Monday, February 16, 2009

NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections - February 16, 2009

For the first time in many years of projecting brackets and the three years I have projected to the masses, having the same 65 teams in back-to-back weeks is a FIRST. Once again, despite the injury to Jerome Dyson, UConn stands at the top of the mountain with even UNC taking giant steps forward. After putting 100 on Duke at Cameron, the Heels won ugly against Miami last night.

In a lot of brackets, I see Wake Forest sliding fast. However, they are the only team to beat the top 4 in the ACC (wins versus UNC, Duke, Florida State and at Clemson). For that reason, I had to place them above Duke, who is starting their annual fall from grace. As a result of Duke’s fall, I was forced to place Oklahoma – who has often played to the level of their lesser competition – as a #1 seed.

Despite two losses in the PAC 10, I expect UCLA to run the table to win the conference outright and claim a protected seed. That said, the PAC 10 has been full of twists and turns, reducing predictability by the nanosecond.

In terms of whose stock rose, this was a good week for Arizona and Boston College.

* While I thought Arizona would get past USC, I anticipated a hard-fought win by the UCLA Bruins last weekend. I anticipated incorrectly, as great offense defeated great defense. Nic Wise, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger (yes, in that order) make up one of the best trios nationally.

* Undeterred by a home loss earlier in the week to Clemson (who lost yesterday to UVa!), BC is now 3-0 against teams from the Triangle area and added one more signature victory to their at-large bid mantle. If Al Skinner continues to regulate and the Eagles earn regular contributions from their single-digit scorers, they can move up two more seed lines.

Though not many teams fell precipitously, Miami-FL and USC could consider this week a missed opportunity despite decent performances. Ultimately, this may pave the way for the likes of Penn State and Notre Dame who gained crucial home wins this weekend and demonstrated a sense of urgency that was not seen in previous contests. The Irish will be back in the field if they sweep away contests against West Virginia and Providence.

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, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma (Big XII)

2: Louisville, Wake Forest, Michigan State (Big Ten), Duke (ACC)

3: Memphis (C-USA), Villanova, Marquette, Clemson

4: Illinois, Kansas, UCLA (PAC 10), Missouri

5: Washington, Ohio State, Arizona State, Syracuse

6: Xavier (A-10), Purdue, Florida State, West Virginia

7: Butler (Horizon), Texas, Gonzaga (WCC), Boston College

8: Tennessee (SEC), Minnesota, Dayton, California

9: LSU, Davidson (Southern), Arizona, Utah

10: UNLV (MWC), Wisconsin, Florida, Utah State (WAC)

11: Virginia Tech, BYU, Kentucky, Cincinnati

12: USC, Miami-FL, South Carolina, Creighton (MVC)

13: Siena (Metro Atlantic), VCU (CAA), Vermont (America East), Buffalo (MAC)

14: Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), North Dakota State (Summit), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Cornell (Ivy)

15: American (Patriot), VMI (Big South), Tennessee-Martin (Ohio Valley), Belmont (Atlantic Sun)

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



Last Four In: Cincinnati, Miami-FL, South Carolina, USC

Last Four Out: Penn State, Notre Dame, Kansas State, San Diego State

Next Four Out: Georgetown, Providence, Michigan, UAB

Seeding Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only in Order of Percentage)
ACC: 8/12

Pac-10: 6/10

Big East: 8/16

Big Ten: 6/11

SEC: 5/12

Big XII: 4/12

Mountain West: 3/9

A-10: 2/14


Anonymous said...

Do you think Memphis can get to the 2 line?

Irish Forever said...

ND is going to pull off a road sweep and put WVU back on the bubble.


Paymon said...

If Memphis wins out (which I predict and they should), they have a chance but I would not bet the rent payment on it. Other teams have a chance to move up while Memphis can only move down if they lose a game.

Speaking of not betting your rent, Notre Dame has been less than spectacular away from Joyce. Though they showed their mettle this past week, I am calling for a split (loss @ WVU, win @ PC). In short, that's not enough to get them over the hump.

Anonymous said...

If Utah loses only 1 more game this season counting the Mountain West tourney, what seed will they earn?

Nice blog.

Paymon said...

How on earth is Providence out and Cincinnati in? PC beat Cincy twice and has a better conference record.

Paymon said...

Quick hits ...

Utah can reach the 7-line if they only suffer one loss over their next 6-8 games, which already consists of trips to Provo and Albuquerque, and a visit by the Runnin' Rebels. That's all before the MVC Tournament.

On the PC comment that I received via e-mail, PC is out because they lack quality wins. Cincy is in because they have quality wins and have done more in the "what have you done for me lately" category.