Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday FourCast: Bracket & Bubble Banter

by Chris Clement

Since I enjoyed adding “talking points” so much to Pay’s work last night, let’s do it again!

Here’s the Thursday edition. Oh yeah, here’s yesterday’s bracket projections.

1) A-10 Quarterfinals: Dayton/Xavier & Big East Quarterfinals: Villanova/Georgetown
-So maybe both don’t deserve to share the top spot; however, they both face tall mountains to climb against their conference’s regular season champions. While the Wildcats seem a much safer bubble-in squad (a 19-point brutalization over the ‘Cuse) than the Flyers, both might seal their ticket with wins early-Saturday afternoon. This could also mean relax, relief, or pure terror from the likes of Temple, UMass and St. Joe’s.

2) PAC-10 Quarterfinals: Arizona State vs. USC
-Though we have Arizona State in the field, they are not a lock to have their name called on Selection Sunday. This is not an ideal that is shared by all bracketologists. In fact, as often one of the last four in/last four out wins games they are not expected to win, the room for error for the PAC-10's #5 seed may be thinning by the day. Enter O.J. Mayo and the streaking Trojans who have the juice to drive a buzzsaw through the PAC-10 Tournament. While a loss to the Trojans might not throw them on the wrong side of the bubble, might a terrible one combined with Arizona and Oregon booking trips to the semis?

3) PAC-10 Quarterfinals, Take 2: Oregon vs. Washington State
-Could the Ducks become the first PAC-10 squad with a losing record to enter March Madness? With a recent sweep of ASU/Arizona, the Quack Attack (admit it, you like it) might seem as close to a bubble-lock as possible with a win over the Cougars. Lose the game and suddenly bubble-bound Arizona surpasses you for good and potentially 60%, rather than 70%, of the conference is tourney-bound.

4) Bubbly Bubblitis: UNLV/TCU & Miami(FL)/NC State & Florida/Alabama & Georgia/Ole Miss
-Okay, I could go on for hours. Perhaps, I could talk about the entire A-10 tournament. Instead, I selected these four games to break down the situations (or plights) of four types of bubble squads.
UNLV: Take the lead from San Diego and defend home court all the way into March Madness. Without a conference tournament title, you and New Mexico may bump each other into the last four out column.
Miami (FL): You appear more than safe after finishing 5th in the ACC and owning a win over Duke: An embarrassing loss to last year’s ACC Tournament runner-up NC State.
Florida: You now know reaching the SEC Tournament Finals may be the worst you can do. With such a young squad, does Billy “the Kid” have any magic left for the two-time defending champions to cling to?
Ole Miss: You’ve been called out by Pay as a potential sleeper. Who is my team to watch come conference tournament time? Anybody say…Nebraska??? ME!

See you Friday morning…hopefully with a little clarity.

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