Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bracket - January 5

Yesterday's bracket featured a lot of movement as a lot of top teams lost last week.

The slaying of North Carolina by Boston College didn't really affect the Tar Heels too much (they kept their #1 seed) but it certainly improved the Eagles' standing. Once at the brink of the cut line, they now carry the biggest road win by anyone this season. The loss to St. Louis will stick out like a sore thumb, but a decent showing for the rest of the season will get them qualified for the tournament. (To fit with bracket principles, BC and Miami (Ohio) were moved up a seed line and Florida State and Butler were moved down a seed line.)

California was picked eighth in a weak Pac-10 this year, predicted to be on the outskirts of the NIT/CBI tournaments. But the hiring of Mike Montgomery has paid off big and now the Bears are thinking conference championship. This team is shooting more than 50% from outside the 3-point line (no team has shot even 45% in the last 15 years) and posesses wins @UNLV, @Utah, and at home against the Arizona schools. Road dates in Washington are next up.

The Big East currently has 9 teams safely in the bracket (all their teams have a 6 seed or higher) but as the teams beat each other up, look for 9 teams to be the ceiling with 8 teams being most likely. At the same time, if the SEC teams beat each other up, we could very well have 3 teams come out of there. Only Tennessee and Florida can consider themselves likely to be in. Teams in the mediocre pack (Kentucky, LSU, Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt) will need to distinguish themselves in order to get consideration.

At stated earlier, the Bracket Matrix will be updated nightly from now on. (Well, except for this Friday...I'll be away from the computer that day.) Only brackets refreshed within a week will be included.


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