Archive for the St. John’s Category

One (kind of Two) Round(s) Down: How are the Conference’s Fairing?

Posted in College Basketball, St. John's on March 18, 2011 by sammywestside

An all too common site last night for the Johnnies

Well, its March Madness and its always exciting. Yesterday was exciting, but a bad day for my teams. Today, wasn’t nearly as good. Almost every higher seed won, and there were no last second heroics.

As the round of 64 comes to a close, I thought I would examine how each of the conference’s have fared so far. There has been a lot of talk about conferences this year, so I thought it’d be appropriate. Who’s choking and who looks good?

I’m going to list the conference’s record, and a plus minus for the amount of games they pulled an upset or got upset. The higher the better for the conference, and I’ll give a small write up on what I’ve concluded so far.

A10- (2-1, Even) Richmond was the big winner here as they upset Vanderbilt, but lets be honest, who hasn’t upset Vanderbilt in the NCAA tournament lately? God they are bad in tournament play, and that was an easy pick for me. Temple won at the buzzer over Penn State, which was nice. Xavier though got upset by Marquette, and pretty handily too. Overall the A10 has actually disappointed my expectations slightly. Now its easily possible Richmond and Temple both advance to the sweet 16, but neither will have beaten a big time big conference school in the process. The 110 is a strong conference and deserved the three bids it got, but we might have learned that Temple and Xavier were overseeded a bit, and Richmond we all know clearly was underseeded (even before the upset).

CUSA (0-2, Even)– Conference USA started its campaign with UAB on Tuesday night, a team that got a lot of flack for making it. They won the regular season in conference and looked to be perhaps the best of the group of bubble teams there. Too bad the Blazers got smacked by Clemson, looking really bad in the process. UAB looked to outmatched badly at every position and only lost by 18 because they had one of their betting 3 point shooting performances. Memphis had a chance to make up for it today against Arizona but fell just short. I felt all year that Memphis was overrated and not worthy of an atlarge, and they didn’t neccessarily do anything to change it. Arizona is another team that got a little too much credit and perhaps it will show as the tournament goes on. Overall CUSA did nothing to prove it was worthy of any atlarge consideration this season.

Colonial (3-1, even)– George Mason pulled the magic out of hat again today, as they sqeaked by Villanova. GMU is a solid club, but I don’t expect them to matchup with Ohio State on Sunday. It was a solid win, but lets not forget Nova has been playing like a team that didn’t belong in the NIT for the last month and a half. Old Dominion really disappointed me because I thought they were for real. Butler didn’t deserve a 9 seed and I thought for sure that ODU would win and then give Pitt everything they had, but instead they fell short. ODU probably still is the best team from the conference, but they showed us that maybe they weren’t quite the team we thought. VCU first “upset” USC in the play-in game and then took it to Georgetown. Very impressive. Unlike UAB, VCU played like they belong in this tournament and they might not be done yet. VCU is very well coached by Shaka Smart, another guy you’ll see get a very good job in only a matter of time. Overall the Colonial exceeded my expectations because of VCU and GMU, but seeing ODU go down was upsetting.

MWC- (2-1, -1)- The Mountain West was tabbed by some folks this year as the 4th best conference in the country. To those who said that, I say you’re a bunch of idiots. Yes, the MWC is good and the best of the non-BCS conferences, but lets not go overboard. Three bids is all they could muster up still and the bottom of the conference is garbage. San Diego State and BYU faced very favorable matchups in the first round and performed alright. Wofford gave BYU alot to handle, while San Diego State fared a bit better. Meanwhile UNLV got the crap beaten out them by Illinois. I picked UNLV to win that game, so that was surprising. I thought the rebels were a solid club, and could easily take care of Illinois, who hasn’t played well in a while. Instead they looked bad. Overall I’m a bit disappointed so far, and I could see San Diego State or BYU going down tomorrow. I don’t think either club has what it takes to get past the sweet 16, which would further prove that they did not belong in the top 5, like they were for the last few months.

SEC- (2-3, -1)- The SEC might have only lost one game to a higher seed, but the conference has looked the worst so far in the tournament. Tennessee got beatdown by Michigan, Vandy got upset yet again, and Georgia lost to Washington as well. Then throw in Kentucky needing a buzzer beater to beat Princeton, and it appears the only team worth a damn is Florida who looked good. I’ve been all over Kentucky this year and I don’t expect them to go far. Florida has a chance to do something, but it wouldn’t shock me if UCLA beat them. Florida shouldn’t be a 2 seed and are in the easiest of all brackets by a large margin. Meanwhile the performance by Tennessee and Vanderbilt are really embarrasing for a league that was begging to get a 6th team, in Alabama in. Sorry SEC, stick to what you know best, that is Football.

Big 12- (3-2,-1)- When the bracket came out I expected the Big 12 to advance every team past the round of 64, but today they lost two of those games. I won’t give Missouri too much flack, but I’ve been disappointed in how that team has played this year. They had all the ingredients to be very successful but instead were a barely better than bubble team and got ousted by Cincinnati handily. Texas A&M I really expected to beat FSU because the Noles are without their best player Chris Singleton. Instead they looked lost against the great defense of Florida State and lost. Kansas, Texas and Kansas State all advanced and all looked pretty solid in doing so. Clearly Kansas is the team to watch here for a big run, while maybe Kansas State and Texas can surprise us and make a nice run now too. The Big 12 disappointed this round, but they have a chance to make up for it by performing well from here on.

ACC (4-1, +1)- The ACC got alot of bad press this year for being down, and I thought it was exaggerated a bit at times. Clearly the conference is down compared to usual but hearing folks on ESPN and other places flatly say the ACC sucks was a bit much. Over the first couple of days the conference has done well. FSU pulled a surprising upset of Texas A&M, while Duke and UNC coasted to first round wins, especially the Blue Devils. Clemson meanwhile beat UAB in the playin game before falling in a close one to a good West Virginia team. The ACC might prove us wrong down the road with early exits by UNC and/or Duke, but for now the conference looks like its off to a good start in the NCAA’s and might be validating my thought that the conference isn’t that bad.

Big Ten- (5-2, +1)- The Big Ten has performed quite well over the first couple of days as well. While Penn State and Michigan State lost as lower seeds, Michigan and Illinois both looked impressive in wins in 8-9 games. Purdue and Wisconsin played great too avoiding upsets by solid teams, and Ohio State is obviously the top seed and advanced easily as well. The Big Ten does get crap sometimes, but this year they are clearly one of the two top conferences. There is still room for error, so lets keep watching how they do, but so far so good for the Big Ten.

Big East (7-4, -2)- The almighty Big East had 9 teams seeded 6 or better this year, while the other two seeds were an 11 and a 9. I predicted before the tournament that the conference would perhaps struggle in the tournament, and so far I think it has a bit. Louisville, St. John’s and Georgetown all looked bad in upsets, meanwhile Villanova continued to play horrible. Marquette was a bright spot as they beat Xavier, but that wasn’t shocking because the Golden Eagles were better than an 11. Otherwise everyone else has held their end of the deal, but most of those wins came against very inferior competition. The second round will be interesting as their will be two Big East matchups (which is disgraceful selection committee) and some other good challenges. Obviously two more Big East teams will be gone by default this weekend, and lets see if any others fall. Notre Dame and Pitt are the top two teams, but looked sluggish in their first games. They get matchups they should win, and we should see them both in the Sweet 16. I like UConn to beat Cincinnati and Syracuse to beat Marquette but you never know with those teams. Otherwise West Virginia has a good matchup with Kentucky that they could win. Probably 4 or 5 Big East teams will be in the Sweet 16, which is far less than what some of the experts predicted when the field was annouced. The Big East isn’t doing terribly (like last year), but I do believe the difference between it and other conferences is overstated at times. The Big East has numbers and benefit of some really really bad teams at the bottom to beat up. This year their isn’t an elite team, just a bunch of real solid ones.

Ok, so that’s the conference rundown, now I’ll re-pick the winners of Saturday’s and Sunday’s games to see who is headed for the Sweet 16.

Ohio State over George Mason

Kentucky over West Virginia (Should be very close)

Syracuse over Marquette

UNC over Washington (watch out UNC, this could be a good one)

Duke over Michigan

Texas over Arizona

UConn over Cincinnati

Temple over San Diego State (I’m torn on this one)

Kansas over Illinois

Richmond over Morehead State

Purdue over VCU

Notre Dame over FSU

Pittsburgh over Butler

Wisconsin over Kansas State

Gonzaga over BYU

Florida over UCLA

What Does this Guys’ Bracket Look Like?

Posted in College Basketball, St. John's on March 16, 2011 by sammywestside

I'm sure that St. John's will either lose to Gonzaga tomorrow....or go to the final four. 50-50 odds baby!

I have to admit that in the past I’ve always taken a very serious approach to filling out brackets. My way worked for years, many times winning me money, but that was until last year. Last March the brackets blew up and I was average.

This year I feel like I’m more informed then ever about College Basketball, but that only means one thing…I’m sure that I know nothing about what will happen. This year’s field is more crazy then ever and if you look to the bottom right section of your bracket, then you should see pure idiocy.

The selection committee screwed up and so our brackets should be worse then ever.

This means that I will indeed go a little off the deep end in my bracket prediction, and thus completely suck when the numbers are totaled.

And so…here it is…

Sammy Westside’s 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket (it’s going to suck)

By the way, if you’re looking for an idiot…here’s Doug Gottlieb…first he was kicked out of Notre Dame for stealing, then he proceeded to believe that no bubble team could make the tournament (even if they had to have 68 teams), and now he’s just plain stupid…(of course he berated some teams for making the tournament, and then picked them to advance to the sweet 16) ….a Toast to you Doug, for making me sure that all the scumbags and idiots of the world (like you) will end up getting breaks (and cool jobs like playing with touch screens all day), while people like me try to be kind, loyal and honest, but get f***ed over repeatedly anyway.

Quick Reaction to the NCAA Tournament Field

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 13, 2011 by sammywestside

Wow, that’s all I can say…what a joke. The selection committee has never done a worse job with the field of teams.

Obviously we are all going nuts over UAB and VCU, which is completely validated, but it doesn’t end there.

The seeds are terrible, matchups are wrong. I could have put together a better field waking up from hibernation at 5:50pm this afternoon. Complete failure on all accounts.

Lets start at the top.

I don’t have a problem with the 1 seeds, that’s fine. Notre Dame, San Diego State, UNC all as two’s are good too.

Florida shouldn’t be 2. If they won the SEC tournament today I might have thought about it, but still no.

UConn should have grabbed it, or maybe someone else.

Next lets look at Georgia. 10 seed, what? They were right on the edge, perhaps no more than a 50-50 team getting in the field and they are now a 10 seed? No sir.

Why the hell is UConn a 3 and Cincinnati a 6 in the same region. Yeah I know there 11 Big East teams, but still no one should face off in the second round. That’s terrible.

Richmond and Utah State honestly deserved better seeds, 12’s aren’t very good for those two, who would have made it anyway without an automatic berth.

I hate first round matchups between two mid majors. No one wants to watch that. Give them both a shot at a big conference team. Butler vs. Old Dominion is stupid, and Butler doesn’t deserve an 8 seed. ODU probably deserves better.

Kansas State had a nice late run, but a 5 seed? No, especially losing to Colorado three times (who didn’t make it, but of course we know that problem). How do you value Kansas State high, and Colorado low?

OK the biggest snubs…

1) Colorado

2) Virginia Tech

3) Alabama

4) Boston College

5) St. Mary’s

Biggest What the Hell are you doing here:

1) UAB

2) VCU

3) USC



Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 13, 2011 by sammywestside

The final day of competition only featured 4 games. The most important for bracket implications was the Richmond-Dayton matchup. The Spiders handled Dayton and got the automatic bid, but more importantly prevented a team from stealing a bid.

Duke beatdown UNC for the ACC championship and after so long thought about it, I’ve moved the Blue Devils to a one seed. UNC remains a 2 seed.

Florida got beatdown by Kentucky as well and both of these teams will be looking at 3 seeds in my opinion.

The final game was Ohio State and Penn State and Ohio State leads big time in the second half, so no more changes to the bracket.

OK, so the final bracket came down to one comparison for me.


Georgia Stats-

21-11 (9-7 in the SEC)

RPI: 48

SOS: 40

Top 25: 1-5

Top 50: 3-9

Top 100: 5-11

Losses 100-150: 0

Losses 150-200: 0

Losses 200+: 0

Road: 7-4

Neutral: 2-3

Best Wins: Kentucky #8 (H), UAB #31 (H), Tennessee #36 (A)

Worst Losses: Alabama #76 (A & N)

USC Stats-

19-14 (10-8 in Pac Ten)

RPI: 69

SOS: 39

Top 25: 2-3

Top 50: 5-5

Top 100: 8-8

Losses 100-150: 3

Losses 150-200: 0

Losses 200+: 3

Road: 5-8

Neutral: 2-2

Best Wins: Texas #11 (H), Arizona #18 (H), Washington #33 (A), Tennessee #36 (A), UCLA #39 (H)

Worst Losses: Rider #105 (H), Oregon #138 (H & A), TCU #208 (A), Oregon St #216 (A), Bradley #233 (N)

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

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 13, 2011 by sammywestside

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.


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Bracketology – March 12th (Things Getting Clearer Now)

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 12, 2011 by sammywestside

Ok, well huge day in College Hoops. Lets run it down.

Ohio State needed overtime to escape Northwestern and advance, but that’s OK. Ohio State is still the #1 overall seed, for now.

Kansas beat Colorado to continue on and get very close to locking up a #1 seed as well. Colorado is good shape for a bid right now. They are pretty much assured of a bid now, despite being done and having nothing in their control.

Louisville moved on to the Big East finals with a big time comeback on Notre Dame. The Irish move down to a 2 seed for now, and the Ville is up to a 3.

Duke handled Maryland and ended whatever hope Maryland had. Duke remains in the conversation for a 1 seed but need the ACC championship to make it happen.

UNC needed a tremendous comeback to beat Miami. The Heels also kept their 1 seed hope alive, while Miami will look back at this season thinking what could have been with all the close loses that made the difference between dancing and going to the NIT.

Michigan State upset Purdue and moved to a lock. The Spartans were in big trouble yesterday trailing Iowa, but they should feel good now about dancing with the big win.

BYU, oh wait, Jimmer beat New Mexico tonight. The Lobo’s are now done and BYU has to wonder if Jimmer can score 52 every night. Wow. Just stop Jimmer!

UConn beat Cuse to join Louisville in the final. The Huskies also improved their seed, and still have a shot at a 2 seed with a Big East championship tomorrow.

Florida beat Tennessee, but the Vols should still feel good about gaining a berth.

Penn State and Wisconsin played a JV girls game tonight. 36-33. Are you kidding me? Yeah Penn State got the big victory but I am disgusted by the way they did it! The Nittany Lions are back in it, but are just out for now. A big win tomorrow and they are in. A loss and they will sweat it out Sunday.

Arizona beat USC and likely ended their hopes of gaining an atlarge. USC gave it a good late charge but will probably fall just short.

Dayton upset Xavier and could be a bid stealer down the road here as they face St. Joe’s tomorrow. Bubble teams better hope Temple or Richmond win the A10.

Michigan beat Illinois and moved to lock status now. Illinois should be a lock too despite the set back.

Alabama, my least favorite team benefited from a huge choke job by Georgia today. Bama is still not glamorous but for now enter the field barely. The Dawgs still hold on as well, but both teams are far from locks.

UTEP and Memphis both won to set up a CUSA showdown for the title tomorrow. The loser will probably not get a bid considering what’s going on, but they’ll certainly have a shot.

In the ACC bubble games Virginia Tech won a thriller over Florida State. The Hokies got the benefit of time at the end of the game and it might very well be the ticket to the dance. The Hokies aren’t guarenteed of a berth but they are very close to locking it up, even with a loss to Duke tomorrow. FSU is a lock, so no worries there.

Also Clemson defeated BC in a bubble showdown. This one was a blowout (70-47) and a nice statement by the Tigers. I’ve moved them to lock status now, and BC will also be sweating it out come Sunday. The Eagles have some good wins, and RPI, but that loss is not a good way to end the season with the committee.

Click below for “games to watch” and our 5BS tournament predictions:

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Bracketology – March 11th, 2011

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 11, 2011 by sammywestside

Alright, big day in College Hoops.

Kansas almost slipped up against OK State, but escaped with a narrow 1 point victory. Following that game Colorado upset Kansas State for a third time this year. Colorado as now moved very close to lock status, in fact I’m almost inclined to say the Buffs are definitely in. K State might drop a bit from the loss, but they should be in for a decent seed.

Kemba Walker hit a big shot against Pittsburgh to upset the Panthers. Its possible that the Panthers lose their #1 seed now. If Notre Dame wins the Big East and Duke or UNC sneaks ahead of them, then they are probably out. Both Notre Dame and Pitt could earn the #1 seed. Kansas is a little vulnerable still too, so they could also get bumped from the 1 line too.

Miami and Virginia played a wild one in the first ACC tournament game. Virginia had a ten point lead with 40 seconds left and it disappeared in all of about the next twenty five seconds, before they went to overtime and Miami came out on top. I don’t think I’ve seen a team blow a lead like that in a very long time, simply an amazing collapse.

UAB got upset by ECU, and now the Blazers go from a comfortable conference leader to the wrong side of the bubble. UAB is not dead in the water, but they need teams to lose ahead of them because for now they are out. Also in CUSA, Memphis beat Southern Miss to advance to the semifinals. Memphis still has work to do, and might need to win the conference now that ECU doesn’t present a quality win opportunity. UTEP advanced as well and could matchup with Memphis is the final. UTEP, Memphis and UAB are all alive on the bubble, but its very possible only one does.

Michigan State came back to beat Iowa today and avoid a disaster. Michigan State is probably safe, even with a likely loss tomorrow, but its very very close. After tomorrow Michigan State’s chances will either be near 100, or hinging on the other bubble teams.

Georgia beat Auburn and now moves on to the Alabama game. Georgia could lose the game and be in the same position as Michigan State, but Alabama can not lose and keep any hope alive.

USC beat Cal to move in the Pac Ten tourney. USC needs more wins and it will take atleast one, probably two more to get them into the field.

New Mexico beat Colorado State to advance on to play BYU again tomorrow. Colorado State is now NIT bound, and New Mexico will probably still need to win the Mountain West, even with a third BYU win tomorrow.

(Click Below For More Plus Predictions)

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Bracketology – March 10th, 2011

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 10, 2011 by sammywestside

In today’s action the most important bubble games took place in the Big 12.

Nebraska started off the day but losing to Oklahoma State and ending their hopes of an atlarge bid. Nebraska is headed to the NIT, while Oklahoma State will look to run the table and win the Big 12 Tournament.

In the second game Colorado came back and snuck by Iowa State to stay alive. The Buffs didn’t impress anyone with their escape and will move to on to face Kansas State. Is it a must win for their tournament chances, I don’t think entirely. If they lose to K State then Colorado still has a shot, but not a great one. If they lose I’d put their chances below 50 percent. They will then have to patiently wait to see what other bubble teams do. Good news for them is they have eliminated fellow Big 12 competition Nebraska and Baylor from the equation already. If they beat K State, then they are almost definitely in.

The third game was Baylor and Oklahoma, a must win for the Bears, and it didn’t go as planned. The Bears got smacked around and they are now headed to the NIT as a result.

In the final Big 12 game Missouri took care of Texas Tech and moved on to the quarters.

In the Big East UConn started the day by taking care of Georgetown. This should help the Huskies seeding and bump down the Hoyas, who’ve struggled down the stretch.

Next was the St. John’s-Rutgers fiasco. Horrible officiating in this one led to a disastrous ending to the game where the refs simply neglected the final 1.7 seconds of the game. It’s a perfect example of what is wrong with officiating, and we are lucky that it happen in this game and under these circumstances. Luckily this game wasn’t deciding the fate of either team (no Rutgers wasn’t winning the Big East), and even with the correct ruling its is highly likely that Rutgers would have missed a last second shot. In the end we need to learn from this case and try to improve poor officiating, which is widespread throughout College Basketball and Football. We need to be tougher on refs who screw up like this and make sure they come prepared and we get the best refs out officiating in the biggest games.

This was Mike Rice's happy face on Wednesday


   Cincinnati whipped South Florida and advanced before Marquette crawled back to beat West Virginia. If there was any doubt amongst bracketologists, its not now official Marquette is a lock and so is 11 Big East teams. Complain, cry or whatever about it, but its deserved and its going to happen.

In other action ECU upset UCF to end their run. Quite the fall for the Knights after the great start to the year. Marshall also advanced on, and the Thundering Hurd are a team that no one has mentioned this year, but is actually very good. They aren’t getting an atlarge bid, but deserve a shout out. Hopefully the selection committee will give them their due and send them to the NIT. Also Southern Miss advanced and kept their season alive. They are also a decent club that has gotten a little more buzz on the bubble, but I don’t think they have a chance to grab an atlarge still.

Long Island secured a bid in a thrilling overtime victory over Robert Morris. Long Island is an interesting team that with the right matchup could be a bit scary with their fast style of play.

Northern Colorado also punched their bid over Montana and will head to their first NCAA Tournament likely as a 15 or 16 seed.

Overall that was all for the day. Keep in mind Nebraska and Baylor are off the bubble now, shrinking it for those still alive. Tomorrow is a big day as the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC tournaments start and more bubble games to come in the Pac Ten, CUSA, Big East and MWC.

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Bracketology – March 9th, 2011 (Bubble To-Do List Edition)

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 9, 2011 by sammywestside

First before I rundown the bubble, lets look at what happen tonight in college hoops.

In the Big East Tournament, UConn advanced with an easy win over Depaul to face Georgetown tomorrow. Rutgers advanced to play St. John’s, Marquette avoided disaster by crushing Providence, and South Florida upset Villanova. Villanova is struggling bad right now and they are falling fast in seeding. I had them as a 7 but I might drop them all the way to a 9 now. They are 5-10 in the last 15 games, bad.

Princeton beat Penn to secured the one game playoff with Harvard for the Ivy League title. The game will be played at a neutral site later this week.

Arkansas Little Rock secured a tourney berth with their thrilling victory over North Texas. They are likely going to be a 16 seed considering the 19-16 record coming from the Sun Belt.

Oakland also secured their bid with a victory over Oral Roberts. Oakland is dangerous and will probably get a chance at a 4 seed in a 4-13 matchup next week.

Finally another bubble disaster avoided, as Butler took care of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tonight handily. Butler earns the automatic berth and seals the Horizon as a one bid league. Sorry Valpo and Cleveland St, just not enough. The Bulldogs will probably earn a bid around an 11 seed, a stark difference than last year when they were a five. Butler has the ability to pull an upset in the first round, but they aren’t going far in this year’s tournament.

On to tonight’s feature…

OK, tonight I’ll examining what each of the bubble teams need to do to get an at-large bid. Today I read an article sort of like what I’ll do here, and of course it was unrealistic and misinformed like so many NCAA tournament articles tend to be around this type of year. I hate to say that, but I get frustrated reading through articles everyday, often on established sites like ESPN, CBS Sportsline or Rivals.

I know sports writing isn’t my job, but I think alot of the time they get guys who aren’t as in to this (or as knowledgable about bracketology) to write articles. They probably know alot more than I do about all sports, and are much better writers, but that doesn’t mean they are experts of bracketology. I completely respect the job that so many others like myself do, as well as established experts like Joe Lunardi. Joe has access to so many things that I wish I had and he knows as much as you can, but he’s not perfect. I am in very close agreement with his bracket right now, with only some slight variations.

(For more plus tournament predictions, CLICK BELOW)

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Bracketology – March 8th, 2011 (Haters Edition)

Posted in Bracketology, College Basketball, St. John's on March 8, 2011 by sammywestside

Tonight I’m going to call out some bubble teams who I don’t understand people’s fascination with.

(Keep in mind these projections are only partially a reflection of my opinion on where a team should be, but mostly where I think they are and will end up on Selection Sunday.)

On to my calling out teams:

Lets countdown teams I hold particular grudge against for their overrated-ness:

3. St. Mary’s- Let me begin with the Gaels. The Gaels lost tonight to Gonzaga and continued a considerable slide. Lets consider this, if the Gaels didn’t make their run in the tournament last year would they even be in the discussion for an atlarge after losing tonight? Yeah, probably not. That’s exactly why I’m not on board. St. Mary’s is still my last team in, probably because I and everyone else like them better then the two clowns I’ll talk about next. Lets rundown St. Mary’s resume.

After tonight the Gaels will probably go into the tournament with an RPI in the low to mid 50’s, not bad. I’ll admit that its very bubble worthy, especially this year when there will be many teams who make it as an atlarge with a worse RPI. The SOS is rather bland sitting around 125 or so. St. Mary’s can hold their hat on a victory over St. John’s on opening night of the season at home. Yes, impressive but the Gaels have come a long way since then, so have the Johnnies.

Since that game, the Gaels resume is pretty boring. They have had two top 100 wins, Long Beach State (90) and Gonzaga another former bubble team. (Gonzaga ain’t what they have been this year and LB State, please son) Additionally the Gaels had matchups with good teams Vanderbilt, SD State, BYU and I guess Utah State. They lost all of those.

So, if they’ve only had those two wins, and they have a formerly top 50 RPI, then they must have beaten everyone else right? WRONG. The Gaels lost at Portland and San Diego. I’ll give them a break on Portland, they aren’t that bad. But San Diego? Are you kidding me? They are one of the absolute worst teams in the country, they have 4 wins. 1 against the Gaels and only three others all year. Its just one game, but god is it bad.

Ok, in the end the Gaels aren’t quite the undeserving team that the below two are, but are they better than other bubble teams? I really don’t know. Honestly I could see them missing the tournament, and they should be firmly on the bubble right now.

2. Memphis- OK, talk about names. Memphis is a name that is getting name popping. They are getting the bump for their good RPI of 38 right now, but please it doesn’t tell the story. Memphis has nine top 100 wins, ok pretty good. They also have earned four of those on the road. Pretty good too. But who were these nine? Well seven of those victories came in CUSA. That’s part of the problem. The other problem is, none of those wins came against teams that are locks for the tournament. (Yeah I know Gonzaga won the WCC now, but they are a bubble worthy team) In fact, the worst part is that they have counteracted them with three different bad losses. Losing to SMU, Rice and ECU ain’t going to cut it boys. A 10-6 record in CUSA is OK, but not great. Its NIT good, not NCAA tournament good, even if their are a bunch of bubble teams in the conference.

The worst part about Memphis is what they did out of conference. Well they beat Miami and Gonzaga. That’s it. Miami isn’t sniffing the tournament this year and they snuck by them at home. They did go to Gonzaga and win, but as we’ve pointed out, that’s not enough nor that impressive. Otherwise they beat up on powderpuffs and got manhandled by Kansas, Georgetown and Tennessee. The fact is, Memphis is hanging their hat on UAB wins, and Gonzaga, boosting their RPI. I do not buy into the CUSA phenomenon this year. Its not a bad conference, but the RPI’s are inflated.

In the end, I do consider Memphis a contender for a bid, but I’m not sold on them being any good. Their resume is alot weaker then it appears, and they need to run deep in the CUSA tournament this week for a shot.

1. Alabama- This is the team I love to pick on. The fact is they aren’t any good and its about time someone realizes it. If I hear another idiot on tv or something tell me that they are a LOCK for the tournament then I’m going to punch the television set. Alabama is nothing, they are the definition of a team with nothing to offer but a 12-4 conference record. OK, its the SEC and the SEC is probably the fifth best conference. Ohhhhh yeahhhh, they have divisions over there. Well that explains it. The SEC west was arguably worse than the SOUTHERN CONFERENCE SOUTH DIVISION this year.

Anthony Grant might be a good coach, but that doesn't mean Alabama should play in the NCAA Tournament

Alabama has ten matchups with those not so intimidating foes and managed an 8-2 record. Yawn. Honestly that’s not good. Any other bubble team would have beaten that.

Ok, they beat Kentucky at home. Oh yeah, everyone beat Kentucky at home this year. God the Wildcats lost at Arkansas and Mississippi too from the West. Ok, then they went to Tennessee and won. Yeah, ok better. Problem is the Vols are only a bubble team now. At the time it was great, now its just nice. The Vols lost 6 of the last 9, so no powerhouse there.

Ok, then Alabama beat someone else. Yes they beat fellow bubble team at home Georgia this week. This is the sole reason they are still alive in my opinion. Problem is for Bama, Georgia is only a bubble team too, and they will most likely face them again Friday in the second round. Should the Bulldogs win this one, then say bye bye to the yellow hammer.

Alabama’s nonconference performance is really just atrocious. For all four top 100 wins, they have four sub 100 losses. Some argue they are getting better, I say nay. In the last four games the Crimson Tide have needed a buzzer beater to beat Auburn at home (EWWWWWW!), then lost at Mississippi (a team not in the tourney race and who proceeded to lose to Auburn a few days later, EWWWW!), then they went to Gainesville and got run out of the gym. Finally they came home and beat Georgia, who hasn’t played well lately. Ok, Alabama still can prove me wrong by getting quality wins in the SEC tournament and maybe eventually winning a game or two in the NCAA’s, but believe me they aren’t good enough to do it. Maybe just maybe they’ll beat Georgia, but they ain’t beating a good team in the SEC or the NCAA’s. They are deserving to be in the last four out now, but not in like so many others say.

For the love of god, let them lose to the Dawgs Friday and spare me flipping out for them getting a bid over many other worthy teams.

Ok, so tonight as I’ve pointed out Gonzaga beat St. Mary’s and locked up a bid. Look for them to gain an 11ish seed depending on what happens this weekend.

Wofford upset Charleston for the Southern title and return to the NCAA’s for a second straight year. Remember last year when they gave Wisconsin a run in the first round, losing by two. Wofford, dare I say could beat Alabama, and is very close to be a good team. They are just behind a step, missing one piece from being a team that could do damage come tourney time. Instead I see them scaring a high seed next week, but falling narrowly again like last year.

Also St. Peter’s beat Iona, another upset to earn a bid. Yeah St. Peter’s beat Alabama.

Finally Old Dominion did all the bubble teams a favor and beat VCU tonight. VCU was impressive and earned a speck of life on the bubble, but really need a miracle. ODU is dangerous again, and god its beautiful watching them rebound. Its amazing watching a team abuse the boards like that, and given the right matchups this team is capable of a sweet 16 or maybe even further run. Matchups tho, matchups.

Locks in my opinion:

Big East (11):

Pittsburgh, Louisville, Notre Dame, UConn, St. John’s, West Virginia, Marquette, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown

ACC (3):

UNC, Duke, Florida State

Big Ten (4):

Wisconsin, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue

Big 12 (5):

Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M

Pac Ten (3):

Washington, UCLA, Arizona

Mountain West (3):

UNLV, BYU, San Diego State

SEC (3):

Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida

Colonial (2):

George Mason, Old Dominion

A10 (2):

Xavier, Temple

All other conference are locked it with atleast one team: 22 Conferences and Bids (including five with multi-bid opportunities)

Locked Bids: 58

Bubble spots available: 10

Teams Alive, 21 – 3 automatic bids=18): Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson, Boston College, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Colorado, Baylor, Washington State, USC, Colorado State,  (Butler), Richmond, Alabama, Memphis, (UAB), UTEP,  (Utah State),  St. Mary’s, VCU

(***)=projected conference champ receiving auto bid


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