Monday, February 18, 2008

Bracket Breakdown


This Week's Bracket

Breakdown by Conference

ACC (4): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Maryland
Big East (8): Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia
Big Ten (4): Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State
Big 12 (6): Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor
Pac-10 (8): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Arizona, USC, Arizona State, Oregon, California
SEC (4): Tennessee, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Atlantic-10 (4): Xavier, Rhode Island, Dayton, Saint Joseph’s
Mountain West (2): BYU, UNLV
Sun Belt (2): South Alabama, Western Kentucky
West Coast (2): St. Mary's, Gonzaga

One-Bid Conferences (21): 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 (Sacred Heart); Ohio Valley (Austin Peay); Patriot (American); Southern (Davidson); Southland (Lamar); Summit (Oral Roberts); SWAC (Alabama State); WAC (Boise State)

Last Four In: California, Oregon, St. Joseph's, UNLV
Last Four Out: Ohio State, Florida, Houston, Massachusetts
Next Four Out: Wake Forest, Miami (Fl.), Mississippi, North Carolina State

Bracket Notes:
- Mississippi State was a true 9-seed, but had to move down to accomodate Syracuse
- Syracuse was a true 10-seed, but moved up due to bracket considerations
- West Virginia was a true 10-seed, but needed to move into the upper-half of a region
- Dayton was a true 11-seed, but moved up after West Virginia was moved down

Key Games this Week

Xavier at Rhode Island (Monday): Showdown in the Atlantic-10. The Musketeers are continuting their push for a top-two seed, while URI could use a marquee win to solidify its spot in the Big Dance.
Syracuse at Louisville (Monday): Can Syracuse follow-up its huge win over Georgetown with another major victory? The Cardinals are the new Big East leader, as they have won five in a row.
Texas A&M at Texas (Monday): Intrastate battle in the Lonestar State. A&M is coming off of a disappointing loss at home to Oklahoma State, while Texas is moving up the seeding ladder rapidly.
Purdue at Indiana (Tuesday): The surprising Big Ten leader takes on the in-state powerhouse. Purdue has won 11 in a row, while Indiana is coming off of a 19-point dominating of Michigan State.
Baylor at Oklahoma (Tuesday): Potential bubble battle in the Big 12. Baylor has lost five of its last six to drop towards the bubble, while Oklahoma has won two in a row to feel slightly more comfortable.
Mississippi State at Mississippi (Wednesday): Intrastate battle in the SEC. MSU is coming off an impressive win over SEC West contender Arkansas, while Ole Miss has lost four consecutive conference contests.
Houston at UAB (Wednesday): The two teams who gave Memphis major problems last week face-off in a battle to see who will finish second to the Tigers. Both teams could make quiet runs at the bubble.
Duke at Miami (Fl.) (Wednesday): This might be the Hurricanes' last chance at making their case for an at-large bid. Duke is coming off just its second loss of the season, by 13 at Wake Forest.
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (Thursday): How will Pitt fare in the second game back for Levance Fields? Notre Dame barely escaped Rutgers on Sunday, but the Irish are still in the Big East race.
Massachusetts at Rhode Island (Thursday): Another important game in the A-10 for Rhode Island. UMass needs to pick-up a huge road win, and this would fit the bill. URI needs to continue to win to feel safe.
South Alabama at Western Kentucky (Thursday): The top two teams in the Sun Belt go at it. USA dropped out of first-place, while WKU has won 11 in a row. Both teams are in this week's field.
Sam Houston State at Stephen F. Austin (Thursday): Although neither of these teams are atop the Southland, both have the pieces to pull a first-round upset; will either get there, though?
Arizona State at Washington State (Thursday): A Pac-10 showdown in the Pacific Northwest. Check out the wing match-up between ASU's James Harden and WSU's Kyle Weaver; it should be outstanding.
Oregon at USC (Thursday): Both teams could badly use a win. Oregon was one of the last teams in the field this week, while USC has lost two in a row and is struggling with a hampered Daniel Hackett.


  1. great work, jeff...just wanted to throw out a few of my thoughts at ya...

    i disagree with the cal and oregon picks - i've seen some people put cal in there, but their resume isn't too impressive to me. oregon has a better argument, IMO, but they have a lot of work to do. i know the PAC-10 is strong, but i don't see it with these guys. also, the south alabama AND western ky picks are pretty curious to me. you really think they have a shot at 2 bids this year? i don't see it.

  2. Right now, I think the Sun Belt gets two bids, but I'm not sure it'll stay that way. We'll have to see.

    As for Cal and Oregon, whose resume is better? I compared it to Ohio State's and Florida's and neither of those teams have done much of anything that warrants a bid.

    However, two bids are likely to open up next week since WKU and USA play this week, and St. Joe's just lost to LaSalle at home tonight.