Posted on: March 2, 2011 1:00 am

bracketology 3/1

With Conference Tournaments starting today and the calendar FINALLY turning over to March, we can see the finish line.  Selection Sunday is just a week and a half away and bubble teams are trying not to fall on their faces too hard over the last few games.  Boston College did themselves a huge favor tonight with a nice road win at Virginia Tech, moving them off my play-in line.  BYU's Brandon Davies, however, did nobody any favors, and may have destroyed any chances for BYU to make a deep run in the tournament this year.  Davies was kicked off the team today and now "The Jimmer Show" will be even more exclusive and relied upon.  The big ten is becoming log-jammed in the middle thanks to the resurgence of Michigan as well as the continued fall of Michigan State.  Kansas State has revived themselves and looks like the team we thought they might be at the beginning of the year.

Mid-Major conference tournaments started today, and these are the ones we have to keep our eyes on because these are the ones that could take bids away from bubble teams(hence the Horizon league, where Butler may still get in if they don't win the league tournament).

This week's bracketology will include seedings at the end, as well as my last four in and first four out.
This will be based on each conference, and in perenthesis will be the number of how many teams that come out of that conference, as well as bubble teams that still need to do more work to solidify their bids into the big dance.


American East(1)

Automatic Bid- Vermont

At Large- None

Bubble- None

Analysis- Vermont won the regular season title, however, two of their three losses in conference this season have come to second place Boston University.  Vermont will be hoping to not see them again in the conference tournament championship game.


ACC (5)

Automatic Bid- Duke

At Large- North Carolina, Florida State,

Bubble- Boston College(in), Virginia Tech(in), Clemson, Maryland

Analysis- North Carolina and Duke will play each other this Saturday night to determine the ACC regular season champion, but that isn't the only game of interest in the ACC this week.  Virginia Tech hosts Boston College tonight and then will travel to Clemson this saturday in two matchups with heavy NCAA tournament implications.  All three of those teams will be looking for wins before conference tournament play.


Atlantic Sun(1)

Automatic Bid- Belmont

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Belmont is the class of the conference, with just one loss in conference and four overall, they may move up to a 13 or 14 seed if any surprise teams come out of these tournaments in the next week and a half.


Atlantic 10(3)

Automatic Bid- Xavier

At Large- Temple

Bubble- Richmond(in), Dayton, Rhode Island

Analysis- Richmond is right on the cusp of the NCAA tournament, and they need these next two wins and then at least one in the A-10 tournament to sleep a little easier before selection sunday.


Big East(11)

Automatic Bid- Pittsburgh

At Large- Villanova, Syracuse, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Georgetown, St. John's.

Bubble- Marquette(in), Cincinnati(in)

Analysis- After a week involving a road win at UCONN for Marquette and a road win at Georgetown for Cincinnati, I really have a hard time listening to the argument that the Big East doesn't deserve 11 teams in the NCAA tournament.  Marquette has zero bad losses and now has a marquee road win on their resume, and while Cincinnati's non-conference SOS is clearly weak, they still have quality wins in conference and they do have a win over Xavier as well.  11 teams will be dancing in 12 days


Big Sky(1)

Automatic Bid- Northern Colorado

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Northern Colorado has won 7 of their last 8 games heading into their final regular season game against last place Sacramento State. 


Big South(1)

Automatic Bid- Coastal Carolina

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- After dropping a couple of home games and looking mortal in the Big South, Coastal Carolina responded with a quality road win to hopefully set the tone for the rest of the regular season and conference tournament action


Big Ten(5)

Automatic Bid- Ohio State

At Large- Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois.

Bubble- Michigan State(in), Michigan, Penn State

Analysis- I'm not going to call this weekend's Michigan State/Michigan game do or die for both teams, but I will call it that for Michigan.  The Wolverines had their hearts ripped out last wednesday when the Badgers' prayers were answered at the buzzer and Freshmen Josh Gasser banked in a three with no time left for the win, but Michigan recovered from that loss quickly and won their next game at Minnesota.

Michigan State got throttled on Sunday, getting embarrased on their home court in a loss against Purdue.  There's no shame in losing to a top 10 team, but when it happens like that, you have only yourself to blame.  Izzo's group is wounded, and they need to win these last two games before the conference tourney to right the ship for Sparty.


Big 12(5)

Automatic Bid- Texas

At Large- Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Kansas State

Bubble- none

Analysis- Texas is sputtering to the finish line while Kansas State is soaring up the bracket.  If Texas continues to struggle from the free throw line it could spell a quick exit in the Dance, and they just don't seem to be playing as well of late as they were in January.


Big West(1)

Automatic Bid- Long Beach State

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- This conference is prime to secure one of the four #16 seeds for the play-in games.



Automatic Bid- George Mason

At Large- Old Dominion

Bubble- VCU, Drexel.

Analysis- I thought after Bracketbuster weekend that George Mason, Old Dominion, and VCU would all make the Tournament, but VCU squashed their at-large hopes with back-to-back losses to end the regular season.  someone other than GMU or ODU will have to win the conference tournament now for this league to get three bids.


Conference USA(4)

Automatic Bid- UAB

At Large- UTEP

Bubble-Memphis(in), Marshall, Southern Miss

Analysis- Conference USA has been nothing but a headache for us wannabe prognosticators, and come conference tournament time I have no doubt they won't make it any easier on us.  Marshall has won five games in a row down the stretch here and boasts a road win over West Virginia that could give them the edge if they keep winning here at the end of the season.  Memphis looked like a shu-in before being smashed at UTEP this past weekend, and that seems to be a trend for the Tigers this season: if they're gonna lose, they're going down big.(could 4 Conference USA teams really end up in my bracket???)



Automatic bid- Butler

At Large-none

Bubble- Valpo, Cleveland State

Analysis- I know UW-Milwaukee won the tie-breakers so they get to host the conference tournament, but for the sake of my bracket, i'm excluding them and keeping butler as my champion.  Hey it's my bracket, I'll do what I want! :)


Automatic Bid- Princeton

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Princeton won the first matchup against Harvard, and the rematch this weekend will be the second game in two days for the Tigers.  Princeton holds a half-game lead, and if they are tied after the regular season they will play a tie-breaker at a neutral court.  My only question is this; Can either of these teams win a game or two in the NCAA tournament and repeat that Cornell magic?


Automatic Bid- Fairfield

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Fairfield is the regular season champ, but Iona and Rider will both be tough outs in the conference tournament.



Automatic Bid- Kent State

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- The MAC auto bid is up for grabs, and whoever gets hot over the week could win it.  Besides Toledo, it's really anyones guess.



Automatic Bid- Bethune-Cookman

At Large- none

Bubble- Hampton was supposed to be this league's representative, but Bethune-Cookman had other idea's and has now pulled away from the rest of the pack to claim the regular season conference championship.  Can they do the same in the conference tournament?


Missouri Valley(1)

Automatic Bid- Missouri State

At Large- Wichita State


Analysis- Missouri State clinched their league title for the first time in its history last weekend with a win over Wichita State.  The shame of it all is that if they don't win the league tournament, I don't think they have the resume to represent their conference in the NCAA tournament.


Mountain West(3)

Automatic Bid- San Diego State

At Large-BYU, UNLV.

Bubble- Colorado State(in)

Analysis-Colorado State had everything locked up for an at-large bid until their last game when they decided to get throttled by an average Air Force squad.  The good news for them is that everyone else on the bubble seems to be losing games too, so they are still in at this point.  They can't afford another "bad" loss the rest of the way though.

BYU's chances at a final four run took a major blow today with the news of Brandon Davies being dismissed from the team.  They will be very undermanned down low and now puts even more pressure on Jimmer.  Tough blow for the entire Mountain West Conference.



Automatic Bid- Long Island

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis-Long Island hasn't lost in almost six weeks, and look poised to be dancing come mid-March.


Ohio Valley(1)

Automatic Bid- Murray State

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Moorehead State has won 10 of their last 11 games while Murray State has won 11 of their last 12 games.  Championship game preview, anyone??



Automatic Bid- Arizona

At Large- Washington, UCLA

Bubble- Washington State

Analysis- After climbing as high as 10th in the nation in the polls, Arizona fell on hard times last week, dropping road games to USC and UCLA and falling into a tie for first place with UCLA.  Washington falls in the same category with a home loss to rival Washington State, but they are safe for now.



Automatic Bid- Bucknell

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Bucknell swept American, the second place team in the Patriot League, and neither game was that close.  The Patriot League tournament will be going through Bucknell.



Automatic Bid- Kentucky

At Large- Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida.

Bubble- Alabama, Mississippi

Analysis-those of us who thought Alabama had an outside chance of an at-large bid said goodbye to that tonight with the thrashing that Florida gave them in the second half.  Everything in the SEC is pretty much set now unless Tennessee continues to falter down the stretch.



Automatic Bid- Charleston

At Large- none

Bubble- none

Analsysis- Andrew Goudelock averages over 24 points per game for Charleston, 2nd in the nation in scoring, and could be something to watch for during the opening round of the NCAA tournament should Charleston run the table in their own conference tournament.



Automatic Bid- McNeese State

At Large-none


Analysis- The league winner will be playing on Tuesday, not Thursday.



Automatic Bid-Texas Southern

At Large-none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Texas Southern guaranteed themselves at least a bid to the NIT with their regular season championship.  whoever wins this conference's tournament better set up a flight for Dayton...



Automatic Bid-Oakland

At Large-none

Bubble- none

Analysis- Oakland has run away with this conference and appears to be ready for bigger competition in March.  They are the one team I'm most interested to watch against a high seed because Benson will cause havoc down low and he may be able to lead them to a first round upset.


Sun Belt(1)

Automatic bid- Florida Atlantic

At Large-none

Bubble- none

Analysis-  Florida Atlantic got throttled at Denver but they still remain in first place.  It should come down to these two in the championship game of the their tournament.



Automatic Bid- Saint Mary's

At Large-Gonzaga


Analysis- I thought this was the year the tournament would be without Gonzaga and/or Butler, but the Bulldogs have righted the ship and are in thanks to other bubble teams struggling to win games over the last two weeks.  Winning the league wouldn't hurt though.



Automatic Bid-Utah State

At Large- none

Bubble- Utah State showed up big time during the Bracketbuster weekend and earned some respect from me going on the road to Saint Mary's and coming away with a win.  I still think they need to start scheduling some better opponents during their non-conference schedule, but with that win I think they are in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens in their conference tournament.


And now for the good part: SEEDINGS!!



Northern Colorado, Long Beach State, Kent State, Bethune Cookman, McNeese State, Texas Southern


Vermont, Fairfield, Florida Atlantic, Bucknell


Long Island, Murray State, Belmont, Coastal Carolina


Missouri State, Oakland, Charleston, Princeton


Gonzaga, Butler, Michigan State, Memphis, Richmond, Colorado State


UTEP, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Marquette


UNLV, Cincinnati, Old Dominion, UAB


Florida State, St. Mary's, Cincinnati, Utah State


Tennessee, Georgia, George Mason, Missouri


Temple, Washington, West Virginia, UCLA


Villanova, Xavier, Arizona, Kansas State


St. John's, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt


Florida, North Carolina, UCONN, Georgetown


San Diego State, Syracuse, Louisville, Wisconsin


BYU, Texas, Purdue, Notre Dame


Duke, PITT, Kansas, Ohio State


Last Four in: Richmond, Gonzaga, Memphis, Marshall

First Four out: Michigan, Marshall, Southern Miss, Nebraska

Next Fout out: Wichita State, Colorado, Clemson, VCU.

Posted on: February 20, 2011 9:50 pm

Bracketology 2/20

The CAA had a huge weekend, with all three of their at-large hopeful teams getting big wins over other mid-major schools.  The opposite can be said about the Missouri Valley Conference, where both Missouri State and Wichita State were defeated and turned the MVC into an automatic bid league only. 
Conference USA is beginning to make a case to become a four-bid league, with UTEP, Southern Miss, Memphis, and UAB all having solid resumes and having successful seasons in conference play as well.
As for the bigger schools, The Big East had another crazy weekend with St. John's taking themselves off the bubble and solidly into the tournament with a win over Pitt at the Garden, and Marquette and Cincinnati both picked up wins yesterday to keep themselves in the NCAA tournament at this point, but barely.  Marquette still needs to win 3 of their last 4 games of the regular season if they don't want to sweat out selection sunday.
Minnesota is still struggling with Al Nolen out, and Michigan State picked up a solid win against Illinois to right the sinking ship that was the Spartans. 
Baylor had a terrible loss yesterday, and they are out of my bracket. A home loss is one thing, but losing by 9 to a below average Texas Tech squad will get you in the NIT very quickly. 
Bubble teams are everywhere in the ACC right now, with Clemson, Boston College, Viginia Tech, and Maryland all sitting right on it at this point.  two will get in and two won't come March 13th, and this week Clemson and Boston College get the nod.

At the end will be a list of all conferences with multiple bids, as well as my last four in, first four out, next four out, and play-in games.

Long Beach State, Kent State, Bethune Cookman, McNeese State, Texas Southern, Florida Athlantic

Montana, Bucknell, Fairfield, Murray State

Long Island, Vermont, Belmont, Charleston

Valparaiso, Harvard, Oakland, Coastal Carolina

Wichita State, Tennessee, Marquette, Boston College, Richmond, Clemson

Michigan State, Minnesota, Colorado State, Memphis

Old Dominion, VCU, UTEP, St. Mary's

Kansas State, George Mason, UNLV, Cincinnati

UCLA, Florida State, Utah State, Georgia

Temple, St. John's, Washington, Illinois

Vanderbilt, W. Virginia, Xavier, Texas A&M

Arizona, Louisville, Syracuse, Missouri

North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Villanova

Wisconsin, Purdue, Georgetown, UCONN

Duke, San Diego State, BYU, Notre Dame

Pitt, Kansas, Ohio State, Texas

Multiple bids
Big East-11
Big Ten- 6
Big 12- 5
CAA- 3
Conference USA- 2
MWC- 4
Pac 10- 3
SEC- 5

Last Four In-Marquette, Boston College, Clemson, Richmond
First Fout Out- UAB, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Alabama
Next Four Out- Butler, Gonzaga, Baylor, Missouri State

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com