I leave for two days and look what happens...upsets galore. UNC and UCLA falls to Maryland and USC respectively. The fact that this occurred on their home courts really hurts as they drop from their cushy #1 seed confines. In their place are Tennessee and Duke, both of which managed to take care of business against Ohio State and Clemson respectively.
Trying to figure out the Big East is about to get more complicated if the Bearcats of Cincinnati continue their hot streak. A seven-loss non-conference start prevents them from even being considered for the NIT, but if they continue to beat the likes of Louisville, Syracuse, Villanova, and Pittsburgh, they could be a solid NIT team or even a NCAA bubble team. That would be an amazing accomplishment coming off a 2-14 Big East record last year.
Arkansas was the last team in, beating out Mississippi State. The Razorbacks have dropped their last two against middle-of-the-pack SEC competition but still have a slightly better resume. California and Florida State dropped out completely. The Golden Bears got swept at home against the Arizona schools and in the Pac-10, getting swept at home against anybody is something you can't afford to let happen. The Seminoles are riding a 3-game losing streak with the latest to Wake Forest.
Florida State joins 6 other ACC teams in my NIT bracket. It probably won't happen at the end of the season, but with nobody distinguishing themselves from the pack except powerhouses Duke and UNC, it might be tough for the ACC to get at least 5 into the field this year.
Bracket - January 21
Big East - 9, Pacific-10 - 7, Big 12 - 6, SEC - 5, ACC - 4, Atlantic 10 - 4, Big Ten - 4, Missouri Valley - 2, West Coast - 2
New to this week's bracket:
Akron, Alabama State, Davidson, Kansas State, UMBC, Oral Roberts, Providence, Quinnipiac, Siena, Stephen F. Austin, USC, Virginia Commonwealth
Out of this week's bracket:
Arkansas-Pine Bluff, California, Chattanooga, Delaware, Florida State, Hartford, IUPUI, Kent State, McNeese State, Niagara, Syracuse, Wagner
Last 4 Teams In:
Louisville, Providence, Florida, Arkansas
Last 4 Teams Out:
Creighton, Kent State, Syracuse, UNLV
This week's bracket in *.pdf form