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Quick Takes: Baylor strengthens profile

February 20, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Baylor exited Ames Tuesday night with a victory over Iowa State – giving the Bears a regular-season sweep of the Cyclones.  Paired with a victory over Texas Tech, a solid road record (5-4), and a combination of 11 Quad 1/2 wins. the Bears profile looks that much stronger this morning – even with those two early-season Q4 losses.

In other words, Baylor is playing its way into the Field of 68, and it would take a notable course reversal for that to change with just under four weeks until Selection Sunday.

We can’t say the same for Alabama or Nebraska this morning. Read more…

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Bracketology: Virginia marches South

February 18, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015With a coveted spot atop the South Region in play, Virginia benefited from Tennessee’s loss at Kentucky on Saturday night.  By a narrow margin, UVA moved to No. 2 on the Seed List, dropping Tennessee to No. 3 overall.  As a result, the Cavaliers march South as the No. 1 seed in the Louisville region, bumping the Volunteers to the Midwest.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Kentucky stays put as the top two-seed, which leaves an interesting question: Would the Committee place UK in the South Region opposite Virginia knowing the potential advantage it could give the Wildcats in an Elite Eight matchup in Louisville? Read more…

Bracketology: Happy hearts for Duke, LSU

February 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we’ll sweep the epic crumbles of futility – otherwise known as this year’s bubble – under the proverbial rug and try not to look.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Instead, we’ll send Happy Heart greetings to the Duke Blue Devils and LSU Tigers, both of whom celebrated huge road wins in the Commonwealth on Tuesday.  For their efforts, Duke remains the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket.  LSU rises to No. 12 on the seed list, good for the final No. 3 seed.

As for those crumbles, today’s cutline decisions included serious consideration for teams like Oklahoma, Indiana, Butler, and Florida, all of whom have significant resume issues. There are no clear answers, especially with regards to how the Selection Committee will use the NCAA’s new NET ratings.  The good news for those four, and others, is we still have games to play.

Quick Takes: LSU delivers SEC message

February 13, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Given its 23-point second-half comeback at Louisville, Duke will steal many of the headlines and highlights today.  That’s understandable.  But there was an equally compelling road heist that occurred a few hours earlier and a few miles away in Lexington, where the LSU Tigers rallied past Kentucky at Rupp Arena.  Safe to say, it was a stunning night in the Commonwealth.

With its victory, LSU now stands at 10-1 in the SEC, having won six straight league road games in the process.  In case you were wondering, that’s pretty good.  The Tigers also have the benefit (or detriment in terms of elite wins, I suppose) of only playing Kentucky and Tennessee once during the regular season.  LSU hosts the Volunteers a week from Saturday.  It’s officially a three-horse race for the SEC crown. Read more…

Bracketology: Committee pens Duke, Tennessee as 1-2 punch

February 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Few of us were surprised on Saturday when the Selection Committee announced that Duke and Tennessee were Nos. 1 and 1A on their Seed List.  After an action-filled weekend, neither position has changed, although one could argue that Duke’s win at Virginia, giving the Blue Devils a regular-season sweep, might create a more distinct line of separation between those two.

Bracketology    |    Seed List

The only top-line move this morning was lifting Gonzaga to No. 3 on the Seed List and dropping Virginia to No. 4.  Gonzaga still reigns over the West Region and Virginia the Midwest.  Elsewhere, team positions on the first four lines mirror what the Committee gave us on Saturday.  One could argue whether or not Iowa State would stay after a home loss to TCU, or about how losses by Louisville and Wisconsin might also impact those lines.  For today, we’ll let the Committee’s voice be heard.

Unfortunately, the Committee didn’t provide us any sort of insight into what has become a very mediocre bubble picture.  Then again, why take on that headache right now? Hopefully, some cleaner lines of separation will develop over the next three weeks.

Bracket Bits: Duke has inside track to East Region

February 10, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Beating Virginia for a second time gives Duke the inside track to the No. 1 Seed in the East Region – and thus a trip through Washington, DC.  The Blue Devils would have to win their opening weekend games to get there, of course, but we’re projecting here.

Saturday, the Selection Committee gave us a preview of their initial Top 16 seeds. Tennessee was 1A with Duke as play began yesterday, and the Volunteers backed up their standing by dispatching Florida in Knoxville.  No surprise, the Vols are just plain good.

Which brings us to No. 3 and No. 4 on the Seed List.  Saturday, those slots belonged, in order, to Virginia and Gonzaga – same as our Seed List.  Had Virginia won, the Cavaliers would likely be looking at the No. 1 Seed in the East Region this morning – or at least one could make a very strong case in their favor.  Saturday’s result changed the trajectory and, potentially, the geography, for both teams. Read more…

Quick Takes: What’s next for Arizona State?

February 8, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015It was an ugly night in Tempe.  There’s no other way to put it.  Arizona State lost at home to Washington State, a team that until Thursday hadn’t won a true road game, had only won a single Pac-12 game, and had a NET Rating of 230 when it arrived on ASU’s campus.

By itself, it would simply be a bad loss.  Those things happen.  The trouble for ASU is this: it wasn’t their first such hiccup.  Added together, the Sun Devils have dropped three home games to non-NCAA contenders: WSU, Utah, and Princeton.  They also have road losses to Vanderbilt and Stanford.

What’s next for Arizona State?  It’s an interesting question.  As is this: Are the Sun Devils’ wins over Kansas, Mississippi State and Utah State (in particular, as Quad 1 wins) enough to offset those warts? Read more…