Weekly Bracketology: 03.08.10

Posted by zhayes9 on March 8th, 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.

On the bubble: Notre Dame, Florida, Georgia Tech, Saint Mary’s

Last Four In: Washington, Illinois, San Diego State, Memphis

Last Four Out: Arizona State, UAB, Mississippi, Seton Hall

Next Four Out: Rhode Island, South Florida, Connecticut, Dayton

Automatic bids: Vermont, Temple, Duke, East Tennessee State, Kansas, Syracuse, Weber State, Winthrop, Ohio State, UC Santa Barbara, Old Dominion, UTEP, Butler, Cornell, Siena, Kent State, Morgan State, Northern Iowa, New Mexico, Quinnipiac, Murray State, California, Lehigh, Kentucky, Wofford, Sam Houston State, Jackson State, Oakland, Troy, Gonzaga, Utah State.

Bids per conference: Big East (8), Big 12 (7), ACC (7), Big 10 (5), SEC (4), Mountain West (4), Atlantic 10 (3), West Coast (2), Conference USA (2), Pac-10 (2).

Analysis.

  • A change on the second line from over the weekend: With West Virginia edging Villanova in Philly, the Wildcats fall to a #3 seed and Ohio State is the beneficiary, moving up to the final #2 seed. The Mountaineers move up the #2 seed totem pole with the road win, now ahead of Kansas State and Ohio State while still trailing Purdue.
  • One team making a major push is Baylor, who surprisingly has the portfolio to snag the final #3 seed after Vanderbilt’s stunning upset loss at home to South Carolina. The Bears now boast a top-10 RPI, 24 overall wins, a 6-4 mark vs. the RPI top-50 and an 11-5 record in what many argue is the best conference in the nation.
  • While I assumed the bubble would shrink due to bid stealers in assorted conferences, it appears that may not be the case this season. Both Old Dominion and Butler will be heavy favorites in their conference tournament championships, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s both appear destined for bids, and the Pac-10 now also seems like a two-bid league with a potential Washington vs. Arizona State semifinal turning into a virtual play-in game. Northern Iowa also won Sunday to keep Wichita State from snatching a bid.
  • One may question why I have Washington in over Arizona State when the Sun Devils finished with a superior Pac-10 record. Simple: it’s about overall body of work and quality wins are a huge part of that equation. Washington has two wins over the RPI top-25 in Texas A&M and California that Arizona State simply lacks. Looks like the Pac-10 won’t be a one-bid league after all. Another possible play-in game could be Memphis vs. UAB out of Conference USA. The Tigers swept the season series and vaulted into the bracket for the first time.
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8 Responses to “Weekly Bracketology: 03.08.10”

  1. Joe says:

    Baylor as a 3 seed? Tennessee in the Final Four? Child please.

  2. zhayes9 says:

    Why not?

    Baylor: 24-6 (11-5), 8 RPI, 21 SOS, 2-3 vs. RPI 1-25, 4-1 vs. RPI 26-50, 5-1 vs. RPI 51-100

    Vanderbilt: 23-7 (12-4), 20 RPI, 24 SOS, 2-2, 2-0, 8-4
    Tennessee: 23-7 (11-5), 13 RPI, 23 SOS, 2-4, 1-0, 9-2
    Michigan St: 24-7 (14-4), 26 RPI, 40 SOS, 2-2, 1-2, 5-3
    Wisconsin: 23-7 (13-5), 18 RPI, 20 SOS, 3-1, 2-3, 4-2
    Temple: 26-5 (14-2), 14 RPI, 71 SOS, 2-3, 4-0, 3-2
    Texas A&M: 22-8 (11-5), 12 RPI, 6 SOS, 2-5, 3-3, 4-0

    I could see a case for Temple but they played in a much less difficult conference. Baylor has 2 more top-100 wins than A&M and a better non-conference record. It was close but Baylor has the best resume.

  3. Joe says:

    When you frame it that way, it will be very difficult for the committee to rank these teams.

    I think Temple is probably a better bet since they don’t have any bad losses (RPI >100). All of the other teams have at least one bad loss except MSU, who is lacking in good wins.

  4. zhayes9 says:

    It’s the committee’s job to rank these teams. Baylor gets the slight edge out of that group at this point in time. The Bears bad loss came on January 12 and they’ve won 7of 8. Not like they’re trending the wrong way.

  5. Brian says:

    I had Baylor a 3 seed before this weekend. It’s not far fetched. They’re a very good team with a profile for a great seed.

  6. matt says:

    I also love a tournament with strong mid-to-low major teams:
    Austin Peay (30-4)
    Cornell (27-4)
    Northern Iowa (28-4)
    Old Dominion (26-8)
    Siena (27-6)

    All these teams possess gaudy records if not resumes. Should make for some interesting first round matchups.

  7. matt says:

    I meant to say ‘I always love.’

  8. rtmsf says:

    Very much agree with this. Winning teams know the little things to do to win games, especially close ones. These kinds of teams cause all kinds of problems for the 20-11 teams from the BCS leagues. Looking forward to it.

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