Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Bracketology 101's Field of 68 - March 8

Monday Recap
The residents of Bubbleville dodged their first bullet of Championship Week on Monday as Old Dominion held off VCU in the Colonial final. The win moved the Monarchs up to the top of the 8 line in today's bracket, but they could end up as high as a 7 depending on what happens the rest of the week. Elsewhere, Gonzaga avenged last year's WCC finals loss to St. Mary's by knocking off the Gaels 75-63 in Vegas. We thought both teams were fairly safe to get at-larges regardless of the outcome Monday night, and we still feel that way now. The Zags moved up to the top of the 10 line in today's bracket with the win, while St. Mary's fell to the bottom of the 11 line. Depending on what happens the rest of the week, we can see the Gaels perhaps slipping to the 12 line (and maybe to the First Four) on Selection Sunday because of how they finished up (losing four of six), but in the end, we fully expect their name to be called.

There were two other automatic bids handed out Monday night. Wofford knocked off top-seeded Charleston in the Southern final and St. Peter's, who got blown out by Iona twice during the regular season, beat the Gaels 62-57 in the MAAC final. Wofford and St. Peter's are both on the 14 line in today's bracket.

In other small conference action, North Texas and Arkansas-Little Rock advanced to today's Sun Belt final and top-seeded Oakland and Oral Roberts advanced to today's Summit final.

Tuesday Preview
The Big East Tournament gets underway at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday with four first round games - UConn vs. DePaul, Rutgers vs, Seton Hall, Villanova vs. South Florida, and Marquette vs. Providence. If the Big East is going to get 11 bids, Marquette is going to have to avoid the upset against the Friars. The Golden Eagles lost two very winnable games last week (at home against Cincinnati and at Seton Hall) and if they end the season on a three-game skid, we think there's a good chance they end up on the wrong side of the bubble. On the flip side, if Marquette does win tonight, we think they're safe going forward.

The other game with gigantic bubble implications tonight is the Horizon final between Butler and Milwaukee. If Butler wins, the Horizon is a one-bid league and the rest of the bubble can breathe a sigh of reilef. If Milwaukee can somehow find a way to beat the Bulldogs for a third time this season, though, the debate begins: is Butler at-large worthy? We, for one, think that they (barely) are. They have OOC wins over Florida State and Washington State, they tied for the Horizon regular season title, they beat Cleveland State three times, and (conspiracy theory alert) they're Butler. That resume, underwhelming as it is, is probably good enough this year.

The third and final key game of the night is Princeton at Penn. If the Tigers win, they'll face Harvard in a one-game playoff at Yale on Saturday for the Ivy's automatic bid. If the Quakers pull the upset, Harvard would make the tournament for the first time since 1946. The Crimson are the only Ivy League school to never won a regular season championship since the Ivy League was formed in 1956-57.

The Atlantic-10, MAC, and MEAC also begin first round conference tournament play today. The Big Sky plays its semifinals, as Weber State takes on Montana and Northern Arizona takes on Northern Colorado.

Bracket Breakdown
Last Four In

Michigan State, Alabama, Boston College, Colorado

First Four Out
Virginia Tech, Clemson, USC, Missouri State

Next Four Out
Penn State, VCU, Colorado State, Washington State


Conference Breakdown
Big East (11), Big XII (6), Big Ten (6), SEC (6), ACC (4), A-10 (3), MWC (3), Pac-10 (3), Colonial (2), Conference USA (2), WCC (2)

America East - Boston University

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Boston College

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier, Temple, Richmond

Big East - Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Louisville, St. John's, West Virginia, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette

Big Sky - Northern Colorado

Big South - UNC-Asheville

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

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

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Old Dominion, George Mason

Conference USA - UTEP, UAB

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Princeton

MAAC - St. Peter's

MAC - Kent State

MEAC - Bethune Cookman

MVC - Indiana State

- BYU, San Diego State, UNLV

Northeast - Long Island

Ohio Valley - Morehead State

Pac-10 - Arizona, UCLA, Washington

Patriot - Bucknell

SEC - Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama

Southern - Wofford

Southland - McNeese State

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - North Texas

SWAC - Texas Southern

WAC - Utah State

WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's


The Seeds
The 1s

Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame

The 2s
Duke, BYU, Syracuse, Purdue

The 3s
North Carolina, San Diego State, Florida, Texas

The 4s
Louisville, Wisconsin, St. John's, Kentucky

The 5s
West Virginia, Xavier, Arizona, Connecticut

The 6s
Kansas State, Cincinnati, Temple, Georgetown

The 7s
Texas A&M, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Villanova

The 8s
Old Dominion, UNLV, Missouri, Utah State

The 9s
George Mason, Illinois, Florida State, Tennessee

The 10s
Richmond, Washington, Butler

The 11s
Michigan, Georgia, Marquette, St. Mary's

The 12s
UAB, Michigan State vs. Alabama (FF), Boston College vs. Colorado (FF), UTEP

The 13s
Princeton, Oakland, Kent State

The 14s
Bucknell, Indiana State, St. Peter's, Wofford

The 15s
Morehead State,
Long Beach State, Long Island, Northern Colorado

The 16s
Boston University, North Texas, UNC-Asheville vs. McNeese State (FF), Texas Southern vs. Bethune Cookman (FF)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

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


Dustin said...

I know its a nitpick at the bottom of the bracket, but I really think you need to re-evaluate Morehead State.

I have them as the last team on the 13 line. Theres no way they are worse than a 14.

Anonymous said...

Go Wofford!

wileydan said...

Why is it that good wins earlier in the season are less important if the team starts failing down the stretch. But bad losses early in the season are a HUGE deal? Like Tennessee beat Villanova early in the year but will most likely lose 14 games this year. The same team that last to ALabama and USC. Oh and Villanova is also plummeting too.

The question is this:
Is it better to have a few quality wins at the beginning of the year and then struggling to 8-8 in conference, or scheduling a soft OOC and struggling at the beginning of the year, but then going 12-4 in conference?

If the committee looks so poorly upon a team that loses a player right before the tournament, can't they judge a few losses from the beginning of the season as growing pains when the team comes together in the end and finishes strong? Just some thought.

Anonymous said...

Where do you see UNLV ultimately seeded based on the MWC tournament? Do they need to beat BYU in order to get a 6 or 7 seed? Are they stuck as an 8 seed regardless?

JGibson said...

wileydan - I think you are trying to compare Alabama and Tennessee. Tennessee may have 14 losses, but they are 8-6 over the whole season against RPI top 50. The only other teams with 8+ top 50 wins are Kansas, BYU, Pitt, Notre Dame, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, West Virginia, Syracuse, Louisville, St. John's, and Connecticut. The fact that Alabama is even under consideration and not out in never-never-land does show that improvement is considered. But the whole season still needs consideration. They are the #79 RPI team, and are only 3-3 against the top 50. Tennessee has played 14 games against the top 50 compared to Alabama's 6. That said, Alabama has a huge opportunity if Georgia gets by Auburn, and a win there would likely be a big boost and I think they would definitely be considered an improved team.

Michael said...

If Michigan can beat Illinois on Friday do you think Michigan can climb to the 10 seed line? I would see Illinois falling to the 11 seed if Michigan beats them. I want to say they would swap positions in your bracket but I don't see justifying michigan up at a 9 seed. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Assuming that Duke wins the ACC tournament.. What else needs to happen in order for them to get a #1 seed?

ScarShoulders said...

Is VCU really that far out? Watching them over the weekend I really don't see any difference between them and ODU or Mason. If that dude doesn't get his teeth knocked out last night I could definitely see them having won that game. Decent record vs top 50RPI teams. Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

Hope ND doesn't win the Big East Tourney. Kansas, Pitt, and Ohio $tate are locks. It's between Duke and ND

Amy Cima said...

Hopefully, the committee watches games because VCU is better than the teams on the "last four in" line. Why is the committee insistent on rewarding mediocrity in the big 5 conferences? I hope VCU gets in the "play-in" game and I will be all smiles when they dismantle Va Tech, BC, Clemson, or Michigan.

Brian Reinthaler said...

Anon, 7:55, my guess would be that ND would have to lose in the Big East semis or earlier. The thought there is that ND will face two more top 35 RPI teams in the quarters and semis, and getting those wins would give the Irish a 12-4 Top 50 record, including 6 wins away from home (2 of which were true road wins against T25 teams) and 8 total T25 wins.

The best team Duke can face before the ACC finals (and the only one in the RPI T50 is FSU, #44 RPI). Then, assuming they beat UNC in the finals, they'll be 9-3 vs. Top 50, including 5 wins away from home (but no true road wins) and just 3 victories vs. the T25.

So even though Duke would be up 2 games in the loss column, they will not be able to point to single other edge over the Irish, who played and beat far more high-end tournament teams both at home and on the road.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Duke wins the ACCT things should take care of themselves and they will get the 1 seed, but if you are looking for teams to chear against go with ND and Pitt.

Michigan may bump up to a 10 with a win over Illinois, it will depend on what else goes on around them on the bubble.

Morehead State has a chance to be a 14 in the final bracket. They have a good RPI but come from a bad conference so they are a tough team to seed.

We liked UNLV on the 7 line, but they just got bumped by the teams on the bottom of the 7 line. UNLV will likely face SDSU in the MWC semis and a win there would assure them of no worse than a 7 seed.

Bracketology 101 said...

Everyone is forgetting how badly VCU tumbled down the stretch before winning a few games in the conference tourney. They lost their last 4 regular season conference games and 3 of those games were on their home court. Plus their OOC losses to fellow bubble teams Richmond and UAB overshadow the win against UCLA. They won't get an at large

Anonymous said...


What is the strongest argument that Richmond has going for it?

Spider fans are starting to get a little nervous since it looks like UR will have only beaten one tournament team (Purdue) and their next best wins were VCU, Dayton and Seton Hall.

12-4 away from home? 11-2 record down the stretch? 13-3 in the A-10?

sportsfan1981 said...

I'm really excited that the Big East Tournament starts today! It's the best conference tournament in college basketball.

Won't said...

Does Colorado State have a legit shot at an at-large or do they need to win their conference tourney?

Timothy said...

What does FSU have to do to avoid the 8/9 game? I am assuming losing the quarterfinal match up would drop them to the 10 line, but how many games would they need to win to get to:

7 line?
6 line?

Any chance winning it all and they slip into the 5 line?

Anonymous said...

why is St.Peters a 14?

Anonymous said...

I am totally baffled at why Michigan State would even be in the bubble conversation much less considered to be IN at this point. They've lost of 8 of their last 13 with no compelling wins.

Bracketology 101 said...

We think 13-3 in the A-10 is worthy of a bid.

Colorado State has a chance to get an at-large by making the MWC final, but it's definitely a less than 50% chance. The Rams are probably going to have to win the MWC auto to get a bid.

If FSU makes it to the ACC semis, they could get a 7. A trip to the final would definitely get them a 6/7 seed and winning the tournament could get them a 5.

ScarShoulders said...

I guess when I look at VCU comapred with a team like St Mary's I just don't see the difference. St Marys best two wins are semi-bubble St Johns at home early in the year when St Johns wasn't any good and semi-bubble Gonzaga on the road. And that's it. I mean that's really it... West Coast Bias?

Anonymous said...

St. Mary's is dangling by a thread after last night. I think a lot of people thought Gonzaga was in worse shape before that game, but for me SMC needed that game more. Gonzaga is going to anywhere from a 9 to an 11 with their true seed around 10.

I like VCU and UAB(if they don't get the auto) because the CAA and C-USA are stronger than people think.

Marquette needs more than one win. I am a fan of a Big East team and have the seen the conference's bubble teams left on the outside looking in.

Bracketology 101 said...

St. Peter's is a 14 because the MAAC is the 15th-rated conference in the country.

Anonymous said...


How do you think the committee will handle the seeding of George Mason and ODU relative to each other?

GMU and ODU split their season series. GMU won the CAA regular season crown and had that 16 game win streak. ODU won the tourney, higher RPI, and stronger OOC resume.

Won't said...

"St Marys best two wins are semi-bubble St Johns"

St. John's isn't anywhere close to the bubble.

Anonymous said...

Dustin, I think we made it clear this weekend that your seeding is WAY off. Leave it to the pros bro.

Anonymous said...

Do you guys think there's a chance Georgetown ends up in Denver (either as a 7 in BYU's pod or a 5 in Wisconsin's pod)?

Anonymous said...

how high can temple go if they win the a-10 tournament for the 4th consecutive season? what about xavier?

Anonymous said...

Wow mag. You think falsely claiming nuetral wins as road wins is more honorable than citing road wins and not nuetral Wins? You have a very complex and disturbed moral code.

Bracketology 101 said...

VCU finished in 4th place in conference, while St. Mary's won the regular season title.

The George Mason / ODU seeding question is a good one and was discussed last night when trying to figure out ODUs seed. We like ODU with a higher seed, but can't see them more than one seed line apart (but you never know since the committee will do whatever they need to do to facilitate their bracketing plans).

Georgetown could really end up anywhere since the don't look like they will end up with a top 4 seed. One thing is for sure is that they won't end up in DC.

Bracketology 101 said...

There is the potential for Xavier or Temple to get on the 4 lines should they win the A-10 tourney. But we already have the A-10 teams slightly inflated for seeding so don't be suprised if neither get higher than a 5. Every year the A-10 tends to be one of the harder conferences to predict seeds for.

Will said...

I hope you're right, B101. I can't see FSU losing to Va Tech friday, and I think they end up beating UNC in the semis, hard to beat a good team 3 times in a year. Then they play duke, whom they've already beaten...

Wileydan said...

If villanova stays on the 8 line can you see a possible second round upset of kansas or ohio state?

Will said...

@Brian... The loss column is a VERY large factor.

mag900 said...

"Wow mag. You think falsely claiming nuetral wins as road wins is more honorable than citing road wins and not nuetral Wins? You have a very complex and disturbed moral code."

you clearly have difficulty reading. i never claimed neutral wins = road wins. i did mockingly call them "away" games, which they are, despite the fact "away" games are not a category used by the committee and despite the fact that the OP apparently doesn't know that.

AG said...

I actually do like Virginia Tech's chances against Florida State. After all, Virginia Tech only beat Duke because Duke scored 9 points in the last 11 minutes. If there's any team capable of going on a supermassive scoring drought its the Seminoles for whom jump shooting a serious challenge.

That being said, I'm not sure I like Virginia Tech's chances against Georgia Tech.

Won't said...

Bold prediction:

Butler is done, if they don't win tonight.

Bill Turianski said...

B 101 - I hope this isn't a stupid question (I'm new here), but why is there a 'conspiracy alert' wrt Butler. Is it because they could get special consideration this year because they went all the way to the final last year?
By the way, this blog is incredible, and it is a real help in assembling my map for this year's tournament (at http://billsportsmaps.com/ ), so thanks for all the work.

Will said...

Case in point, SDSU with 3 wins over tournament teams, and is 4 spots higher than Louisville, who has 9, but 8 losses. St. John's has 8 wins over tourney teams, including wins over 3 of your top 5 teams. Wisconsin has eight. All are below San Diego State.

Apissedant said...

Maybe you should check CBS online, ESPN online, and every other NCAA website. "AWAY" is clearly defined as at your opponent's home. "NEUTRAL" is clearly defined as not your home nor your opponent's home. There is absolutely nothing disingenuous about talking about a team's "away" record. Neutral is neither home nor away.

As for what the committee makes their decisions based on... they never release their exact reasoning for choosing specific teams at specific seeds. They also don't actually release a "first four out". Pretending that their is an exact science that they use to seed teams is DEFINITELY disingenuous.

You seem to be somewhat hypocritical. You should consult someone about that, as well as your anger issues.

Anonymous said...

@B101 -- Regarding VCU and St. Mary's: you've just touched on some of the selection committee hypocricy. Why should it matter that St. Mary's won the West Coast Conference if the committee awards bids to teams not conferences?

St. Mary's has 3 quality wins: St. John's, Gonzaga, and Long Beach St. (I think including Long Beach St. is being generous.) How in the world is that at-large worthy?

Won't said...


give me the brandy said...

I think St. Mary's is in, but has a good chance to be in one of the play-in games. Their resume looks slightly stronger to me than Butler's (better good wins, not as many bad losees) unless you give Butler a lot of credit for beating Cleveland St 3 times.

mag900 said...

"Apissedant, Maybe you should check CBS online, ESPN online, and every other NCAA website. "AWAY" is clearly defined as at your opponent's home. "NEUTRAL" is clearly defined as not your home nor your opponent's home. There is absolutely nothing disingenuous about talking about a team's "away" record. Neutral is neither home nor away."

do you mean like here where ESPN clearly breaks out ROAD and NEUTRAL games (NB -- there's no mention of "away" games)?


or here where CBS highlights HOME games but doesn't differentiate between road, neutral or "away" games:


so you again are posting wrong information.

also, learn the difference between "there" and "their" before you post again.

Bracketology 101 said...

Villanova doesn't have the size to beat Kansas or Ohio State.

The Butler "conspiracy" is just us wondering aloud if the Bulldogs will get a little special treatment (if needed) because of their run last year. Being "Butler" certainly won't hurt them.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe people are arguing that they have seen VCU look better than the other bubble teams and would kick their ass. HAVE YOU PEOPLE WATCHED VCU DURING THE CAA SEASON. They have losses in conference to NE and GA St. (GA St. is REALLY bad and they were never even in that game), lost their last 4 in conference play before the tourney (and as B101 said, 3 were at home), and have losses to other bubble teams like Richmond, UAB, and Tennesse if they lose first round of SEC tourney.

VCU played their best games of the year in the CAA tourney (which pretty much is a home game for VCU every god damn year) and still could not beat ODU. VCU's NCAA chances ended when they lost that game, plain and simple.

Tom said...

VCU versus SMU:

VCU average weighted win RPI: 142.2
SMU average weighted win RPI: 165.3

VCU average weighted loss RPI: 89.1
SMU average weighted win RPI: 82.3

Best OOC VCU win: UCLA (RPI 34)
Best OOC SMU win: St. Johns (RPI 22)

VCU has more losses to slightly worse teams but has wins against better teams. SMU has a better signature win.

It's not cut and dry but SMU probably has the better profile. Less losses to better teams is generally seen as better than less wins to higher rated teams.

Mike said...

Why is Michigan in (best win is HARVARD)?

matt said...

mag900 clearly needs the JiM Calhoun "get some facts" soundbyte to play right about now........

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

Michigan's case:

Weighted RPI win: 126.9
Weighted RPI loss: 43.3

Best OOC win: Harvard

It's easy to see why they are being included: their average win/loss RPI is at the top of the bubble. A list of bubble teams with better RPI wins or better RPI losses is pretty much only a few teams long. Certainly VCU, Bama, Colorado, Colorado St, etc. have much worse overall profiles. Some might have a better signature win but the overall profile is far less competitive.

Mike said...

I hope Penn State can do what Minnesota did last year and win three Big Ten Tournament games.

Tom said...

I think if PSU wins two games they have a shot. Three and they should be in.

They have the highest RPI win average of any bubble team (108.9) but 13 losses hurts a lot, although the average loss RPI is decent at 67.4.

The loss at home to Maine might do them in, ultimately. Beating Indiana is first on the list, though.

Dustin said...

@Anon 11:07

We'll see. They'll probably do better, but that doesn't mean I can't try, right?

Chase said...

If Penn State beats Indiana and Wisconsin, they're in.

How is St Mary's not even in your last 4 in/out list?

They have been terrible as of late. Losing to RPI of 320+ San Diego, getting torched by Vanderbilt, crushed by Utah State at home. They beat St Johns in its 1st game before they were any good. Nowhere near a lock.

Won't said...

I agree that St. Mary's isn't anything like a lock. I still think they'll get a bid but it's going to be awfully close.

Anonymous said...

Seeing PSU fans admonish Michigan while making a case for PSU makes me smile. Some people just really can't take off the homer goggles long enough to see things for what they are.

Brian Reinthaler said...

@ Will: "The loss column is a VERY large factor."
"Case in point, SDSU with 3 wins over tournament teams, and is 4 spots higher than Louisville, who has 9, but 8 losses. St. John's has 8 wins over tourney teams, including wins over 3 of your top 5 teams. Wisconsin has eight. All are below San Diego State."

I'm not trying to minimize the importance of the loss column. But your examples above (assuming they were even intended to serve as an addendum to your loss-column point) do not refute my points about quality/road wins in theory or practice.

SDSU (2 losses) being a 3-seed over teams like Louisville (8 Ls) and Wisconsin (7 Ls) being 4-seeds (and high 4-seeds at that) would not have any bearing on the analysis of a potential ND vs. Duke (which will be separated in the loss column by a maximum of 2 games). Indeed, the fact that both UL and UW are just 2-3 spots below SDSU on the S-curve tends to support my point.

So does 5-loss Notre Dame (potentially 6-loss, unless B101 is projecting an ND BET championship) being a 1-seed over 2-3 loss SDSU as a 3-seed.

If I'm misconstruing your point, please correct me.

Anonymous said...

You can try. You just maybe shouldnt "bet anything" on your seeds.

Rick said...

John Thompson announced today that Chris Wright will indeed be back for the NCAA Tournament (and possiby the BET). With that in mind and the profile the team has how can they be lower than a 5 even if they lost to UCONN? Please explain.

AG said...

Michigan's ace in the hole are their sweeps of PSU and MSU, their win @ Clemson, and the fact that they are the only bubble team taking care of business right now. You can knock Michigan for having @Iowa and Indiana/NW at home toward the end of the season, but the fact is that they *won those games*, which is more than you can say for Colorado (loss to Iowa State), Tennessee (loss to multiple SEC West teams), Marquette (home loss to Cinci, blowout loss @ Seton Hall), St Marys (blowout losses to good and bad teams alike), MSU (blowout loss to Iowa), Illinois (lost at Indiana by scoring only 19 second half points when they were in the bonus for the last 12 mins of the game).

Also, St. Mary's is a College, not a University, so its abbreviated SMC. SMU is Southern Methodist University.

Anonymous said...

Michigan was 0-6 against the top 5 teams in the Big 10. If they lose to Illinois on Friday - they're in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Michigan was 0-6 against the top 5 teams in the Big Ten...*outside of themselves. Michigan WAS one of those top 5 teams in the Big Ten, finishing 4th. So what you meant to say was Michigan is 0-6 versus the OTHER teams in the top 5 of the Big Ten. What you don't say is that they are 9-3 versus the teams they are suppose to beat. So they lose to the really good teams, but take care of business against all the other teams. I don't see why that's a problem? Not to mention we all know they are capable of playing with good teams...see Syracuse, Ohio State, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois

Tom said...

@AG thanks for correcting me on my mistake of SMU vs. SMC. Everyone loves being corrected on unimportant things like that. Frankly, whether St. Mary's is a college or university matters little as their academic standing has no bearing on this discussion (and it's a really bad academic school, to boot).

Anywho, I think Michigan is in even with a loss on Friday.

mag900 said...

"@AG thanks for correcting me on my mistake of SMU vs. SMC. Everyone loves being corrected on unimportant things like that. Frankly, whether St. Mary's is a college or university matters little as their academic standing has no bearing on this discussion (and it's a really bad academic school, to boot)."

How does discussing the wrong school have no bearing on the discussion? Do you call UCLA Cal too?

Anonymous said...

Michigan is not...i repeat is not getting in...(Barring 2 wins in big 10 tourney)

They always look at who you played/who you beat...

michigan beat no one

There best win on year is another bubble team..not good enough

Anonymous said...

See they want to see a teams ability to beat...BEAT... a tourney team..

Michigan has 0...i repeat 0 wins over any team that is a lock for the tourney..

Not good enough

Brian Reinthaler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Reinthaler said...

Anon @ 5:34
"...Michigan is 0-6 versus the OTHER teams in the top 5 of the Big Ten. What you don't say is that they are 9-3 versus the teams they are suppose to beat. So they lose to the really good teams, but take care of business against all the other teams."

Obviously, it appears Michigan is almost certainly win-and-in right now because of the expansion of the field and the race to the bottom that most of bubble nation has been engaged in over the last two weeks. But there's no need to inflate Michigan's very meager "accomplishments" this season.

It would be one thing if UM were 2-4 against the "good teams" (and FWIW, labeling Illionois among them is stretching the definition), or even 1-5, but they're winless, so referring to 9-3 against teams you should beat as "taking care of business" strains credulity.

Serving as Minnesota's sole Top 150 road win and getting spanked by team that got swept by Iowa is, in no way, shape or form taking care of business against teams you're supposed to beat. To put it in perspective, UM's .750 winning percentage against the Big 10's bottom half (avg RPI = 100) is roughly equal to the win percentages of Texas A&M and St. Mary's against their entire schedules - not exactly something to brag about to the selection committee.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 5:54

Just make sure to show up on Sunday and admit you were wrong.

Anonymous said...

If this were a 64-team field with a strong mid-major showing, Michigan wouldn't be in the conversation.

However, it's 2011. There are 68 teams and a bunch of terrible bubble teams competing for the last spot. And that is why Michigan clears the hurdle: because the bar is lower.

AG said...

Funny how you mention that Minnesota game, seeing how before that Minnesota still had a real point guard in Al Nolen. Besides, after that game, Michigan went back to the drawing board and totally changed the way it defended and rebounded. I don't know if you noticed, but one of the reasons Michigan did so poorly at Assembly Hall is they went the first 10 minutes of the game without a single rebound.

In any case, I think you can make a legit case that South Florida might be the worst team in the Big East. DePaul is devoid of talent, but USF just looks poorly coached. The way they let Marquette do exactly what they needed to come from behind and win was disturbing.

The reason I mentioned that, is because I *still* think Nova might not beat them! And if they lose, I think they're in trouble.

Anonymous said...

6:21 makes a good point. The field is larger and the pool of teams weaker this year. A lot of people seem to have this preconceived notion of what a tournament team is. But the field needs to be filled and even though some people might not think a team is deserving, they have to put someone in.

Anonymous said...

Nova's a lock. And South Florida is far better than DePaul by any measure available (wins, RPI, KenPom, Sagarin). It's not even debateable. They also beat DePaul twice. They also took BYU into double OT.

Howard Salwasser said...

20 game minutes from Penn hand delivering the Ivy League title to Harvard. No one here seems to notice this historic event? At least tonight.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was just about to comment on that--it looks like Michigan is going to have a win against at least 1 tourney team--Harvard, unless Princeton has an awesome second half.

Dustin said...

Princeton is up by 13 with 5 minutes left, looking safe to declare the 1 game playoff is on.

Ivy League gettin' all frisky.

mattlion said...

I'm a PSU alum and anyone who thinks we're getting in ahead of Michigan right now is delusional. The profiles are similarly bad and Michigan swept us. They also have a better non-conference resume than us. The one thing we have is that we played the Big Ten's toughest conference schedule, so our "9-9" is a stronger 9-9 than anyone else. If that makes sense....

Most years we would've been out of the discussion a while ago. I think there's so much PSU talk because our alumni base is still bitter about 2009 (when we were legitimately screwed by the committee) as opposed to this years' team (which screwed itself).

Brian Reinthaler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

It pains me, as a Penn Quaker, to see Penn choke away the game to arch rival Princeton. Our team has been awful since Dunphy left for Temple. Anyway...makes more a more exciting Ivy League this year.

Nova looking like a one-and-done tourney team.

Brian Reinthaler said...

AG, no question Minnesota has become an entirely different team since Nolen went down. But that doesn't change the fact that the only Top 150 team the Gophers beat on the road, with or without Nolen, was Michigan.

But you're right, nothing that happened before Michigan learned that you're supposed to try to catch missed shots should count.

USF comment was both random and ironic. Not sure how it's relevant, but since you brought it up, South Florida played pretty tough in a number of games against one of the toughest schedules in the country. The Bulls:

-swept DePaul (winning both by 10+)
-beat VCU
-lost by 2 in 2OT to BYU on neutral court
-lost by single digits @UConn, @Cincinnati, and to Louisville and Georgetown.

Now close losses and a few ho-hum wins does not a Top 100 team make, but this is what makes the irony of your desire to claim close losses to top teams as the merits of a tournament worthy resume so delicious.

Howard Salwasser said...

Cinderella has a name. It's UALR! What a finish in Hot Springs!

Dustin said...

Little Rock posting the first buzzer beater of March!

Welcome to the dance!

Tom said...


I agree that Michigan isn't an amazing team but it is certainly one of the better bubble teams - by the numbers. When the average team you beat is in the top 125 teams, by RPI, you are immediately ahead of most other bubble teams. And when the teams that beat you are in the top 45, again by RPI, you are in the top bubble teams.

Lack of a signature win? Yep. 4 top 50 wins, 9 total top 100 wins, though. Worst loss is at Indiana (RPI 182), second worst is at Northwestern. Not exactly a terrible profile - I'd argue that it's better than most of the bubble teams. In fact, name some teams you feel should be held above Michigan and I'd love to compare profiles.

And I'm FAR from a Michigan or B10 homer.

Anonymous said...

@Brian Reinthaler No one ever claimed that those close losses were the sole merit Michigan had for making the tourney...it's those losses combined with the weaker than average bubble and the 19-12 (9-9) record that garners a merited discussion. Also, I'm tired of people saying that the expanded field is this main reason Michigan is "even in the conversation" because the field was expanded BY THREE TEAMS. Michigan would still be "in the conversation" if it was a 65-team field. I would guess that they would probably be in the Last 4 in column instead of on merely on the 11-seed line. Also @Brian, belittling your opponent with fancy rhetoric and witty sarcasm creates a disconnect for anyone who could possibly take your side in the debate. Writing intellectual and concisely is one thing; being a prick is another.

Joe said...

Is Nova even going to be in the 8/9 now? Aren't they a 10 seed?

Anonymous said...


Dustin said...

Villanova just decided they wanted to enter the bubble discussion with a loss to USF.

They're still in, but I wouldn't bet someone elses money on them right now.

Anonymous said...


Chase said...

Nova bumps down to a 9/10 now. Also hurts Cincy potentially.

Jake said...

Wow...Villanova, losers of 5 straight and 7 of 9 going into Selection Sunday, with two of those losses against Rutgers and South Florida and one of the wins is an OT nail biter at Depaul. They aren't bubblers, but they can't be higher than a 9/10 now, can they?

Anonymous said...

And USF takes a close one over Villanova. That's gonna hurt on the seeding.

Jake said...


It only hurts Cinci if they lose tomorrow. If Cinci wins, it can't damage them.

AG said...

Ok, B101, you have no choice but to put Nova on the bubble now. Maybe they're not bubble out but they're sure as hell not a lock after not only losing their fifth straight game, but losing on Tuesday of Championship week...too SOUTH FLORIDA....IN THAT FASHION!?

The way they played down the stretch, making every single possible mistake. They looked like...well they looked like USF!

Tom said...

Jesus, Nova and Penn coming up small for the Big 5 tonight.

Nova is really a bubble team: 5 top 50 wins, 10 top 100 total. Sub .500 conference record. Three bad losses (Rutgers, USF, Providence).

Had these last 5 losses been more evenly distributed through the season, rather than at the end, they'd be a bubble team through-and-through.

Timothy said...

Well everyone on the 8/9 line needs to send Nova a thank you bouquet. What a collapse down the stretch...

Chase said...

Nova has 6 top 35 wins - they're not a bubble team. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Nova's got 6 top 50 RPI wins (6-8 with 3 top 25 wins). They also beat Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. They're 10-8 vs the RPI top 100. They'll probably fall to a 10 seed, but they're in. Reminds me of Texas last year.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Nova apologist but I am a realist.

In the last 60 days alone, they have seven wins against top 100 teams.

Anonymous said...

Year after year we hear how amazing the BE is, yet they haven't won a final four game since 2004. They are good when the games don't matter. When will we stop buying into this hype, 11 teams? theyll have 17% of the field, and nothing to show for it again.

Tom said...

You're right, 6 top 35 wins. And 3 sub-120 losses.

It's a tale of two seasons: Since 1/17 they are 5-10 with only 1 solid win and 3 bad losses. It's not crazy to consider Nova a bubble team if you take into account who they are now.

Anonymous said...

Nova gets beat by USF, and now the Big East sucks. Okay, makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Winning a final four game (or a championship) are poor indicators of a strength of a conference. Last year, Duke won the championship, yet the rest of the ACC was not good. The year before, Memphis made the final. Does that mean CUSA was one of the best conferences?

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 9:44

Yep, you are absolutely right. I guarantee half of the teams that make it from the BE lose first round and would not be surprised if no BE team makes it to the Final 4

Brian Reinthaler said...

All, your critiques of my tone are well-taken. My apologies if anyone was offended, but please note that I'm not picking any arguments with anyone who didn't ask for it.

Also, I've noted that as long as Michigan wins 1 game at the Big10 tourney, I think they can rest easy. I realize it's kinda hard to track the back-and-forth here at times, but if you'll look back to where I got involved in the conversation (6:15, responding to 5:34), and follow down through AG's loosely reasoned post at 6:34.

But again, I probably got a bit carried away. My bad.

Tom said...

The Big East certainly doesn't suck - Nova does, at least right now, though.

Dustin said...

@ Tom

The committee supposedly no longer looks at recent form anymore, only the whole picture. If thats still the case, Villanova is still in and either a 9 or 10.

Anonymous said...

Wow, St. Joes did something I'm not sure I have ever seen. They scored more points in OT (22) than they did in the 2nd half (18), granted GW fouled them so many times they made 18 FTs in the OT

Dustin said...

I hope St. Joe's does the impossible and wins the A10 to join their cousins Peter, John, and Mary.

Tom said...

I certainly think Nova is in. They deserve to be, I guess, based on their big time wins, but their profile includes some terrible losses and a lot of losses, in total.

Crazy how hard they've fallen.

Oakland looks like it's about to punch its ticket and Butler is taking any question of its profile out of the question with the pounding its delivering.

Brian Reinthaler said...

meant to say "...if you'll look back to where I got involved in the conversation (6:15, responding to 5:34), and follow down through AG's loosely reasoned post at 6:34, you'll see that I attempted to address sarcasm with sarcasm (usually a bad idea on a message board and an even worse idea in a comment thread!).

Anonymous said...


I'm allowed a typo, you're not allowed retardation and lies. I don't have insider access so I don't know, or honestly care what your link said. Here's Duke's CBS RPI page:


Notice away, home, and neutral. All clearly separated.

Here's Duke's ESPN page, where each "away" game is listed as @, each home game is listed with nothing, and each neutral court game is listed with an asterisk.

You should really take a chill pill. You are nothing special. This is a blog about college football, not a conference about open heart surgery. Why do you take insults to Duke's record so personally?

EVERYONE that has commented besides you has agreed "away" was 100% understandable and honest, while your attempt to claim "away" and "neutral" were the same was misleading at best.

Can you not admit when you're wrong? Do you have that large of a self-esteem issue?

Tom said...

Also, Brian take the Taylor Ham off as your picture. Every time you post I want a Taylor Ham, Egg, and Cheese from a Newark truck.

Anonymous said...


I'd say if Michigan wins 1 they're in without any problems.

If they lose respectably they'll be sweating but still be ok.

Only if it looks embarrassing or if there are some other major surprises do I see them not making it at all.

Not to say Michigan is anything special. They definitely haven't looked great. They're too small and next season they're only getting more small guys. Still, the bubble is terribly weak and they managed to have only one bad loss and still have as many as 6 wins over tournament teams. All are 10 seed or worse if they make it, but they're still tournament teams.

More importantly, Michigan finished the season on an 8-3 run in the 2nd best conference in the nation. Yes, their schedule was front loaded leaving weaker games at the end, but it is still more than most other bubble teams can say.

Anonymous said...

What say B101 regarding the Nova loss and the subsequent impact on their seeding??

Brian Reinthaler said...

Tom, I prefer w/o the egg. Bacon, egg and cheese, sure. But with the glory of Taylor Ham, anything more than 1 slice of American just takes away from the experience. Just be thankful I haven't gone to the sizzling T-Ham in the pan!

(An example of a supposed bubble resume that I think it stronger than Michigan's is Marquette (but again, both teams should get in).

Anon (10:06) - It's the comments going to great lengths defending the quality of Wolverines resume that I've taken issue with; not those that simply project that Michigan will make it. I think Michigan will get in, but the 68-team field is the reason they won't have to sweat it out on Sunday.

Chase said...

Uh Oh Butler.

Tom said...

I certainly spoke too soon about Oakland AND Butler. Both letting their opponents back into the game.

God I love NCAA basketball.

Tom said...

I hope Morehead State gets a decent match up in the first round. They are an exciting team to watch and have the athletes to pull a huge upset.

mag900 said...

conference FF wins since 2004 as indicative of conference strength may be the most ridiculous post of the day. there only have been 18 of them and duke/unc have 6 and florida has another 4. so 10 of the 18 come from just 3 teams.

Jake said...

Final Four wins as a sign of Conference strength might be as fair a metric as playoff wins in Football being indicative of a competitive division. The NFC West has won at least a playoff game each of the last 6 years. Seriously, look it up. '05, '06, '07 Seahawks, '08, '09 Cardinals, '10 Seahawks. Anyone want to make an argument that the NFC West is the best division in the NFL? Final Four wins, are you kidding me?

Anonymous said...

Bubble teams rejoice as Butler is about to win the Horizon League.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Butler and Oakland for winning the Horizon League and Summit League.

Welcome to the Dance!

Anonymous said...

It's looking like a bad year for the NIT Bubble Teams, though, as Wisconsin-Milwaukee takes another spot in the NIT field as an automatic qualifier.

Tom said...

It's still early but I think Boston College and Michigan are in with a single win - Michigan possibly without a win, BC with a win over Wake. Their fellow bubble teams have all s**t the bed or won their conference.

Good news for Clemson, too. I think they are in with a loss to BC as long as the game is close. Thoughts?

Dustin said...

New bracket.

1's: Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
2's: Duke, Purdue, Texas, North Carolina
3's: BYU, Florida, Syracuse, Wisconsin
4's: San Diego State, Louisville, Connecticut, St. John’s
5's: Georgetown, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Kentucky
6's: UNLV, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
7's: Arizona, Xavier, Missouri, Temple
8's: Old Dominion, UCLA, Utah State, Illinois
9's: Marquette, Florida State, George Mason, Villanova
10's: Tennessee, Gonzaga, Michigan, Clemson
11's: Richmond, Georgia, St. Mary’s, Michigan State
12's: (Washington vs Colorado), (Alabama vs Boston College), Butler, UAB
13's: Belmont, Harvard, Oakland, Morehead State
14's: Bucknell, Long Island, Indiana St, Kent St
15's: Long Beach St, St Peter’s, Northern Colorado, Wofford
16's: Boston, UNC-Asheville, (McNeese St vs Texas Southern), (Bethune-Cookman vs Arkansas-Little Rock)

LAST FOUR IN: Washington, Colorado, Alabama, Boston College
FIRST FOUR OUT: USC, Virginia Tech, Colorado State, Baylor
NEXT FOUR OUT: (UAB), Nebraska, New Mexico, Washington State

UAB is in parenthesis because they are projected into the tournament with an auto-bid, so they do not need the at-large berth

Tom said...


On BC vs. Clemson: is your projection assuming BC beats Wake but loses to Clemson in the ACCT? If so, I agree. If it's based on their profiles now, I think it's off. BC has a better overall profile, in my opinion.

Jake said...


Assuming that Cinci beats USF tomorrow and UConn beats a stumbling Wright-less Georgetown, I'm gonna have to assume that UC ends up higher on the S-Curve. At that point the Bearcats would be 25-7 (likely heading to a 25-8 record with a loss at Notre Dame) and Georgetown would be 21-10 with two losses to Cincinnati to its record.

Anonymous said...


.........and sucks to be North Texas.

Chase said...

The 1's - Ohio State, Pitt, Kansas, Notre Dame
The 2's - Duke, Texas, North Carolina, Syracuse
The 3's - Purdue, BYU, Florida, San Diego State
The 4's - Wisconsin, Louisville, Kentucky, St Johns
The 5's - Georgetown, Vanderbilt, UConn, WVU
The 6's - Xavier, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Temple
The 7's - UCLA, UNLV, Old Dominion, Arizona
The 8's - Texas A&M, Missouri, Illinois, Utah State
The 9's - George Mason, Florida State, Tennessee. Richmond
The 10's - Butler*, Georgia, Villanova, Gonzaga*
The 11's - Marquette, Washington, Boston College, Michigan
The 12's - Michigan State, Clemson, Colorado, St Mary's Alabama, UAB
The 13's - Belmont*, Harvard, Oakland*, Wofford*
The 14's - Bucknell, Indiana State*, Long Beach State, Morehead State*
The 15's - St Peters*, Kent State, Boston U, Long Island
The 16's - Northern Colorado, UNC-Asheville*, Arkansas Little Rock*, McNeese State, Texas Southern, Bethune-Cookman

Last 4 in: Clemson, Colorado, St Mary's, Alabama
Last 4 out: Colorado State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, VCU
Next 6 out: Missouri State, UTEP, USC, Nebraska, Washington State, New Mexico
On Life Support: Baylor, Minnesota, Memphis, Duquesne, Oklahoma State
Season Ended: Cleveland State, Wichita State, College of Charleston

Dustin said...


I know BCs profile looks better, but Im giving Clemson a slight boost based on the H2H and future matchups.


Ill reevaluate a lot more teams after tomorrows games, because there are a ton of impactful games on the schedule.

Anonymous said...

Is there supposed to be a new bracket today?

Michael said...

I know the "magic" stat for everyone is top 50 rpi wins but if you stretch that to top 60 wins, not a huge difference between the 50th team and the 60th team imo. Michigan would get credited for 4 more wins and to be far 1 more loss to UTEP. So vs top 60 Michigan is 7-9. Compare that with all the other bubble teams and you will find Michigan at or near the top. Stop hating.

JGibson said...

Michael - You make a good point. And that's why as you fill the last few spots, I usually like to replace top 50 with teams in the tournament and teams under consideration. That way, the teams in the 50s and 60s already selected would count as good wins, and teams in the 40s who have already been chucked won't count any more.

JGibson said...

And, yes, too W-L can be fickle. Memphis just went from 3-4 vs. the top 50 to 2-3 vs. the top 50 when Marshall fell out of the top 50.

Michael said...

There are still plenty of games left for teams to distinguish themselves, as a fan you can't ask for anything more than a chance to quiet the critics. As a Michigan fan, I know we have a great opportunity Friday to beat a good team in Illinois. Take care of business, don't rely on other teams to do your dirty work and come away with a win, leaving no doubt about an at-large selection. Lose and get ridiculed and thrown completely at the mercy of other teams, the committee, and live dangerously on the bubble.

JGibson said...

"too" was supposed to be "top 50" in my last comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear B101,

I would ccertainly consider myself biased, and a "hommie", but i feel Wisconsin consistently gets bad seeds for their overall season resumes. Considering statistically they are one of the strongest teams in the nation-free throw shooting %, and Turnover ratio. Thoughts? Or am i, like i said just 100% biased?

Dan said...

If this were an actual bracket, this would be the third time in four years that KU and UNLV are in the same pod. Is that something that would be considered at all?

Anonymous said...

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