Bracketology 3/13

A seemingly tame week led into a wild early Friday morning and actual waking Friday of hoops. As it sits, it’s actually Saturday for me, but I have to stay up because suddenly USC is pulling into the picture.

Among other things, both Dayton and Xavier are out of the Atlantic-10 tournament. Temple and Duquense will play for an automatic berth tomorrow. Along with Butler getting bounced from the automatic pool, these stories are not good for bubble teams.

San Diego State has now beaten UNLV three times– this almost certainly puts the Rebels out of the at-large picture. And while New Mexico finished a game ahead of SDSU, they only managed to split with the Aztecs, and those guys beat a very good BYU team tonight to advance to the conference finals. Creighton beat New Mexico, who lost early in the conference tourney and doesn’t have a signature victory, and Illinois State beat Creighton by what seemed like 100 in the Missouri Valley semifinals, and that was after splitting with them in the regular season. If you can’t take Illinois State as an at-large, then you can’t take Creighton, who beat New Mexico, so you probably can’t take them either.

This leaves San Diego State as probably the best of a very weak mid-major pool. Of course, they lost to Arizona and St. Mary’s. But UNLV, the team that SDSU beat a whopping three times, beat Arizona. This is all so confusing! And for heaven’s sake and the sake of my sanity, let’s assume Utah State wins the WAC. They don’t deserve an at-large bid otherwise in my opinion, but the committee has done crazier things (Air Force…Air Force!!!?? in 2006). Let’s also assume Temple wins the A-10, for the love of God! But what a story it will be if Duquense gets into this thing. I don’t think either team has a shot as an at-large.

By the way, Maryland got a giant victory tonight over Wake Forest. They beat Michigan State early in the year, which doesn’t hurt either. And two SEC teams that probably just needed to win one game, Florida and South Carolina, couldn’t get the job done. Could the Mountain West really get more teams into this thing than the SEC? At this hour, gun to my head, I say yes.

My Bracketology heading into Saturday’s games (last 4 in are in bold)

SEED    WEST    MIDWEST    EAST    SOUTH
1    Louisville    UConn    Pittsburgh    North Carolina
2    Duke    Michigan State    Memphis    Oklahoma
3    Villanova    Kansas    Wake Forest    Washington
4    UCLA    Syracuse    Marquette    Missouri
5    Xavier    Illinois    Florida State    Purdue
6    LSU    Gonzaga    Arizona State    West Virginia
7    Butler    Clemson    Utah    California
8    Tennessee    BYU    Oklahoma State    Ohio State
9    Texas    Michigan    Wisconsin    Boston College
10    Minnesota    Texas A&M    Siena    Dayton
11    Arizona    San Diego State    Penn State    St. Mary’s
12    Utah State/ WAC    Temple/ Duquense    Northern Iowa    VCU
13    Portland State    American    Cleveland State    Western Kentucky/ Sun Belt
14    Morgan St/ MEAC    Stephen F Austin/ Southland    North Dakota State    Robert Morris
15    Buffalo/ MAC    ETSU    Cornell    Binghamton/ America East
16    Alabama St/ SWAC    Chattanooga    Radford    Morehead State
Cal St Northridge/ Big Sky

Last 5 Out:

1) Maryland- Will leapfrog into the tourney with a win tomorrow, SDSU is the last team in; however if they win the MW then Maryland likely knocks Arizona out if they win tomorrow. Stated more simply, if Maryland wins tomorrow, Arizona is toast, and the 24 year streak ends.

2) Providence

3) Creighton

4) New Mexico

5) Auburn

Really, anybody else has to win their conference tourney to get in; I’m done dealing with it. USC just won; beat UCLA. Still think they need to win the tourney to get in. Goodnight!

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