Bracketology: Cavaliers stand tall

February 9, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Yes, Virginia, you are the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket. Take a bow, you’ve earned it. The Cavaliers not only keep winning, they’ve just about wrapped up a regular-season ACC title. Think about this … in a deep, talented league, UVA owns a three-game lead on Clemson and a four-game lead on Duke and Miami.  Impressive no matter how you slice it.

Bracketology    |     Seed List

Despite a hiccup each, Villanova and Purdue retain their No. 1 seed positions.  One loss (nor one win) does a resume make.  The Boilermakers can either solidify their spot with a win at Michigan State on Saturday or crack the door further with a loss.

The lower end of the bracket is quirky today with the dearth of ACC teams (10) in the field.  It caused both a procedural bump and a deep dive into the bracketing playbook.

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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…

Bracketology: Good times in Philadelphia

February 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s a good morning to be a Philadelphia sports fan.  After winning a thrilling Super Bowl, the Eagles stand alone atop the National Football League world.  Then there’s Villanova, who after defeating Seton Hall earlier on Sunday, continues to hold the No. 1 overall spot in today’s bracket.

Bracketology    |    Seed List

Joining Villanova on the top line are Virginia, Purdue, and Xavier.  The Musketeers can thank Kansas and Duke, both of whom lost over the weekend.  They can also thank arch-rival Cincinnati.  Xavier’s non-conference win over the Bearcats was enough to push the Musketeers past Auburn for the final No. 1 seed.

The middle and lower portions of the bracket remain quite fluid.  It’s been a wild season in college hoops.  Should we expect anything different now?  Enjoy the countdown. March Madness is right around the corner.

Bubble Talk: Syracuse, K-State back again

February 3, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Time to debut Bubble Talk for another season.  Let the debates begin.  Who’s in? Who’s on the bubble?  Here we go, folks.

Bubble Talk – February 3 (2018 debut)

Syracuse and Kansas State, as you recall, were two of last year’s bubble darlings.  Why change?  Both are back again, with key February dates ahead.  Could we see a mid-major such as Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, or New Mexico State earn an at-large spot, if needed?  All three present interesting profiles.

As for locks, it’s still a bit early, so those are few, relatively speaking.  Guess is, several teams will move into that group by our next update.  Until then, enjoy!

Bracketology: Don’t sleep on Xavier

February 2, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Don’t sleep on X.  That would be Xavier.  The Musketeers have an opportunistic stretch ahead.  Navigate it successfully, and X will remain squarely in the hunt for a No. 1 seed.  To date, the Musketeers are 9-3 vs. Quadrants 1 and 2 on the new RPI breakdown sheets.  They own a Top 15 strength of schedule, and the metrics coincide with their profile.  That stretch?  It includes these four games in a row: at Butler, at Creighton, Seton Hall, Villanova.  Winning three of those would be strong.  Win all four?  That would be enough to place Xavier front and center in the top-seed discussion.

Bracketology    |    Seed List

The middle of the bracket remains very unsteady in terms of seeding.  The bubble isn’t overly deep, but the margins between those teams is thin.  February should be fun.

Bracket Bits: The NC SOS / Bubble factor

February 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Welcome to February.  We’ve reached the stretch run; the sprint to the finish line known as Selection Sunday.  The word “Bubble” returns to our regular vocabulary.  We’ll also be reminded of another term – at least if history repeats itself.  That term is non-conference strength of schedule, commonly known among bracket-heads as NC SOS.  On more than one occasion, the Selection Committee has determined that a poor NC SOS is a valid reason to punt a bubble team to the NIT.  With that in mind, here are a few teams that could be at risk if their names remain on the bubble list a month from now …

Houston (NC SOS: 262) – A lot about the Cougars’ profile screams bubble, even a composite of advanced metrics models. Good wins: Wichita State, Arkansas, Providence. Bad loss: Drexel. Reality: Houston’s non-conference schedule includes seven (7) teams in Quadrant 4, none with an RPI better than 200.  Add in South Florida and East Carolina (AAC teams) and 9 of the Cougars’ wins are against Q4. Read more…