Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lockbox 2/17

Let's merge yesterday's bracket and today's Lockbox into a sort of "State of the Bracket" post. First, after last night's results, I replaced Cincinnati with South Florida, and it's not just because USF topped Cincy. USF was close anyway and got a win over a fellow Bubbler. A few notes:

1. 1-seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Villanova. Cuse has a slight edge over Nova because using the RPI as a tie-breaker, they are the "Big East Champ."
2. Mississippi. Pretty much all other bracketologists have them IN and even at 10-seed range. I don't get it. They have one Top 50 win (granted, a good one vs Kansas State). They trail Mississippi State and ARKANSAS (!) in the SEC West where they are .500 in league. They are #51 in the RPI. They have lost 3/4 including at home to the Hogs. I have not been sold on the Rebels at any point. Maybe I just see too much of them in SEC country.
3. That said, there are plenty of flawed teams IN that Ole Miss could make a case against. South Florida, UAB, Louisville, Marquette, Clemson, Virgnia Tech...there is some sorting to do down the stretch.

The Bubble by the Numbers
--31 Automatic Bids. That number will not change this season.
--34 At-Large Bids. That is also a static number.
--26 teams listed in black. The black teams could miss, but it would take a meltdown at this point.
--I have 7 other teams listed in blue, which means they are on their way, but have a bit more work to do (see a gaggle of A-10 teams!). Of these 33 black and blue teams, 10 are conference leaders. That means 23 AL slots are taken, leaving the Bubble at 11. That's up one from last week and by Selection Sunday, it usually no more than four or five. Bubble-IN teams are in green, Bubble-OUT teams are in red.

Tonight's GOI
--South Carolina at Arkansas. USC East is a long shot, but can help themselves...and Mississippi and Mississippi State.
--Wofford at Davidson. Big SoCon tilt.
--Texas at Missouri. Big 12 and NCAA seeding ramifications.
--Notre Dame at Louisville. Couple of Big East Bubblers and ND needs it much more.
--Duke at Miami-FL. Devils need to collect some roadies to secure a 2-seed or argue for a 1-seed.
--Maryland at NC State. Terps are in good shape, but need to take care of these types of roadies.
--Purdue at Ohio State. Your Wednesday Clash of the Titans special.
--LA Tech at Utah State. USU can put the Dogs two back with a win.
--Florida State at Virgnia. 'Noles try to stay above .500 in the ACC.