Bracketography’s NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

by David Mihm | March 14th, 2010

Updated Sunday morning at 8:00 am PT.

Bubble Math:

1) A team is only a “lock” if its chance of making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large is better than 95%.
I really don’t like moving teams out of “lock” status because they’ve lost four games in a row.

2) 31 teams earn automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.

3) 34 teams earn at-large slots to the NCAA Tournament.

4) There are currently 27 automatic bids/one-bid leagues, 31 locks, and leaving a total of 8 open slots.  Of those 8, four are pretty well spoken for, and four are in serious question.

Locks (30):

ACC (4): Duke, Maryland, Clemson, Florida State
Big East (7+auto): Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Notre Dame
Big Ten (4+auto): Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Big 12 (6+auto): Kansas State, Baylor, Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma State
Pac-10: NONE
SEC (3): Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee
Atlantic-10 (2+auto): Temple, Richmond, Xavier
Mountain West (3+auto): New Mexico, BYU, UNLV
Other: Gonzaga

Auto Bids (27): Murray State, Lehigh, Old Dominion, Siena, Wofford, Oakland, Montana, Robert Morris, North Texas, Butler, Saint Mary’s, Cornell, ETSU, Winthrop, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Vermont, UCSB, Morgan State, Sam Houston, New Mexico State, Houston, SDSU, Washington, West Virginia, Kansas

Should Be Safe (4):

Minnesota (70%)

Take a look at the projected scalps on Minnesota’s resume (6, 2, 5, 11, 6, 4) N-Butler, Ohio State, Wisconsin, @Illinois, N-Michigan State, N-Purdue. Had they won in Ann Arbor in their last true road game of the year, the Gophers would be a mortal lock. But they’ve clearly leapfrogged Illinois, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, and Florida on my S-Curve.

Cal (60%)

I can’t see the regular-season champion of the #8 conference, which made the final of its conference tournament and played a very competitive game against a Bubble team, getting left home, particularly with the Bears’ insanely high RPI.  Would I vote the Bears in the field if I were in the Committee room?  Perhaps not, but I can’t see the Committee leaving these guys home.

Utah State (57.5%)

Aggies put up a very poor performance against the “other” Aggies last night out in Reno.  Shot selection down the stretch was questionable to say the least.  Still, USU does have a marquee win on its slate (BYU) that Cal and UTEP don’t have, and finished the season very, very strong.

Louisville (55%)

Yes, beating Syracuse twice was great, but the Cardinals were also helped dramatically by Notre Dame’s run through the Big East Tournament–the only other Tournament-quality team they beat.  I think the Cards will be safely in but their seed could suffer.

The Real Bubble (7 teams for 4 slots):

UTEP (55%)

Tournament-caliber wins: none.  I can’t make any logical argument for UTEP’s inclusion–they haven’t beaten a single team in the Tournament field–but it’s just a gut feeling that the Miners will not be left home.

Wake Forest (55%)

Tournament-caliber wins: @Gonzaga, Richmond, Xavier, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Clemson.  On paper that looks great.  The problem is that Wake has stumbled to a 9-8 overall ACC finish and got absolutely smoked by bottom-feeding Miami in its first-round game.  This is a team that is extremely lucky that “how you finish” is no longer a Selection Committee criterion in 2010.

Illinois (52.5%)

Tournament-caliber wins: @Clemson, Vanderbilt, Michigan State, @Wisconsin, N-Wisconsin, 2OT loss to Ohio State.  Outside of William & Mary, no Bubble team has done better winning away from home, which is what I think the Committee relies on as its key criterion in these 50-50 situations.  Chair Dan Guerrero said yesterday that the Committee was watching games during their break, right about the time Illinois went on its run against OSU at the end of regulation.  They surely passed the “eye test” but will that be enough to convince the Committee of their worthiness…perhaps not if Georgia Tech and Mississippi State both pull upsets today.

Georgia Tech (52.5%)

Tournament-caliber wins: Siena, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, N-Maryland. That’s only one win against the top half of the bracket, no true quality road wins.  Only 7-9 in regular season; now assured of a 10-10 overall finish at worst.  That’s why I have Georgia Tech as my last team in the field.


Florida (49.5%)

Before yesterday’s antics in the WAC, Pac-10, Big Ten, CUSA, and ACC, I thought the Gators would be several teams into the field.  But on closer inspection, it’s going to come down to the wire. I do think their overall resume is better than Mississippi State’s, but reasonable minds can differ.  I would not fault the Committee either way for their decision on the Gators

Mississippi State (47.5%)

N-ODU. Eight R/N wins. 10-7 in the SEC.  Not a single win against the top of the SEC East. Without beating Tennessee at home in the last game of the year, the Bulldogs’ resume looks more like a prototypical mid-major bubble team’s than a division champion’s. But they got the win they desperately needed against Florida yesterday.  Vandy was great.  Still only the Bulldogs’ second top-50 RPI win.  Not sure it’s enough.

Virginia Tech (50%)

Before Hokie fans get excited about a 20-win season, VaTech’s non-conference SOS is 340.  Let’s think about that.  They lost their only game against a decent opponent (Temple) by 11. It was a dreadful job of scheduling.  If the Hokies are left home next week, I do not want to hear Seth Greenberg whining about being snubbed by the Committee again.  @Georgia Tech was an elimination game, and the Hokies survived…but faltered against Miami in the ACC Tournament.  They did beat Seton Hall on a neutral floor, but other wins against Tournament-level teams were all at home.  If anything, VaTech might have been rooting FOR the Yellow Jackets tonight to make sure they had a road win over a Tournament team. But a GaTech win today almost certainly boots them out of the field.


William & Mary (40%)

Well, well, well…the Tribe made the CAA Final after squeaking out a two-point victory over Northeastern.  Yes, they have some terrible losses, but given how weak the rest of the bubble was–prior to all the upsets on Saturday–there’s still an outside chance for W&M to get in as an at-large.

NIT: Charlotte, UConn, UAB, Memphis, Saint Louis, Arizona State, VCU, Dayton, Rhode Island, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, South Florida, Ole Miss

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141 Responses to “Bracketography’s NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown”  

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  1. David Mihm Says:

    Hey guys–looking forward to continuing the great discussion we had around this thread last year.

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  2. David Mihm Says:

    McKillop has done an amazing job with both coaching the last two seasons and scheduling this year, so this criticism is purely as advice:

    Davidson would be much better served skipping the Oklahomas and Dukes of the world and instead setting up home-and-homes with Gonzaga, Creighton, St Mary’s, Dayton, Xavier, Utah, SDSU, New Mexico, UNLV, or other power-mids. It’s nice they’ll get a return game at Hinkle Fieldhouse next year.

    If Davidson can go 3-3 in those type of games, they can still get in with a loss in the SoCon Tournament. I agree that it would be nice if power conference teams agreed to play Davidson but the system is just not set up for that and so far Arizona seems to have been the only team in ALL of the Big Six to agree to those kinds of arrangements (SDSU, UNLV, UAB, Houston).

    I agree completely that the first round of the Tournament would have been far more exciting with Creighton and St Mary’s on the 12 line instead of Arizona and Wisconsin. But I honestly don’t think Davidson deserved a bid this year.

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  3. Henry Muto Says:

    David, Congrats on winning the bracket project and doing so well selecting the teams. I missed one team Arizona and I had St. Mary’s in. I still feel that is how it should have gone but what can you do. Again nice job.

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  4. John Says:

    where is georgia tech? are they completely out of the picture?

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  5. Atticus Finch Says:

    Not sure you can call UF a 65% chance to get in. Yes, they have 2 quality non-conference wins. . . . in November. Since 12/1 they are 11-8, including a horrible loss to South Alabama. I don’t think .500 the rest of the way is good enough to get them in (20-11, with the SEC tourney to go), and going better than 3-3 the rest of the way will be tough. @ UK is a loss. Vandy, while in Gainesville, is probably a loss as well. Can they go 4-0 in: Auburn, @ UGA, UT, @ Ole Miss? I don’t think so.

    2-6 vs. RPI top 50; 6-7 vs. RPI top 100.

    UF either needs a marquee win (read: UK or Vandy) or at 5 more wins (inclusive of SEC tourney) to have a chance.

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  6. David Mihm Says:

    Sorry John, totally missed Georgia Tech on my S-Curve. They’re definitely “in the field” as of right now. Made the edit.

    Atticus, ordinarily I would agree with you but the rest of the Bubble is SO weak right now that it is hard to find deserving teams. VaTech did make a nice statement last night. Waiting for others to step up.

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  7. Henry Muto Says:

    I don’t think Charlotte is as near of a lock as you think it is. I guess we will see but I would not have put them in the near lock status right now.

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  8. Butchie Says:

    I think it’s really important to look at the whole season and what a team has accomplished throughout the year. Too much attention is given to signature wins. Let the computer do the work or add it up yourself. It is important to give teams credit for EVERY win. Marquette is not a tournament team and will not be. Take a look at their overall schedule. It really bothers me when analysts focus on “signature wins.” Why do you think the Atlantic Ten, for example, will have five teams in this year (excluding Charlotte) when they are normally lucky to get two or three: Because they’ve beaten the teams they should, for the most part. And although they’ve not had the luxury of playing in the ACC or Big East, five teams in the A10 will be in the tournament because of their overall resume (not because they had 1 or 2 great wins). And because the Pac 10 is terrible, haha.

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  9. Rick Y Says:

    I respect the fact that you have a good list and even make good arguments for why they are in or out. I have watched my Rebels (UNLV) do exactly what you said the past few years and once again this year. I pretty much agree with everything. Nice blog!

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  10. John Says:

    The A-10 is a better conference this year than in the past while the ACC is having a down year. Head to head, the ACC has a 5-4 edge in non-conference games this season on the A-10. That is an indication of how the normal gap has closed somewhat for this season.
    Another indication of A-10 strength is that Dayton beat West Virginia as a heavy underdog in the opening round last year, and returned everyone this year. They are currently 6th in the A-10.

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  11. Bill Van Almsick Says:

    Very nice job. Fully objective.

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  12. Eric Z Says:


    Great job, but one quibble with the math.

    Where does the Ivy Champion go?

    Cornell – the most probable champion – is not one of the 23 locks or near-lock, and the Ivy is not listed as a one-bid league.

    Should there only be 21 open slots instead of 22?

    Thanks! Love the work on your blog!

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  13. Cory Says:

    If we (Minnesota) get a win over Purdue on Wednesday, how should we feel about our at-large hopes? I’m not confident right now and feel like we need that win like we needed the Louisville win last year to get in.

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  14. Christopher Mackinder Says:

    Just think how all these teams wouldn’t have to worry about the NCAA Tournament if the field was expanded to 96 teams. What a great idea! (Read the sarcasm).

    I think UConn will be one of the more difficult teams to access this season — and for bracketologists around the country to access how the selection committee will view the Huskies. After Monday’s big win against West Virginia, the Huskies are 17-11, 7-8 in the Big East, and have three big wins (@Nova, W.Virg, Texas) that rival most other teams. UConn also has the 2nd toughest schedule in the country and a decent RPI (45).

    When you consider Calhoun was gone for seven games and the Huskies went 3-4, it just makes everything puzzling. While the Huskies might play themselves out down the stretch, if UConn gets in and grabs say, a No. 10 seed with a strong finish, it’ll be an interesting bracket-picking conundrum!

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  15. Greg Says:

    Not sure how Marquette is listed higher than FSU on your Bubble Breakdown and Bracketography when FSU has a better record, higher RPI and they beat Marquette head to head on a neutral court. Also, FSU and Marquette can not play each other in the opening round, they already played this year.

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  16. W. Grandone Says:

    You might want to keep an eye on St. Louis U. They have 2 home games with Xavier and Temple. They are 14-1 at home. Two Road Games with Duquense and Dayton. If they can beat Xavier and Temple at home and win one of two against Duqense and Dayton, They should earn a bid even though their non-=conference record is nothing to brag about.

    If they can take the two home games they will have beaten Rhode Island, Dayton, Temple, Xavier, and Richmond, while losing only to the Spiders away. All of the above teams are or have been in the mix for a bid. Also the Bills are a VERY young team, all freshmen and sophs.

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  17. John Says:

    David. Does the win vs Tennessee lock up a bid? How far does William & Mary have to go in the CAA Tournament to get an at-large bid?

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  18. DOUG Says:

    seems like CAL has a much better chance than 40%; Cal’s likely to win the PAC-10, and if they dont’ they get another shot with the PAC-10 tourney. Seems like it’s more like 75%. Am I wrong?


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  19. David Mihm Says:

    Hi Doug,

    At this point Cal is ranked 23 in the RPI, which is certainly within the realm of possibility of being left home. Missouri State and Air Force were both right around this number when their conferences were rated similarly.

    Cal owns zero top 50 RPI wins, and its best non-conference win is #77 Murray State in the first game of the year.

    The only factor weighing in their favor right now is the “name” of the Pac-10, which strictly speaking is not a criterion the Selection Committee will weigh.

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  20. James G Says:

    When was Air Force in the 20s and left out? I remember them being in the 70s and being included because they won the MWC title. Missouri State did get left out with an RPI in the mid 20s, but that year 4 MVC teams made the tournament. Cal seems to have a better chance due to a regular season championship. The committee has historically given an extra boost to regular season champs (such as Air Force in ’04 or Wyoming in ’02).

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  21. David Mihm Says:

    Air Force was left home in 2007. The main issue there was they lost several games in a row at the end of the year. But they had a far better non-conference resume than Cal has, and an equivalent number of losses in a similarly-rated conference.

    Also, people should keep in mind that this rundown was created before Cal’s blowout of Arizona the other night. As of right now I’d say their chances are closer to 45% or so.

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  22. John Says:

    David. You didn’t answer my latest comments on here. Why is that? And I don’t see how Maryland is in the field right now.

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  23. James G Says:

    Still, those late losses slipped Air Force all the way to a tie for 3rd in the MWC. I believe lots of extra weight is given to regular season championships. And Cal is also ranked in the mid 20s or better in other rating systems (Sagarin, Pomeroy, Dolphin). That wasn’t true for AFA in ’07.

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  24. Keith Says:

    Cornell at 25%? Explain that one please. Even before beating Priceton last night, they should have been considered a lock. Actually they could be the first to officially make the field – could be as early as about 9pm tonight.

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  25. David Mihm Says:

    James, I agree that “weight” is given to regular-season champions. However, a regular-season champion with 5-6 losses from the #8 RPI conference is by no means within 25% of a sure thing.

    Keith, this list is only for at-large chances. As you say, Cornell is almost assured of winning the Ivy League’s automatic bid. This is intended to reflect their chances if they don’t.

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  26. Atticus Finch Says:

    John, according to my assessment of UF, they needed to finish the season 4-2 in their last 6 regular season games, then pick-up a gimme win against some SEC West patsy in the tourney. I don’t know if you are a UF fan or not, but if you are I feel for you. For 3 years now the Gators have seemed to be completely lacking an identity. They are struggling in Athens right now, which isn’t the end of the world as UGA has some athletic players and have been reasonably tough at home. That said, UF desperately needs this game in my book because @ UK and Vandy @ home are unlikely to be UF wins.

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  27. Henry Muto Says:

    Henry Muto Says:
    I don’t think Charlotte is as near of a lock as you think it is. I guess we will see but I would not have put them in the near lock status right now.

    Posted on February 19th, 2010 at 4:20 pm
    I sure called this one out way back on Feb 19th and ever since then Charlotte continues to lose. I don’t know how you could have had them in the near lock status ever. They were showing signs of breaking down even before I called this out and now after losing to GW the collapse is complete. I never though they would make the tourney and now they are proving it.

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  28. John Says:

    Atticus. Yes, I am a UF fan, but don’t feel that bad for me. Yes, losing at Georgia is terrible, but what we have this year that we didn’t last year is marquee non-conference wins: Michigan State and Florida State. I agree with your assessment, except that I think we can beat Vanderbilt, especially at home. Since I told you what kind of fan I am, i’m curious as to what kind of fan you are.

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  29. Bob from Provincetown Says:

    When will the NCAA revisit some of the conferences that get an automatic bid? Prior to league play, a few of these pretenders (the entire league, that is) had dreadful records from top to bottom. In other words, the overall records of leading teams in some of the weakest conferences are inflated by beating up on the even weaker teams within their own conference. Come on, some of these league winners just don’t deserve to go to the big dance (Summit League, anyone?). AND SOME IDIOTS WANT TO EXPAND?

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  30. John Says:

    Bob, without goino into too much detail, let me just say that your statement is patently false. You also bring up a league that has two teams (Oakland-Mich., IUPUI), with 22+ wins. While I do agree it would be a terrible idea to expand the tornament, I don’t think you understand the meaning of having these small conference teams in the field. The NCAA Tournament, in many ways, is not for the Dukes, Kansases, North Carolinas, etc, because those teams will always go far in the tournament. Rather, its for teams like Valparaiso, Coppin State, Hampton, Siena, George Mason, etc. Teams that have pulled off upsete that make the Tournament what it is. Your theory would have all 65 bids to the power conferences, with the exception of Butler, Gonzaga, Siena, and Cornell. While I do respect your opinion of not wanting any mid-majors in the field, I do not agree with it.

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  31. Atticus Finch Says:


    I’m a UT fan, but don’t think that means I don’t want UF in the tournament — I do. The more SEC teams in the tourney, the more money for everyone.

    If I were a UF fan, I would be pulling my hair out. Abyssmal scheduling the previous 2 years cost UF bids IMO. Inconsistency might cost UF this year.

    As for Vandy, I think you might be a little optimistic. Vandy could be the best team in the SEC right now. They were soft, soft, soft early in the year, but they showed me a ton against UK last weekend. They are so frigging long and have gotten an edge about them on defense that they historically haven’t had. I think they are a force to be reckoned with this year.


    Every single NCAA-sanction national championship playoff includes the champs of every conference.

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  32. John Says:

    Atticus, I never said that you didn’t want us in the tournament, although it is nice to hear that from a UT fan. I’m just glad we finally beat you guys. I get what you’re saying about Vanderbilt, but they aren’t unbeatable. The only thing I would say overall is this: I disagree with David that past performance in the NCAA doesn’t count. Mike Francesa used to work the Tournament for CBS, and now hosts a talk show in NYC every afternoon, and every year he says teams get in based on past performances, or who they are, with Connecticut being this year’s example. It has nothing to do with what you said, but I thought i’d throw that out there.

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  33. Atticus Finch Says:


    But that (past performances) could cut both ways with UF. Back-to-back titles was certainly impressive. Before that, however, UF had a 5 year run of underperforming their seed — beat in the 1st round twice as a #5 seed, beat in the 2nd round as a #2, #3, and #4 seed.

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  34. John Says:

    Atticus, I wasn’t really talking about us this year. As I mentioned in my last post, I was talking about Connecticut. I know this will never happen, but I would much rather see teams like Coastal Carolina, Murray State, etc, who win close to 30 games, but have one bad game, therefore leaving them out of the NCAA’s, rather than Connecticut, who is mediocre at best, but gets in because of my point. I don’t think either of those teams will lose in their conference tournament, but if they do, their NCAA dreams are over, whereas a team like Connecticut gets chance after chance.

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  35. Peter Evens Says:

    Pac 10 is down, but not that far.

    Pac 10 is eighth RPI conference, last year’s eighth conference got 4 teams in…

    Pac 10 should get 3 teams in Cal, Arizona St, Washington.

    Cal’s 4 outside conference losses were all on the road to RPI top 15 teams.

    Cal’s 20ish RPI deserves a 6-7 seed.

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  36. John Says:

    Peter, two of those losses were at Madison Square Garden, therefore, they don’t qualify as road losses.

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  37. Ed Says:

    I disagree with all the people that say that Cal is a lock, although I do think they’ll be in barring a total collapse.

    When you look closely at their OOC schedule, you can see why the computers love them so much. They played four games against VERY good teams (Kansas, OSU, Syracuse, UNM), and were only able to hang in one of those games. In fact, staying close with UNM at the Pit is the most impressive thing they’ve done all year.

    In addition to this, all the cupcake teams they played have gone on to make hay in their respective conferences. Cal has only played two OOC games against teams with losing records. Teams like Jacksonville, Princeton, and UCSB all have winning records. To the discerning eye, these wins mean very little, but to the computers, it’s a perfect storm of RPI-elevating fluff.

    It’s a great example of how the bad teams on your schedule, if chosen correctly (or luckily) can really be a boost to your computer ranking.

    Now, after saying all that, here’s the surprising part: Sagarin has Cal at #16 (on his margin-of-victory based ratings) and Pomeroy has them at #18. Why is that? My guess is because they have a lot of blowouts, most of their losses are close, and they score in the 80s and 90s. I can see them landing a 10 or 11-seed and upsetting a team if said team isn’t good on defense. I can also see them getting blown out if the opposite is true.

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  38. David Mihm Says:

    Ed, that’s an incredibly astute analysis of Cal’s schedule, and why they are where they are. My only small point of contention is that they did hang with Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse for 35 minutes as well. I did watch that game & would have guessed they’d win the Pac-10 at something closer to 15-3 based on that performance.

    Great comment.

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  39. John Says:

    David, how come you don’t respond to any of my most recent comments on here?

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  40. Atticus Finch Says:

    John, I agree about the small-major conferences, but they do it to themselves. They aren’t obligated to send their conference tournament champs to the NCAA. They are free to designate the regular-season champs the official conference champion. Most small conferences actually lose money on the tournament, so I don’t know why they don’t send the team that I think has clearly earned the right to represent the conference by virtue of rising to the top after the grind of the regular season. I think that team stands the best chance of pulling the upset anyway.

    And for a nice 1st round upset, keep an eye on Murray if they do win the OVC tourney. I’m an OVC guy as well as an SEC guy. They have a nice team and are well coached. Much will depend on their seeding. If they draw a 12, then I love them for the 12-5 upset.

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  41. John Says:

    As expected, one team dominated the Big South this season. Unexpectedly, that team was Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers, picked to finish 8th in the preseason polls, won a school-record 26 games, and the regular season title by 3 games over defending champion and preseason favorite Radford. To further show Coastal’s dominance, Cliff Ellis was named Big South Coach Of The Year, guiding Coastal to their first regular season conference title since the 1990-91 season, tying the Big South record for conference wins(15), and setting the conference record for most wins by a Big South school(26). In addition, Ellis’ squad became the first Big South school to go from 8th one year, to 1st the following season, while leading the conference in scoring defense(59.0 PPG), field goal percentage(48.5%), scoring margin((+15.5), field goal defense(37.7%), three-point field goal percentage(37.2%), three-point defense(27.2%), and assist-to-turnover ratio(1.22). The Big South is also 1 of 6 conferences to award the conference championship game to the highest remaining seed, which Coastal would be. The Chanticleers boast a 15-1 home record, as well as a couple of first team all Big South players in Joseph Harris and Chad Gray, a member of the All-Academic Team in Logan Johnson, and All-Freshman performer Kierre Greenwood. The biggest challenge that Coastal Carolina will face will come from defending champion Radford, runners up in the conference, after rallying from an 11 point halftime deficit to defeat Winthrop on the seasons final day to clinch secotd place. The Highlanders are led by Art Parakhouski, who led the conference in scoring(21.6), rebounding(13.2), and field goal percentage(58.3%), while being named Big South Player Of The Year for the second consecutive season, just the fifth player in conference history to accomplish that feat. Supporting Parakhouski is senior forward Joey Lynch-Flohr, a second team all-conference performer, All-Freshman team member Blake Smith, and Philip Martin, a member of the All-Academic team, and Big South Scholar Athlete Of The Year. The Highlanders are the only team to win at Kimbel Arena, Coastal Carolina’s home gym. Lurking in third is Winthrop, winners of 8 of the last 11 Big South titles, but missing last year’s NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. Coach Randy Peele’s squad is anchored by Mantoris Robinson, Second Team All-Big South. Robinson was also named Big South Defensive Player Of The Year, while leading an Eagles squad that led the conference in scoring defense(59.5), finishing second in league play in field goal defense(39.0), and three point field goal defense(28.7). In addition, Robinson is the first player in Big South history to be named Defensive Player Of The Year twice, and is the third player in school history to record more than 500 rebounds, and 100 steals. High Point leads the rest of the pack, after finishing in fourth place. The Eagles are paced by Nick Barbour, First-Team All Big South, and Dave Campbell, a All-Academic team member. North Carolina-Asheville will visit High Point in the Big South quarterfinals, after finishing fifth. The Bulldogs main threat is redshirt junior John Williams. Liberty placed sixth, while headed up by senior Kyle Ohman, Second-Team All Big South, and Evan Gordon, a member of the Big South’s All-Freshman team. The potential sleeper could lie in seventh seed Charleston Southern, with their dynamic backcourt of Jamarco Warren, First-Team All Big South, and Freshman Of The Year Jeremy Sexton. VMI won a tiebreaker with Gardner-Webb on the season’s final day to grab the eighth, and final conference tournament spot. Last year’s runner up’s attack starts with junior guard Austin Kenon, First-Team All Big South, and is complimented by Stan Okoye, an All-Freshman team member. Adam Lonon also received All-Academic Team honors.

    I see a very formful conference tournament, with the championship game coming down to the top two teams, Radford and Coastal Carolina. Despite the Highlanders’ regular season win at Kimbel Arena, I do not see that happening again. In what could be one of the closest championship games of Championship Week, Coastal Carolina earns their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1993.

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  42. John Says:

    Atticus, I don’t necessarily agree. Here’s why: I went back to see where teams that pulled off some of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, finished in the regular season:

    1991 Richmond. Finished 2nd in the Colonial.
    1993 Santa Clara. Finished 3rd in the WCC.
    1993 Southern. Finished tied for 2nd in the SWAC.

    If there were no conference tournaments held, these teams would have never gotten into the Tournament, therefore never pulling off historic upsets. I’m not saying to automatically choose these teams, but a team such as Connecticut will probably lose in the first round, anyway. Coastal Carolina and Murray State could match that, and are penalized IF they have one bad night in the conference tournament. Finally, you know the deal about teams not being able to schedule quality non-conference opponents. Answer this one question for me: Would it bother you if teams like Coastal and Murray got in over a team like Connecticut?

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  43. Atticus Finch Says:

    John, think about the noise the conference champs could have made if those posers hadn’t stolen their bids?

    I don’t have a hard and fast rule on whether “elite” small schools should get in over C+ majors. Since I watch a lot of OVC hoops, I tend to default to that conference for my examples.

    There are some years that I firmly believe that an at-large bid was warranted out of the OVC. For example, in 03-04 (I think) Austin Peay went 16-0 in the conference, but lost to Murray State in the tournament finals. Murray finished the year 28-6 (with 2 losses to APSU), so it wasn’t like APSU got punked by some crappy team who got hot. That year I felt like APSU was deserving of an at-large bid.

    Other years, I really don’t see it. I guess the bottom-line for me is the sight test. What do the teams look like to me on the court? This year there is a lot of mediocrity in the major conferences. Seems like to me the Committee ought to reward teams who have won consistently, perhaps against “lesser” opponents night-in and night-out, than to reward teams that scuffled all season long.

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  44. John Says:

    Atticus, your last point is your best one. Here are my two points:

    We always toss out numbers. Shouldn’t victories be the most important one? I just don’t see how you can leave out teams that win close to 30 games, in favor of power conference teams that struggle all year. The Big East hides the faultiness, because of its size.

    You talk about seeing teams. Well………..if Murray State gets to the OVC final, and loses, no one sees the team that won 29 games. Same with Coastal Carolina, in that they have the same amount of victories. These teams need to be on TV more, once its apparent they are having this type of season.

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  45. Matty Says:


    I think you need to change your Milwaukee pod: Purdue and UConn played each other in the tourney last year, so that should not be a possible 2nd round matchup.


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  46. John Says:

    While I am disappointed in a number of aspects about this game, I look at the bubble, and am encouraged. Minnesota probably played their way out after their horrendous loss at Michigan. The Georgia Tech-Clemson loser is in serious trouble, and Illinois would need a deep Big Ten tournament run if they do not beat Ohio State. All in all, as David said, if we win our first game in the SEC Tournament, we will get in.

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  47. Atticus Finch Says:

    John, the problem UF has with just “winning one” in the SEC tournament is that “one” will be against an atrocious SECW team. I don’t think that earns UF anything. I’m afraid they will have to beat MSU (the likely quarterfinal opponent) too. Whipping a hapless Alabama isn’t going to do anything to help UF in that first round.

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  48. John Says:

    Atticus, David is the one who first said that, and while you are correct, if you recall, we just beat Mississippi State, so I am confident about that matchup.

    What was your reaction to my last comment about the mid-majors?

    Matty, just because Connecticut and Purdue played in the NCAA Tournament last year, doesn’t mean anything. BYU and Texas A&M have played in the 1st Round the last 2 years.

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  49. Atticus Finch Says:

    John, I don’t think victories are the end-all, be-all. There is no doubt that a team who amasses a bunch of wins in the OVC isn’t NECESSARILY better than a team who amasses 7 fewer in, say, the Big East just because it has those 7 more wins.

    I think the goal is to identify the best 35 teams who do not get automatic bids. There will always be debate about whether team X is the 30th or 40th best team — heck look at the rankings right now, Vandy is 13 in one poll and 19 in another. How much of a disagreement is there between 34 and 36? It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

    As for MSU, they are the one team from the West that I think can win the SEC tourney. Varnado basically willed them to the title last year, and he’s capable of dominating 3 games in 3 days. I really want UT to finish ahead of UF in the East in order to avoid both MSU and Vandy until the finals.

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  50. Henry Muto Says:

    Bye Bye Charlotte. I believe I was the 1st person way back on Feb 19th to state I was not seeing Charlotte making the big dance and sure enough as I predicted they have lost game after game after game. I just seen them as over rated and they have proved it another 22 point loss tonight. Put a foke in them they are done unless they reach the A-10 finals.

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  51. Chad Says:

    How do you not have Virginia Tech in the field? You have Clemson and Wake Forest ahead of them and VT beat them both easily. They just took MD to double OT. I would understand your arguement about their schedule before ACC play but they only lost one of those games and it was to a top 25 team. Had they lost a couple of the other games then you have a valid argument but they didn’t. They have the highest scoring player in the ACC who is also one of the best players in the ACC. It is time to accept Virginia Tech as a legit basketball team and stop trying to write them off. Maybe you should check out their games and then make your comments. Virginia Tech has been the best thing for the ACC ever since we switched over from ther Big East. We dominate football and will soon dominate basketball. See you in the tourney! SIB!!

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  52. thom Says:

    wake forest a lock are u kidding they lost 4 in a row

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  53. Quintin Says:

    Where does last nights loss put Duke? The ACC is way down so I dont see them really deserving the last one seed over a team with the same record. Just some thoughts Thanks.

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  54. Quintin Says:

    Ohio State? Not the answer i expected. I cant reason putting a team that has two or three more loses then all of my 2 seeds into a 1 seed. I mean I know some of the loses came without POY Evan Turner, but still SOS-68 RPI-28 and 5-4 against RPI top 50.

    Why not Nova or KSU??

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  55. James G Says:

    Now that Ohio State has moved to a #1 seed in this projection, I think that makes Cal the only team that played 3 #1 seeds. Going 0-4 against the top 50 sounds a lot worse than going 0-4 against 3 #1 seeds and a #3 seed. Cal played Ohio State pretty close (better than against New Mexico), so a close game against a #1 seed has got to count for something. Additionally, I wonder if Washington or Arizona State has any chance of moving into the RPI top 50 giving Cal wins in that category. Currenty (according to Warren Nolan), they are #53 and #54. Compare their resume to that of Old Dominion, UTEP, or Northern Iowa, and I think they are all pretty similar. Fewer RPI top 50 wins made up by a higher RPI rank, and also wins in the 50 to 60 range.

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  56. David Mihm Says:

    James, you make good points about Cal’s resume; however UTEP’s and UNI’s conference records are markedly better than Cal’s (albeit in slightly weaker conferences). I do think after Wednesday night’s Bubble carnage that Cal is fairly safely in the field at this point but they cannot afford to lose either of their next two games in order to keep that spot. Beating Stanford and winning the first round Pac-10 game should be good enough, however.

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  57. John Says:

    I was looking at Rhode Island’s schedule, and was wondering if Quinnipiac, Stony Brook, Akron, and Northeastern all win their respective conference tournaments, does that raise Rhode Island’s profile, considering those teams finished either first or second in their conferences?

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  58. Brian Says:

    I can’t see how Oklahoma State could still be a bubble team, even though they are the 7th team in the Big 12.

    This year, the top 6 teams in the Big 12 have a pretty good argument that they are just as good or better than the top 6 teams of the Big East, considering common opponents, computer ratings, and strength of schedule, yet you have lowered the Big 12 seedings due to tough losses in conference.
    Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, and Missouri are ALL better than Marquette (not that Marquette is bad… just Marquette seems to play up or down to the level of their competition).

    Texas and Baylor are better than Georgetown, though perhaps not quite equal to Pitt
    (Although — Texas beat Pitt by 16 on a neutral site.)

    Not one of the top 6 Big 12 teams should be seeded lower than a 6 if you compare them with similar teams in other top conferences. Keep in mind that most people rate the Big 12 equivalent or better than the Big East or ACC this year…

    Butler and Richmond have hardly played anyone, so there’s no way they should be seeded that high (I don’t count Ohio State from the Big 10 — Ohio State should be moved down to a 4 seed, and Purdue should be a 2 seed).

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  59. Christopher Mackinder Says:

    @ Brian: I’ll let David defend his projections, but I just have to call you out — and/or get your feelings for the strange “OSU should be a No. 4 seed” statement.

    The ONLY way the Buckeyes would be anywhere near a No. 4 seed is if the committee does NOT take into consideration injuries. If history tells us anything, it does look at injuries, especially ones in the middle of a year where a team vastly improves. Ohio State has won 13 of its last 15 games (blew a lead at W. Virginia and lost at home vs. Purdue) since Turner came back from his injury. The Buckeyes have big wins (N-California, Wisconsin, @ Purdue, @ Michigan State) and will at least win a share of the top-heavy Big Ten. Typically teams that get those 2/3 seeds at the end of the year are teams that get hot. [Imagine if Maryland wins the ACC Tournament. The Terps, a projected 7-10 seed a week ago — and now a 5 — could move to the 3 line. The Buckeyes have been on a hot streak for nearly two months. A 4 seed, when looking at the competition, is a ridiculous claim.

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  60. Henry Muto Says:

    You know what is a shame is how a team like Kent State gets no love from anyone as a bubble team. They are not even on the bubble but why not ? RPI of 43 better than a lot of the bubble teams on here and that RPI is with a “weak” MAC. Maybe the MAC isn’t so weak ? How do they have a such a decent RPI with no good wins ? They beat UAB a team on the bubble. They went 13-3 in a pretty darn good conference but MAC never gets any respect. They have not had an at large bid since 1999 and its a shame they play good basketball there and have quailty teams that beat up on each other. 13-3 in that conference is pretty darn good. Yes I know they won’t get an at large bid but it isn’t because they are not good enough to beat the other teams on the bubble because they can. If they had not taken 3 critical losses a 1 point loss to Green Bay and an overtime loss at Miami and a home loss to BG this team would be an at large team.

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  61. Henry Muto Says:

    Ohio State is for sure a 3 seed at worst as long as they make at least the big 10 semi-finals. If they win the big 10 tournament they have a great shot of being a 2 seed. No way they will be a 4 seed you have to discount the 3-3 without Turner he has proven to be such a great player how can you not discount those games ?

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  62. Bill Says:

    Haha is that bracket some sort of joke? Ohio State as a #1 seed? That’s hilarious. Every team in the country has injuries. It’s part of the game of basketball, and Turner’s injury will be considered, but Ohio State is no where close to being a #1 seed. Their RPI is 29, and they’re only 5-4 against the top 50, and 8-6 against the top 100. Compare that to a team like Duke who has an RPI of 2, is 8-4 against the top 50, and 16-4 agains the top 100. The two teams aren’t even comparable.

    Marquette as a 6 seed is ridiculous as well. To me they should be on the bubble, and barely in. 20-10 and 11-7 in the Big East is good, but with unbalance scheduling, it can be misleading, and their schedule really wasn’t that hard. 2 games against Depaul, 2 games against Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, USF, Cincy, Seton Hall, and UCONN = 11 games against teams that will not be in the NCAA tournament. Against teams that will be in the tourney, Marquette is only 3-7. That’s equivalent or worse to teams squarely on the bubble like Georgia Tech and Wake Forest (GT is 4-7 and Wake is 5-5). Really I think Florida and Marquette have nearly identical resumes.

    RPI: 48 53
    Against top 25: 2-6, 2-6
    26-50: 2-1, 1-1
    51-100: 4-0, 4-2
    100+: 12-2 , 13-1

    The only thing Marquette has going for them is an easy schedule the last half of the season, where they went 8-2 in the last 10, but only 1-2 against probably NCAA tournament teams. If Marquette loses in the 1st round of the BE tournament, they’re surely not the “LOCK” everyone says they are.

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  63. Henry Muto Says:

    Cincy and UCONN have to be all but dead now save a run to the big east semi finals now. Both teams have lost too many games. UCONN 17-14 and (7-11) 4 games under .500 in conf. Cincy 16-14 (7-11) and they swept UCONN so I don’t see how either of these teams gets in. Has a 15 loss team every got an at large bid ? I know Georgia aws 16-14 one year and got a bid but how about 15 losses ? Anyone know ?

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  64. Scott Says:

    At what point does the RPI start to lose it’s relevance? It’s obvious a number of mid-majors have learned how to game the system. Play a bunch of solid, but not great teams out of conference, and the results don’t really matter. The RPI places so much importance on who you play and where you play them, not who you BEAT and where you BEAT them.

    Cal (though not a mid-major) is a perfect example this year. They’re #22 in the RPI, without having beat a top 50 RPI team? The RPI gives them credit for playing 4 games vs. top teams, even though they lost, and weren’t very competitive in a couple of them.

    Duke is another great example…they’re #2 in the RPI, while going 1-6 on the road vs. RPI top 50? The #2 team in the country has a .143 win % in road games vs the 50 best teams in the country?

    In response to Bill, that is why I think the guys at Bracketography have elevated Ohio State. Duke is 1-6 in road games vs. top 50 competition, 3-6 if you include road AND neutral games. OSU has 2 road wins vs. top 25 RPI teams, 3 if you include neutral, against 3 losses (2 of which were played without college bball’s POY). In essense, the OSU team that will play in March is 3-1 in road/neutral games vs Top 25 RPI teams, while Duke is 1-3 in the same metric.

    OSU has road/neutral wins over Bracketography teams Purdue (2 seed), Michigan State (4 seed), Cal (10 seed), Illinois (10 seed), and also lost @ West Virginia (3-seed) and Wisconsin (5-seed), and Butler (6-seed)

    Duke has road/neutral wins over Bracketography teams Gonzaga (7 seed), Clemson (8-seed), UCONN (12-seed), and lost games to Georgetown (5-seed), Wisconsin (5-seed), Maryland (5-seed).

    Against projected tournament teams, OSU was 4-3 road/neutral, Duke is 3-3 road/neutral. The average seed of OSU’s opponent was 5.7, Duke’s was 7, as well as OSU played (and won) true road games against higher seeded teams than any teams who Duke faced home, away, or neutral. In fact, Duke hasn’t played a single game against a team projected to be a 4-seed or higher all season. Sorry for the manifesto :) , but finally glad to see Duke dethroned as a 1 seed for playing a bunch of good, but not great teams all season and getting credit for this ‘incredibly difficult’ schedule.

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  65. Bill Says:

    I know Duke might not be the greatest team, but still Ohio State is not a #1 seed. Going into Saturday, only counting games in which Turner has played, Ohio State’s RPI was still only 18. Ohio State is not a #1 seed. In fact they’re no where close to a #1 seed.

    Ohio State will probably get a 3 or 4 seed, maybe even a 2, but a #1 isn’t even possible for them at this point. Their RPI is 29. They’ve beaten 0 top 10 team, and they have 3 losses against teams outside of the top 50. Look at any of the Big East teams ahead of them, Pitt, Georgetown, Syracuse, West Virginia……every single one of those teams have more top 25 wins, have a better RPI, and have fewer bad losses. Even compare New Mexico…

    RPI: 8, 29 (18 with Turner)
    overall: 28-3, 24-7
    vs top 25: 4-0, 4-4
    25-50: 3-2, 1-0
    51-100: 4-0, 3-2

    overall against top 100: 11-2, 8-6

    100+: 17-1, 16-1

    Ohio State is not going to be a #1 seed before New Mexico or about 10 other teams.

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  66. Bill Says:

    by the way…Duke is only 1-4 on the Road against the top 50…not 1-6 (they only have 5 losses overall???) and 3-4 against the top 50 road/neutral. Ohio State is only 3-3 against the top 50 road/neutral. Of all the stats you can find to say Ohio State is better than Duke (who I don’t even like) OSU is only marginally better.

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  67. Henry Muto Says:

    Ohio State might not end up a 1 seed but you can’t say 10 other teams are ahead of them because that would mean they have no shot at a 2 seed. They have a great shot a 2 seed by winning the big 10 tournament. Don’t you people realize the committee takes into account the games missed by Turner. The RPI is just 1 tool and it isn’t a paticularly good one either in some cases. So your telling me California should be ahead of Ohio State ? That is what the RPI tells me.

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  68. Henry Muto Says:

    David you have a mistake listed about VCU they are not in the final vs ODU they are in the semi-final vs ODU today. VCU should have been in the running for at large birth but they blew too many games in conf they had some great non conf wins but it won’t matter they have about 1% chance to get an at large berth the committe won’t be taking a team that has that many in conf losses.

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  69. DT Says:

    I find it hard to believe or understand how 101 can justify West Virginia as a #1 seed. That has to be one of the most controversial picks you have made this week. I can see K-state’s performance dropping them out of contention, but Duke clearly has a better record, ranking, and RPI than West Virginia. Unless Duke falters early in their tournament and West Virginia makes it to the championship game in the Big East tournament, I dont see your prediction coming true.

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  70. Bill Says:

    IF Ohio State wins the Big 10 Tournament, then absolutely they’d have to be considered a #2 seed. Still no chance at a #1 seed imo, but I’m talking as of right now, and Right now I see them as one of the last #3 seeds or maybe even a #4.

    Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova, Pitt, Kansas State, Purdue, and New Mexico have all done more than OSU at this point in the season. Even Baylor, Texas A&M, Maryland, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Temple seem just as deserving right now…If they win their conference tourneys (with the exception of Temple) they’d probably all be a #2 seed too.

    Sure you can say their losses without Turner shouldn’t matter as much, but you can’t also say:
    OH they would have won those games…let’s count them as wins.
    Even only counting games that Turner has played, their RPI is still only 18. RPI isn’t the only tool, but it is a basis for comparison, and teams with an RPI of 18 or 29 aren’t TOP teams. OSU should be anywhere from a 2 to 5 seed depending on how they do in the Big 10 tournament.

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  71. Henry Muto Says:

    Bill you have gone nutty. Vandy just lost at home to South Carolina, Pitt barely survived at home on a miracle 3 vs Providence, Kansas State just lost at home to Iowa State, G’Town was getting thumped in 2 out of their last 3 games. New Mexico’s best win is vs Texas A&M and BYU that compares to wins at Purdue and At Michigan State ?

    I give you Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, West Virginia, Purdue and Villanova ahead of Ohio State at this point but that is it.

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  72. Henry Muto Says:

    Oh and stop worrying about the RPI. Who cares really. California is ahead of Ohio State in RPI but they are not a better team. RPI is just 1 tool you make it sound like their RPI is the reason all these other teams are ahead of them. Ohio State with Turner has 4 losses. That is what Ohio State will be judged on for the most part by the committee.

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  73. Matt G. Says:

    I am an Ohio State alum, but my comment is actually directed towards the lower seeds. Sounds weird, but Im a nut (no pun intended) for the mid-majors.

    David, I have been visiting this site for a very long time, and almost every day. Keep up the good work!

    My question and concern was about the seeding of the 14-16 teams. Coastal Carolina and Stony Brook have both been knocked out of the tourney and they are still in your bracket. Winthrop will be representing the Big South for the 3rd time out of the last 4 years and 9th overall. The Catamounts of Vermont look to represent the America East Conf. That being said, shouldnt Quinnipiac be deserving of a 16 and in my opinion, even a 15 seed? The Bobcats have a much better resume than that of, BOTH Winthrop and Lehigh. They also have Coach of Year, and Player of Year, and 3 All-Conference performers who could give a team fits.

    Are the 13-16 seeds updated every day? And my last question is, who are your favorite dark horses? And Im not referring to Northern Iowa or SDSU who everyone knows about. Some teams Ive been looking at that are below the radar are Siena, Kent State, St. Marys, and Murray State. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again for the fantastic website!

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  74. David Mihm Says:

    Matt, thanks for the heads-up on Winthrop. I must have overwritten my spreadsheet which had locked them in. You’re right that Qpac has a better resume, even though their conference is a little weaker.

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  75. Henry Muto Says:

    I agree 100% on Memphis. I did a double take on them last night when others had them IN THE FIELD already. I was like huh ?

    This is what I posted on the sites that had Memphis listed as IN as of today

    Why so much love for Memphis ? Why are they considered IN now ? They have a 2-5 mark vs RPI top 50 and both of those wins are vs UAB who might not even make the tournament. They have lost 3 games vs RPI 150+ teams. They have feasted on teams who stink 14 wins vs teams ranked RPI 150+.

    They have 0 big time wins.

    Memphis best wins are UABx2, Tulsax2, Okland, IUPUI, Marshall

    Losses to UMASS, SMU, Houston

    Sorry I am not seeing Memphis in the dance.

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  76. Quintin Says:

    Why is Baylor only a 6 seed. Thats terrible! They are 8th in the RPI and SOS of 18 thats better then almost EVERYONE ranked in seeds 4 and 5, and they play in the #1 RPI Conference. I dont get why you continue to dog the Big XXII. They at least deserve a 4 seed if not a 3 depending on the Conf Tourny. You can’t have Temple at a 3 and Baylor at a 6 its not comparable. They have a worse RPI, Lower SOS, worse W-L against RPI top 100.

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  77. Atticus Finch Says:


    I don’t get the math. I’ve been trying to figure it out, and I’ve decided that I can’t. I realize that you haven’t updated yet to reflect St. Mary’s getting the automatic bid, so I’ll assume that game hasn’t been played to show my discrepancy.

    You have 35 teams that are “locks”. Those teams come from 10 of the 31 conferences (you have no “lock” team in the PAC-10). If we assume that those 10 conference champs come from the “lock” list, that’s the 31 conference champions, plus the 25 teams left on the “lock” list, or 56 teams.

    That would leave only 9 slots available for bubble teams, not the 12 you have, right? Note that I haven’t included the “one more win” teams to the equation.

    With St. Mary’s winning last night, that takes 1 more slot away (and 1 team off the bubble watch), leaving only 8 slots available for all of your bubble teams, including the “one more win” teams.

    Have I missed something?

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  78. Bill Says:

    Minnesota in the field????????
    Really? Because I don’t see it.
    I could make almost as good of a case for St. John’s as I could for Minnesota, and St. John’s is no where near in contention for a bubble spot either.

    Best Wins: Temple (3), Louisville (10), Siena (12), at Notre Dame (10), at South Florida (13) Cincinnati
    (6 TOP 100 WINS, 3 TOP 50, 1 TOP 25)
    Bad Losses: Providence (127), Rutgers (151) ( 2 TOTAL)
    RPI: 78
    Overall: 16-14
    Home: 10-7
    Road/Neutral: 6-7

    Best Wins: Wisconsin (5), Ohio State(3), Butler (6), at Illinois
    (4 TOP 100 WINS, 3 TOP 50, 2 TOP 25)
    Bad Losses: Portland, Northwestern (118), Miami (121), Michigan (132), Michigan (132), Indiana (213) (6 TOTAL)
    Overall: 18-12
    Home: 14-3
    Road/Neutral: 4-9

    Minnesota has a few good wins, but their overall quality of work is not up to par. You can’t just focus on a few data points, and take them as averages.
    No team with that many bad losses is going to make the field.
    William and Mary, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech, UAB, Illinois, Miss. State, Ole Miss, Washington, AZ State are all more deserving.

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  79. MWC Says:

    Just a quibble, but SDSU was swept by BYU, but split with unlv and NM so they haven’t “beaten all the top teams” in the MWC.

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  80. Henry Muto Says:

    I don’t really get why Louisville is a lock. I know everyone has them as a lock but why ?

    I know they beat Syracuse twice but do a double check and those are their only 2 top 50 RPI wins. That resume isn’t good enough for mid majors just 2 top 50 RPI wins.

    Louisville has losses to several bubble/non bubble teams

    Lost 76-71 vs UNLV

    Got thumped 87-65 to a Charlotte team that isn’t even on the bubble anymore

    Lost 91-83 to Western Carolina

    Best out of Conf win ? Arkansas ? East-Tenn State ? Oral Roberts ? Radford ?

    Wins vs NCAA sure fire at large teams – Syracuse x 2

    So 2 wins carries a team straight to the dance ?

    Sure they were 2 awesome wins vs a top 3 team but who else have they beat ?

    Notre Dame is their next best win

    I know they are getting in but the more I look at this the more I wonder why 2 wins carries your entire season into the dance.

    Maybe I am wrong here maybe 2 wins are enough ? Maybe it doesn’t matter that you lost to teams like W-Carolina ? Maybe it doesn’t matter that you beat no one out of conference (and I mean no one)

    Tell me I am wrong. Tell me Louisville is deserving because they have 11 Big East wins (South Florida, Providence, St. John’s, Cincy, Connx2, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Depaul, Syracusex2)

    Ok I know they are getting in but I am still trying to find out why.

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  81. John Says:

    @ David. Here is where I think we are now:

    Saint Mary’s did not steal a bid last night. They were getting a bid, anyway.

    South Florida is thisclose to making the field. A win over Georgetown might be enough.

    Potential Atlantic 10 bubble teams could play their way in, if they win in the quarterfinals. Rhode Island-Saint Louis, Charlotte-Richmond, and Dayton-Xavier are huge bubble games.

    The Pac-10 might get a second bid, and it come down to Arizona State vs Washington in the semifinals.

    I agree with your thoughts on William & Mary. They did not get blown out by ODU, and their non-conference wins over Maryland, Wake Forest, and Richmond are better than most other bubble teams. I’d give them serious consideration.

    Your thoughts?

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  82. Henry Muto Says:

    Why does the Washington or Arizona State winner get a bid ?

    Who deserves it more ?

    William & Mary with wins AT Maryland (where the all mighty great Duke team lost), AT Wake Forest and vs a Richmond team who was 13-3 in a good A-10 this year.

    How is W&M’s wins not better then anything Washington and Arizona State can throw up on the board ?

    And W&M won’t even sniff an at large bid and won’t be on anyone’s bubble but people are going to declare the winner of the epic Washington/Arizona State Pac 10 semi-final as in ?

    This is why it is complete crap that the little guy always gets shut out unless they go like 27-5. God forbid a little conference team (who actually plays in 1 freaking tough confrence) takes somes conf losses.

    If your not UCONN or Georgia Tech your not allowed to lose 5-6 conf games because if your UCONN or Georgia Tech your allowed to lose 9,10 or 11 ?

    W&M is just 1 example. There are many more mid majors that have stepped up and won big games. If the committee is true to their words that every game counts then those early wins vs those big time teams will count as much as late wins for other teams which means teams like W&M have better wins 10 fold.

    End of rant.

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  83. Michael Says:

    I have to say unconn not very imprevisse wins and they are what you call a tourment favorite. They will be like a Arizona and make the tourment which it should go UAB or Siena. Sorry huskies not a fan this year

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  84. John Says:

    @ Henry. I agree with you. I know William & Mary won’t get a bid. I wish they would, and if you notice, I said that they have better non-conference wins than most other bubble teams. I’m all for the little guy. I’m having a blast watching Championship Week, and all the conference championship games, and if it was my decision, and came down to Washington/Arizona State or William & Mary, i’d choose William & Mary. The reality is that whoever wins that game, will get a bid because teams continue to play their way off of the bubble. In fact, you could make a case that you could put Washington/Arizona State AND William & Mary in the field, due to the bubble’s weakness.

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  85. VT Says:

    Where is Virginia Tech in this? Surely with the Hokies resume (23-7) and quality wins against numerous team (Seton Hall, Clemson,Wake, and at Georgia Tech) they have to be considered a lock even though their out of conference schedule was incredibly soft.

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  86. Atticus Finch Says:

    Here’s how I see things right now.

    Contrary to what David has above, there are really just 8 spots available for bubble teams, including the 2 teams he thinks need 1 win to get in. He’s undercounted the number of conferences by 3 in his math.

    I put Notre Dame into the tournament regardless of what they do in the Big East tourney. That leaves 7 spots available for everyone else on my board.

    URI, Dayton, and USF winning yesterday is not what the other bubble teams wanted to see. I’m not sure any of those 3 are in yet, but one more win from any of them might be enough.

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  87. John Says:

    Atticus, don’t forget about Saint Louis. They play Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals. If they win, I thin they have a good shot of getting in. Also, they most likely would face Temple in the semifinals, which would present them an opportunity to lock up a bid. I also think if South Florida beats Georgetown, they are in.

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  88. Brian Says:

    I’m not an Ohio State hater — I just don’t believe they deserve consideration for a #1 seed. There are only 3 other good teams in the Big 10 — Mich St, Purdue, and Wisconson. Against those teams, Ohio State won 3 and lost 2. Any other losses in conference are inexcusable for a #1 seed, but Ohio State also lost to Michigan and Minnesota. Ohio State’s only other decent win was against a decent Cal team in a down year. They lost to Butler, North Carolina, and West Virginia, the only other teams that should have presented any sort of test.

    That’s just not the resume’ of a #1 seed — I don’t care what they do in the conference tourney. I’m not a big fan of seeding a team highly just because they blow through their lousy conference with only a couple of losses.

    If you’re hell-bent on putting a Big 10 team as a #1 seed, Purdue has a better case for a one seed than Ohio State for several reasons:
    1. Currently 1-1 with Ohio State in the Big 10.
    2. Only loss to a non-tournament team is Northwestern on the road.
    3. Beat West Virginia while Ohio State lost to them. (Yes, they lost to MSU, but they have also beaten MSU.)
    4. Beat Tennessee
    5. Beat Ohio State on the road in the middle of their streak
    6. Have fewer losses than Ohio State

    The Big 10 is the 4th (or 5th if you like the SEC) best conference this year behind the Big 12, ACC, and Big East, but outside of the top 4 teams, they just aren’t that good. The top 4 teams have padded their records by beating up on the rest of their conference.

    Ohio State should get a 4 seed or a 3 seed if they win their conference tourney.
    I would give Purdue a 2, just because there are better options for #1 seeds.

    For comparison’s sake, Ohio State’s tournament resume is similar to Maryland, Baylor, and Pittsburgh, which ALL play in tougher conferences.

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  89. Atticus Finch Says:


    Didn’t forget about them (St. Louis) — they just didn’t play yesterday. I personally think that the A-10 could end up getting 5 teams into the tournament if Dayton beats Xavier: Temple, Richmond, Xavier, Dayton, and winner of URI-St Louis game. That scenario would really test the “we don’t look at conference affiliation” party line from the committee.

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  90. Henry Muto Says:

    Michael don’t worry UCONN is out this year. They now have 0% chance of at large bid with that beat down St. John’s handed them last night.

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  91. goroshnik Says:

    I was just perusing your bracket this morning, and I think I need to point out something to your attention… let’s play a little comparison game to see where you’ve got it wrong:

    TEAM A (listed as a #8 seed in your bracket):

    28-4 record, #18 RPI, 4-1 vs. RPI top 50, 12-2 vs. RPI top 100

    TEAM B (listed as a #7 seed in your bracket):

    20-10 record, #57 RPI, 3-7 vs. RPI top 50, 8-8 vs. RPI top 100

    I should also mention that team A also won the #9 ranked conference by three full games and won every game in their conference tournament by 15+ points.

    Methinks you at least need to at least switch the seeds of these two teams, or better yet, give Team A a #6 or #7 seed where they rightfully belong.

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  92. John Says:

    Atticus, I agree with you. I think Dayton is in with a win over Xavier. Bubble teams are not safe yet, because if UTEP and Utah State both lose in their conference tournaments, they are getting in. Also, don’t sleep on Marshall. A win over UTEP in the Conference USA semifinals might be enough. Lastly, Tulsa was picked as the preseason favorite to win Conference USA, and have quality players in Ben Uzoh, and Jerome Jordan. Where is the Conference USA Tournament being held? You got it. Tulsa. They could very well wind up being a bid stealer.

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  93. Bill Says:

    I wrote about this a little before…
    BUT Seriously why is Marquette a 7 in this site’s bracket???
    Marquette’s best wins are Xavier (6), Georgetown (5), Louisville (10), and Seton Hall.
    They’ve beat a 5,6, and 10 seed, and Seton Hall.

    They’re 20-10, have 2 bad losses (NC State + Depaul), and RPI of 58, and were only 3-7 against the top 50, and 8-8 against the top 100.

    Even 10 seed (on this site) Notre Dame can put up a better resume than that.
    Best Wins: West VA (1), Pitt (3), Georgetown (5), and AT Marquette (7???)
    They’ve beat a 1,3,and 5 seed and even won on the road against the supposed 7 seed.
    They’re also 21-10 overall, 3-3 against the top 50, 10-7 against the top 100, and have an RPI of 57. They have 3 bad losses (Northwester, Rutgers, Loyola Marymount).

    How can you possibly justify Marquette as a 7 seed, when a 10 seed has better wins, a better RPI, a better record against the top 25, 50, and 100, and even won on the other school’s homecourt? There is NO WAY Marquette is a 7 seed, or 3 seeds better than ND on Selection Sunday. I think every 8, 9, and 10 seed on this site can put up a better resume than Marquette at this point…It makes no sense to me.

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  94. Atticus Finch Says:

    John, I definitely agree that the 7 spots “available” for bubble teams right now will shrink to 4 or 5 after the conference tournaments run their course.

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  95. Atticus Finch Says:


    Your math is still a bit off, I think because you have an at large coming from a conference that already has another team getting the auto bid. I am not including California as a “lock” in my math.

    There are 10 conference champs already dancing.

    Of the remaining conferences, you have 8 conferences with at least 1 “lock” team (again, not counting the PAC-10) amongst the 34 “locks”.

    That leaves an additional 13 “one-bid” conferences.

    Assuming the 8 conference with at least 1 “lock” team are all won by a “lock” team, that leaves 26 teams taking “at large” bids.

    Taking the 10 teams with bids already wrapped-up, plus the 21 remaining conferences, plus the 26 teams who have “locked-up” at large bids leaves you with 57 spots accounted for. That’s 8 for everyone else, not 10.

    Another way to look at it is to pay absolutely no attention to the 31 automatic bids. There are 34 at large bids. We know for a fact that at least 26 are taken (34 “locks” less the 8 conferences that they represent [Gonzaga MUST take an at-large spot]).

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  96. David Mihm Says:

    Hey guys, thanks for all the comments. I’ve had a hectic last two days & will do my best to post my updated thoughts tomorrow morning, especially with all of the Big East games today.

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  97. Henry Muto Says:

    Louisville lucky they beat Syracuse twice or they would not be going to the dance. A 1st round loss to Cincy and no other wins of note except vs a Notre Dame bubble team and several bad losses.

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  98. Atticus Finch Says:


    If you took the top 2 wins off of a lot of team’s resumes they wouldn’t be in the tournament. Louisville beat Syracuse. Twice. David has them projected as an 11. Take away the 2 best wins from any other at-large team seeded 8th or worse and they aren’t in the tournament either.

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  99. David Mihm Says:

    OK, I’ve taken a browse through the comments and will try to answer as many questions here as I can remember:

    - As always, please remember my projections are not how I personally would vote if I were running the Committee. They are a reflection of what I think the Committee will do.

    - As far as Baylor and Texas A&M, it is very difficult to say that they have the caliber of true quality wins that teams like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Georgetown, and Tennessee have. That’s why I am ‘dogging’ them. Temple may end up sliding to the four line if one of the 4-5-6 teams in the major conferences gets hot in their conference Tournaments. However, I did re-look at A&M’s and Baylor’s resumes this morning and I do think Baylor has an ever-so-slight edge on the Aggies at the moment. We’ll see how the Big 12 Tournament plays out.

    - As far as the math, as I look across my current bracket, here are the at-large spots that are NOT sewn up: Florida, VaTech, Ole Miss, SDSU, Washington, South Florida, Minnesota. That is 7 teams. Should Cal and Utah State lose, it probably goes down to five. Let alone upset winners in major conferences (though those seem the most vulnerable).

    - I still think Louisville is a lock despite losing to Cincinnati. The rest of the Bubble is absolutely terrible, and they did go 11-7 in the best conference (even if not rated as such in the RPI).

    - As I said up above, I do NOT think that South Florida, Minnesota, or Washington will end up making the field on Selection Sunday. Please do not read me a riot act of Minnesota’s transgressions. I completely agree that they do not deserve to make the field yet. But I do think the Committee would vote them in ahead of the teams below them if the season ended right now.

    - The winner of the Washington – ASU Pac-10 semifinal will almost surely make the field. The loser is definitely out. That’s just the way it is. Assuming, of course, that both teams win their first-round games which is by no means a sure thing.

    - I absolutely wish William & Mary would make the field, but I don’t think the Committee is going to ignore their bad losses in the CAA (something that ODU avoided very nicely, for the most part).

    - I still have South Florida ahead of Seton Hall on my S-Curve because I think their home wins are nearly identical, and USF’s win at Georgetown is far more impressive than Seton Hall’s early-season win at Cornell.

    Thanks again for all the comments.

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  100. John Says:

    @ David. Explain to me why everyone is so in love with Illinois. Sure, they have some nice wins, but their RPI is quite high. There’s a team that could take a spot away from William & Mary.

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  101. David Mihm Says:

    John, I wouldn’t say everyone is “in love” with Illinois, but their good wins are very, very good indeed (@Wisconsin, @Clemson, Vandy, Michigan State), and their only “bad” losses came early in the year to Utah and Bradley, by a total of four points. There isn’t another team on the bubble with two road wins of the quality Illinois has. Plain and simple, they will miss the Tournament if they don’t beat Wisconsin tomorrow, though.

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  102. JD SMITH Says:

    Where is Wichita State? Texas Tech win… 2nd overall MVC… no mention at ALL!!!?

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  103. David Mihm Says:

    Correct. Shockers will be in NIT. Texas Tech went 4-12 in conference?? How is that a good win?

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  104. Henry Muto Says:

    How does Joe L have Memphis in his bracket ? 2 wins vs UAB gets you in ? what the heck ? 3 losses to teams 150+ RPI. I don’t understand why so many people think Memphis is in. Any other mid major with that resume would not even be on the bubble

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  105. John Says:

    Memphis is now done. Good news for UAB and Marshall.

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  106. Derek Pruett Says:

    The Valley is a good enough league, year in and year out, to have two teams make “The Dance” each season! Wichita State deserves to go!

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  107. John Says:

    Some thoughts as we head towards this evening’s games:

    Virginia, Miami, Georgetown, and Marquette all were lower seeds that won. For Marquette, I didn’t think they were solidly in the field. They are now.

    Kansas and Texas A&M both struggled, but both advanced to the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament. Should be an interesting game tommorrow.

    UCLA upset Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament. Could Ben Howland’s Bruins be this year’s Georgia?

    UAB is about to fall to Southern Mississippi and a lso fall off the bubble. Good news for Virginia Tech, Florida, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Rhode Island, Saint Louis, Dayton, Marshall, and William & Mary. However, Southern Mississippi and Houston will play for a spot in the Conference USA final, with a chance to pull off one more upset, and get to the NCAA Tournament. Not such good news for the teams listed above.

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  108. Henry Muto Says:

    Memphis and UAB are both done! My internet went down for 4 hours today how annoying. Been wanting to post this for hours! Will UTEP get in if they fail to win C-USA ?

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  109. David Mihm Says:

    Henry, I do think UTEP has achieved lock status. Their resume doesn’t look any different from UNI’s, as far as I can tell…although of course UNI did win their own conference tournament!

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  110. Henry Muto Says:

    I can’t believe Kent State wasted that entire season going 13-3 and being the #1 seed and now are going to the NIT. Heart breaking for me to see as I live right around the corner from them.

    For some reason people still think Memphis is getting in. JL has then 2nd out right now ? Huh ? They beat UAB twice and have 4 losses to 150+ RPI teams. How are they even close ?

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  111. John Says:

    Well……………….it looks like Florida is in, since David had them in the ”One more win” category. On to Mississippi State, a team we have already beaten this year.

    Georgia Tech and San Diego State barely survived, but they both remain barely on the bubble.

    Marshall is out now, which is more good news for William & Mary.

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  112. Henry Muto Says:

    Bye bye Arizona State

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  113. Atticus Finch Says:


    I don’t believe UF is quite in yet — there are too many teams that can catch them from behind, although the CUSA melt down certainly helped their cause. For example, if Ole Miss beats UT today and UF loses to MSU I think Ole Miss would have the better resume of the 2. I think UF needs to beat MSU and they are safe. A loss to Vandy wouldn’t hurt them.

    Honestly, I think it’s a lot less about UF WINNING 2 games in the SEC tourney than it is not being saddled with a loss to either of its first 2 opponents.

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  114. Atticus Finch Says:


    Sorry to keep harping on this, but I’m sure you want to get it right. Your math is off by one, I think b/c of Gonzaga. You have 21 “one-bid” conferences, but don’t take into account the fact that Gonzaga MUST be an at-large team since St. Mary’s took the automatic bid from that conference.

    31 automatic bids, and 36 teams from 9 conferences still playing their tournaments as “locks” gets you to 58. Gonzaga (your 37th “lock”) is the 59th spot taken. That leaves 6 spots open, not 7.

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  115. David Mihm Says:


    I think the difference actually has to do with Utah State. I should have updated that this morning. Regardless, you are right, there are currently 6 at-large slots in my current field that are up for grabs, in my opinion:

    Ole Miss

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  116. Atticus Finch Says:


    Whatever the root cause of the previous discrepancy, it looks right to me now.

    Do you really think UF (to me the weakest of your “lock” teams) is a “lock” now? I agree that if the season ended right now, UF would be in. It just seems that there are teams out there that are currently behind UF which could play themselves over UF. I’m not saying that UF shouldn’t be in the field right now, only that to call them a 95% certainty seems a little optimistic right now.

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  117. Go Minny Says:

    I love that you have the Gophers in. Only 1 bracket currently has them in, but I think you are right. Although, it would be easy for teams to catch them with wins today so they still have to beat Michigan St. If they do they will be in, but I will be curious how many other brackets will include them after tonight. I think their resume is better than AZ’s last year.

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  118. John Says:

    @ David. Where do you see Wake Forest after yesterday’s meltdown against Miami?

    Atticus, I only go by what David says, and he said we only needed one more win, so, therefore, we’re in.

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  119. Brian Says:

    Rating the Big 12 teams lower this year seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Keep in mind that every Big 12 team (even the “bad ones”) this year has beaten a tournament-bound team and one with over 20 wins. I don’t think any other conference can say that.

    What it really means is that a team like Texas Tech would have probably made the NCAA tournament playing in another conference:
    Texas Tech’s 2 out-of-conference losses:
    Wichita State
    Nex Mexico
    Texas Tech also beat Washington and UTEP.

    Sure, Texas Tech lost to 7 Big 12 tournament teams and colorado and Nebraska, but there is no pushover team in the Big 12. It’s the only conference that can say that.

    I’m not saying the Big East isn’t good as well, but c’mon.. Georgetown as a 3 seed? If you downgrade Texas A&M (or Baylor) for a bunch of losses to good teams, you need to do the same for Georgetown. 11-5 in the Big 12 is a heck of a lot better than 10-8 in the Big East — I don’t care how high the top teams are ranked. Before the “big” win against Syracuse, G-Town should have been a 5 or 6 seed. That should bring them up to a 4 or 5 at the most…. which is exactly where Baylor should be. I also think Texas A&M should be a 5 seed, not a 6, although it’s close.

    NO way Mich State should be a 5 seed.. at best they should be a 6 — move up Texas A&M… and once again.. the most overrated seeding… OHIO STATE… should be no higher than a 4 (and reality is they should be a 6). Ohio State’s only big wins were at Purdue, Wisconsin, and Michigan State… and they lost to Michigan, North Carolina, and Minnesota — all teams either on the bubble or not going to make the tourney. Ohio State isn’t a bad team…. just not good enough.. They should be a 4 to 6 seed. End of story… The Big 10 isn’t that good!

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  120. John Says:

    What a shot by Evan Turner. A shot that keeps Ohio State’s chances for a #1 seed alive.

    It wasn’t pretty, but for Duke, it was effective.

    Is there a more underrated coach in the country than Fran Dunphy? Temple into the Atlantic 10 semifinals.

    A mighty struggle for Kentucky, but in the end, they prevail over a pesky, scrappy Alabama team.

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  121. Henry Muto Says:

    Does San Diego State have to beat New Mexico is the big question. They have 0 big out of conference wins but some good home wins in conference. This would give them 2 out of the 3 wins vs New Mexico this year.

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  122. Matt Says:

    There is no way Wake Forest doesn’t get in. Despite struggling down the stretch and losing in the 1st round of the ACC Tourney, they still have a top 40 RPI, a top 30 SOS, 6 top 50 wins, 6! In a year when most bubble teams have 1-2 top 50 wins, and the fact that the committee is no longer looking at how teams played down the stretch, Wake is a lock.

    I know you have UTEP as a lock, but are they really? No wins over tournament teams despite their sexy, though deceiving, record.

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  123. Atticus Finch Says:

    I’m telling you guys, UF is in trouble. I think they’re on the outside looking in now. Too many teams have improved their resume (or taken an auto bid) over the past 2 days. The CUSA and Pac-10 finals were the death blows IMO.

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  124. Go Minny Says:

    5 RPI top 50 plus 1 over Illinois which is just as good as a top 50, no other bubble teams besides Illinois can come close. But we’ll probably beat Ohio State and if we do Minnesota will have a 7 seed. That’s right, a 7 seed if they win tomorrow.

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  125. Sam Says:

    Why is California still a lock after losing in their conference tourney? Sure they were regular season champs of the Pac-10, which usually is without question a tournament team. But they went 12-6 in a league with no good teams this year. They did play many of the country’s best teams in the nonconference but all were losses. I believe you need a good win to make it to the tournament unless you have a tremendous record. Their best win is a 5 point home win over Murray State.

    Compare Cal to a team like Ole Miss, who you consider to be out. They won a neutral court game over KSU and beat UTEP as well, which are significant wins. They had two more conference losses than Cal, but play in a much tougher league.

    Cal’s resume to me looks just slightly better to that of Wichita State. Both have a decent conference record in okay leagues, but not good leagues, made the final of their conference tourney, and have no bad non-conference losses, but no good wins. And the Shockers aren’t even under consideration at all, while the Bears are considered to be undoubtedly in, simply because the Pac-10 is one of the traditional power conferences, and the MVC isn’t. The Pac-10 isn’t a power conference by the way their teams played this year, and shouldn’t be treated like one.

    I agree that Cal should be under consideration for the tournament, but they rank as one of my first 4 teams out.

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  126. Sam Says:

    *I meant 13-5 in conference, not 12-6, oops, but anyway they have 6 losses including the tournament game. Nothing impressive.

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  127. Henry Muto Says:

    I am not sure UTEP is a lock. It would really suck if Houston stole their bid but look at the resume.

    UTEP resume

    best wins

    UAB x 2 – RPI 45
    Memphis – RPI 52
    NM State – RPI 57
    Tulas x 3 – RPI 66
    Marshall – RPI 67


    BYU at home – RPI 22
    NM State at home – RPI 57
    Mississippi (neutral) – RPI 59
    Texas Tech – RPI 72
    Houston x 2 – RPI 132 entering today

    So they have no wins vs any team that will make the NCAA field with an at large profile

    They lost to a fellow bubble team Mississippi on a neutral court

    Looking at this are you guys sure they are a lock ? I think they might get in because the bubble is so weak this year but their profile is no better then a team like Kent State who won’t sniff it and look at William & Mary another team most likely not getting in a team that won at Maryland, at Wake Forest vs Richmond.

    I think UTEP players will not get much sleep tonight.

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  128. Henry Muto Says:

    It is safe to say you can now move these following teams to NIT

    Cincinnati and South Florida.

    Probably Rhode Island and Seton Hall as well.

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  129. Henry Muto Says:

    Florida has to be taken off the lock status. They lost to Miss State who is in the SEC final now. Is the committee going to give it to Florida over Miss State who beat them and made the final ? Also too many other bubble teams are now pushing hard for a bid. San Diego State and Washington are now locked in. Houston stole a bid. Minnesota and Mississippi State are now in the title games of their conf. Florida is in trouble me thinks.

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  130. Ricky Says:

    Hey, I think that Virginia Tech’s and Mississippi’s overall profiles are much less impressive than the other bubble teams if you take a tough look at them. In the ACC every team plays 5 teams twice and the other 6 teams just once. The 5 teams VT played twice, (NCSU, UNC, Miami, Virginia, and BC) were the bottom 5 of the league. They went 7-3 in those games. Wake Forest played a tougher conference sced and Georgia Tech played a much tougher one. And that’s there whole argument on why they should be included is that they went 10-6 in conference, but this makes it look a lot worse.

    Mississippi played the other 5 good teams in the SEC 7 times and went 0-7. The only reason they can even still be in the discussion is that they beat Kansas St. and UTEP, but both teams are playing much better basketball now and probably wouldn’t lose to Ole Miss now.

    I think right now the bubble is down to 6 teams (Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi St., and Florida) fighting for 5 spots (assuming Utah St. wins). Virginia Tech, Mississippi, Seton Hall and USF probably have tiny outside shots.

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  131. Henry Muto Says:

    There goes another bubble team. So after going through most of championship week with no big surprises we have Houston and New Mexico State win their conf along with Minnesota and Miss State making their league finals. So will UTEP and Utah State get in ? What happens if Minnesota/Miss State win or are they in already ? Things were going so smoothly for champinship week until today with the team that was supposed to win..winning for the most part only St. Mary’s before this was a small surprise and they might have got in anywhere were as Houston and NM State were not getting in.

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  132. John Says:

    Atticus, I respect your opinions, and, as a fellow SEC fan, am glad you want to see Florida in the field, as you stated before, but why is it you only talk about us getting left home? Yes, yesterday’s events didn’t help, but we did split with Mississippi State, and, as David stated, have a better resume than the Bulldogs Are we going to let their SEC Tournament run make us forget about their lack of quality non-conference wins? In fact, I dare anyone to say these last few teams on the bubble have better non-conference wins than Michigan State and Florida State. Finally, it’s a matter of do you believe the committee when they say they don’t take conference affiliatlon into account when they select, and compare at-large teams.

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  133. David Leathem Says:

    I appreciate all the attention the Big 12 Has gotten this year, and the emergence as Americas premier conference 2010. I, however do not believe Missouri will be going to the dance, their early exit in the Big 12 tourney coupled with blow out At Mizzo Arena at the hands of KU, to end their regular season makes me wonder if the selection committee will give them the nod. I think they will be NIT bound!

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  134. Ed Vera Says:

    To me, the tounament needs to be restructured. Why must a team who won the conference championship has to prove it by winning the tournament? To me if you win the conference, automatic bid. The conference tournament should be for those teams that want to impress the select committee. Sometimes I feel that the conference champions loss just to get rest for the tournament games. That is my personal oppinion. The proponents for the 96 tournament team, cheapens the value of the tournament. What happen to the days when only the top 32 teams when. Why does our society, has to have everyone as a winner? Thank you.

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  135. Atticus Finch Says:


    I’ve got no problem with anyone feeling that UF could get the nod over the competition. My issue was with calling UF a “lock”. They weren’t then and they aren’t now. 95% chance of them being in? Not a chance. And I’m not alone. This composite shows that lots of people project UF out of the dance, for what that’s worth.


    As for UF’s resume, I don’t get why everyone is droning on and on about how great the FSU win at home was. It wasn’t a bad win or anything, but it’s not anything great. It was a home win over a 9 loss team with an RPI in the 40s thzt is probably a 9/10 in the tournament. That’s your 3rd best win all season long? Whoop-di-doo.

    The SEC has 3 good teams, 3 pretty good teams, and 3 pretty bad teams, and 3 awful teams. UF probably has the best resume of the pretty good teams, but I just don’t think that’s enough. And I do think there is an argument to be made for MSU over UF based on the actual resumes of the teams.

    That said, I don’t think MSU is UF’s competition — I don’t think they are dancing either. I think UF’s resume is found lacking against enough bubble teams to keep them out. Teams like Illinois, GT, and WF have more impressive wins than does UF. Yes they have their warts, but they look better to me than does UF.

    I would love nothing more than 4+ SEC teams in the tournament, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

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  136. warren friedman Says:

    As usual you guys have done an excellent job.

    I only have 2 differences – putting Va Tech and Miss St in the final field – and leaving out Minn (I know they have several good wins – but also laid many an egg during the season) and Florida (good wins but lots of mediocre losses)

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  137. Ricky Says:

    My final projection:

    Minnesota, Louisville, Missouri, and Cal should be safely in so I think the bubble is down to 8 teams (WF, Georgia Tech, Utah St., UTEP, Mississippi St., Illinois, Florida, VT) fighting for 5 spots. Of these Georgia Tech and Wake Forest probably have the most impressive overall profiles so I’ll put them in. Utah St. and UTEP both had had winnning streaks of about 16 in a row so I’ll put them in. I know UTEP hasn’t beaten anyone good this year but winning 16 in a row in the 9th best conference is still impressive.

    So in my opinion it’s down to MSU, UF, Illinois, and VT going for the last spot. All of these teams have glaring weaknesses in their profiles and normally would all be out. Illinois has a weak 19-14 record. VT had a really weak schedule. UF only has one good win away from home, and Miss St. didn’t really do anything impressive until the conference tourney. In the end I predict Mississippi St. will get the final bid. Their win over Vandy in a “neutral” site (actually in Nashville i think) was better than anything UF did all season. They split the series with UF, but when they lost it was at UF. They just took a #1 seed down to the wire and they finished hotter than the other bubble teams. I think that in the end they will be in. So my S-Curve would be:

    Georgia Tech
    Wake Forest
    Utah St.
    Mississippi St.

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  138. Ricky Says:

    My final projection:

    Minnesota, Louisville, Missouri, and Cal should be safely in so I think the bubble is down to 8 teams (WF, Georgia Tech, Utah St., UTEP, Mississippi St., Illinois, Florida, VT) fighting for 5 spots. Of these Georgia Tech and Wake Forest probably have the most impressive overall profiles so I’ll put them in. Utah St. and UTEP both had had winnning streaks of about 16 in a row so I’ll put them in. I know UTEP hasn’t beaten anyone good this year but winning 16 in a row in the 9th best conference is still impressive.

    So in my opinion it’s down to MSU, UF, Illinois, and VT going for the last spot. All of these teams have glaring weaknesses in their profiles and normally would all be out. Illinois has a weak 19-14 record. VT had a really weak schedule. UF only has one good win away from home, and Miss St. didn’t really do anything impressive until the conference tourney. In the end I predict Mississippi St. will get the final bid. Their win over Vandy in a “neutral” site (actually in Nashville i think) was better than anything UF did all season. They split the series with UF, but when they lost it was at UF. They just took a #1 seed down to the wire and they finished hotter than the other bubble teams. I think that in the end they will be in. So my S-Curve would be:

    Georgia Tech
    Wake Forest
    Utah St.
    Mississippi St.


    Virginia Tech
    Rhode Island
    Ole Miss
    Seton Hall

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  139. longhorn90 Says:

    These predictions turned out to be pretty accurate. Great job of analysis.

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  140. Henry Muto Says:

    I got 64 out of the 65 teams right. I missed on Florida I had Virgina Tech in their place. There was no real right “65th team” in my opinion. I pretty much was guessing between Va. Tech, Illinois, Miss State and Florida. I had them rated in this order. 64th-Va. Tech, 65th Utah State, 66th-Florida, 67th Illinois, 68th Miss State, 69th Seton Hall. So I was very close swapping 64 and 66. I got 65th right as Utah State was most likely last team in. I got 58 of the 64 teams I had right within 1 seed line or exact. The other 6 I had 2 seeds off.

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  141. Henry Muto Says:

    I think the committee sucked on placing the #2 seeds it was inexcusable to put Villanova in Duke’s bracket and West Virginia in Kentucky’s. What that tells me is Villanova was 6 on the S curve and WVU was 7th and that is a complete joke. They said that it did not reflect the S curve as they moved teams closer to home. Also Ohio State who I had 6th on my S curve they put with Kansas. Ohio State and WVU and Syracuse got screwed. Duke should been the 4th #1 and WVU should been in their bracket as the 1st #2. Ohio State deserved to be in a bracket not named Kansas. Terrible job on the 2 seeds by the committee. Also I hate that they keep putting the 7/10 Richmond/St. Mary’s and especially 5 Butler/12 UTEP games. Put the mid majors vs Majors put 12 UTEP vs 5 Michigan State. Make Washington or Minnesota a 12 and put them vs 5 Butler. It would be very easy to make 7 Richmond vs 10 Ga Tech and 7 Okl State vs 10 St. Mary’s

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