Bracketology: January 31st, 2011

As we move into February, a wild weekend of College hoops has us scrambling to figure out what is going on. Every good team out there is losing! (except Ohio State) As a result teams have been shuffling around, and I don’t expect it to stop as February should be a wild month. Lets take a quick look at some conferences and teams this week:

In the Big East nobody wants to separate themselves as a top five team, as others have decided to take some ugly loses to the “bottom five”, a group of some pretty bad teams in the Big East. More losses to this group could result in some serious drops in seeding, as well as maybe out of the bracket altogether. Right now all eleven teams are solidly in the field after St. John’s big win over Duke yesterday. The Johnnies still remain the best candidate to drop out of the bracket, as they have alot of losses to go along with some quality wins. The Johnnies probably need six more wins, maybe seven to join the tournament field in 2011. That could be a tall order because there are many traps along the way. Cincinnati, in my opinion, is completely overrated but they will most likely make the field as long as they get to 8-9 wins in the Big East. The Big East might be getting a little too much credit this year, but it is still the best conference in the country so far. The eleven teams in the field is a result of large difference between those eleven and the bottom five, large amounts of parity between the eleven, and also some timely OOC wins. Come tournament time the Big East will probably not dominate the final eight and four because nobody seems to be that great.

The Big Ten is also having a good year, and Ohio State appears to be the best right now by far. Duke with Kyrie Irving might still be the best competition for the Buckeyes. The next tier of the Big Ten is good, but not great. Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota all seem to be comfortable right now, but none of them have shown me “top ten” this year. Michigan State is playing puzzlingly bad right now, and they were lucky to escape Indiana at home last night, because that could have put them right on the bubble. Penn State is in right now, but I honestly don’t think they’ll make it. They can’t win on the road, and their out of conference performance isn’t winning over anybody. They need to get to .500 in the Big Ten, and I don’t know if they can do it.

The Pac Ten appears to be slightly better than last year, but Washington, Washington State and Arizona aren’t world beaters by any means. I expect them to probably pick up three bids this year. The Big 12 is top heavy with alot of teams faltering in conference play. Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri are all good and locks, but Kansas State has plunged to the bubble and Nebraska, Baylor, Ok State and maybe Colorado have a chance.  The SEC is no basketball conference. It still bothers me that Kentucky is ranked so high right now, they just aren’t that good. They’ve lost some games that top ten teams don’t lose. The east division will probably send atleast four teams, maybe five with Georgia, but the West flat out sticks, and right now it seems no one is coming from that side. Alabama and Arkansas have played better lately, but OOC/bad loses will doom them even if they pick up some quality wins from the East contenders.

The ACC is down this year. Wake Forest stinks, and Virginia isn’t too good either. NC State and Georgia Tech are doing nothing with talent, while Miami has fallen off the map since conference play started. Duke will win the conference and with Kyrie Irving is one of the two best teams in the country, but his status is unknown right now for March. UNC and Virginia Tech seem to be hitting their stride a bit and I expect them to get decent seeds come tournament time. Boston College is not talented, but Steve Donahue is proving he is a really good coach. If they can steal some wins and get to 8-9 ACC victories, they can stay in the dance, but I’m concerned they might drop with some tougher games coming up. Maryland looks to be bubble bouncing all the way to March. They are pretty decent, but can they get some good wins and get to 9 wins in conference? Maybe. Clemson has come on as of late, winning 10 of 12, and if they can continue to hold serve at home, while getting a couple of road wins over teams like UVA, GT, and NC State, then the Tigers could dance for a 4th straight season. They probably need to get to 21 wins to dance in my opinion.

In the MWC, BYU and San Diego State have taken over the top ten, but call me a skeptic. Both are good teams, but I’m not sold on them being on the same level as some of the other powers around. Neither team played a good out of conference schedule, and the lack of quality wins over Big Conference school has me wondering if they can, or can not. After all, BYU did lose to UCLA and New Mexico, who are not in the tournament right now. In the remainder of the country, mid major powers Butler, Gonzaga and Memphis are all struggling and look like long shots to make it right now as an at-large.

Check back soon for the next Bracketology and feel free to voice your opinion, I’d love to hear it!

1 Seeds-

Ohio State

Kansas

Pittsburgh

Duke

2 Seeds-

Texas

UConn

San Diego State

Villanova

3 Seeds-

Notre Dame

BYU

Texas A&M

Purdue

4 Seeds-

Missouri

Kentucky

Wisconsin

Georgetown

5 Seeds-

Syracuse

Louisville

Minnesota

North Carolina

6 Seeds-

Washington

Florida

Minnesota

Tennessee

7 Seeds-

West Virginia

Vanderbilt

Illinois

Temple

8 Seeds-

Arizona

UNLV

Xavier

St. John’s

9 Seeds-

Michigan State

Cincinnati

St. Mary’s

Florida State

10 Seeds-

Boston College

Virginia Tech

Marquette

Utah State

11 Seeds-

George Mason

Old Dominion

Missouri State

Washington State

12 Seeds-

Georgia

UTEP

Clemson

Wichita State

Kansas State

Penn State

13 Seeds-

Harvard

Coastal Carolina

Belmont

Cleveland State

14 Seeds-

Bucknell

Vermont

Oakland

Charleston

15 Seeds-

Long Beach State

Buffalo

Fairfield

Montana

16 Seeds-

Texas Southern

Stephen F. Austin

Long Island

Austin Peay

Hampton

Florida Atlantic

Last Four In-

Wichita State

Clemson

Penn State

Georgia

Last Four Out-

VCU

Nebraska

Memphis

Maryland

Next Four Out-

UCLA

Richmond

Baylor

UAB

Bids by Conference-

Big East-11

Big Ten-7

ACC-6

Big 12-5

SEC-5

Pac Ten-3

MWC-3

CAA-2

MVC-2

A10-2

Bracketology- January 11th, 2011

Bracketology- Janurary 22nd, 2011

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