RTC Friday Seed Update: 02.26.10Posted by zhayes9 on February 26th, 2010
As the season winds closer to a conclusion and Selection Sunday approaches, a bracket snapshot each Monday just doesn’t quite seem adequate. From now until the end of the year, we’ll be providing a Friday seed update that outlines where each team inside and just outside the field of 65 currently stands along with reasoning why certain teams changed seed number since the previous Monday.
(Note: each of the four teams in one seed grouping is listed in pecking order in terms of who is closer to moving up a seed line. This is used to determine game location and matchups similar to Joe Lunardi’s S-Curve listing. Auto bids marked in italics).
#1 Seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Purdue
#2 Seeds: Duke, Kansas State, Villanova, West Virginia
#3 Seeds: Georgetown, New Mexico, Ohio State, Pittsburgh
#4 Seeds: Vanderbilt, BYU, Temple, Wisconsin
#5 Seeds: Michigan State, Gonzaga, Butler, Baylor
#6 Seeds: Texas, Xavier, Texas A&M, Tennessee
#7 Seeds: Wake Forest, Richmond, Maryland, Northern Iowa
#8 Seeds: Missouri, UNLV, Florida State, Illinois
#9 Seeds: Oklahoma State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, UTEP
#10 Seeds: Florida, Virginia Tech, Marquette, California
#11 Seeds: Louisville, Old Dominion, Rhode Island, UAB
#12 Seeds: Connecticut, Utah State, Saint Mary’s, Siena
#13 Seeds: Cornell, Charlotte, Kent State, Oakland
#14 Seeds: Murray State, Wofford, Weber State, Sam Houston State
#15 Seeds: Morgan State, Coastal Carolina, North Texas, UC-Santa Barbara
#16 Seeds: Jacksonville, Stony Brook, Robert Morris, Lehigh, Jackson State
Last Four In: Charlotte, Saint Mary’s, Connecticut, UAB
Last Four Out: Mississippi State, Dayton, San Diego State, Arizona State
Next Four Out: Mississippi, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Notre Dame
Bids per conference: Big East (8), ACC (7), Big 12 (7), Atlantic 10 (5), Big 10 (5), SEC (4), MWC (3), Conference USA (2).
Analysis after the break:
The #1’s stayed the same from Monday’s bracket. A Purdue loss at Minnesota likely would have pushed Duke atop the #1 seed line, but the Boilermakers pulled out a road win that keeps the current Big Ten leaders as the final top seed and knocks Minnesota completely off the bubble. Obviously, Purdue fans suffered a loss in the same game with Robbie Hummel’s devastating ACL injury. This injury could have serious repercussions on whether Purdue remains on the top line. Although Purdue’s entire body of work with Hummel won’t be discarded, the committee now must evaluate the value of the Boilermakers without their second leading scorer and rebounder. I’d expect them to end up as a #2 seed come Selection Sunday, similar to Cincinnati’s fate in 2000 when Kenyon Martin went down with a broken leg in their conference tournament. The difference here is that the committee has a chance to see Purdue play without Hummel.
At first look, one might presume Pittsburgh is over-seeded here as a #3. When you compare their resume with the contending #4 seeds, though, you’ll see there’s not much contest. Pittsburgh boasts a 6-3 record vs. the RPI top 50, a #10 RPI and a #5 SOS, along with a 7-3 mark vs. the RPI #51-100. The only resume that might be able to compete is Vanderbilt. BYU has the lofty record, but their schedule just doesn’t have the amount of quality wins. Beating New Mexico this Saturday would go a long way for the Cougars.
A team that’s made a big move this week is Xavier. The Musketeers were sitting on the fringe bubble prior to their game at Florida two weekends ago. Chris Mack’s team went into Gainesville and beat the Gators then this week swept a road swing at Charlotte and Saint Louis. Xavier is a meager 0-5 vs. the RPI top-25, but 9-2 vs. the RPI top 26-100 and their RPI and SOS are both hovering around the top 20 in the nation.
Old Dominion surpassing Northeastern in the CAA standings opened up another at-large spot since the Monarchs were already in the bracket as an at-large selection. The team that benefits from this switch is Charlotte as the last team in the field. What separated Charlotte is their quality wins at Louisville, at Richmond and home vs. Temple. That’s more than Mississippi State, Dayton (a bunch of close losses), or San Diego State can tout. The computer numbers are comparable enough where this proved the tiebreaker.
Bubble Games this Weekend
Saturday: Notre Dame @ Georgetown- The Irish snuck into the Next Four Out list this week. We saw South Florida go into the Verizon Center and leave with a victory. If somehow the Irish can stun the Hoyas without Luke Harangody (likely with a barrage of threes), they’d have knocked off two top-10 RPI opponents in one week.
Saturday: VCU @ Old Dominion and Northeastern @ George Mason- All the Monarchs have to do is beat VCU at home and they’re the CAA regular season champions. If they lose and Northeastern wins on the road, then the Huskies are back in the field as the projected CAA champions until the conference tournament is played. This would take away an at-large spot for Monday’s bracket.
Saturday: Ole Miss @ Alabama- The Rebels avoided elimination with their big second half in a win over Auburn. They need to take care of the Crimson Tide on the road to avoid falling further from the field.
Saturday: Cincinnati @ West Virginia- This is a situation similar to the Notre Dame-Georgetown game. It’s highly unlikely Cincinnati can go into Morgantown and win, but if they pull out a miracle, it would vault the Bearcats right back in the picture.
Saturday: Arizona State @ California- The winner of this game leads the Pac-10. If the Sun Devils pull it out on the road, it’s my best guess that California ends up on the Last Four In list for next Monday with Arizona State as the Pac-10 auto bid. This would eliminate another at-large spot.
Saturday: Kansas @ Oklahoma State- The Cowboys have a chance to knock off Kansas at home and jump into lock status. It would be their fourth win vs. the RPI top-25.
Saturday: Minnesota @ Illinois- Even with the solid conference record, the Illini are not safely in the field of 65. They cannot afford to slip up at home against Minnesota with their difficult schedule to finish the regular season.
Saturday: Florida @ Georgia- After seeing what Georgia has done to quality SEC opponents this season, Billy Donovan better have his team prepared. Florida is in sort of the same boat as Illinois. They still need wins.
Saturday: Maryland @ Virginia Tech- I explained why in yesterday’s Bubble Watch, but this turns into an enormous game for the Hokies after laying an egg at Boston College.
Saturday: Mississippi State @ South Carolina- The Bulldogs are right on the fringe of the bracket. Keeping them out is their utter lack of quality wins. This one wouldn’t have an enormous impact, but it’s still a February SEC road win.
Saturday: Charlotte @ George Washington- A tricky game for the 49ers that they cannot lose if they wish to remain barely in the field. With two difficult games to finish the A-10 regular season, this becomes very important.
Sunday: Marquette @ Seton Hall- Can the Golden Eagles make it a clean three-game road sweep and put them firmly in the field? Or will the Pirates make another statement at home and inch closer to serious consideration?
Sunday: Louisville @ Connecticut- More fun in the muddled Big East bubble picture. Both teams obviously need this one. Louisville does because of their hellacious end to the regular season schedule-wise and Connecticut because they’re at home.
Sunday: Clemson @ Florida State- Neither of these teams are really on the bubble, but I can see Clemson playing their way into that discussion. They finish with this Sunday night game in Tallahassee, home vs. Georgia Tech and at Wake Forest. Lose all three and the Tigers finish ACC play at 7-9. Steal this one and the pressure is off.