Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saturday's Running Bracket Blog

* Preseason Automatic Bid Picks: 1 of 4
* Pre-Conference Tournament Automatic Bid Picks: 1 of 4

* Cornell was the first team to win an automatic bid. Radford outlasted VMI to take home the Big South crown. East Tennessee State triumphs in the A-Sun Final. It's a sad day when an OVC Tournament Final does not include Murray State. Nevertheless, we congratulate Morehead State, who are going back to the NCAA Tournament after a 25-year hiatus.

* Pitt's sweep of UConn will put the Panthers among the top two overall seeds. UConn will stay on the 1 line, likely in the #3 overall seed, if UNC beats Duke tomorrow. Staying at the top of the heap, Louisville, Kansas and Washington claim their conferences outright.

* Michigan just revived its season and Minnesota is back on the bubble. There will be a maximum of seven teams from the Big Ten. The Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis will determine the NCAA Tournament fate of as many as five teams, who are within half a game of .500 in conference play.

* Boston College, behind their 9-7 ACC record coupled with two wins over teams on my top seed line, is in the tournament for certain.

* C'est la vie, Cincinnati and Vermont. It was nice knowing you. Kentucky continued digging itself six feet deep. Maryland did not help themselves out after blowing a 13-point lead at rival UVa.

* Kansas State and South Carolina win games they absolutely could not lose. New Mexico continues to win, this time on the road against Wyoming. Rhode Island does not. I am anticipating that they will need to at least make the finals of the A-10 Tournament in order to earn at-large consideration.

* Syracuse starts strong (OOC wins against Kansas on a semi-away floor and at Memphis) and ends strong (wins last four in Big East to finish 11-7 in conference). Kinda like an Oreo with the orange creme that no one likes. Could Marquette fall to the 6 line?

* Texas A&M scores one of the biggest wins of the day against Missouri and they hop Kansas State and will hop Oklahoma State unless they score the master stroke against Oklahoma in the bedlam game. Though lower in magnitude, Auburn scores a comfortable win against LSU. That's 8 of their last 9, so of which are against clear tournament-caliber competition.

* Penn State lost a double overtime decision at Iowa, but they should be in the tournament. It will definitely hurt their seeding and at least push them into the 8/9 game (or worse).

* Creighton has been thumped by Illinois State, who will face Northern Iowa for the automatic bid. This was Creighton's first loss since January 17. They are likely to remain in the field of 65, but their bid may be stolen next week.

UPDATE: Creighton has suddenly become huge fans of Butler (a winner tonight against Wright State), Gonzaga, and the winner of Portland/Pepperdine (faces St. Mary's).

* Who's watching the WBC? Neither am I.

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