Bracketology Thru March 12th, 2011- (Second to Last Edition)

Saturday was the biggest day of college hoops all year and it was not without drama and craziness.

Lets run through the games:

Ohio State beat Michigan and advanced to the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes will be the number one overall seed as long as they win Sunday and the Wolverines should be a lock for a bid by now.

Kansas beat Texas for the Big 12 title and should be the second overall seed in the tourney. Texas will probably earn a 3 seed.

Duke beat Virginia Tech to advance to the ACC final. If Duke beats UNC tomorrow they have a shot at a one seed, but if they lose they’ll be a two. Virginia Tech is in a very difficult situation right now, they are very close to the bubble and I’ll talk about that more below.

San Diego State beat BYU finally, and that might move them up to a 2 seed again. BYU will likely be either a 2 or 3.

Florida beat Vanderbilt to advance to the final and the Gators are looking at very nice seed if they win the SEC Sunday. With a loss or win I think a 3 seed is possible, maybe even a 2 with a win.

UNC came back and beat Clemson in overtime. The Heels like Duke have a shot at a 1 seed with a ACC title tomorrow, and a likely 2 seed. Clemson should be in better shape than people give credit for and we’ll also discuss them below.

UConn beat Louisville for the Big East title. 5 wins is impressive and the Huskies have a chance at a 2 seed now, more likely a 3. Louisville should either be a 3 or 4.

Washington beat Arizona to take the Pac Ten and lock up a bid. Arizona shouldn’t hurt too much from this loss and about a 5 seed seems right for them. Washington could see themselves somewhere in the 8-10 seed range.

Alabama got smoked by Kentucky today and the Wildcats are in good shape for a top 4 seed now. Alabama didn’t need that showing and will be discussed below.

Utah State won the WAC and avoided having a bubble team bounced from the bracket. If the Aggies had lost, I would have second guessed their inclusion in the tournament though.

Richmond beat Temple to advance to the A10 finals against Dayton tomorrow. Richmond will be the most popular team in America tomorrow as no one on the bubble wants to see Dayton steal a seed. Richmond should be in win or lose tomorrow.

Memphis beat UTEP for the CUSA title. UTEP joins UAB in the CUSA bubble, but neither team seems to be quite there on the bubble like others.

Best game of the day was Princeton-Harvard and the buzzer beater for the Tigers. What an ending to a very competitive game. Harvard has got to be kicking themselves and will probably be headed to the NIT now, despite a good season.

Penn State beat Michigan State to advance to the Big Ten finals, and the Nittany Lions might actually be locked in now. It’s hard to believe but their showing in the Big Ten tournament should be enough, even with a blowout loss to Ohio State tomorrow.

Ok, its bubble time!

Teams that aren’t absolutely guarenteed a bid, but I’d be shocked if they aren’t in the bracket tomorrow:

Michigan State, Colorado, Penn State, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Richmond

Teams that are on the bubble for the absolute last seeds:

Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, USC, Boston College, St. Mary’s

Teams that maybe could sneak in but I’d be surprised at this point:

UTEP, UAB, Harvard, VCU, Washington State

Ok lets discuss the seven teams squarely on the bubble. I know Joe Lunardi has the same seven teams here and I agree with the seven, but not with the ranking of them.

Ok here’s my ranking of the seven teams:

1) Clemson– Most college hoops fans probably haven’t watched a Clemson game all year. They look at the Tigers resume and don’t see any great wins, but that doesn’t tell the story of this team. The Tigers are a much different team than the one that started 5-4. They have improved throughout the year and over the last few weeks have looked really good. The Tigers swept through BC and Virginia Tech this year thus making it impossible to put them ahead in my opinion. The Tigers lost to UNC today, but if you watched that game, the team looked better than anyone near this bubble. Overall the Tigers have looked better than everyone on or near the bubble for their last six games, losing only at Cameron Indoor (in a very close game where they were hosed by the refs) and today against UNC. If it wasn’t for Harrison Barnes playing the game of the Year today, the Tigers wouldn’t even be in this discussion and would be locked in. The numbers here aren’t great but they are playing better than anyone in this group (and soundly beat two of the others in the last week).

2) Virginia Tech- The Hokies are always here and this year its sometimes hard to validate them. They lost plenty of games to good teams, and have a bad loss or two. Right now they own a nonconference victory over Penn State, and the big win over Duke. They beat FSU Friday as well to make the semi’s. The Hokies are a pretty good team who’ve been killed by injuries to half of their main rotation of players this year. Despite it they continue to battle and are capable of beating anyone any night.

3) Alabama- Hate it, but I have to put the Crimson Tide here. They are not as good as others around here but got two big wins over Georgia in the last week. That’s the difference between them and others right now. They also are playing better now then before. While I don’t believe Bama is as good as they’ve supposedly been playing, it appears on paper they are improving. Today’s loss to Kentucky didn’t help, and if they fall out of the field, it could have been the difference looking very bad against Kentucky.

4) Georgia- The Bulldogs are a team that might have scheduled too hard for their own good. Their worst loss(es) were to Alabama the last two games. They don’t have a ton of quality wins (only 5 top 100 wins) but do have some nice ones in there. I like the fact they don’t have bad losses but they don’t deserve to be higher than this.

5) USC- The Trojans are close and I don’t know what to do with them. Are they improving? Are they the team that won big games or lost to some completely terrible teams. I believe that teams lose to bad teams every once in a while, but when you have six sub 100 losses, then maybe there’s something to it. Add in that three of those losses are to sub 200 teams, that makes it worse. They beat Texas, which is very good, but not an elite win, and wins over Arizona, Washington and Tennessee are good too, but they didn’t do much else. When it mattered on a neutral court they couldn’t beat Arizona in the Pac Ten tournament and finish with 14 losses as a team in the Pac Ten. That’s a problem. 14 losses in the Big East or Big Ten is different than the Pac Ten this year. For now, I put them on the wrong side of the bubble as a result.

6) Boston College- Another tough team to pin down. They hold a nice OOC win over Texas A&M, but despite winning 9 ACC games, they didn’t beat any of the top 4 in the conference this year. They beat VaTech twice, but those are their next best wins. Although its tough to say VaTech over them as a result, the body of work doesn’t matchup. Bad losses URI and Yale at home aren’t pretty OOC, and they got only one other top 100 win in conference, Maryland. The Eagles look to be on the wrong side of the bubble and with everything that has gone down, (like the beatdown at the hands of Clemson Friday) I don’t expect to see BC’s name called Sunday over any of the teams above.

7) St. Mary’s- Yes, most people would have them higher on the list of bubble teams, but I just don’t see it. The Gaels have struggled down the stretch and own only two wins over anyone with a pulse. They did beat St. John’s, but that was a very long time ago. Since they beat Gonzaga on the road early in their season, before they got rolling too, and since have done nothing but be unimpressive. They got blown out by Vanderbilt, lost to Gonzaga on their home floor and a neutral one since, lost to Utah State at home as well, and lost to San Diego on the road. Yes 4-24 San Diego, with an RPI of 320. We count three top 100 wins, (one very marginal) and that’s about it for St. Mary’s…Why do they deserve a bid at this point?

Ok well, those are my thought and I’ll definitely think about it more tomorrow before the big decision and the final bracket. Most likely I will not put BC or St. Mary’s in, but USC could change my mind as I think about it more.

The only game worthy of bubble talk will be the A10 final between Richmond and Dayton, and all these teams will want Richmond to win, or else the group will shrink to 3 teams who will get a bid.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE ACTUAL BRACKET IN THIS LINK BELOW!!!

 

We’ll have the final tomorrow…

1 Seeds-

Ohio State

Kansas

Pittsburgh

UNC

2 Seeds-

Duke

Notre Dame

Texas

San Diego State

3 Seeds-

Purdue

BYU

UConn

Florida

4 Seeds-

Syracuse

Louisville

Wisconsin

Kentucky

5 Seeds-

Arizona

Georgetown

St. John’s

Vanderbilt

6 Seeds-

West Virginia

Cincinnati

Temple

Texas A&M

7 Seeds-

Xavier

Kansas State

Missouri

UNLV

8 Seeds-

George Mason

Washington

Old Dominion

Marquette

9 Seeds-

Utah State

Florida State

UCLA

Villanova

10 Seeds-

Tennessee

Richmond

Michigan

Gonzaga

11 Seeds-

Illinois

Colorado

Michigan State

Penn State

12 Seeds-

Butler

Memphis

Clemson

Virginia Tech

Alabama

Georgia

13 Seeds-

Belmont

Princeton

Oakland

Indiana State

14 Seeds-

Bucknell

Long Island

Wofford

Morehead State

15 Seeds-

St. Peter’s

Akron

UC Santa Barbara

Northern Colorado

16 Seeds-

Boston University

UNC Asheville

Texas – San Antonio

Arkansas Little Rock

Alabama State

Hampton

Last Four In-

Clemson

Virginia Tech

Georgia

Alabama

Last  Out-

USC

Boston College

St. Mary’s

Bids by Conference:

Big East-11

ACC-5

Big 12-6

Big Ten-7

SEC-6

Pac Ten-3

A10-3

MWC-3

Colonial-2

Possible or Locked NIT TEAMS-

Harvard, Missouri State, Boston College, Maryland, Miami, USC, St. Mary’s, Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Washington State, California, New Mexico, Colorado State, UAB, UTEP, Southern Miss, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Marshall, UCF, Dayton, Cleveland State, Valpo, VCU, Drexel, Wichita State, Fairfield, Kent State, Charleston, Murray State, Coastal Carolina, Florida Atlantic, McNeese State, Vermont, Bethune Cookman, Texas Southern, Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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