Tuesday, March 02, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Tuesday

Our quick thoughts about Tuesday's results:

Can we get a mulligan on Minnesota? We really stuck our necks out for the Gophers in our latest bracket, and they rewarded us by getting absolutely embarrassed in a must-win game in Ann Arbor on Tuesday night, losing by 28 to a Michigan team that had lost three straight games coming in. The Wolverines shot 60 percent from the field against the Gophers and scored 83 points – 33 more than they’d averaged over their past three games. The loss dropped Minnesota to 17-12 overall and 8-9 in the Big Ten, and it may have put an end to their already tenuous at-large hopes. They now have to beat Iowa at home on Saturday in their season finale and get to at least the semifinals of the Big Ten tourney to get back into the at-large picture. A semis appearance would have guaranteed them a bid had they beaten Michigan; now it would put them in the mix, but they wouldn’t be completely safe at-large-wise unless they made the final.

Minnesota wasn't the only Big Ten bubble team to struggle on Tuesday. As expected, Illinois fell at Ohio State and has now lost four of five overall. The Illini now need to beat Wisconsin to get a bid - and they are likely to get two cracks at it. They will take on the Badgers at home this weekend in their season finale, and will likely face them again in their first Big Ten tourney game. If they can win either of these games, they will lock down a bid since they would have at least four wins against teams in the RPI Top 25, which would be enough to negate their high RPI. The Buckeyes finished off their Big Ten regular season slate and will finish with at least a share of the Big Ten title. We have the Buckeyes maxed out on the 2 line, but they have to be viewed as the favorite to win the conference tourney with Hummel being out for Purdue and considering they just won at Michigan State.

Florida also continues to move closer and closer to the bubble. The Gators lost their second in a row, 64-60 at home to Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, their RPI is down to a 51, and they are likely to finish the regular season with three straight losses with a trip to Kentucky looming this weekend. If they do end up 9-7 in conference, their at-large chances will rest on their performance in the SEC tourney. Two wins would guarantee a bid, and even one win might be enough. They have OOC wins over FSU and Michigan State, and have beaten Tennessee, Mississippi State and Mississippi in the SEC, which is better than what other bubble teams have. The win for Vandy, meanwhile, keeps them in the mix for a spot on the 3 line. It would likely take an SEC tourney title to get there, but there is also a chance that a trip to the final and another loss to Kentucky would be enough as well.

It all comes down to one game now for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets continued their putrid play on the road with a 91-80 loss at Clemson on Tuesday night, which drops them to 7-8 in the ACC and sets up a must-win game against Virginia Tech at home on Saturday. A home win over the Hokies (which we still think they will get) would put them in a position where two ACC tourney wins would be enough to lock up a bid. Anything less, though, and they might be sweating it out on Selection Sunday. Their conference road record (1-7) is a huge negative on their resume, as is their lack of a marquee OOC win. Clemson, on the other hand, pretty much wrapped up their bid with this victory. The Tigers have won five of six down the stretch, and even if they lose at Wake Forest this weekend, they’ll still finish 9-7 in conference with an OOC win against Butler to fall back on. One win in the ACC tourney will be enough to send them dancing.

The Big East bubble picture got a little clearer and a little more complicated – all as a result of one game Tuesday night. Marquette’s impressive 69-48 home win over Louisville all but wrapped up a bid for the streaking Golden Eagles, and it put the Cardinals in a little tougher spot with just one game left to play. Louisville faces top-ranked Syracuse at home in its season finale on Saturday, and if they win, they’re a lock to get an at-large. If they lose, they’ll likely have to win two Big East games to be a lock heading into Selection Sunday. The Cardinals are ahead of Notre Dame and UConn on the Big East bubble because of their sweep of the Huskies, their home win over the Irish, and their huge win at Syracuse, but that could change if they lose to the Orange on Saturday and then win just one Big East tournament game. We still like their long term-chances to get a bid, but they made things a little harder on themselves by losing on Tuesday.

Of note: Syracuse was dominant in its debut at No. 1, beating St. John's 85-66 at home to clinch the outright Big East title; Villanova held on to win 77-73 at Cincinnati; Zaire Taylor drove the length of the floor and hit a lay-up at the buzzer to give Missouri a 69-67 OT win at Iowa State; UTEP won its first ever outright Conference USA title with an 80-76 victory at Marshall (Randy Culpepper had 32 points in the win for the Miners); Baylor won at Texas Tech; Gonzaga beat Cal-State Bakersfield at home; South Florida won at DePaul.

Of note (Conference Tournament Edition): Murray State beat Tennessee State in its OVC opener; Coastal Carolina beat VMI in its Big South tourney opener.

35 comments:

AG said...

Minnesota looked absolutely lost especially on defense. Michigan scored 83 pts in a 55 possession game!

Still, great way for Deshawn Sims to end his career at Michigan.

Rainmaker203 said...

A few comments here:

Are you sure Georgia Tech needs to win 3 in a row to make the big dance? Sure the road record is dismal, but they have 4 top 50 wins (Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Siena) and a 7-8 record against the top 100 (not bad compared to most other bubble teams). I think beating Va Tech and avoiding a bad loss in the ACC first round would make them pretty safe for a bid.

Vanderbilt will not play Tennessee before the SEC finals. The SEC seeds their teams based on where they finished within their division, not their overall standing in the conference. More than likely, Vandy will be the East 2 seed, while Tennessee will be the East 3 seed. Those seeds are placed on opposite ends of the SEC bracket.

Aside from the Pac 10, which conferences do you see being the most likely for bid-stealers to come from?

Matt said...

Hmmm, maybe it's time for questions for B101. What happened to my comment from when you initially posted this? You know, where to completely forgot to mention Marquette's shellacking of Louisville tonight. You took the first one down and replaced it.

Bracketology 101 said...

One win would put Georgia Tech right on the bubble; two would make them a lock.

Besides the Pac-10, the conference that's most likely to produce a bid-stealer is probably the MVC. We like UNI, but we wouldn't be stunned if they didn't win the conference tourney. The Colonial is a good possibility too, but a lot would depend on who ODU loses to and when they lose.

Bracketology 101 said...

Hey Matt,

Sorry for the confusion. You posted your original comment to a draft of the tweets that we posted (accidentally) before we were done writing about the late games. That's why it got "erased" when we re-posted. What was your Louisville question? Did we answer it in the tweet?

Matt said...

Yeah, I was saying that Louisville might be a little bit nervous now after getting dismantled tonight and Syracuse coming up next. You said pretty much the same in your post. If they lose to Syracuse they will definitely need to do something in the BE tourney to be safe. They do have a pretty solid RPI but have been real up and down with some bad losses.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize how bad UTEP's RPI is. Would the Miners feel safe even if they lost in the first round in the C-USA?

Dave said...

Do your really think Illinois would be in if they beat Wisconsin one of the next two times? I love my Illini but the last 5 games they have looked anything but a tournament-quality team. What type of seed are they looking at if that is the case?

Matt Dierks said...

Would Virginia Tech clinch a bid with a win over NC State to clinch a winning record in the ACC?

Kym said...

Matt R, A lot of projections have Duke playing Jacksonville in Jacksonville. Would a 16 seed really get to play in their home city?

Jetsfootball177 said...

Is the ND vs UConn game tonight essentially a playoff game? I mean I know either can make a run in the Big East tournament but chances are they each win one game.

matt r said...

No, a 16-seed will not be playing in their home city, unless that home city is shared by the 1-seed. Same goes for 12-15 seeds in the first round.

Further, Jacksonville U. is the designated host school for the Jacksonville site, so they won't be playing there no matter what.

Bracketology 101 said...

If you go with the premise that UConn and ND win just one Big East tournament game, then tonight's game is an elimination game. (Hi, Nelson).

Virginia Tech needs to win its last two regular season games to get back in the bracket.

UTEP's RPI isn't that bad - it's 44 as of today. We can't imagine the Miners losing in the first round of the C-USA tourney, but if they do, they still might be OK. They have a chance to win the conference (the 11th-rated conference) by 2-3 games and would potentially have a 3-0 record over UAB and Memphis.

Keith said...

Are Utep and UAB locks for the field? Or do they have more work to do? Do you see 3 CUSA teams making it if Utep or UAB don't win the tourney?

James G. said...

Will Duke remain on the 1 line if they lose at Maryland?

Bracketology 101 said...

As long as UTEP beats UAB this weekend, they're in. UAB needs to beat Memphis at home tonight and get to at least the C-USA semis to be in the mix for a bid. It's almost impossible to see C-USA getting three bids. If a third team (other than UTEP or UAB) won the conference tourney, the Miners or the Blazers (probably UAB) would get bumped.

Duke will be a 1 on Friday even if they lost at Maryland.

Anonymous said...

If K State win @Kansas tonight and Duke loses, you'll still have Duke on the 1 line?

Not sure about that.

Anonymous said...

If Charlotte wins their last games at Rhode Island and at home against Richmond and then makes into the final of the A-10 tournament, how good of a chance do they have of getting an at-large?

Bracketology 101 said...

Charlotte would be in if they do that.

Anonymous said...

Based on the Charlotte scenario; if Charlotte loses to anyone other than Temple, Richmond or Xavier in the confrence finals can the A-10 get 5 bids?

Bracketology 101 said...

Now we're getting real crazy. The 49ers would get bumped in that scenario.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunate Minnesota fan here. Have gone down twice and prepared to go down for the third time. Throw me a lifeline. They're still in your first four out? Would semi's of the B10 tourney do anything for them?

Geoff said...

Huge win for the Terps. Does this solidify no worse than a 5 seed now.

mag900 said...

is lavin out of his mind thinking that ohio state could steal the 4th #1 from duke? the same ohio state team that lost to powerhouse unc while they still had even turner and then lost to butler without him? their best OOC wins were against bubbly FSU and cal. they also have 3 losses to non ncaat teams michigan, minnesota and unc. that's 2 more than duke.

is espn just looking for things to talk about since there really isn't anything to talk about regarding 1 seeds now that KSU lost tonight?

Bracketology 101 said...

Maryland will likely be the top 5 seed in our Friday bracket.

Lavin's seeds on SportsCenter tonight made no sense. (Ohio State a 1? Michigan State a 2?)

Minnesota is probably still on the Last Four Out line (at worst they are probably the sixth team out). A trip to the Big Ten semis is a must, but only a finals trip would make them a lock.

Anonymous said...

For the purposes of NCAA seeding, Ohio State's record will be 21-4 (not 24-7). I'm not sure that's strong enough to get a #1 seed either, but I'd take them all day long to beat overrated Duke.

Incidentally, Duke has a very weak OOC record also.

Anonymous said...

With Duke losing, it's pretty hard to imagine Kansas, Syracuse, and Kentucky not getting #1 seeds, right?

mag900 said...

the committee doesn't just toss out all games a team plays without a player -- it factors the loss in and, in ohio state's case, lessens the impact of some losses. however, the lost by 22 to wisconsin at wisconsin without him. they don't get a complete mulligan for that.

duke's OOC record isn't great -- its best win was against gonzaga on a neutral court. its other wins were against very bubbly charlotte, uconn and asu. however, it did not lose to a terrible unc team and didn't lose to any of the mediocrity in the acc except for nc st. in a normal year, that profile wouldn't get a whiff of a 1 seed but this is probably the weakest year ever. duke is a 1. time to move on.

Bracketology 101 said...

Right.

Bracketology 101 said...

We really can't imagine scenarios in which 'Cuse, Kansas and Kentucky don't get 1 seeds. Should Duke go down in the conference tourney there is an outside chance that Ohio State get a 1 seed if they win out. Also, don't forget about Purdue.

mag900 said...

right. if purdue were to win out, it would leapfrog duke because it would demonstrate that it still is a top 4 team without hummel. however, after watching the home debacle against mich st without him, i find that extremely unlikely.

lavin is high if he thinks west virginia has a shot at a 1. they currently are in a distant 3rd in the BE and did very little OOC. they also got blown out by the best OOC team they played...purdue.

Anonymous said...

I don't think West Virginia has a chance at a 1, but West Virginia beat Ohio State heads up. Any close comparison between the 2 is going to lean in West Virginia's favor because of this.

Jeff said...

Going forward, what does Temple's win over Saint Louis tonight do for our seeding? Many people felt that SLU would upset us at home, but we held tough and won at a very tough place to win. We're not going to lose to GW at home, so what is a 26-5 14-2, top 25 RPI team looking at before the conference tournament and potentially after winning the A10 Tournament?

Go Owls.

Dan Holmes said...

What seed do you see for Kansas State if their only other loss is to Kansas in the Big 12 finals?

Bracketology 101 said...

Even if Temple wins the A-10 tournament, they're probably going to max out as a 3.

Kansas State will be a 2 if they lose to Kansas in the Big XII final.