Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Updates and Chalk

I tweaked the bracket today, dropping Cincinnati out and putting in South Carolina. I considered dropping Maryland out, but left them in. Michigan and Miami-FL were the two I was most strongly considering. New bracket on Friday.

I moved OK State to blue in the Lockbox.

Last night was, in a word, "chalky" in the conference tourneys as the higher seeds went 11-1. See results for the Big South, Horizon, and OVC in the One Stop Shop.

More action tonight as the Atlantic Sun, Patriot and Sun Belt get things going.

Atlantic Sun
Jacksonville, Belmont, and East Tennessee State have traded the lead all season, but the Jax earned the 1-seed bye. Lipscomb has come on strong at the end and could play spoiler.

American has dominated and is far away the best team by nearly any measure. They lost just one league game at #2 seed Holy Cross. They are a heavy favorite, but the Crusaders played them tough at American, too.

Sun Belt
If you follow this site, you should know the story in the Belt. The top three seeds really separated themselves this season. WKU, UALR, and Troy all have a good shot to win this thing. WKU has probably played the best lately, but UALR has the pseudo-home court (Hot Springs, AR). Troy is 12-1 in their last 13. It would be surprising if one of those three did not come away with the tourney title.

Last Night's GOI
--Auburn 77, at Alabama 73. The Tigers just sewed up the West #2 seed and secured a bye in the SEC tourney. They have won 8/9 including three road games.
--at Duke 84, Florida State 81. Devils scratch out a tough one at home.
--Michigan State 64, at Indiana 59. Despite a game effort from IU, Sparty is your 2009 Big Ten champion.
--Ohio State 60, at Iowa 58. With the Bubble looming and a significant 2nd half deficit in place, the Buckeyes regrouped and clawed out a hard-fought road win.
--at New Mexico 77, Utah 71. Lobos are officially a factor in the AL picture. Their RPI is up to 63 and they are 11-3 in their last 14 with wins over BYU and Utah.
--Wake Forest 65, at Maryland 63. Terps let another big fish wriggle off the hook in a home game.
--at Oklahoma State 77, Kansas State 71. OK State is in decent position now having won six straight. A loss at Oklahoma won't kill them. One win in the Big 12 would put them in nice shape.
--at South Florida 70, Cincinnati 59. Just can't do this as a Bubble. Bearcats have now dropped 4/5 and are going to need to beat SHU and have a nice run in the Bif East tourney.
--at St. John's 59, Georgetown 56 (OT). Hoyas now trail Seton Hall in the Big East standings. They will have to win the conference tourney.

Tonight's GOI
--Texas A&M at Colorado. Aggies are in decent shape, but cannot afford a loss to the lowly Buffs.
--Georgia at Kentucky. Wildcats must win this one.
--Wisconsin at Minnesota. Neither team is totally solid, but a home loss for the Gophers would make them sub-.500 in league play and make them very Bubbly.
--Florida at Mississippi State. Gators cannot afford any losses right now.
--Oklahoma at Missouri. Titanic match up.
--Boston College at NC State. Eagles will be in good shape with a win here.
--Marquette at Pitt. Big seeding implications for both Big East and NCAA tourneys.
--Northwestern at Purdue. Wildcats have two tough roadies left and probably need to win both to get have a realistic shot.
--UAB at UTEP. Blazers slim hopes rest on winning out to the CUSA final.
--North Carolina at Virginia Tech. Hokies need at least a split this one and the finale (at FSU).