Tuesday, January 18, 2011

B101's Bracket Banter - Tuesday

Bracket Banter is our daily open thread to discuss all things bracket. Readers can post comments and questions during the night's games, and we will answer those questions as the night goes on.

Tuesday's Games
Conference road wins have been an endangered species of late, but that's the challenge facing several teams in our bracket tonight as Kentucky plays at Alabama, Georgetown plays at Seton Hall, and bracket newcomer Colorado plays at Nebraska.

The marquee game of the night, though, is in the Big Ten, as Illinois hosts Michigan State. The Spartans seemed to have righted the ship a little with back-to-back overtime wins at home, but now they open up a tough two game roadie in Champaign (they play at Purdue over the weekend) against an Illini squad looking to snap a two-game losing streak. If either of these teams plan on catching Ohio State for the Big Ten title, this is a must-win game.

Elsewhere, North Carolina looks to bounce back from their embarrassing 20-point loss (20!) at Georgia Tech as they host Clemson, and Tennessee looks to build off of their much-needed home win over Vanderbilt and get a victory at Georgia. The Bulldogs, who are unbeaten at home this season, could use a second quality win on their resume. They play their next three games in Athens.

Also keep an eye on: TCU at BYU, DePaul at Marquette, Maine at Vermont


AG said...

I think UNC will take care of business. They might be the Baylor of the ACC right now but Clemson is probably the 11th best team in the conference and UNC is still undefeated at home fwiw.

Anonymous said...

Ima spit out some off the radar mid major teams that I think with really good conference play might be worthy of an at-large consideration come selection sunday. Some of these teams are predicting to win conference tourney but in case they don't can they get in? Am I crazy or do some of these teams have a chance?
Horizon- Valpo
WCC- Portland
Ivy- Harvard, Princeton (Whoever loses league)
ASun- Belmont
CUSA- UAB, Marshall, UTEP
Col- James Madison
MWC- Colorado State

Personally I feel that some of these teams will only lose like 6 or 7 games and have actually played decent schedules. All three of the CUSA teams listed have higher RPI's then Memphis.

Anonymous said...

Plus all of those teams listed have higher RPI's then Marquette.

Bracketology 101 said...

We expect UNC to win tonight too.

The only teams off of that list that have a chance of an at-large are UAB or UTEP if they can win the C-USA regular season title. (Marshall's not winning C-USA and you failed to mention current C-USA leader Southern Miss.) The rest of the teams on the list either play in very weak leagues or have done little OOC to warrant at-large consideration.

It's pretty shortsighted to compare those teams' schedules and RPIs to Marquette's. Marquette played some pretty bad small conference teams early and that has dragged their RPI down (it's 68 as of Tuesday), but they still have eight games left against the current RPI Top 50. Their RPI is going to continue to rise going forward. The Belmonts and Valpos of the world, on the other hand, are only going to see their RPIs fall as they go through conference play.

Anonymous said...

Skipped So. Miss since they were already in your bracket. Personally I feel like Mid Majors aren't that weak this year and its just not the normal names so we pass them off. Belmont might go 30-4 this year while losing in conference tourney and get left out. Idk I just think some of these mid majors stack up better against the "amazing 11-bid Big East" then people are givin em credit for.

Bracketology 101 said...

No one's a bigger supporter of the little guy getting in than we are, but unfortunately, it's been a pretty down year for mid-majors. Teams like Butler, ODU, and Memphis - who most people thought were shoo-ins for at-larges at the start of the year - have underperformed, and as a whole the mid-major conferences (the A-10 especially) have not taken advantage of the expanded field and the weak bubble. There have been a few nice mid-major surprises (UCF, Missouri State), but overall we expected a lot more mid-majors to be alive for bids than we have right now.

Anonymous said...

What do you think it would take for a team like Northwestern to get some love on the bracket? Are they even close to Penn State as far as a bubble team is concerned?

Bracketology 101 said...

A win or two over a quality opponent would help. Northwestern doesn't have any of those yet (their victory over Michigan was their first RPI Top 100 win) and it's a little late in the season to be saying that.

Anonymous said...

I would think that going 3-2 in their next five would give them enough qualify wins to be considered, though it is far in the season to be looking for your first marquee win, I agree.

Bracketology 101 said...

Penn State has two more losses than Northwestern, but they have two solid wins (Michigan State and Illinois). They're the seventh best Big Ten team right now, one spot ahead of Northwestern.

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