Bracketology: Stretch run ahead

February 7, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s been a relatively even week, leaving us with the same Field of 68 that we had on Monday.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Minor Seed List adjustments have been made to reflect valuable road wins by teams such as Louisville and LSU.  The same principle applies for teams in the middle and lower end of the bracket, like St. John’s.  The Red Storm certainly helped themselves by winning at Marquette.

As we enter the stretch run, teams will either solidify their standing, remove themselves from consideration, or put themselves into a stressful Championship Week scenario.

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Quick Takes: Road woes continue for Kansas

February 6, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Don’t adjust your rearview mirror.  What you’re looking at is actually there.  It’s just hard to believe – because we’re so used to seeing the Kansas Jayhawks leading the Big 12 parade.  But this year’s team, with its injuries and new pieces, has found their journey a bit more bumpy, especially on the road.

With its loss Tuesday night in Manhattan, KU is now 1-6 in true road games.  That’s unfamiliar territory for a program with a decades-plus worth of Big 12 trophies in its display case.  In a twist of irony, the Jayhawks lone road win came at Baylor back on January 12.  This morning, Baylor is tied with Kansas State (loss column) atop the conference race.

KU’s remaining league road games are TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma. If they want to hold onto their current odds of an opening weekend in Tulsa (NCAA tournament pod), the Jayhawks may need to win at least two of those. Read more…

Bracketology: Gonzaga reclaims the West

February 4, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015With the Super Bowl behind us, the march to Selection Sunday is officially here.  Today’s bracket finds a new, but familiar face reigning over the West Region: Gonzaga.  Can the Zags hold on?  That’s the million dollar question in Spokane.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

The race is far from over.  We have several heavy hitters in play for all four No. 1 seed positions.  Teams such as Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky and North Carolina.  All have opportunities for resume building wins.  That’s not a knock on Gonzaga, who sits at No. 2 on the NCAA’s NET Ratings this morning.

February is moving month in college basketball.  The next three weeks will set the stage for March and Championship Week.  Results will define whose in play for this year’s final at-large spots.  Enjoy the ride.

Quick Takes: Carolina back in the ACC race

February 3, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Rightfully so, most Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) talk has recently centered around Duke and Virginia.  Quietly, though, North Carolina has reeled off five straight league wins, avenging their only league loss yesterday by rolling Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center.  This morning, the Tar Heels are 7-1 in the ACC and could have the inside track to a conference title.

Here’s why … With the exception of a quick road trip to Duke on February 20, UNC plays its remaining gauntlet games at home: NC State, Virginia, Florida State, and a second match-up with the Blue Devils.  Winning at Clemson is no guarantee, of course, nor is winning a home game against, say, Syracuse.  But if you take a quick glimpse through the schedule book, you can find a path for the Tar Heels to win the regular-season ACC crown.  We probably weren’t thinking that a couple of weeks ago. Read more…

Seed List: Gonzaga eyeing No. 1 Seed in West Region

February 2, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Put yourself in Gonzaga’s shoes.  The Zags are No. 2 in the latest NET Ratings (only updated through January 30), No. 2 in the BPI, No. 4 at KenPom, and No. 6 in the SOR (Strength of Record) metric.  One of their top rotational players, Killian Tillie, missed the Bulldogs’ two losses (Tennessee, North Carolina).  They also have a victory over Duke.  In other words, another No. 1 seed is a realistic possibility.

Seed List

Now, let’s add in Phase 2 of the equation.  Gonzaga watched Michigan fall at Iowa on Friday night.  The Bulldogs also know that Michigan and Michigan State still play each other twice.  Tennessee and Kentucky also play twice between now and Selection Sunday.  And then there’s at least one more meeting between Duke and Virginia.  In other words, other No. 1 seed contenders will lose – potentially putting the Zags in prime position to claim the top seed in the West Region. Read more…

Quick Takes: Arizona St holds serve, weekend bubble action

February 1, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015It took overtime, but Arizona State held off rival Arizona in Tempe on Thursday night, ending a six-game losing streak against the Wildcats.  The victory served as a Quad/Group 2 win and keeps ASU above the fray otherwise known as the Pac-12.  We’ll see how much it affects their NET rating when updates arrive today (Friday).

Elsewhere, Purdue avoided a bad loss at Penn State and Houston rallied past Temple. Then there’s Gonzaga, who put a 30-point pounding on BYU – on the road!  That’s impressive regardless of it being a down year for the Cougars. Read more…

Bracketology: Showdowns ahead for No. 1 seeds

January 31, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015The developing bubble is a garbled mess, so let’s stay positive and focus on the No. 1 seed race, which has seven serious contenders at the moment: Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Kentucky.

Bracketology   |   Seed List 

Between now and Selection Sunday, battles will rage.  Virginia and Duke play again on February 9 (Duke was the first meeting by two points in Durham).  Kentucky and Tennessee play twice – February 16 and March 2.  Same for Michigan State and Michigan – February 24 and March 9.

Which brings us to Gonzaga.  The Bulldogs are expected to cruise through their West Coast Conference campaign; another 30-win season a realistic outcome.  Should that occur, it will be difficult for the Selection Committee to keep Gonzaga off the No. 1 seed line out West (especially given their high NET rating).

If that’s the case, it becomes a six team race for three No.1 seed positions with showdowns ahead. Feels like March is right around the corner.