Monday, February 23, 2009

Bracket - February 23

First off, thanks to links from Sports Illustrated and the Wall Street Journal, the Bracket Matrix reached 10,000 hits in a single day today. Usually, this occurs in March so thank you for reading and for those here for the first time, welcome.

For today's bracket, we bid farewell to Cincinnati, which suffered a home loss to Louisville, San Diego State, with a 26-point loss to New Mexico, Michigan, which shouldn't be losing to Iowa but they did, and USC, which fell further behind in the Pac-10 race with a loss to Washington.

Who replaces them? Kansas State and 3 mid-majors. KSU has won 8 out of 9 and while I did knock their non-conference schedule in the previous post, at least they're winning, which is more than what I can say for quite a few bubble teams. UNLV got a big win over BYU, albeit by a point. Temple has good non-conference wins against Tennessee and Penn State and they're also in the thick of things in the Atlantic 10 race. The winner of Dayton and Temple on Saturday will stay in the bracket next week (as long as they both win their games against Rhode Island and La Salle this week respectively). Finally, St. Mary's seems to have found its stride as Patrick Mills recovers from his injury with 3 wins in a row over Portland, San Diego, and Utah State. With Mills slated back for the conference tournament, we need to see if they can finish what they started against Gonzaga before Mills got injured.

Maryland has had a topsy-turvy season so far, but with its upset over North Carolina, they are right on the bubble. I still have them out though. One win vs. Duke or Wake Forest greatly reduces the need to perform well in the conference tourney and secure an at-large bid. If their inconsistency continues, they'll be hitting the NIT for the fourth time in 5 years.


David said...

Great work on the site. I've been following the site for years now and it gives me something to do when I'm bored at work.

If MD beats Duke tomorrow night, would that guarantee them a spot in your bracket on Friday? That would give them 3 wins vs. the top 10 this season.

Thanks again.

Bracket Project said...

For Friday? Sure. But in the whole scheme of things, they'll need 4 wins in the regular season and ACC tourney combined to breathe easy on Selection Sunday. With 3, they'll be waiting anxiously along with all the other bubble teams.

David said...

I'm not so sure I agree with that. Let's say they win both at home against Duke and Wake Forest, they split on the road with a win at UVA, but lose at NC State. That puts them at 9-7 in the ACC, most likely putting them 6th in the conference.

Their overall record at that point would be 20-10 and includes wins over 4 teams that have been consistantly in the top 10 all season (Mich St, UNC, Duke, and WF). I don't know how a team with that many quality wins, above .500 in the ACC would have to sweat it out on Selection Sunday.

Bracket Project said...

Yes, under that scenario, I'd have them in too. But if they lost in their first round tourney game against, say, Georgia Tech, it would at least give me some pause before giving them a thumbs up.