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Bracketology: Kansas eyeing No. 1 seed in Midwest

February 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Kansas wrapped up the Big 12 title on Saturday.  It’s 14th straight Big 12 title.  Truly incredible, whether you’re a Jayhawks fan or not.  With that little nugget complete, the Jayhawks can now set their sights on a potential No. 1 seed in the Midwest.  A lot can happen in the next two weeks, but a Big 12 tournament title would all but guarantee the Jayhawks an NCAA route through Wichita and Omaha (Midwest Region).

Bracketology     |      Seed List

Virginia remains No. 1 overall, followed by Villanova and Xavier.  One of those two will lose again since both play in the Big East, creating a potential spot on the No. 1 seed line for a handful of chasers – including Duke, North Carolina, Auburn, Michigan State, and Purdue.

We also figure to have quite a two-week race for the final at-large positions.  We have 18-20 teams in play for about 8 spots, and that’s assuming we do not encounter any unexpected upsets in conference tournaments.

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Bubble Talk: Go-time for SEC, Pac-12, Big 12

February 24, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s go-time for handful of teams in the SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12 as we make a final push toward Selection Sunday.

Bubble Talk

Each of those leagues has multiple teams with work to do, along with the Big East.  The SEC is bunched, with little separating a multitude of hopefuls.  How will Florida and Texas AM, for example, finish out?  And what about Oklahoma?  Can the Sooners end their skid and regain momentum?  There’s a lot left to decide.

Bracketology: How high can Carolina climb?

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015On Monday, North Carolina passed Michigan State and Purdue on the Seed List (UNC is No. 7 overall).  Wednesday, the Tar Heels backed up their route of Louisville by winning another road game at Syracuse.  That’s six straight ACC victories – all but two of which are against teams in today’s bracket.  Carolina now has 10 Quadrant 1 wins, which ties the Tar Heels with Kansas for the most in that category (by a two-win margin).  Which brings us to this question: How high can Carolina climb?

Bracketology     |     Seed List

The answer, of course, depends on these next two weeks.  But given their strong schedule and depth of quality wins, a No. 1 seed isn’t out of the question if the Tar Heels beat Duke (again) to close the regular season and/or win the ACC tournament.

Overall, several ACC teams benefitted today by the confusing state of the SEC.  The middle of the bracket is littered with SEC teams who ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean.  These next two weeks will be important for them, too.

Quick Takes: How will Florida finish?

February 22, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015How will Florida finish its season?  That’s a huge question for the Gators, who face a tough closing stretch and an ultra-competitive SEC tournament.  Why does it matter?  Because for all of the Gators’ quality wins, they are sliding.  Their record is sliding, their RPI is sliding, and their perception as an NCAA team is sliding.

Since winning at Kentucky on January 20, Florida’s two wins of note are Baylor and LSU, both of which reside along the cutline.  The Gators are 3-6 during that stretch (their other win was South Carolina).  And here’s what lies ahead … Auburn (home), Alabama (road), Kentucky (home).  With a record of 17-11, their margin is sliding, too.  If the Gators win both home games, tensions ease.  That would put them at 19-12 heading into the SEC tournament with enough Quadrant 1/2 wins to easily make the NCAA tournament.  But what if they finish 1-2 in those last three?  Or, gulp, 0-3?  In those scenarios, Florida would enter its conference tourney at 18-13 or 17-14.  Vanderbilt snuck in last year with a loss-heavy profile – largely due to it overall strength of schedule.  But do the Gators want to test that theory again?  How will Florida finish?  It’s a huge question for the Gators to answer these next two weeks. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Oklahoma needs a U-Turn

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015With their losing streak now at six games (and 7 of 8 overall), the Oklahoma Sooners need a U-Turn.  The equity they built up by winning 14 of 16 games to open the season?  It’s dwindling.  The cache they built up by the Selection Committee anchoring them as a 4-seed during its mid-February Top 4 seed reveal?  That was three losses ago.  While conference record isn’t the measuring stick it once was, history suggests there are still limits to league under-performance.  Unless the Sooners win two of their last three – and they get Kansas State and Iowa State at home in that stretch – Oklahoma is looking at a Big 12 finish of 7-11 or, even, gulp, 6-12.  That isn’t the type of impression they want to leave on the table come Selection Sunday.   Read more…

Bubble Talk: Trouble for Saint Mary’s?

February 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Could Saint Mary’s actually be on the NCAA bubble?  Well … that’s a tough question, without an easy answer.   The Gaels have had a great season, including a huge win at Gonzaga.  They’ve been ranked.  But after losing their return game with Gonzaga and then falling to San Francisco, are they still safe?

Bubble Talk

A closer look at SMC’s profile raises questions.  Elsewhere, we welcome Penn State to the bubble scene after its second win over Ohio State.  More importantly, the Nittany Lions have multiple chances to add NCAA-level wins down the stretch – which isn’t easy in year’s Big Ten.

Bracketology: You’re up, Auburn!

February 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Auburn, it’s your turn.  Welcome to the No. 1 seed line.

With Purdue’s loss at Wisconsin, the Boilermakers slip a notch, opening a door for the Tigers, who enter as the fourth overall seed and No. 1 seed in the West Region.  Kansas is now next in line.

Bracketology    |     Seed List

Virginia continues to lead the Field of 68, followed by Xavier, Villanova, and those aforementioned Tigers.  Just for fun, Xavier and Villanova meet on Saturday at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.  Villanova won the first meeting in Philadelphia.

The bubble isn’t overly deep, but it is tightly contested.  There’s little separation among about 15 or so teams.  The result: there’s a lot left to decide between now and Selection Sunday.