Bracketology-February 21st, 2010

After this week I am beginning to think the bubble is the most complicated thing on the planet. This year, I really don’t have a clue what’s going to happen. There are so many teams that are so mediocre, and in past years would easily be left out, but this year are right in the thick of it. Today I’m going to run down the bubble and give you my impressions:

UTEP- (rpi 51, kenpom 65)- This season UTEP has played their way back into things by doing well in the mystery Conference USA. They now sport a good 20-6 record, but it doesn’t exactly sparkle with any great wins. Out of conference their best win was a neutral court battle with Michigan. In conference they have the best record so far but have no beaten any of the contending teams. Right now they might be projected to win the conference, but with only three top 100 wins, none in the top 50, its hard to put them in the field. They have work to do to make the Big Dance.

Memphis- (rpi 36, kenpom 87)- This is a team that I just don’t think is very good, and their rpi ranking is too high. Kenpom has them at 87, which is really bad showing that they have some issues. Memphis has nine top 100 wins, which is impressive when you just know that much. Problem is none of the nine are really all that good. Seven of the wins are in-conference and the best have come in a season sweep of both UAB(32) and Southern Miss(44), both CUSA teams which I think have inflated RPI’s too. Add in the list of bad losses and the Tigers don’t seem that great.

Southern Miss-(rpi 43, kenpom 67)- Another CUSA team that I just don’t get, they have six top 100 wins and a bad loss to SMU(200). Only one of those was a top 50 win, and of course it was UAB, yet another CUSA team. Out of conference they beat California(80) and E. Tennessee State(89), not very impressive and lost to fellow bubble team Colorado State(47) and Mississippi(69). Not exactly a tournament resume? For now I have them as my last team in, but I’m not so sure about it.

UAB-(rpi 33, kenpom 56)- UAB sports the best rpi of any of these bubble CUSA teams, but is this resume worthy of the 33rd best team in the country? UAB sports 7 top 100 wins, but none of them top 50. They had a bad loss to Arizona St(152), but I won’t kill them for that esspecially considering it was on the road and at a big conference school. Their 19-7 record is not very exciting, and 9-4 isn’t amazing in CUSA. So why are they 33rd in rpi. Beats me.

Virginia Tech-(rpi 63, kenpom 31)- Tech sports seven top 100 wins, a popular number among bubble teams. Tech has three bad loses but they aren’t terrible, they lost twice to Virginia and on the road at Georgia Tech. Both are dangerous teams that aren’t as bad as their rpi. Tech has been decimated by injuries this year, but they still have some life to their resume. Wins over fellow bubble teams Oklahoma St and Penn St, as well as FSU and Maryland twice. Its not great, but with a 7-5 ACC record right now they are just in for me, and I favor them slightly over the CUSA bunch.

Maryland (rpi 85, kenpom 18)- This is one ranking that I don’t get, how are they that far apart? Well because Maryland beat the crap out of some teams this year, but not the great ones. The Terps only have three top 100 wins, Charleston, Penn State (road) and Clemson. Not a great number, but they also don’t have any bad losses. Its possible that every team they lost to will make the tournament, but that doesn’t redeem they for not beating any of them. Maryland is a team that is probably better than some of the other bubble contenders but do not have the resume to back it up. For now the Terps are not in contention for a spot, but have a chance still if they can pick up some wins down the stretch.

Clemson (rpi 72, kenpom 38)- The Tigers picked up a nice win over Miami(65) on the road Sunday, moving them back into contention after a tough loss to NC State on Thursday. The Tigers have six top 100 wins, two on the road, one neutral. Their two bad losses came on the road to South Carolina and Virginia. Clemson is a team that fits into this same category, two of their wins came against top 50 competition, and they have a chance to finish 9-7 in the ACC. Without a big win, they still are fragile on the bubble but for now they are right on the cusp. With a good ACC tournament run the Tigers could make the dance.

The rest of my rundown of the bubble will continue on my next Bracketology…

1 Seeds-

Ohio State

Duke

Texas

Kansas

2 Seeds-

Pittsburgh

Purdue

San Diego State

BYU

3 Seeds-

Notre Dame

Georgetown

Wisconsin

Florida

4 Seeds-

Connecticut

North Carolina

Villanova

Louisville

5 Seeds-

Syracuse

Arizona

St. John’s

Kentucky

6 Seeds-

Vanderbilt

Texas A&M

West Virginia

Missouri

7 Seeds-

Temple

George Mason

Xavier

UNLV

8 Seeds-

Florida State

UCLA

Washington

Cincinnati

9 Seeds-

Illinois

Tennessee

Old Dominion

Utah State

10 Seeds-

Georgia

St. Mary’s

Minnesota

Kansas State

11 Seeds-

Marquette

Boston College

Michigan State

Virginia Tech

12 Seeds-

Butler

Colorado State

Memphis

Nebraska

Richmond

Southern Miss

13 Seeds-

Belmont

Charleston

Harvard

Missouri State

14 Seeds-

Vermont

Coastal Carolina

Oakland

Bucknell

15 Seeds-

Murray State

Miami Ohio

Long Beach State

Fairfield

16 Seeds-

Texas Southern

Bethune Cookman

Stephen F Austin

Florida Atlantic

Montana

Long Island

Last Four In-

Southern Miss

Colorado State

Richmond

Nebraska

First Four Out-

UTEP

UAB

Clemson

Penn State

Next Four Out-

Alabama

Michigan

Maryland

VCU

Also Considered-

Duquesne

Washington State

Wichita State

Gonzaga

Baylor

Cleveland State

Valparaiso

Oklahoma State

Dayton

Marshall

Princeton

Mississippi

Bids by Conference-

Big East-11

Big 10-6

Big 12-6

ACC-5

MWC-4

Pac Ten-3

A10-3

CUSA-2

CAA-2

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5 Responses to “Bracketology-February 21st, 2010”

  1. Vandy a 6? Has already beaten both NC and Ky who are seeded ahead of them? Has better records than both as well. A little anti-vandy bias or just not &^%^ing paying attention?

  2. sammywestside Says:

    I think you make a good point, Vandy’s resume is better than I thought upon review and I’d switch them out to 5 seed for sure right now…I was a bit down on them for the bad losses to South Carolina and Arkansas, and their inability to win on the road, but the win at Georgia was good…if they keep up this hot streak they could make a move up even further

  3. Check Arizona, they are better then a 5 seed.

  4. I don’t see Xavier as a 7th seed. Their RPI is phenomenal, and the committee tends to weigh that heavily. I would have them ahead of any of the 6th seeds except Texas A&M.

    I like how highly you have SJU. Given how few teams can claim “quality” wins (since there are so few “quality” teams!), I think SJU will fare well in seeding despite some of their ugly losses.

  5. sammywestside Says:

    Arizona has been hot lately, but they still have a very unimpressive non-conference slate…their best win was Washington, who is good but not great…the Wildcats could be great but their resume is not good enough to move too much higher

    Xavier does have a nice rpi, but they also struggled in their non conference slate…the recent Georgia pick up was good and if they can win out they could move up but for now I’m not that impressed to say they are a borderline 6/7 seed

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