Weekly Bracketology: 02.22.10Posted by zhayes9 on February 22nd, 2010
Zach Hayes is RTC’s resident bracketologist. He’ll regularly be out-scooping, out-thinking and out-shining Lunardi over the next two months.
Last Four In: Dayton, Saint Mary’s, Rhode Island, UAB
Last Four Out: Charlotte, Mississippi State, Cincinnati, San Diego State
Next Four Out: Connecticut, Mississippi, Wichita State, South Florida
Automatic bids: Stony Brook, Richmond, Duke, Campbell, Kansas, Syracuse, Weber State, Coastal Carolina, Purdue, UC-Santa Barbara, Northeastern, Butler, UTEP, Cornell, Siena, Kent State, Morgan State, Northern Iowa, New Mexico, Robert Morris, Murray State, California, Bucknell, Kentucky, Charleston, Sam Houston State, Jackson State, Oakland, North Texas, Gonzaga, Utah State.
Bids per conference: ACC (7), Big East (7), Big 12 (7), Atlantic 10 (5), Big Ten (5), SEC (4), MWC (3), Colonial (2), Conference USA (2), WCC (2).
Overall, not much changed from Friday’s seed update. The #1 seeds all remained in the same pecking order. The #2 seeds stayed the same four teams but Villanova slipped behind Duke and Kansas State with their second consecutive loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
One team that should feel good about keeping their #3 seed is Pittsburgh. The Panthers finish with four games that are all winnable: at Notre Dame, at St. John’s, Providence, Rutgers. Sweep those four and finish 14-4 in the Big East with a top-15 RPI equals a top-three seed for surprising Pitt. They replaced Vanderbilt on that line.
Butler moved up a line (replacing Wake Forest) with their home win over Siena. The Bulldogs have the longest winning streak in the nation and continue to see their seed escalate. A #4 seed might be their peak should they win out.
Illinois and Virginia Tech may have lost this weekend, but both teams battled top-ten opponents on the road down to the wire. Their stock certainly didn’t drop in the eyes of the selection committee, I would imagine.
Florida continues to inch further and further into the field with their bubble win at Ole Miss on Saturday. Marquette likely would have fallen out with a loss at Cincinnati, but that monstrous road win keeps the Golden Eagles in the bracket.
Dayton is slipping dangerously close to being left out. The Flyers and the Gaels of Saint Mary’s were my last two teams in. Charlotte losing at home to Xavier knocked the 49ers out of the bracket for the first time in a few weeks. Mississippi State remains on the fringe by escaping a disastrous loss at LSU.
Connecticut can creep even closer to the bracket with a home win Monday against West Virginia. Fellow Big East member Cincinnati will need a miracle to make the tournament given their last three games vs. West Virginia, Villanova and Georgetown.
One procedural seed bump with Old Dominion jumping to a #10 seed and Georgia Tech falling to a #11 seed.
Next seed update: February 26.
Next bracket: February 29.