Monday, March 9, 2009

Bracket Watch - And so the countdown begins

We're now less than a week before Mike Silve and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee will bear the piece of art known as the bracket, and teams around the country are gearing up for a intense week of games to determine the canvas. Some are rising to the challenge(Michigan, Auburn), others are faltering towards the brink(Minnesota, Dayton), others have lost the plot completely(Davidson, Cincinnati, Maryland).

What will the actual art look like? Now this is where bracketologists of all stripes come in. To examine and guess what really goes on inside the ten minds of the committee. How we do it varies widely(and wildly). Some, like myself, use the WWTCDN? method, examining the actual facts thus far. Others make predictions of what will happen. Some do both with various degrees of balance.

Now to the projections(through Sunday Night) with a few new twists:
1-Teams in the field are given the CAPS treatment.
2-Bubble teams are listed with asterisks* like so.

Final Four pairings
South(1) vs. West(4)
Midwest(2) vs. East(3)

South region
1-North Carolina/Atlantic Coast vs. 16-RADFORD
8-Utah vs. 9-Texas A&M
4-Butler/Horizon vs. 13-Western Kentucky/Sun Belt
5-Marquette vs. 12-Penn State*
@Kansas City
2-Oklahoma vs. 15-Bowling Green/Mid-American
7-Illinois vs. 10-Dayton*
3-Villanova vs. 14-Robert Morris/Northeast
6-Louisiana State/Southeastern vs. 11-Nevada-Las Vegas*

West Region
1-Michigan State/Big Ten vs. 16-Northridge State/Big West
8-Oklahoma State vs. 9-California
4-Florida State vs. 13-College of Charleston/Southern
5-Xavier/Atlantic 10 vs. 12-Siena/Metro Atlantic*
2-Connecticut vs. 15-American/Patriot
7-Tennessee vs. 10-Minnesota*
3-Washington/Pacific-10 vs. 14-Weber State/BIg Sky
6-Brigham Young/Mountain West vs. 11-St. Mary's*
Note: St. Mary's and Minnesota switched seeds for geographical purposes

Midwest region
1-Pittsburgh vs. 16-Morgan State/Mid-Eastern
8-Ohio State vs. 9-Boston College*
4-Ucla vs. 13-NORTHERN IOWA
5-Gonzaga/West Coast vs. 12-Utah State/Western Athletic*
2-Wake Forest vs. 15-Binghamton/America East
7-West Virginia vs. 10-New Mexico*
3-Kansas/Big 12 vs. 14-CORNELL
6-Purdue vs. 11-Arizona*

East region
1-Louisville/Big East vs. 16-Opening round winner
Opening Round: MOREHEAD STATE vs. Alabama State/Southwestern
8-Arizona State vs. 9-Wisconsin
4-Missouri vs. 13-North Dakota State/Summit
5-Clemson vs. 12-Virginia Commonwealth/Colonial
@Kansas City
2-Memphis/Conference USA vs. 15-Stephen F. Austin/Southland
7-Texas vs. 10-Michigan*
6-Syracuse vs. 11-South Carolina*

New to the field: East Tennessee State, Michigan. Morehead State, Arizona, College of Charleston

Last four in the field: Penn State, South Carolina, Nevada-Las Vegas, Arizona
First four left out: Creighton, Florida, San Diego State, Providence
Next four left out: Maryland, Kansas State, Auburn, Miami(FL)
Also on board: Rhode Island, Cincinnati, Northwestern, UAB, Tulsa, Cleveland State, Niagara, Illinois State, Southern California

Note-Here are the seed ranges for those teams not listed in the bracket but would be should they win tonight
George Mason: 13-14
Niagara: 12-13
Chattanooga: 16

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