Monday, March 7, 2005

Bracket Breakdown

AS OF MARCH 7, 2005

1 Illinois: Still the best team in the nation and still a lock for a #1 seed even with a loss.
16 Alabama A&M/Fairleigh Dickinson: No, neither of these teams could upset the Illini.

8 Texas Tech: Needs another win to gain some confidence and solidify their seeding.

9 Mississippi State: Have an easy SEC Tournament opener with Georgia to lock up a bid.

5 Villanova: Overshadowed by Connecticut's great play, Wildcats could make run to the Big East Championship game.
12 Maryland: One of the last teams in, Terps need at least one win, possibly two, in ACC tourney.

4 Gonzaga: Seed could climb depending on what else happens around the country.
13 Holy Cross: Got lucky with win over Lehigh, need to win tonight to get a bid to the Tournament.

6 Florida: Big win over Kentucky catapults Gators as one of the hottest teams in the country.
11 Notre Dame: Need a victory over Rutgers to lock up a bid. If they lose, no bid for the Irish.

3 Washington: Loss to Stanford magnifies Huskies' weakness of not being able to play at a slow tempo.
14 UW-Milwaukee: With no chance at at-large bid, win tonight is imperative to get a ticket to the Dance.

7 Charlotte: Two loss week drops 49ers three seeding lines; need to bounce back in C-USA tourney.
10 Creighton: Hot streak recently and trip to the conference finals likely locks up a bid.

2 Duke: Missed out on chance to be a 1 seed when they fell apart down the stretch.
15 Niagara: Bid to the Tournament would give nation chance to see 5th highest scoring team in the country.

1 Kentucky: Still don't think that Wildcats are good enough for a one seed, but their profile seems to say otherwise.
16 Portland State: Even with a loss in the season finale, they still won the conference title by two games.

8 Stanford: Are 4-2 against other Pac-10 Tournament-bound teams; locked up a bid with win over Washington.
9 Georgia Tech: Their profile seems to be lacking, but with an 8-8 ACC record and a great RPI, Yellow Jackets are in.

5 Cincinnati: Winners of six in a row, Bearcats tied for second in the conference and their seed is rapidly rising.
12 West Virginia: Big East's seventh team, Mountaineers need a win or two in the Big East Tournament.

4 Michigan State: Have won eight of their past nine by an average of 15 points per game; will give Illinois a tough time in championship.
13 St. Joseph's: Blew out George Washington on the road and ran away with the A-10 regular season title.

6 Pacific: Almost lost their first conference game, but Tigers prevailed. Winning streak now at 21 games.
11 Miami (Ohio): Lost at last-place Marshall to finish the season; can't afford a loss in the MAC Tournament unless it's the championship.

3 Connecticut: Looking like they are ready for another Final Four run; once they get Anderson back, watch out.
14 Oral Roberts: Easily gained a berth in Mid-Con semi-finals; Caleb Green and Ken Tutt combine for 36 ppg.

7 Southern Illinois: Loss to SMS in MVC semi-finals dropped Salukis down a slot; still an easy lock in NCAA Tourney.
10 UTEP: Being helped more by other bubble teams losing and them avoiding bad losses. Berth in the WAC final should lock it up.

2 Kansas: Losing four of final six cost Jayhawks #1 seed in Big 12 Tournament and another game vs. Ok St. in semi-finals.
15 Central Florida: Have won 12 of last 13 and are one of the best shooting teams in the country.

1 North Carolina: Wrapped up a one seed with great comeback against Duke without McCants.
16 Northwestern State: Won share of the Southland title on the final day of the season; have won eight in a row.

8 UCLA: After winning final four games, Bruins are a lock for the Tournament. Seem to be hitting their stride.
9 Texas: Great win at Oklahoma State locked up a bid for Longhorns. Still can't believe that last-second foul call.

5 Syracuse: Seed could fall even more in the upcoming days. Need to get back on a roll if they want to be a threat for the Final Four.
12 Vermont: Have week off until championship game at home vs. Northeastern; won't get at-large bid if they lose.

4 Alabama: Bounced back from 0-2 week with easy win over Auburn and solid victory at Mississippi State.
13 Penn: Warming up for the NCAA Tournament after locking up a bid over a week ago.

6 Pitt: After being on the bubble, road wins at Boston College and Notre Dame vault Panthers into top-6 seed.
11 George Washington: I'm not sure how Colonials get blown out at home by St. Joe's and still get into the bracket.

3 Oklahoma: Gaining top seed in the Big 12 Tournament gives Sooners nod over Cowboys for this seed.
14 Winthrop: I still think that the Eagles can pull off a first-round upset in the Tournament; won tourney games by 16 ppg.

7 Nevada: Seed could rise if they win the WAC title in what should be the rubber match against UTEP.
10 Minnesota: Really have not moved around in the bracket that much; being helped by fellow bubble teams faltering down stretch.

2 Louisville: Gave them #2 seed over Boston College as a result of Cardinals winning 15 of their past 16.
15 Eastern Kentucky: Very good inside-outside balance for the Colonels puts them in the Field of 65.

1 Wake Forest: Will punch thrown by Chris Paul cost them in their potential quarterfinal rematch against NC State?
16 Delaware State: Winners of 12 of their last 14 get regular season title over Coppin St.; RPI keeps them out of play-in game.

8 St. Mary's: Definitely a lock with berth in the West Coast final. Rubber match against Gonzaga could raise their seeding.
9 DePaul: Can they please get one win to solidify a berth in the NCAA Tournament? Could give teams trouble if they get to the Big Dance.

5 Utah: Have won 20 of their past 21 and are basically just sitting around, watching other teams get upset.
12 Indiana: Last team in the field; gets in on account of how they are playing currently compared to other teams.

4 Oklahoma State: Crushing loss to Texas at home on Senior Day costs Cowboys share of Big 12 title.
13 Old Dominion: Avenged earlier loss to Hofstra with dominant second half; need to win in the Colonial final to get a bid.

6 Wisconsin: Have no quality road wins and just eeked out a win over Indiana thanks to a controversial foul call.
11 New Mexico: Danny Granger and co. need a berth in the MWC final to lock up a bid. 22-3 with Granger healthy.

3 Boston College: Lost out on #2 seed as a result of losses in 3 of their final 7 games.
14 Denver: Regular season champions have great inside-outside combo in Rodney Billups and Yemi Nicholson.

7 LSU: Hottest team in the SEC gained share of West division title with six straight wins.
10 Iowa State: Bounced back from terrible week with a solid 2-0 stretch to lock up a sixth bid from the Big 12.

2 Arizona: Won Pac-10 title on Stoudamaire's jumper as time ran down. Could make a run at the NCAA Championship.
15 UT-Chattanooga: Held on for win against UNC-Greensboro to win Southern Conference championship.

Last Four In: Indiana, Maryland, West Virginia, George Washington
Last Four Out: Kent State, North Carolina State, Buffalo, UAB

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