Tuesday, January 03, 2006

WKU Tops UVA; Bracket Buster Update

WKU 78, Virginia 68
Well, I typed up a nice write-up on the WKU/Virginia game, but I am having trouble with the disk on which it is saved. I'll have to see if I can fix that and I will put up the game log tomorrow. Read about the Tops big victory over Virginia right here. Not "big" because Virginia is a great team (they are not), but "big" becuase WKU put together what might be its most consistent 40 minute game to date in the 2005-06 campaign. "Big" because Winchester-gate seems to have been resolved. "Big" because the Tops actually had a good performance at home. And "big" because it gives the Tops some momentum heading into Sun Belt conference play.

Bracket Buster Update
The ESPN Bracket Buster has swelled to an incredible 100 teams this season, encompassing nearly a full third of all D-I college hoops teams. Needless to say, many of those games are going to have no impact on the bracket. Furthermore, the power is inordinately tilted toward the home side. It would be tough to create eleven highly competitive TV match ups if the pairings were done today, but it's still nearly a month before the match ups are announced on Jan 29. Hopefully, some of the assigned road teams can step it up in conference play.

I have created a Bracket Buster Page that will track all 100 teams from now until Jan 29. It will be updated weekly until the end of month, and I will attempt to do it daily during the week leading up to the 29th. It includes teams' conference affiliation, current records, winning %, and RPI. I know that there is an extra column after the loss column, but it is merely the total number of games played. I tried to hide that column, but it caused problems when viewing the page. I'll work on that for next week.

Teams from the same conference obviously will not be matched up in the Bracket Buster. Also, it is not determined by RPI alone, but a combination of record, schedule strength, RPI, impact on NCAA selection profile, and probably perceived TV marketability will play into the pairings. If teams were matched up today, this is how the 11 TV games might look.

1. Bucknell at Northern Iowa
2. Missouri State at Iona
3. Northern Illinois at Nevada
4. Northwestern State at UW-Milwaukee
5. George Mason at Bradley
6. Indiana State at Old Dominion
7. Buffalo at Utah State
8. Fresno State at Wichita State
9. Samford at Ohio
10. Illinois-Chicago at Creighton
11. Tennessee Tech at Southern Illinois

More coming this week either tomorrow or on Thursday.