Month: February 2009

Bracketology: Saturday February 28, 2009

This Bracket is good for games thru Friday, February 27, 2009

Last Four In: Minnesota, Miami (FL), UNLV, Tennessee

Last Four Out: Virginia Tech, St. Mary’s, Maryland, Providence

EAST

1.Connecticut16.Jacksonville Philadelphia, PA

8.Butler9.Wisconsin

5.Xavier12.Kentucky Portland, OR

4.Washington13.Siena

6.Marquette11.Minnesota Miami, FL

3.Wake Forest14.North Dakota St

7.South Carolina10.BYU Kansas City, MO

2.Missouri15.Stephen F. Austin

WEST

1.Duke16.Cornell Greensboro, NC

8.Texas9.Arizona

5.Purdue12.UNLV Boise, ID

4.LSU13.Binghampton

6.Florida St11.Texas A&M Miami, FL

3.Villanova14.Weber St

7.Gonzaga10.Michigan Dayton, OH

2.Memphis15.Radford

SOUTH

1.Pittsburgh16.Tenn-Martin/Alabama St Dayton, OH

8.Ohio St9.Florida

5.Utah12.Davidson Boise, ID

4.Clemson13.Virginia Commonwealth

6.Arizona St11.Miami(FL) Minneapolis, MN

3.Michigan St14.Akron

7.West Virginia10.Creighton Kansas City, MO

2.Oklahoma15.Morgan St

MIDWEST

1.North Carolina16.Long Beach St Greensboro, NC

8.Utah St9.Syracuse

5.California12.Tennessee Portland, OR

4.Illinois13.Western Kentucky

6.UCLA11.Penn St Minneapolis, MN

3.Kansas14.American

7.Boston College10.Dayton Philadelphia, PA

2.Louisville15.Robert Morris

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Hypothetical Situations that Just Might Happen

We’re going to do something different this week.  Since Selection Sunday is creeping up on us, I’m going to talk about different scenarios that may play out for some bubble teams.

St. Marys Guard Patrick Mills
St. Mary's Guard Patrick Mills

Saint Mary’s: Patrick Mills comes back.  A month ago, I thought the season was over for the Gaels when Mills was injured and it appeared I was correct in my assumption when they lost four of five.  However, the Gaels have rebounded to win three straight and when the committee gets in the room, they’re going to consider the Gaels record with Mills.  They have two games left in the regular season and the conference tournament.  Let’s say the Gaels win all their games up to the West Coast Conference Championship where they would lose to Gonzaga.  They would have lost only 2 games without Mills vs. 24 wins.  Are wins over Providence, San Diego St, and Utah St worth an At-large bid?

Creighton: The Blue Jays are 10-2 in their last 12 and have snatched the lead from Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley.  They have two games left in the regular season and would win two games to get the the MVC championship game.  If the Blue Jays were able to win every game left except the championship game, they’d be 27-7, probably 11-5 against the top-100, 11-1 in their last 12, and the regular season winner of the 9th rated conference in the country.  That resume has been good enough to get you in in the past.  Will it be this season?

New Mexico: The Lobos are currently in a 3-way tie for second in the Mountain West Conference.  They’ve beaten UNLV, BYU, and San Diego St in conference with a win over Ole Miss out-of-conference.  For the sake of argument, let’s say they  win 3 out of their last 4 and finish in 3rd place.  They win their first-round game and then lose their semi-final game.  Will that be enough to get the Lobos to the tournament?

Notre Dame F Luke Harangody
Notre Dame F Luke Harangody

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have won 3 out of it’s last 4 after losing the previous 7.  They have four games left in the regular season including two against UCONN and Villanova.  Let’s say the Irish go 3 of 4 and win it’s first 2 games in the Big East tournament.  That’ll be four wins over teams in the NCAA tournament and three of those wins would’ve come in it’s last 10.  Will 9-9 in the Big East get Notre Dame in?

This week’s Bracket Projections:

Last Four In: Texas A&M, Michigan, Tennessee, Maryland

Last Four Out: Temple, USC, St. Mary’s, USC

This bracket is good for games played thru Sunday, February22, 2009.

MIDWEST

1.Pittsburgh16.Tenn-Martin/Alabama St Dayton, OH

8.Utah St9.Boston College

5.Washington12.Tennessee Portland, OR

4.Purdue13.Western Kentucky

6.West Virginia11.Michigan Miami, FL

3.Clemson14.North Dakota St

7.Arizona10.Kentucky Kansas City, MO

2.Memphis15.Stephen F. Austin

WEST

1.North Carolina16.Jacksonville Greensboro, NC

8.Florida9.Texas

5.Illinois12.BYU Portland, OR

4.Marquette13.Binghampton

6.California11.Maryland Minneapolis, MN

3.Kansas14.Buffalo

7.Dayton10.Penn St Philadelphia, PA

2.Louisville15.Cornell

SOUTH

1.Oklahoma16.Long Beach St Kansas City, MO

8.Wisconsin9.Butler

5.Arizona St12.Siena Boise, ID

4.LSU13.Davidson

6.Xavier11.Minnesota Miami, FL

3.Villanova14.American

7.UCLA10.UNLV Greensboro, NC

2.Duke15.Morgan St

EAST

1.Connecticut16.Radford Philadelphia, PA

8.Ohio St9.South Carolina

5.Utah12.Texas A&M Boise, ID

4.Wake Forest13.Virginia Commonwealth

6.Florida St11.Creighton Minneapolis, MN

3.Michigan St14.Weber St

7.Gonzaga10.Syracuse Dayton, OH

2.Missouri15.Robert Morris

Flying High

Dayton F Chris Wright
Dayton F Chris Wright

There aren’t many teams in the country playing as well as the Dayton Flyers.  After last weeks win over Xavier, they can now stake claim to being the best team in a solid Atlantic 10. At 23-3 overall and 9-2 in conference, this could be the best team out of talented crop in the state of Ohio.

The Flyers are a deep and balanced team.  Led by Chris Wright in the frontcourt and Marcus Johnson in the backcourt, they could be a sleeper in this year’s tournament.  The flyers have a tough stretch of games coming up, but with the aforementioned win over Xavier in addition to a pre-conference victory over Marquette, I expect this team to be a threat this March.

Stock Up: Mountain West Conference.  This does my heart good.  Five teams have have their sights set on the tournament in this conference (Utah, UNLV, BYU, San Diego St, New Mexico).  I miss the old WAC and I’m glad that some of those traditional powers are back contending.  Utah looks to be the cream of the crop but BYU and UNLV are both capable of doing damage.

Stock Down: Minnesota.  The Gophers are probably still going to make the tournament but losing 5 of 8 isn’t good at all.  The Gophers have a “golden” opportunity to finish strong, but with the way they’re playing I don’t expect them to do much other than just get by.

Stock Up: UAB’s At-large chances.  The Blazers aren’t in my bracket nor are they among my last four in, however, I see the light for them.  The Blazers have six games left including one huge one against Memphis.  This team is fully capable of going undefeated.  If they do that, they’ll be dancing.

Duke G Greg Paulus
Duke G Greg Paulus

Stock Down: Duke.  This is starting to become a recurring theme for the Blue Devils.  World beaters November thru January and then the annual February/March swoon.  It’s looking as if the Blue Devils may not make out of first weekend of the Big Dance again.  Coach K better come up with a way to rally his troops soon because their schedule heading down the stretch is not for the faint of heart.

This week’s Bracket Projections:

Last Four In: Virginia Tech, San Diego St, Penn St, USC

Last Four Out: Miami (FL), Providence, Kansas St, Creighton

This bracket is good for games played thru Sunday, February15, 2009.

SOUTH

1.Oklahoma16.Jacksonville Kansas City, MO

8.Butler9.Boston College

5.Marquette12.San Diego St Minneapolis, MN

4.Illinois13.Northern Iowa

6.Arizona St11.Tennessee Miami, FL

3.Louisville14.Cornell

7.Dayton10.UNLV Greensboro, NC

2.Duke15.Robert Morris

MIDWEST

1.North Carolina16.Cal St. Northridge Greensboro, NC

8.West Virginia9.Davidson

5.Xavier12.Penn St Portland, OR

4.Washington13.Buffalo

6.LSU11.USC Miami, FL

3.Villanova14.Binghampton

7.Utah St10.Minnesota Kansas City, MO

2.Memphis15.North Dakota St

WEST

1.Pittsburgh16. Alabama St/Radford Dayton, OH

8.Wisconsin9.South Carolina

5.Utah12.Siena Boise, ID

4.Clemson13.Arkansas-Little Rock

6.UCLA11.Florida Boise, ID

3.Kansas14.Weber St

7.Florida St10.Syracuse Dayton, OH

2.Michigan St15.Sam Houston St

EAST

1.Connecticut16.Morehead St Philadelphia, PA

8.Gonzaga9.Texas

5.Purdue12.Virginia Tech Portland, OR

4.California13.Northeastern

6.Ohio St11.BYU Philadelphia, PA

3.Wake Forest14.American

7.Arizona10.Kentucky Minneapolis, MN

2.Missouri15.Morgan St

Tiger Rag

It seems like it’s the year of the Tiger in college basketball.  Memphis, Clemson, Missouri, and LSU are all having banner years.  These four schools have set themselves up to have great finishes to the season.

Memphis G Tyreke Evans
Memphis G Tyreke Evans

The Memphis Tigers are back to their old tricks in Conference USA.  Winners of 14 in a row, including victories on the road against Tennessee and Gonzaga, Memphis has all but gotten rid of the notion that this would be rebuilding year.  This team may not be as good as the clubs of the past three seasons, but it’s very capable of making it to Detroit.

Clemson G K.C. Rivers
Clemson G K.C. Rivers

Remember when Clemson would get off to a great start and then collapse.  Those days are over folks.  While the Tigers let one get away against Florida St, this is still one of the most dangerous team in the country.  Their style of play is difficult to prepare for with Terrance Oglesby and K.C. Rivers creating havoc for their opponents.

Missouri F DeMarre Carroll
Missouri F DeMarre Carroll

While we’re on the subject of style of play; enter Missouri.  Coach Mike Anderson has brought ’40 minutes of hell” to the Big 12 and it’s proving to be as successful as it was at Arkansas and UAB.  It’s hectic and sometimes out of control, but it’s always effective.  Teams try to go head-to-head with the Tigers playing that style, but it proves futile.

LSU G Marcus Thornton
LSU G Marcus Thornton

Now to the Tigers no one is talking about.  LSU is currently enjoying life in the SEC West with a 7-1 conference record and 19-4 overall.  Marcus Thornton and Tasmin Mitchell are one of the most potent 1-2 punches in college basketball.  They’re clearly head and sholders above any team in the SEC West.

This week’s Bracket Projections:

Last Four In: Wisconsin, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, Penn St

Last Four Out: BYU, Nebraska, Kansas St, Kentucky

This bracket is good for games played thru Sunday, February 8, 2009.

SOUTH

1.North Carolina16.Sam Houston St Greensboro, NC

8.LSU9.Syracuse

5.California12.Penn St Portland, OR

4.Xavier13.Buffalo

6.Utah11.Virginia Tech Philadelphia, PA

3.Villanova14.Weber St

7.Utah St10.Arizona Minneapolis, MN

2.Michigan St15.East Tennessee St

MIDWEST

1.Oklahoma16.Morgan St Kansas City, MO

8.Boston College9.Florida

5.Ohio St12.Siena Boise, ID

4.Marquette13.Northern Iowa

6.Purdue11.Cincinnati Miami, FL

3.Clemson14.Robert Morris

7.Arizona St10.San Diego St Kansas City, MO

2.Memphis15.Long Beach St

WEST

1.Pittsburgh16.Princeton/Alabama St Dayton, OH

8.Gonzaga9.Texas

5.Illinois12.Miami(FL) Boise, ID

4.UCLA13.Western Kentucky

6.Butler11.UNLV Minneapolis, MN

3.Kansas14.VMI

7.West Virginia10.South Carolina Dayton, OH

2.Wake Forest15.Holy Cross

EAST

1.Connecticut16.Morehead St Philadelphia, PA

8.Dayton9.USC

5.Florida St12.Wisconsin Miami, FL

4.Missouri13.Northeastern

6.Washington11.Tennessee Portland, OR

3.Louisville14.North Dakota St

7.Minnesota10.Davidson Greensboro, NC

2.Duke15.Boston U

Leaders of the Pac(k)

Washington F Jon Brockman
Washington F Jon Brockman

Quick, which team is the best team in the state of Washington?  I bet you answered Gonzaga.  You may be correct, but they have a serious challenger in the form of the Washington Huskies.  Lorenzo Romar has his team tied for first in the Pac-10 with wins over USC, UCLA and Arizona St already.

Led by Isaiah Thomas, Jon Brockman, and Justin Dentmon, Washington is poised to make a run at the Pac-10 regular season and tournament titles and an opportunity to play close to home in the NCAA tournament.  They have four very winnable games upcoming before they go on the road to play the Los Angeles schools.

I know they’re games air late on the East coast, but if I were you, I’d make sure I’d catch a UW game soon.

Stock Up: Kansas.  It’s amazing.  They’re the defending national champions, but no one is talking about the Jayhawks.  They’re rolling right now after a very tough start which included a loss to UMass.  Cole Aldrich is one of the most improved players in America and Sherron Collins is playing out of this world basketball right now.  This team is well on its way to moving out of the shadow of last year’s squad.

Stock Down: Pat Knight.  He took a page out of his father’s book and went crazy on Saturday.  That type of behavior may be ok for his father because his father won games.  Pat is 10-10 right now at Texas Tech.  You can’t use that type of decorum on the court and not win.  You can get fired easily doing that and I don’t care who your father is.

Stock Up: Penn St.  Now THIS is how you get over the Rose Bowl.  This is clearly the best Penn St team since they went to the tournament eight years ago.  That team made it all the way to the Sweet 16.  I don’t know if this team has that kind of success in it, but it could be on it’s way to a tournament berth.

Stock Down: St. Mary’s.  Unfortunately Patrick Mills broke his hand last week.  He’s going to be out for a month and that’s going to destroy the Gaels at-large chances.  This is just not a tournament team without him on the floor.  It’s a shame too, because he’s clearly one of the best guards in the country.

This week’s Bracket Projections:

Last Four In: Michigan, Providence, Georgetown, Texas A&M

Last Four Out: BYU, Baylor, Cincinnati, San Diego St

Sorry Wake Forest fans, as the last #1, you got stuck with the Fri-Sun games because of the play-in game.

This bracket is good for games played through Sunday, February 1, 2009.

SOUTH

1.North Carolina16.Long Beach St Greensboro, NC

8.Davidson9.UNLV

5.Washington12.Georgetown Portland, OR

4.Purdue13.Buffalo

6.Gonzaga11.Florida St Portland, OR

3.Xavier14.Cornell

7.Ohio St10.Tennessee Minneapolis, MN

2.Marquette15.East Tennessee St

MIDWEST

1.Oklahoma16.Holy Cross Kansas City, MO

8.Arizona St9.LSU

5.Illinois12.Providence Philadelphia, PA

4.Butler13.Northern Iowa

6.Missouri11.Siena Miami, FL

3.Clemson14.Stephen F. Austin

7.USC10.Penn St Kansas City, MO

2.Louisville15.Weber St

WEST

1.Wake Forest16. Morehead St/Alabama St Dayton, OH

8.Syracuse9.South Carolina

5.Texas12.Michigan Miami, FL

4.Villanova13.Western Kentucky

6.UCLA11.Kentucky Boise, ID

3.Memphis14.VMI

7.Utah St10.Boston College Dayton, OH

2.Pittsburgh15.Robert Morris

EAST

1.Connecticut16.Morgan St Philadelphia, PA

8.Utah9.California

5.Minnesota12.Virginia Tech Boise, ID

4.Kansas13.Northeastern

6.West Virginia11.Texas A&M Minneapolis, MN

3.Michigan St14.North Dakota St

7.Dayton10.Florida Greensboro, NC

2.Duke15.Vermont