UPDATE#2!!! 11:30 AM 3/7/11 — Addicted To Bracketology

Originally Posted
2011-03-01

Another productive day at my day job

UPDATED:  MONDAY MARCH 7, 11:30 AM

Well, there are six days until Selection Sunday, four auto-bids have been clinched with four more teams punching their tickets to the dance tonight.  Even though I am in mourning over the Fairfield Stags semifinal upset loss to St Peter’s yesterday it’s time for a bracketology upset.  HOW THE HELL DO YOU TRAIL 40-15 AT THE HALF AGAINST A TEAM YOU’VE WON 10 IN A ROW AGAINST?!?!?  F*** ME!!!!  The Stags got it allllll the way back to 42-36 with 7 minutes left (yup, 21-2 run) but that was as close as they got.  Hello, NIT.  I’m in a bad mood today.

Ok…had to get that out of my system.  Congrats to Morehead State, Belmont, UNC Asheville and the Sycamores of Indiana State.  They won their conference tournaments and they are dancing next week.  The following conferences will also get one bid for just their conference champ…

5.  America East

6.  Big Sky

7.  Big West

8.  MAAC

9.  MAC

10.  MEAC

11.  NEC

12.  Patriot

13.  Southern

14.  Southland

15.  SWAC

16.  Summit

17.  Sun Belt

There are a few complicated conferences.

The WAC...Utah State is going to the NCAA tournament whether they win their conference tournament or not.  If they get upset, this conference will get two bids…Bubble teams are PRAYING Utah State pulls this off.  Let’s say they do…thats 18 teams.
The WCC…tonight is the conference tourney final between Gonzaga and St Marys with the winner going to the NCAA tourney and the loser going to the Bubble.  This is 50/50 on whether or not they both get in.  In my opinion, St Mary’s has a better chance than Gonzaga at an at-large bid if they lose.  Bubble teams are pulling for St Mary’s because they have a better chance to get by Gonzaga…well maybe not Marquette and Baylor…they lost to the Bulldogs head to head.  We’ll count the winner as #19…loser goes to the bubble

IVY League…Princeton wraps up the regular season tomorrow against Penn.  If Princeton loses, Harvard gets the auto bid and Princeton doesn’t get an at large.  If Princeton wins it sets up a one game Ivy league championship with Harvard.  winner is in…loser is on the bubble…conference champ is team #20

Other conferences…

ATLANTIC 10

Sure Things (2) – Xavier, Temple

Bubble – Richmond

Notes – Pretty much same as last update.  Richmond may have improved their chances a bit

ACC

Sure Things (2) – Duke, UNC

Bubble – Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson

Notes – I still like Florida State, but losing to Maryland and UNC with an RPI in the 50s adds a little doubt.  Virginia Tech looked great after beating Duke, but back to back losses to BC and Clemson put their tourney lives very much in doubt and suddenly the floundering BC Eagles look like they will be in the dance next week thanks to 3 straight wins.

BIG 12

Sure Things (5) – Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, K-State, Missouri

Bubble – Colorado, Baylor, Nebraska

Notes – None of these bubble teams look very good unless can pull off at least one upset in the Big 12 tourney.  Baylor has lost 4 of 5…two of them to unranked Texas Tech and OK State.  Colorado would probably be sitting pretty if they didn’t lose to last place Iowa State last week.  If Colorado beats Iowa State and K-State I think they are in.  Nebraska may only need two Big 12 tourney wins just because the second opponent would be Kansas.  Baylor might need three wins.

BIG EAST

Sure Things (10) – Pitt, Notre Dame, Louisville, Cuse, St Johns, WVU, Cincy, G’Town, UConn, Nova

Bubble – Marquette

Notes – Marquette really shot themselves in the foot with losses at home to Cincy and @ Seton Hall.  To get in they MUST beat Providence Tuesday, they need a win against West Virginia on Wednesday and that puts them back in the discussion…A win in the quarters on Wednesday against Louisville probably has them feeling good again.

BIG TEN

Sure Things (3) – Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Bubble – Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Penn State

Notes – Michigan overcame a 6 game losing streak in January to win 8 of their last 11.  They swept Michigan State, but the problem is they are 0-7 against ranked teams.  They play Illinois in the Big Ten quarters…that could very well be a play in game.  Winner feels good…loser not so much.  Michigan State is 5-8 in their last 13.  A killer schedule can only help you so much in the eyes of the committee.  They play Iowa in the first round.  That’s a must win.  Next they would get Purdue.  Also probably a must win.  I just don’t see 18-14 getting them in.  Penn State is also in a similar situation.  Indiana is an absolute must win.  They probably need to beat Wisconsin as well.  This conference will get at least four bids.  Five is probable…far from definite.

CAA

Sure Things (1) – George Mason

Bubble – Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth

Notes – Old Dominion is pretty much a sure thing.  Tonight they play Va Commonwealth in the conference championship.  Win or lose I think Old Dominion is in.  Virginia Commonwealth would go on the bubble with a loss, but I think the committee will be hesitant to give them three berths.  They will have a tougher time getting in than Old D.  Bubble team’s are pulling for Old Dominion.  This conference automatically will get 2 bids with George Mason (lost to VCU yesterday) being a lock.  Can they get 3?

CONFERENCE USA

Sure Things (1) – UAB

Bubble – UTEP, Memphis, Marshall, Southern Miss, Tulsa

Notes – This is a crazy conference.  They should get two bids.  Three suddenly looks like a stretch.  Over the last two weeks the bubble teams have been beating up on each other.  Somebody will play their way in during the conference tournament.  I think all five of those bubble teams need at least one win.  Tulsa will need at least two.  Marshall and Southern Miss probably need two as well.  Total crap shoot.  This picture will clear up a little bit by Thursday

HORIZON LEAGUE

Sure Things – nobody in particular

Bubble – Cleveland State, Butler, Milwaukee

Notes – Tomorrow, Butler plays Milwaukee in the tournament championship.  Winner is in automatically.  Winning that game is the only way Milwaukee gets in.  Butler is on the bubble and feeling pretty good after beating Cleveland State in the semis and Cleveland State is on the same bubble biting their nails a little bit.  If Milwaukee beats Butler Cleveland State is pretty much dead in the water.  This is not a 3 bid conference and if it comes down to Butler or Cleveland for an at large you can bet it’s going to Butler.

MOUNTAIN WEST

Sure things (3) – BYU, SDSU, UNLV

Bubble – Colorado State

Notes – Colorado State is very doubtful at this point after losing 4 of their last 5.  Wins against New Mexico and BYU in the conference tourney MAY NOT be enough.  That would get them to the finals, so if that doesn’t do it they need to win it all for the auto bid.  Count on 3 from this conference.

PAC 10

Sure Things (2) – UCLA, Arizona

Bubble – Washington, USC

Notes – Washington is probably in despite their best efforts to blow this.  Losing two of their last three at home to Washington State and USC?!?  The UCLA win may have punched their ticket, but they better beat Washington State in the conference tourney just for good measure.  USC plays Cal in the first round of the Pac 10 tourney.  That’s a must win.  They probably need to beat Arizona in the semis as well to get in.

SEC

Sure Things (3) – Florida, Kentucky, Vandy

Bubble – Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama

Notes – Tennessee has had a similar season to Michigan State.  Insanely difficult schedule, pedestrian record.  Finishing 3-6 in their last 9 of the regular season is not helping…especially with two of the three wins being against lowly South Carolina.  Alabama had a huge win against Georgia on Saturday.  Georgia and Tennessee both need first round SEC tourney wins to stay in the convo (against bad opponents).  Assuming Georgia beats Auburn they get a rematch with Bama…that’s probably a play in game  .  Tennessee gets Florida is they beat Arkansas.  Assuming they do, Florida may be a must win for them
So we count all the sure things and we have 53 teams…that includes one from the Horizon league even though we have no idea who will be.  There are 15 spots up for grabs.  If Utah State loses their conference tournament, Milwaukee beats Butler or VCU beats Old Dominion that could be as many as three spots that are gone.

54.  Old Dominion

55.  Florida State

56.  Washington

57.  Boston College

58.  Missouri State (lost to Indiana State in MVC finals)

59.  Winner of Michigan/Illinois

60.  Memphis

61.  Bama/Georgia winner (assuming UGA beats Auburn)

62.  Gonzaga St Mary’s Loser (winner gets auto bid)

63.  Richmond

64.  Colorado

65.  Virginia Tech

66.  Michigan/Illinois loser OR Michigan State  (prob Mich St)

67.  Bama/Georgia loser OR Tennessee (prob Tennessee)

68.  Big 12 Bubble team…probably Colorado at this point.

Last four out…

69.  Michigan/Illinois loser

70.  Bama/Georgia loser

71.  Cleveland State

72.  Princeton (If Princeton beats Penn and Harvard, they get an auto bid and Harvard probably gets an at large…this bumps a team I have currently in…out.

Those last few teams in are in trouble if Milwaukee, Princeton, VCU and Anybody in the WAC not named Utah State have something to say about it.  I’ll try to update again later in the week!  Selection Sunday is near!!!

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE IN ITALICS 11:55 Wednesday March 2

OK…so it’s 11:28 on Wednesday night.  My coed team just lost to Tibb’s team by 4 points in what I believe will be a championship preview…that was at 6:00.  4 and a half hours and 3 budzillas later here I am on my couch needing so badly to go to sleep, but I cannot rest without updating this…apparently…how the hell do you spell apparently…I’ve tried two different ways and the red squigley line is still there.  I don’t have the patience, I’m tipsy and exhausted.

Soooooo WOW…BYU suspended their leading rebounder (ho-hum, 6.4 boards per game) and third leading scorer (whatever…Jimmer)  for the rest of the season.  I didn’t think it was a big deal but I’m watching them getting BLOWN OUT by unranked New Mexico on their home floor…OH!!!  That’s why I was trying (and still failing) to spell apparently.  Apparently we get the Mountain West Network at our place.  God this is a great country…hey the red squigley line is gone.  Maybe I spelled it right after all.  I really an losing my mind.

So here we go.  Obviously BYU is making the tourney win or lose (down 65-47 with 8:45 left), but this will take a 1 seed out of play and they may end up as a 3 seed.

Lots of stuff happening since I posted this blog less than 36 hours ago.  Allow me to recap.

–Boston College won AT Virginia Tech – The Hokies just beat DUKE.  Before that win for BC they were one of the last two teams in or out.  As long as they beat Wake Forest Sunday at home, they SHOULD be in the tournament and they might avoid the at large play in game.  

–Nebraska still isn’t IN yet if you ask me, but beating ranked Missouri last night and having Colorado lose tonight to Iowa State puts them in MUCH better shape.

–BIG win for Southern Miss tonight beating UAB.  Lots of big Conference USA games.  UTEP beat Marshall and Memphis lost to East Carolina.  Before tonight I would have said UAB is automatic, Memphis is likely, Southern Miss is 50/50 UTEP is on the outside looking in but close, and Marshall was pretty hopeless.  Marshall is still hopeless, UAB is still a virtual lock but the other three are a lot different.  Southern Miss put themselves in great shape and UTEP and Memphis are probably fighting each other for one spot.  The conference tourney will have the final say.  CUSA will definitely get two bids…3 is a possibility

Maryland lost at Miami…dammit Terps…I was pulling for you so hard.  Need to get to the ACC Championship to have a prayer.  Might need to win it (BYU is down 74-56 with 4:59 left…wow they are really going to lose

Another kinda big game, Cincy won AT Marquette tonight.  Some still doubted Cincy…not only are they now a lock but they could be as high as a 7 seed.  I still like Marquette getting in, but they may have made it a TINY bit harder on themselves tonight

Minnesota is OFF the bubble…God they friggen suck.  Lost to Northwestern tonight.  Three weeks ago they were a top 25 team in the country.  They have lost 8 of their last 9.  Winning the Big Ten tourney is the only way they are getting in.  

Speaking of the Big Ten, Penn State lost to Ohio State last night as expected…that’s 13 losses.  Good strength of schedule but assuming they don’t win the conference tourney I don’t see them making the dance with 14 losses

I have a problem.  It’s damn near midnight, I’m freaking exhausted and I’m basically sober at this point…I just CANT GET ENOUGH OF THIS STUFF!!!  BYU is going to lose.  It’s 77-58 New Mexico with 3:18 left.  I’m guessing right now the Cougars get a 3 seed…(and heading into tonight they had the best RPI in the nation…by the way this win will give New Mexico a two game season sweep of Jimmer & company.

By the way, no, New Mexico is not going to the tournament.  Not likely anyway  If they go to the Mountain West Championship they might have an outside shot, but I just don’t see it.  

DEEP 3 NEW MEXICO!!!  80-62 Lobos with 1:36 left.  That was the dagger.  I need to go to bed.  It’s 11:54 and I need to be up in 7 hours.

Shirt Before The Shirt…see you next time

 

My entire life I’ve been talking about sports.  My career goals consist of talking about sports and having people give a damn.  For those of you who know me, I’m an aspiring sportscaster with part time gigs doing Sportsflashes on WEEI, play by play for the Bentley hockey team and a number of other part time free lance jobs.  Well, this is my absolute favorite time of year.  Sure the NHL stretch run is in full swing, I’m preparing for my fantasy baseball draft, the PGA tour is gearing up towards next month’s Masters and even the NBA season keeps me mildly amused from time to time…but none of that can compare to the excitement of March Madness!  And it starts tonight!!

I know everybody has March 17 and 18 circled on your calendars for what is now the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament with the new 68 team format.  For me, it starts tonight when the first conference tournaments get underway and every major conference game has serious tourney implications with bubble teams jostling for position.

There are 345 Division 1 college basketball teams.  As of right now, 25 of them are DONE for the season.  They are either terrible independents without a prayer in the world of getting an at large bid, teams in the newly formed Great West conference, which still can’t get NCAA tourney bids, or IVY league teams not named Harvard or Princeton.  The IVY league doesn’t have a conference tournament.  The regular season champ gets the bid and it will be either Harvard or Princeton.

Tonight begins the Big South and Horizon league tournaments.  Each team that loses will be one more added to the casualties.  320 have a chance to dance, yup even 4-20 South Carolina State could technically win the MEAC tournament and get an automatic berth into the NCAA tourney.

For those of you who don’t know how it works, every conference gets an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament for their conference champion.  A selection committee determines the other 36 teams most deserving of making the tournament field.

For starters lets check the tourney resumes of some New England teams…

Boston College (17-11, ESPN insideRPI – 46) – The Eagles got off to a solid start this year.  They beat Maryland twice and beat a Virginia Tech team likely tournament bound…they have however lost to Harvard, Yale AND URI.  The strength of schedule is good, but they have lost 6 of their last 9.  They are right on the bubble with a HUGE game tonight @ Va Tech.  Assuming they beat Wake this weekend they’ll have a chance but they may need an ACC tourney win OR TWO to get in

Harvard (21-5, ESPN insideRPI – 48) – Losing to Yale Saturday night hurt a lot.  In fact, they had a chance at securing a RARE Ivy League at large bid had they won last Saturday and lost the division to Princeton.  Now that looks like a long shot.  Nice wins this season against BC and Colorado

Connecticut (21-7, ESPN insideRPI – 17) – The Huskies are dancing no question about it.  I have my doubts as to how far they will go in the tourney, but right now they are a lock, probably at a 4 or 5 seed…They can go as high as a 3 with a deep run in the conference tourney.

Fairfield (23-6, ESPN insideRPI – 89) – At large?  HELLS NO, but my alma mater is the top seed in the MAAC tournament at their home gym and the favorite to win it!  If they win the conference tourney (3 games, Sat, Sun, Mon) they are going to the dance likely as a 14 seed…13 is a little over ambitious but not impossible.  LETS GO STAGS!

Vermont (22-7, ESPN insideRPI – 86) – Same situation as Fairfield in the America East tourney

Rhode Island (18-10, ESPN insideRPI – 79) – At large nearly impossible, and a conference tourney win would be a tough road, but not impossible…they are the 4 seed in the A-10 tourney right now

Holy Cross, UNH, Dartmouth, Hartford, BU, Maine, UMass, Quinnipiac, Bryant, Sacred Heart, CCSU, Brown, Northeastern…not a chance.  At large is simply impossible…winning their conference tournament is highly improbable…again for the Ivy’s…your season is already over

Breaking down the 68 bids by conference:

By my count there are 20 conferences who will likely get only one bid…that bid being the winner of their conference champ…Below are the conferences and the top seed in their conference tourneys…if any of these teams are upset in their conference tournament they get an auto bid into the NIT.  ESPN RPI as of March 1 listed in parentheses

1.  MAAC – Fairfield (89)

2.  America East – Vermont (86)

3.  Big Sky – Northern Colorado (114)

4.  Big South – Coastal Carolina (102)

5.  Big West – Long Beach State (97)

6.  MAC – Kent State (95)

7.  MEAC – Bethune-Cookman (195)

8.  NEC – Long Island University (88)

9.  OVC – Murray State (110)

10.  Patriot – Bucknell (85)

11.  Southern – Charleston (77)

12.  Southland – McNeese State (143)

13.  SWAC – Texas Southern (168)

14.  Summit – Oakland (56)

15.  Sun Belt – FAU (106)

*16.  WCC – Saint Mary’s (49)/Gonzaga(64) –

*17.  MVC – Missouri State (43)/Wichita State (55)

*18.  Ivy – Princeton (53)/Harvard (48)

**19.  Atlantic Sun – Belmont (56)

**20.  WAC – Utah State (22)

*Divisions with one asterisk means there are two teams that COULD POSSIBLY get an at large bid if they lose the conference tourney.  I don’t think it’s likely for any of them, but Missouri State and St Mary’s have the best shot.

**Divisions with two asterisks mean they have a team that is an overwhelming favorite in the conference tourney.  If Utah State loses their tourney they will DEFINITELY get an at large.  Belmont would be relatively unlikely but no unheard of.  However, I don’t see anybody stopping Belmont OR Utah State from running the table and grabbing an auto bid.

So you all think I’m a total loser now, right?  Oh, you thought that before reading this blog?  Hey let’s keep going…so that’s 20 tentative bids.  A couple of those divisions could sneak in a second team.  Let’s now count the SURE at large bids.  48 spots left…

Atlantic 10 – 2 – Xavier & Temple – Work left to do:  Richmond

ACC – 3 – Duke, UNC, Florida State – Work left to do:  Va Tech, Clemson, BC, Maryland

Big 12 – 5 – Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, K-State, Missouri – Work left to do:  Baylor, Colorado, Nebraska

Big East – 10 – Pitt, Notre Dame, Louisville, St John’s, Cuse, Nova, G’Town, UConn, Cincy, WVU – Work left to do: Marquette

Big Ten – 3 – OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin – Work left to do:  Illinois, MSU, Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota

*CAA – 1 – George Mason – work left to do:  Old Dominion

**CUSA – 1 – UAB – work left to do:  Memphis, UTEP, Southern Miss, Marshall

***Horizon – 1 – Cleveland State – work left to do:  Butler

Mountain West – 3 – BYU, SDSU, UNLV – work left to do:  Colorado State

Pac-10 – 3 Arizona, UCLA, Washington – work left to do: USC

SEC – 3 – Florida, Kentucky, Vandy – work left to do: UGA, Tennessee, Alabama

That’s 33 more definite teams bringing us up to 53 bids

*CAA is kind of like the MVC, WCC and Ivy, but I put them in this section, because George Mason is a lock and I think Old Dominion WILL get an at large…if Hofstra or VCU win that conference tourney that conference might get 3 bids, which means a bubble team’s hopes will burst.

**UAB is the only lock I can see from UAB, but one or two more teams will get it…just tough to know what ones yet

***Horizon is a little more like the MVC WCC and Ivy than the CAA…but I like Cleveland State AND Butler’s chances more than the Wichita States and the Gonzaga’s

That leaves us with 15 bids and the following 28 contending teams…

Alabama, Baylor, BC, Butler, Clemson, Colorado, Colorado State, Georgia, Illinois, Marquette, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Old Dominion, Penn State, Richmond, Southern Miss, Tennessee, USC, UTEP, Virginia Tech, Wichita St/Missouri St, Princeton/Harvard, St Mary’s/Gonzaga

9 teams are looking GOOD:

Michigan State – disappointing season thus far for the Spartans but their strength of schedule has been out of this world.  A win against Iowa is likely but imperative and the finale at Michigan will be big as well.  If they do that, they should make the tourney even with a one and done in the Big 10 tourney

Illinois – A win at Purdue tonight would make them a lock, but even if they lose, as long as they beat Indiana in the regular season finale they shouldn’t be too concerned

Marquette – Yup, the Big East SHOULD get 11 bids…9-7 in that tough conference.  3 wins against top 15 foes.  If they beat Cincy and Seton Hall to finish the regular season they are a lock.  If they split those games they may need one Big East tourney win.

Virginia Tech – Last weekend’s win over Duke pretty much solidifies it, but a win against BC tonight should be the icing on the cake.

Old Dominion – If George Mason wins that conference I think Old D. still gets an at large.  If they get to the conference championship they should rest easy

Tennessee – they can thank the second hardest schedule in the country for being on the inside right now.  A loss on Thursday to South Carolina could derail everything, so that is a big one, because they finish the regular season against Kentucky.  If they beat SC and lose to Kentucky they may need a win in the SEC tourney to get them to 19, but they’re doing alright

Georgia – A win over LSU seems likely.  That would give them 20.  A win @ Alabama would probably be the icing on the cake.  Much easier road than Tennessee

Memphis – A loss to Rice and a SPANKING at the hands of UTEP in their last three games put them in a little trouble, but a couple of wins against CUSA bottom dwellers ECU and Tulane plus one conference tourney win should do the trick with 24 wins

Colorado – Baylor’s resume is a tiny bit better from top to bottom thus far, but this big goes to Colorado, because with the schedule remaining, they have a better chance to win out in the regular season, AND they’ve turned in on recently.  The comeback win against Texas will be fresh in the committee’s minds, and a win against a surging K-State team bodes well

10 teams right on that bubble:  We’ve put 62 in already so 6 of the next 10 should get in.

Colorado State – 4 teams out of the Mountain West?  Maybe.  They’ve played a lot of tough teams, so the RPI is good…but they haven’t really beaten any of them.  They still have one more against SDSU…a win there puts them in great shape

Boston College – As bad as they have been in the last month they still have a real shot.  A win AT Virginia Tech tonight puts them back in the thick of things but right now they are RIGHT on the cut line

St Mary’s/Gonzaga – If Gonzaga wins the conference St Mary’s has a better chance at an at large than vice versa.  This may be a 2 bid conference afterall

Baylor – Two wins against Texas A&M help their cause but they have 10 losses and an RPI in the 70s.  Still got another game against Texas…a win there gives them some breathing room going into the Big 12 tourney

Southern Miss – I think Conference USA will get 3.  This is certainly the next best resume.

Richmond – They should beat St Joes…if they beat Duquense, a pretty decent A-10 team heading into the A-10 tournament that gives them 24 wins…they still may need W #25 to be a sure thing but they’re looking pretty good

Michigan – The frustrating thing for Wolverine fans is that this team is a buzzer beating banked three point shot against Wisconsin from having a marquee win that puts them in much better standing.  They’ve come far but they need to come a little further.  If they beat Michigan State in the regular season finale and get a win or two in the conference tourney this may be a tournament team

Butler – If Butler wins the conference tourney they are obviously in…this then becomes Cleveland State, and frankly, I think they are a lock regardless.  If it IS Butler…can they get any love for making the championship last year?  The committee has to respect that right?  They need to help themselves and finish reasonably strong.

Clemson – Two tough games left…@Duke and vs Va Tech…nobody expects a win at Duke…that would put them in great standing.  Against the Hokies, a win may be necessary.

Missouri State/Wichita State – If Wichita State wins the conference I think Missouri has a shot…put probably only if they win every game UNTIL the conference championship…vice versa, I don’t know if Wichita State has what it takes.

9 teams with SERIOUS work to…they aren’t done yet but they need to probably finish strong and get to the conference championship game…but really, don’t get your hopes up.

Harvard/Princeton – This is interesting.  Princeton has a one game lead in the loss column and a head to head win, but they must go head to head again.  If Harvard wins, they will tie in the standings and split the head to head…for a tiebreak they would have a one game playoff…a conference championship if you will.  Winner goes to the dance.  If Harvard wins it and beats Princeton twice, I don’t think they have a prayer at going to the tourney.  If Harvard beats Princeton to force the one game playoff and then loses in the one game playoff (neutral venue) I think the Crimson JUST might steal the last spot in the at large play in game…maybe wishful thinking…

Alabama – The record is good and the conference is decent, but the RPI is awful (87)  I put them in this bottom group, because they have tough games left @ Florida and vs Georgia.  Win em both and they are in…but frankly I don’t know if I see it

Marshall – Tourney is sort of a pipe dream right now, but CUSA is strong this year.  If they go to the championship game there is hope

Maryland – ACC is strong enough that a good run in the tourney could get it done.  The committee has tons of respect for Gary Williams.  How did they lose to BC twice?!?!

Minnesota – They’ve lost 7 of 8.  They better play some GREAT basketball to finish the season

USC – The Pac 10 kinda sucks

Nebraska – Shot themselves in the foot with recent poor play.  The lost Iowa State may have been the dagger

Penn State – Great strength of schedule but 15-12 isn’t good enough.  If they beat Ohio State tonight we may need to seriously reconsider, but I just don’t see it…so if they lose tonight and beat Minnesota in the regular season finale that is 16-13 with another loss coming in the Big Ten tourney…A 14 loss Penn State team in the dance?  I don’t think so

UTEP – Great win pounding Memphis like that but the 3 losses in the 4 games before that may have already sank their ship.

So there you have it…my name is Rory Duyon…and I’m a bracketolic…admitting you have a problem is step one.  If you need me on March 17 or 18, I’ll be on my couch.  I already put it to take the days off from work.

 

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