Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lockbox 1/21

The Lockbox has been updated.

The Bubble by the Numbers
--31 Automatic Bids. That number will not change this season.
--34 At-Large Bids. That also is a static number.
--18 teams are listed in black. They could miss, of course, but at this stage it would be very surprising if they did.
--I have 14 other teams listed in blue this week, which means if they win the games they "should" win (based on RPI, Pomeroy ratings, performance to this point), they should be fine. I am not predicting anything and I realize that this is a nebulous designation, but I am looking at what they have done to this point. Of these 32 black and blue teams, 10 are conference leaders. That means 22 at-large slots look fairly secure at this stage.
--Hence, the Bubble stands at 12 slots right now. That's down from 16 last week. This will shrink over the coming weeks, and on Selection Sunday it is usually no more than four or five. Teams in green are Bubble-IN and those in red are Bubble-OUT.

BracketBusters update coming tomorrow or Friday.

Last Night's GOI
--Creighton 79, at Evansville 57. The Valley is a carnival and these two are especially tough to figure.
--at Illinois 67, Ohio State 49. Illini are going to be a factor in the Big 10 title race.
--at Penn State 73, Michigan 58. Lions strengthen their NCAA hand.
--Tennessee 76, at Vanderbilt 63. Vols brought back the defense.

Tonight's GOI
--Northwestern at Michigan State. Cats looking for that signature win.
--George Mason at Northeastern. CAA leader at a title challenger. Good one.
--Villanova at UConn. Tough row to hoe for Cats, but also an opportunity to land a big fish.
--Florida at South Carolina. If the Gamecocks are going to stay in the picture, they are going to have to win against the better SEC teams.
--Florida State at Miami-FL. ACC and big-time Bubble implications.
--Mississippi State at LSU. Both are fringe Bubble Boys looking to make hay.
--Bradley at Northern Iowa. Maybe the two best Valley teams. Who knows...
--Wisconsin at Iowa. Badgers are not nearly as secure as in former seasons. They cannot afford to lose games like this one.
--Clemson at North Carolina. Clash of the Titans Game of the Night.
--Missouri and Oklahoma State. The Big 12 version of FSU/Miami-FL.
--Arizona State at Arizona. In-state rivalry alert! And Zona is in desperate need of a good win.
--UNLV at BYU. Massive MtWest tilt.