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Bracket Bits: Minnesota’s road woes continue

February 18, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015With its loss at Indiana on Wednesday, Minnesota is now 0-8 away from home; the Gophers have not played a neutral-court game and will not play one until the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.  How might the Selection Committee view a resume with four Quadrant 1 wins, no losses outside the NET Top 50 (as of this posting), and yet nothing of note outside Williams Arena?  We might have had a test case when Rutgers was in a similar situation a year ago, but the Committee never got a chance to release its Field of 68.  The Gophers still have a trip to Penn State on the docket and close with three of four at home.  Heading into the B10 tourney, it’s possible this team could be 16-10 with five or six Q1 wins and still have zilch on its away/neutral team sheet. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Making sense of Pac-12 resumes

February 14, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s a difficult question to answer: What to make of Pac-12 resumes?

The Selection Committee’s NET ratings like at least two teams – USC (15) and Colorado (19) – although neither was mentioned during Saturday’s initial Top 16 seed list reveal on CBS.  Let’s take a quick peek at why that might be the case:

USC – The Trojans are 17-3 after Saturday’s win at Washington State, with a 3-1 mark vs. Quadrant 1 teams and a 6-3 record against Q’s 1-2 combined.  But if you look inside those columns, USC’s best NET win is against BYU on December 1. Of its other Quad 1-2 wins, only Stanford (a likely bubble team) and UCLA are currently NCAA tournament contenders.  That’s not to say the Trojans are not a quality team that could advance in March, rather, it showcases that as a whole, the Pac 12 doesn’t carry the same weight in the Committee room. Case in point: the Pac-12 ranks 6th as a conference in the NET ratings, just behind the Big East and just ahead of the American. Read more…

Bracketology: Gonzaga, Baylor against the Field

February 13, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015We are a month away from Selection Sunday, and as we sit today, it’s Gonzaga and Baylor against the Field of 68.  The Zags and Bears remain perfect and are about as locked-in as the top two overall seeds as two teams can be.  This morning, Michigan and Ohio State continue to occupy the other two slots along the top line.  It will be interesting to see how the Selection Committee handles a team like the Wolverines, who have just one blemish and lead the Big Ten, but who haven’t played for two weeks.  The Committee’s initial Top 16 seeds are revealed today.

Bracketology
Seed List

Elsewhere, many eyes will be on the Missouri Valley as Drake and Loyola-Chicago lock horns for a back-to-back set this weekend in Des Moines.  In a weird way, it would help the MVC if the teams split those games.  The bubble is as fluid as ever; we’ll start taking a closer look there after what figures to be a critical weekend for many teams.

Quick Takes: Saturday’s resume builders

January 31, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s never a good idea to over react to a single result in college basketball.  We’ve seen plenty of instances when a “big” win is followed by a “questionable” loss.  Even so, let’s have a go at some Quick Take-aways from the final Saturday in January.

We’ll start with Florida.  The Gators went into Morgantown and exited with a victory over West Virginia.  While technically Tennessee is ranked higher in the current NET ratings, beating the Mountaineers on the road qualifies as UF’s biggest resume win to date.  The journey ahead isn’t easy – with trips to LSU, Tennessee and Arkansas on the horizon – but Florida got a major boost to its profile, regardless.  Now they need to make it stick. Read more…

Quick Takes: Michigan State and the Mountain West …

January 29, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015Let’s begin Quick Takes with this … we could realistically be looking at an NCAA tournament bracket without these teams: Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State.  Since winning at Duke on December 1, MSU has one win against a tournament team, Rutgers.  And Thursday, those same Spartans lost at Rutgers by 40.  Pauses due to COVID have certainly impacted Sparty, along with many other teams, but MSU’s current resume has more questions than answers.  With more than a month left in the regular season (we hope), there’s ample time for Tom Izzo and Company to right the ship.  We’ll see if last night ends up being a turning point or the edge of a cliff. Read more…