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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…

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Bracketology: Kansas returns to the top line

February 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Kansas is back on the top line.  The Jayhawks’ rally against West Virginia, combined with Auburn’s loss at South Carolina, inched KU back into the lead position out West.  Virginia and Villanova remain anchored in the South and East Regions.  They way it looks right now, we have two undecided No. 1 seeds.  We’ll see if that changes.

Bracketology     |     Seed List

The middle and lower portions of the bracket remain very fluid.  There are a lot of similar resumes bunched together.  The next three weeks – including conference tournaments – will hopefully provide some clarity.  If not, it’s going to be bumpy Selection Sunday for the Committee, and for those of us who try to predict what they’ll do.

Quick Takes: Providence, FSU post key wins

February 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015How unpredictable has college hoops been this season?  Look no further than Providence.  This past weekend, the Friars lost by double-digits at home to DePaul.  On the same floor Wednesday night, those same Friars took down Villanova.  Opposite ends of the spectrum, for sure.

It was also a big night for Florida State.  Heading into Wednesday night’s game against Clemson, the Seminoles had dropped three of four, including road tilts at Wake Forest and Notre Dame.  Then they found themselves down 18 points to the Tigers.  They needed a rally – and found it.  And that quickly, resume life looks a little more stable again for FSU.

Additional Quick Takes from Wednesday … Read more…

Bracketology: Virginia leads final march to Selection Sunday

February 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015The Selection Committee has spoken, having revealed its initial Top 16 teams (seed list) prior to games tipping on Sunday.  There were no overwhelming surprises, although one could debate the plusses and minuses of the Committee slotting Oklahoma as its final No. 4 seed, in particular.  Their reasoning throughout the Top 16, whether you agree or disagree, was pretty clear: the Committee still values traditional measures such quality wins, strength of schedule, road performance, and an RPI-based demarkation for sorting teams (now using Groups or Quadrants rather than merely Top 50 or Top 100).  That doesn’t mean individual or collective members of the Committee will not use or value other metrics (BPI, SOR, Ken Pom, etc) in the process, but the ole standbys appear to be actively in place.

Bracketology     |     Seed List

The Committee selected Virginia as its overall No. 1 seed, followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Purdue.  Purdue’s overall profile – and its small margins in defeat – kept the Boilermakers on the top line.  That said, we have about a month left, and things can change.  We’ve seen teams make late charges; we’ve seen teams go into late-February swoons.  The bubble is once again deep and includes a hodgepodge of resumes that look eerily similar.  In other words, the race is on.

 

Quick Takes: Saturday’s wild W’s and L’s

February 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Well, that was a wild Saturday!  We had some impressive victories – none more than Virginia Tech win at Virginia.  We also had some head-scratching losses – Providence dropping a home game to DePaul by double-digits?

One could spend hours trudging through the full, madness-filled day that was Saturday.  But this is Quick Takes, so here are a few of the most notable takeaways through the prism of winners and losers …

Saturday’s winners:

  • Virginia Tech’s win at Virginia tops the list.
  • Texas AM – watch out for the Aggies who appear to have righted their previously wayward ship.  They’ve won four straight after beating Kentucky on Saturday, which came after a win at Auburn.
  • North Carolina – took care of NC State on the road after beating Duke; thus, avoiding a let-down.
  • Michigan State – by beating Purdue, the Spartans are back in the Big Ten race.  They’ve also positioned themselves to be in the conversation for a top-two seed on Selection Sunday if they close with a flurry.
  • Oklahoma State and Baylor – the Cowboys won at West Virginia; Baylor beat Kansas. Both are back into the bubble picture again.
  • Gonzaga – exacted revenge by going on the road to beat Saint Mary’s.

Read more…

Quick Takes: Virginia vaults to No. 1 overall seed

February 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015After a wild Wednesday night in college hoops, Virginia slides up a spot and now resides as the overall No. 1 seed on our Seed List.  Beyond beating Florida State in Tallahassee, Villanova lost at home to St. John’s, giving the Cavaliers a clear path to the top spot in Friday’s bracket.

What else happened?  That would be Ohio State going into Mackey Arena and beating Purdue.  It would also be Texas AM continuing to right its ship by going into Auburn and leaving with a victory over the Tigers.  Then there was desperate Marquette putting enough stops together to upset Seton Hall in New Jersey.

I’m not sure any of the events above change the status of the No. 1 seed line on Friday (other than UVA moving to No. 1 overall).  But the results do crack the door for some potential mayhem down the road.  Exhibit A: Purdue’s consolation for losing to Ohio State?  A trip to East Lansing against Michigan State on Saturday. Read more…

Quick Takes: Louisville slides onto the bubble

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Louisville and Syracuse now have something in common: The Bubble.  As the Orange exited the KFC Yum! Center on Monday night, they took a nice gift with them – a road win over a fellow bubble team.  That’s right, Louisville – losers of three straight and four of five – is now a bubble team with a month to go until Selection Sunday.

As recently as a week ago, it was easy to look at the Cardinals’ fast ACC start and believe they were on solid ground – even more so when you saw an upcoming three-game home stretch that included Florida State, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech.  Oh, how things can change.  Louisville has now lost the first two of those home games – adding a lot of pressure to the Cards’ date with Georgia Tech on Thursday.  Louisville’s closing stretch is brutal – it includes trips to Duke, Virginia Tech, and NC State, plus home games with North Carolina and Virginia.  A berth in the 2018 NCAA tournament is squarely on the line.

Other Quick Takes from Monday … Read more…