Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bracket Watch '11 - Five Days to Selection Sunday

Last night saw two games that had direct relevance to the bubble and the results were positive. The first one, the Colonial final, saw Old Dominion get out to as much as an 18-point lead before VCU stormed back to within 2. Ultimately, the Monarchs' interior dominance did the Rams in and resulted in a 70-65 win. For the bubble, it's a significant sigh of relief as both the Monarchs and George Mason were in regardless of what happened last night. The second game, the West Coast final in Las Vegas, saw Gonzaga and St. Mary's see-saw the lead well into the second half. But foul trouble for it's two most prominent interior players spelt an inevitable defeat for the Gaels, who now, for the second time in three years, leave themselves exposed to the hungry pack of bid poachers ready to swipe in at a moment's notice.

Here's the latest projection update, with two changes. Connecticut and Missouri swap seeds to better fit their profiles, while WOFFORD and Oakland swap regions to avoid a Wisconsin-WOFFORD rematch. These projections are done as always as if the season has ended.

Final Four pairings
East(1) vs. West(4)
Southwest(2) vs. Southeast(3)

The First Four
Tuesday: Colorado vs. Alabama; Northern Colorado(Big Sky) vs. McNeese State(Southland)
Wednesday: Michigan State vs. Clemson; Texas Southern(Southwestern) vs. UNC ASHEVILLE

East region

@ Cleveland
1-Ohio State(Big Ten) vs. 16-Texas Southern/UNC ASHEVILLE
8-Villanova vs. 9-George Mason
@ Tampa
4-Louisville vs. 13-Harvard or Princeton(Ivy)
5-Xavier(Atlantic 10) vs. 12-BELMONT
@ Tucson
2-San Diego State vs. 15-MOREHEAD STATE
7-Vanderbilt vs. 10-Butler*
@ Washington, D.C.
3-St. John's vs. 14-Bucknell(Patriot)
6-Arizona vs. 11-Boston College*

West region

@ Chicago
1-Notre Dame vs. 16-Northern Colorado/McNeese State
8-Utah State(Western Athletic) vs. 9-Illinois
@ Tucson
4-Kentucky vs. 13-Milwaukee(Horizon)
5-Kansas State vs. 12-Richmond
@ Charlotte
2-Duke vs. 15-SAINT PETER'S
7-Georgetown vs. 10-Washington
@ Tulsa
3-Texas vs. 14-INDIANA STATE
6-Cincinnati vs. 11-GONZAGA

Southwest region

@ Tulsa
1-Kansas(Big 12) vs. 16-Bethune Cookman(Mid-Eastern)
8-Unlv vs. 9-Tennessee
@ Denver
4-Wisconsin vs. 13-Oakland(Summit)
5-West Virginia vs. 12-Colorado*/Alabama*
@ Washington, D.C.
2-Syracuse vs. 15-Boston University(America East)
7-Temple vs. 10-Michigan*
@ Charlotte
3-North Carolina(Atlantic Coast) vs. 14-Kent State(Mid-American)
6-Texas A&M vs. 11-Uab(Conference USA)*

Southeast region

@ Cleveland
1-Pittsburgh(Big East) vs. 16-North Texas(Sun Belt)
8-OLD DOMINION vs. 9-Florida State
@ Tampa
4-Florida(Southeastern) vs. 13-WOFFORD
5-Connecticut vs. 12-Michigan State*/Clemson*
@ Denver
2-Brigham Young(Mountain West) vs. 15-Long Island(Northeast)
7-Ucla vs. 10-Marquette
@ Chicago
3-Purdue vs. 14-Long Beach State(Big West)
6-Missouri vs. 11-St. Mary's*

New to the field: SAINT PETER'S, WOFFORD, North Texas
Leaving the field: Iona, College of Charleston, Middle Tennessee

Last four in the field(by seed list): Michigan State, Alabama, Clemson, Colorado First four left out: Virginia Tech, Southern California, Georgia, Missouri State
Next four left out: Memphis, Virginia Commonwealth, Oklahoma State, Nebraska The under-consideration board: Penn State, UTEP, Wichita State

Seeding range for tonight's finalists not in the field:
Oral Roberts: 13-14
Arkansas-Little Rock: First Four

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