Monday, February 08, 2010

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Feb. 8

After a whirlwind couple of weeks, this week's bracket was considerably easier to put together. That's because with the exception of Mississippi State, Cincinnati, and Wichita State, all of our bubble teams fared very well last week and were able to maintain their places in the field as a result. Maryland won at Florida State and at home against North Carolina to move up three seed lines, Virginia Tech beat Carolina and Clemson at home to move up to an 11 seed, Marquette won two games to move from a 12 to a 10, and Illinois upset Michigan State to keep their spot on the 12 line.

The biggest storyline of the week turned out to be the addition of Richmond to the field as the fifth A-10 bid. We have been very reluctant to give the A-10 a fifth bid all season, based on history and the rationale that a perfect storm of events would have to happen for five teams to accumulate at-large resumes. But the overall softness of the bubble, the increasing likelihood that the Pac-10 will be a one-bid league, and Richmond's big win over Temple have all made us change our mind this week. We think there is a good chance now that the A-10 gets five bids, and this week the Spiders are that fifth team. Dayton, after its big home win over Xavier, tops the Last Four Out list.

The only other significant changes to the bracket this week were the inclusions of Louisville and St. Mary's. Louisville replaced Cincinnati as the Big East seventh bid because of its 6-4 conference record and the fact that we like the Cardinals' remaining schedule better than we like South Florida's, Cincinnati's, or Notre Dame's. After a very extended stay on the Last Eight Out list, St. Mary's cracked the field this week for a couple of reasons. First, we think the Gaels have an outside shot to win at Gonzaga on Thursday (they have to know their at-large hopes are riding on that game). We also like that, if you look closely, the Gaels don't have a poor OOC resume when compared to some of the other flawed teams on the bubble. St. Mary's won at Utah State, which is slowly becoming at-large worthy itself, and they also have wins against SDSU, Northeastern, and at Oregon. That's not an eye-popping resume by any stretch, but it may be enough if the rest of the big conference bubble teams keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Seed-wise, the biggest jumps this week were made by Texas A&M (from a 9 to a 6), and Northern Iowa and UNLV (from 9s to 7s.) The biggest drops were Florida State (from a 7 to a 9) and Clemson (from an 8 to a 10). The only team we had to move for grouping purposes was Illinois. The Illini would have been an 11 seed, but had to be moved down to the 12 line to avoid grouping issues.

Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In
Illinois, Louisville, Oklahoma State, St. Mary's

Last Four Out
Dayton, Wichita State, South Florida, Cincinnati

Next Four Out
Old Dominion, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Mississippi State


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

America East - Stony Brook

ACC - Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech

Atlantic Sun - Lipscomb

A-10 - Temple, Charlotte, Xavier, Rhode Island, Richmond

Big East - Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Louisville

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Coastal Carolina

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

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - VCU

Conference USA - UTEP, UAB

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Northern Iowa

MWC - New Mexico, BYU, UNLV

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Murray State

Pac-10 - California

Patriot - Lehigh

SEC - Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi

Southern - Charleston

Southland - Sam Houston State

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - Middle Tennessee State

SWAC - Jackson State

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's


The Seeds
The 1s

Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, Villanova

The 2s
Georgetown, Purdue, Duke, West Virginia

The 3s
Wisconsin, Michigan State, Kansas State, Ohio State

The 4s
Texas, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Gonzaga

The 5s
New Mexico, Vanderbilt, Temple, Butler

The 6s
Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, BYU, Pittsburgh

The 7s
UNLV, Northern Iowa, Florida, Baylor

The 8s
Charlotte, Xavier, Missouri, Maryland

The 9s
Mississippi, Rhode Island, Florida State, UAB

The 10s
Clemson, Cornell, Richmond, Marquette

The 11s
Siena, VCU, Virginia Tech, California

The 12s
Illinois, Louisville, UTEP, Oklahoma State

The 13s
St. Mary's, Utah State, Charleston, Oakland

The 14s
Kent State, Murray State, Weber State, UC-Santa Barbara

The 15s
Coastal Carolina, Morgan State, Sam Houston State, Stony Brook

The 16s
Robert Morris, Lipscomb, Middle Tennessee State, Lehigh (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Anonymous said...

Do you guys think Illinois gets in with a 3-4 record down the stretch? Also, how will the committee look at the win against Mich. St. since it was w/o Lucas?

Eric J. said...

Maybe it hasn't been as long ago as it seems, but when is the last time that the ACC didn't have a No. 1 seed when the actual field was announced?

Bracketology 101 said...

A 3-4 finish for Illinois will be plenty. It would put them at 11-7 in confernce, likely ahead of both Minnesota and Northwestern. The fact tht Lucas didn't play in the Michigan State win may be in the back of some committee members minds, but with Selection Sunday over a month away it likely won't be much of a factor.

craiger said...

really? still no Northeastern, VCU is your in for the CAA, come onnnn!!

matt r said...

Last field with no ACC no. 1 seed... 2003. Wake Forest was a 2 and Duke was a 3.

Bracketology 101 said...

If we did our bracket as if the season ended today, Northeastern would be in as the Colonial automatic. Looking ahead, though, we think VCU has turned things around (they've won 8 of 9) and we like the fact that the Colonial conference tourney is in their backyard.

Paymon said...

2003 was also the last year which Duke performed to the level of its seed.

I would be shocked to see 3 Big East teams finish ahead of the ACC #1. The selection committee puts a lot of value in winning your conference. If Duke goes 12-4 or better and win the ACC Tournament, they'll be the last #1 seed or better.

... And they'll proceed to lose in the Sweet 16.

Jane said...

I was a bit surprised to see Oklahoma State in the field. They have struggled in conference play and don't have a very impressive OOC resume. Are the Cowboys in danger of missing the tournament?

Anonymous said...

there is a decent chance that Cal runs away with the PAC 10 given their remaining schedule of mostly home games and not very tough road games in ORegon. It is very realistic that Cal will finish 12-6 or 13-5 in conference play. So could the PAC 10 get a 2nd bid if the Golden Bears lose in the conference tournament?

Bracketology 101 said...

Oklahoma State is in a lot of danger of missing the tournament. They are the second-to-last team in our field this week, so had there been any other better at-large candidates this week, the Cowboys would have been on the outside looking in. If they don't go 2-0 this week (they host Oklahoma and play at Iowa State), they'll be out next week.

Bracketology 101 said...

The way the Pac-10 has beaten itself up this year, it's far from a sure thing that Cal runs away and wins the regular season title. The Pac-10 could possibly get two bids is if Cal finishes 13-5 (maybe 12-6), wins the league by a couple of games, and loses late in the Pac-10 tourney.

Anonymous said...

How many big 10 wins will it take for Minnesota or Northwestern to secure an at large? What is the most bids you could see the big 10 receiving? How long have you been posting your bracket on Fox sports? thank you for branching out.

ScarShoulders said...

Why does anyone care about Dukes seeding? MD has the experience in the backcourt and talent in the frontcourt and depth all around to advance in the tourney. They will continue to be underrated, grab a 3-5 seed, and proceed to make noise in the second (and maybe third) weekend of the tournament.

Anonymous said...

Xavier seems to be perpetually high in this bracket (and in other brackets as well). They already have seven losses, and they have no non-conference wins of note, except for maybe Cincinnati. They lost two neutral games against two similar seeded teams in Baylor and Marquette. In conference, they've been rather unremarkable compared with the other five contenders, basically winning at home and losing on the road. This last blowout loss against a team that's not even in the field only dropped them one spot?

if you look at the other A10 teams, Rhode Island only has 3 losses and has about the same quality of non-conference wins, except that they have a lot more of them. Richmond also has less losses than Xavier, and while they have worse losses, they also have wins over the likes of Missouri (neutral), Florida (semi-away) and Temple (blowout). And yet Xavier is seeded above both these teams.

Anonymous said...

The team i was most surprised to see in your bracket was virginia tech. was their poor non conference schedule taken into any consideration?

Eric B. said...

ScarShoulder- Maryland will get 2 chances to prove they are better than Duke starting on Saturday. That should be an outstanding game!

Anonymous said...

still not sold on illinois as a tourney team cause of that brutal remaining schedule. did that factor any in your decision to include the illini?

Bracketology 101 said...

Quick hits:

Right now, the most likely scenario is that the Big Ten recevies five bids. Minnesota and Northwestern are going to need at least 10 (and maybe 11) Big Ten wins to get a bid. The final number will depend on the quality of those wins.

Virginia Tech's weak OOC resume has been well documented on this site, but we still think they can finish with 10-11 wins in conference, which will get them a bid.

We aren't sold on Illinois yet either because of their brutal remaining schedule, but right now they have the fifth best Big Ten resume and thus stayed in the field this week. If the Illini can just win the home games they have left (and finish 11-7 in conference) they will be in very good shape for a bid.

Your point is well taken about Xavier, but there are several reasons why we have the Musketeers where they are. We project ahead when putting together our bracket, and it's very conceivable that with their remaining schedule that Xavier loses just three conference games. That will be a good enough record in the solid A-10 to get them a 8-9 seed (or better). The Musketeers' biggest problem this year has been playing away from home. They have zero quality road wins all year, and that's keeping them from being any higher in our bracket.

Tammy said...

What does Dayton have to do to make the field? They played a strong OOC schedule and got some nice wins. Why did they not make miss weeks bracket? Their profile is stronger than some of the teams you included. Oklahoma State, St. Mary's, and Virginia Tech don't deserve to be in over Dayton.

Pat said...

does Syracuse have a shot at the #1 overall seed?

K Wechter said...

How is Louisville ahead of South Florida or Notre Dame?

I guess you guys think they'll beat 'Cuse once or Georgetown and win at Marquette? Easier said than done, especially with their 1-5 road record so far. I wouldn't be shocked if USF goes 5-2 the rest of the way (wins: Cin, SJU, Prov, UConn all at home, and @Depaul; losses: @Nova, @Marquette). That should get them in.

ND @ The 'Ville on 2/17 is huge.

Anonymous said...

Joe Lunardi takes a lot of heat for all the mistakes he makes. But he is correct not to have Virginia Tech in yet. Va. Tech played a very soft OOC schedule and need to beat more top tier teams to deserve an at large. Home wins over Clemson and North Carolina are not even to earn a bid. Clemson has been struggling and North Carolina is one of the worst teams in the ACC.

Why does Bracketology 101 keep Va. Tech in the bracket? They have not done enough in conference to make up for that awful OOC schedule. Teams that schedule cupcakes in OOC should not be rewarded!!

Robert Bosco said...

Can you guys explain to me how Lunardi has 6 a10 teams and only 6 big east teams (and his first 4 out are all big east) Just seems a little weird to me!

A 10 Fan said...

When did you change your minds about the Atlantic 10? Last week you said there was no way that the A10 would get 5 teams, and now you have 5 teams in your bracket? But where is Dayton? You guys will have to eat your anti A-10 words if the Atlantic 10 gets 6 teams.

Great Plains said...

Well Lunardi certainly was dead wrong about Arizona. The Cats got pasted by Washington State. Arizona did not belong in the bracket. It was a major goof up by Lunardi.

Bracketology 101 said...

Quick hits:

Dayton has a comparable resume to the teams you mentioned, but they are still the sixth best team resume-wise in the A-10. The Flyers will need to improve their standing in conference if they want to hear their named called on Selection Sunday.

Our change of heart about the A-10 is described in more detail in our bracket write-up this week, but in short, the league is benefitting from the continued mediocre play of a lot of big conference bubble teams. The struggles of the Pac-10, and this week the SEC, helped Richmond get into the field this week.

Syracuse absolutely has a chance at the No. 1 overall seed. The way things are shaping up right now, it looks like that honor will go to either Kansas, Kentucky, or the winner of the Big East.

We have absolutely no idea how Lunardi can justify the A-10 getting as many bids as the Big East or justify the fact that his last five (not four) temas out all being from the Big East. Way to make the tough calls again this week, Joe. We'll address those issues - and other issues - that we have about Lunardi's bracket in our Questions for the Competition tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Northern Iowa question: what seed can you see the panthers getting if they win out?

Bracketology 101 said...

From Lunardi's chat on this afternoon:

Tony (Louisville)
does the a10 really get 6 teams in?

Joe Lunardi (3:31 PM)
Probably not.


To clarify: Lunardi disagrees with his own bracket.

Bracketology 101 said...

Northern Iowa will probably max out at a 6 seed.

Anonymous said...

Glockner is a moron....Lunardi is a tool. I received an email from him today stating that Maryland was in the field now. Now?? He also pointed out that finishing #1 in the acc was irrevelant. Then lunardi does that bs with the a10. Riddle me this joe, do you really think maryland will be worried about playing a 3 seeded temple team?? Vasquez & Co will beat them like unc got dominated on Sunday. Go Garyland!!

K Wechter said...

I can see why Lunardi said that. I mean, he picks his bracket as if the season ended now. I have six A-10 teams too, but I don't think they'll end up with six.

I still don't get Louisville over USF and ND. Louisville can't win on the road; USF has a much more favorible schedule coming up too. The Cardinals have to beat 'Cuse or G'Town. I don't see it happening.

Anonymous said...

You say VCU won 8 out of their last 9. Well Northeastern has won 14 out of their last 15. If any team has "turned things around" it's NU over VCU. Plus Northeastern has already beaten VCU this season (on the road).

I don't get why Northeastern is so underrated.

Randy said...

This is a terrific cbb site. I found you through Two things about your bracket really surprised me. How is virginia tech in the field? They played one of the worst non-conference schedules in the nation. How is Dayton not in your field? Doesn't the committee judge teams individually without worrying about how many make it from each conference? How is Dayton not in? They just beat an 8th seed(Xavier) by 25 points.

Bracketology 101 said...

Welcome aboard, Randy.

See above for our rationale on VT and Dayton.

Anonymous said...

Great job as usual.

New Mexico State and Utah State are tied for first in the WAC after NMSU beat La Tech at home last night. What are the chances two WAC teams make it to the NCAA's assuming Utah State stays hot and ends up losing in the WAC Championship to someone like New Mexico State?

Randy said...

But you never even considered Virginia Tech's terrible non-conference schedule plus the fact that Dayton played a tough non-conference schedule and picked up some nice wins. You guys have already lost a lot of credibility with me. The whole body of work is supposed to be taken into consideration not just conference play. A few ACC wins do not make up for the fact that Virginia Tech played a very weak early schedule.

You also failed to mention that their only ACC win over a team in your field is Clemson. They have beaten up on the bottom tier teams of the ACC. Tech also lost to North Carolina and Miami, who are 2 of the worst teams in the ACC. How can you justify including a team that has only 1 Win over a team currently in your field? Their 18-4 record is a joke when you consider the poor level of the teams they have beaten and 2 of those 4 losses are to non tourney teams.

Gary Williams said...


you have been here for about 5 minutes....lost credibility?? this is the #1 site for accuracy in the land. Are you really going to rip on Va Tech, while boasting for Dayton? Really?? I'm sure the Flyers have someone who can match up with Jeff Allen. And, where does the A10 get off calling any conference weak? Go Terps

K Wechter said...

Still would love to hear how Louisville is in...please?

Bracketology 101 said...


Since you're new to the site, perhaps you don't know how we put together our bracket. We don't seed teams as if the season ended today, we look at what a team has done AND project what they will do in the future. We are well aware that VT has a poor OOC resume, but we think they have a very good chance of winning 10-11 ACC games with the schedule they have left. If the Hokies do that, they're not going to get left out no matter what they did (or didn't do) out of conference.

We went with Louisville over South Florida because they are already a game and a half better in conference and because we think the Cardinals can beat Georgetown or Syracuse (or potentially both) at home. If they just win one of those games, and win at St. John's, at DePaul, and against ND at home, they'll finish 10-8 in conference and be in very good shape for a bid. If they also pick up a win at UConn or at Marquette (both also possible), they'll get to 11 wins and be pretty much a lock for a bid. We think South Florida, and to a lesser extent Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and UConn are all still alive for a bid, but looking ahead, we like Lousiville's chances the best.

DavidATL said...

It is quite clear that the Big East is the best conference in the country (see, e.g., Georgetown over Duke, UConn over TX, WV over OhioSt, everybody and their weak aunt over whomever the Pac10 throws up). What has the BigXII or the ACC done so very well that they deserve to get 58% of the entire conference into the tournament while the best conference gets only 44%?

Before saying "individual teams", I think we need to take a look at some of those -- Baylor (only 1 win over an OOC Tourney-quality team [Xavier, who might not even make it themselves]; 4-4 in conference and only decent win at all in conference over TX offset by loss at Colorado.

Oklahoma St -- losing record in conference, possibly the weakest OOC schedule of any bubble team [best win = 1 pt. @ Stanford while lost to both URI and Tulsa]. Really they only have 1 good win all season -- at K.St. Looking ahead they most likely end up with a losing record in-conference. Feb 20 game v. Baylor should be a play-in game or just keep them both out.

Maryland? - Best OOC win @ Indiana. 0-4 against at-large contenders (if you include William & Mary and Cincinnati). In-conference they swept Fl.St. Cool. Otherwise, nothing but bottom-feeders (only other ACC wins v. BC, NCSt, Miami and UNC). Lost to Clemson and Wake, yet to play GTech or Duke or Virginia or VT. Probably end up .500 in conference.

Virginia Tech -- OOC schedule already discussed by others (lost to only Tourney team and best OOC win = OT over Seton Hall). In conference only road win = Virginia. Split w/ UNC. Split w/ Miami. Yet to play Wake, Duke, GTech or Maryland.

So are those teams that much better than, for example Cincinnati? Cinci has already beaten Maryland and Vandy on a neutral floor. Only OOC losses are all to tourney at-large teams (neutral to Gonzaga and road losses at Xavier and UAB). Big East record not great, but certainly not worse than the above teams -- wins over ND, SFla and UConn.

The Big East should get 8 (add Cinci) and absent something very unexpected, Baylor/OkSt and VT/Maryland should each be play-in games.

Anonymous said...

how safe is clemson's spot in the field? with that remaining schedule, it is possible that clemson will finish under 500 in the acc. what will happen if clemson finishes 7-9 in conference?

Bracketology 101 said...

They'll be in the NIT.

Jeff said...

B101, why Wake over Vandy and Temple?