Friday, February 24, 2012

Bracket Watch '12 - Friday Seed List

Latest seed list projections after Thursday night's games:

Notes: *Indicates conference leader; ^Indicates bubble team.

1: Kentucky*(South), Syracuse*(East), Michigan State*(Midwest), Kansas*(West)
2-Duke*, North Carolina, Ohio State, Missouri
3-Michigan, Baylor, Marquette, Wichita State*
4-Florida, Indiana, Georgetown, UNLV
5-Wisconsin, Florida State, Murray State*, Vanderbilt
6-Gonzaga, St. Mary's*, Louisville, Temple*
7-San Diego State, Notre Dame, Virginia, Creighton
8-Kansas State, New Mexico*, California*, Harvard*
9-Connecticut^, Saint Louis, Memphis*^, Alabama^
10-Southern Mississippi^, West Virginia^, Arizona^, Mississippi State^
11-Long Beach State*^, Iowa State^, Purdue^, Cincinnati^
12-Brigham Young^, Seton Hall^, Oral Roberts*^, Washington^
13-Texas^(First Four), Northwestern^(First Four), Middle Tennessee*^, Drexel*^, Colorado State^(First Four), Xavier^(First Four)
14-Nevada*, Davidson*, Iona*, Belmont*
15-Akron*, Valparaiso*, Weber State*, Bucknell*
16-UNC Asheville*, Texas-Arlington*, Long Island*(First Four), Stony Brook*(First Four), Savannah State*(First Four), Mississippi Valley State*(First Four)

Last four in the field: Texas(49), Northwestern(50), Colorado State(53), Xavier(54)
First four left out: Miami(FL)(55), Oregon(56), North Carolina State(57), Central Florida(58)
Next four left out: South Florida(59), Louisiana State(61), Virginina Commonwealth(62), South Dakota State(64)
Under consideration(by conference): Maryland, Dayton, LaSalle, Massachusetts, St. Joseph's, Iowa, Minnesota, George Mason, Marshall, Tulsa, Wyoming, Colorado, Stanford

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The next go-round of sites

With one site still stubbornly being witheld for 2013, I figure that it's okay to guess what schools and arenas are likely to be chosen for the 2014 and 2015 tournaments, which will be awarded sometime this fall. Remember, not all of these combinations are likely to be used, and some of them might not even submit bids.


First Four(March 18-19)
UD Arena
Dayton, OH
University of Dayton

Second and Third Rounds

March 20/22
Times-Union Arena
Albany, NY
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Siena College

Taco Bell Arena
Boise, ID
Boise State University

Save Mart Center
Fresno, CA
Fresno State University

FedEx Forum
University of Memphis

March 21/23
United Center
Big Ten Conference

Chesapeake Energy Arena
Oklahoma City
Big 12 Conference

PNC Center(Future name of RBC Center)
Raleigh, NC
North Carolina State University

San Antonio


March 27/29
East Regional
Verizon Center
Washington, DC
George Mason University

West Regional
Rose Garden
Portland, OR
University of Oregon

March 28/30
Midwest Regional
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul
Target Center
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
University of Minnesota

South Regional
Amway Center
Stetson University and/or University of Central Florida


First Four(March 17-18)
UD Arena
University of Dayton

Second and Third Rounds

March 19/21
Honda Center
Big West Conference

Pepsi Center
University of Colorado

XL Center
Hartford, CT
University of Hartford

Bradley Center
Marquette University

March 20/22
Wells Fargo Arena
Des Moines, IA
Drake University

Thompson-Bolling Arena
Knoxville, TN
University of Tennessee

Verizon Arena
North Little Rock, AR
University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Carrier Dome
Syracuse University


March 26/28
East Regional
If Madison Square Garden gets the 2013 East Regional:
Time Warner Cable Arena
Davidson College and University of North Carolina, Charlotte
If another site is chosen for the 2013 East Regional:
Madison Square Garden
New York
St. John's University and Big East Conference

West Regional
University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, AZ
Arizona State University

March 27/29
Midwest Regional
Ford Field
University of Detroit

South Regional
Reliant Stadium
University of Houston and Rice University

Notes on some sites
Of the five sites that were not selected from the last round of Final Four finalists, only the Twin Cities area has not received a preliminary round selection for 2011-16. Exacerbaiting this are three other conflicts. 1: Xcel Energy Center is likely to remain host to a college hockey tournament for the forseeable future, likely the Big Ten Confernce(in rota with Detroit, possibly Chicago) and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference(in years when the Big Ten is elsewhere). This will most likely keep the X from hosting 2nd and 3rd round games, but regionals should be fine.
2: The Minnesota State High School League might have no fallback option for either the Girls' or Boys' basketball tournaments if Target Center is offered.
And 3: The Metrodome maybe replaced by a new Vikings Stadium(likely with a fixed roof), which may make it unusable due to construction nearby(if not on the actual site). Of course if a stadium is approved(and has a roof), the new digs would certainly get a Final Four or two. But if it isn't, and other conflicts aren't resolved, then the promise of early-round action will be left unfufilled.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bracket Watch '12 - Three Weeks to go

The race to earn an NCAA berth continues to heat up, and some teams are starting to feel the heat. St. Mary's is one of them. Having already showed a lackluster effort at home against Loyola Marymount, they trooped up to Murray State and looked bad in a 65-51 defeat. Still, they maintain a single-game lead in the West Coast Conference, after Gonzaga gacked it in San Francisco. Illinois was not as fortunate, getting blown out by 23 at Nebraska. NC State is in the same boat, falling to Florida State by 14(and having two former players getting tossed by the referee to boot). Conversely, South Florida, though not in the field, continues to thrive under the radar, winning four in a row. And then there was Creighton, who rectified their status with a thrilling last second win over Long Beach State. In between these two extremes of success, there were varying performances, all of which is presented in the following field of 68.

Note: ^indicates team is on the bubble.

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

First Four matchups:
Tuesday: Texas-Arlington(Southland) vs. Mississippi Valley State(Southwestern); Xavier vs. Northwestern
Wednesday: Vermont(America East) vs. Savannah State(Mid-Eastern); Cincinnati vs. Central Florida

SOUTH Region

1-Kentucky(Southeastern) vs. Texas-Arlington/Mississippi Valley State
8-Saint Louis vs. 9-West Virginia^
4-Indiana vs. 13-Texas^
5-Murray State(Ohio Valley) vs. 12-Belmont(Atlantic Sun)
2-North Carolina vs. 15-Drexel(Colonial)
7-Creighton vs. 10-Alabama^
3-Michigan vs. 14-Cincinnati/Central Florida
6-New Mexico(Mountain West) vs. 11-Oral Roberts(Summit)

WEST Region

1-Michigan State(Big Ten) vs. 16-Vermont/Savannah State
8-Kansas State vs. 9-Southern Mississippi(Conference USA)
4-Florida vs. 13-Iona(Metro Atlantic)
5-Nevada Las Vegas vs. 12-Purdue^
2-Kansas vs. 15-Nevada(Western Athletic)
7-Virginia vs. 10-Connecticut^
3-Marquette vs. 14-Davidson(Southern)
6-Gonzaga vs. 11-Middle Tennessee(Sun Belt)^

EAST Region

1-Syracuse(Big East) vs. 16-UNC Asheville(Big South)
8-Vanderbilt vs. 9-Harvard(Ivy)
4-Wichita State(Missouri Valley) vs. 13-Miami(FL^)
5-Baylor vs. 12-Long Beach State(Big West)^
2-Duke vs. 15-Bucknell(Patriot)
7-Temple(Atlantic 10) vs. 10-Arizona^
3-Wisconsin vs. 14-Valparaiso(Horizon)
6-Notre Dame vs. 11-Brigham Young^


1-Missouri(Big 12) vs. 16-Long Island(Northeast)
8-Mississippi State vs. 9-California(Pacific-12)^
4-Florida State(Atlantic Coast) vs. 13-Xavier/Northwestern
5-Louisville vs. 12-Washington^
2-Ohio State vs. 15-Weber State(Big Sky)
7-St. Mary's(West Coast) vs. 10-Memphis^
3-Georgetown vs. 14-Akron(Mid-American)
6-San Diego State vs. 11-Iowa State^

Notes on seeding: Connecticut and California swapped seeds due to potential confernce conflicts. Brigham Young and Arizona swapped seeds to allow BYU to play at a Thursday/Saturday sub-regional site.

Last four in the field(with position in seed list): Xavier(51), Northwestern(52), Cincinnati(53), Central Florida(55)
First four left out: North Carolina State(56), Seton Hall(57), Illinois(58), Virginia Commonwealth(59)
Next four left out: Oregon(60), St. Joseph's(61), Minnesota(63), South Florida(64)
Under Consideration(by conference): Dayton, La Salle, Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Ohio, Colorado State, Wyoming, Colorado, Loyola Marymount

Predicting the conference tournament winners

I'll have my projected bracket up in a few minutes, but first. Have you ever tried to predict who's going to emerge victorious in the upcoming conference tournaments? Well then, here's your chance to do so. Just post your predictions using the comments form on the bottom of the post. All entries must be entered by 5 PM CST on Monday, February 27th(That is, precisely one hour before the first conference tournament begins).

America East: Stony Brook
Atlantic Coast: North Carolina
Atlantic Sun: Mercer
Atlantic 10: Temple
Big East: Georgetown
Big Sky: Weber State
Big South: UNC Asheville
Big Ten: Michigan
Big 12: Missouri
Big West: Cal State Fullerton(Bid Poach?)
Colonial: George Mason
Conference USA: Central Florida
Horizon: Butler
Metro Atlantic: Fairfield
Mid-American: Buffalo
Mid-Eastern: Savannah State
Missouri Valley: Wichita State
Mountain West: New Mexico
Northeast: Wagner
Ohio Valley: Murray State
Pacific-12: California
Patriot: Bucknell
Southeastern: Kentucky
Southern: Georgia Southern
Southland: Northwestern State
Southwestern: Mississippi Valley State
Summit: South Dakota State
Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee
West Coast: St. Mary's
Western Athletic: Idaho

And for those projecting the Postseason Tournament,
Great West: Utah Valley