Monday, February 25, 2008

Bracket Breakdown


This Week’s Bracket

Breakdown by Conference

ACC (6): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami (Fl.), Wake Forest, Maryland
Big East (9): Georgetown, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Villanova, Syracuse
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State
Big 12 (6): Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Baylor
Pac-10 (6): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Arizona, USC, Arizona State
SEC (4): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas
Atlantic-10 (4): Xavier, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Rhode Island
Mountain West (2): BYU, UNLV
West Coast (2): St. Mary's, Gonzaga

One-Bid Conferences (22): America East (UMBC); Atlantic Sun (Belmont); Big Sky (Portland State); Big South (Winthrop); Big West (CS-Northridge); Colonial (VCU); Conference-USA (Memphis); Horizon (Butler); Ivy (Cornell); MAC (Kent State); MAAC (Siena); MEAC (Morgan State); Missouri Valley (Drake); Northeast (Robert Morris); Ohio Valley (Austin Peay); Patriot (American); Southern (Davidson); Southland (Lamar); Summit (Oral Roberts); Sun Belt (South Alabama); SWAC (Alabama State); WAC (Boise State)

Last Four In: Rhode Island, Syracuse, St. Joseph’s, Maryland
Last Four Out: Ohio State, Florida, Dayton, New Mexico
Next Four Out: Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Kentucky, California

Bracket Notes:
- This was the worst group of bubble teams I’ve seen in awhile
- Arizona State was a true No. 10 seed, but had to move down to No. 12 for bracket considerations
- Maryland was a true No. 11 seed, but had to drop down to No. 12
- Rhode Island is the last team in, Syracuse is the next-to-last team in, but they are No. 12 and No. 13, respectively, for bracket considerations

Key Games this Week

Marquette at Villanova (Monday): One of many games this week involving a bubble team needing a big win to continue to stay in the Tournament picture.
Texas at Kansas State (Monday): Can Texas solidify its standing as a No. 1 seed where Kansas couldn't? Kansas State has faded a little bit since its hot Big 12 start.
Ohio State at Indiana (Tuesday): Ohio State needs a marquee win badly if it wants to get into the Tournament, while Indiana will try to keep pace in the Big Ten.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (Tuesday): Will the Volunteers have a letdown after their monster win at Memphis? Vandy is quickly rising in the tourney.
BYU at New Mexico (Tuesday): A big-time game in the Mountain West. BYU is atop the league by one game, but New Mexico is rising and could get a bid.
Miami (Fl.) at Clemson (Wednesday): A potential battle for third in the ACC; Miami is surging in the at-large picture, while Clemson could use a win to lock up a bid.
Mississippi at Kentucky (Wednesday): Two teams going in opposite directions heading down the stretch; Ole Miss is 4-8 in the SEC, while UK is 9-3.
Texas Tech at Texas A&M (Wednesday): Could the Bob Knight-less Red Raiders actually be moving towards the bubble? A win here, and they're in the mix.
Notre Dame at Louisville (Thursday): Two of the hottest teams in the Big East go at it. Notre Dame has made a move towards a top-four seed, while Louisville is going for a three.
Robert Morris at Sacred Heart (Thursday): The Northeast has a three-team logjam near the top of the league; the winner of this will get the edge.
Maryland at Wake Forest (Thursday): Huge bubble game in the ACC. Maryland has lost two in a row, while Wake Forest made its first appearance in my bracket.
USC at Arizona (Thursday): Two teams that will likely get middle seeds in the NCAA Tournament, but have the talent to make a sleeper run into the second weekend.
Michigan State at Wisconsin (Thursday): Michigan State hasn't played very well in Big Ten play, while Wisconsin leads the conference by a half-game.
Wright State at Butler (Thursday): Butler looks to avenge one of its three losses on the season; Wright State has won 11 of its last 12.
CSU-Northridge at CSU-Fullerton (Thursday): The Big West always seems to produce a solid team in the NCAA Tournament -- the winner of this will be in first.
UCLA at Arizona State (Thursday): UCLA is still in the mix for a No. 1 seed, while ASU could use a marquee win to boost its profile.
Washington State at California (Thursday): If the Golden Bears have hopes of getting an at-large bid, this is a must-win. WSU is outstanding on the road.
Niagara at Siena (Friday): Two of the four teams tied atop the MAAC, the winner will have an edge heading into the final game of the season.
Dartmouth at Cornell (Friday): If the Big Red gets the win, they will clinch the Ivy League title and earn this season's first NCAA Tournament bid.


  1. I think its a smaller-conference kind of year. C-USA will probably get 2 bids, whether the second is Houston or UAB, and teams like Ohio and Western Kentucky will at least be in at-large consideration.

  2. Honestly, I would love to see that.

    Ohio State and Florida have extremely empty resumes and the Atlantic-10 is just going to continue to drop. Furthermore, one of the Big East nine is going to falter down the stretch.

  3. I think Arizona State should be higher than a 12 seed. They do have some big time wins over the likes of Stanford, Xavier, and Arizona(twice).

  4. If you read my Bracket Notes, you would have seen I had Arizona State as 10 seed, but I had to move them down for bracket considerations. There were too many Pac-10 teams in the bottom half of regions.

  5. Southern Illinois on the bubble?

    They are 16-12 (10-6) and they've lost to the following 100+ RPI teams: Charlotte, St. Louis, Western Michigan, Missouri State, and Northern Iowa. They also lost to Indiana State (RPI 95).

    They have 3 "quality" wins (Mississippi State, St. Mary's, and Drake). I'm using the term quality loosely, because Miss State was playing poorly when SIU beat them and St. Mary's is a different team away from home. Drake is a good win, I'll give them that.

    So 16-12, 3 quality wins and 5 or 6 bad losses. That's not a team on the bubble.

  6. I don't see the A-10 getting four teams in. I see Xavier and St. Joes, URI has played their way out.