Friday, February 19, 2016

Top Line Shakeup, American Athletic Adds Two

Wednesday was another wild day in college basketball, as Iowa, Oklahoma and North Carolina all went down to Penn State, Texas Tech and Duke, respectively. Obviously, the biggest upset here was the Nittany Lions over the Hawkeyes. Nonetheless, the top three seed lines saw some movement from this.

The Sooners do stay on the top line, but now lead the West Region as the fourth overall seed, behind Kansas, Villanova and Virginia. Six top-50 wins and a top-50 RPI still look strong. But 22-3 Xavier is right on their heels for the last No. 1 seed. Iowa fell to a two-seed, just ahead of Michigan State, whom the Hawkeyes swept. North Carolina fell to the three-line, while Miami (FL) now sits on line two. With a higher RPI, the Hurricanes currently hold the ACC's auto-bid.

As for the Red Raiders and Blue Devils, they both make good moves up the bracket with their wins. Tubby's Smith's crew now sits as a nine-seed, while Coach K is now in protected-seed range.

Another team that picked up a big win this week was Saint Joseph's, knocking off Dayton at home. That give's the Hawks their signature win and moved them inside the RPI Top 25, as well as a share of the Atlantic 10 lead with the Flyers and VCU. The Hawks are done with Dayton and VCU until the A-10 Tournament, while the Flyers and Rams meet at UD Arena on March 5 in the season-finale.

Washington continues to tumble and Florida State lost to Georgia Tech, dropping them from today's projection. In the Huskies' case, their RPI ranks 75th. That could spell bad news for UW.

In their place are a pair of American Athletic teams, Tulsa and Cincinnati, even with the Bearcats having just lost to the Golden Hurricane in overtime. Also moving into the field as an at-large is Butler, thanks to LSU losing the SEC's auto-bid and not earning an at-large in this projection. Those three join Seton Hall in today's last four in group. Just missing the cut are George Washington, VCU, LSU and Florida State. GW and VCU meet next Saturday in D.C. The loser will have their work cut out for them in Brooklyn for the A-10 Tournament.

Here's the updated bracket.

Last Four Byes: Oregon State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh
Last Four In: Seton Hall, Butler, Tulsa, Cincinnati
First Four Out: George Washington, VCU, LSU, Florida State
Next Four Out: Washington, St. Bonaventure, Saint Mary's, Ohio State

Conference Rundown

ACC - 7
Big 12 - 7
Big Ten - 7
Pac-12 - 7
Big East - 5
SEC - 5
AAC - 4
Atlantic 10 - 2
One-bid Leagues - 24

Notable Games this Weekend


Richmond at VCU
Yale at Princeton
Oakland at Valparaiso
Iona at Monmouth

The Rams look to avoid a home stumble at the hands of the Spiders a week before the big bubble showdown with George Washington. The other three games pit the top two teams in the Ivy, Horizon and MAAC standings, as the Bulldogs, Crusaders and Hawks can take control of their respective conferences with a win, particularly Yale.

A win puts Yale at 9-0 in Ivy play and drop Princeton to 6-2, which would put the Bulldogs two ahead in the loss column with five to play. Remember, the Ivy League does not hold a conference tournament. The regular season champion earns the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Florida at South Carolina

Two teams hovering around the middle of the bracket. The winner could eventually wear their home whites in the first round of the tournament.

Duke at Louisville

Duke goes for a road trip sweep of UNC and Louisville this week as they continue their climb back up the bracket.

Xavier at Georgetown

The Musketeers look for revenge from their January 19 home loss to the Hoyas, who may need to win at MSG to reach the Big Dance.

UNC Asheville at Winthrop

These two are tied atop the Big South standings. The winner will be in the next projection.

St. Bonaventure at Dayton

Dayton tries to bounce back from the Saint Joe's loss, while the Bonnies really need this one to help their bubble case.

Miami (FL) at North Carolina

The ACC lead, and a spot on line two in the next bracket, are on the line in this battle in Chapel Hill.

Wagner at Central Connecticut

Northeast leader Wagner visits the team sitting dead last on the RPI table.

Baylor at Texas

A solid Big 12 battle here. The Longhorns won in Waco on February 1.

Pittsburgh at Syracuse

A pair of ACC bubble teams meet in the Carrier Dome. The Panthers may need this one more, as they are right above the cut line for avoiding the First Four in Dayton.

Saint Joseph's at Davidson

The Hawks look to avoid a letdown against the Wildcats after their big win over Dayton.

Mississippi State at Alabama

The Tide are rolling. They don't want to slip up against an SEC bottom-feeder.

Butler at Villanova

Butler is back in the field. A win over Villanova will definitely keep them there.

Florida State at Virginia Tech

The Seminoles need to right the ship, and fast. A loss to the Hokies would be devastating to their tournament hopes.

Oklahoma at West Virginia

Two top Big 12 teams go at it in Morgantown. The Mountaineers could potentially knock the Sooners off the top line.

Connecticut at Cincinnati

A season-sweep of the Huskies would do wonders for the Bearcats' tournament chances, after winning at UConn on January 28.

Stephen F. Austin at Nicholls State

The Lumberjacks look to stay unbeaten in Southland play.

UNC Greensboro at Chattanooga

The Mocs go for the season-sweep of the Spartans and keep their two-game lead intact.

Texas Southern at Mississippi Valley State

After going 1-11 in non-conference play, Texas Southern can get over .500 if they can defeat the Delta Devils.

LSU at Tennessee

LSU cannot afford a loss against Tennessee, as that would be five against teams out the RPI Top 100, which is a recipe for disaster for a bubble team.

Kansas at Kansas State

The top team in the bracket visits the Octagon of Doom. The Wildcats knocked off Oklahoma at home. Can they do the same to the Jayhawks?

Tennessee Tech at Belmont

First-place in the Ohio Valley is at stake. Tech beat Belmont at home on January 30.

Kentucky at Texas A&M

Kentucky looks to keep their roll going while the Aggies try to climb back up the bracket after their free-falling February.

South Carolina Upstate at North Florida

The Ospreys share the A-Sun lead at the moment with Jacksonville entering this rematch of last season's A-Sun Tournament final.

Omaha at IPFW

New Summit leader IPFW looks to hold off one of the teams chasing them in the standings in Omaha.

Yale at Penn

If they get past Princeton, Yale can begin closing in on the Ivy title with a win over Penn.

TCU at Iowa State

Iowa State looks to avoid a bad loss at the hands of the Horned Frogs.

Notre Dame at Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets just picked off Florida State. Now they get a shot at the Fighting Irish.

Stanford at Washington

Two Pac-12 teams on the outside looking in. The loser will leave with 12 losses and cannot afford many more if they want an at-large.

Purdue at Indiana

Indiana currently is tied with Iowa atop the Big Ten, thanks to Penn State. A win keeps them there. Purdue is looking to track down the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Tubby Smith has his team rolling, off the heels of the Oklahoma win. They don't want to suffer a letdown in Stillwater.

Saint Mary's at Gonzaga

The Gaels' at-large hopes could go up in smoke if they can't knock off the Zags.

Oregon State at Oregon

A win in Eugene, completing a season-sweep of the Ducks, would really help move the Beavers closer to safety.

Colorado at UCLA

UCLA has a pulse, but they also have 12 losses. If they can't defeat the Buffs, the Bruins are probably thinking NIT. Then again, the Committee could shock everyone and put them in, anyway.

Hawaii at UC Irvine

The Warriors can earn a season-sweep of the Anteaters and build a two-game lead in the Big West with a win.


Boston University at Bucknell

Bucknell's story is the same as Hawaii's. They would have a two-game lead on Boston U, with the head-to-head sweep, if they win.

Seton Hall at St. John's

A loss to the bottom-dwelling Red Storm would be no bueno for the Hall.

La Salle at George Washington

The Colonials cannot get caught looking ahead to their meeting with VCU. A loss to the Explorers would be crushing.

Michigan at Maryland

After stumbling at Ohio State, the Wolverines can bounce back at Maryland. But you know the Terps are angry after losing to a bad Minnesota team.

Tulsa at UCF

As long as the Hurricane avoid a bad loss to UCF, they should be okay for the next projection.

Stony Brook at Maine

Stony Brook lost to Albany on Wednesday, their first loss since December 12. They look to recover against Maine, whom they defeated by 27 on January 25.

Monmouth at Saint Peter's

The Hawks look to keep rolling and dancing their way to the MAAC title against Saint Peter's.

Detroit at Valparaiso

Coming off the Oakland game, Valpo hosts the Titans as they look to stay atop the Horizon.

San Diego State at San Jose State

The Aztecs have a comfortable lead in the Mountain West. But a loss to San Jose State would really hurt their seeding.

Wichita State at Indiana State

Just like San Diego State, the Shockers have a decent lead in the Valley, but would be a bubble team without the auto-bid.

Utah at USC

The Trojans suffered a tough loss to Arizona State. A win over the Utes would turn them back in the right direction.

Temple at Houston

Temple looks to hold on to their spot as the AAC's auto-bid, while the Cougars are still in the hunt for the regular-season title, especially after their 27-point win at Temple on January 2.

Illinois at Wisconsin

The Badgers would move back closer to Dayton and the First Four if they're upset by the Illini.

California at Washington State

California finally picked up a good win away from home on Thursday at Washington. They go for two Pac-12 road wins in a row against Washington State.

Remember, you can see how I stack up against other bracketologists at the Bracket Matrix. Enjoy the games and I'll see you next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment