…In the Atlantic 10 that is. Saint Louis has set itself apart in the league that’s having a great year nationally.
The Billikens have been rolling since starting the season 3-3. They’ve swept Butler in league play and absolutely destroyed Virginia Commonwealth last week. Those results are even more surprising when you take into account that it’s all being donw for an interim coach.
Former head coach Rick Majerus passed away on Dec. 1 yet the Billikens have only lost twice since then. This is a team trending in the right direction and looks to be a threat to reach the second weekend of the Big Dance.
Stock Up: New Mexico. The Lobos have served notice to the rest of the Mountain West that its their league. Colorado St had a chance to tie New Mexico at home on Saturday and couldn’t get it done. Now New Mexico sits with a two-game lead with its next two games at home. The Lobos could end the race by this weekend.
Stock Down: Cincinnati. The Bearcats are ruining a perfectly good NCAA tournament berth. People look to the Bearcats and say they’re missing Yancy Gates, but it’s not him they’re missing. It’s Dion Dixon. He gave them an extra punch that JaQuon Parker just isn’t capable of it.
Stock Up: Davidson. The Wildcats are quietly putting together quite the season. They’re 15-1 record in the Southern Conference is a full three games better than they’re next closest rival in the conference’s south division; Charleston – a team the Wildcats completely outclassed on the road two weeks ago. Throw in a good win over Montana in Bracketbusters and this is not the team you want to play in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Stock Down: Lehigh. C.J. McCollum went down for the Mountain Hawks and for a while they were making it work. However, three losses in a row with only two league games remaining is going to make it increasingly difficult for them to make it to the Big Dance given the Patriot League plays all of its games on the campus of the higher seeded team.
On to the bracket.
Last Four In: Saint Mary’s, Boise St, Cincinnati, Creighton
Last Four Out: Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana St
This bracket is good for games played through 2/24
1.Indiana16.Norfolk St/Charleston Southern Dayton, OH
5.Oregon12.Louisiana Tech Austin
4.Oklahoma St13.Boise St/Saint Mary’s
6.Saint Louis11.Minnesota Philadelphia
7.NC State10.Iowa St Salt Lake City
2.New Mexico15.Stony Brook
1.Miami(FL)16.Northeastern/Southern Lexington, KY
5.Ohio St12.La Salle Austin
6.Butler11.Arizona St Auburn Hills, MI
3.Michigan St14.Stephen F. Austin
7.UNLV10.Villanova San Jose
2.Gonzaga15.Long Beach St
1.Michigan16.Montana Auburn Hills, MI
5.Marquette12.Belmont Kansas City
6.Notre Dame11.Middle Tennessee St Salt Lake City
3.Arizona14.South Dakota St
7.VCU10.Colorado St Lexington, KY
1.Duke16.Robert Morris Philadelphia
8.San Diego St9.Oklahoma
5.UCLA12.Creighton/Cincinnati San Jose
6.Memphis11.Virginia Dayton, OH
7.Illinois10.Temple Kansas City