Friday, February 6, 2015

Temple Moves In, UCLA and Purdue Rising

A new team enters the field since Monday's projection. With St. John's getting pounded by Butler, Temple has moved up to the last team in the field. Strong computer numbers, a good road/neutral record are helpful, but what's starting to loom large with this bubble is their 25-point win over Kansas back on December 22. The Johnnies sit as the first team out of today's projection. More on the bubble after we take a look at the full bracket. (Bracket Matrix)

Last Four Byes: Seton Hall, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Old Dominion
Last Four In: Xavier, Miami (FL), George Washington, Temple
First Four Out: St. John's, Illinois, UCLA, Purdue
Next Four Out: North Carolina State, Davidson, Wyoming, Michigan

Conference Rundown

Big 12 - 7
ACC - 6
Big East - 6
Big Ten - 6
SEC - 6
American Athletic - 4
Atlantic 10 - 3
Pac 12 - 3
Conference USA - 2
Missouri Valley - 2
Mountain West - 2
One-bid Leagues - 21

Two teams that have made some noise recently and making a late charge to the tournament are Purdue and UCLA. Both struggled in non-conference play, particularly Purdue, losing at home to Garnder-Webb and North Florida.

But both have started to compile some quality wins in recent weeks. The Boilermakers have beaten Ohio State, Indiana and Iowa all at home, while the Bruins defeated Utah at home and just won at Stanford to complete the season sweep of the Cardinal.

The Bruins have the edge thanks to a better performance away from home as well as better computer numbers. UCLA ranks 45th in RPI, while Purdue is 72. Bruins also beat out Purdue on non-conference schedule rank (48 vs. 219).

As we head into the weekend, here's a look at the games that will impact the bracket.


Siena at Iona, 7:00, ESPNU
Jacksonville at North Florida, 7:00, ESPN3
Charleston Southern at Radford, 7:00
Dayton at George Washington, 7:00, ESPN2
Harvard at Brown, 7:00
Dartmouth at Yale, 7:00
High Point at Coastal Carolina, 9:00, ESPNU

The big game, of course, is Dayton at George Washington. The Colonials can keep pace and stay two games behind VCU in the Atlantic 10 race and also move further ahead of the cut line. A few conference leaders in action as well, including Iona, North Florida, Radford and Yale. Teams like Harvard and High Point are right in the mix should Yale and/or Radford lose, particularly Harvard since they visit the Bulldogs Saturday.


Baylor at West Virginia, 12:00, ESPNU
Creighton at St. John's, 12:00
Marquette at Seton Hall, 12:00, CBS Sports Network
Illinois at Michigan State, 12:00, ESPN
Tennessee at Georgia, 12:00, ESPN2
Notre Dame at Duke, 1:00, CBS
Temple at Memphis, 1:00, ESPNEWS
South Dakota State at IUPUI, 1:00, ESPN3
Providence at Xavier, 1:00, FOX Sports 1
Wofford at VMI, 1:00
Georgetown at Villanova, 2:00, FOX
Kansas at Oklahoma State, 2:00, ESPN
Texas Tech at Iowa State, 2:00, ESPNU
VCU at St. Bonaventure, 2:00, NBC Sports Network
American at Colgate, 2:00
Wyoming at Air Force, 2:00
Wright State at Cleveland State, 2:00, ESPN3
North Carolina at Boston College, 3:00, ESPN3
Oklahoma at TCU, 3:00, ESPNEWS
South Dakota at North Dakota State, 3:00
Purdue at Minnesota, 3:00, Big Ten Network
DePaul at Butler, 3:30, FOX Sports 1
Florida Gulf Coast at Stetson, 3:30, ESPN3
Texas at Kansas State, 4:00, ESPN
UNLV at Colorado State, 4:00, CBS Sports Network
St. Francis (NY) at Wagner, 4:00
Mississippi State at Arkansas, 4:00, SEC Network
Arizona at Arizona State, 4:30, FOX
Eastern Washington at Montana State, 4:35
Portland State at Sacramento State, 5:05
Northwestern at Wisconsin, 5:30, Big Ten Network
Alabama at LSU, 6:00, ESPN2
Texas A&M at Missouri, 6:00, ESPNU
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T, 6:00
Ole Miss at Auburn, 6:30, SEC Network
Louisville at Virginia, 7:00, ESPN
Miami (OH) at Kent State, 7:00
New Mexico State at UMKC, 7:00, ESPN3
Duquesne at Davidson, 7:00
Harvard at Yale, 7:00
Charlotte at Old Dominion, 7:00
UC Irvine at Long Beach State, 7:00, ESPN3
Buffalo at Akron, 7:00, ESPN3
UMass Lowell at Albany, 7:30
Drake at Northern Iowa, 8:00, ESPN3
South Florida at Cincinnati, 8:00, CBS Sports Network
SMU at Tulsa, 8:00, ESPNU
Missouri State at Wichita State, 8:00, ESPN2
Bowling Green at Northern Illinois, 8:00
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, 8:00
Rice at Western Kentucky, 8:00
William & Mary at UNC Wilmington, 8:00
Prairie View at Texas Southern, 8:30
Kentucky at Florida, 9:00, ESPN
Utah at Colorado, 10:00, Pac 12 Network
UC Davis at CS Northridge, 10:30
Gonzaga at San Francisco, 11:30, ESPN2

Some top games obviously jump out (Louisville-Virgina, Notre Dame-Duke, Baylor-West Virginia, Georgetown-Villanova).

Can Purdue win at Minnesota, avoid a letdown, and possibly find themselves into Monday's projection? Also in Big Ten action, Illinois is also on the road as a bubble team, visiting East Lansing. A win there will be huge for the Illini.


Michigan at Indiana, 1:00, CBS
Marist at Iona, 2:00
Holy Cross at Bucknell, 2:00, CBS Sports Network
Maryland at Iowa, 3:15, Big Ten Network
Oakland at Valparaiso, 3:30
Ohio State at Rutgers, 5:30, Big Ten Network
San Diego State at Boise State, 6:00, CBS Sports Network
Clemson at Miami (FL), 6:30, ESPNU
USC at Stanford, 8:30, ESPNU

Solid day of Big Ten action here. We also have one of the last four teams in the field in action with Miami hosting Clemson. Iona, Valpo and Bucknell are hoping to leave the weekend leading their respective conferences.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone. We will reconvene Monday to pick up the pieces and form a new puzzle.

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