Monday, February 02, 2009

NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections - February 2, 2009

[NOTE: Bracket projections do not include results from February 2, 2009]

Talking Points

For the second week running, the UConn Huskies top the field of 65. On the heels of two road wins (that they were supposed to win anyways), North Carolina claims the #2 spot flanked by Duke, who lost at Wake Forest. One of the tougher choices this week was whether to elevate Oklahoma over Pittsburgh, who lost to Villanova. In the end, we foresee Oklahoma losing at Texas and at least two other conference games prior to the Big XII Tournament. Due to the relative strength of the Big East, Pittsburgh can afford two more losses and a loss in the finals of the Big East Tournament (to UConn) and still earn a #1 seed.

Unlike most weeks, this past week involved plenty of movement. Villanova, Boston College, Dayton and Penn State were among our highest risers. On the flipside, there was a whopping four teams – Notre Dame, Miami-FL, Michigan, Baylor – who fell out of the field from a 10 seed or better. In the case of the Irish, they were lifeless in the final four minutes of a must-win home game against Marquette and they continue to be obvious on offense and always place the welcome mat in the paint on defense. Miami-FL has lost 3 in a row and get to face Wake Forest, Duke and UNC. Good luck. As for Michigan and Baylor, both have become accustomed to losing games by double digits, which is never a good sign.

Moving down to the last four out, I felt the need to keep St. Mary's in the field because of Patrick Mills, which occurred at the end of the first half against Gonzaga when the Gaels were up. Mills will miss the next month, but should return prior to the WCC Tournament. Arizona took care of business at home (while Arizona State faltered) versus the Washington schools and has a realistic chance of completing a sweep on the Oregon trail this weekend prior to winnable games against UCLA and USC in Tucson. In spite of Providence's 30+ point loss to UConn on Saturday, they won the first game that they were not supposed to against Syracuse, which (along with Notre Dame's poor performances and future schedule) catapulted them into the field of 65. For the final spot, Utah edged Notre Dame and Texas A&M behind their current play and their win against Gonzaga.

If you have any questions, comments, or just wish to send a shout, shoot me a line at phashemi@gmail.com.


The Seedings

1: UConn (Big East), North Carolina, Duke (ACC), Pittsburgh

2: Oklahoma (Big XII), Louisville, Marquette, Wake Forest

3: Michigan State (Big Ten), Minnesota, Xavier (A-10), Clemson

4: Purdue, Villanova, Texas, Butler (Horizon)

5: Gonzaga (WCC), Syracuse, UCLA (PAC-10), Memphis (C-USA)

6: Washington, Illinois, UNLV (MWC), Kansas

7: West Virginia, Dayton, Davidson (Southern), Ohio State

8: Boston College, Tennessee (SEC), Arizona State, Penn State

9: Florida State, Florida, Missouri, Utah State (WAC)

10: Georgetown, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, California

11: LSU, Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley), USC, Kentucky

12: Siena (Metro Atlantic), St. Mary's, Arizona, Providence

13: Utah, VCU (CAA), Buffalo (MAC), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)

14: Stephen F. Austin (Southland), American (Patriot), North Dakota State (Summit), Cornell (Ivy)

15: VMI (Big South), Vermont (America East), Austin Peay (Ohio Valley), Belmont (Atlantic Sun)

16: Weber State (Big Sky), Long Beach State (Big West), Morgan State (MEAC), Robert Morris (Northeast), Alabama State (SWAC)

IN: Penn State, LSU, Arizona, Providence, Utah, Northern Iowa, Alabama State, Buffalo, Weber State

OUT: Notre Dame, Miami-FL, Michigan, Baylor, Wisconsin, Prairie View A&M, Miami-Ohio, Portland State

Last Four In: St. Mary's, Arizona, Providence, Utah

Last Four Out: Notre Dame, Texas A&M, BYU, Mississippi State

Next Four Out: Miami, Baylor, Michigan, Maryland


Seeding Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only in Order of Percentage)
Pac-10: 6/10

ACC: 7/12

Big East: 9/16

Big Ten: 6/11

SEC: 5/12

Big XII: 4/12

West Coast: 2/8

Mountain West: 2/9

A-10: 2/14

2 comments:

Hokie Maniac said...

Obviously Tech *Hokies* can't have a letdown against State *Wolfpack* on Saturday.

I still can't get over how many close games we lose. It appears as if it has to be a lack of discipline. While I love Greenberg, this is happening far too often.

Even though the Xavier game was a fluke, too many others have gone down this road.

I worry how much the Georgia and Seton Hall (neutral court) losses will be.

Seems like it's been Va. Tech, BC, and FSU for 1 or 2 (at best) spots.

The win against Wake has to mean something though; especially since they were #1 and undefeated AFTER beating UNC (even though the win @UNC has to be great for BC).

...

Paymon said...

Virginia Tech is one of my favorite teams to break down.

They have the signature win [away from home] and have bad losses which you also noted.

As an ACC fan, you know fully well that there is little difference between a 10-6 team and a 6-10 team. It comes down to how you play in the closing minutes. In my opinion, Tech passes the eye test (which is a big reason they are not among the "Last Four In"), defends admirably and scores very well.

That said, Tech cannot afford lapses in discipline over a crucial 5-game stretch (v. NCST, v. GaTech, @ MD, @UVa, v. FSU), four of which Tech should be favored. If Tech wins 4 of 5 and wins 1 of their final 4 (@ Clemson, v. Duke, v. UNC, @ FSU), they will be in because of the win in Winston Salem (assuming Wake does not fold like a lawn chair).

If they end up 8-8, detractors will be quick to point the 210th OOC strength of schedule.