Tuesday, February 15, 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
A night after Kansas State emphatically stated its case for an at-large bid, several other bubble teams will try to do the same. In the Big Ten, Michigan State kicks off a make-or-break week with a trip to Columbus to take on Ohio State. The Spartans snuck back into our Field of 68 this week because we think, despite their well-documented struggles, that they still can finish 9-9 in conference. We don't expect this game to be one of those wins, but it's important that they play well with a ginormous home game against Illinois looming this weekend. A 1-1 week will keep Sparty in the bracket next Monday.

In the ACC, Maryland plays at Virginia Tech in what is an absolute must-win for the Terps. Maryland lost to Virginia Tech at home back on Jan. 20, and if they have any chance to get back in the at-large picture, they'll have to avoid a season sweep. The game is also huge for Virginia Tech, which must finish 10-6 in conference to stay on the right side of the bubble heading into the ACC tournament. The Hokies still have home games left against Duke and BC as well as a road game at Clemson to close out the season, so they'll have chances to pad their resume. A win here, though, would take a little pressure off going forward.

There are also some key bubble battles tonight in the Big East (St. John's at Marquette), the Colonial (George Mason at VCU, Georgia State at Old Dominion) and the Missouri Valley (Wichita State at Evansville, Drake at Missouri State). St. John's has the overall record of a bubble team, but their five Top 25 wins (five!) has them up to a 7 seed this week. They should easily get to 9-9 (probably 10-8) in conference, which will get them a bid. Marquette, meanwhile, needs this game to avoid picking up its 11th loss and to avoid falling under .500 in conference. The Golden Eagles have an easy schedule left (four of their six are at home and one of their road games is at Seton Hall), so this isn't necessarily a must-win, but it could give them some much-needed breathing room.

George Mason comes into the night on an 11-game win streak that has vaulted them all the way up to a 9 seed in our latest bracket. The Patriots are currently in the field as the Colonial automatic, but they have a great chance at an at-large if they win at VCU tonight. A win would give them a two game lead with just two games to play in conference. It's hard to see a resume with a Colonial regular season title and a sub-30 RPI on it not warranting a bid this year with the bubble as soft as it is.

In the MVC, current auto bid Wichita State faces a tricky road test at Evansville, which has wins over Missouri State and Northern Iowa in its last two home games. If the Shockers, or Missouri State, have designs on earning an at-large bid out of what looks like a one-bid league, they can't afford a slip-up tonight. Both teams have BracketBuster games on tap this weekend, with Wichita hosting VCU and Missouri State playing at Valparaiso.

Also keep an eye on: Villanova at Seton Hall, Mississippi State at Kentucky, Wake Forest at North Carolina, Texas Tech at Missouri, Wayland Baptist University at Baylor (seriously?), Air Force at UNLV, Butler at Green Bay

31 comments:

BracketologyMAGIK said...

What the hell is Wayland Baptist University, some kind of prehistoric rivalry or something??

Bracketology 101 said...

In case you were wondering, Wayland Baptist is an NAIA school that brings an 8-17 record into Baylor tonight.

Before Baylor fans get too cocky, though, they need to keep in mind that Wayland just put a HURTING on St. Gregory's on Saturday. That win snapped a four-game losing streak for Wayland - but in their defense, NOBODY goes into the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and gets a win. Nobody. Wayland lost that one by 17.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

Wow, Baylor wouldn't want to exert itself playing against a team with scholarship players. I imagine I could at least manage to get a backup point guard slot at Wayland Baptist, if I was a Baptist. I guess Alabama was too busy to schedule them as an opponent.

Anonymous said...

Interested to see how Nova fares on the road tonight after that rough end at Rutgers last week before losing to Pitt at home this past weekend.

Jack said...

Is there a plausible scenario in which the Big East gets two 1 seeds?

Brian Reinthaler said...

I second Jack's question, and wonder specifically about ND and Georgetown (my two alma maters), which would seem to have the inside track on a second Big East 1-seed from an RPI perspective.

I'd also appreciate B101's thoughts on my impression that Texas and Kansas getting 1s because of their fewer number of losses than Pitt and ND would be completely ignorant of the relative strengths of the top halves of each team's schedule. ND (6-3 vs. T25 RPI) and Pitt (6-2 vs. T25 RPI) have faced decidedly tougher high-end opponents than their Big12 brethren - Kansas (1-1 vs. T25) and Texas (2-2) vs. T25).

Bracketology 101 said...

The Big East question a tough one to answer because so many teams are still in line to possibly get a 1 seed (Pitt, Kansas, Texas, Ohio State, Duke, San Diego State, Notre Dame, and Georgetown).

The "easiest" way for the Big East to get two 1 seeds, though, is for Notre Dame or Georgetown to win out and beat regular season champ Pitt in the Big East tourney final.

Anonymous said...

Why do the current voters love the Big 12 so much? Texas went 0-2 against the Big East, yet outranks a Big East team with a harder schedule, a better record, and a head to head win over them.

From my viewpoint, the Big 12 had a very weak OOC performance this year, so what results in the Big 12 love this year?

Snapple said...

Since NAIA teams aren't factored into RPI or SOS, maybe it's potentially better for Baylor to schedule Wayland than a SWAC team at this time of year.

Matt r said...

+1 for Snapple

Bracketology 101 said...

It's definitely a much smarter move than Gonzaga scheduling Cal State Bakersfield (301 RPI) for a game AFTER the WCC season is over.

But it still makes no sense...

edgeinducedcohesion said...

Wayland Baptist is making a game of it--Baylor ought to be embarrassed. If there is such a thing as a "bad win" it is getting threatened by a NAIA school on your home court.

Anonymous said...

It's an exhibition so it shouldnt affect their resume, but it'd be kinda pathetic if they can't beat them by as much as the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma did.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

So, what do you guys think are the odds that Centenary goes winless this year?

Justin said...

So George Mason is looking pretty solid now?

And Virginia Tech has a chance to not be on the edge of the bubble this year so long as they can avoid bad losses.

Not much else of interest one way or the other tonight, unless Sparty can pull this out.

Anonymous said...

B101 do you think St. John's can get to the 4 line if they go 4-1 down the stretch-that means they beat Villanova or Pitt and they win a game in the BE tourney?

Anonymous said...

Granted Baylor is not last year's team, but if have seen them play this year, they have the talent to knock someone off in the tournament. They have been inconsistent-losses against Iowa State and Oklahoma, but have had some competitive games against Texas, Gonzaga, and Kansas State.

Anonymous said...

Granted Baylor is not last year's team, but if have seen them play this year, they have the talent to knock someone off in the tournament. They have been inconsistent-losses against Iowa State and Oklahoma, but have had some competitive games against Texas, Gonzaga, and Kansas State.

Anonymous said...

Virginia Tech has an interesting profile. No wins really stand out, but they've got a lot of pretty good wins. I'm thinking quantity over quality gets them a bid this year.

mike said...

Good day today.

Maryland is D-E-D dead.
George Mason may have clinched an at-large, if not if they beat UNI in bracketbusters they're in.
VCU now has to win CAA tourney to get in.
Marquette's in trouble.
St Johns is at worst a 7.
Wichita and Missouri State continue to win.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

Virginia Tech's profile is kind of blah to me. Wins against Penn State, Florida State, and Oklahoma State at home aren't anything to sniff at, and a sweep of Maryland ought to help, but a home loss to Virginia is a blemish. Winning @Wake Forest, @Virginia, at home with BC, and @Clemson would almost certainly give it the quantity it would need, though beating Duke would give it the marquee win on its schedule that would probably clinch a spot.

Eric Z said...

Hello everyone.

Can we please stop talking about the Big East getting 11? My opinion is that, by the end of it all, the Big East will get 9. Marquette and Cincinnati just don't seem to be tournament teams.

And I'm supposed to believe Baylor will be dangerous because they played Gonzaga tough? The same Gonzaga that is not in the bracket today?

Finally, I look for the CAA to send 3 to the dance - GMU, ODU, and a bid stealer (Hofstra? James Madison?)

Robert Bosco said...

How high of a seed do you think St.John's could possibly climb to?

Timothy said...

Any chance a 10-6, in the ACC, VT gets left out again? Being a Nole follower, I tend to be a bit more up on the other ACC teams than the rest of the country. VT's 10-6 is about as hollow as it was last year, in an even worse ACC.

Bracketology 101 said...

St. John's would probably max out as a low 4/high 5.

Anonymous said...

The Comcast Center will make a wonderful host for the CBI

Anonymous said...

Marquette has wins against Syr, ND, and West Virginia and 0 bad losses. They need to get to 9-9. Big East gets at least 10.

Anonymous said...

If vt gets to 10-6 this year, it will be much less "hollow" than last year's 10-6.

Top 100 ACC wins last year (going into selection) Wake,Clemson,@GT

Top 100 ACC wins this year: FSU,Miami,Maryland,@Maryland,@NCSt (games remaining vs BC,Duke,@Clem)

Plus a slightly below OOC performance, which is an improvement over last years awful OOC performance - theyre getting in at 10-6 bro.

Anonymous said...

Marquette has also played an incredible 13 games against the RPI top 25. And they still have 1 left @UConn plus the BE tourney. That might be a record.

Timothy said...

The reason I said VTs 10-6 would be hollow is that Maryland is at 90 and NCST is at 96 currently in the RPI, and could very easily fall out of the top 100. Leaving exactly where they were last year. Additionally another one of their top100 wins is against #98 St. Bonaventure. They are 7-5 against the current top 100, and only 1-3 against the top50 (with a game against Duke to play). The losses to GT and UVA don't help either, neither does playing only 6 games against teams that are at or above .500 in conference play currently.

So Bro, they are not as garaunteed as one might think. Thus the reason I asked the question.

San Diego > St. Mary's??? said...

MAJOR UPSET ALERT - (3-21) San Diego ranked #317 in the RPI leads St. Mary's by 12 with 3:00 left.

Unless St. Mary's makes a miraculous comeback this would have to cripple their at-large chances.