Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bracket Watch '11 - Four Days to Selection Sunday

In terms of my projections(and of others), a bid opened up last night as a result of Butler's domination of Milwaukee in the Horizon League final. But realistically, no one expected the Panthers to do the deed three times against the unflustered Bulldogs, whose reaction to the win was exactly the same as a regular season game(Heck, I'm not sure that a single net was cut into), very ho-hum, another game another win. Also last night, Princeton dominated Penn in the second half to force a one-game playoff with Harvard on Yale's home court, Oakland cruised in the second half to down Oral Roberts for the summit of the Summit, and UALR's cinderella run through the Sun Belt ended with a win against North Texas. The play of the game was Solomon Bozman's game winning three-ball in the closing seconds, capping a 6-1 run in the last 17 seconds.

Amongst the big boys, Villanova is in huge trouble, pulling defeat from the jaws of victory in a 70-69 loss to South Florida. They're still in for now, but it would not be out of the realm of possibility for the Wildcats to miss the big dance.

With yesterday out of the way, here's how the projected field stacks up:

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

The First Four
Tuesday: Alabama vs. Virginia Tech; McNeese State(Southland) vs. UALR
Wednesday: Clemson vs. Colorado; Texas Southern(Southwestern) vs. UNC ASHEVILLE

East region

@ Cleveland
1-Ohio State(Big Ten) vs. 16-Texas Southern/UNC ASHEVILLE
8-George Mason vs. 9-Villanova
@ Tampa
4-Louisville vs. 13-Harvard or Princeton(Ivy)
5-Xavier(Atlantic 10) vs. 12-Michigan State
@ 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-McNeese State/UALR
8-Utah State(Western Athletic) vs. 9-Illinois
@ Tucson
4-Kentucky vs. 13-BELMONT
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-Northern Colorado(Big Sky)
8-Unlv vs. 9-Tennessee
@ Denver
4-Wisconsin vs. 13-OAKLAND
5-West Virginia vs. 12-Alabama/Virginia Tech
@ 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-Bethune Cookman(Mid-Eastern)
8-OLD DOMINION vs. 9-Florida State
@ Tampa
4-Florida(Southeastern) vs. 13-WOFFORD
5-Connecticut vs. 12-Clemson*/Colorado*
@ 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: Virginia Tech, UALR
Leaving the field: Milwaukee, North Texas

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

Seeding range for tonight's finalists not in the field:
Robert Morris(16 or First Four)

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