Saturday, March 27, 2010


Who had Butler in the Final Four? Me, in my preason bracket. Too bad I also had Notre Dame and Kansas.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Izzo Knows March

All year I say never bet against Michigan State in March and I bet against them in March. Who would you rather have? Bo Ryan or Tom Izzo?

Evan Turner ready for the NBA

He has his NBA whining down pat. Poor guy gets fouled on every play. He must know LeBron pretty well, too. Liked the walk off the court w/o the handshakes.


No love for the Horizon League!? Better get used to them...they'll be back next year in the same position. Welcome to the new Gonzaga.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poor Xavier

Best tournament since...? You tell me. Come on K-State! Beat Butler!

Rick Jackson has good hands

And ball control. He makes Hasheem Thabeet look like a wizard.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Picks to run from: EAST REGION

Cornell vs. Kentucky: Can Cornell win? Yes, they can. If they shoot lights out like they're capable of, Kentucky will be limited in their ability to run in transition. I suspect Jeff Foote will be a load for Demarcus Cousins. No stats here. Kentucky can defend you inside and out and are way more athletic than what Bucky showed the Big Red. But they're careless with the ball far too often.

This'll be a fascinating game. Will Kentucky come out the aggressor like they have the first two games? If not, can they withstand an early Cornell barage? Kentucky has been taken shots throughout the year and have shown a capability of winning from behind. To me, you should know alot about this game in the first ten minutes. If Kentucky is aggressive from the tip, they win even if they fall behind early. But if they fall behind and play in a reaction mode, trouble could be brewing.

I'm picking Kentucky 84 Cornell 70 but won't be surprised either way.

Washington vs. West Virginia: As we know, Washington likes to push tempo. They also don't play much defense. Washington has been lights out offensively (Shooting well, protecting the ball) through two games and while we think of West Virgnia as a defensive team, they are 51st in scoring defense and only 91st in FG% defense. KenPom has them 23rd, just 12 spots ahead of Washington.

West Virginia has an edge on the boards, sharing the ball and committing fewer fouls. Ball control is a push. At some point, UW has to go cold and WVU has more athleticism than they've seen so far. If UW shoots well again, they can win this thing but I'm hedging my bets a trip across country and shooting in a dome slows them down and West Virginia forces them into tougher shots and sets.

West Virginia 72 Washington 64

Picks to run from: WEST REGIONAL

Butler vs. Syracuse: Syracuse has rolled through their first two games and Butler has handled UTEP and Murray State. Syracuse has a superior offensive team (6th in scoring, 1st in FG%) whose main two problems are turnovers (272nd) and FT shooting (216th). Butler holds opponents down in scoring (10th) but their defensive FG% defense is worse than Syracuse. Syracuse doesn't have a large advantage on the boards but does block the 7th most shots in the land. And while Onuaku may not playing, Rick Jackson leads the team in blocks and Wes Johnson leads them in rebounds.

Butler is good enough to spring an upset but I like Syracuse 70 Butler 65.

Xavier vs. Kansas State: As I read Badger fans defend Bo Ryan's March resume, I remind them of the success of Xavier who is making this Sweet 16 thing look easy. I like this matchup a lot. Both teams statistically matchup almost evenly, with Xavier having a slight advantage in both offensive and defensive FG%. Rebounding is about dead even, too.

The K-State red flags for me are a 67% at the free throw line vs. Xavier at 71%. K-State is 227th in turnovers while Xavier is 100 - though K-State forces more sort of equaling that out. K-State also commits 4 more personal fouls per game.

I think this is a toss-up. K-State is slightly better in the backcourt but not significantly so. Give me Xavier in a slight upset, 77-73.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I got your winning bracket

Every. Single. Game. Right.


Monday, March 22, 2010

More Omar Samhan

A collection of recent quotes, this guy is awesome. He even addresses the low tops.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bo Ryan fears the second weekend

Told you that's why he wants to expand. That second weekend has to be easier that way. Getting to the tourney every year is great for a program that languished for years but at some point, you have to get further. One elite eight in a year where he missed Kansas and UConn and one win over a lower seeded team. Bo don't know the dance.

But at least this year's Charlie Wills winner for Super Douche, J-Bo made a basket or two today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Get your Gus on.

All things Gus Johnson.

10 Random Thoughts from the Opening Round

1. Thursday was the best day of the tournament in recent years. Friday was a case of Red Dog.
2. Wisconsin better be tougher on the glass because their offense is Dick Bennett bad at this point. To get outrebounded by Wofford despite a clear advantage is redonkulous. Every trip where Leuer doesn't get a touch should result in Bo Ryan's head exploding in rage. I read that he's a lottery pick and he plays like it.
3. Jordan Williams could be the poor man's Blake Griffin.
4. Ohio proved the easiest way to upset a team is by making every shot possible.
5. Speaking of which, the Big East is 4-4 as of right now and 'Nova looked terrible but Marquette and Notre Dame were overseeded and Georgetown ran into the wrong team on the wrong night. It happens.
6. I still think the Rick Pitino era at Louisville is very close to being over. If Oregon's athletic department wasn't such a mess, wouldn't Phil Knight waving a check at Rick be tempting?
7. Xavier is quickly becoming my second favorite team in college basketball. They're fun to watch.
8. On seeding again, Cornell is not a 12 and that wasn't some kind of epic 12-5 upset. Hell, Cornell might be better than a 5.
9. Jimmer!
10. New Mexico State fan is outraged over the ending of their game. They should be outraged their best player made two insanely dumb fouls and they went the last 8 minutes running offensive sets like a rec league team. Look in the mirror, gents.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Need a job?

DePaul is covering all of its bases.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bracket Conspiracy

Deadspin links you to various bracket conspiracies.

And you thought it couldn't get worse...

Illinois not only misses the Big Dance, they can't host a NIT game because Cirque du Soleil is in town. The humanity of having to go to Stony Brook as a member of the Big 11.

Things I Think...

Now if I can stay away from talking heads and get my head cluttered by cliche speak, this is what I think by looking at the numbers...

EAST REGION - Bucky and Marquette did not get good draws despite what I heard from the locals. I think they both win round 1 (Both could lose, too) but will not get to the second weekend...The committe put the two biggest underachievers against one another in Texas and Wake...People will go on and on about Kentucky getting slowed down by some of the potential matchups but they do more than run and gun and can play in the halfcourt just because of John Wall

SOUTH REGION - I like the 12 & 13 (Utah State & Siena)...Richmond and St. Mary's could be one of the better matchups in round one and are Sweet 16 capable...I like ODU over Notre Dame...Baylor will get to the Elite 8...Duke could walk to the Final 4, this is the weakest bracket by far

MIDWEST REGION - This region is brutal...New Mexico State can beat Michigan State (I'm not picking it, though)...Keep an eye on San Diego State as a sleeper to get to the Sweet 16, Georgetown will be overrated by a lot of people...If the bracket holds, Kansas-Ohio State would be one of the best Regional Finals in years

WEST REGION - I like UTEP & Murray State as potential upsets. UTEP is pretty good...I was convinced Kansas State was the easy choice out of this bracket but I like BYU over them. I am very tempted to pick BYU to go the Final Four...I also like Xavier to get to the Sweet 16...This bracket is weak 3-5 but I think the committee undervalued UTEP and BYU which means both should get bounced early...I wouldn't be stunned to see Oakland beat Pitt

I am Awful

Geez, almost dead last on the Bracket Matrix. Obviously I've spent too much time working and not enough time figuring out how Florida should be a 10 seed. I suck.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Enough, espn.

If you are 19-14 you don't belong in the tournament. I'm looking at you, Illinois.

That will be all.


Out of the watered down Pac-10 comes Marquette's first foe, the Huskies of Washington.

Washington is an offensive minded-team that plays very little defense. They're 13th in the nation in scoring and 216th on defenensive scoring. For a team that scores alot, they don't make many 3's (258th) or shoot them particularly well (226th). They're okay at defending the 3 - Marquette's weapon of choice (71st in 3pt. FG% defense).

To compound their struggles on defense, the Huskies should send Marquette to the line an awful lot. They commit a ton of fouls (318th). So, attack the rim Jimmy and Lazar! They help themselves on the boards (45th). They're about average protecting the ball (103rd) and sharing it (88th). If Marquette stays stingy protecting the ball like they have, that should help slow down the Husky tempo.

Marquette will have to keep up with diminuative 5' 8" guard, sophomore Isaiah Thomas and senior forward Quincy Pondexter who can score and board.

I think Villanova is the closest Big East comparison. Washington's best win came at home in December over Texas A&M otherwise the rest of the resume is dotted with Pac-10 wins.

If they can control tempo and be productive from outside the arc, Marquette should win but it's far from a certainty and no lock. For what it's worth, Marquette is 28 in KenPom and Washington is 29. Looks like another pepto game.

ok...I'll ask...

why is Kansas not playing the winner of the play-in game?

Florida a 10?

Get me a trash can, too.

Commence barfing

Minnesota? Come on.

You posted too early.

Now Lunardi has a chance to copy you.

Picture It


Minnesota gets crushed and is replaced by Illinois.

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas - (B12) vs Arkansas-PB - (SWAC)/Winthorp (BigSouth)
Kentucky - (SEC) vs LeHigh (Patriot)
Syracuse vs Robert Morris - (NEC)
Duke - (ACC) vs E. Tennessee State - (Asun)
2 seed vs 15 seed
West Virginia - (Beast) vs Vermont - (Aeast)
Ohio State - (Big10) vs North Texas - (Sbelt)
Kansas State vs Morgan State - (MEAC)
Georgetown vs Montana - (Big Sky)
3 seed vs 14 seed
New Mexico vs UC-Santa Barbara - (Big West)
Villanova vs Ohio - (MAC)
Temple - (A10) vs Wofford - (SoCon)
Pittsburgh vs Houston - (CUSA)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Tennessee vs Sam Houston St - (Southland)
Baylor vs Murray State - (OVC)
Wisconsin vs Oakland - (Summit)
Purdue vs New Mexico State (WAC)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Vanderbilt vs Virginia Tech
Maryland vs Utah State
Butler - (Horizon) vs Illinois
Michigan State vs Wake Forest
6 seed vs 11 seed
Richmond vs Cornell - (Ivy)
BYU vs Washington - (Pac10)
Texas A&M vs Siena - (MAAC)
Gonzaga vs Missouri
7 seed vs 10 seed
Georgia Tech vs UNLV
Xavier vs Louisville
Marquette vs San Diego State - (Mwest)
Northern Iowa - (MVC) vs UTEP
8 seed vs 9 seed
Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State
Florida State vs California
Old Dominion - (CAA) vs Texas
Clemson vs St. Mary's - (WCC)

Last Four Out
Mississippi State
Next Four Out
Rhode Island
Arizona State
Wichita State
Seton Hall
Also Considered

Latest Update

I'm leaving Virginia Tech in and 10-6 conference record. I'm pulling out Mississippi State for good. The last spot for me is going to be Illinois or Minnesota....

Bracket Rules

So all are aware there are certain rules where teams from the same conference have to be spread out and this allows for teams to be seeded 1 up or 1 down from where they fall on the S-Curve. An example at this moment is Marquette who I have as a 8 seed needed to be moved to a 7 seed so my bracket is legal.

Also, I was ready to put Minnesota in and pull Mississippi State out but now OSU is pulling away.


That's what I'll do if Minnesota and Illinois make it in.

Bubble Status

I think Mississippi State did enough to grab the last spot. I have Minnesota out and will see how the game goes today. Win and their in, stay close is in, blown out is a loss. Here's how I see it at 2:30

Wake Forest
Virginia Tech
Mississippi State

If I have to put Minny in, I'm probably pulling VaTech out.

Back to number crunching

Biggest Questions of the Day

1. Who is the fourth #1 seed? Duke or West Virginia

2. Who's the fourth #2 seed? Purdue, Villanova, New Mexico?

3. Where to put Butler or Gonzaga?

4. How far do UTEP and Utah State fall after losing last night?

5. If Minnesota and Mississippi State win whose bubble gets burst?

6. Who's the surprise team that gets left out? Virginia Tech, Louisville, Wake Forest, or Missouri?

7. Who's the surprise team that gets in? Wichita State, William and Mary, Seton Hall, or UNC?

Christmas Time

It’s Christmas in March as today is Selection Sunday.

Let’s start out with the auto-bids handed out yesterday

SWAC – Arkansas – Peanut Butter – welcome to the play out game, thanks for coming

America East – Vermont beat Boston early and probably grab the lowest 15 seed

MEAC – Todd Bozeman leads Morgan State to the MEAC title and probably a date with K-state. They can hang for a bit but will ultimately get crushed

Big West – UC Santa Barbara grabs the bid and a potential 14 seed

MAC – The biggest upset of the day as Ohio wins. Surprisingly, even through they were an 7 seed in the MAC tournament their RPI is a respectable 94.

Southland – Samuel Houston Sr. beats Steve Austin for a possible 13/14 bid

WAC – The Aggies upset the Aggies to grab a bid and send bubble teams running. Is the WAC a 2 bid conference now?

Mountain West – thankfully we didn’t get to watch this 55-45 mess. San Diego State finishes the job and goes from last 4 out to an RPI of 18 in 3 days.

C-USA – There goes the UTEP winning streak and in comes Houston, who I had projected getting in here during my preseason ramblings. Funny how that worked.

Pac-10 – Washington secures a bid and the Pac-10 is a two bid conference. Read that again because a lot of bracketologists are saying California is not safe. I am telling you a conference title and a top 20 RPI is going to be enough.

Big East – West Virginia holds off Georgetown and are now in line for a #1 seed. Is it Duke’s to lose today or do they now grab Syracuse’s?

Big 12 – Kansas State better hope they don’t run into Kansas down the road again.

Below is the bracket as of this morning. There is potential for more changes as I still have Mississippi State and Minnesota out. Depending on how they look will depend on whether I put them in or if they win, have to put them in. The bubble teams that are sweating the most are Illinois and Virginia Tech. I also think there is another group that also should be somewhat worried due to their early tourney exist or last week fadings. That group includes Wake Forest, Missouri, Louisville, UTEP, and Utah State. I’ll be crunching through some numbers and retain the right to move things around a bit more but for now, this is what I got for you.

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas - (B12) vs Arkansas-PB - (SWAC)/Winthorp (BigSouth)
Kentucky - (SEC) vs LeHigh (Patriot)
Syracuse vs Robert Morris - (NEC)
Duke - (ACC) vs E. Tennessee State - (Asun)
2 seed vs 15 seed
West Virginia - (Beast) vs Vermont - (Aeast)
Ohio State - (Big10) vs North Texas - (Sbelt)
Kansas State vs Morgan State - (MEAC)
Villanova vs Montana - (Big Sky)
3 seed vs 14 seed
New Mexico vs UC-Santa Barbara - (Big West)
Georgetown vs Ohio - (MAC)
Temple - (A10) vs Wofford - (SoCon)
Pittsburgh vs Houston - (CUSA)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Purdue vs Sam Houston St - (Southland)
Tennessee vs Murray State - (OVC)
Vanderbilt vs Oakland - (Summit)
Wisconsin vs New Mexico State (WAC)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Baylor vs Washington - (Pac10)
Maryland vs Illinois
Butler - (Horizon) vs Wake Forest
Richmond vs Virginia Tech
6 seed vs 11 seed
Michigan State vs Cornell - (Ivy)
BYU vs California
Texas A&M vs Siena - (MAAC)
Gonzaga vs UNLV
7 seed vs 10 seed
Northern Iowa - (MVC) vs Missouri
Xavier vs Louisville
Marquette vs Utah State
Georgia Tech vs UTEP
8 seed vs 9 seed
Florida State vs Oklahoma State
Notre Dame vs San Diego State - (Mwest)
Old Dominion - (CAA) vs Texas
Clemson vs St. Mary's - (WCC)

Last Four Out
Mississippi State

Next Four Out
Rhode Island
Arizona State
Wichita State
Seton Hall

Also Considered

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Your Broadcast Teams

Jim Nantz - "Special K' Clark Kellog
Dick Enberg - Jay Bilas (Was Bilas ever on Little House on the Prarie? - NO!)
Verne Lundquist - Bill "Happy Hour" Raftery
Gus Johnson - Len Elmore
Kevin "White Man's Gus Johnson" Harlan - Dan Bonner
Ian Eagle - Jim "Super-Scintilating-Stunning-Stupenodus" Spanarkel
Spero Dedes - Bob Wenzel
Tim Brando - Mike Gminski

Good Lord, three Dukies. Just think, next year, Brent Musburger and Dick Vitale and Mike Patrick will get to call games and maybe even Pammy Ward! YES!

This begs the question, who did Craig Bolerjack piss off?

Lunardi Update

For naughty word (YEAH) and giggles..

His latest bracket has Marquette as a 9 seed taking on Texas out West in...Jacksonville. It has UW as a 4 seed out West in San Jose taking on Rhode Island. That would put both schools on a collision course in the Sweet 16. Marquette would totally destroy Texas and Duke (If they beat the 16.). But I doubt UW would get past BYU or Siena, so nevermind.

He projects Kentucky-Play-In & Oklahoma State- Louisville...Northern Iowa-Missouri & Ohios State-North Texas in Milwaukee. Not bad, John Wall & Evan Turner in town as we watch and salivate over the possibility of winning the lottery (Thanks, Bulls!).

I have to go break down UTEP, Utah State...and bury Bryan.

If I show up Thursday there better not be any drinking. You can't get my calculator and laptop wet with drunken spillage.


Well done Bryan, well done. Goddamn.

Geek dice.

PreSelection Saturday

Only 36 hours to brackets. Time to bring this one home.

Mississippi – A shaky profile and a loss yesterday probably sealed the deal. Out for now

Washington – getting hot at the right time. Baring a blow-out tonight against California they might be a lock

Dayton – my preseason pick in the A-10 just hasn’t done enough

Auto Bids
Patriot – LeHigh takes the Patriot bid and marches towards Syracuse

Today’s Bids

SWAC – Texas Southern vs Arkansas – Peanut Butter
No analysis for a play out game loser

C-USA – UTEP vs Houston
Shockingly I had Houston in my preseason bracket. UTEP is a lock at this point so a Houston win steals a bid from a bubble team

Pac-10 California vs Washington
I have to believe that barring a Husky no show both are in

MAC Ohio – Akron
The battle for a 14 seed. Akron had a chance to be dangerous. Ohio has a chance to lose by 22.

Mountain West - UNLV vs San Diego State
The unlikely is now a lock as the Mountain West is officially a 4 bid league. Can’t wait to bust out the Mountain West envelope.

Big West – Long Beach State vs UC-Santa Barbara
Not much to say here. Neither should be able to sniff a win in the Big Dance

Big East – West Virginia vs Georgetown
Playing for seeding, it is possible for West Virginia to steal a 1 seed.

WAC – Utah State vs New Mexico State
Utah State, like UTEP, is a lock at this point; the Aggies could steal a bid if the Aggies upset the Aggies. Yep, you read that right.

American East – Boston vs Vermont
A likely 15 seed for the Catamounts while Boston is possibly a 16. First game of the day so read the blog and turn on ESPN2

MEAC – Morgan State vs South Carolina State
Morgan State could give a 2 seed a solid half of basketball. SC State cannot. Guess who we should be cheering for here?

Southland – Sam Houston vs Stephen Austin
Apparently a game of one on one between Mr Houston and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Stunner! Stunner! Stunner!

"Bracketologist" Jerry Palm

For those who don't know this is CBS's bracketologist. He was on CBSC last night and posted a new bracket at 3am this morning. Oh, and he appears to be clueless. First he has California as a 12 seed. I know they are having a down year but there is not way that the winner of a BCS conference, who will be playing in their conference tournament and has an RPI of 19 is going to be a 12 seed. Is he saying if California loses tonight they are out? Secondly, Seton Hall not only in but as an 11 seed while Cornell sits at 13, Utah State with their 15 game win streak at a 12, and the above mentioned California at 12. The 9th Big East team with a higher seed then the Pac-10 champion? I could go on but it's too easy. How does he have a job?


Duke now must overcome the 2010 powerhouses of 12 seeded Miami, 7 seeded Georgia Tech, and 10 seeded North Carolina to get #1 seed. Can they do it? Stay tuned.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Random Musings

Now, I'm not some famous bracketologist who's in demand from the local Homer or "bracket website" or anything. I'm a simple man. I don't understand your "Bob Morris" or "Colonial Athletic Conference". I fell on some ice and was later thawed by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! But I do know a few things:

1. Not such a good day for the Wisconsin teams. Probably the flattest I've seen Marquette all year, dont know if the third game in 3 days was it or what, but just never really looked with-it. Interesting that before tonite they were one of only 6 teams in D-I without a loss of 10 or more points, thats pretty impressive. There goes that stat. Didnt see UW, but monitored using the internet, which also frightens and confuses me. For quite a while, they were averaging a point a minute. That aint gonna get it done....unless you're playing the aforementioned UAB and their go$#%am 44 points. Speaking of which, why cant we say goddamm? Is this blog now too classy with all the newfound fame? heh...heh....

2. Sweet shot by Evan Turner, It never looked like it got more than 4 inches above the rim. i guess that makes it even more impressive. But not as impressive as the 'fro.

3. Feeling good about a solid tournament with some close games. Its been a while, thats for damn sure. Or should I say d@#m sure. or darn sure. dag-nabbit.

4. Memphis, my how far we've fallen. UNC, my how far we've fallen.

5. The opening line on the quarter barrels is set at an over/under of 5.25. Like #3, feeling good about the tournament.

6. Make sure if you get on Homer, you mention geek dice. or geek captain. Or your homeboys who hang out in your basement. Dont forget what got you there, baby!!!

7. Does Bob Huggins always need to wear that jumpsuit?

8. Is Harangody's head as big as Buzz Williams' head?

9. The Buzz Williams walk-dance-running man is truly awful. You asked if they teach that at Marquette. The answer is no, they didnt teach it. We studied it as an example of how gravity could be all accounts, his head shouldnt be able to be supported in that kind of gyrating motion.

10. And, to wrap it up, I may be the only person who was actively rooting for Oakland (Mi). Guy who sits across from me at work went to Oakland. Who woulda thunk it?

Thats all for now. Hurry up and read the post before its buried in 17 layers of Summit League analysis.

Marquette's Unlikely Run

Well, that stunk.

Georgetown is playing like a team with 3 future NBA players and Marquette went ice cold equaling a crazy, un-delish whooping.

To put things into perspective, though...let's look at the contribution from the 2007 recruiting class who are juniors tonight. Trevor about that Scott Pat Hazel...oh..yeah..

At least there's Tyshawn Taylor from the '08 class.

A nice hat tip to Buzz and co. for a great season thus far. Good luck, next week Warriors!

Basketball at its absolute worst

Let me be the first to thank Tony Bennett for bringing such an exciting style of basketball to the ACC. After years of dreadful teams, dreadful play and brutal fundamentals, it's a pleasure to watch your team. That is, if you're a sadomasochist.

Morning Update

Is it me or do the Bubble teams not understand that to get in or stay in, one must win? An awful day for the bubble and no auto bids.

Memphis - couldn't get the job done and unless UTEP loses Conference USA will remain a 1 bid league.
UAB - 44 points? That's all? 44 Go%&%^amn points? Shhhhh, you can say Go%&%^amn on a blog. It doesn't matter, nobody's listening anyway. Thank you Major League. The loss hurts but the fat that they never showed up is killer. UAB is done.
Kent State - the #1 MAC seed falls opening the door for Akron to claim a 14 seed.
Jackson St - missed this one two days ago. It's the SWAC so we're talking play-out game anyway

Illinois - I've said it plenty of times, beat Wisconsin and your in, lose and your out. An RPI in the 70's and losers of 5 of 6 is not the way to end a season
Rhode Island - Best of the last teams out is not saying much
Akron - MAC 2 seed
Arkansas - Pine Bluff - um, yeah.

Bubbles Popped
Cincinnati - needed 1 more win to be taken seriously

Bids handed out today:

LeHigh vs Lafayette
Winner of this game will be in consideration for the play out game along with Ark-PB and Winthrop. Make sure you leave early to catch in on ESPN2

Bubble teams that need to win today
Illinois over Wisconsin - won't happen
Rhode Island over St. Louis - Rams win a close one
Mississippi over Tennessee - Should be fun, I'm calling the Rebel upset
Dayton over Xavier - Dayton's bid ends here
San Diego State over New Mexico - The Aztecs lose and are left out again
Washington over Stanford - Washington is starting to hit their stride

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bracket Buster: Oakland

This'll be the last of the brackt busters as I'll focus on potential Marquette matchups after this (Unless Carolina wins the ACC, then we'll look at them ;). And Siena has busted brackets the last two years. If you're surprised this year, well, you're dumb.

Surprisingly, Oakland (MI) out of the Summit has a nice RPI of 52. They've also won their last 10 heading into the tourney. They have zero significant wins but played a tough schedule that included Bucky, Kansas, Syracuse and Michigan State. Bad thing? They got trounced in those games.

Other than scoring, Oakland doesn't do much else. They don't play defense (253rd). They turn it over too much (221st). They don't make many bombs and shoot too many, 212th in 3pt. FG %. Everything else is pretty middle of the road or worse. They have a nice rebound margin and block shots, a lot of that built against their weaker opponents.

They do bring something that may give problems to a small team, in they have a bona fide center in junior Keith Benson. He can be a productive offensive player and a solid rebounder but he is prone to foul trouble and has a reputation (Among NBA scouts, anyway) as being soft. He held his own against Bucky and Kansas.

Currently sitting as a likely 14 seed in Brian's bracket, take a look at them if you think this is a year a 14 could upend a 3 (First time since Northwestern State shocked Iowa in 2006 - Also the year Xavier and Murray State hung around as 14's).

Fear the DJO

Coming to a Big East arena near you. You've been warned.


Here's a one and done donkey. Hee-haw.

And Memphis Pops Their Bubble

End Communication

Syracuse poops the bed

To be totally honest, Syracuse hasn't looked very good their last two games out, almost as if they're out of energy and if Arinze Onuaku is seriously injured, that's not good.

Georgetown got a career game today out of Chris Wright. Considering their ability to make 3's (24th in the nation), one wonders why they don't take more, as they only average 6 per game. If they could protect the ball, they'd be so much more dynamic.

EDIT: Hoyas were only 6-18 from beyond the arc today but shot 58% overall. The difference was Syracuse turning it over, 5 each by Rautins and Jackson.

Thursday Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas - (B12) vs Jackson St - (SWAC)/LeHigh - (Patriot)
Kentucky - (SEC) vs Winthorp - (BigSouth)
Syracuse - (Beast) vs Robert Morris - (NEC)
Duke - (ACC) vs Vermont - (Aeast)
2 seed vs 15 seed
West Virginia vs E. Tennessee State - (Asun)
Purdue vs North Texas - (Sbelt)
New Mexico - (Mwest) vs Morgan State - (MEAC)
Kansas State vs UC-Santa Barbara - (Big West)
3 seed vs 14 seed
Ohio State - (Big10) vs Montana - (Big Sky)
Pittsburgh vs Wofford - (SoCon)
Villanova vs Sam Houston St - (Southland)
Tennessee vs Oakland - (Summit)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Vanderbilt vs Murray State - (OVC)
Temple - (A10) vs Kent State - (MAC)
Wisconsin vs Arizona State
Butler - (Horizon) vs Mississippi
5 seed vs 12 seed
BYU vs Florida
Georgetown vs Memphis
Michigan State vs San Diego State
Maryland vs Notre Dame
6 seed vs 11 seed
Baylor vs Cornell - (Ivy)
Xavier vs Georgia Tech
Gonzaga vs Utah State - (WAC)
Texas A&M vs Siena - (MAAC)
7 seed vs 10 seed
Northern Iowa - (MVC) vs Virginia Tech
Richmond vs Missouri
Texas vs UNLV
Clemson vs St. Mary's - (WCC)
8 seed vs 9 seed
Lousville vs California - (Pac10)
UTEP - (CUSA) vs Marquette
Oklahoma State vs Wake Forest
Florida State vs Old Dominion - (CAA)

Last Four Out
Rhode Island
Next Four Out
Mississippi State
Wichita State
Also Considered

Thursday Morning Updates

There were a couple great games for bids last night and the Bubble gets smaller

Northeast - Robert Morris outlasts the home team and beats Quinnipiac 52-50. A solid game to start the evening and Bob Morris makes it two years in a row.

Big Sky - Up by 20 at halftime, Weber State lets a bid slip away by not stopping Anthony Johnson who scored 42 of the team's 66 points including their last 21. A great individual performance to carry his team to the big dance

Bubble Action - Seton Hall and South Florida lose to end their bid, for a bid. Notre Dame and Marquette are officially locks and are now looking to improve seeding.

No Bids will be awarded this evening but there are plenty of Bubble games throughout the day

Houston - Memphis - The Tigers are one of my last 4 in and need to keep winning to stay on the right side of the Bubble

Southern Miss - UAB - UAB is on the opposite of the Bubble and will need this one and tomorrow's to get back in

UNC - Georgia Tech - I think Tech is safe but better to win this one and not give the committee a reason to leave you out

Auburn - Florida - Another one of my last 4 in, Florida has lost 3 straight. A win here keeps them in but by no means moves them to lock status

Colorado State - San Diego State - Keep winning Aztecs, keep winning...

Utah - UNLV - most bracketologists have UNLV as a lock, I'm not so sure. An RPI in the high 40's will be in the 50's with a loss here. Utah beat them already this year. Could this be another upset?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shrinking Bubble

Marquette is offically a lock. We are now talking seeds; I'm thinking 9-10 now, with the chance of higher with a win

South Florida is done and so is Seton Hall. Can't imagine Notre Dame not getting in now which is a relief since I had them in my preseason Final Four with Kansas, Duke, and Butler.

Marquette's Official Sponsor

Today's Games

For tonight there are two championship games as well as a ton of bubble action in the Big East.

Northeast - the top two seeds meet here for a chance at will probably be Kentucky in the first round next Thursday. Quinnipiac over Robert Morris in a low scoring affair

Big Sky - Who can forget Harold "The Show" Archineaux and his performance 15 years ago against North Carolina? There's no Show at Weber State anymore but they still have enough firepower to outlast Montana

Today's Bubble - I think Marquette's safe but I suggest not losing to St. John's to cast doubt in the committee's eyes. Seton Hall and Notre Dame might be an elimination game. The Hall can't get in with a loss but the Fighting Irish might be able to grab a bid without a win here. The same goes for South Florida who needs a win to stay alive. Georgetown doesn't need a win to grab a bid but their seeding is falling like a rock.

Last Night's Games

Three more bids went out last night in addition to a ton of A-10 Bubble action. It's getting down to the nitty gritty.

Sun Belt - Second seeded North Texas springs the mild upset beating Troy to grab a bid for the Mean Green

Horizon - No upset here as Butler crushes Wright State by 25 thus saving a bid for all the Bubble teams out there

Summit - Not as high scoring as I hoped and not an upset as predicted as the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland outlast IUPUI for the Summit bid. Oakland could be a dangerous 14 seed come late next week

Bubble Teams - The Atlantic 10 and Big East had a good showing as Rhode Island, Dayton, Seton Hall, and South Florida all won to hang on to their hopes of a bid. Yesterday's win might not be enough to get them in the bracket but a loss would have certainly ended all hope. Jus

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bracket Buster: Old Dominion

From Brian's favorite conference comes another potential bracket buster, the Monarchs of Old Dominion. This will be ODU's 10th trip to the dance and if history is an indicator, they'll be a tough out. In 1995, led by the indomitable Odell Hodge, the 14th seeded Monarchs upended the 3rd seeded Villanova Wildcats. They've also played teams tough in their last 3 appearances.

As for this season, ODU currently stands 30th in RPI. Their season includes a win at Georgetown. Save a loss to George Mason, all their losses have been against top 100 RPI teams.

ODU hangs its hat on playing tough defense. The Monarchs currently stand 6th in scoring defense, 42nd in FG% defense, 3rd in rebounding and don't foul (18th). KenPom likes them, too. They are 18th in AdjD.

They are limited offesnively. They don't score much (203rd) and unlike some bracket busters, they don't rely on 3 pointers at all making only 4.5 per game (306th). They're okay protecting the ball, terrible at the line (288th) but the rebound margin indicates a propensity for second chance opportunities.

Like other teams profiled, ODU is very well-balanced. They only have one guy averaging over 10 points a game in Gerald Lee (14.8). They do have 5 guys that average over 4 boards a game.

They'll be a tough out for whoever gets them and won't be intimidated.

Reason #12 Why the Tournament should not expand

This man will get to call games after ESPN bankrolls expansion. And while Jabba the Hutt would make more sense...we'd get Mike Patrick.

Big East

South Florida wins to hang on to their slim hope of a bid. Connecticut is doen 19 with 4 minutes left. Put a fork in them; they're done.

Today's Games

Tournaments Concluding Tonight

Sun Belt - The top 2 seeds meet for the chance at a 15 seed. North Texas won the regular season match 75-72 but I look for Troy to hang on and grab the win

Horizon - All bubble teams will be watching this game as Wright State could steal a bid with an upset over Butler. Too bad that's not going to happen as Butler concludes an undefeated Horizon season and looks for a 4-6 seed in the bracket

Summit - IUPUI and Oakland battle it out as the top seeds. I'm calling for an "upset" here as IUPUI outscores the Grizzlies in an high scoring affair, 84-78.


Four more bids went out last night with three more on tap for tonight. Let's hit them and an updated Bracket

Southern - The top seeded Wofford Terriers hold off a late run by Appalachian State to grab a bid for the tournament. Wofford is looking at a 14 seed as of this writing

Colonial - Old Dominion beats both Bill and Mary to leave the Colonial as a one bid league. William and Mary's RPI floating around 60 isn't going to be enough for an at-large

MAAC - Siena needs overtime but they eventually put away Fairfield to grab the MAAC bid. Their seeding could go anywhere from a 10 down to a 13 based on other conference tournaments. We'll be watching them closely

West Coast - St. Mary gets the auto-bid and won't have the sweat out Selection Sunday. I think a third loss to the Zags would have been devastating. Gonzaga, surprisingly as a very low RPI and may be looking at a 6 seed this year

Monday, March 8, 2010

Buzz Williams

I know you've probably all seen this already but in case you haven't. Demski, is this the sort of thing they teach at Marquette?

Projections from ESPN & CBS

The Real Evil Empire projects UW as a 4 seed matching up against Murray State in Spokane and has Marquette playing UNLV a 9 seed in Oklahoma City.

They project the Milwaukee teams to be Mizzou-Wake and Purdue-Troy and then Kentucky-Play-In and Oklahoma State-Notre Dame. Putting Notre Dame in Milwaukee would be interesting based on the number of Chicago alum for the Axis of Evil member.

Jerry Palm projects UW as a 5 seed taking on Cornell in Spokane and Marquette going to to Buffalo to play Richmond in a 8-9 game.

He projects similar games for the Milwaukee audience. Mizzou-Florida and Purdue-Troy and then Kentucky-Quinnipiac and UNLV-Wake Forest. Get your Wake on.

No Vermont for the 'Cuse (Go Boston U!)

Think Jim Boeheim wants to relive that night?

With a little more than a minute left in overtime and Vermont clinging to a 56-55 lead, (TJ) Sorrentine stood thirty feet from the basket, dribbling down the shot clock, (Tom) Brennan waved him near the beanch, and over the din, yelled, "Run red, TJ!"

"Red" was an end-of-the-shot-clock play in which Sorrentine would try to penetrate, bringing the defense to him, and then slide the ball to Coppernath. Sorrentine shook his head. "It's okay, Coach," he said. "I got it."

Sorrentine waited until the shot clock was under ten seconds then shouted, "Run the play," for the benefit of the Syracuse defenders, who backpedaled just a tad, expecting Sorrentine to make some kind of move to the basket. Instead, he took one dribble and let fly from 27 feet. "I didn't realize I was that far out," he said later, smiling. "But when it left my hand it felt good."

It was good. And even though there was still work to do in the final minute, Sorrentine's shot was the dagger in Syracuse's heart. - John Feinstein, Last Dance

Monday Afternoon Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas - B12 vs Jackson St - SWAC/LeHigh - Patriot
Kentucky - SEC vs Quinnipiac - NEC
Syracuse - Beast vs Vermont - AEast
Duke - ACC vs Winthorp - BigSouth
2 seed vs 15 seed
West Virginia vs E. Tennessee State - Asun
Purdue vs Troy - Sbelt
New Mexico - Mwest vs Morgan State - MEAC
Kansas State vs UC-Santa Barbara - Big West
3 seed vs 14 seed
Ohio State - Big10 vs Wofford - SoCon
Pittsburgh vs Weber State - Big Sky
Villanova vs Sam Houston St - Southland
Tennessee vs Oakland - Summit
4 seed vs 13 seed
Butler - Horizon vs Murray State - OVC
Vanderbilt vs Kent State - MAC
Temple - A10 vs Arizona State
BYU vs Mississippi
5 seed vs 12 seed
Georgetown vs Florida
Michigan State vs Memphis
Wisconsin vs Cornell - Ivy
Maryland vs San Diego State
6 seed vs 11 seed
Gonzaga - WCC vs Notre Dame
Xavier vs Georgia Tech
Baylor vs St. Mary's
Texas A&M vs Siena - MAAC
7 seed vs 10 seed
Northern Iowa - MVC vs Virginia Tech
Richmond vs Marquette
Florida State vs Oklahoma State
Clemson vs Utah State - WAC
8 seed vs 9 seed
Texas vs California - Pac10
Missouri vs Louisville
Wake Forest vs Old Dominion - CAA

Last Four Out
Rhode Island
Next Four Out
Mississippi State
Seton Hall
William & Mary
Also Considered
South Florida
Wichita State

Bids Tonight

Four more bids go out tonight.


Old Dominion vs Bill and Mary
Old Dominion is a lock at this point so I'm hoping both Bill and Mary show up to play tonight so my favorite conference gets two bids.

Siena vs Fairfield
Should be an entertaining game but I look for Siena to pull away in the last 8-9 minutes to lock up a bid

Wofford vs Appalachian State
No College of Charleston. Guess that win over UNC means nothing when they suck this year. This should also be a tight game between the top 2 seeds. Wofford could get a 14 seed with a win. App State is probably a 15.

West Coast
Gonzaga vs St. Mary's
What a surprise, the Zags and St. Mary's. St. Mary's would do themselves a big favor by winning this and getting the auto-bid. They have good numbers and an above average RPI of 43 but if they lose it'll be 3 against Gonzaga and the committee might take that to mean they can't win against good teams. Man, I'd like to stay up and watch this one but it's got asleep on the chair by halftime all over it.

That TIme of Year

I just love this time of the year. Spring is right around the corner. Baseball will be starting up. The Conference Tourney's are in full swing followed by selection Sunday. Then stuffing my face with Fiery Hot Cheetos, pucker bombs, Busch Light and then capping it all off with a 5 hour energy drink at Dachels! Good times!!!

4 More invitations handed out tonight!

Colonial: ODU vs William & Mary
MAAC: Siena vs Fairfield
Southern: Wofford vs Appalachian St
WCC: Gonzaga vs St Mary's

Morning Update

Illinois - That 73 RPI just isn't going to get it done. A date with Wisconsin gives them one last chance to play themselves in
Stony Brook - the #1 seed in the America East loses in the Semi-Finals

Arizona State - what? A second Pac-10 team in the bracket. That's how weak the bubble is this year. Tentative at best
Vermont - the 2 seed in the American East. Don't look for TJ Sorrentine or Taylor Coppenrath on this year's squad

Bubble Popped
Northeastern - the Colonial preseason pick can peddle their wares in the NIT. Say Hi to North Carolina

Tickets Punched
Northern Iowa - I had them as a lock anyway. RPI of 18 leaves them in the 7-10 range.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bracket Buster 2: Northern Iowa

I doubt I'm breaking new ground in telling you to watch out for Northern Iowa (28-4) in two weeks. With an RPI of 22 and time spent in the top 25, the Panthers seem like a Sweet 16 capable team. In 5 previous trips, Northern Iowa has one win, upsetting 3rd seed Missouri in 1990.

Northern Iowa predicates itself on its defense. They are 2nd in the nation in scoring defense. They are 71st in FG% defense (41%). Surprisingly, they don't turn the opposition over that much (296th in steals) but they don't turn it over themselves (15th). Playing good defense is a trademark for them. They'll defend you without fouling (26th in personal fouls per game). They seem an awful lot like Dick Bennett's UWGB teams.

If you saw them in the MVC tourney, you also know they can go 10 deep. They are led by MVC Player of the Year, Green Bay native Adam Koch.

Offensively, they're not dynamic at all. 280th in scoring and 184th in FG %, it's clear they are not going to run away and hide. I believe the stat used in today's game was, they are 18-0 (Now 19-0)when they score 60 or more points. They do make their throws (12th) at a 75% clip.

I'll be curious to see who they match up with in the dance. If they get a young team, I can see them giving them fits.

Bracket Buster: Murray State

Murray State is back in the NCAA's for the 14th time with a 30-4 record and the auto bid from the OVC. The Racers have an RPI of 59 and all 4 losses came on the road. Can they do something they've only done once in their previous 13 trips (1988 over NC State), win a game?

They have a shot. They play both sides of the ball wall ranking 25th in scoring and 29th in defense. The FG% offense (2nd), 51% shooting and FG% defense (14th), 38.8% is outstanding as well. On the interior, they rebound well (21st) and block shots (17th). They obviosuly didn't play great competition but they won't get pushed around. They also rank 5th in the nation in steals.

The big blemish is they turn the ball over way too much (264th) and don't make many 3's (164th) but the % made is okay at 37%. But competition withstanding (262nd SOS), this is a solid team.

To say the Racers embrace the team concept, might be an understatement. Nobody scores more than 11 a game and 6 average 9 or more a game.

If the matchup is right, they are more than capable of springing a trap (In honor of Popeye Jones).

Quick Hits - Bracketology Later

UAB and Rhode Island - both have an chance to get back in during their conference tournament

Memphis and Mississippi - gross

Saturday, March 6, 2010

North Carolina - Heartless

It's pretty inexcusable to show up against your rival and play without conviction, passion or heart. That's real embarrassment. There's no shame in losing but there's real shame in the way you're playing tonight. Even in 1995 when Duke was w/o Coach K, at least that team made UNC earn their win - the Capel bomb game. Be shamed, UNC.

The bubble is on acid today

In, out, and all about. Figures Alice in Wonderland opened this weekend.

Add Rhode Island and Mississippi State to the UConn NIT bandwagon. Those last two might open the door for Memphis and UAB.

Notre Dame is still Satan

At least your basketball team isn't irrelevant like your MAC level football team, I suppose.


Say hello to North Carolina and UCLA on your way to the NIT.

Response -eee

Of course, what we'd like to see probably won't happen. How can you take a Campbell over Cincinnati? Sarcasm intended.


I like the conference tournaments as it gives teams like E.Tennessee State the chance to play into the tournament even though they were only 1 game worse then the leader. What I'd like to see "when" the tournament expands is for both the conference leader and tournament champion get an auto-bid. I figure that'll add about 14-15 small schools of the 32 additional teams. Yes, all the 7-9 Big East teams will get in now but by giving additional auto-bids out it should help avoid giving at-larges to the 5-11 Big East or ACC teams.

Atlantic Sun Quick Hit

To be fair to East Tennessee State, they did go 13-7 in conference finishing one game out of a five-way tie for first. The conference was pretty top-heavy.

And Mercer has the luxury of playing on its home court. I'll ask you guys, conference tournaments from a NCAA tournament standpoint, good or bad?

More Cornell?! Yes, more Cornell..

At 26-4, Cornell has had a wildly successful season by any measure. 2 of their 4 losses were to likely #1 seeds ('Cuse and Kansas) and while they don't have a great, signature victory they did travel to St. John's and Alabama and beat these two schools.

There's a lot to like about Cornell. They shoot well (29th), make bombs (3rd), hit those bombs (2nd) and make 72% of their freebies. They share the rock and are about average in protecting the rock. There are some defensive deficiencies that will likely get exposed in March. While they don't give up a ton of points (47th) they will give up some easy buckets (83rd in FG % defense). They rank 133rd in AdjD. They do have a bugaboo on 3pt Fg% D (215th). The rebound margin is okay but one wonders how they'll stack up against a BCS opponent.

The star player is Ryan Wittman, son of Randy Wittman. The Senior F likes to shoot the 3, making 3 a game.

Looking at Cornell, if they come out shooting lights out, like they're capable of doing any night, don't be shocked to see them as the annual 5-12 upset. If they play your team and they're making buckets early, be nervous.

Gus Johnson


Congratulations to Cornell who snare the first bid of the year. They can rest knowing they will be a very dangerous 11-12 seed. Other things of note from yesterday is the Missouri Vally top 3 all advance to the semi-finals. Should be some interesting games there today.

Other Bids going out today:

Atlantic Sun
5 seeded East Tennessee State vs 6 seeded Mercer - yuck. Welcome to the play in game who ever wins

Big South
3 Winthorp vs 1 Coastal Carolina - CC has been solid all year and I expect them to win again today. A 15 seed is there spot

Ohio Valley
2 Morehead vs 1 Murray State - should be fun to watch, too bad it's up against Duke-UNC. Murray State is a 13 seed and could get pushed to a 12 if there are a lot of upsets. Morehead is a 14-15 seed.

Conferences kicking off today

Ameican East
Stony Brook has run away with this league; expect that to continue

Big Sky
Harold "The Show" Achineaux may not be there anymore but Weber State is still the team to beat

Oakland has a solid RPI in the 70's and is looking as a very dangerous 13 seed. Look out Tennessee

Sun Belt
Western Kentucky has owned this league for many years but they are only the 4 seed and have to play in the opening round. Troy, North Texas, and Middle Tennessee State all tied for first. The Sun Belt isn't as competitive as in previous years. Heck if I know who wins...let's just go with my second favorite jelly, Western KY.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I only have 4 words for you.....


Come on, someone has to add some levity to this blog. You guys and your crazy ass analysis have even driven Ben to quit posting. Its like I'm 79 and waking up to read the obituaries. Ah, come on, thats funny stuff, no offense intended. Dorks. Now that we have that out of the way.

Random comments:
1. Fear the 'fro. Nice post of the NW St highlight. Remember this one? About 7 seconds after the shot is when Dachel came trucking down the stairs with the classic "what did I miss?" look on his face. Man, that was a fantastic year.

2. Nice pull on the re-post of the "Things I Think, err, Know About This Year". I can respect a re-visit to see what you were right and wrong about. Good call on esp. 4 and 5. Horrid call on #9, but hey, whatcha gonna do.

3. Butler is a vastly improved player over last year, and the Lazer is definitely underrated. Something to think about....if they would make the sweet 16, they will be more successful in one "rebuilding" year than the heralded McNeal/Matthews/James trio were in their 4 years. Crazy Wack. I hope they put a couple wins together, its been an entertaining year, I'd hate to see it end in one game.

4. Out of time. I'll let Freeway close it out. It kicks in at 0:20. You may be surprised, but there is limited Freeway on you tube.

Bilas pimps Marquette

Calls Marquette a team that can make a run to the second weekend in March. Complimented Butler, DJO and called Lazar the star no one knows in America.

That's nice.

Revisting an Early Post

This was posted on October 31:

Things I Think, err, Know About This Year
1. The ACC will be down this year but still get the most teams into the NCAA tournament. Respect and youth will do that for a conference
2. Memphis not only doesn't win C-USA but they don't even make the NCAA Tournament
3. Either Kansas or Kentucky, the two top teams, will implode due to character issues. Kansas seems like the obvious choice due to the off season issues but I bet it's Kentucky
4. The Big Ten won't be the worst major conference
5. The Pac-10 will. Thus giving us no reason to stay up late and watch USC-Washington State on FSN
6. A mid-major will make the Elite Eight (Butler of course)
7. There will be 10+ schools ranked #1 over the course of the season
8. The parity mentioned in #7 should make for a great tournament at the end of the season
9. Wisconsin and Marquette will struggle and struggle mightily. The state might not get a team in the tournament.
10. Due to #9 I expect all of you to be wearing Duke clothes by the end of the year
11. Duke probably won't win it all this year but they'll be the preseason #1 next year. (yes, I'm rationalizing a loss already)

1,2,4, and 5 are all true; 6 and 8 are still reachable. 3, 7, and 9 were wrong.

California Dreamin'

As has been established, the Pac-10 is awful this year. It may arguably be the worst season ever put forth by a BCS conference. As of today, the leader of the pack, er Pac-10 is Mike Montgomery's Cal Golden Bears.

The Bears have not won the Pac-10 regular season title in 50 years. That's not good. This season, they rank 22 in RPI and 9th in SOS, so even if they didn't get the auto-bid, they have a strong at-large case. Except they haven't beaten anyone. Their best non-con win is over Murray State in November at home. To their credit, they did schedule Syracuse, Kansas, New Mexico & Ohio State. And they lost to them all.

Cal's strength is their offense (4th in AdjO). They rank 29th in scoring, 28th in shooting % and hit a respectable 37% of their 3 attempts. They also make their throws, 74%. Cal also protects the ball pretty well.

On the defensive side of the ball, they are not good. Not only do they give up points (171st), they give up a high % (176th). They don't block shots (276th) nor do they create many steals (278th). They are okay on the boards (58th).

The player to know is Jerome Randle, the diminuative Senior point guard who does it all for the Bears. The bulk of their production comes from Seniors, like almost all of it. So if you buy into the upper classmen cliches, you might like this team and you would be wrong. They might win a game, but they're not a team built to make any kind of long run save some March magic.

But, they can still hold their heads high if they win the conference even if it is watered down. If Montgomery wants to build this into a power program, he needs a starting point and this could be it.

More Bids!

Four more conferences kick off their tournaments today while 1 team can clinch a bid tonight

West Coast Conference
It's all Gonzaga baby. St. Mary's needs to get to the finals to keep their at large hopes alive. It's best for them if they just win it all

Used to be owned by Davidson this year will come down to College of Charleston and Wofford. I say the Cougers beat the Terriers. I'll let you figure out which team is which.

Siena has had multiple chances to make an impression and they've lost them all. The need the auto-bid and I think they get it this year.

Old Dominion is the 1 seed and probably an at-large lock provided they don't lose their first game. This could be won by a couple teams, Bill and Mary, George Mason, VCU, or Northeastern. I'll go with my preseason pick of Northeastern thus making the Colonial a two bid conference.

Cornell can wrap up the first auto-bid with a win tonight or tomorrow. It's a forgone conclusion that they get it and be a dangerous 11-12 seed come tourney-time

Friday Morning Update

Who's in, who's out, and who's done!

Dayton - had control the entire game but let it slipp away. Needs to win this weekend and probably 2 in the A-10 tourney

Illinois - were the next on my list but there is no way, and I say NO WAY the committee will give an at-large to a team with an RPI in the 70's. There was outrage last yeat when Arizona got in and I believe their RPI was 62. Illinois needs to beat Wisconsin on Sunday and win at least 1 in the Big 10 tournament (which will probably also be against Wisconsin)

Bubble Pop
New Mexico State - .2% went down to 0% chance

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Who Can Forget?

The Rams of Rhode Island

2010 has been very kind to the A-10 + many. One of those teams having a good season is the Rhode Island Rams. The Rams have a solid RPI of 29 and a SOS of 62. They're only non-conference win of stature is over Oklahoma State on a neutral court. All of their losses have come in conference, including a donkey effort against a weak St. Bonaventure team.

KenPom has them at 69 (teehee) overall and 145th in AdjD, oof, and 27th in AdjO. And they have earned that defensive ranking. They get outrebounded, give up oodles of buckets (249th in scoring d), easy buckets (321st in FG % d!) and long buckets (285th in 3pt % D!). They do block shots (34th) and force turnovers (27th in steals). Still, plenty of big, bad red flags on the Rams defense.

Offensively, they score plenty (31st) on okay/marginal/weak shooting (81st FG %, 205th 3pt FG %). Like on defense, they help themselves with ball security (37th in turnovers, 40th in assists, 6th in turnover margin).

If you believe in upper classmen leadership, this is a team for you. The three best players are Seniors Keith Cothran, Delroy James & Lamonte Ulmer.

Brian in his latest bracket has them as a 13 seed versus Jerry Palm's 9. Looking at them, I think Brian is way closer (Lunardi has them as a 13, too).

Jerry Palm's Bracket as of today

Here it is.

Of note:

Marquette as an 8 seed against Rhode Island in Buffalo. A win and a game against Kentucky.

Bucky as a 5 seed against Cal in Spokane.

Milwaukee would host Xavier-Ole Miss, Ohio State-Oakland, Purdue-Morgan State, Clemson-Dayton. Boy, wouldn't you like to be the 7/10 winner with a shot at Purdue in round two w/o Hummel? Or a 6/11 winner?

My man!

Jordan Williams gets some love in the blog and goes for a nice double-double against the Dickie V's.

Conference's Kicking Off

Two Conference Tournaments are starting up today

Quinnipiac is the 1 seed but Robert Morris is right there. I look for Bob to win out

Missouri Valley
Arch Madness returns this weekend where Northern Iowa, a lock in my brackets, looks to grab the auto bid. This tournament is too competitive for that to happen. Look for the Shockers of the state of Wichita or the Redbirds of Illinois State to spoil the party.

Last Night's Games

Two weeks out and the bubble's shrinking

Mississippi State - couldn't afford a loss and lost at Auburn. Bye, bye for now
Connecticut - 7-10 in the Big East. Need a win here and 2 in the Big East tournament
Lipscomb - the A-Sun #1 seed loses to Kennesaw
Robert Morris - Northeast #1 seed is actually the #2 seed. My mistake

Florida - heck if I know. They'll lose on Saturday to Kentucky and probably be replaced by Illinois
Virginia Tech - right's the ship....for now
Jacksonville - highest seed still alive in the Atlantic Sun
Quinnipiac - King of polls and census data is the Northeast #1 seed

Bubble Pop
St. Louis - needed perfection....didn't get it
Charlotte - 9-6 in conference and has fallen on hard times

#1 Seeds

There's a lot of talk about the fourth #1 seed right now and to be honest I have no idea either. Kentucky, Kansas, and Syracuse are set but after Purdue, Kansas State, and Duke all lost in the past 3 days it appears nobody wants that last one. As of right now I'm putting Purdue back in as I believe they deserve it as of right now. I don't think they'll hold it but this bracket is about a snapshot at the moment. There's been alot of talk about Ohio State getting the last #1 but I just can't justify a team with 7 losses and a RPI of 30 getting a 1 seed. I know some of there losses came with Evan Turner out but that only counts for 3 of them. They still lost 4 with him and their RPI is not a ton better with him versus without him (mid-teens). In summary at this point it's Purdue's to lose but in the end I still expect Duke to grab it if they can win the ACC tournament.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Greivis Vasquez

If there's a hair gel shortage in the northeast I have a pretty good idea of where it went.

Welcome to Garyland

Should Maryland knock off Duke tonite, they would position themselves to share the ACC regular season title. How on God's green earth is this possible?? Maryland played a rather robust non-conference slate of games - and lost them all.

Wisconsin - LOSS
Cincinnati - LOSS
Villanova - LOSS
Bill & Mary - LOSS
Indiana - WIN (Oh, Indiana stinks? Nevermind. Tom Who?)

KenPom likes them, 11th overall, 7th AdjO, 33rd AdjD. RPI is 25 and SOS is 31. Is there more than meets the evil eyes of General Greivis?

Maryland can fill the bucket (11th) and does so at a good clip, 25th in Offensive FG %. Maryland also protects the ball and shares it, ranking in the upper quarter in both categories. Maryland doesn't make many 3-pointers (202nd) but they also don't miss a lot (24th).

Defensively, Maryland is pretty sturdy. They rank 11th in FG % defense, 37th in blocked shots and 60th in steals - not great but solid enough. Rebounding is a concern as they're neutral in that area, barely above break even.

A guy worth watching tonite and through the ACC tournament is Freshmen F Jordan Williams. He's only an 8/8 guy but that's not to shabby for a Frosh to understand his role and maybe expand it as the Terps go further.

How will Maryland fare this March? I have my doubts but they might be better than I thought. Let's see what they do tonight and next week at the ACC tourney.

Brian, Brian, Brian...

The Battle of Kansas is the game of the night...

Tonight's Games

Some more bubblelicious action this evening.

North Carolina State - Virginia Tech
Losers of 3 straight Virginia Tech needs this one to get back into the bracket. NCst needs to keep pace with UNC in the basement of the ACC. Damn, that felt good typing that

Charlotte - Rhode Island
Loser is probably out but will be monitored through the A-10 tournament. Winner gets a nice RPI bump and might be in.

Connecticut - Notre Dame
Both currently in my bracket. The loser, which will be UConn, will be out, the winner, which will be Notre Dame will be a 12 seed

Temple - St. Louis
Slim hopes for St. Louis die tonight

Mississippi State - Auburn
A road win is big, even if it's against Auburn

Kansas State - Kansas
The second best game of the day. Kansas State still has slim hopes of a 1 seed

Memphis - UAB
The Tigers would get a huge boast if they can pull off the road upset. Won't happen

Duke - Maryland
The marquee game of the day. This is for first place in the ACC. Can Maryland bounce back from the double overtime game on Saturday? Will Vazquez chuck up 25+ shots? A close game until the last 8 minutes, Duke 77 Maryland 68

A-Sun and Patriots!

Tonight two more Conference tournaments kick off.

Atlantic Sun - Lipscomb is the number 1 seed but I see them losing in the second or third round. It's all about the Dolphins of Jacksonville this year

Patriot League - Once ruled by the mighty Bison of Bucknell, BUCKNELL BUCKNELL, LeHigh is the current 1 seed. I see upset city and what will ultimately be a date with the play in game. Let's go with Bucknell in this one.

Bubble Status

Unofficially I have 23 locks of the 34 automatic bids. That leaves 11 spots to be "won" by 27 teams. The 11 spots may be less if teams that are locks don't win their conference tournaments. Let's take a look at a couple of these:

Horizon - Butler
Butler should hang out and continue their dominance over the Horizon. That's good news for the bubble.

Northern Iowa - Missouri Valley
N.Iowa is good but the Valley always has a tough conference. I expect the Panthers to lose and Wichita State or Illinois State to come out with the auto-bid. There goes 1 bubble spot

Gonzaga - West Coast
It'll be the Zags over St. Mary's in the final. With St. Mary's third loss to Gonzaga perhaps they fall out of the bracket opening another spot. Could happen

UTEP - Conference USA
The Miners are on a 13 game win streak. I'd almost put them in lock status unless they slip this weekend and lose their first round game. I don't see that happening but I think they lose in the C-USA finals to Tulsa. Both teams get in and the bubble shrinks again

Old Dominion - Colonial
My favorite conference; there is no way the Monarchs sweep through and win the conference. I'll say Northeastern beats VCU in the final and the Colonial becomes a 2 bid league

So, there you have it, suddenly the bubble is projected at 8 bids. Let the games continue.

Wednesday Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas - B12 vs Jackson St - SWAC/LeHigh - Patriot
Kentucky - SEC vs Robert Morris - NEC
Syracuse - Beast vs Stony Brook - AEast
Duke - ACC vs Lipscomb - Asun
2 seed vs 15 seed
Kansas State vs Coastal Carolina - BigSouth
West Virginia vs Troy - Sbelt
New Mexico - Mwest vs Morgan State - MEAC
Purdue vs UC-Santa Barbara - Big West
3 seed vs 14 seed
Vanderbilt vs Wofford - SoCon
Villanova vs Weber State - Big Sky
Ohio State - Big10 vs Sam Houston St - Southland
Pittsburgh vs Murray State - OVC
4 seed vs 13 seed
Butler - Horizon vs Oakland - Summit
Tennessee vs Kent State - MAC
Temple - A10 vs Rhode Island
BYU vs Dayton
5 seed vs 12 seed
Georgetown vs Notre Dame
Michigan State vs Louisville
Wisconsin vs Mississippi State
Gonzaga - WCC vs San Diego State
6 seed vs 11 seed
Xavier vs Connecticut
Baylor vs Cornell - Ivy
Northern Iowa - MVC vs St. Mary's
Maryland vs Siena - MAAC
7 seed vs 10 seed
Texas vs Marquette
Richmond vs UAB
Wake Forest vs Utah State - WAC
Texas A&M vs California - Pac10
8 seed vs 9 seed
Clemson vs UNLV
UTEP - CUSA vs Florida State
Missouri vs Georgia Tech
Oklahoma State vs Old Dominion - CAA

Last Four Out
Virginia Tech
Next Four Out
Seton Hall
Arizona State
Also Considered
South Florida
William & Mary
New Mexico State
Wichita State
St. Louis

Last Night's Games

Some interesting stuff, mostly bad unless you are Marquette

Florida - experts won't agree with me but 2 losses in a row and 4 of 7 is not what you want. Must face Kentucky on Sunday which could mean 3 in a row

Rhode Island - didn't play but will move in just because of their 36 RPI for now

Bubble Popped
Marshall - lost at home to UTEP
Cincinnati - 7-10 in the Big East and losers of 5 of 6

Congrats to Marquette who have probably entered Lock status with the blow out win over Louisville.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And tonight's games say...

Cincinnati can start the N-I-T party!

Billy Donovan should have took that Magic job!

Marshall..uh..your new football coach is stealing recruits from West Virginia, that's pretty nifty!

Minnesota, well, your fans are a bunch of front running Grain Belt drinkers so you get what you deserve!

And Georgia Tech is treading to 12 seed land!

20 Years

Here's a worthwhile read for any college basketball fan.

Johnny Boy's Bourbon

Johnny Boy's bourbon will not be available in Wisconsin, though I could likely get my hand on a case. Depending on the pack-out, it'd cost anywhere between $200-400ish. As hard as it may be to believe, there isn't much of a market for a John Calipari special edition bourbon in Wisconsin and probably 48 other states for that matter.

Maker's Mark did have a special Green and Gold and Red and White wax bottling for the state in 2007 prior to the football season. They also make a Mint Julep edition for the Derby that doesn't make it this far north but is quite delicious or so I've been told.

I could get you a case of Charles Woodson's wine for $660, though. And considering he's the best Packer of the last 20 years, you know you want it. Hail.

Tonight's Games

Some solid games tonight; let's highlight the biggest ones

The Bearcats need this to keep their slim at-large hops alive. I loss puts them on death watch

Both in now but a home loss makes it two in a row for the Gators. An RPI today at 46 but's them in the last 4 in or out

UTEP's got 12 wins in a row. I'm still keeping an eye on Marshall although I might be the only one.

Gophers are still alive barely

Georgia Tech-Clemsom
They both might be locks right now but the loser is going to be looking at a double digit seed

Illinois-Ohio State
I don't have Illinois in but Lunardi does. He'll see it my way by the end of the week

Loser is in trouble but still in. Winner is probably a lock

Kurly - Can You Get Any of This?

Last Night

Not much movement last night. Georgetown lost again to fal lto 9-8 in the Big East. They are now a 5 seed due to their RPI of 13. Some big games tonight to be highlighted later.

Step One Begins Tonight

The conference tournaments start tonight with the Horizon, Ohio Valley, and Big South conference tournaments tipping off. In the Horizon I look for Butler to run through and win the automatic bid; not that they need it. In the Ohio Valley this is Murray State's to lose. I think they'll meet up with Kenneth Faried and his Morehead State buddies in the finals but the Racers get the win. The Big South is wide open. Coastal Carolina has the one seed while Radford and Winthorp are tied for second. I see Coastal Carolina getting upset while Radford ends up getting the auto-bid and we get to cheer for Artisom Parkaruskishfskahski, their stiff 7-1 center, as a 15 seed.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Real Final Four

Kansas State

Also Considered:
Ohio State

My Final Four 3-1

Of course, it all depends on matchups once we get to the tournament.

Ohio State

I feel confident with Kansas and Ohio State, not so much with Kentucky and Syracuse. The second tier is Duke, BYU, Michigan State & West Virginia. I'd have Purdue up there but if they play like they did Sunday w/o Hummel, they're in K-Mart/Cincinnati territory.

Monday Morning Bracketology

I'm getting this in so Lunardi can copy me this week.

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas - B12 vs Jackson St - SWAC/LeHigh - Patriot
Kentucky - SEC vs Robert Morris - NEC
Syracuse - Beast vs Stony Brook - AEast
Duke - ACC vs Jacksonville - Asun
2 seed vs 15 seed
Kansas State vs Coastal Carolina - BigSouth
West Virginia vs North Texas - Sbelt
New Mexico - Mwest vs Morgan State - MEAC
Purdue vs UC-Santa Barbara - Big West
3 seed vs 14 seed
Vanderbilt vs Wofford - SoCon
Villanova vs Weber State - Big Sky
Ohio State - Big10 vs Sam Houston St - Southland
Pittsburgh vs Murray State - OVC
4 seed vs 13 seed
Butler - Horizon vs Oakland - Summit
Tennessee vs Kent State - MAC
Georgetown vs Notre Dame
Temple - A10 vs Dayton
5 seed vs 12 seed
BYU vs Connecticut
Michigan State vs Mississippi State
Wisconsin vs San Diego State
Gonzaga - WCC vs Florida
6 seed vs 11 seed
Xavier vs Cornell - Ivy
Baylor vs St. Mary's
Northern Iowa - MVC vs Louisville
Maryland vs Siena - MAAC
7 seed vs 10 seed
Texas vs Marquette
Richmond vs UAB
Wake Forest vs Utah State - WAC
Texas A&M vs California - Pac10
8 seed vs 9 seed
Clemson vs UNLV
UTEP - CUSA vs Florida State
Georgia Tech vs Missouri
Oklahoma State vs Old Dominion - CAA

Last Four Out
Rhode Island
Virginia Tech
Next Four Out
Seton Hall
Arizona State
Also Considered
South Florida
William & Mary
New Mexico State
Wichita State
St. Louis

Two Weeks!

No movement in or out of the bracket this morning all though Uconn is just barely hanging on. Purdue falls off the top line and Duke is right there for a #1 seed. The bubble is shrinking and shrinking fast.