Bracketology/Bowls Expert

Bracketology: Don't overreact to one game

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I know the following statement will come as a shock: Fans tend to overreact to one game and view the world as if their team is the only one in existence.

People forget that Saturday's games are roughly 1/30th of a team's overall resume. It can have an impact, but nobody is moving three lines up or down the bracket based on one game now.

Arkansas fans were filling up my twitter feed with despair. Are the Hogs still in after getting blown out at Alabama?

Tennessee fans, after crushing Missouri, figured they went from dead to a lock.

Is Dayton a lock? Is Cal a lock? Is Stanford a lock?

No. No. No.

When your team is that close to the bottom of the bracket, there's only one way to be a lock, which brings me to the most common question I get. ...

"How many conference tournament games do we have to win to get in?"

All of them. That's the only sure thing. Yes, fewer might do, but the only way to control your own destiny is to win them all. Otherwise, your team is at the mercy of what other teams do.

Also, it's not about how many games you win (unless you actually do win all of them), it's about who you play. In some leagues, a team can get to its conference tournament final without beating a single team that helps it.

With that in mind ...

Baylor and Oregon did play themselves off the bubble with Saturday wins. The Bears won at Kansas State, completing the sweep of the Wildcats and putting themselves safely in the field. The Ducks knocked off Arizona and put to rest any doubt about their tournament hopes. Those two teams started the day on the relatively safe side of the bubble.

Kansas lost at West Virginia, which didn't cost the Jayhawks a seed, but likely ended any realistic shot they had of becoming a No. 1. They now have eight losses, and no team has ever earned a 1-seed with that many.

In fact, the top three lines are unchanged after tonight's action.

Duke moved up to a No. 4 seed after beating North Carolina, ending the Tar Heels' 12-game winning streak. UNC didn't drop as a result of the loss.

Texas did fall after losing at Texas Tech, but the biggest fall of the night goes to Iowa, which lost at home to Illinois. The Hawkeyes have now lost 5 of 6. They still don't have a bad loss, so I haven't put them on the bubble list yet.

Pitt came back from five points down in the waning seconds at Clemson to force OT, where the Panthers won and bolstered their fading tournament chances.

Tennessee replaced Missouri at the bottom of the bracket after blowing out the Tigers. That's the only change among the at-large teams.

Two top seeds were beaten Saturday in conference tournaments. Belmont lost the Ohio Valley final to Eastern Kentucky, and will miss the tournament despite an earlier win over North Carolina.

I felt like UW Green Bay had a chance to win a game in the tournament if they made it, but that chance won't be coming now after a second home loss to in-state rival UW Milwaukee.

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