Monday, March 01, 2010

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 1

March didn't officially start until today, but that didn't prevent lots of madness from happening since our last bracket. In the last seven days, the top three teams in the country all lost (two on the same day), a No. 1 seed lost arguably its best player to a season-ending knee injury, several bubble teams won games that no one expected them to win, and other bubble teams lost games that no one saw them losing. All of that chaos made for a very difficult Sunday night for us, and in the end, it caused us to make three major changes to our bracket: Virginia Tech, Rhode Island, and UConn are out, and Notre Dame, St. Mary's, and Washington are in. Here's our rationale for each:

"The Outs"
Virginia Tech - We've been the biggest supporters of the Hokies for the better part of a month now, but after two brutal losses, we don't see how they can make the field (or how the ACC can get seven bids.) They dropped two games this week - at BC and home against Maryland - that we had penciled in as wins form them in their quest to finish 10-6 in conference. Getting to 10-6 now would mean a win at Georgia Tech in their regular season finale this weekend, which we don't see them getting. A 9-7 finish won't be enough to overcome an OOC SOS of 338 and a lack of any good conference road wins.

Rhode Island - Remember when we insisted the A-10 was a four-bid league when some bracketologists gave the league six bids, week after week? Well, it turns out even four may have been too many. URI's loss at St. Bonaventure, coupled with Charlotte's loss at George Washington and Dayton's loss early in the week to Temple leaves the A-10 with just three bids this week. The Rams have two winnable games this week, but we don't have much faith that they will win both. There is still a possibility that the league gets four bids down the road, but it's going to have to involve URI, Charlotte, Dayton, or Saint Louis winning two games this week (not likely given their schedules) or, better yet, one of the four bubble teams making the A-10 final. Given the way those teams have played the last two weeks, we don't like the chances of that happening, either.

UConn - The Huskies were a home win over Louisville from really looking like a solid at-large candidate, but in true schizophrenic UConn fashion, they blew a 13-point first half lead and lost a heartbreaker to the Cardinals. The loss was damaging enough because it dropped them to 7-9 in the Big East, but for our purposes projecting ahead, it meant being removed from the bracket altogether. The Huskies have two road games this week, including a ginormous one in South Bend on Wednesday. The game is a coin-flip, but in the end we gave the edge to the resurgent Irish, who will in all likelihood have Luke Harangody back (on Senior Night) for that game. A loss to ND would probably mean an 8-10 finish for UConn, which means they would have to win at least two games in the Big East tournament to get a bid. That's too much to project right now for a team that has lost as many big games as the Huskies have this season.

"The Ins"
Notre Dame - The Huskies' loss was Notre Dame's gain. The Irish had the best week of any bubble team in the country, knocking off Pitt at home and Georgetown on the road (all without Luke Harangody) to improve to 8-8 in conference. We like their chances to beat UConn on Wednesday, and then they have to play at Marquette (not easy) this weekend. A 1-1 split means they'll have to win a couple of Big East tourney games to be safe, but they'd be ahead of UConn in terms of an at-large (provided they beat them) going into NYC.

Washington - The Huskies' name may have a caused a double-take, but we have them in this week as a bid-stealer out of the Pac-10. Cal clinched an at-large berth by winning at least a share of the Pac-10 title on Saturday night, but we still aren't sold on the Bears winning the Pac-10 tourney. We picked Washington as the bid-stealer because we like the fact that they have already beaten Cal once (at home, but still) and that they've played their most consistently good ball of the season over the past three weeks (they've won seven of nine overall). If they end up finishing second or third in conference, which is likely, they would also avoid Cal until the final. The other reason we made this choice is because of the reality of bid-stealers during Championship Week. Every year at least one bid, and usually two to three bids, are stolen due to conference tournaments and we like Cal's chances to lose more than we like Butler's, Gonzaga's, and Northern Iowa's.

St. Mary's - We have been against putting the Gaels in the field for a while now, but the bracket has gotten so soft that they might get a bid on Selection Sunday after all. We think there is a slight chance that they win the WCC tourney, but even if they don't and instead lose in the final to Gonzaga, their wins at Utah State and at home against SDSU are decent enough to fall back on. They are still a shaky inclusion at best, but right now, they have far less left to do than a lot of other bubble teams do in the race for the final few at-larges.

The other notable changes this week were Duke replacing Purdue as a 1 seed and Minnesota staying in the bracket on the 13 line. The Blue Devils, who were knocking on the door of the 1 line anyway, were the biggest beneficiaries of Robbie Hummel's torn ACL. Purdue looked awful offensively without Hummel against Michigan State, and going forward, we don't see them making it past the Big Ten tourney semis without him. We also think that the committee will weigh his injury heavily considering how important a role he played for the Boilers on both ends of the floor. If their first game without him was any indication, Purdue's more likely to drop seed-wise from here on out than they are to get back to the 1 line. Duke, meanwhile, has continued to tear through the ACC, and is the favorite to win the ACC tourney. That title alone might be enough to get them a 1 seed, even if they end up tying with Maryland for the ACC regular season title.

The Gophers are still in the field - as our last team in - because of their win at Illinois on Saturday. We thought going into last week that they would beat Purdue at home and then lose in Champaign. They did the opposite instead, but that was enough to keep them in the field because of the other happenings around the bubble. We like their chances to go 2-0 this week (they play at Michigan and at home against Iowa), and then they would have to get to the Big Ten semis to be a lock. If they end up finishing sixth in conference, that would mean winning two games in the Big Ten tourney. If they finish fifth, they would have to beat the four seed (Wisconsin?) to get a bid. We admit that's not an easy road, but it's an easier one than UConn or anyone on the A-10 bubble faces right now, so that's why we opted for the Gophers again this week.

Seed-wise, the biggest moves up were made by Baylor (from an 8 to a 5) and Cal (from an 11 to a 9), and the biggest moves down were made by Georgetown (from a 3 to a 5) and Wake Forest (from a 5 to a 7). We had to move two teams for grouping purposes: Louisville went from a 9 to a 10, and Illinois went from an 11 to a 12.

Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In

Mississippi State, Notre Dame, St. Mary's, Minnesota

Last Four Out
Connecticut, Virginia Tech, Rhode Island, Dayton

Next Four Out
San Diego State, Charlotte, Mississippi, Saint Louis


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

America East - Stony Brook

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

Atlantic Sun - Lipscomb

A-10 - Temple, Xavier, Richmond

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Coastal Carolina

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

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - Old Dominion

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 - Quinnipiac

Ohio Valley - Murray State

Pac-10 - Washington, California

Patriot - Lehigh

SEC - Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi State

Southern - Wofford

Southland - Sam Houston State

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - Troy

SWAC - Jackson State

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's


The Seeds
The 1s

Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, Duke

The 2s
Purdue, Kansas State, Ohio State, Villanova

The 3s
New Mexico, West Virginia, Temple, Michigan State

The 4s
Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Tennessee

The 5s
Georgetown, Butler, Baylor, Gonzaga

The 6s
Xavier, Texas A&M, BYU, Maryland

The 7s
Texas, Missouri, Richmond, Wake Forest

The 8s
Oklahoma State, Clemson, Marquette, Northern Iowa

The 9s
UTEP, California, Florida State, UNLV

The 10s
Louisville, Utah State, Florida, Georgia Tech

The 11s
Old Dominion, UAB, Cornell, Notre Dame

The 12s
Illinois, Mississippi State, St. Mary's, Siena

The 13s
Minnesota, Washington, Kent State, Murray State

The 14s
Oakland, Wofford, Weber State, UC-Santa Barbara

The 15s
Sam Houston State, Morgan State, Coastal Carolina, Troy

The 16s
Stony Brook, Lipscomb, Lehigh, Quinnipiac (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


Jeff said...

Just wondering about Florida's inclusion/seeding. Their resume is pretty good overall, with wins over Michigan State and Tennessee, and with bad losses to South Alabama and recently Georgia, and an OK loss at South Carolina. However, they're 20-9 and 9-5 in the SEC with two games remaining, hosting Vandy and at Kentucky. Saying they lose both those games (they could easily knock off Vandy at home), and get bounced in the SEC tourney before the semis, are they in or out?

Jeff said...

Temple a 3 seed. I love it.

-Another Jeff

Noleworriedaboutbubble said...

After tonight's loss to Clemson how safe is FSU? They have games against Wake and @Miami before likely playing one of the ACC bottomfeeders in the first round of the ACC Tourney. Let's say they lose to Wake, beat Miami, and then drop a game to UNC in Greensboro. Would you like FSU's chances of getting in?

Most Noles think 9-7 in the ACC will be enough regardless but I'm not so sure. Especially since they have don't really have any marquee wins (Marquette and GT are the only ones of note). Your thoughts?

Bracketology 101 said...

We like Florida's chances at home against Vandy too, but if they go 0-2, they will have to win two SEC tourney games to get in. That first game would do nothing for their resume, and the second game would be against a fellow SEC bubble team, making a victory all the more important.

If they finished 3rd in the East, they would (right now at least) have to play LSU and Mississippi to get to the semis. If they finished 4th, they would play Alabama and Mississippi State.

Bracketology 101 said...

We agree with you (and disagree with the rest of Seminole Nation) that FSU is safe with a 9-7 finish in the ACC. If they lose to Wake at home, win at Miami, and lose to UNC in the ACC tourney, they'd likely be left out. They would need to win at least one ACC tourney game under that scenario to be worthy of an at-large.

Anonymous said...

What if FSU were to beat Wake and lose to Miami in the same scenario. Would that change things at all?

Bracketology 101 said...

They'd be a little safer, but they'd still want to win their first ACC tourney game. You're asking for trouble as a bubble team if you end the year with two straight losses to non-tounrey teams.

matt r said...

This bracket has a known 2nd-round rematch. New Mexico defeated Texas A&M by three in December... a "neutral" game in Houston. Having one 3/6 or 2/7 rematch was unavoidable without reshuffling the entire top 16, and even then there would have likely been trouble.

Anonymous said...

What qualifies Michigan State as a 3 seed? Other than their name, their resume doesn't scream protected seed. They had an RPI of 27 before today's win against a Hummel-less Purdue squad. Record against the RPI top 50 is 3-5 after today's win. Only notable OOC achievement is beating Gonzaga at home (losing to Texas, UNC, and Florida).

In comparison, Wisconsin has an RPI of 16 and split with MSU this year. They are also 4-4 against the RPI top 50. Wisky also beat Duke.

Another one, Pittsburgh has an RPI of 10 with a top 50 record of 7-3.

I know you guys project out, so are you projecting Pitt and Wisky to lose a few more games from here on out and MSU making a run in the Big 10 tourney? I know the committee will take into account the Lucas injury, but even with him, they don't seem real impressive.

DCDuck said...

Michigan State is too high as a 3. All year they have been too high. Coming into Sunday, their best road win is at Minnesota. Their resume rests entirely on home wins against Wisconsin and Gonzaga. 7 losses with a SOS of 45 and they still deserve a 3? Even with their win over a hummel-less Purdue, their resume still lacks a lot.

Speaking of resumes, coming into Sunday Maryland had a better resume than Michigan State. I don't know what makes Maryland three seed lines lower than MSU (even two is too much, assuming you moved MSU up after their win at Purdue), since Maryland has more good wins, no bad losses (MSU lost to North Carolina), and a higher strength of schedue. Strictly speaking, Maryland and Michigan State's resumes are about equal at this point, so I don't understand the difference in seeding (or in the polls, but that's neither here nor there).

Mississippi State??? said...

Unless you're predicting Mississippi State to win the SEC Tourney how in the world can you justify including them in your field? Right now they have 4 AWFUL losses (Alabama, WKU, Arkansas, and Rider) and only one top 50 win (against Old Dominion who is a bubble team at best).

So what if they're in first place in the pathetic SEC West. If the Pac 10 had divisions would Arizona St. be in the field because they were leading the "Pac 10 East"?

Even if you're predicting them to beat Auburn and Tennessee I have no idea how this team would be tournament worthy without at least a run to the SEC Championship. This resume is pathetic.

Philip said...

I'm not sure if you're aware, but New Orleans is only the fourth closest site to Lexington, KY. Most brackets have them going to Milwaukee, which is in fact closest. (I'd rather not have to share the New Orleans arena with a bunch of UK fans.)

Anonymous said...

If Minnesota wins out and Illinois loses out (putting the gophers ahead of Illinois in the BT standings) is there any way the Gophers are left out? A big win at Illinois and probably the same RPI at that point. I see no way they can take Illinois over Minn unless they leave them both off?

matt r said...

We've been sticking to our guns with UK going to New Orleans or Jacksonville for several weeks now... none of those four closest sites are very geographically advantageous. This pick was backed up by the NCAA mock selection with the media a few weeks ago.

ScarShoulders said...

Boy do I love this new bracket as a MD fan. They would be angry as an underrated 6 seed, get Temple who tey beat in a scrimmage AT Templ in round two and then maybe a reeling Purdue team before a not ready for prime time Kentucky team. Too bad MD is gonna beat Duke and UVA and people will start giving them the credit they deserve and mess it all up by getting a higher seed...

Bracketology 101 said...

Michigan State is maxed out as a 3, but we think they belong there for a couple of reasons. They may only have three Top 50 wins, but they also have wins two wins over Minnesota and a win over Illinois on their resume. That's six solid wins. We also project them to improve their resume from here on out. They should finish 14-4 in the Big Ten (which is solid) and we like their chances to make the final or win the Big Ten tourney now that Purdue has taken a step back. If they don't make the final, they'll be back down to the 4-5 range on Selection Sunday.

Bracketology 101 said...

Mississippi State's resume is definitely weak, but they are in because of the overall weakness of the bubble and because we think they'll win their last two games and finish 11-5 in conference. Their last game is at home against Tennessee, which would give them another Top 50 win, and if Mississippi can creep into the Top 50 (they are 55 right now), that would give them four Top 50 wins heading into the SEC tourney.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Minnesota wins out and Illinois loses out, the Gophers would be in the driver's seat for the Big Ten's fifth bid. Illinois will have lost four of five heading into the Big Ten tourney and would be on the outside looking in. Minnesota would have the same conference record, but will have won five of six down the stretch and would have a head-to-head win at Illinois to boot.

Joe said...

Couple of bracketing questions for Matt?

-It seems like you are following the S-curve to do the seeding. In the media mock they attempted to get teams into their home regions i.e. New Mexico out west, Ohio St in the Midwest. Have you tried it this way.

-If Gonzaga is a 5 seed, don't you think they are almost guaranteed to be playing in Spokane? To me it makes more sense to do it that way than send both Wisconsin and Georgetown out west. What do you think about Gonzaga/Vandy in Spokane, GTown/Wisc in Jacksonville, and Tenn/Butler in NO?

I think Notre Dame will choke in the next two weeks. They are a better team without Gody.

matt r said...

This S-Curve vs home region thing is a good question, and this placement of the top 16 actually does not follow the S-Curve as closely as you might think. There is not even mention of an "S-Curve" in the bracketing principles, but this is the first sentence in the bracketing section: "A top priority for the committee is to achieve reasonable competitive balance in each region of the bracket."

How the committee treats this is one of the more unpredictable things I've seen. In 2008, Tennessee was in the running for a 1-seed, certainly the top 2-seed, but they were placed with the #1 overall UNC in Charlotte. When Jim Nantz asked the chairman of the committee about this, he said he thought it was more of a reward to keep Tennessee close to home. Then in 2009, the very next year, Memphis was in the running for a 1-seed, so again likely one of the top 2-seeds. They were sent out west to play the fourth best #1 seed.

So my feel for this is to strike a balance when we can. In this last bracket Purdue is the #5 overall. S-Curve placement would put them out West, but instead we put them in the East with the #3 overall seed. And, due to all the conference conflicts (lots of Big Ten, SEC and Big East in the top 16), as soon as we placed Purdue in that spot, every other top 16 team fell into place.

The problem with your 4/5 matchups is that the 4-seeds determine the first/second round sites, so Vandy in Spokane and Wisconsin in Jacksonville goes against the attempt to keep the 4-seeds close to home. We would have put Gonzaga in Spokane if possible but Gonzaga-Wisconsin is a rematch and to avoid several other potential rematches, they could not be placed in the other Spokane spot. If they can climb back to the 4 line or higher, they should be playing in Spokane.

Zags! said...

If the Zags can get through the conference tourney unscathed will they be in spokane? The latest bracket you've got them as a 5 in New Orleans, but wouldn't it make more sense for them to be in spokane and have baylor in NO? Obviously things are going to change, but I'd love to see them a little closer to home.

Paymon said...

B101 and Joey Brackets (at least, per what he said on College Bball Tonight last night) agree on St. Mary's. It's a sad day.

I understand the weak bubble, but unless they win their conference tournament, there will be bids stolen during Championship Week that will put them into the last eight out.

matt r said...

Since another Gonzaga question comes in, here are the gory details:

(A) Mississippi State was locked into the Midwest/Spokane (three top-16 SEC teams already placed).
(B) Illinois and St. Mary's already played Vanderbilt leaving Siena as the only option for South/New Orleans.
(C) Gonzaga already played Illinois and St. Mary's (who at this point are in West or East), leaving Midwest and South as possibilities for Gonzaga, and Midwest would be a rematch with Wisconsin.

Are we having fun yet?

Bracketology 101 said...

We know, Paymon. Any day we agree with Lunardi is a sad day.

If St. Mary's doesn't win the WCC tourney, they are going to need a lot of help (and next to no bid stealers) to get a bid.

matt r said...

Side note:

Last week we left a possible second-round matchup in with 13 Minnesota just to let Gonzaga play in Spokane. This time there were just too many problems.

They have to get to the 4 line if they want be 99% sure to stay home.

Anonymous said...

How safe is Utah State should they lose the WAC tourney final against one of the pretty good teams, for example, New Mexico State?

Bracketology 101 said...

Utah State would be in the same boat as St. Mary's if they lose in the WAC final. They would need as few bid stealers as possible, and they'd have to root for BYU to keep winning.

If both Utah State and St. Mary's lose in the final of their respective tourneys, it's going to be a tough call as to whose resume is better. St. Mary's won at Utah State, but the Aggies still have a better "big win" in BYU and they won their league, while the Gaels finished second in theirs. Utah State also has a 10 point RPI edge and the WAC is rated four spots better than the WCC.

Anonymous said...

While they haven't impressed me at all lately, hard to see the Hoyas on the 5 line with a 13 RPI and quality wins (in number and substance) that match up with anyone in the country...

DavidATL said...

Still not completely sold on Georgia Tech.

It seems to me that they have sort of coasted on the name and the few good in-conference home wins that they have. I realize that the bubble is weak or, as I am sure the NCAA would say, parity is high, but GT will likely end up no better than .500 in conference (assuming loss at Clemson and win at home v. VT), and with only 1 in-conference road win (at 4-10 UNC). Yes, they have 2 good home wins over Duke and Clemson, but they have also had an easier ACC schedule with Wake and Maryland only once each. Their OOC is hardly impressive -- only good true road win (at Charlotte) is rapidly losing luster, and only other true road win is @ Chattanooga (6-12 in the Southern Confer). Best overall OOC win is probably at home over Siena. They lost on neutral against sort-of-bubble team Dayton and on the road to Georgia.

I would assume that if they lose both remaining regular season games, GT would end up on the wrong side of the bubble at 7-9 in-conference. However, if they split, and end up 8-8 in league and as the 6 or 7 seed in the ACCtourney, their first game v UNC, NCSt or Miami will probably not help them much. Will that be enough or would they need 1 more ACC tourney win v. one of the other ACC middle-of-pack teams (VT, Clemson, Wake, FSU) to feel safe?

Howard Salwasser said...

Joey Brackets' new projections are up and he still can't seem to separate Temple from Georgetown.

DavidATL said...

Oh, and thanks again for providing this forum and all the great info (yes, blatant suck-up, but still true.).

Bracketology 101 said...

GT will probably get in if your scenario unfolds (8-8 and 1 win in conference tourney). A lot will depend on how everything shakes out this week in the ACC and what place teams fall in. What GT doesn't want to happen is having to play VT or maybe even FSU in a possible elimination game. Ideally they lose to Wake in that second game for their sake.

Jeff said...

"get Temple who tey beat in a scrimmage AT Templ in round two"

But can you guys beat Lemoyne?

Give me a break...

Jeff said...

Joey Brackets has UConn in(!), and not even on the last 4 in list. C'mon man! They're 17-12!

-Different Jeff

Zak said...

I don't understand how St. Louis is even close to the tournament. RPI 84 with no OOC wins against the RPI top 100, and 2 losses OOC to teams with an RPI higher than 100. Sure, they beat Dayton, Rhode Island, and Richmond, but that's not nearly enough to overcome their weak OOC performance and their terrible RPI/SOS, is it?

Bracketology 101 said...

St. Louis has the potential to go 12-4 in conference if they can pull off some upsets this week and the only other options for the next four out line were Big East teams who we have lost faith in (Cinci, Seton Hall, and USF).

DavidATL said...


AG said...

I'm surprised you think the A10's chances of stealing a 3rd bid are so low. Is it really that hard to imagine either Dayton, Rhode Island, Charlotte, or St. Louis winning the A10 Tournament? I don't think Temple, Xavier, and Richmond are that much better those 4 that they couldn't lose to them on a neutral floor.

As far as "you need to win this many games in your conference tournament" I think that's kindof overrated. Every year, the selection committee says that they made up their minds about whose getting into the tournament by like Friday and that the rest of the time is spent on seeding.

tlbs101 said...

Assuming New Mexico wins-out (v. TCU) and wins the MWC tourney, wouldn't you expect them to be a 2-seed?

Bracketology 101 said...

We don't think it's impossible for one of the A-10 bubble teams to win the conference tourney, but their results against the "Big Three" - who they would have to beat to win the tourney - aren't exactly inspiring. URI, Charlotte, Dayton, and Saint Louis are a combined 4-11 against Temple, Xavier, and Richmond this year, and two of those wins were by the 49ers, who have really hit the skids of late. URI, who some people still have in as at-large, is 0-4 against those teams. The best chance for a fourth A-10 bid right now might be Dayton. The Flyers play at Richmond on Thursday, and if they win that game, they might be able to slip into our bracket on Friday.

Conference tournaments are obviously just a part of a team's body of work, but this year, they are shaping up to be extra important. There will be key second round bubble battles in the Big Ten, ACC, and possibly the SEC, all of which will make or break some teams' chances.

New Mexico's shot at a 2 seed is really tied to Villanova and Ohio State. If the Wildcats or Buckeyes lose earlier than expected in their conference tourneys, and if the Lobos win the MWC tourney, they could sneak up to the 2 line.

Anonymous said...

You have Old Dominion ahead of Illinois, Mississippi State, Saint Mary's and Minnesota. So if they lose in the confrence finals, how good of a change do they have of making the tournament? Would it matter who they lost to?

apissedant said...

Again, I like this bracket better than Lunardi's. he has UNM as a freaking 2 seed and Temple as a 5 seed. Absolutely insane. New Mexico is bragging they beat six ranked teams this year, but that only works if you count one team twice, and only count what teams were ranked on the day they played them, not where they are now.

The only out of conference ranked team they have a win over is 24th ranked Texas A and M. The in-conference team, BYU, has 0 wins over ranked opponents, because UNM is the only one they played, and BYU has a loss to ORAL FREAKING ROBERTS.

Anonymous said...

Can you honestly tell me how UNLV is not ahead of UTEP. UNLV has wins at UNM, BYU, SDSU, Louisville and what does UTEP have UAB and a backtracking Oklahoma squad.

Bracketology 101 said...

If the season ended today, UNLV would be seeded ahead of UTEP. Looking ahead, though, we have UTEP three spots higher on the S-curve because we think the Miners might not lose again until the NCAA tournament. They should finish up a season sweep of UAB at home on Saturday and then they'll be the clear favorite to win the C-USA tourney next week. UNLV might make the final of (and might win) the MWC tourney, but they also might lose in the semis. If they lose in the semis, they'll be right around a 9 seed on Selection Sunday.

Bracketology 101 said...

Old Dominion is ahead of all of those teams right now because we think they will win the Colonial tournament.

If the Monarchs were to lose in the final, they would definitely be in the at-large mix, but a lot of factors would be in play. Who they lose to in the final would definitely matter - losing to W&M or Northeastern isn't awful, but losing to anyone else would hurt.

If ODU, St. Mary's, and Utah State all lost in their conference finals, the most likely of the bunch to get an at-large would be Utah State, followed closely by St. Mary's and ODU.

Chris said...

The A-10 tournament is a neutral court, but Temple will have a clear home-court advantage over the other contenders with the tournament being held in Atlantic City. I see Temple taking the A-10 auto bid.

Did you see Jerry Palm has Rhode Island as an 8 seed (still!)? Hard to believe.

Bracketology 101 said...

URI as an 8 is insane.

We'll discuss that - and plenty more - in Questions for the Competition tomorrow.

Rebel fan said...

What if UNLV were to win out most likely knocking out New Mexico and BYU in rout to the MWC crown? I think they could slide into a 7 seed at that point. What do you guys think?

Rebels fan said...

Also I speak pretty confidnetly that UNLV would take BYU out in the semi's just because of UNLV's recent success against BYU and the matchups that favor UNLV. They played BYU tough and could have very well won if some calls would have went their way. Also it was well noted the flat dominance the Rebels had in their Feb 6 game at the T&M. Obviously the venue where UNLV will host it. On a confidence level I that UNLV would beat BYU from 1 to 10 I would say a 9

Bracketology 101 said...

If UNLV beats BYU and New Mexico to win the MWC tourney, they could get as high as a 6.

RB said...

I still have a really hard time with Marquette...I know, you have them as a #8, so not even on the bubble, but I think they're inclusion is a bit of a 'rising tide' based on their conference.

I have them at 18-9 (I don't include D-II wins). Yes, they are 9-3 in last 12, but that includes a terrible loss to DePaul and not a single victory over a tourney team. Despite the Big East's status as 'deepest' conference, there are still very mediocre teams in the bottom half.

South Florida
St. John's
Seton Hall

Those are the wins in the last 12...this is a team that has 10 BE wins and those are 9 of them (early season W vs. GT is the other).

With 16 teams and an unbalanced schedule, it is very importan to look at who teams have played in conference. Louisville and Marquette, have played the 'easiest' conference schedule if you look at the conference winning percentage of their opponents (.469 & .457, respectively).

Contrast that with Seton Hall and Providence at .543 and .535. Is that the most important thing? Obviously not, however, it seems relevant to the discussion.

Relevant in ACC as about Wake w/ the easiest schedule--opponents conf Win % is .429.

Contrast that with Clemson, 8-6 record and second toughest conf schedule at .531. FSU, Maryland & Duke x2 and UVa, Miami, NC St & UNC x1. Last two games vs. GT & Wake will only increase that.

Anonymous said...

What happened to 5 Atlantic 10 teams in your field?

Anonymous said...

No way Louisville is a 10 seed. Just won't happen. 8 or 7 seed yes, 10 see no.

Mark said...

"Remember when we insisted the A-10 was a four-bid league when some bracketologists gave the league six bids, week after week?"

No, because you guys had five A-10 teams in your bracket.

Bracketology 101 said...

Marquette doesn't have a lot of wins over the ranked Big East teams, but winning eight of nine in conference and winning five straight road games in conference are pretty impressive accomplishments. Two of those road wins came at UConn and Cincinnati, which are solid (and potentially tournament) teams. Even with a split this week, the Golden Eagles are going to win 11 Big East games, which is going to get them a single-digit seed.

Anonymous said...

Could you see Oral Roberts winning the Summit tourney? Everyone seems to think Oakland is a shoo-in, but I think it will be Oral Roberts or IUPUI.

Bracketology 101 said...

All along we have said that the A-10 was getting too many bids. We never gaave the league six bids when every other major bracketologist did, and this week we have only three A-10 bids when some people still (somehow) have five. We hated having to put that fifth bid in a few weeks back and even when we did, we did it while saying that a lot would have to break right for five to get in. Do we wish we never put that fifth bid in so we could say we maxed out a four? Sure. But we also never went six when every bracketologist (and a lot of commenters) were convinced the A-10 would get that many.

Bracketology 101 said...

Any one of those three teams could win the Summit, but right now we like Oakland.

Fun fact: The regular season champ in the Summit was won the conference tourney four years in a row.

Anonymous said...

Nobody forced you to put 5 A-10 teams in the bracket. You did it willingly and were wrong. Why is it that when other bracketologists make a mistake, you rip them? But when you make a mistake, you make excuses for it? The fact is you had 5 A-10 teams in your bracket.

Anonymous said...

Ohio state is overrated for sure. New mexico won't get respect til tourney time.

Bryan said...

I would sure love to see Butler fall to a 6 seed. As big of a fan of the Bulldogs as there is, a 6 seed is a better draw through to the Sweet 16 and beyond.

Jeff said...

New Mexico isn't that good.

Anonymous said...

are they going to play in anaheim?

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