Monday, February 1, 2010

Bracket - February 1

I guess my last post about 96 teams was timely as Sports Business Journal reports CBS and Turner are planning a joint bid for the NCAA basketball tournament and other championships to counter potential bids by ESPN, FOX, and others. The key date is August 31, the last day the NCAA can opt out of its current TV deal with CBS for basketball. Also interesting is that the NCAA's deal with the NIT also ends after this season.

The bracket this week stayed relatively stable as no teams made a really big move upward. Notable items include New Mexico's win over BYU, which brought the Cougars back closer to the pack of Lobos, Rebels, and Aztecs chasing them, and Cornell's crushing win over Harvard, solidifying its hold over the Ivy League.

UConn became the first team out after two losses to Providence and Marquette. It wasn't included in my bracket, but losing to Louisville tonite didn't help matters. Being the first team out means they also became the top team in the new NIT projection I released. Other teams on the top line include UTEP, San Diego State, and Seton Hall.

Please note that the NIT guarantees bids to regular season champions which do not win their conference tournament. So, teams seeded on the 7 and 8 lines should be worried about being dropped. Also remember that NIT seeding is a lot more volatile than NCAA seeding. A team could be up in the NCAAs or not participating in either tournament depending on the outcome in even their next game.

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