This blog has moved to a new home! You can now find it at http://www.cbssports.com/general/bl
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Posted on: March 10, 2012 11:53 am
This blog has moved to a new home! You can now find it at http://www.cbssports.com/general/bl
See you there!
Posted on: March 10, 2012 8:49 am
Edited on: March 10, 2012 9:58 am
It was a tough day to be a top seed in your conference tournament. Kansas, Temple, and Syracuse are among the top seeds that lost. Nevada lost as well in the WAC, and probably won't make the tournament. The Jayhawks fell off the top line of the bracket, replaced by Ohio State. For now.
It is possible that we have a stolen bid in the Pac 12, as Cal lost. The Bears were the one semi-decent at-large candidate. I still have them in as of this morning.
Xavier won a big game against Dayton, which helped the Muskies solidify its spot in the field, and knocked the Flyers out of contention.
Ole Miss also won an elimination game against Tennessee. The Rebels aren't necessarily safe though, but the Vols are definitely done.
At the bottom, Seton Hall and Miami are off the bracket, replaced by Arizona, the Pac-12 leader du jour, and NC State. Miami lost to Florida State, while the Wolfpack advanced in the ACC tournament by beating Virginia.
Colorado State and Northwestern are still in the First Four. The Rams lost to San Diego State last night.
Bids could be stolen today in Conference USA, and tomorrow in the A-10. Marshall can secure a spot by winning at Memphis. The A-10 final is sure to have either St. Bonaventure or Massachusetts, neither of which is at-large quality.
And I wouldn't entirely rule out Long Beach as an at-large team if it loses in the Big West final. The 49ers played the toughest non-conference schedule of anyone, and beat Xavier and Pitt. They were pretty competitive in losses to UNC, Kansas, San Diego State and Creighton.
Tags: Arizona, Bracketology, California, Colorado State, Creighton, Dayton, Florida State, Kansas, Long Beach State, Marshall, Massachusetts, Memphis, Miami, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Virginia, Xavier
Posted on: March 9, 2012 3:16 am
Edited on: March 9, 2012 10:26 am
A lot of bubble teams did themselves no favors today, and that has caused another shakeup at the bottom of the bracket.
Washington, Northwestern, Oregon and Mississippi State were among those that not only lost, but lost badly. The Wildcats lost to Minnesota, but the other three all lost to triple-digit RPI teams. Despite Northwestern's loss, I still have them in the bracket.
South Florida also lost, in overtime, to Notre Dame. The Bulls are also still in the bracket -- for now.
Washington is not though. The Huskies are the regular season champion of the moribund Pac-12, but their lack of quality wins, both inside and outside the league, will make it hard for the committee to select them. If they miss, they will be the first major-conference champion ever to do so in the 64+ team era. They would also be the first outright champion of a top ten league to miss since Miami-Ohio did so in 2005.
Cincinnati is climbing up the bracket quickly with a win over Georgetown in the Big East tournament. I have them in an 8-9 game today.
Ole Miss won its game, setting up an elimination clash with Tennessee in the SEC.
Iowa put the final nail in Illinois' coffin at the Big Ten tournament, not that the Illini held out realistic at-large hopes anyway.
Texas and Colorado St filled holes in their tournament resumes by winning away from home. The Rams beat TCU for their best away win of the year, and Texas beat Iowa State to help get a good grip on their spot in the field.
Games to watch tomorrow for bubble teams include Xavier-Dayton, Tennessee-Ole Miss, and the Pac 12 semis.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:58 am
Video of a chat with Seth Davis on his Courtside show.
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:23 am
Only in the Ivy League can a team can a team clinch a bid while sitting in the library studying for exams, but that's exactly what happened for Harvard tonight as Princeton knocked off Penn, securing the league title for the Crimson. To celebrate, fans stormed the library in order to study together with the team. (That may or may not be true).
Other bid winners tonight include South Dakota State, making its first appearance ever, Detroit in an upset over Valparaiso, and Western Kentucky, which fired its coach back in January and was the seventh seed in the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers are the first under-.500 team in the field and will almost certainly play in Dayton -- perhaps for the right to play Kentucky.
In bubble news, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Dayton and Saint Joseph's all took care of business against league bottom-feeders and avoided the bad losses that might have ended their hopes for good.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:55 am
Four more teams clinched berths in the tournament tonight in down-to-the-wire championship games.
VCU held off a Drexel rally to win the Colonial title and will get a chance to make back-to-back Final Four runs. Despite the media shilling for the Dragons, at the moment, their tournament profile doesn't measure up to at-large status.
Loyola of Maryland is in the tournament for just the second time ever after beating Fairfield for the MAAC championship.
St. Mary's needed overtime to beat Gonzaga for the West Coast title. The last time the Zags came away without a regular season or conference tournament title was in 1997.
Davidson took two overtimes to disperse Western Carolina to win the Southern Conference championship. This is the Wildcats' first trip back to the tournament since their Elite Eight run in 2008.
Oral Roberts was knocked out of the Summit league tournament by Western Illinois. The Golden Eagles are the fourth non-major team that started their conference tournament as the top seed and in the top 50 of the RPI to lose before the finals of their tournament.
The Sun Belt had another upset tonight as Western Kentucky took out Denver, the top remaining seed. The NO. 7 seed Hilltoppers will play 5th-seeded North Texas in the final for a trip to Dayton and the play-in games.
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:05 am
Sunday was a day of upsets that altered the bracket, but not to the point that any bids were stolen.
That almost happened though. Creighton needed overtime to dispatch Illinois State in the Missouri Valley final. ISU would have stolen a bid from someone with a win.
Top seeded Iona and Middle Tennessee State lost in their conference tournaments, but their at-large prospects are not very good. Both teams too bad losses relatively early in their tournaments, and it's hard to see either one getting in now.
In fact, the second seed in the Sun Belt lost also, so Denver shows up as the league rep in today's bracket.
Further up the bracket, Ohio State won at Michigan State to create a three-way tie for the Big Ten title with Michigan. It's the first Big Ten regular season title for the Wolverines since 1986. The Fab Five and the 1989 National Champs didn't win the league.
The game wasn't the only loss for the Spartans. Star freshman Brandon Dawson was lost for the year with a torn ACL. It remains to be seen how much of an impact that will have on MSU.
Both the Buckeyes and Spartans are two-seeds in the bracket today, but still in the hunt for a one.
The Pac-12 disaster keeps chugging along. Cal, Washington and Arizona all took bad losses on the road this weekend. Washington is back in the bracket as the conference leader today after relinquishing that on Saturday. Cal remains an at-large for now, but in a first four game. Texas fell out of the bracket to make room for the Huskies.
Four more bids will be clinched tonight, including the Colonial, which has the top two seeds, Drexel and VCU, facing off. Many are championing the idea that both teams should be in win or lose, but those people are living in the past. The committee doesn't care that VCU was in the Final Four last year or that George Mason was in 2006. The league is way down this year. Drexel did next to nothing out of conference. VCU has a win at home over the lesser version of South Florida. That's pretty much it. If these teams played in the Pac-12, the same media people be fuming over them even being considered. Actually, that's pretty much happening anyway -- the people who think both these teams should be in are repulsed by the idea that a Pac-12 team could be an at-large. The reality is that neither league has a good at-large candidate. That doesn't mean a team or two won't get in -- there is a 68-team bracket to fill -- but nobody in either league will be able to complain about being left out.
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:04 am
Edited on: March 4, 2012 10:07 am
Today's bracket is up and shows North Carolina on the top line, replacing Duke after the Heels whipped the Blue Devils at Cameron.
That's not final by any means. Michigan State and Ohio State could jump in. They play Sunday, plus possibly again next Sunday. Duke could take it back with an ACC tournament win. Missouri could get in there with a win over Kansas in the Big 12 tournament. There's still a long way to go.
Washington's loss to UCLA knocked the Huskies out of sole possession of first place in the Pac-12, and out of the bracket. They were replaced by Miami.
My twitter feed blows up after every game -- sometimes during games -- with "we should in now" after someone wins or "they should be out" after some bubble team loses. Fans tend to overreact to one game, but the committee does not. It's just one of the 30ish games on your schedule.
So, yeah, Seton Hall got embarrassed today at DePaul, and yeah, that may eventually help cost them a spot in the field, but not quite yet.
South Florida lost, but they aren't out...yet. Northwestern won, but they aren't a lock and probably never will be.
Cincinnati isn't a lock either. The Bearcats have some historically bad negatives on their resume, but they may eventually become a lock. They are this year's Alabama, which last year went 12-4 in the SEC, but was so poor out of conference that they were left out anyway. The Bearcats' non-conference performance isn't quite as bad as Bama's, and the Big East is much better than the SEC West was last year, so they are in better shape than Alabama was last year.
But this team is an example that you can't just look at you conference record/performance. A team's entire season counts. Cincinnati had to post 12 conference wins to have a chance to overcome the non-conference part of its season. Same thing for USF, which only went 6-6 and took three bad losses in non-conference play.
Even more extreme is Tennessee. Cuonzo Martin's sqaud went 7-7 in non-conference play with four bad losses, but came back to finish 10-6 in the SEC and will be the second seed in the conference tournament if Kentucky beats Florida today. The addition of Jarnell Stokes has helped, to be sure, but the committee can't ignore what happened before he joined the team. Either their credentials will be good enough to get in or not. Right now, they're not, and they might have to win the conference tournament before they are.
BYU became the first bubble team to lose in its conference tournament. Gonzaga handled the Cougars easily last night in the WCC semifinals. All they can do now is sit back and hope what they have done is enough.
Wichita State is the first team top seed to lose in its conference tournament. The Shockers lost to Illinois State in the MVC semifinals. If the Redbirds beat Creighton today, some potential at-large team will be headed to the NIT.
We also had a near-bid stealer with Murray State. The Racers needed a last-second layup to beat Tennessee State and win the Ohio Valley Conference title. Sighs of relief we heard everywhere.
Finally, we have to say goodbye to Butler, the two-time national runner-up. I was at the ARC at Valparaiso last night when the top-seeded Crusaders ended the Bulldogs season 65-46, and the career of senior Ronald Nored, who was a key contributor on those two Final Four teams.
Tags: Alabama, Bracketology, Butler, BYU, Cincinnati, Creighton, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Illinois State, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan State, Missouri, Murray State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Seton Hall, South Florida, Tennessee, Tennessee State, UCLA, Valparaiso, Washington, Wichita State