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Bracket Bits: Gonzaga wraps up the West; Wednesday’s Bubble games

March 11, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015With its win over Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference final, Gonzaga should be expecting another No. 1 Seed in the West Region on Sunday.  The Zags enter the 2020 NCAA tournament at 31-2.  While the Bulldogs’ non-conference schedule wasn’t as robust as usual (overall), metrics love the Zags and the Committee had them as a projected top seed during their reveal in February.  Between then and now, the Zags only loss was at BYU.

Five additional teams joined The Field: Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Yale (Ivy), North Dakota State (Summit), Robert Morris (NEC), Hofstra (Colonial). Read more…

Bracket Bits: Six teams that could still use opening round wins

March 9, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015With Utah State securing its Dance Ticket by upsetting San Diego State in the Mountain West championship game, we already have one less at-large spot available.  The Aggies might have made it regardless, but all doubts have been erased.

With that as a backdrop, here is a corresponding disclaimer:  The Bubble extends deeper into the bracket than it appears.

As we sit today, the 11-seed line contains all four play-in participants.  That means teams along the 10-seed line are hovering perilously close to the cutline.  Which also means that the nine-seeds are close enough to the edge of the Field that a poor week could leave them vulnerable to being passed.

Below is a quick peak at six teams above the immediate fray who could still benefit from at least one victory at conference tournaments this week … Read more…

Bracketology: Preparing for Championship Week

March 6, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Championship Week begins on Saturday, meaning we’ve reached the final stages of our journey to Selection Sunday.  The final turns, however, are filled with potential roadblocks and potholes.

Bracketology

Tulsa is Exhibit A.  The Golden Hurricane now lead the American Conference, thrusting them into the bracket as the AAC’s automatic qualifier.  It represents the type of scenario we could see in the coming days as conference tournaments unfold.

There are about 12 teams with varying degrees of work to do to retain current positions within the Field of 68.  Late surges by teams like UCLA and Texas have squeezed the at-large pool; and it could get tighter if someone upsets San Diego State in the Mountain West.  Stay tuned.

Bracket Bits: Sizing up the race for No. 2 Seeds

March 4, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015We haven’t seen a change on the No. 1 seed line for more than a month, so let’s take a closer look at some teams in the race for the No. 2 seed line …

Dayton – The Flyers boast a 27-2 record heading into action tonight against Rhode Island.  Those two losses came in overtime to Kansas and Colorado.  With a 10-2 record against Quadrants 1/2 and Top 50 schedules (both overall and non-conference, Dayton can likely lock up a two seed by finishing a perfect Atlantic 10 campaign.
Schedule: at URI, George Washington

Seton Hall – The Pirates are an impressive 15-7 against Quads 1/2 with 10 Quadrant 1 wins.  SHU’s NET win average is under 100, which is difficult to achieve and made possible by a Top 20 schedule.  The caveat here is that the Big East provides the Pirates both a platform to grab a two-seed or take a minimal stumble.
Schedule: Villanova, at Creighton Read more…

Bracket Bits: NC State, Texas Tech, and Tuesday’s Bubble Games

March 3, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Both NC State and Texas Tech missed opportunities to score huge road wins on Monday – which basically means the Wolfpack and Texas Tech are treading water, hoping the ripples stay small.  Quick takes on both …

NC State – The Wolfpack are 18-12 with notable wins over Duke, Wisconsin and Virginia. Their issue is eight losses to non-tournament teams, including being swept by Georgia Tech and UNC, along with a loss at Boston College.  NCSU closes with a must win against Wake Forest ahead of the ACC tournament.
Texas Tech – The Red Raiders are also 18-12 with notable wins over Louisville and West Virginia (along with Texas and Oklahoma).  Their biggest advantages are a strong NET Rating and only three losses to non-tournament teams (and none in Quad 3).  It’s worth noting, however, that TTU has eight wins against Quad 4 – with seven of those being home games against teams rated 235 or worse (as of the posting).  If the Committee digs deep, TTU is now 10-12 against Quads 1-3, with an effective record of 11-12.  Tech closes at home against Kansas. Read more…