Home > Current Updates > Bracketology: Final spots go “On the Road”

Bracketology: Final spots go “On the Road”

So here it is.  We have about a dozen teams fighting for precious spots as we  turn the page toward March.  Make no mistake, plenty of games this weekend have huge bracket and bubble implications.  Our schedule page has all the details.  As you review our latest bracket keep in mind two things:

  1. Road wins provided a tie-breaker in close calls
  2. Road games remaining played a role in team expectations.

For the latest Bracketville ’09 projections, check out Bracketology.

Why the caveat?  Penn State remains among that last five in largely because of wins at Michigan State and at Illinois (however low scoring).  Virginia Tech moves past Maryland because the Hokies have won games at Clemson, at Wake Forest, and at Miami.  UNLV has wins at Louisville and @ BYU.

This isn’t to suggest that home wins over quality opponents aren’t significant.  They are.  But when the combination of record, RPI , SOS, etc. tend to even out, a team’s ability to win big games away from home provides some separation.  Take for example, Michigan – our first team “out.”   They have plenty of quality wins, but they are all at home except for the neutral court win over UCLA.  The Wolverines are 2-7 in true road games.  Then you look at their schedule and find they close the regular season at Wisconsin and Minnesota.  History suggests two losses and an 8-10 Big 10 finish. 

Maryland is 1-5 in true road games.  They close with two of three on the road (NC State and Virginia).  Texas A&M has a neutral court win over LSU and is 4-5 in road games.  They, however, close with two of three at home, and the road game is Colorado.  Also on the edge, Cincinnati has two notable road wins (Georgetown and UNLV).  That was almost enough.   But neither is an NCAA lock.  Providence‘ lone notable road win was at Cincinnati.

Arizona … despite a variety of solid wins – and winning 7 of 9 … is flirting with danger because of its 2-8 record in true road games.  And both road wins came against the state of Oregon.  Although the Wildcats aren’t currently listed in the Last Five In, they are very close to falling out.  For now they stay in because the closing schedule is workable.

You can make a good – or not so good – case for many of these teams.  That makes for a fun and interesting closing stretch.  Send us your thoughts – Dave the Bracketguy.

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