Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bracketology 101's Field of 68 - Dec. 28

There have been plenty of upsets and interesting non-conference results in the two weeks since our last bracket, and those results are reflected in our latest Field of 68. While there were only two changes in terms of teams in the field, the biggest differences came in how many bids some conferences received and how some big-name programs were seeded.

The two teams that were bumped from this week's bracket were both from the ACC. Virginia's head-scratching home loss to Seattle knocked them out, and Maryland, whose so-so resume caught up with them, dropped from the last team in to the second team out. Replacing them in the bracket are Drexel and Cincinnati. The Dragons' upset of Louisville and the Colonial's strong conference RPI (10) earned them a bid, while the Bearcats' still unblemished record earned them a spot.

There were a lot of teams that moved up or down several seed lines in this week's bracket. Baylor's six seed line drop and Michigan State's five seed line drop were the biggest downgrades, while Tennessee, Kansas State, and Richmond each fell three lines. The biggest jump was made by Texas (6 seed lines), while Missouri, UCF, Washington State, and Butler each moved up three lines.

Note: Bracket is based on games played through Monday, Dec. 27.

Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In
Northwestern, St. Mary's, Drexel, New Mexico

First Four Out
Oklahoma State, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia

Next Four Out
St. John's, Dayton, Northern Iowa, Virginia Tech

"First Four" Games
Northwestern vs. St. Mary's, Drexel vs. New Mexico, Montana vs. Morgan State, American vs. Jackson State


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

America East - Vermont

ACC - Duke, Boston College, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Florida State

Atlantic Sun - Jacksonville

A-10 - Temple, Richmond, Xavier

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

Big Sky - Montana

Big South - Coastal Carolina

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

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

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - Old Dominion, Drexel

Conference USA - UCF, Memphis

Horizon - Butler, Cleveland State

Ivy - Princeton

MAAC - Fairfield

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Wichita State

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

Northeast - Quinnipiac

Ohio Valley - Murray State

Pac-10 - Washington, Washington State, Arizona

Patriot - American

SEC - Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt

Southern - Wofford

Southland - Stephen F. Austin

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - North Texas

SWAC - Jackson State

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's


The Seeds
The 1s

Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse

The 2s
Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut, Kentucky

The 3s
San Diego State, Villanova, Texas, Missouri

The 4s
Temple, Purdue, Louisville, BYU

The 5s
Notre Dame, Minnesota, Kansas State, Tennessee

The 6s
UNLV, Texas A&M, Illinois, Wisconsin

The 7s
Michigan State, Boston College, Old Dominion, West Virginia

The 8s
UCF, Memphis, Florida, Washington

The 9s
Vanderbilt, Butler, Washington State, North Carolina

The 10s
Wichita State, Richmond, Gonzaga, Arizona

The 11s
Baylor, Miami (FL), Florida State, Xavier

The 12s
Cleveland State, Cincinnati, Northwestern vs. St. Mary's (FF), Drexel vs. New Mexico (FF)

The 13s
Utah State, UC-Santa Barbara, Princeton, Kent State

The 14s
Oakland, Fairfield, Coastal Carolina, Jacksonville

The 15s
Wofford, Vermont, Quinnipiac, Murray State

The 16s
Stephen F. Austin, North Texas, Montana vs. Morgan State (FF), American vs. Jackson State (FF)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at bracketologyblog@yahoo.com or send us a tweet at twitter.com/Bracketology101.


AG said...

I still cannot stand this whole "first four" nonsense. Just make all the 16 seeds play-in games already. If anyone has earned the right to be sent to the play-in round its the seeds that have *never* won an NCAA tournament game, ever.

Besides, it would make the whole field stronger because it makes 12s into 13s, 13s into 14s, and 14s into 15s so there would be more upsets. Plus, it gives the 16 seeds more games which means more money for the tiny conferences like the NEC, SWAC, and MEAC.

Forcing at-larges to play not only makes it darn near impossible to seed the field properly but its just some PR stunt. The 16 seeds complain about being "punished" with the play-in games, but its something they desperately, desperately need: more games and more TV money.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how Maryland could be ahead of Virginia Tech in the pecking order, considering VT is 83 spots ahead of them in the RPI (118 to 35), Maryland is 99 places worse in SOS (18 to 117), and havent beaten a team in the Top-75 RPI, losing to every good team that theyve played (0-4 vs the Top-50).

Snapple said...

@Anonymous, B101 doesn't seed teams based on if the season ended right now. They use prediction-projection. Obviously if the season ended now, VT would be ahead, but that's something different entirely.

Anyway. I am a UCF alum, so obviously I am super stoked about the season they've been having so far. Big game against a good Furman team tonight. I hope we can keep the hope train going a little longer.

Bracketology 101 said...

Snapple is correct in our assessment of Maryland and Virginia Tech. If we did the bracket based on the season ending today, Virginia Tech would be ahead of Maryland based on their RPI and SOS numbers. Looking ahead, though, Maryland's tournament chances are better than Virginia Tech's. The Hokies have been ravaged by injuries all year, and with Dorenzo Hudson and Caadarian Raines now out for the year as well, they only have nine healthy players on their roster. Maryland is at least playing with a full deck, which gives them the edge in the ACC pecking order.

Bracketology 101 said...

AG - we couldn't agree with you more about the "first four." The play-in games should be between the eight worst automatic qualifiers, and the winners should be the 16 seeds in each region. Unfortunately, the NCAA will never set up the tournament that way. There would be outrage from small conferences and the NCAA would take a beating publicly for not treating the "little guy" fairly.

Our viewpoint (and yours) is that the best teams in the country should play in the NCAA tournament. Letting in three more teams that have a chance at actually winning a game as opposed to the current format would be exponentially better. There would be more upsets (who wouldn't love more upsets?), more mid-majors would get at-large bids, middle-of-the-pack big conference teams that could be dangerous in their own right would be let in, and since everyone would essentially be moved down a seed line, the first and second rounds of the tournament would be even more competitive and more exciting than they already are.

What's not to like?

DCDuck said...

I'm not sold on Drexel. Yes, they have lots of road wins and a nice-looking RPI, but aside from a win at Louisville their resume rings hollow. If you are projecting ahead, I can't see them beating teams like VCU and ODU on the road - or finishing any better than 4th in conference given their terrible offensive numbers. It may be easy to beat up on teams like Niagara, Penn and Loyola-MD, but in the thick of the season I think their poor shooting and lack of depth will catch up to them.

Bracketology 101 said...

We aren't 100% sold on Drexel either, but with three extra at-large spots available, a second team from the 10th ranked conference in the country is going to get serious consideration for a bid. If Drexel finishes second in the Colonial, beats ODU (they only play the Monarchs once and it's at home), and if Louisville continues to be a tournament team, Drexel will be in very good shape. They'll also have a chance to pad their resume with their BracketBuster game on Feb. 19.

Joey said...

As a Miami Hurricanes fan, I've honestly been amazed that this team has gotten to 11-4. Of course, they blew what would have been a big win against Memphis early in the season, and their best two wins are West Virginia and Mississippi--wins that would have looked a lot better last year.

This field was obviously posted before the loss to Duke, but what do you think Miami has to do in ACC play to make the field? Will .500 be enough or do they need to go at least 9-7?

And also, thanks for the website! Always appreciate your insight.

Bracketology 101 said...

Given the mediocrity of the ACC this year, a .500 record for Miami won't be enough. They'll have to get to 9-7 to be in consideration for a bid. The 'Canes also have to hope that West Virginia and Mississippi right the ship. Mississippi is not a tournament caliber team right now, and West Virginia is squarely on the bubble after their 0-2 start in the Big East.

AG said...

How damaging was FSU's loss to Auburn? There are simply no words to describe how awful the Seminoles are at shooting jumpshots. The number of missed free throws by Chris Singleton alone would have been more than enough to win the game, and he's allegedly a 77% shooter. If they don't figure out how to score soon who knows how many bad losses they could have by seasons' end.

Bracketology 101 said...

Losing to the worst team in any power conference? That's a pretty damaging loss for FSU. We'll have a new bracket up shortly, and if the 'Noles are still in the field, they'll be barely in.

As for FSU's shooting performance - why would a team as big as the 'Noles shoot 26 threes (they made just five of those 26) against a much shorter Tigers squad? Puzzling. Not to pick on Singleton, but his 4-for-12 night from the free throw line was killer as FSU was trying to chip away at Auburn's second half lead.

Anonymous said...

Pushing at-largesCheap RS Gold to experience not simply makes it darn in the vicinity of impossible to seed products the sector effectively however it is just some Public realtions stunt. This Sixteen seeds make a complaint concerning staying "punished" while using play-in online games,WOW Gold but its some thing they will desperately, really need: a lot more activities and much more Telly income.

GM MDI said...

In 1979, the 1 youngster policy was implemented, Kimono Robes it has pursued probably the most complete birth manage policy on the planet.

windows anytime upgrade key said...

The corporate has now pulled it in the bulletin office mac 2011 product key and is particularly advising at the very least some Windows buyers who have mounted it to uninstall windows 7 home premium product key< the update adhering to the advice here. MS130-26 was just one of nine bulletins launched on Monday to repair thirteen individual vulnerabilities.