Monday, January 4, 2010

Bracket Watch and the New Year's Surprise

What is the new year's surprise? Well unless you've been glued to the television watching so much football you may become a pigskin itself, here it is: Southern California, one of the co-leaders in the Pacific-10 has declared itself ineligible for this year's NCAA's(and the NIT and Pac-10 conference tourneys too). It all stems from O.J. Mayo's year at the school, Tim Floyd's tenure and plenty of greenbacks(Si, Barone!*). USC administrators declared themselves ineligible before the NCAA could do the same and do more damage, but the immediate penalty will force the Trojans from participating in any of this year's tournaments.

Now onto the first Bracket Watch of the season, which as always looks at how the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee would select, seed and bracket the field if the season ended Sunday night. No effort has been made to predict future results.

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

South Region
Reliant Stadium; Houston; University of Houston

@Ford Center; Oklahoma City; Big 12 Conference
1-Texas vs. 16-Army(Patriot)
8-Tennessee vs. 9-Virginia Tech
@HP Pavilion; San Jose; San Jose State University
4-New Mexico(Mountain West) vs. 13-Weber State(Big Sky)
5-Temple(Atlantic 10) vs. 12-St. John's
@Dunkin' Donuts Center; Providence; Providence College and Big East Conference
2-Villanova vs. 15-Morgan State(Mid-Eastern)
7-William & Mary(Colonial) vs. 10-Texas Tech
@Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum; Jacksonville University
3-North Carolina vs. 14-Vermont(America East)
6-Mississippi vs. 11-Minnesota

West Region
EnergySolutions Arena; Salt Lake City; University of Utah

@Bradley Center; Milwaukee; Marquette University
1-Purdue vs. 16-Radford(Big South)
8-Texas A&M vs. 9-St. Mary's
@Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena; Washington State University
4-Florida State vs. 13-Pacific(Big West)
5-Connecticut vs. 12-Cornell
2-Syracuse vs. 15-Campbell(Atlantic Sun)
7-Mississippi State vs. 10-Richmond
@New Orleans Arena; Tulane University
3-Wake Forest vs. 14-Murray State(Ohio Valley)
6-Washington vs. 11-Florida

Midwest Region
Edward Jones Dome; Saint Louis; Missouri Valley Conference

@Oklahoma City
1-Kansas vs. 16-College of Charleston(Southern)
8-Georgia Tech vs. 9-Pittsburgh
4-Gonzaga(West Coast) vs. 13-Oregon(Pacific-10)
5-Wisconsin(Big Ten) vs. 12-Siena(Metro Atlantic)
2-Duke(Atlantic Coast) vs. 15-Texas-San Antonio(Southland)
7-UAB(Conference USA) vs. 10-Virginia Commonwealth
@HSBC Arena; Buffalo; Canisius College, Niagara University and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
3-Georgetown vs. 14-Oakland(Summit)
6-Dayton vs. 11-Harvard(Ivy)

East Region
Carrier Dome; Syracuse; Syracuse University

1-Kentucky(Southeastern) vs. 16-Opening Round winner
Opening Round: Texas Southern(Southwestern) vs. Robert Morris(Northeast)
8-Cincinnati vs. 9-Rhode Island
@San Jose
4-Kansas State(Big 12) vs. 13-Louisiana Tech(Western Athletic)
5-Brigham Young vs. 12-Northern Iowa(Missouri Valley)
2-West Virginia(Big East) vs. 15-Western Michigan(Mid-American)
7-Butler(Horizon) vs. 10-California
@New Orleans
3-Michigan State vs. 14-Troy(Sun Belt)
6-Clemson vs. 11-Oklahoma State

Last four in the field: Minnesota, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Cornell
First four left out: Miami(FL), Ohio State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Xavier
Next four in line: Northwestern, Marquette, Old Dominion, Missouri State
Also under consideration: North Carolina State, Maryland, Duquesne, Notre Dame, Illinois, Michigan, Baylor, Memphis, Tulsa, Creighton, San Diego State, Washington State, Arizona State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Western Carolina, Nevada

Next projection: Monday the 11th.

*For those wondering what I meant when I put down Si, Barone!, it's a reference to Stiletto, the right-hand conspirator to Baron Greenback on Danger Mouse. Just so you know.

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