Monday, February 25, 2008

Bracket - February 25

The demise of the bubble teams continues. The list is really long with only 3 weeks to go until Selection Sunday. Undeserving any other year, teams like Ohio State, Florida, and Wake Forest hang on to the bracket. New Mexico is building a good resume, but I'm waiting to see how it does against BYU and UNLV before passing judgment.

BracketBuster weekend was really good for the Missouri Valley with its 5 top teams all winning. It's set up a great battle between Southern Illinois, Creighton, and Illinois State which are all hovering around the bubble with the Salukis actually making it in this time.

Oregon and Arizona State switch spots in and out of the bracket with the Sun Devils picking up an important road win over Washington. Oregon has lost 3 straight, albeit to Wazzu, UCLA, and USC.

Maryland's losses to Virginia Tech and Miami really hurt. Their non-conference performance isn't anything to write home about, their RPI is in the iffy range and the goodwill they gained from beating UNC a month ago is pretty much gone. Their game against Wake Forest looms large.

I would write about the resurgence of Villanova but they lost after the bracket was published, so depending on the remaining games until Friday, they might not be in the bracket for long.

Remember when people were predicting the Atlantic 10 would get 5 teams into the NCAA's? Wouldn't it be crazy if they managed to get only one? Xavier's the only sure bet. St. Joseph's and Massachusetts are just inside the bubble and in the bracket while Dayton and Rhode Island are just outside.

And now the rundown...

Multi-bid Conferences:
Big East - 8, Pac-10 - 6, Big 12 - 6, Big 10 - 5, SEC - 5, ACC - 5, Atlantic 10 - 3, Missouri Valley - 2, Mountain West - 2, West Coast - 2

New teams in the bracket:
Arizona State, Morgan State, Southern Illinois, St. Joseph's, Wake Forest, Villanova

Teams out of the bracket:
Maryland, Mississippi, Norfolk State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Syracuse

Last 4 Teams In:
Massachusetts, Villanova, Wake Forest, Florida

Last 4 Teams Out:
New Mexico, Illinois State, Oregon, Syracuse

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bracket - February 22

The way they're losing, Duke must think it's a bubble team. With losses to Wake Forest and Miami in consecutive games, the Blue Devils are out of the #1 seed. Who to replace them? There are three candidates: Kansas, Texas, and UCLA. Well, Texas beat Kansas and UCLA, as well as Tennessee. For now, they are the last #1 seed.

The aforementioned Miami win propels them into the bracket. Wins by Mississippi and Massachusetts stabilized their at-large hopes. They were put into the bracket by mind-boggling losses by St. Joseph's and Dayton to La Salle.

Maryland is the last team in. It's pretty much lost all of the capital gained from beating UNC on the road a month ago. That makes today's Maryland-Miami game so huge.

Now the rundown...

Multi-bid conferences:
Big East - 8, Big 12 - 6, Pac-10 - 6, SEC - 6, ACC - 5, Big 10 - 5, Atlantic 10 - 3, Mountain West - 2, West Coast - 2

New teams in the bracket:
Florida, Massachusetts, Miami (FL), Mississippi, Niagara

Teams out of the bracket:
Dayton, Houston, Rider, St. Joseph's, Western Kentucky

Last 4 Teams In:
Rhode Island, Syracuse, Florida, Maryland

Last 4 Teams Out:
St. Joseph's, Wake Forest, New Mexico, Texas Tech

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bracket - February 18

More turmoil in the bubble ranks. Say goodbye to two SEC teams (Florida and Mississippi) and Arizona State and welcome back Dayton, South Alabama and Syracuse.

Florida and Mississippi were winless this past week in conference play. With the Gators lacking even a semi-decent non-conference showing and Ole Miss 3-7 in the SEC, both need plenty of help. The Sun Devils continue the hot and cold streak of fellow Pac-10 bubble teams Oregon and Cal. After beating Stanford, Arizona State lost to Cal. The game wasn't as close as the score suggests...the Sun Devils scored 7 3-pointers in the last minute.

Syracuse earned its way back in with a big win over Georgetown. Dayton and South Alabama more or less backed their way in due to the lack of convincing wins by any other bubble teams. Houston is the last team in with a home win against SMU hurting their computer numbers over the weekend.

Multi-bid conferences:
Big East - 8, Big 12 - 6, Pac-10 - 6, Big 10 - 5, ACC - 4, Atlantic 10 - 4, SEC - 4, CUSA - 2, Mountain West - 2, Sun Belt - 2, West Coast - 2

New teams in the bracket:

Boise State, Dayton, Norfolk State, South Alabama, Syracuse, Winthrop

Teams out of the bracket:

Arizona State, Florida, Mississippi, Morgan State, NC-Asheville, Utah State

Last 4 Teams In:

Maryland, Ohio State, South Alabama, Houston

Last 4 Teams Out:

Miami (FL), New Mexico, Arizona State, Massachusetts

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bracket - February 15

It wasn't a good week to be a bubble team as most teams in that category fell flat on their faces. Just take a look at Syracuse, which lost to former cellar-dweller South Florida. Or how about Dayton, which lost to Duquesne and former cellar-dweller George Washington in its last two games. Massachusetts lost in a nationally televised game at home to Fordham. Florida lost at home to last-place LSU, still recovering from the departure of its head coach. With all these losses, Creighton stood an excellent shot at getting into the bracket, but it lost to last-place Evansville.

All of these teams are not in this bracket except for Florida, which is the last team in. The new teams in the bracket are Arizona State and Houston. (These two teams needed to switch spots in the bracket to conform to the bracket principles.) The Sun Devils followed up a road win at Arizona with a home win against Stanford, and Houston. Even though they lost to Memphis, the Cougars lack something the teams in the first paragraph have: a bad loss. However, since Houston doesn't have a marquee game remaining unless it meets Memphis for a third time in the conference tourney, they are susceptible to a bubble team rising above them.

Also, BYU switched with Rhode Island so that BYU could avoid a possible game on Sunday.

Multi-bid conferences:
Big East - 7, Pac-10 - 7, Big 12 - 6, SEC - 6, Big 10 - 5, ACC - 4, Atlantic 10 - 3, CUSA - 2, Mountain West - 2, West Coast - 2

New teams in the bracket:
Arizona State, Cal State Northridge, Houston, Robert Morris, Western Kentucky

Teams out of the bracket:
Dayton, Pacific, Sacred Heart, South Alabama, Syracuse

Last 4 teams in:
St. Joseph's, Maryland, Houston, Florida

Last 4 teams out:
Miami (FL), Dayton, New Mexico, Illinois State

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bracket - February 11

Anyone watch that Washington-UCLA game? That Husky should be ashamed for throwing the ball that hard at that UCLA player's face. Not only that, doesn't that deserve a technical or something?

The UCLA loss promptly moves them out of the 1 line and in comes Tennessee with its top ranking in the RPI. Stanford has quietly won 7 straight in the toughest conference in the land to move into the 2 line alongside the Bruins. The big mover was Purdue with its huge road win over Wisconsin. They can't let down yet however with the Spartans of Michigan State coming to town tomorrow.

Oregon's win over Cal allowed the Ducks to take Cal's place in the bracket.

Multi-bid conferences:
Big East - 8, Big 12 - 6, Pac-10 - 6, SEC - 6, Big 10 - 5, ACC - 4, Atlantic 10 - 4, Mountain West - 2, West Coast - 2

New to this bracket:
Oregon, American

Out of this bracket:
California, Lafayette

Last 4 Teams In:
Mississippi State, St. Joseph's, Maryland, Syracuse

Last 4 Teams Out:
Creighton, Massachusetts, Miami (FLA.), Arizona State

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bracket - February 8

Multi-bid conferences:
Big East - 8, Big 12 - 6, Pacific-10 - 6, SEC - 6, Big 10 - 5, ACC - 4, Atlantic 10 - 4, Mountain West - 2, West Coast - 2

New to this week's bracket:
Belmont, California, Maryland, Pacific

Out of this week's bracket:
CSU-Northridge, Jacksonville, Miami (FLA), Oregon

Last 4 Teams In:
Mississippi State, Syracuse, Maryland, California

Last 4 Teams Out:
Massachusetts, Illinois State, Creighton, Oregon

Thursday, February 7, 2008

As mentioned by Joe Lunardi earlier this week, the NCAA has invited sportswriters and TV journalists from around the country to try their hand at making a mock bracket for the NCAA tournament. This time, two brackets will be produced (one from the print media and the other from TV and the web). Hey, when will the NCAA invite the people from the matrix to do this? It sounds like fun. All the insights gained from these two days of deliberations can be found at the official NCAA blog, NCAA Double-A-Zone.

February Madness - Day 1
February Madness - Day 2

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bracket - February 4

This week, I'll begin doing brackets twice a week on Mondays and Fridays.

Multi-bid conferences:
Big East - 8, Big 12 - 6, Pacific-10 - 6, SEC - 6, Big 10 - 5, ACC - 4, Atlantic 10 - 4, Mountain West - 2, West Coast - 2

New to this week's bracket:
UMBC, Morgan State, Oregon, Portland State, Rider, Sacred Heart

Out of this week's bracket:
Binghamton, Hampton, Illinois State, Marist, Northern Arizona, Wagner

Last 4 Teams In:
BYU, Miami (Fla.), Oregon, Mississippi State

Last 4 Teams Out:
Massachusetts, Illinois State, Creighton, California