Monday, February 8, 2010

Bracket Breakdown/Key Games


This Week’s Bracket

Breakdown by Conference

  • ACC (7): Duke, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida State, Maryland, Clemson, Virginia Tech
  • Big East (5): Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh
  • Big Ten (5): Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Illinois
  • Big 12 (7): Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma State,
  • Pac-10 (1): California
  • SEC (5): Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida
  • Atlantic-10 (6): Temple, Xavier, Rhode Island, Richmond, Charlotte, Dayton
  • Colonial (2): Northeastern, Old Dominion
  • Conference-USA (2): UAB, UTEP
  • Mountain West (3): BYU, New Mexico, UNLV
  • West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

One-Bid Conferences (20): America East (Stony Brook); Atlantic Sun (Lipscomb); Big Sky (Weber State); Big South (Coastal Carolina); Big West (Pacific); Horizon (Butler); Ivy (Cornell); MAC (Kent State); MAAC (Siena); MEAC (Morgan State); Missouri Valley (Northern Iowa); Northeast (Robert Morris); Ohio Valley (Murray State); Patriot (Lehigh); Southern (Charleston); Southland (Sam Houston State); Summit (Oakland); Sun Belt (Arkansas State); SWAC (Jackson State); WAC (Utah State)

  • Last Four In: Dayton, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech
  • Last Four Out: Wichita State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette
  • Next Four Out: South Florida, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Washington

Key Games this Week

Villanova at West Virginia (Monday): Two top-five teams battle for Big East supremacy and to stay alive in the hunt for a No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday.

Fairfield at Siena (Monday): A win here by Siena and the Saints would have a five-game lead in the MAAC with just four conference games remaining.

Robert Morris at Pittsburgh (Monday): I don’t expect Robert Morris to win this game, but they do lead the NEC with an 11-1 record and Pitt is struggling.

Kansas at Texas (Monday): Hyped as the Game of the Year a couple of months ago, it is now just an opportunity for Texas to bounce back after a rough stretch.

Illinois at Wisconsin (Tuesday): Both teams are one game back of Michigan State in the Big Ten, after the Fighting Illini beat them on Saturday. Wiscy has won two in a row.

VCU at George Mason (Tuesday): The CAA is crowded at the top, but both of these teams are within striking distance. Mason is 10-3, while VCU is 9-4.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (Tuesday): Who’s the best team in the SEC after Kentucky? The winner of this will have the inside edge, although Vandy won the first game.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma (Tuesday): Both of these teams are on the outside looking in when it comes to the bubble, but Okla. beat Texas, while Tech defeated OK State.

Purdue at Michigan State (Tuesday): A top-10 battle, with both teams fighting for first-place in the Big Ten. The winner will also get a nice trump card for the Big Dance.

Georgia Tech at Miami (Fl.) (Wednesday): The Yellow Jackets are still struggling with consistency issues, and Miami is usually tough to beat at home.

Connecticut at Syracuse (Wednesday): Remember the last time these two teams played? It went to six overtimes and was an instant classic. UConn needs this one badly.

Florida State at Clemson (Wednesday): Both teams are still in the NCAA Tournament picture right now, but they each need to continue winning to keep a berth.

Richmond at Rhode Island (Wednesday): An Atlantic-10 showdown between two teams fighting for an at-large bid. Both teams are 7-2 in the A-10 and have won four in a row.

Virginia at Maryland (Wednesday): Virginia has cooled off after a hot start in the ACC, while Maryland is quickly rising, currently sitting at 6-2 – just a half-game back of Duke.

Maine at Stony Brook (Wednesday): These teams are separated by one game at the top of the America East standings. SB has won five in a row, Maine has lost two of three.

Charlotte at Dayton (Wednesday): The current leader in the A-10 goes against the preseason favorite. Both teams are looking for at-large berths, but Dayton needs to improve its conference record.

Florida at South Carolina (Wednesday): In the two teams’ first meeting, Chandler Parsons hit a three at the buzzer to give Florida the win. Will Devan Downey come up with heroics this time?

Duke at North Carolina (Wednesday): The greatest rivalry in college basketball is back, although it does need mean as much as it has in recent years. UNC can’t afford another loss.

New Mexico at UNLV (Wednesday): Keep an eye on both of these teams come March. New Mexico’s Darington Hobson and UNLV’s Tre’Von Willis are fun to watch.

Washington at California (Thursday): The top two teams in the Pac-10 preseason poll are just fighting to stay afloat. Cal is first in the league at 7-4, but five teams (including UW) are 6-5.

Mississippi at Mississippi State (Thursday): The SEC West is typically a mess, but these two teams are clearly the best. Ole Miss is in the Big Dance right now, but MSU is fading.

Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga (Thursday): Showdown in the WCC. Saint Mary’s could really use a win here for its at-large hopes, while Gonzaga will virtually lock up the league.

West Virginia at Pittsburgh (Friday): An oddly-scheduled Big East bash, two teams in need of a win will go at it. WVU has been inconsistent lately, while Pitt is in the midst of a rough stretch.

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