Friday, February 25, 2011

Bracket Watch '11 - Friday Update

I have nothing to say today except for one thing. If anyone thinks that someone will correctly predict all 37 at-large teams in 2 weeks time, they're full of hooey, and that's putting it mildly.

Projections are done as if the season ended last night.

1-Ohio State(East), Pittsburgh(Southeast), Duke(Southwest), San Diego State(West)
2-Texas, Brigham Young, Kansas, Notre Dame
3-Purdue, Wisconsin, Florida, Louisville
4-North Carolina, Villanova, Georgetown, Arizona
5-Connecticut, Syracuse, Missouri, St. John's
6-Vanderbilt, Xavier, Texas A&M, West Virginia
7-Tennessee, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Temple
8-George Mason, UNLV, Marquette, UNLV
9-Michigan State, Old Dominion, Utah State, Florida State
10-Kansas State, Washington, Illinois, Memphis
11-Alabama, Gonzaga, Missouri State, Georgia
12-St. Mary's, Belmont, Oakland, Butler
13-Richmond, Southern Mississippi, Wichita State, Colorado State, Harvard, Milwaukee
14-Kent State, Fairfield, Coastal Carolina, Montana
15-Vermont, Bucknell, Long Beach State, College of Charleston
16-Florida Atlantic, Texas Southern, Murray State, Long Island, Bethune Cookman, Texas State

New to the field: Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Milwaukee, Kent State, Wichita State, Colorado State, Murray State, Texas State
Leaving the field: Boston College, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, UTEP, Cleveland State, Miami(OH), Morehead State, McNeese State

Last four in the field: Richmond, Southern Mississippi, Wichita State, Colorado State
First four left out: Virginia Tech, Clemson, UAB, Boston College
Next four left out: Minnesota, Baylor, Penn State, Maryland
The under-consideration board: Dayton, Michigan, Nebraska, UTEP, Tulsa, Cleveland State, Valparaiso, New Mexico, Washington State, South Carolina

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Predicting the conference tournament champions

As is usual, I'm taking the liberty(not the university) of putting on my predicting cap and announcing whom I think will posess the 31 automatic tickets to the big dance floor. This year though, I'm making the picks early so that you can enter your picks too. No prizes, however, will be awarded. So you think you can outdo my choices? Bring it on, dudes and dudettes.

America East Vermont
Atlantic Coast Duke
Atlantic Sun Belmont
Atlantic 10 Temple
Big East St. John's
Big Sky Northern Colorado
Big South Coastal Carolina
Big Ten Ohio State
Big 12 Texas A&M
Big West Pacific
Colonial James Madison(bid poach)
Conference USA UTEP
Horizon Valparaiso
Ivy League Harvard
Metro Atlantic Fairfield
Mid-American Ohio
Mid-Eastern Morgan State
Missouri Valley Missouri State
Mountain West San Diego State
Northeast Central Connecticut State
Ohio Valley Austin Peay
Pacific-10 California(bid poach)
Patriot Bucknell
Southeastern Alabama
Southern Furman
Southland Stephen F. Austin
Southwestern Mississippi Valley State
Summit South Dakota State
Sun Belt Florida Atlantic
West Coast St. Mary's
Western Athletic Utah State

And for those projecting the tourney,
Great West NJIT(can you believe they went winless two years ago?)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bracket Watch '11 - Bracket Stew....Ewwwww!

Which event this past week was the most jarring to you? Was it the sight of a 20-year old winning the most prestigous NASCAR race? Or the fact that everyone in the top 5(but not Duke) getting upset? For me, being both a college hoops fan and a NASCAR fan as well, it's both.

First off, what Trevor Bayne did yesterday will more than likely stand as the greatest upset in Daytona 500 history, eclipsing what Derrike Cope did in 1990 in terms of pure shock. Secondly, and this point is overlooked, he won the race with a part-time team. That team, the Wood Brothers racing team, used to be one of the best teams in NASCAR, if not the best. After a decade of decline due to sponsorship issues and dwindling results, they decided to take a risk on a driver with lots of potential, but few results to back it up. Yesterday, thanks to an abundance of power in his Ford, coupled with a string of crashes that took out most of the "serious" contenders(including a Big One on lap 29), Bayne went from being an unknown driver into one of the greatest cinderella stories in the course of 208 laps.

But does that moment, seminal as it is, compare to the carnage of the week where it seems everyone was being upset? Yes. Teams from coast to coast were upset at an alarming rate. The result was significant upheaval at the top of the bracket, yet due to Bracketbuster weekend taking place, there were only six spots in the field that exchanged hands. Projections of course are based as if the season has ended already:

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

First Four pairings:
Tuesday Game A: Butler vs. Boston College
Tuesday Game B: Gonzaga vs. Richmond
Wednesday Game A: Miami(OH)(Mid-American) vs. Texas Southern(Southwestern)
Wednesday Game B: McNeese State(Southland) vs. Bethune Cookman(Mid-Eastern)

East region

@ Cleveland
1-Ohio State(Big Ten) vs. McNeese State/Bethune Cookman
8-Cincinnati vs. 9-Kansas State
@ Tampa
4-Louisville vs. 13-Harvard(Ivy)
5-Xavier(Atlantic 10) vs. 12-Virginia Tech
@ Charlotte
2-Georgetown vs. 15-Vermont(America East)
7-UCLA vs. 10-Alabama
@ Tampa
3-Florida(Southeastern) vs. 14-College of Charleston(Southern)
6-Texas A&M vs. 11-Minnesota

West region

@ Tucson
1-San Diego State(Mountain West) vs. 16-Montana(Big Sky)
8-Utah State(Western Athletic) vs. 9-Old Dominion
@ Denver
4-Arizona(Pacific-10) vs. 13-UTEP(Conference USA)
5-Villanova vs. 12-Butler/Boston College
@ Tulsa
2-Kansas vs. 15-Fairfield(Metro Atlantic)
7-Florida State vs. 10-Georgia
@ Chicago
3-Purdue vs. 14-Morehead State(Ohio Valley)
6-Syracuse vs. 11-St. Mary's(West Coast)

Southeast region

@ Charlotte
1-Duke(Atlantic Coast) vs. 16-Florida Atlantic(Sun Belt)
8-George Mason(Colonial) vs. 9-Illinois
@ Washington, D.C.
4-Notre Dame vs. 13-Oakland(Summit)
5-Kentucky vs. 12-Gonzaga/Richmond
@ Denver
2-Brigham Young vs. 15-Long Beach State(Big West)
7-Temple vs. 10-Washington
@ Washington, D.C.
3-Connecticut vs. 14-Coastal Carolina(Big South)
6-Missouri vs. 11-Michigan State

Southwest region

@ Cleveland
1-Pittsburgh(Big East) vs. 16-Miami(Ohio)/Texas Southern
8-Tennessee vs. 9-UNLV
@ Denver
4-North Carolina vs. 13-Cleveland State(Horizon)
5-St. John's vs. 12-Belmont(Atlantic Sun)
@ Tulsa
2-Texas(Big 12) vs. 15-Long Island(Northeast)
7-Vanderbilt vs. 10-Marquette
@ Chicago
3-Wisconsin vs. 14-Bucknell(Patriot)
6-West Virginia vs. 11-Missouri State(Missouri Valley)

New to the field: Richmond, UTEP, Harvard, Bethune Cookman, McNeese State, Gonzaga
Leaving the field: Baylor, Memphis, Princeton, Hampton, Wichita State, Texas State

Last four in the field: Butler, Boston College, Gonzaga, Richmond
First four left out: Memphis, Virginia Commonwealth, Baylor, UAB
Next four left out: Clemson, Michigan, Nebraska, Southern Mississippi
The under-consideration board: Maryland, Duquesne, Dayton, Northwestern, Colorado, Wichita State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Washington State, South Carolina