Friday, March 30, 2007

Three Games to Go

At this point, it is time to enjoy our dessert. We have made it through another wonderful season of hoops, and while I probably care less about this weekend than most of my readers, it is still the culmination of another enjoyable season.

Enjoy the games. A tearful farewell to the season is on tap for next week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NCAA Pace: Part II

OK, I made a slight miscue yesterday. The pace numbers were for the first round only.

What I have done today is averaged the pace for all NCAA tourney teams during their regular season games. That number is 66.6 (Mark of the Beast!!! Watch out, Ken Pomeroy!), which is just a smidgen under the 66.7 average for all teams in the regular season. So, in FIRST ROUND games, teams slowed down to average pace of 66.3, which is 0.3 possessions slower than this group of NCAA tourney teams averaged during the season. The games did slow down a bit.

In Round Two, the surviving 32 teams had a average pace of 66.0 in their games this season. So, more slower paced teams survived Round One. In Round Two games, the average pace was 63.0--a full three possessions slower than what these teams averaged in the regular season. Of course, with more "slow-minded" teams playing games against one another, this is not terribly surprising.

So, who is left? Sixteen teams that averaged 66.1 possessions this season, that's who. So, if the trend from Round Two holds up, games will be played at a pace of about 63.

Of course, these numbers are not perfect, but they do show that more teams surviving to this point play a slower brand of basketball. They also show that there is some truth to the "games slow down in the tournament" mantra. North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, and Tennessee are in the minority in this group. They are the only four teams left that are even in the Top 100 in quickest pace of play.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pace of Play: First Two Rounds

Time to put the old cliche that "games slow down in the NCAA tournament" to the test.

Regular season avg pace of play for all NCAA teams: 66.7
Avg pace of play through NCAA tourney first round: 66.3

So, the games actually slowed down a hair in the first round. HOWEVER...

1. Only five of the Sweet 16 played a pace faster than 66.7 during the season.
2. Not only were 11 of the remaining 16 teams slower than average, but 5 of the 16 were in the slowest 20% of all teams (UCLA, Pitt, SIU, Georgetown, Butler).

Is this small slowdown a result of the tourney setup or merely a result of the types of teams that are in the tourney? Do teams that play slow tend to be better teams or at least advance farther in the NCAA tournament? If we averaged the pace of play of tourney teams, would 66.3 actually be an INCREASE in pace of play for this cohort?

I am sure there are answers out there. Please share. Or maybe I'll find time to run some numbers tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2007


There are so many stories about VCU's win over Duke that I will not insult you with links. Otherwise, the bracket was pretty chalky yesterday.

Today's schedule might offer more drama. I am traveling today, so this may be it until late tonight or tomorrow morning.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So It Begins...

My bracket picks are ready to go. First round "upset" winners include Davidson, Winthrop, VCU, Arkansas, and Creighton. Final Four: Florida, Ohio State, Georgetown, and Kansas. Florida over Georgetown to win it. I know...pretty boring.

Here is a schedule of today's games. Soak in the wholesome goodness. Sadly, it will prevent you from enjoying the NBA anymore, but it will be good while it lasts. I am only half-kidding.

More later, time permitting.
1.50 pm: Teams cannot be judged solely on first round performance, but did Stanford look like a tournament team? Louisville simply demolished the Tree. In fact, Stanford moved liked trees...with DEEP roots.

Maryland spoiled by biggest lower seed pick by holding off Davidson who simply ran out of gas late in the game.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Adventures in Mis-Seeding

To start, let me say that I can certainly be wrong about any given team's seeding. So can any bracketologist. That said, the lists below show the differences in seeding for the 18 teams that the committee placed more than two seed lines away from what I had projected. Also included are the two teams that the committee put IN that I left out. What I am looking for here are patterns:

Vanderbilt +2. SEC commish on the committee.
Virginia +2. Virginia AD on the committee.
Purdue +2. Ohio State AD on the committee.
Indiana +3. Ohio State AD on the committee.
Gonzaga +3. No rep on the committee.
Long Beach +2. UC-Riverside AD on the committee.
Nevada +2. No rep on the committee.
Albany +2. No rep on the committee.
Butler +3. Horizon AD on the committee.
Arkansas (got IN). SEC commish on the committee.
Stanford (got IN). UCLA AD on the committee.

UNLV -2. Utah AD was on the committee (Mountain West).
BYU -2. See above.
Creighton -3. No Valley rep.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi -2. No Southland rep.
Louisville -2. No Big East rep.
Marquette -2. No Big East rep.
Villanova -2. No Big East rep.
Syracuse (left OUT). No Big East rep.
Drexel (Left OUT). George Mason AD on the committee.

Only two of the Big Six conferences did not have representation: the Big XII and the Big East. The Big XII seemed pretty cut and dried: Kansas 1/2 seed, Texas A&M 2/3, Texas 3/4, Texas Tech as a bubble team that expected to be IN, and Kansas State and maybe Oklahoma State as Bubbly Boys that expected to be OUT. The Big East was trickier and, in my opinion, all of the teams above were underseeded or left out. Both Indiana and Purdue seem overseeded to me.

In fact, of the teams seeded lower by the committee than projected, only 3/9 had committee representation. Of the teams seeded higher by the committee than projected, 8/11 did have committee representation. As I said yesterday, this is not to say that the committee is "dirty." But, I do think it is inaccurate to say that "friends on the committee" does not matter. It only makes sense that if Syracuse and Arkansas are vying for one of the final slots, it is going to help to have the SEC commish on the committee. He or she will have special knowledge about the Hogs that no one in the room can provide regarding the Orange. There is no need for drastic change or alarm, but having representation on the committee DOES matter.

Tomorrow morning, I will post my bracket picks which are probably the least helpful or meaningful part of what I try to do here. But, it is part of the fun, is it not? And, the first weekend of the NCAA tournament is the best weekend in sports in this writer's humble opinion.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

SCKySSiP, Lockbox, and Lousville

There are several items for discussion today.

Our third edition of a mock selection selection once again matched most bracketologists projections. This shows that most bracket heads out there have a pretty good grasp on what the committee is trying to do. The actual 10-member committee does NOT sit in a room debating teams over brandy and cigars and handing out seeds as a result of their conversation. Far from it. The process begins with each member submitting two lists: 1) a list of all teams that should be IN, and 2) a list of all other teams for consideration. Teams appearing on at least 8/10 committee members' List #1 goes into the tournament. All other teams, along with all teams on List 2, go onto an At-Large Nomination board.

From this point, members nominate 8 teams on the ALN board. The top 4 vote-getters are held over for a future vote. Then, 8 more teams are nominated and those top 4 join the four that were held over. This 8-team list is then ranked 1-8 by all members. The top four vote-getters go into the tournament. The four teams that did not get in are held over for the next vote. Then, eight more teams are nominated. This process is repeated until all 34 at-large spots are filled. When that occurs, teams are seeded using the same process. Of course debate about X team does occur, but any given team's fate is decided by a 10-member vote.

And this is exactly what the SCKySSiP did. We replicated the selection process. Have another look at our results, only we had to rely much more on paper copies, a kitchen table, and Papa John's pizza in place of a fancy hotel, PC's for everyone, and whatever the real committee ate (some of Josh Heytvelt's mushrooms, I'd guess, based on some of the seeds).

Lockbox Accuracy
Can readers count on the TBB's Lockbox? The Lockbox had 25 teams LOCKED. They all got in. I also had Michigan State as a near lock and they also got in (26/26 so far). So, all teams guaranteed by the Lockbox made the field.

Syracuse was listed as "projected IN, but not a sure bet." Turns out, they were not a sure bet at all, I guess. This was the only real miss by the Lockbox. Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Illinois, Purdue, Xavier, Old Dominion, and Drexel were Bubble IN, and all but one made the cut (Drexel).

So, if the Lockbox says a team is a LOCK, they are a LOCK. Picking Bubble Boys is difficult, and it seems most experts missed on Syracuse and a lot missed on Drexel as well. It was a pretty good year for the Lockbox.

A lot of talking heads (who are obviously not from Kentucky) are under the delusion that 6-seed Louisville will have a monster home court advantage when they play in Lexington (just 70 miles east of the Ville) this weekend. There are a couple of factors that make this unlikely. First, Ohio State is also there. Buckeye fans will suck up tickets in a hurry. Secondly, Louisville is the University of Kentucky's most hated rival. Most locals who have bought tickets to the tourney will be Wildcat fans. This is akin to Michigan playing a bowl game in Columbus, Ohio. Ask Duke if they enjoyed their trip to Lexington a few year's back (they lost to Indiana there in the tourney). Louisville will have it's share of fans to be sure, but there are going to be LOTS of UK fans rooting loud against Pitino's team. This should be an interesting scene.

Tomorrow: Adventures in Mis-Seeding.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Better Than Last Year

All I truly wanted from this committee was a better job than last year's debacle, and I think that this Gary Walters-led group accomplished that task. There were no wild surprises as to who got in, but leaving out Syracuse was a puzzler and I really thought Drexel had done enough even though their exclusion was not that surprising. Still, let me say up front that this committee did an adequate job this year--not as good as the 2005 group, but better than last season. Furthermore, I have been doing bracketology for 8 seasons and this was the toughest year that I can remember.

The committee nailed the one seeds, even though I did not. I thought that Wisconsin making the Big Ten final and the late start time against Ohio State would help them secure a one. The committee opted for Kansas and, even though Wisconsin's profile is better, Kansas won their tournament and the Badgers did not. No huge criticism from me regarding the one seeds.

There are always a few seeding issues. I have no idea how anyone can look at Butler's overall profile and finish to the season and give them a 5 seed. I though they were a 7, tops. Gonzaga, without Heytvelt, looks much closer to a 12/13 than a 10. Indiana somehow secured a 7 without a single meaningful win away from home. UCLA has to be comfy looking at the IU/Gonzaga winner as their 2nd round game. On the underrated side, UNLV, Creighton and BYU all look vastly underseeded to me. How anyone has Indiana three seed lines higher than Creighton is beyond me.

Compare a wide array of projections at the Bracket Project. TBB did better than some and not as well as others. This was not my best year, but not my worst either. I predicted 63/65 teams correctly (having Drexel and Syracuse IN with Arkansas and Stanford OUT), with 25 exactly seeded and 47 within one seed line. Fifty-nine of sixty-three correct teams were within two seed lines. Those numbers compare pretty favorably with most projections listed at the Bracket Project.

The SCKySSiP had similar results. A full breakdown of our work comes tomorrow. I can say that the SCKySSiP's work matched 63/65 as well (having Drexel and Syracuse IN with Stanford and Purdue OUT) with 29 seeded the same and 47 within one seed line. Fifty-eight were within two seed lines.

More on the SCKySSiP, the accuracy of the Lockbox, and how the selection committee makeup affects seeding tomorrow.

Also, here is a link to nice, clean actual bracket. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Final Projection

Here is TBB's final projection. This is my best guess at what the committee will do. It's VERY tough at the bottom. To me, the last slot was betwee Purdue and Missouri State. After last season, I think Purdue gets the edge because the Big 10 has representation on the committee and the Valley does not. That is not to say the committee is "dirty," but they merely have someone to tell them all the ins and outs of Purdue. The Bears do not have anyone like that on the committee.

There are several slots that are tenuous: Drexel, ODU, Purdue and/or Illinois could easily be bumped by Florida State, Stanford, Missouri State, Arkansas, Air Force, or possibly even West Virginia or Kansas State, though I think those last two are doubtful.

The SCKySSiP bracket is up for viewing as well. I did not have a lot of time to scour this one for matchup problems, so please forgive me if there is a violation or two. This was a replication of the selection process using the NCAA selection criteria--NOT A GUESS at what the committee will do. That is what my projection is.

We'll know all in 15 mins!

Merry Selection Sunday!

The OSS is updated through last night's games.

As of this morning, here is how the Lockbox stands. I have Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Old Dominion, Drexel, Xavier, Illinois and Missouri State IN, while Purdue, Florida State, Arkansas and Stanford just missed. I think those teams are really close. I may change my mind as I ponder this group again later today. Arkansas and NC State are playing for automatic bids and could knock someone off the bracket today.

The SCKySSiP completed its work at about 11 pm last night. I will post our results and my final personal projection later this afternoon before the Selection Show.

Happy Holiday. More coming later.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bracket, Lockbox, OSS Updates

Lots of updates.

The One Stop Shop is updated through last night's games.

The Lockbox is up as well. I downgraded Texas Tech to Bubble IN due to their ugly loss yesterday and the fact that the available AL slots shrank by two due to Nevada and Xavier's losses yesterday. I also downgraded Syracuse from "near lock" to "projected in" simply because there are fewer spaces available.

I have both Nevada and Xavier still IN today's bracket. That cost Florida State and Stanford their slots from yesterday. Likely, it cost Purdue and Kansas State being in today. Those teams are charging hard as is Arkansas from the SEC. Mississippi State and Mississippi are making things interesting as well.

So, of the Bubble Boys, I took Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Old Dominion, Illinois, Drexel, and Missouri State in that order. Next in line were Purdue, Kansas State, Stanford, Air Force, Arkansas, and Florida State. The Mississippi schools can get into the mix with wins today.

The SCKySSiP will be working hard all day today. The fruits of our labor will be posted early tomorrow afternoon along with the final Lockbox and my personal bracket projection.

I'll do a late OSS update tonight if it's not ridiculously late when our mock committee finishes its work.

Enjoy the day!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bubble Boys Lament

Two Bubble Boys likely lost their spots tonight. Both Nevada and Xavier went down. Nevada is certainly IN. Xavier is a little more dicey, but is likely to going to make it. Tough news for Florida State, Drexel, Old Dominion, West Virginia and the rest.

I have a lot of irons in the fire tomorrow, but I will certainly post an updated Lockbox at some point and hopefully a tweaked bracket.

The SCKySSiP is in full effect, so we will be working nonstop from 2 pm until the wee hours tomorrow night. Full report on that project coming on Monday.

The OSS is updated through tonight's games completed at 11.11 pm.

Bracket Update 3/09

Thanks to Zach McCrite and The Big EZ Show on 1570 (Louisville) and 1600 AM (Frankfort/Lexington) at 9.45 CT (10.45 ET) for having me on today. It was fun.

After an eventful day yesterday, a couple of teams changed their status in the Lockbox. Texas Tech moved from "Bubble IN" to "Projected IN" with another win. Their season profile coupled with this strong finish has them in pretty good position.

Georgia Tech fell back onto the Bubble with a loss to Wake. The Jackets have an awful lot of quality wins, but they are 8-9 in ACC games and 1-8 on the road with an RPI of 49. That is not a profile to rest easy upon.

Amazingly, Air Force has played their way onto the Bubble. In fact, I left them OUT of today's bracket in favor of Florida State. They never reached LOCK status, and a four game losing streak including a first round conference tourney loss to Wyoming qualifies as an apocalyptic meltdown. They have to be considered a Bubble team.

Stanford and Florida State's (who is going down hard to UNC as I type) bids are in the guillotine ready to be lopped off by some still-living Bubble Boy (Arkansas, Kansas State, Purdue) that can make a run.

That moves the Bubble to seven slots, and several teams have a chance to take the bull by the horns today.

The OSS is updated through last night's games.

ATTENTION: The biggest game of the day is the Patriot League final: Bucknell at Holy Cross. Loser goes NITting and the winner will send some 4-seed into a cold sweat on Selection Sunday when they see either of these teams pop up next to their name.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

New Bracket, Lockbox, OSS

Congrats to Central Connecticut (Northeast) and Weber State (Big Sky), and welcome to the bracket.

Today's bracket has the same teams as yesterday, but with a few adjusted seeds. The Lockbox has been updated as well.

The OSS is up to date through games completed at 10.54 pm CT.

LOTS of action today.

Today's GOI
--ACC first round. Clemson/Florida State loser is OUT for good. Georgia Tech needs to beat Wake Forest to rest easy.
--A-10 quarterfinals. Xavier and especially UMass need good runs to keep AL hopes alive.
--Big 12 first round. Oklahoma State may be dead already. Texas Tech needs to avoid a loss to Colorado. Missouri needs a run to the finals for any hope.
--Big East quarterfinals. A win over Louisville would help West Virginia a great deal.
--Big Ten first round. Michigan and Illinois are in must win mode today.
--Big West second round.
--CUSA quarterfinals.
--MAC quarterfinals.
--Mountain West quarterfinals. UNLV and BYU are IN. Air Force can LOCK it up with a win today.
--Pac-10 quarterfinals. Stanford may need to beat USC to get IN. Washington needs to continue their late charge to have any hope. Everyone else is in pretty good shape, although Southern Cal might sweat a little if they lose today.
--SEC first round. Alabama must beat Kentucky. Georgia and Arkansas need deep runs.
--SWAC semifinals.
--Southland quarterfinals.
--WAC quarterfinals. New Mexico State and Utah State need to get to the finals for any hope.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More Tix and Big Day Ahead

Congrats to North Texas (Sun Belt), Oral Roberts (Mid-Con), and Wright State (Horizon)! All Bubble Boys moaned in unison when Wright State took down Butler. That's one less slot that is available for them.

The OSS is updated through today's games as of 11.15 pm (CT).

The bracket and Lockbox have been updated as well.

BIG, BIG day today in conference tourney world.

Today's GOI
Tickets, please:
--at (1) Weber State (Big Sky) 88, (2) Northern Arizona 80. Another regular season champ wins their tourney.
--at (1) Central Conn St 74 , (2) Sacred Heart 70 (Northeast). And yet ANOTHER.
Other tourney action:
--Atlantic 10 first round.
--Big East first round. Villanova/DePaul is huge. Nova is likely IN, but this is a must win for DePaul. The loser of Providence/West Virginia is toast as well. Marquette needs to take care of St. John's for any hopes of a decent seed.
--Big West first round.
--CUSA first round.
--MAC first round.
--MEAC 6/11 first round game, and two quarterfinal games.
--Pac-10 first round. Washington needs a deep, deep run to have any hope.
--SWAC quarterfinals (two of four).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The South Central Kentucky Selection Simulation Project (preposterously long title used for dramatic effect) is in it's third year this year. I have posted on this before, but here is the skinny.

Eight folks here in Kentucky are replicating the selection process as closely as possible. While we are not sequestered in a hotel together this week, we are following the NCAA selection criteria with votes by email all week. Then, on Saturday, six of our eight members will meet in person from 2 pm to midnight-ish to make final selections, seed, and place teams into the bracket.

So, while my personal bracket projection will still be on this site, also watch for SCKySSiP updates. My projections are a best guess at what the committee will do. The SCKySSiP is a replication of the actual process. There is a big difference.

I have updated the Lockbox to reflect conference tourney winners.

Tonight's GOI (see the OSS for times)
Bids on the line!
--(2) Butler at (1) Wright State (Horizon). Will the Horizon get one bid or two?
--(2) Oakland at (1) Oral Roberts (Mid-Con). Certainly the two best teams this league has had to offer all season long.
--(5) North Texas vs (2) Arkansas State (Sun Belt). This game is as unpredictable as this topsy-turvy league has been all season long.
Other tourney games
--Big Sky semifinals.
--Mid-Eastern first round.
--Mountain West 8/9 game.
--WAC 8/9 game.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Late Night OSS Update

The OSS is updated through tonight's games. Congrats to VCU (Colonial), Niagara (MAAC), and Gonzaga (West Coast) for punching their tix.

More on the SCKySSiP tomorrow. Have no clue what that is? It's OK. It's simply my favorite sports animal of the whole year.

Bracket/Lockbox/OSS Updates

I hope you tuned in at 11.05 CST (12.05 EST) to hear me gab with Zach McCrite about the bracket. It was on 1570 (Louisville) and 1600 AM (Frankfort/Lexington). Thanks to Big EZ for having me on.

The OSS now has all 31 conference tourney brackets up to date. I think there may still be some clean up to do on game times, so I'll work on that later.

The Lockbox has been updated. I will post a bracket update later today at some point.

Today's bracket is ready to go as well. I think the Bubble is currently at six slots. Stanford has to be considered a Bubble Boy now, because they are not favored in their first tourney game, and another loss would make the Cardinal 4-6 in their last ten with an RPI in the 50s or maybe even 60s. That is a sweaty situation. A win over Southern Cal probably puts them IN.

Of the six Bubble slots, I think Texas Tech is in the best shape. If they beat lowly Colorado in the 5/12 game of the Big XII tourney, they are probably OK...but they might want to win two just in case. The other five Bubble Boys IN were Stanford, Old Dominion, Illinois, Missouri State, and Drexel. The last four are especially dicey. Illinois has to beat Penn State in the 6/11 Big 10 tourney game and may need to beat Indiana. Old Dominion, Missouri State, and Drexel have a lot of sleepless nights ahead of them this week. This group will certainly be pulling for teams like Butler and VCU to take care of business this week.

The teams that just missed were Purdue, West Virginia, DePaul, Clemson, Florida State, Kansas State, and Alabama. More fringe-y teams included UMass, Appalachian State, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Mississippi. They are few others that are not dead, but will need massive runs in their conference tourneys.

Tonight's GOI (see The OSS for times)
Three bids on the line tonight!
--(6) George Mason at (1) VCU (Colonial). Home game for Rams will make it tough for an NCAA return by the Partiots.
--(4) Siena vs (2) Niagara (Metro-Atlantic). Marist was getting most of the pub, but these two have been on FIRE in their last ten games (Siena 9-1, Niagara 10-0).
--(2) Santa Clara vs (1) Gonzaga (West Coast). Zags probably do not have enough juice for an AL bid, so they find themselves in a must-win game. These are the two best teams in WCC, so this is a fitting end.
Other tourney action:
Mid-Continent Semifinals
--UMKC vs Oakland
--IUPUI at Oral Roberts
Sun Belt Semifinals
--Western Kentucky vs Arkansas State
--Middle Tennessee vs North Texas

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Creighton Punches Ticket

Congrats to the Jays from the MVC. They will not have to sweat on SelSun.

The One Stop Shop is updated through games completed today at 10 pm.

Full update tomorrow with complete tourney brackets for all conferences, a bracket update, and a Lockbox update. It's getting crowded in there.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

One Stop Update

The OSS is updated through tonight's games as of 11.30 pm.

Congrats to Penn (Ivy), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Eastern Kentucky (OVC), Winthrop (Big South), and Davidson (Southern). Their bids are in the mail due to conference tourney championships (or in Penn's case, the regular season Ivy crown).

More coming tomorrow.

Friday, March 02, 2007

One Stop/Bracket Updates

One Stop Shop is updated through last night's games.

Also, today's bracket contains the same 65 teams as Wednesday's, but the seeds have shifted a bit.

I'll do my best to update the OSS a few times this weekend as games are completed, but I will be traveling, so I could get behind a bit.

Enjoy a weekend of very important hoops.

Last Night's GOI
--at Georgia Tech 84, North Carolina 77. This one goes a long way for GT. A win over BC on Sunday would likely do the trick. Heels' 1-seed hopes are fading a bit.
--at Utah State 79, Nevada 77. Now, Aggies need a deep run in the WAC Tourney to make it interesting.
--at Virginia 69, Virginia Tech 56. Cavs can lock up the ACC regular season title with a win at Wake this weekend.
--at Washington 85, Southern Cal 70. USC missed their chance to LOCK it up.
--UCLA 53, at Washington State 45. Ladies and gents, your 2007 Pac-10 regular season champs.
See the OSS for these tourney game results:
--Atlantic Sun quarterfinals.
--Big South semifinals.
--Missouri Valley first round.
--Northeast quarterfinals.
--Southern quarterfinals.

Weekend Forecast
Tonight's Tourney Action (see the OSS)
--America East first round.
--Atlantic Sun semifinals.
--Colonial quarterfinals.
--Horizon second round.
--Metro-Atlantic first round.
--Missouri Valley quarterfinals. Creighton and Missouri State both need to cash in their first round games to ensure "good Bubble" status.
--Ohio Valley semifinals.
--Southern semifinals.
--West Coast first round.
--Oklahoma State at Baylor. Must win for Cowboys.
--Tennessee at Georgia. Dawgs are all but dead; Vols need a road win to help seeding.
--Illinois at Iowa. Illini cannot afford to gamble with a loss.
--Texas Tech at Iowa State. Tech is in the same boat as Illinois--hanging onto the bottom of the bracket.
--Oklahoma at Kansas State. K-State is nearing must win territory if they are not there already.
--Pittsburgh at Marquette. Gold/Warriors/Eagles seed is in freefall.
--Ohio State at Michigan. Big chance for the Wolverines to make one final push.
--Auburn at Mississippi. It seems everyone is just trying to get to .500 in the SEC West.
--New Mexico State at Nevada. Aggies are a real long shot, but a win here would keep the door ajar.
--Arizona at Stanford. Cardinal could use a big win to boost them to a sweat-free SelSun.
--Missouri at Texas A&M. Tigers would have to win this one and make a Big XII Tourney run.
--Fresno State at Utah State. Aggies need to win a few in a row to get a serious look.
--Syracuse at Villanova. Both in decent shape, but the winner of this one likely will not sweat on SelSun.
--Michigan State at Wisconsin. Wisconsin can strengthen its grip on a 1-seed; Sparty can likely stay above the 8/9 game with a win here.
Tournament Action
--America East quarterfinals.
--Big Sky first round.
--Big South Championship. VMI at Winthrop.
--Colonial quarterfinals.
--Horizon semifinals.
--Metro Atlantic quarterfinals.
--Mid-Continent first round.
--West Coast second round.
--Kentucky at Florida. Neither playing up to par.
--Boston College at Georgia Tech. This would LOCK it up for GT.
--Alabama at Mississippi State. Probably a must-win for 'Bama.
--Duke at North Carolina. UNC needs it for any 1-seed hopes.
--Clemson at Virginia Tech. Now or never for Tigers.
Tournament Action
--Mid-Continent first round.
--Northeast semifinals.
--Patriot semifinals.
--Sun Belt quarterfinals.
--West Coast semifinals.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Playing Favorites

The chalk is holding up well early on this postseason. So far, teams with higher seed lines in conference tournaments are 18-5. Plus, three of those upsets were in two 4/5 games and an 8/9 game. I am sure there will be some big shakeups at some point, but it is not happening just yet.

Also, Kentucky, Indiana, and Maryland have done enough. I LOCKED them into the Lockbox.

See all the tourney action in the One Stop Shop.

Last Night's GOI

--at Alabama 69, Mississippi 58. Bama gets a must win. Rebs are hurtin' at this point.
--at Arkansas 67, Mississippi State 58. Both these teams are pretty far away.
--Villanova 78, at UConn 74. Nova can rest fairly easy now.
--Maryland 85, at Duke 77. The Terps were considered an NIT team not long ago, and now are battling for a protected seed.
--at Kentucky 82, Georgia 70. This LOCKS Kentucky and puts Georgia behind the 8-ball, especially with the injury of Mike Mercer and suspension of Levi Stukes.
--at Penn State 74, Iowa 72. Big Ten Tourney or bust for Hawkeyes.
--Vanderbilt 99, at South Carolina 90 (OT). It was not easy, but Vandy stays in the hunt for a protected seed.
--at Texas 98, Texas A&M 96 (2OT). Puts 'Horns in the mix for a protected seed.
See the OSS for these tourney game results:
--Patriot first round.
--Southern first round.
--Sun Belt first round.

Tonight's GOI
--North Carolina at Georgia Tech. Jackets are very tough at home. This would greatly strengthen UNC's 1-seed hopes.
--Nevada at Utah State. Aggies must win to keep slim AL hopes alive.
--Virginia Tech at Virginia. In-state rivalry alert with major seeding consequences.
--Southern Cal at Washington. USC needs this to vie for a protected seed.
--UCLA at Washington State. UCLA can lock up the Pac-10 regular season title with a win.
See the OSS for these tourney game times and matchups:
--Atlantic Sun quarterfinals.
--Big South semifinals.
--Missouri Valley first round.
--Northeast quarterfinals.
--Southern quarterfinals.