Blog Entry

cubbage32 bracket 2/23

Posted on: February 23, 2012 7:03 pm

We're only a week before some of the mid-major tournaments start up which can only mean one thing... MARCH IS ALMOST HERE!!  Some teams are rolling full steam ahead like Kansas State and Wichita State and other teams are limping to the end.  Only two and a half weeks now and we'll have our OFFICIAL bracket to tear into and I for one cannot wait! 

As always, this bracket is based on if the tournament started today, not who I predict will be selected in six weeks.  Conference winners will be the team in first place right now, with tie breakers being highest rated RPI between the tied teams.

American East-1
Conference champ- Stony Brook
at large-none
analysis- Stony Brook has a one game lead with one game to go thanks to Vermont inexplicably giving Binghamton its first win of the season last night.  Look for whoever wins this league to hook up with one of the 1-seeds.

ACC- 5
Conference Champ- North Carolina
at large-Duke, Florida State, Virginia
bubble- Miami (in), NC State
analysis- N.C. State's 20 points collapse at Duke carried into their next game at home against Florida State.  They were overmatched against North Carolina two nights ago, and now they finish up with two of their final three on the road to close out conference play, including one against fellow bubble team Miami.  There best win is a neutral site win over Texas, although they have played a very good schedule.  finishing 2-1 in the regular season and one win in the ACC tourney should get them in.  Duke, Florida State and UNC are all just a half game of each other, and Duke and FSU meet tonight in Tallahassee in a game that could eliminate one of them from ACC title contention.

Atlantic Sun-1
Conference champ-Belmont
at large-none
analysis- Belmont is the class of this conference, but second place Mercer will get the Bruins on their home floor in the final regular season game between these two that could set the tone for the conference tournament.  Belmont needs only to beat winless-in-conference Kennesaw State tonight to clinch the Atlantic Sun Title outright.

Atlantic 10-3
Conference Champ-Temple
at large-Saint Louis
bubble- Xavier (in), Massachusetts, Dayton, St. Josephs, LaSalle
analysis-Like every year it seems, The A-10 will come down to the final week to determine not just a champion of the league, but teams desperately seeking wins to add to their NCAA hopeful resume.  Xavier won a much needed game saturday at home against Dayton in overtime, but followed that up with a loss at UMASS two nights ago to put them back in the "last four in" category.  It's become a two horse race for the regular season title now, with Temple holding the tie breaker in the conference tournament with a 72-67 road win the only time these two teams met.

Big East- 8
Conference Champ-Syracuse
at large- Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, West Virginia
bubble- Seton Hall (in), UCONN (in), South Florida, Cincinnati
analysis- What a mess this conference has become over the past few weeks.  UCONN's computer numbers are still off the charts for a team that is fading fast, so I dont really think they're in as much trouble as people are saying at this point, although the Shabazz shot Monday night sure helped.  As for South Florida, I dont think they are as close are people are saying either.  Anyone wanna tell me their most impressive win??? is it a one point home win against Seton Hall?? yes they have some opportunities coming up, but I think they need to get that road win against at Louisville to really be considered, because the committee doesnt care how good your conference record is if you're just beating up on DePaul and St. John's and Providence, just ask Cincinnati or Alabama.

Big Sky-1
conference champ-Weber State
at large-none
bubble- none
analysis-Weber State holds a half game lead over Montana, but the two teams will play each other next tuesday in a game that will probably decide regular season champ.  A name for you to remember from Weber State is Damian Lillard, the second leading scorer in the nation this year.  He is going to be a matchup nightmare for any team come tournament time, and I hope we get the pleasure of seeing this guy play in the NCAA tournament and not the NIT.

Big South-1
conference champ-UNC Asheville
at large-none
analysis- Asheville finishes up the regular season with two home games they should win, althought regardless if they do or not they have already clinched the Big South title and the top seed in the conference tournament.

Big Ten- 6
Conference Champ- Michigan State
at large-Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue
bubble-Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois
analysis- WOW, more importantly as to what is going on with Illinois is why is Bruce Weber still on their sideline.  It's obvious to me this team has quit on him, and yet they still have a chance to save this season.  The Fighting Illini are too talented to be THIS bad arent they??  as for the rest of the league, Michigan State is playing like one of the top few teams in the country, and although I wasn't ready to give them a 1-seed quite yet, I am now after the loss by Missouri two nights ago.  Michigan also picked up a big road win two nights ago in overtime against Northwestern to stay in the title hunt, and they are moving up the seed board in a hurry.  Indiana is still having trouble on the road, getting hammered by Iowa Sunday night, but they finish the regular season with three of their final four games at home, including a big time matchup against Michigan State next Tuesday.

Big 12- 6
conference champ-Kansas
at large-Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State,
bubble-Texas (in)
analysis- In two games, Kansas State went from a team on the bubble to a team on the top half of the bracket.  Not bad for a four day stretch.  Kansas now has the inside track to ANOTHER Big 12 title, with a win this Saturday against the Tigers at Phog Allen they will have a two game lead with two games to play.

Big West-1
Conference champ-Long Beach State
at large-none
analysis- Long Beach State lost a heart breaker late saturday night at Creighton, but that shouldn't deter this team from reaching the NCAA's this year.  After playing the No.1 ranked OOC schedule in the country, this team has blasted its conference competition and should represent the Big West well in the NCAA tournament.

Conference champ- Drexel
at large-none
bubble- VCU, George Mason
analysis- The top 4 teams in the CAA all won their bracketbuster matchup over the weekend, including Drexel, who has now won 15 games in a row leading up to its final two regular season games of the season.  If they win those two games and advance to the conference tournament championship and lose, I truly believe they will earn an at-large berth and give the CAA two bids once again this season. 

Conference USA-3
Conference Champ-Southern Miss
at large-Memphis
bubble-UCF (in)
analysis- Southern Miss and UCF both lost last night to lesser competition, and now they both need to play well from here on out, including the C-USA tournament.  this league has the potential for three bids, but UCF can't afford another loss the rest of the way.

conference champ-Valparaiso
at large-none
analysis- Look out 'cause here comes Butler.  The Bulldogs had struggled all season to score points, but now have ripped off five wins in a row and are in second place in the Horizon.  If Butler can hang on to that second seed and get a double bye into the Semifinals of the Horizon conference tournament, I think they'll take the championship once again and punch their ticket into another NCAA tournament.

conference champ-Harvard
at large-none
analysis- Every bubble team in america will be rooting for Harvard to win the Ivy league, because they are in the tournament regardless.  Second place Penn will travel to Harvard this Saturday, and if Harvard can come out on top that will give them a two game lead in the league with just three games left.

conference champ- Iona
at large-none
analysis- Iona may not play much defense, but boy are they a fun team to watch.  They can put up points against anyone, and if they draw a team that struggles to score, they could really pose a challenge in their first game of the NCAA tournament.

conference champ-Akron
at large-none
analysis- This is going to be a tough conference tournament to call.  Akron has been solid all during conference play, but teams like Kent State and Ohio really show some potential. 

conference champ-Savannah State
at large-none

Missouri Valley-2
conference champ-Wichita State
at large- Creighton
analysis- Wichita State is playing at an unbelievable level right now, and if they can continue this stretch, they could make it to the second weekend and then some.  They have great guard play, they have a seven footer, and their playing with as much confidence as anyone in the country right now.  Creighton can score points with the best of them, but higher seeded teams that don't play alot of defense usually get upset early, and I think that may happen with Creighton this year.

Mountain West-4
conference champ-New Mexico
at large-UNLV, San Diego State
bubble-Colorado State (in)
analysis- I had just about given up hope for Colorado State after that gut-wrenching last second loss at Boise State, but they picked up a big time resume win last night at home against New Mexico.  They aren't out of the woods yet though, and will need to beat either San Diego State on the road or at home against UNLV to secure their bid.  San Diego State stopped their recent slide with a hard-fought overtime victory against Wyoming, although they were down double digits in the first half at one point.

conference champ- Long Island
at large-none
analysis- Wagner has an RPI in the 70's and a record of 23-4 so they are a team to keep an eye on, but i'm afraid they just don't have the resume for an at large berth.  A Northeast tournament championship game between Long Island and Wagner would be highly entertaining.

Ohio Valley-1
conference champ-Murray State
at large-none
analysis- Murray State has played lights out since their loss to Tennesse State, and look like a top 15 team in the country.  Isaiah Canaan is one of the better guards in the country, forget about just the mid-majors, and he can lead this team into the second weekend, at least. 

Pac-12- 2
conference champ-Cal
at large-none
bubble-Washington (in), Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Stanford
analysis- Washington (51) and Oregon (53) have the highest RPI of all the Pac-12 bubble schools, so it's conceivable this conference could get multiple bids the way the rest of the power conference bubble teams have been struggling lately.   If Oregon could win its final three games (at Oregon State, Colorado, Utah) they may be able to get the second bid for the PAC-12.  Same goes for Washington, who finishes the season with three straight road games.

conference champ-Bucknell
at large-none

conference champ-Kentucky
at large-Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
bubble-Alabama (in), LSU (in), Arkansas
analysis- Mississippi State needs to right their ship fast, and with two straight road games coming up, that could be a problem.  Kentucky is the class of this conference, and may be the class of the entire college basketball world, they just don't get rattled and have playmakers on offense and defense at every position.  They don't have a weakness and can play any style; teams have to play their best against Kentucky to have a chance, and even that isn't good enough on most nights.

conference champ-Davidson
at large-none
at large- Davidson could have really helped out their seeding possibilities on Saturday, but they got dump-trucked by Wichita State in the second half of that game and had no answer when the Shockers started to pull away.  Regardless, Davidson is a solid club who does have a win against Kansas on their belt.  They'll be a tough out come tourney time.

conference champ-Texas Arlington
at large-none
analysis- Texas Arlington has gone unbeaten in conference play, and they may be able to avoid a 16 seed if they can win the rest of their games.  it will be close, but it's possible.

conference champ- Mississippi Valley State
at large-none
analysis- Play-in game

conference champ- Oral Roberts
at large-none

Sun Belt-1
conference champ-Mid Tennessee State
at large-none
analysis- Mid Tennessee is another team that all bubble schools should be rooting for, because the further embarassing this bubble gets, the more likely that Mid Tennessee gets an at large should it lose in the conference tournament.

WCC- 3
conference champ-St. Mary's
at large-Gonzaga
bubble- BYU (in), Loyola Marymount
analysis- Huge game tonight in the WCC as Gonzaga hosts BYU.  If the Cougars can pick up the road win tonight they will be in prime position for an at large bid.  Even if they don't win tonight, a victory over Portand and advancing the the semifinals of the WCC tourney should be good enough to get a bid.  St. Mary's is in a bit of a funk right now and need to snap out of it.  Dellavadova has been banged up a little bit and they are still withouth Stephen Holt, their third leading scorer.  they finish with two road games to close out the regular season.

WAC- 1
conference champ- Nevada
at large-none
bubble-New Mexico State
analysis- Nevada had a chance on national television to pick up a nice road win against Iona Saturday but were unable to capitalize.  Nevada does have a win against Washington on its resume, but not enough to warrant at-large consideration.  New Mexico is coming on strong, blasting Drake in the bracketbuster by 16 points, but despite posting a win over New Mexico early in the year, will probably have to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA tournament.


2s Duke, Missouri, Ohio State, UNC,

3s Baylor, Michigan, Marquette, Florida

4s Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville, Wisconsin

5s UNLV, Florida State, San Diego Sate, WICHITA STATE

6s TEMPLE, Kansas State, Virginia, MURRAY STATE

7s CALIFORNIA, ST. MARY'S, Vanderbilt, New Mexico

8s Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Creighton, SOUTHERN MISS

9s HARVARD, Uconn, Memphis, Saint Louis

10s Mississippi State, Purdue, West Virginia, Iowa State

11s Byu, Alabama, Seton Hall, Colorado State


13s ORAL ROBERTS, Xavier, Miami, Ucf, Lsu, Washington




play in games: 13s Miami vs. 13 UCF; 13s LSU vs. 13 Washington; 16s Stony Brook vs. 16s Savannah State; 16s Mississippi Valley State vs. 16s UNC-Asheville

last four in: Miami, UCF, LSU, Washington
first four out: Oregon, Northwestern, Minnesota, NC State
next eight out: VCU, Arkansas, Arizona, Cincinnati, South Florida, New Mexico State, Dayton, Illinois

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