEC is another example of this, the SEC East is stronger than the west this year. So do SEC West teams need more conference wins since they have an easier schedule than the teams in the SEC East?

Bracketology 101 said...

If NW wins at Wisconsin (not Purdue) and then avoids any other slip-ups along the way, they'll be in. The more likely scenario is they go 6-1 down the stretch (beating Minnesota at home and losing at Wisconsin) and finish 11-7 in conference. They'll be firmly on the bubble if they can do that, and would need to win a Big Ten tourney game to be alive for a bid.

Unbalanced schedules definitely factor into our decisions when placing and seeding teams. In VT's case, 9-7 in conference is probably not going to be good enough this season because of their weak schedule. They'll need to get to 10-11 wins, which we think they will get to anyway.

Anonymous said...

Do you see any teams that finish with a losing record in conference play earning a bid?