February 3, 2017

bracket-2_3_17

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor

2: Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, FSU

3: UCLA, Virginia, Creighton, Louisville

4: Wisconsin, Oregon, Butler, Maryland

5: West Virginia, Cincinnati, Duke, St. Mary’s

6: Purdue, South Carolina, Florida, Notre Dame

7: Xavier, NW, USC, Minnesota

8: VT, SMU, VCU, Arkansas

9: Marquette, Dayton, Indiana, Wichita St.

10: TCU, GT, Miami, Clemson

11: California, Illinois St., Iowa St./Michigan St., Seton Hall/Tennessee

12: MTSU, Nevada, UNC-W, Valpo

13: Monmouth, Ark St., Winthrop, ETSU

14: NDSU, NMSU, Akron, FGCU

15: Vermont, Princeton, Bucknell, Belmont

16: TX Southern, Sam Houston, NC Central/Mt. St. Mary’s, UC-Irvine/Weber St.

All underlined teams are automatic qualifiers.

First 7 out: OK St., Michigan, K-State, TTU, Syracuse, Georgia, Wake

January 29, 2017

bracket-1_29_17

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor

2: Arizona, Kentucky, Butler, North Carolina

3: FSU, UCLA, Creighton, Virginia

4: Oregon, Louisville, Wisconsin, West Virginia

5: Maryland, Cincinnati, St. Mary’s, Notre Dame

6: Duke, Purdue, South Carolina, Florida

7: Virginia Tech, Xavier, USC, Minnesota

8: Northwestern, SMU, VCU, Dayton

9: Wichita St., Arkansas, Marquette, Indiana

10: Seton Hall, Miami, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech

11: TCU, Iowa St/Cal, K-State/Michigan, Illinois St.

12: MTSU, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, UT-Arlington

13: Valpo, Winthrop, Monmouth, ETSU

14: NDSU, FGCU, New Mexico St., Akron

15: Princeton, Vermont, Bucknell, Belmont

16: TX Southern, NC Central, UC-Irvine/Weber St., Mt. St. Mary’s/New Orleans

FIRST 6 OUT: Clemson, NC State, Michigan, OK State, Georgia, Illinois

Underlined teams are projected automatic qualifiers.

Big 12/SEC Challenge

There is no winner of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. 5-5. The Big 12 was favored in six match-ups, so they cannot feel good about today’s performance. However, we did learn a few things.

The Big 12 is not as deep as perhaps we thought, but it is top-heavy. Kansas, West Virginia and Baylor, every ranked team in the conference, all walked away with Ws. The Big 12 will not be getting eight teams in, probably not seven. OSU and Tech also came away with home victories. TCU and ISU failed to bolster their resumes.

The argument for the SEC only getting three teams in will die away. Coming into today, I had UK, UF, USC and Arkansas in the tourny. I don’t foresee that changing after today or in March, but Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee moved up in the bubble talk.

In the marquee match-up Kentucky’s youth shown through. Kansas is so hard to beat. But they only played eight men with only five bench points. Don’t be surprised if they meet again in the Final Four.

 

1/25/17

The bubble took a hit tonight. Memphis, UCF, Providence, La Salle and Iowa (pretty much eliminated themselves), Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Georgia all took Ls. Illinois and Illinois State bolstered their resumes, and Georgia Tech pulled off the upset of the night by beating the Noles by 22.

Creighton continues to struggle since losing their point guard as they lost again to Georgetown. Earlier this month I thought the Blue Jays were a legit Final Four contender, a real threat to Villanova in the Big East. Rooting for them to figure it out without Mo Watson Jr.

As I write this, USC pulled off an upset at home defeating UCLA. Tough to sort out the Pac-12. UCLA has a very dynamic offense, but not a very willing defensive unit. It appears the conference is Arizona’s to lose.

On a Tuesday

Three of my one-seeds lost this evening: Villanova fell to Marquette; Kansas could not keep up with West Virginia; and Kentucky lost at Tennessee. All three top teams were on the road in fact.

Marquette has proven themselves as a legit NCAA tournament team. They played at Creighton at the right time and now have a quality win against the probable #1 overall seed.

Kansas losing at West Virginia is not very surprising to me. They weren’t going to win all their Big 12 games, and maybe this loss re-focuses them on a big non-conference matchup against Kentucky this Saturday in the Big12/SEC Challenge.

Which brings me to Kentucky. Pretty surprising to see that Tennessee (10-9) was able to basically control the entire game. The Wildcats are young and talented but not especially deep. They only played eight men, and the bench scored a measly four points.

In my opinion there are nine or ten teams that have a great opportunity to be on the one-line. One road loss in the middle of conference play does not make much of an impact at the end of the day. Kentucky is the only one who I would drop to the two-line. (Good news for Baylor.)

One other shocking headline for the night was Louisville’s annihilation of Pittsburgh, 106-51. One of the worst home losses in ACC history. Pitt was in my NCAA field by a hair this afternoon. With that loss and a 12-8, (1-6) record, they are now out.

January 22, 2017

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Kentucky

2: Baylor, Arizona, Creighton, UNC

3: FSU, UCLA, Notre Dame, Butler

4: Virginia, Louisville, Duke, Oregon

5: West Virginia, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland

6: St. Mary’s, Cincy, Xavier, South Carolina

7: Florida, Minnesota, VT, USC

8: SMU, Northwestern, TCU, Seton Hall

9: Dayton, ISU, Wichita St., Indiana

10: TTU, K-State, Arkansas, Miami (FL)

11: VCU, Pitt/Michigan, Cal/Illinois, Illinois St.

12: MTSU, UT-Arlington, Nevada, Valpo

13: UNC-W, Chattanooga, NDSU, Monmouth

14: Akron, FGCU, NMSU, Winthrop

15: Bucknell, Belmont,  Vermont, Princeton

16: UNC Central, UC-Irvine, Weber St/LIU-Brooklyn, New Orleans/TX Southern