Monday, February 1, 2010

Bracket Breakdown/Key Games


This Week’s Bracket

Breakdown by Conference

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

One-Bid Conferences (20): America East (Stony Brook); Atlantic Sun (Jacksonville); 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: Richmond, Mississippi State, Charlotte, Illinois
  • Last Four Out: Dayton, William & Mary, Louisville, Wichita State
  • Next Four Out: Minnesota, Connecticut, UTEP, North Carolina

Key Games this Week

Connecticut at Louisville (Monday): A must-win for both teams, neither of which would be in the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.

Texas at Oklahoma State (Monday): Texas has lost three of four, and its seed is dropping quickly. Oklahoma State could use another marquee win.

Seton Hall at Villanova (Tuesday): Villanova is moving closer to solidifying itself as a No. 1 seed, while Seton Hall has to get a big win to stay in the hunt.

Miami (Fl.) at Wake Forest (Tuesday): Miami is barely an at-large candidate at this point, but a road win against the Demon Deacons would do wonders.

Mississippi at Kentucky (Tuesday): Ole Miss was upset by Arkansas on Sunday, and need to get back on the right track. UK is cruising to a No. 1 seed.

Kansas State at Nebraska (Tuesday): Will Kansas State bounce back from its home loss to Kansas? Nebraska is never easy to beat on its home court.

Michigan State at Wisconsin (Tuesday): Battle in the Big Ten. Michigan State is rolling right now, while Wisconsin is not the same without Jon Leuer.

Pittsburgh at West Virginia (Wednesday): Pittsburgh has struggled mightily lately, but the Panthers are still in good shape. WVU is a top-four seed.

William & Mary at Old Dominion (Wednesday): Huge CAA contest. William & Mary snapped a three-game losing streak over the weekend, while ODU needs to win to stay in the at-large mix.

North Carolina State at Virginia (Wednesday): If you had told me that these two teams were going to be 27-14 at this point, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Maine at Vermont (Wednesday): Two of the top teams in the America East look to stay on Stony Brook’s heels in the conference race.

South Florida at Georgetown (Wednesday): South Florida is on a roll right now, winning three in a row, while Georgetown is rapidly rising.

Iowa State at Baylor (Wednesday): Baylor is in good shape after beating Texas on the road Saturday, but they have to continue winning.

Mississippi State at Vanderbilt (Wednesday): Mississippi State leads the SEC West, but its overall profile is mediocre. Vandy is the second-best in the SEC.

UAB at Memphis (Wednesday): After Memphis’ loss to SMU, the Tigers need a win in order to stay in the mix. UAB is in a three-way tie atop the conference.

Marshall at Tulsa (Wednesday): Another C-USA showdown. Marshall has faded a bit, losing four in a row. Tulsa, however, is still in the at-large hunt.

Wichita State at Northern Iowa (Wednesday): The top two teams in the Missouri Valley. Wichita State needs a win to keep its hopes alive.

Texas A&M at Missouri (Wednesday): Bubble battle in the Big 12. A&M defeated Texas Tech over the weekend, while Mizzou dominated Oklahoma State.

Georgia Tech at Duke (Thursday): Rematch of Tech’s win over Duke in early January. They are the two best teams in the ACC; should be a great one.

Florida at Alabama (Thursday): Florida missed a huge chance against Tennessee on Sunday, while ‘Bama has picked off some good teams at home.

Detroit at Butler (Thursday): Butler is undefeated in the Horizon, while Detroit is in second, four games back. A win here and Butler essentially locks up a title.

Troy at Middle Tennessee State (Thursday): The Sun Belt is a mess right now, but Troy is just one game back of MTSU in the East Division.

North Carolina at Virginia Tech (Thursday): North Carolina is a half-game out of last place in the ACC, and struggling. Tech has to keep winning to stay in the at-large hunt.

Cincinnati at Notre Dame (Thursday): Cincinnati improved to 5-4 in the Big East over the weekend, while Notre Dame is coming off a loss to Rutgers.

Arizona State at Washington State (Thursday): The two best overall records in the Pac-10 belong to these two teams, but neither is much of an at-large threat.

Arizona at Washington (Thursday): After its win over California on Sunday, Arizona moved into first place in the conference. Washington is still struggling.

Iona at Siena (Friday): Siena is undefeated in the MAAC, three and a half games ahead of Iona. They would be tough to pass with a win here.

Weber State at Montana (Friday): Weber State is atop the Big Sky, at 8-1. Montana is still in the mix, sitting in third at 6-4. It should be a good one. 

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