Monday, January 26, 2009

Bracket - January 26

Keeping this short tonite. A couple of big movers this week as Washington swept the LA schools and Virginia Tech beat Miami and previously unbeaten Wake Forest, both on the road. On the flip side, Notre Dame lost to UConn at home (plus lost to Marquette tonite) to keep its losing streak alive. Minnesota also tumbled a bit with its loss to Purdue and a close 4-point win over lowly Indiana.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bracket - January 19

A relatively stable bracket this week as last week's number one seeds held onto their seeds but in a slightly different order as Wake Forest hits the #1 spot with its victories over Clemson and Boston College. Pittsburgh is still a number one seed but #3 overall after a loss at Louisville. The Cardinals got to move up to a #3 seed.

The 12 teams of the SEC are fighting for what looks to be at most 4 spots in the tourney. This week, however, only three teams make it into the bracket: Florida (rising), Kentucky (rising), and Tennessee (falling).

USC is back in the bracket after a home sweep of the Arizona schools. In addition, Washington and Stanford strengthened their positions with wins over the Oregon schools and Cal respectively.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bracket - January 12

Wow, beat North Carolina and you're on top of the world. Lose to Harvard and Miami at home and you're out of the bracket. That's where Boston College is right now after a stunning turn of events. And it doesn't get any easier for the Eagles as the latest UNC killer, Wake Forest, comes into town.

The Mountain West had a great year on the football side, but don't look past the year its basketball teams are having. 4 teams have a realistic shot at an at-large bid (San Diego State, Utah, UNLV, and BYU) with two more needing a string of wins to be considered (New Mexico and TCU). Three are in the bracket at this point, but it's probably more realistic to have two come Selection Sunday.

It's probably a little early to speak of the bubble, but right now, the first teams out are Utah, Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Temple.

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.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year folks and in the college basketball world, that means conference play is about to begin in earnest. Around here, it also means the bracket activity increases. So, if you're a bracketologist that is contributing to The Bracket Matrix, here's a reminder of the rules and regulations that makes things easier for me to maintain it.

1. You need to set up a web site to place your bracket that will be consistent throughout the season. A blog will do. A web site will most definitely do. A bracket posted on a message board will not do. The link will change frequently and will get lost in various discussions, making it difficult for the average reader to find it. (Exception: A message board devoted exclusively to bracketology.)

2. You have to tell me where your site is. I don't have a sixth sense when it comes to finding these things. I rely on you and readers like you to tell me what sites to add to this page.

3. The NCAA sets up procedures and principles for building a bracket. Follow the link on the right-hand side of this page and read them! A seriously flawed bracket won't be posted. However, if your seedings are out of the norm, I'll still most likely post it provided that the principles are followed and you have an explanation as to why you've built the bracket like you did. I reserve the right to not post a bracket with something like a winless team as a #1 seed or containing wild inconsistencies week-to-week.

4. Please date-stamp your bracket. Brackets more than 7 days old will be removed from the list, and if there's no date-stamp, obviously I can't tell when your bracket was updated.

5. To make it easier on me, please format your bracket so that at least half of it can be seen on the screen at any one time. You can make it even easier for me by publishing a seed list of your 65 teams. Only brackets that seed at least 48 teams will be listed in the matrix.

6. No new sites will be added to the 2009 page after March 1 unless you have appeared in previous versions of this page, in which case, you will be grandfathered in. In addition, no bracket will be accepted to the final matrix of the season after the beginning of the Selection Sunday show.

7. I'm only one guy. If this could pay me what I get at my regular job, I'd update this site 24/7. That simply is not the case. If someone else can do this better, I'll gladly step aside, but from the looks of it, I'm the only (crazy) one. So if you don't see your site on here, an update hasn't been done for a while or I don't respond to you, I hope you'll understand why.