Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 9

After 72 hours of craziness, a little order was restored to the bracket on Monday night. St. Mary's made sure, in pretty emphatic fashion, that they won't have a stressful Selection Sunday this year, as they destroyed Gonzaga to win the WCC final. In the Colonial final, Old Dominion delighted the rest of the teams on the bubble by beating William & Mary and assuring that the CAA is a one-bid league, and in the MAAC final, Siena rallied from 15 down in the first half to beat Fairfield in overtime. The Saints' at-large chances were slim at best had they lost, but that debate is moot now as well.

The fourth and final automatic bid given out on Monday was to Wofford, who beat Appalachian State in the Southern final to earn their first ever trip to the tourney.

In semifinal action in the Summit, Oakland and IUPUI won their games and will face off in the final tomorrow night. In the Sun Belt semis, Troy and North Texas both won and will square off tomorrow for the auto bid.

Championship Week continues on Tuesday with the start of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. South Florida and UConn play their first round games in the morning session, and Seton Hall plays its opener in the night session. The A-10 tournament also opens tomorrow, with URI, Dayton, and Charlotte hosting first round games before the tournament heads to Atlantic City for the quarterfinals.

Teams on the bubble will have their attention on those two tourneys and on Tuesday's Horizon final, which pits Butler against Wright State. The Bulldogs have the advantage of playing on their home floor, but the Raiders did finish second in conference. Will this game finally bring us our first true bid-stealer of Championship Week?

The only other games on Tuesday's schedule are the Big Sky semis (Weber State vs. Portland State, Northern Colorado vs. Montana) and the first round of the MEAC.

The Breakdown
Last Four In
San Diego State, Washington, Mississippi, South Florida

Last Four Out
Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, Illinois, Arizona State

Next Four Out
Minnesota, Mississippi State, Saint Louis, UAB


Conference Breakdown
Big East (9), Big XII (7), ACC (6), SEC (5), Big Ten (4), MWC (4), A-10 (3), C-USA (2), Pac-10 (2), WCC (2)

America East - Vermont

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

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Temple, Xavier, Richmond

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

Big Sky - Weber State

Big South - Winthrop

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

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - Old Dominion

Conference USA - Memphis, UTEP

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Northern Iowa

MWC - New Mexico, BYU, UNLV, San Diego State

Northeast - Quinnipiac

Ohio Valley - Murray State

Pac-10 - California, Washington

Patriot - Lehigh

SEC - Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi

Southern - Wofford

Southland - Sam Houston State

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - Troy

SWAC - Jackson State

WAC - Utah State

WCC - St. Mary's, Gonzaga


The Seeds
The 1s

Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke

The 2s
Purdue, West Virginia, Ohio State, Kansas State

The 3s
Villanova, New Mexico, Temple, Pittsburgh

The 4s
Michigan State, Wisconsin, Maryland, Tennessee

The 5s
Baylor, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Butler

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

The 7s
Gonzaga, Texas, Missouri, Clemson

The 8s
Florida State, Oklahoma State, Northern Iowa, Wake Forest

The 9s
Marquette, Louisville, California, UNLV

The 10s
St. Mary's,
Utah State, Notre Dame, Old Dominion

The 11s
UTEP, Florida, Virginia Tech, Cornell

The 12s
Siena, San Diego State, Washington, Mississippi

The 13s
South Florida, Memphis, Kent State, Murray State

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

The 15s
Sam Houston State, Morgan State, Troy, Vermont

The 16s
East Tennessee State, Winthrop,
Lehigh, Quinnipiac (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at bracketologyblog@yahoo.com


kate said...

how does Ohio St., with an RPI of 29, even get considered for a 2? i thought the committee heavily weighted the RPI, more than any other ranking system.

kate said...

In the same vein, Baylor gets a 5, with an RPI of 8?
I know RPI isn't everything, but it seems to be the best indicator of seeding that we have.

BTW - great job. I really enjoy your site. Thanks so much for doing it.

Bracketology 101 said...

The AP poll has actually been more accurate in predicting the top seeds over the years. Ohio State is 5th in that poll and 7th in the ESPN poll.

Bracketology 101 said...

RPI is only one factor we use. Big wins, OOC wins, and conference record are all more important than a team's RPI.

kate said...

isn't the last 10 games being factored in much less this year. the AP poll has a huge last 10 games factor in it. the RPI does not.

AG said...

If the polls are accurate, why did Louisville get a 4 seed when they were ranked 4th a few years ago?

Shaudius said...

3 of OSU's 7 losses came without Evan Turner and they're getting the benefit of the doubt because of it.

Bracketology 101 said...

Just because a teams record in the last 10 games isn't on the committee's stat sheet or whatever doesn't mean it won't be significant. When a committee member is looking at a teams profile their record over the last 10 games is pretty apparent.

Jeff said...

I really think that Saint Mary's was the first bid stealer. In my opinion, they would not have received an at large bid. They had a poor SOS and not enough quality wins to dazzle the committee.

Anonymous said...

I made some comments on yesterday's bracket about teams' records against even halfway decent competition(which I defined as wins against top 180 teams, arbitrarily)... So I'll ask the question again, except this time directed at B101, illinois is 8-13 vs top 180 teams. Arizona is 15-9. How can Illinois POSSIBLY be ahead of Arizona state? Illinois' 10-8 record in conference looks pretty, but if you remove the wins against ABSOLUTELY AWFUL Iowa, Indiana, and Penn State(combined 31-61) Illinois is just 4-8. Even if ASU loses its first game and Illinois wins 2 against good competition, the best they'd end up is 10-14(assuming a finals loss for Illinois) vs the top 180, and 15-10 for ASU. This is obviously an arbitrary guideline, but how can you dismiss the fact that Illinois is FIVE games under .500 against the upper half of division 1?

Anonymous said...

Matt, Would they really put Baylor and Texas A&M in the south? It doesn't seem fair to have a 5 or 6 seed with home crowd advantage in the regionals. Coach K and Bob Huggins would be complaining.

49ers Fan said...

All year long you have said that the Mountain West would not get 4 bids, but now you have 4 teams in. What happened to your stance that the MWC is only a 3 bid league? You have criticized other bracket projections for including the Aztecs, but now you have jumped on the bandwagon? You were a little late to the party. But I guess better late than never..

matt r said...

Sure, they would put Baylor and Texas A&M in Houston. The goal of the committee is to put teams close to home whenever possible. Will a roomful of ADs and conference commissioners feel the same as you and make an executive decision? Possibly, but they also might not even have a choice due to all the other rules... Texas A&M was locked into Houston in this bracket based on the top 16 seeds+BYU's placement.

DavidATL said...

@ Anon 8:13

You are probably right that Illinois does not deserve a bid, but at the moment ASU is really not significantly better. That said, assuming that ASU beats Stanford (which if they don't, any mention of ASU for the rest of this year should probably lead to insta-ban), and assuming that UDub takes care of OSU, then you likely have a play-in game in the Pac-10 semis.

I still say that the Committee will somehow take 2 Pac-10 teams. 1 will almost certainly be Berkeley, and, barring somebody like AZ or Oregon completely blind-siding everyone by winning the tourney, the other Pac-10 dance contestant will be the other semi-finalist (i.e., either ASU or Washington). If neither ASU nor Washington make the semis out of that side each gets added to the list of "they who shall not be named."

DavidATL said...

So, B101, continuing a line of conversation started a few weeks ago, as I thought might happen GaTech ended 7-9 in conference. Do they need to win the ACC tourney or do they merely need to get to the finals (as the 7 seed, that would mean getting UNC, then Maryland and then probably FSU or Clemson)? I cannot imagine that only 2 tourney wins would do it.

For all of the NBA players he has had and currently has (2 projected first rounders on the roster now), Paul Hewitt cannot be feeling terribly comfortable. I can tell you from here that the gloss of that 2004 NCAA title game run has worn off.

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty straight forward question: If Butler loses today, does this mean that Wright St would punch their ticket to the big dance and steal a bid?


-A Sunbelt Fan from Canada.

Anonymous said...

I've seen someone reference the top 180 on consecutive days now. I've never seen that used as any part of the criteria. I've seen top 25, top 50, and top 100. So please, stop saying top 180.

RBC said...

What does Illinois have to do to get back in the bracket? Same question for Mississippi State.

Anonymous said...

Illinois will be hard to leave out if they beat Wisconsin. That would give them 5 high quality wins, which is twice as many as some bubble schools. Good luck finding many high quality wins for Washington, California, or ASU.

Anonymous said...

Is Saint Marys a bid stealer? Or would they have gotten an at large if they lost?

Gary Williams said...

Maryland....hottest team in the country, nobody...and I mean nobody wants to see them in the big dance...that includes any and all 1 seeds. My question to B101 is if Garyland runs the ACC Tourney can we get up to a 2 seed?

Bracketology 101 said...

Illinosi needs to beat Wisconsin to have any chance, and they might have to beat Ohio State, too, depending on what happens elsewhere. Mississippi State needs two SEC tourney wins to get a bid. They play the winner of Florida/Aurburn in the quarters and Vandy in the semis.

mag900 said...

i agree. who cares if you are beating teams 150-180? "top 180" counts a win against the 1 team the same as a win against the 179 team.

Bracketology 101 said...

We think St. Mary's would have had a 70% chance of getting an at-large if they had lost. They're not a true bid-stealer, we guess you could say, but they're close.

Bracketology 101 said...

Two tourney wins might be enough for Georgia Tech, considering that second win would come against a red-hot Maryland team that is looking like a 4/5 seed right now. A trip to the finals would make the Jackets a lock.

The Butler-Wright State game is the final of the Horizon tournament...so yes, the winner gets an automatic bid.

Lunardi is 10th best said...

Joe Lunardi loves the TV cameras!


Bracketology 101 said...

To 49ers fan...things have really broke well to put the MWC in position to get 4 bids. We didn't expect the A-10 bubble teams to collapse as much as they have. Also, there has yet to be a true bid stealer in any of the early conference tournies. It has really been the perfect storm for the MWC to get 4 bids this year. We had the memory of last year in our heads still when fellow bracketologists were insisting that the MWC would get 4 bids but in the end they only got 2. Obviously it still is no lock that the conference gets 4 bids, but 3 bids is a virtual guarantee.

give me the brandy said...

Would you give Pitt the same benefit that you're giving Ohio St? Two of Pitt's losses were early when they were missing Jermaine Dixon and Gilbert Brown. No, Dixon and Brown aren't nearly as good as Turner, but Pitt is not even close to the same team without them. When that is factored in their resume looks similar to OSU, with more top 50 wins (6-3 vs 5-4) and 3 top 10 wins. Their conference record is one game worse, but they play in a tougher conference and finished 2nd. Could Pitt end up being a 2 if they make the BE finals, or do they have to win the tournament?

Dan Holmes said...

In response to Anonymous at 9:27:

If Butler loses to Wright State, then yes, Wright State would get the automatic bid from the Horizon League (as well as Butler receiving an at-large bid). If Butler wins, then Butler gets the automatic bid and Wright State goes to the NIT.

Dave said...

How much will Hummell's injury affect the seeding for Purdue? With their current resume they could be a 2-3 seed, but without Robbie they are barely a top 20 team in the country.


Anonymous said...

Great bracket. First time in a while this year that I agree with your bubble choices. Although USF and Mississippi both have to get a couple wins to get in.

Jim said...

Great to see South Florida in there. What a great win last weekend over UConn. Hopefully a nice win today over DePaul will solidify things...

JV said...

Does St. Louis have any real at large hopes? Or do they have to win the tourney?

Jeff said...

who does everyone like in the Big 12 tournament? I have a feeling Baylor might win it.

Dan Holmes said...

I see no reason to pick against Kansas, especially because the tournament is in Kansas City, less than an hour away from Lawrence. Rock chalk Jayhawk!

matt said...

Could this be a year when the selection committee just picks some random team nobody is talking about for an at-large? Remember a few years back Air Force somehow got in the tourney as an at-large 13 seed. Nobody even had them on the radar and I don't even think the team was watching the selection show........

Brycenle said...

West Virginia should get the final #1 seed if they win the Big East tournament. They will have an top 2 RPI and SOS. When is the last time a team has had both? I can't recall it ever happening, but if it happens this year WVU should be a lock for a #1 seed.

Murph said...

Maybe someone like VCU? They are 3-1 against top 50 opponents. Wichita State is #43 on the RPI. I would rather see either of them (VCU in particular) in over Illinois, Ole Miss, Miss. St., a 2nd C-USA team, or a 4th A-10 team. It will be curious to see what the committee really values, because they will have a smorgasbord from which to choose.

Anonymous said...

Kentucky won't be in New Orleans. Three other regionals are closer to Kentucky's campus.

matt r said...

Kentucky was in New Orleans in the NCAA's media mock selection that was done a few weeks ago, and they were being led by the "experts" at this process. So it is possible.

mag900 said...

b101, if uconn doesn't come back and win today, will lunardi still have them in field or will he drop them back to the last 4 out?

Bracketology 101 said...

Lunardi doesn't mention UConn anywhere in his bracket for today. We are interested to see how high USF will climb on his bubble with their win over DePaul. He doesn't even have them as last 8 out right now but has Seton Hall as the 2nd team out. He's missed the boat a little on USF and he will over correct tomorrow after todays win.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Saint Louis beats Temple and gets to the A-10 final, they would have a decent shot at a bid, but they would also need a lot of help across the bubble.

Purdue's seed is going to be one of the most interesting storylines of Selection Sunday, especially if the Boilers lose in the Big Ten semis. They would deserve a 3, but we wouldn't be shocked if they were a 4. On the flip side, if they make the Big Ten final, they'll likely be a 2, and if they win it, they'll probably be the final 1.

Anonymous said...

Stick a fork in Calhoun! Finally we can stop talking about the 12th place connecticut team as a bubble option. Heck north carolina finished 10th in conference at least. I am sure the big spin next year will be to say he was "on leave" and will be ready to go for 10-11 season. I personally think Calhoun has lost his touch and will never make it past the sweet 16 again.

mag900 said...

calhoun was a 1 seed LAST year. 1 bad year and you are ready to write him off?

Anonymous said...

A bad year is what roy williams had this year. Connecticut has talent but calhoun couldn't put it together. Combined with his health I don't see him being dominant anymore. I said he would make the sweet 16 just not past it.

Anonymous said...

Curious why Syracuse gets shipped out west? I would think Duke is the lowest rated of the #1 seeds and would get the West shaft.

Hubbo said...

Is it a horse race between Kansas State, Villanova and UNM for the last #2? KSU has the best RPI, UNM the best rankings in both polls. Villanova is the lowest in all three, but just barely. If the Lobos win the MWC and the other two don't win their conference tournaments, is it safe to say UNM gets that last #2 seed?

Anonymous said...

Does VCU have any chance of getting an at large?

matt r said...

I look at both the South and West as a shaft for Syracuse. The least of all shafts is Duke-South.

Hubbo said...

VCU's got no chance. Finished 5th in its conference and didn't even make it's own conference tournament finals. NIT may even be a stretch at this point.

Anonymous said...

True, Matt, but at least the South regional is a bit closer, and Syracuse could more realistically justify having its first and second-round games in Buffalo.

matt r said...

Either one is a plane ride or a mega road trip, and I don't understand your 'justify' comment. The first weekend sites have nothing to do with the regional sites. There is nothing wrong with a Buffalo-West path just as there is nothing wrong with a Jax-West path as Lunardi has for Duke right now.

Bracketology 101 said...

Don't count out Pitt as a possible 2 seed. If the Panthers beat West Virginia in the Big East semis, they can definitely get up to the 2 line.

We've gotten a couple of e-mails about Siena's seed difference vs. last year (when they got a 9). Last year's Siena team had an 18 RPI, a 66 SOS, and won the 12th-rated MAAC. This year's Siena team has a 34 RP, a 124 SOS, and won the 15th-rated MAAC. Last year's team won its BracketBuster game (at home against UNI), while this year's team got blown out at Butler. All those factors make the Saints an 11/12 seed this year, and not a 9 like they were last year.

Anonymous said...

Sure Gonzaga blew any chance of playing in Spokane last night, but exiling them to Buffalo seems a bit harsh. Maybe they should be in one of the other brackets, haven't they already logged more miles than any other team this year.

AG said...

B101, Siena's RPI was higher last year because they played so many elite teams...and got obliterated by all of them. It appears to me you're saying they would get a higher seed if they played more unwinnable games.

JGibson said...

For Siena last year, they also had the win over Northern Iowa. Although it was only 6 points, they controlled that game the whole way and were up double digits for most of it. This year, they got blown out by both Northern Iowa and Butler.

Anonymous said...

How can Cornell be an 11 seed when it beat no Top 50 teams (its best win is St. Johns which has an RPI rating of 76), 4-3 against Top 100 (Which is not bad, but not an "11 seed" worthy, I think) and lost against Penn (6-21 record, RPI of 304)?

Anonymous said...

How is Illinois even in the discussion to be in the tourney? They're 18-13 and have lost 5 of their last 6 games in conference (aka against the good teams in the conference). Also one of their "quality" wins was against a Michigan State team that didn't even have their best player playing that game. Also I don't think Gonzaga should even be a 7 seed. I don't get why they're even as ranked as high as they are, especially since they lost 2 games against teams below 200 in the RPI and only have 1 good win on their OOC resume.e

Bracketology 101 said...

Cornell's seed could be anywhere from a 10 to a 13 in the end, and they are going to be one of the toughest teams for us to place on Selection Sunday. We have them an 11 right now - despite a so-so resume - because they still have a solid RPI (47) and we think the committee will give them a lot of credit for their performance at Kansas. They also have 13 true road wins, which is the most of anyone in the RPI Top 100. A lot of those were easy victories, but they did beat St. John's, Alabama, and Harvard away from home.

Anonymous said...

Bye-bye, Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

With Seton Hall up by 15 with 3 to go, is the Notre Dame - Seton Hall a play in game to the NCAA's?

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

All three A10 bubblers playing with fire tonight. I don't see how any of the remaining two pulls the upsets they need to get in the tournament.

Anonymous said...

Rhode Island wins. Dayton wins. Seton Hall leads by 29 over Providence but wins by only 3. and North Texas wins the Sun Belt.

SamENole said...

Can you please explain your logic for having Gonzaga as your top rated 7 seed? I'm looking at all your 7 and 8 seeds' resumes and every single one of them has a better resume than the Zags.

They have exactly one good win and that came against Wisconsin in November. Their 2nd and 3rd best wins came against St. Mary's a team who just spanked them when it mattered the most and a team that might not have even gotten in the field if not for that win. A few weeks ago their wins over Illinois and Cincinnati might've looked good, but they don't any more. On top of their lack of quality wins they have 2 horrendous losses against (#175) Loyola Marymount and (#206) San Francisco.

If Gonzaga didn't have the storied recent history I'd bet they'd be in the 9-10 seed range. And if you're going by their resume, that's exactly where they should be.

Anonymous said...

Tough to see Georgetown being anything less than a 5 after the win today. With a good showing tomorrow, I think 4 is likely given their resume.