Monday, January 26, 2009

NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections - January 26, 2009

Talking Points …

In Saturday night’s post, I teased putting UConn at top of the scrap heap, and upon further study of their resume - which trumps all – I have no choice but to put them at the overall #1 seed. Their most recent triumph ended Notre Dame’s 45-game home winning streak. The Huskies have now defeated Miami-FL, Wisconsin, Buffalo, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Cincinnati and now Notre Dame away from home. That’s a feat.

Among the high risers this week are Missouri and Virginia Tech, who were not in the last eight out of our last bracket (Missouri due to admitted oversight) a fortnight ago. For the most part, the Tigers are playing strong basketball at both ends of the court. Virginia Tech has come out of nowhere with five straight wins behind the three-headed monster of Malcolm Delaney, AD Vassallo and Jeff Allen. Tech proved that their win on Wednesday night at Wake Forest was not a fluke by withstanding many punches and eventually knocking out the Miami Hurricanes.

Choosing the 34th at-large team is always a pain. This week was not any easier. And I know what Joe Bracket will be thinking when Penn State and/or Providence is not in. Penn State is 5-3 in conference and have wins against Purdue and Michigan; however, they have a 7-game stretch that I’m not optimistic about with contests versus Wisconsin and Minnesota and trips to East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Lafayette, Champaign, and Columbus. 5-3 can easily become 7-8. As for my dear Friars, they are 5-2 in the Big East yet all five wins have come against the six weakest teams. If they split their next four against Syracuse, @ UConn, Villanova, and @ West Virginia, then they have an argument. That said, PC lost second half leads to Georgetown and Marquette in their league losses. A bad omen.

The Switches
* Switched Michigan State and Wake Forest to avoid 2 ACC teams as 1 and 2 seeds in the same region.
* Switched Notre Dame and Memphis due to a seeding conflict.
* Tennessee slips to the 10th seed line resulting from having already played Kansas.

If you have any questions, comments, or just wish to send a shout, shoot me a line at

The Seedings
1: UConn (Big East), North Carolina, Duke (ACC), Pittsburgh
2: Oklahoma (Big XII), Louisville, Michigan State (Big Ten), Wake Forest
3: Texas, Gonzaga (WCC), Butler (Horizon), Clemson
4: Purdue, Syracuse, Illinois, Arizona State (PAC-10)
5: Minnesota, Marquette, Xavier (A-10), Memphis (C-USA)
6: Notre Dame, UCLA, Georgetown, West Virginia
7: Ohio State, Davidson (Southern), Kentucky (SEC), California
8: Florida, Villanova, Kansas, UNLV (MWC)
9: Miami-FL, St. Mary’s, Missouri, Virginia Tech
10: Michigan, Baylor, Washington, Tennessee
11: Dayton, Florida State, Utah State (WAC), Illinois State (MVC)
12: Siena (Metro Atlantic), Wisconsin, South Carolina, VCU (CAA)
13: Boston College, USC, Portland State (Big Sky), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
14: Miami-Ohio (MAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), VMI (Big South), Vermont (America East)
15: North Dakota State (Summit), Austin Peay (Ohio Valley), American (Patriot), Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
16: Long Beach State (Big West), Morgan State (MEAC), Cornell (Ivy), Robert Morris (Northeast), Prairie View A&M (SWAC)

Last Four In: Wisconsin, South Carolina, Boston College, USC
Last Four Out: BYU, Penn State, Providence, Texas A&M
Next Four Out: Mississippi State, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma State

Seeding Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only in Order of Percentage)
Big Ten: 7/11

ACC: 8/12
Big East: 9/16
Pac-10: 5/10
Big XII: 5/12
SEC: 4/12
West Coast: 2/8
A-10: 2/14

Updated on 1/26 at 725pm ET


Clement said...

Here we go...

1) What caused you to allow VCU to slide into the CAA slot; despite a recent post (Saturday night) claiming you still don't think they are #1? I remember last year you correctly held onto Mason for several weeks as your CAA-projections?

2) If Notre Dame or Cuse were to lose, let's say, 6 of 7, is the Big Eat so brutal that such a team might go "under the radar" and be given excuses for losses? Or is that too generic a question?

3) Who is your player of the year? Come on...say it!!!

Great work bro.

Badger Fan said...

I don't believe the Badgers are going to go to the Big Dance looking at how they are playing as of now-----coming from a Badger fan.

Paymon said...

Here are some quick hits on the various points ...

1. Clement - I think you misunderstood what I said. I've had VCU from the CAA all season long ... unlike some of the better bracketologists out there who outduel me on Selection Sunday.

2. Part of what I do is predict the future. I had penciled in 2 losses for 'Cuse (sorry) and a loss for ND (had them beating UConn), so when I make a mistake, it hurts a team's seed worse. For instance, Georgetown fell 3 seed lines because I thought they were going to beat WVU and Seton Hall (no excuse for either performance).

3. If you put a gun to my head, the player of the year is Blake Griffin. Jody Meeks is the best player right now, but his team is not relevant enough to merit support. And no Tommy Barnhart, winning the SEC in bball is NOTHING like winning the SEC in football.

4. I agree. The Badgers are playing bad. I had them losing only 2 of their last 4 games, so they fell. I should point out that if it was up to me right now, I would've left out the last 4 at-large teams. They are not good enough right now.

Anonymous said...

Why did you pick Miami-Ohio over Buffalo as the MAC automatic bid?

Buffalo has a better overall (12-5) and conference record (4-1), and they just won on Miami-Ohio's home court on Saturday!

zach said...

Why was Arkansas left out of the mix? Arkansas beat both Texas and Oklahoma and just beat Alabama to reprove themselves and with a W at Lsu, they will be in the thick of things and should be considered at least a 12 seed.
Also Ark-Little Rock has been hot lately..why not add an at-large for them? They have a better overall and conference mark than Western Kentucky.

Paymon said...

A few quick hits ...

On Buffalo, you may have a point. They are scorching hot. I just think Miami-Ohio's SOS will make them stronger come MAC tournament time.

On Arkansas, starting off 1-4 when you should really start 4-1 in a weak SEC (and a weaker SEC West) will find your team on the other side of the bracket. In spite of their two marquee wins, they will need at least 10 conferences (counting the SEC Tournament). At this point, they have not shown me enough to do that.

On UALR's at-large prospects, there is zero chance. Get the thought out of your head immediately. UALR has a better (by half a game), but WKU plays in the tougher Sun Belt East with MTSU, Troy and last year's at-large bust South Alabama.

You have to love college basketball. Georgia Tech, who has been the poster child for wasted talent, just hung with Wake Forest and stung them late.

Anonymous said...

You don't have Utah or BYU in the tournament in favor of UNLV? Utah and BYU both have higher RPIs, better or equal overall records, and better conference records. Come on, bro. I guess I can see you saying Vegas will win the conference tourney since it's in their own back yard. But still, Utah is #16 in the RPI. There is no way they don't get in. No way.

Anonymous said...

Where is Rhode Island in all this? They beat Dayton, lost to Xavier by 2, and will finish 2nd in the A-10 Conference. If only 2 go from the A-10, let one by Rhody...