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Bracketology: Are the No. 1 seeds locked up?

February 21, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015We’re about to enter the final two weeks of the regular season, and we’ve had the same No. 1 seed line for more than a month.  Which begs the question: Are the No. 1 seeds locked up?

Bracketology

We can’t go that far – yet.  But we may not be far off, either.  Baylor and Kansas play again Saturday in Waco.  At least for now, the outcome affects the Big 12 title chase more than it does the top line of the bracket.  Gonzaga plays at BYU, but would a single loss at a tough venue drop the one-loss Zags?  Probably not, although it could open the door for San Diego State to claim the West Region.  As for the Aztecs, they will be heavily favored in every remaining regular season game.  Without a surprise, they will enter the Mountain West tournament with a perfect record.  That’s an incredible accomplishment. Read more…

Quick Takes: NC State throttles Duke, ugly nights for UC, ‘Bama

February 20, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Opportunity knocked in Raleigh on Wednesday, and NC State seized the moment by throttling Duke.  The victory helps offset an untimely loss to Boston College on Sunday and keeps the Wolfpack squarely in the at-large conversation with Florida State due in town on Saturday.  Adding a win over the Seminoles would further enhance NCSU’s profile heading into the season’s final two weeks.

If there’s a pause, the BC game serves as a perfect backdrop.  The Wolfpack have proven to be enigmatic, having also been swept by Georgia Tech (and losing to UNC).  As for Duke, the Blue Devils head home to face Virginia Tech. Read more…

Quick Takes: Illini earn huge road win; LSU keeps tumbling

February 19, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Towing a hefty four-game losing streak, Illinois re-tuned its engine, welcomed back Ayo Dosunmu and exited Happy Valley with a smile.  It was a huge road win for the Illini.  It could also be season-defining.

Illinois was 15-9 (D1 record) heading into its matchup with Penn State, without anything to showcase from its non-conference campaign.  A fifth straight loss would have increased the pressure on a young team still learning how to win.  The Illini’s work isn’t done, but a weight has been lifted.  They close with three of five at home.  We’ll see if they can seal the deal.

Meanwhile, LSU keeps tumbling.  The Tigers lost for the fourth time in five games, dropping a home game to Kentucky.  Once 8-0 in the SEC, the Tigers have gone from a near-lock to make the NCAA tournament to a team that still has work to do.  Up next, trips to South Carolina and Florida.  Drop those two, and instead of tumbling, LSU could be in free-fall. Read more…

Bracketology: How many bids for the Big Ten?

February 17, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Heading into January, a good over-under line for how many Big Ten teams would make the NCAA tournament field felt like 9.5.  It still does. If you were hedging your bet today, which way would you go?

Bracketology

Here’s what we do know about some potential Big Ten bubble teams:
Minnesota is an even 12-12 on the season.
Purdue is 14-12 with a trip to Wisconsin up next (then three of four at home).
Indiana has lost five of six games and three of its next four are away from Bloomington.
Illinois has lost four straight and heads to Penn State this week with Ayo Dosunmu’s status as day-to-day. Read more…

Bubble Bits: Georgetown takes down Butler

February 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Georgetown went into Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday and exited with a road victory over Butler.  It was arguably the day’s biggest victory amongst teams positioned along the cutline – i.e. the Bubble.

For resume purposes, it marked the Hoyas’ first victory in what the NCAA Team Sheets designate as the upper tier of Quadrant 1.  Games within Quadrants 1 and 2 are broken into two tiers as delineation. That it came on the road is even better.  Although Georgetown now sits at 15-10, the Hoyas own nine Quad 1/2 wins combined. The only caveat to that: Butler and Creighton would be the two tournament-worthy wins within that grouping.

Looking ahead, there’s no let-up on Georgetown’s schedule.  Next up: Providence. Remaining games include Marquette, Xavier, Creighton and Villanova. Read more…

Bracketology: Valentine hearts for Cincinnati, NC State

February 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015As the bubble ebbs and flows, we present Valentine hearts to Cincinnati and North Carolina State, both of whom sit squarely along the cutline.  The good news – at least for today – is that both are projected as First Four participants in Dayton.

Bracketology

Elsewhere, the No. 1 seeds remain entrenched.  Gonzaga and San Diego State will be heavy favorites in most, if not all, of their remaining games.  Baylor can absorb a loss (or two) and still be in prime position.  Kansas, once again, has a dominant record against Quadrant 1 teams.  Are all four locks?  No, but as Selection Sunday approaches, their footholds get stronger. Read more…

Quick Takes: Creighton making its case for protected seed

February 13, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Overshadowed this season a bit by the likes of Seton Hall, Villanova and even Butler, the Creighton Bluejays are building their own case for a protected seed in March.  With a road victory at Seton Hall on Wednesday, the Bluejays now own road conquests over both the Pirates and Villanova.  In all, Creighton picked up its seventh Quadrant 1 victory, six of those away from Omaha.

With three weeks and conference tournaments ahead, the jockeying for protected spots along the Seed List is likely to be fierce.  Creighton has placed itself squarely in that conversation.

Related, the Big East has separated itself into he haves and have-nots … Seton Hall, Villanova, Butler, Creighton and Marquette are clearly tournament teams (without some type of closing disaster).  Which leaves Xavier and Georgetown (realistically right now) as options for teams six and/or seven from the league. Read more…