Thursday, February 17, 2011

B101's Bracket Banter - Thursday

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.

Thursday's Games
There are few things better for a bubble team's resume than a late-season road win - regardless of who the opponent is - and that's the challenge facing several bubble dwellers tonight.

In power conference bubble action, Washington State plays at Arizona, Clemson plays at N.C. State, Minnesota plays at Penn State, and Alabama plays at LSU. Minnesota is the safest of those bubble because of their impressive OOC wins over North Carolina and West Virginia, but the Gophers have seen their seed slip in recent weeks because of what they've done - or haven't done - in Big Ten play. They only have one quality conference win (vs. Purdue) and they've lost four of their last five overall. They're going to need to finish 9-9 in conference to get a bid, and if they lose to the Nittany Lions tonight, they'll have to win three of their last four to get there.

Washington State is trying to climb back in the bracket after a home loss to Stanford knocked them out last week. The Cougars, who are just 2-4 in conference road games, play three straight on the road beginning with Arizona tonight. They need to win four of their last five games to stay alive in the at-large mix heading into the Pac-10 tourney. Clemson, meanwhile, begins a tricky week with a trip to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack (the Tigers play at Miami on Saturday). If they want to be taken seriously as an at-large contender, a 2-0 week is a must.

The final important bubble battle of the night is in the A-10, where Richmond visits Temple. The Spiders are a half game out of first in conference, have won seven of eight, and have a nice OOC win over Purdue on their resume, yet they remain on the bubble because they still have not beaten a quality A-10 opponent. That's not entirely their fault - the schedule broke so that they only face Xavier and Temple once - but they didn't do themselves any favors by losing at home to the Musketeers back on Jan. 19. If the Spiders lose tonight, they can't afford any more losses until the A-10 tourney.

Also keep an eye on: UCLA at Stanford, Washington at Arizona State, Santa Clara at Gonzaga

33 comments:

Dave said...

How impressive / important of a win was it for Illinois to beat Michigan last night? The Wolverines came in playing very well and the Illini came away with the W. Would a win @ MSU vs a struggling Spartan team still bump them up a line or two?

AG said...

Illinois is not winning @ the Breslin Center, period. Not the way this team is playing.

Illinois won last night because Michigan was a young team on the road that had neither the size nor athleticism to deal with Illinois' ability to jam the lane with 3 7-footers. Mike Tisdale has always had good games against teams like Michigan, but against teams like MSU where Adrien Payne and Derrick Nix are playing better Tisdale fouls out in less than 20 mins.

Bracketology 101 said...

It was an important win for Illinois last night, but it wasn't all that impressive. The Illini should beat Michigan at home.

If they win at Michigan State on Saturday, they'll probably be a 7 seed in our next bracket.

Anonymous said...

Struggling Spartan team??? The Spartans are actually starting to look a lot better. Heck, they played just at well at OSU as any team has this season. I think MSU will beat the Illini at home easy if they execute on the offensive end as well as they did at Ohio St. for most of the game.

Anonymous said...

Struggling? Yes. MSU has still just won 2 of their last 8. They did just as well at OSU as any other team other than Penn St, Minnesota or Michigan. Illinois-Michigan St is a toss-up.

Anonymous said...

Gonzaga is NOT a tournament team.

Anonymous said...

Just coasting off tournament brand equity on this pt

Anonymous said...

What are the opinions on Ole Miss making a late push to get an at large bid? They dropped a critical game Saturday at Alabama but have a chance to win the remaining games on their schedule and possibly win one or two in the conference tournament. That would have them winning 9 out of their last 10 and they have a current RPI of 67.

Anonymous said...

Winning out would also give Ole Miss 2 possibly 3 wins over the RPI top 50 depending on how Penn State finishes the year.

Anonymous said...

LMAO at this lame other bracketologists projections, ha!
check this out, this guy thinks Maryland is IN??
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3UYL5bFO90

Mike said...

GO PENN STATE!!

Kyle said...

If Florida were to finish 1-4 down the stretch would they still be a lock?

Anonymous said...

How far do you think Vandebilt and Pudue go in the NCAAs?

Bracketology 101 said...

Ole Miss would need to win out and make a deep run in the SEC tourney to get any bubble consideration.

Kyle your question on Florida should be how high could their seed climb if they finish 4-1. Even with a 1-4 finish the Gators would be safe.

Blazer99 said...

I'm not kidding when I say this, when do we start considering Penn State? Better in conference record than MSU, Michigan, and Minnesota. Yes, they have a few bad losses, but there are plenty of teams up for consideration who do too (Alabama). If they go 2-2 in their last 4, Wisconsin, OSU, NW, and Minnesota. I think they have a serious case for a bid

Anonymous said...

The reason their conference record is higher is because the road has been easier. After they lose thier next four games, which is likely, they will no longer have a better conference record.

Blazer99 said...

Easier? 4 of their 7 wins were against Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Minnesota. Compare that to Michigan who has only beaten one of those teams, and lost to the other 3.

Anonymous said...

Say a team like Texas or Ohio State were to "lose out". First round exit in the conference tourney and all. How far would their seeding slide?

Bracketology 101 said...

Nice win by Penn State tonight, but we can't take the Nittany Lions seriously for an at-large just yet given the schedule they have left (at Wisconsin, at NW, Ohio State, at Minnesota.) They are just 1-7 in true road games this season, and as good as they've been at home, we're not sure they're ready to beat the Buckeyes. There's a much better chance they finish 8-10 than 9-9.

mag900 said...

Say a team like Texas or Ohio State were to "lose out". First round exit in the conference tourney and all. How far would their seeding slide?

do you mean like what texas did last year? i would think if they did that and racked up 8 or 9 total losses, they would drop to the 8/9 game.

mike said...

PSU = in if they beat Northwestern and Ohio State at home. 9-9 in conference. They're going to end up with the #1 SOS. Look at the wins. Toughest B10 schedule of anybody.. they got every team this year twice but Indiana and Iowa - the two worst teams.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

So, with Clemson losing to NC State does that just about finish them as an at-large?

Bracketology 101 said...

Clemson's pretty much finished. They'll need to win their last four games, including at Duke, to get an at-large.

give me the brandy said...

I'm not sure Penn St would be in at 9-9 even if they got there, not with their brutal non-conference and getting swept by Michigan. It's probably a moot point, they won't be favored in any of their final 4 games (even at Northwestern is no better than 50/50).

Minnesota can't afford any more slip-ups. Their schedule is favorable down the stretch, but they need to finish 9-9 in conference.

Clemson is done unless they can win out and get a win in the ACC tournament. Considering they still have a game at Duke, it's very very unlikely.

Richmond is also in some trouble after getting blasted by Temple tonight. Their season (and Duquesne's) probably comes down to their last game of the season at home against the Dukes.

Anonymous said...

There is no way Penn State gets in if they go 2-2 the rest of the way.
So in the B10 Tournament they probably will go 1-1 and finish at 17-14 with a few bad losses, a couple of good wins(maybe one great one if they can beat Ohio State)in their 31 game season. B101what do you think?

Anonymous said...

If Utah State loses to St. Mary's and doesn't win their conference tournament, does anyone think they are out?

mike said...

Let's say Penn State loses at Minnesota and at Wisconsin but wins at Northwestern and shocks Ohio State on Senior Night.

That'd put them at 9-9 in the Big 10 - again with only playing Indiana + Iowa once.

That puts them 6-7 in the tournament and they beat either Indiana or Iowa.

With how pathetic this bubble is.. with teams like Richmond, Baylor and Colorado State considered.. can't see how they're not.

Utah St. said...

Anon: There's almost no way Utah State will be left out. Their AD is on the committee and whether he has to leave the room or not during Utah State discussion, there is no way they will be left out, unless of course they completely tank down the stretch.

Don't underestimate having a friend of the committee.

Mike said...

Penn State can do it. Senior night is going to be great. Can't wait to be there.

Anonymous said...

I guess this is why this tournament is interesting...I posted the question about Utah St. which is are they in if they lose to St. Mary and do not win their tournament and Utah. St. implied having the Utah State's AD on the committee(although he's not allowed to talk about Utah State)has influence directly or indirectly.

Anonymous said...

Probably true but sad because there is a possibility Utah State's BEST win at the end of season will be against Long Beach State(a team that is 14-10) that has an RPI around 100.
That is pathetic.

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