Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lockbox 1/28

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.
--19 teams are listed in black. They could miss, of course, but at this stage it would be very surprising if they did.
--I have 15 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 34 black and blue teams, 10 are conference leaders. That means 24 at-large slots look fairly secure at this stage.
--Hence, the Bubble stands at 10 slots right now. That's down from 12 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.

One change from Monday's bracket: South Carolina IN and Wisconsin OUT.

BracketBusters update coming tomorrow.

Last Night's GOI
--Texas 78, at Baylor 72. Horns stay one game back of the Sooners and win their 23rd straight over the Bears.
--Boston College 76, at Maryland 67. Terrapins are in bad shape.
--at Utah 94, BYU 88 (OT). Utes knock Cougars from the MWC leaders and damage their Bubble status as well.
--Northeastern 68, at VCU 63. Huskies take sole possession of first place in the CAA with a gigantic road triumph.
--at Wisconsin 64, Purdue 63. Badgers would be OUT as of today.

Tonight's GOI
--Georgetown at Cincinnati. Hoyas really need to take care of this one lest they fall onto the Bubble.
--North Carolina at Florida State. Big for both for different reasons.
--American at Navy. Two of the top 3 in the Patriot.
--Kansas at Nebraska. These are the kinds of games that will determine if KU is going to compete for a top 5 seed or not.
--Illinois State at Northern Iowa. Probably the two best Valley clubs.
--Michigan at Ohio State. Wolverines need it more and the Buckeyes have already won in Ann Arbor.
--Syracuse at Providence. Friars have a HUGE opportunity to make a serious move toward the bracket here.
--Temple at Rhode Island. Just keeping an eye on the Owls.
--LSU at Tennessee. Tigers need it more. Their baby-soft schedule is not going to get them IN unless they win the West and/or beat teams like Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida.
--Pitt at Villanova. Nova is not a mortal lock by any stretch, but this would go a long way to erasing that "no big wins" status. Pitt is playing to win the Big East and secure a one seed so every game is big in that regard.
--Duke at Wake Forest. This will test the Dukies' mettle and they can prove that they are deserving of the title "best team in the country" at this stage.