Blog Entry

Feb.14 bracket

Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:16 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:20 pm
Ohio State didn't last very long as a No. 1 seed.  The loss to Michigan State has knocked them back to the two line in today's bracket, replaced by Duke.  The biggest difference is that Duke has shown it can win away from home (Columbus excluded).  Its top four wins are all away from Cameron.

That said, I'm not optimistic for Duke long term unless they get their defense fixed.

Kansas is also pushing for the top line, but at the moment, the loss to Davidson separates them.

North Carolina and Michigan State could still get there as well.  It's a very competitive top of the bracket still for this late in the season.

Baylor is not likely to find itself as a one-seed again this season.  I have the Bears down to a three this week after they got smoked at Missouri over the weekend.

The SEC is a muddle.  Florida has now been swept by Tennessee and has only one of its eight top 100 RPI wins away from home.  The Gators are 2-5 in road games and have four of their next five on the road.

The first of those games is at Alabama.  Alabama's roster issues could give the committee fits.  With four starters suspended, the Tide lost at LSU over the weekend.  Two of those starters will return for the Florida game tonight, but leading scorer JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell are still out.

The committee does consider missing players when doing selections and (moreso) seeding.  A team has to have the credentials to get picked regardless of your roster situation during the season.  They won't take a 17-15 team that was missing its leading scorer for 10 games, even if they lost all 10.  The committee cannot assume a result would have been different if the roster was at full strength.  A team might get seeded a little higher in that situation if it is at full strength going into the tournament.

The opposite is also true.  A team losing a key player for the season might get seeded lower if it doesn't play as well without him, but still merits selection.  There are numerous examples of this in the past.   The most recent would be when Purdue was docked a little after Robbie Hummel's (first) knee injury in 2010.

The bottom of the Big Ten is still muddled as well.  Purdue picked up a key win over Northwestern over the weekend, completing the regular season sweep of the Cats.  Illinois continues to fade, now having lost six of seven after dropping a game at Michigan.  The Illini host Purdue tomorrow in what has to be considered a must win.  Illinois goes to Nebraska and Ohio St after that.

It would make sense that at some point, one of those Big Ten teams will fall off the bracket.  Maybe two.  Right now, nobody is really stepping up to take their spots.

The Pac 12 looks for all the world like a one-bid league this year.  That may or may not happen, but it's hard to build an at-large case when nobody can pick up a top 50 RPI win without beating league-leader Cal.  The league has five RPI top 100 teams, and none of them has a non-conference win over a team in the top 50 of the RPI, or over an at-large quality team in the bracket. 

Today's fun fact: All nine Big Ten teams in the bracket rate higher in the RPI than every Pac 12 team except Cal.


Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:27 pm

Feb.14 bracket

9 teams from the big 10???  Come on Jerry, what have you been smoking?

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:02 pm

boring March 15th, 2012

March 15th, 2012 is going to be the most boring since the start of the 1984 Men's NCAA basketball tournament.

Participation of teams from major conferences means more eyeballs, more interest and a bigger impact on American current events.

Less teams are needed from America East, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, SWAC, Southern, Southland, Summit League, Sun Belt, WAC and West Coast conferences.

Since: Jan 26, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:19 pm

Feb.14 bracket

Kansas is not the same team that they were earlier in the season and their momentum at the moment is very positive ... There is some really dynamic play going on with them and they have moments of brilliance. If they keep this up, they could be a #1.  Duke is always hard to judge, because they may very well wind up playing over their own heads ... they've been looking more solid and their best players appear to be settling into their roles.  I have little faith in UNC this year.  They have a ton of talent, but they seem strangely weak and vulnerable. It's hard to put a finger on, but it seems like they have no clear leader and they're not playing as strong as a team with their talent should.  It'll be very interesting to see what happens to Syracuse.  They looked unstoppable a few games before Melo was out, but they haven't been firing on all cylinders since.  I particularly am waiting for Waiters to dominate some more, but his touch seems to be a little off lately. Thing is, a few more games and they may be back in the groove, and that would be very good timing.  Remember, last year at this time nobody was picking UConn ... 

Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:20 pm

Feb.14 bracket

"Moreso" is not a word.

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