Monday, February 2, 2009

Bracket Breakdown, Feb. 2


This Week’s Bracket

Breakdown by Conference

ACC (7): Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, Boston College, Virginia Tech
Big East (8): Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown
Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State
Big 12 (6): Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Baylor, Texas A&M
Pac-10 (5): Washington, UCLA, Arizona State, California, USC
SEC (5): Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, LSU
Atlantic-10 (2): Xavier, Dayton
Mountain West (2): UNLV, Utah
West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

One-Bid Conferences (22): America East (Vermont); Atlantic Sun (Jacksonville); Big Sky (Weber State); Big South (VMI); Big West (Long Beach State); Colonial (Northeastern); Conference USA (Memphis); Horizon (Butler); Ivy (Cornell); MAC (Buffalo); MAAC (Siena); MEAC (Morgan State); Missouri Valley (Northern Iowa); Northeast (Robert Morris); Ohio Valley (Morehead State); Patriot (Holy Cross); Southern (Davidson); Southland (Stephen F. Austin); Summit (North Dakota State); Sun Belt (Arkansas-Little Rock); SWAC (Alabama State); WAC (Utah State)

Last Four In: Penn State, USC, LSU, Texas A&M
Last Four Out: Miami (Fl.), BYU, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame
Next Four Out: Arizona, Providence, Michigan, Northwestern

Key Games this Week

Connecticut at Louisville (Monday): One of the best games of the season, between two potential No. 1 seeds and Big East champ candidates.

Robert Morris at Pittsburgh (Monday): Potential NCAA Tournament preview between a No. 2 and No. 15 seed. RMU leads the NEC by 1.5 games.
Butler at Wisconsin-Green Bay (Monday): Butler leads the Horizon by 1.5 games over Wisc-Green Bay; this is one of the few potential losses.
Kansas at Baylor (Monday): Two teams needing a win for different reasons. KU wants to keep pace with Oklahoma, while Baylor has to get on track.
Purdue at Ohio State (Tuesday): Purdue is the hottest team in the Big Ten right now, while Ohio State continues to win games without David Lighty.
Mississippi State at Kentucky (Tuesday): Both teams need a win. Miss. St. is trying to keep pace in the SEC West, while UK has lost two in a row.
Maryland at North Carolina (Tuesday): Expect plenty of points in this one. Maryland could use a marquee win, while UNC is back on the No. 1 seed line.
Northern Iowa at Bradley (Tuesday): If Northern Iowa is going to finish second in the Missouri Valley, Bradley will have to knock off the Panthers here.
South Carolina at Florida (Tuesday): Two of the four SEC East teams looking for an NCAA bid. USC beat Kentucky Saturday, while UF fell to Tennessee.
San Diego State at UNLV (Tuesday): The Mountain West is very crowded at the top. SDSU needs a big win, while UNLV is hot right now.
West Virginia at Syracuse (Wednesday): Both teams are looking good for an NCAA bid, but are fighting for the No. 5 spot in the conference standings.
Binghamton at Vermont (Wednesday): Battle at the top of the America East. Vermont is atop the league, but Binghamton is a game back at 6-3.
Utah at TCU (Wednesday): Two more Mountain West teams fighting to stay in contention. Utah looks solid for an at-large bid if it keeps winning.
Wake Forest at Miami (Fl.) (Wednesday): This is a big game for both teams. Wake needs to stay in contention for the title, while Miami wants an at-large bid.
Notre Dame at Cincinnati (Wednesday): A couple of Big East teams looking for bids. Notre Dame has lost five in a row, while Cincinnati needs a few Ws.
Stephen F. Austin at Nicholls State (Wednesday): The top two teams in the Southland East division battle it out for first-place in the standings.
Villanova at Providence (Wednesday): Villanova did what it needed to do last week, beating Pitt and Cincinnati. PC is a surprising 6-3 in the league.
Sam Houston State at UTSA (Wednesday): The Southland is wide-open at this point, and these two East representatives are getting hot right now.
Tennessee at Arkansas (Wednesday): Is Arkansas even worth discussing as an at-large team anymore? Tennessee got back on track vs. Florida.
Minnesota at Michigan State (Wednesday): Surprisingly enough, the winner will be in first place in the Big Ten. MSU needs to bounce back after this weekend.
Texas A&M at Oklahoma (Wednesday): Texas A&M picked up a big win over Oklahoma State, while Oklahoma is in the running for a No. 1 seed.
Duke at Clemson (Wednesday): This is a different Clemson team than in years past, and a win here would put them back in the mix for the ACC title.
Missouri at Texas (Wednesday): Missouri knocked off Baylor over the weekend, while Texas was upset by Kansas State at home in overtime.
USC at UCLA (Wednesday): Similar to last year, a win here by USC would do wonders for its at-large hopes. UCLA is fighting to stay atop the Pac-10.
Penn State at Michigan (Thursday): A huge bubble battle. Penn State defeated Michigan State on the road Sunday, while Michigan has lost five of six.
Illinois at Wisconsin (Thursday): An interesting Big Ten contest. Illinois is only a game out of first place, while struggling Wisconsin has lost six in a row.
Tennessee-Martin at Austin Peay (Thursday): Battle between two of the top teams in the Ohio Valley. Both teams are chasing Morehead State.
Washington at California (Thursday): Every week there seems to be a new “top team” in the Pac-10. Cal had it two weeks ago, while UW was it last week.
Washington State at Stanford (Thursday): Both of these teams are on the outside of the at-large picture, but a couple of wins in a row would help.
Gonzaga at Portland (Thursday): Gonzaga is now the clear-cut favorite in the WCC, but Portland blew out Saint Mary’s at home on Saturday night.

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