Home > Current Updates, Team News > Bracket Update: February finds Huskies, Heels in trouble

Bracket Update: February finds Huskies, Heels in trouble

Welcome to Bracketville

Six weeks until Selection Sunday and two NCAA Tournament regulars find themselves in trouble – and outside the Feb. 1 bracket projection here at Bracketville.  Those regulars would be Connecticut and North Carolina.  Carolina cut down the nets and UConn lost in the Final Four to Michigan State in 2009.  Why are they out?  Let’s take a look …

Connecticut:  Entering the game at Louisville on Monday (UConn lost 82-69), the Huskies were 3-5 in the Big East and were 0-4 in road games.  Given that UConn had 6 of its final 10 Big East games on the road – and a brutal stretch overall – it would difficult for the Huskies to finish .500 in league play.  Playing the No. 1-ranked schedule has its merits, but winning games is still required.  Other than the home win over Texas, Connecticut entered Monday just 1-5 vs. Top 50 teams.  The advantage of playing a tough schedule?  Good wins are easy to find.  But the Huskies will have to find a way to win on the road.

North Carolina:  Early victories over Michigan State and Ohio State (two months ago) could only carry the Tar Heels so long.  If anything, UNC has regressed, losing at home Sunday to Virginia – falling to 2-4 in the ACC.  The Heels have also struggled on the road (1-3) and their next two are away from the Dean Dome.  Without a road turnaround, UNC could be 13-10 and 2-6 in the ACC by next week.  There’s no way such numbers (and an upper 70’s RPI) would be NCAA-worthy.  UNC has enough talent to make a run, but there’s no indication that’s going to happen.  Until such time, UNC is looking at the NIT.

As for the rest of the bracket … the Atlantic 10 gains another spot – with six teams projecting “in” at this point.  Dayton is among the last selected.  We also welcome new automatic bids: Utah State (WAC) and Arkansas State (Sun Belt).  UTEP also joins the field.  The Miners are fresh off a road win at UAB and clearly in contention for the C-USA title.  While that may not be enough to keep them alive next month, UTEP is in position to make a run.  That gives them a nod this week.  A home-and-away with Tulsa may be the determining factor on whether the Miners or Golden Hurricane make it in March.  Quick notes on Marquette:  the Golden Eagles have quality wins over Georgetown, Xavier and Connecticut.  They also lost to Villanova twice by a total of four points.  Add in a favorable schedule over the next six games and the Eagles project  into the Field. 

We’ll be passing the half-way point of conference play soon.  League standings are becoming more critical.  More thoughts ahead – as the BracketBuster matchups are announced.  Teams moving toward the Bracket … South Florida, Seton Hall, Tulsa, South Carolina, Virginia, Arizona;  Teams moving away … Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Arizona State.   Other opinions always welcome.  Send a Rebound.

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Categories: Current Updates, Team News
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