Monday, January 31, 2011

Lockbox 1/31

Lockbox has been updated. A full bracket update will come tomorrow. The Bubble is down one from the last update to 12 slots.

A complete breakdown of the Bubble comes on Wednesday.

And, if you want Bubble and bracket tweets/links, you can follow me on Ye Olde Twitter.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mostly Jimmer-free Post

Crap. I put Jimmer in the title.

Some major GOI tonight.

--St. Mary's at Gonzaga. Zags really need this one. They will be 3 back of SMC with a loss and if San Francisco wins at LMU, Zags would trail the Dons by two games for 2nd place in the WCC.
--Hofstra at VCU. Winner takes sole possession of first in the CAA.
--Middle Tennessee at FAU. Owls would be FOUR games clear in the Sun Belt East with a win. They are 12-2 in their last 14 games, have won seven straight, and looking like the class of the Belt.
--UCLA at Arizona. Badly needed by both.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bubble Breakdown 1/26

Time for the first full Bubble Breakdown. The Lockbox has been slightly tweaked since Monday.

Multi-Bid Conferences
Big East (11): Pitt, Villanova, UConn, Syracuse, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. John's, Marquette
Big Ten (6): Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota
ACC (5): Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Boston College, Virginia Tech
SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia
Big 12 (5): Texas, Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Oklahoma State
Pac 10 (4): Washington, UCLA, Arizona, Washington State
Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, Temple, Richmond
Colonial (3): VCU, Old Dominion, George Mason
Mountain West (3): San Diego State, BYU, UNLV
West Coast (2): St. Mary's, Gonzaga

The Bubble by the Numbers
--31 Automatic Bids. That number will not change this season. Black italics means a team is the projected auto-bid for that conference.
--37 At-Large Bids (AL). That is also a static number.
--No teams are LOCKS at this point, though that will change in a couple of weeks.
--15 AL teams are listed in black. The black teams could miss, but it would take a meltdown at this point.
--I have 9 other AL teams listed in blue, which means they are on their way, but have a bit more work to do. That means 24 AL slots are taken, leaving the Bubble at 13 at the moment. Bubble-IN teams are in green, Bubble-OUT teams are in red.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bracket Update 1/24

New bracket is up. The Lockbox reflects this bracket as well.

--1-seeds are a bit muddier now (especially since Pitt lost tonight, not reflected in this bracket). But, Ohio State is easing forward and if San Diego State can win at BYU this week, one would have to see them as having an inside track. I imagine there is much jostling to be done this season for these 1-seeds.
--It is always messy at the bottom. This year is no different, but with the expanded field it is pretty danged ugly at the very bottom. In the spots truly up for grabs, I took Old Dominion, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Washington State, Gonzaga, Richmond, and George Mason over the near misses which included Butler, Kansas St, Miami-FL, Dayton, Colorado State, Wichita State, Dayton and UAB (among a few others).

Full Bubble Breakdown coming on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lockbox Update 1/23

Lockbox is up. Full bracket later today or tomorrow.

Some tidbits.

1. Probably not feasible, but all six SEC East teams hit the board (5 in) and no teams from the West are even close.

2. UCF, we hardly knew ye. Home losses to East Carolina and Rice will do in a 13-0 start pretty quickly.

3. Never expected Kansas State or Baylor to miss brackets at any point this season. Both out today.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Bracket 1/16

There are still a LOT of teams in the mix in this first bracket of 2011, so a total bracket breakdown would be too unwieldy. I will sort some things out in the Lockbox update on Wed or Thursday.

That said, at the bottom, I took Marquette, Florida State, Colorado, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Cleveland State, Old Dominion, and Arizona over teams like Washington State, Memphis, Baylor, Wichita State, Miami-FL, and Richmond. It is easy to make arguments for/against right now. Things will shape up as we go.

Eleven teams are IN from the Big East. This will likely shrink a spot or two...likely.

Syracuse, Ohio State, and Kansas are no-brainer 1-seeds right now (all undefeated). I took San Diego State over Duke for now for the last 1-seed. The Aztecs have a higher RPI, are still undefeated, and have five top 100 RPI road wins. Duke has none. In fact, SD State is 7-0 in true roadies while Duke is 1-1.

Eight weeks until Selection Sunday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Forecast

Each weekend will clear up the very muddy tourney picture from here on out.


--Iona at Rider. Two one-loss MAAC teams that trail Fairfield by a game.
--Valparaiso at Wright State. Two of four Horizon teams log-jammed atop the league at 4-1.
--Arizona State at Arizona. In-state rivalry alert and the Cats are a Bubbly looking bunch.
--Oklahoma State at Colorado. Very intriguing match up of Big 12 hopefuls.
--Temple at Duquesne. Dangerous roadie for the Owls.
--Old Dominion at Hofstra. Your CAA leader is not ODU, GMU, Drexel or VCU. It's the Pride (5-0).
--Marquette at Louisville. These kind are precious. Eagles need it more.
--Georgia at Mississippi. Dogs are going to need all the West wins they can get to pad the win total.
--Boston College at Miami-FL. Two of the ACC's masses that need sorting.
--Northwestern at Michigan State. Tough one for Carmody's bunch, but they will need a few against the cream of the Big 10.
--San Diego State at New Mexico. Aztecs put their 16-0 record up at The Pit. Maybe the Game o' the Weekend.
--Georgetown at Rutgers. Hoyas gotta have this one at 1-4 in the league.
--UCF at Southern Miss. Knights need to bounce back from their first loss.
--Washington State at Stanford. NCAA fringe teams with a need for a big second half of the season.
--Missouri at Texas A&M. Nice Big 12 match up. Tigers need some road meat if they are going to garner a high seed.
--Illinois at Wisconsin. Tasty, single digit seediness.
--Dayton at Xavier. A10 bubbliness.
--Cleveland State at Youngstown State. Vikes are going to need to win a bunch to keep AL hopes alive.
--Washington at California. Huskies are the fave. Bears could help themselves tons with a chance at home here.
--Notre Dame at St. John's. One will drop to .500 in the Big East. These feel like tourney teams, but crazy things can happen. Every win is precious.
--Purdue at West Virginia. One of the bigger non-conference games out there.
--Butler at Wright State. Tough roadie for BU.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lockbox 1/13

The first real Lockbox is up.

It is still early, but late enough to get some idea about the wider picture. A few thoughts to accompany this Lockbox.

1. No matter how high your non-conf RPI was, you will still have to win some conference games. This means you, Georgetown. And, Tennessee, Kansas State, and Miami-FL. Still very early, though.

2. Has their been a power conference division worse than the SEC West? Is there any SEC East team that would not win the West? Maybe Tennessee is in too much disarray and maybe South Carolina just is not good enough. But, even those two are debatable.

3. I do not believe the Big East will not send 11 teams in March. Not enough wins to go around.

A proper bracket comes on Monday.