Tuesday, February 22, 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
The focus is on the Big Ten tonight, where there are two big bubble battles on tap. The most important bubble game of the night is the match-up between Michigan State and Minnesota. The Gophers' late season slide (they have lost five of six) needs to come to an end this week or else they won't find themselves in the bracket next week. They have a huge week ahead with the Michigan schools coming in, and they need to win three of their last four just to finish 9-9 in conference. If they can't get to 9-9 in conference, a deep Big Ten run would likely be required to lock down a bid. A win for the Spartans would do wonders for their tourney hopes as it would give them the season sweep over the Gophers and make them a virtual lock for at least a 9-9 conference finish.

The other Big Ten bubble team in action is Illinois, which travels to Ohio State. Obviously a road win over the Buckeyes isn't a requirement for the Illini to make the tournament, and at least a 9-9 conference finish looks like a certainty for them with home games against Iowa and Indiana remaining. A win here could turn the focus back towards how high of a seed the Illini could end up with instead of what they need to do to secure their bid.

The two other games of note tonight are Tennessee at Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech at Wake Forest. The Volunteers gave themselves little wiggle room by losing to Georgia over the weekend, and they now have to pick up at least two wins in their last four games to feel good about their tourney hopes heading into the SEC tournament. The Hokies had an even worse loss over the weekend in losing at Virginia, which knocked them out of our latest bracket. They are once again setting the table to be one of the most debated bubble teams come Selection Sunday, and their game at Wake Forest should just be a tune-up for their make-or-break game against Duke this weekend.

Also keep and eye on: Iowa State at Texas, Louisville at Rutgers, LaSalle at Xavier, Houston at Memphis, UNC-Asheville at Coastal Carolina

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone understand just how poor the SEC is? If you take the weird statistical anomaly that is Tennessee out of the equation... Is the conference any better than a 3-4 team conference? Kentucky, Vandy, Florida... MAYBE Tennessee is they can split 2 of the next 4 (which wont be easy)

Take all the quality wins away for SEC conference games and just go off the assumption that the conference flat out STINKS (LSU, Miss St, Arkansas, South Carolina, Auburn etc..) for a moment... count out the quality wins and then count up the losses to power conference (including the A-10 and MWC) teams...some not even good teams mind you...

UGA wins... St Louis, Ga Tech, Colorado,

UGA losses... ND, Temple

'Bama wins...none

'Bama losses.... Seton Hall, Iowa, Purdue, Providence, Oklahoma St (only 1 even being a tourney bound team??)

Ole Miss wins...Penn St, St Louis

Ole Miss losses...Dayton, Miami, Colorado St

The only other notable wins not mentioned were UGA beating UAB and Ole Miss beating SO Miss... both who are decent but still tourney long shots...

This conference is living off name only right now... Conference "Quality wins" really need to be examined with a fine tooth comb in the SEC....

Anonymous said...

The past couple of years people have been putting the SEC down, but yet the SEC had 2 of the elite 8 last year. If you actually paid attention to how Alabama is playing right now you would say that they are a tournament team.

Anonymous said...

See...the above comment is exactly my point... Outside of a horrible game by Kentucky where the Wildcats shot 38% from the field and a 13-22 from the line thus Bama winning at home by 2... is there anything of REAL QUALITY?

Wins in conference... Auburn (will be 2 times after tomorrow night), LSU 2 times, Miss St 2 times, Arkansas 1 time (with 1 loss to them, South Carolina 1 time... Ole Miss 1 time... then the other "marquee win" over a floundering but talented Tennessee...

If you consider Tennessee has loads of potential but is kind of a train wreck at times...What has Bama really done?

The conference bottom 5 are BAD BAD BAD... so the wins should carry NO WEIGHT...

Look at some of the losses by Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, Miss St and South Carolina...

Florida Atlantic, East Tenn St (who is not horrible), Hawaii, Nicholls St, Coastal Carolina (actually decent team), North Texas, Rice, Furman, UNC Asheville, Campbell, Samford, Jacksonville, Presbyterian, UAB...

I challenge to find another power conference with a group of teams that can boast losses of that caliber? So basically it becomes very evident that wins against those bottom 5 MEAN NOTHING!! So that means 8 of Bamas 10 conference wins MEAN NOTHING!!

Anonymous said...

Saying those wins mean nothing is going a bt far but, when seen in the proper context, they're about the same as winning games in most mid-major conferences.

AG said...

Considering how many bad losses SEC West teams have to even low-majors, I don't even think you can say *that*

mccscratch said...

Name a mid major with a current 10-2 (or thereabouts) record in conference with only 2 marquee wins at most and losses to teams like Iowa, Seton Hall, Okie St and Providence that is getting in if they don't win their conference tourney?

The closest MAYBE is... Oakland who is 15-1 (67 RPI) with its win over Tennessee @ Knoxville (just like Bama) and losses to West Virginia, Purdue, Wright St, Illinois, Mich St, Mich, Valpo and Ohio St... and even with a 23-10 record THEY WONT GET IN...

FTR...South Dakota St who sits 5th in Oaklands conference the Summit beat Iowa by 10... :o)

Anonymous said...

True but the SEC West is considerably better than the Summit League. You have to remember that SEC West teams play the East teams once each. That bolsters their conference SOS considerably.

Anonymous said...

I am not 100% sure the SEC West is all that much better than the Southern Conference... Auburn and LSU may be the worst Big Six teams in America (along with DePaul)... Imagine if Coll of Charleston does not win their conference... Should they still get in? I can promise you that a C of C vs Bama game would be a very close line in Vegas...maybe a bucket either way...

Anonymous said...

Big 12 bottom half bad losses... Northern Iowa, North Texas, Chaminade, San Francisco, Davidson, Harvard

(2 of those teams are good mid major programs and Harvard winning Ivy)

Big Ten bottom half bad losses... Northern Iowa, South Dakota St, Long Beach St, Maine

ACC bottom half bad losses... Stetson, Winthrop, UN Wilmington, Presbyterian, Kennesaw St, Siena, Seattle,

Pac 10 bottom half bad losses...(only one close to SEC poorness)
Seattle, Texas Southern, Utah Valley, Montana, George Washington
San Jose St, Idaho, Rider, Bradley,

Anonymous said...

Did a quick calculation for comparison:

Alabama's conference opponents have an average RPI of about 115.

Richmond's conference opponents have an average RPI of about 138.

Timothy said...

A few questions about the ACC:

-How comfortable should FSU fans be if they get to 10-6 and go 1-1 in the ACCT?

-What about VT fans? Is Duke pretty much their season? Fail to win that and it would take a run to at least the ACCT Championship game if not winning it?

-Is BC going to feel Ok at 9-7? What about getting there but dropping their ACCT opener?

Any other team out of the ACC you see making a run to get themselves included? Any suprise thoughts for the ACCT as of now?

Anonymous said...

Richmond's win over Purdue was far more impressive on a neutral court than Bama's squeaker over Kentucky at home...

Richmond has a higher RPI by 14 places for a reason....

Timothy said...

Oh and for Anon, the ACC has some pretty bad losses:

Kennesaw St, Auburn, SCar, Yale, Rhode Island, Harvard(questionable), UCF, Rutgers, Seattle, Sienna, Charlotte, Winthrop, UNC-Wil, Presbyterian, and add to it WF actually has a win in conference (they and Auburn are the two worst Big6 schools)

SamENole said...

Wow the Oakland comparison to Alabama is a great one. And I haven't seen a single person saying Oakland has any chance to get an at-large.

While Alabama does have slightly better wins than Oakland, they've also had more good chances to get them. Out of Alabama's 7 games vs. top 100 opponents only 2 were on the road. Out of Oakland's 8 games vs. top 100 opponents, 6 of them were on the road. So Alabama had more realistic chances to pick up quality wins.

Besides that, Oakland doesn't have the bad losses that Alabama does. Against teams between 100-200 in the RPI, Oakland is 10-2. Against that same range Alabama is 5-5!

I just can't believe people can honestly say Alabama has anything that resembles a Tournament resume right now. The only reason they're playing so well is because they're beating up on pathetic SEC West teams, much like Oakland is beating up on pathetic Summit league teams.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to say that Alabama is more deserving of a bid than Richmond. I was only looking at the idea that Alabama has a horrible conference slate and comparing and contrasting with an A-10 conference schedule.

Anonymous said...

explain how duke is a 1 seed?

Weak conference...blown out by mid teir big east team...had to have miracle shooting 2nd half to beat a good(not great) UNC...and lost to fla st...Duke will exposed badly in the tourney probably to the 8 9 winner...

Bracketology 101 said...

Timothy -

The 'Noles should be safe with a 10-6 finish and one ACC tourney win.

Virginia Tech's season is pretty much on the line against Duke. If they lose, they'll have to win their last two regular season games and get to at least the ACC semis (maybe the final) to get a bid.

If BC finishes 9-7, they're going to have to win at least one ACC tournament game to feel safe.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

Let's see, so far the early games don't have too many surprising results except for Coastal Carolina and Northern Iowa losing. It doesn't look like any bubble teams really stepped up--the wins by Southern Miss and Virginia Tech really aren't "resume builders."

Rainmaker203 said...

Michigan State is pretty much locked up now with their road win tonight. Barring an 0-3 finish, they'll be dancing.

What do you do with Minnesota now? They're only 6-9 in conference play and have lost 6 of their last 7. The remaining schedule is soft (Michigan, @Northwestern, Penn State), but I haven't seen anything out of Minnesota the last 4 weeks to make me think they'll win all 3.

Say they go 2-1: that would leave them at 19-11 (8-10 Conference), and 5-7 in their last 12. I'm not sold they'd be in the field without making a deep Big Ten tournament run.

give me the brandy said...

I don't think MSU is a lock at 9-9 in conference if they lose to Purdue and at Michigan, they'd still probably have to win a game in the tournament to feel safe. If they beat Purdue or Michigan plus beat Iowa, they're in.

If Minnesota doesn't win out, they'll have to make the Big 10 finals to get back in the mix.

Bracketology 101 said...

Minnesota is in a world of trouble right now. Brandy is right - if they don't win out, they'll probably need to make the Big Ten final to get an at-large.

Bracketology 101 said...

Huge win for Michigan State tonight. Not only was it on the road, but it completed a season sweep against a fellow Big Ten bubble team.

We think the Spartans have a better chance of finishing 10-8 than they do finishing 9-9, but if they do end up 9-9, winning their first round Big Ten tourney game is a must. They'd end up with 14 losses in that scenario and would likely be seeded on the 12 line.

Howard Salwasser said...

On the Gophers situation, I don't think they're even an NIT team at this point. There's been so much shuffling of the lineup due to injuries, how can anyone tell how good they are? At this point it's not a question of can we stay healthy, but rather can we find anyone willing to suit up for us? If we continue to collapse, I think the best thing for this team is to rest up for next season.

It pained me to write this, since I do live in Minnesota.

Andrew EC said...

Ken Pomeroy ranks Maryland as the #23 team right now. If they go 3-1 (beating Fla St and Virginia at home and Miami on the road), aren't they in regardless of what happens in the ACC tournament?

Bracketology 101 said...

Maryland has a lot more work to do than that. If they go 3-1 (assuming at loss at UNC), they'd finish the season with a grand total of one Top 50 win and an RPI in the high 60s/low 70s. Under that scenarios, they'd need to make a very deep run in the ACC tourney to get consideration.

sportnews said...

Penn states next three games are at northwestern home to Ohio state and at Minnesota considering they've had the toughest big ten schedule (only playing Indiana and Iowa once what exactly will they need to do to get in would 9-9 be safe considering their 9-9 is better than anyone else's 9-9

Thanks a lot

Big Ten Fan said...

Penn State's 9-9 may be better than anyone else's 9-9, but their 7-4 is much worse than the OOC resumes of the other Big Ten bubble teams.

PSU 7-4 (best win: Duquesne, loss at home to Maine)
Minnesota 11-1 (neutral-site wins over UNC, WVU)
Michigan 10-3 (won @Clemson, vs. Harvard)
Michigan St. 8-4 (beat Washington at Maui, much better losses than Penn St.)
Illinois 10-3 (a loss as bad as Maine, but with wins vs. UNC, @Gonzaga, and vs. Maryland, who beat PSU by 23 in State College)

On the other hand, the in-conference wins are as impressive as anybody's. Personally, I think the home/road/neutral thing is a little overstated. If Penn State beats Ohio State and Minnesota, they'll have a collection of wins (OSU, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Illinois, Minnesota, @Minnesota) that, in my opinion, stands out over some of the other middling bubble teams.

Will said...

Even if they finish 9-9 in conference, they'll have 14 losses. NO WAY a team gets in with 14 losses.

Will said...

The SEC isn't "Awful", it's "top-heavy". Just because the worst team sucks doesn't mean the best team doesn't deserve a bid.

sportnews said...

Well will you may be forgetting that Penn state I think will finish with the number 1 SOS so of all the 300 somewhat teams Penn st will have played the toughest losses so what's better the number 1 SOS with 14 losses or a not as good strength of schedule but 12 losses

Anonymous said...

Correct even Cheapest Diablo 3 goldso the SEC West is much better compared to the Summit Nfl. You need to know in which Second Western world groups take part in the Distance competitors once every single. That will increases gw2 goldtheir particular convention SOS noticeably.

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