College Basketball: Tuesday Bracket/Bubble Thoughts

February 2nd, 2010
Thoughts on how tonight's games may effect NCAA Tournament selections & seeding..

#2 Villanova vs Seton Hall

-- Villanova is obviously a tourney lock, but their main concerns are winning the Big East and earning a #1 seed.
-- Seton Hall has some nice home wins, but hasn't won a road game since November 20th at Cornell. A win over Nova would go a long way to help their dimming hopes.

#3 Kentucky vs Ole Miss
-- Kentucky, like Nova above, is all about winning the SEC and earning a #1 seed.
-- Ole Miss has a surprisingly low RPI of 46, despite being a fringe Top 25 team with a quality 15-4 record. Thus despite being a Tourney team currently, their seed might not be as high as fans would like. A win over UK would obviously be massive, and would more then make up for the dud home loss to Arkansas.

#4 Syracuse vs Providence
-- Syracuse is in the same boat as Villanova & Kentucky above.  
-- Providence (12-9, 4-5) has a theoretical shot at an at-large bid. Any team that finishes .500 or better in Big East play will be given a strong look, and PC has a chance to do that. They'll need to win one of their games against Syracuse (home and away) or win at Villanova to have a chance.

#16 Wisconsin vs #5 Michigan St
-- Michigan st, despite being unbeaten in Big Ten play, would most likely not be a #1 seed at this point. They lost 3 challenging non-conference games to Florida, UNC, and Texas which hurts their overall resume. (Especially since UNC & Florida have struggled since). Michigan St has been living on the edge in recent weeks and is probably due for a loss.
-- Wisconsin has their 3 hardest league games out of the way already (at MSU, at OSU, and at Purdue), so they have  a chance to finish on a big roll. In fact, a win tonight and the league title isn't out of the question as MSU & Purdue still have to face each other twice. A #2 seed isn't out of the question with a win here and a strong finish to the season.

Nebraska vs #11 Kansas st

-- Kansas St could still make a run at 2nd in the Big 12 and a #2 seed. With the exception of a game at KU in early March, the rest of their conference schedule is extremely favorable.

#12 BYU vs TCU
-- I have BYU has a #3 seed now, and they'll have to keep wining to maintain such a high position. A home game against TCU is virtually a lock.

Northwestern vs Michigan
-- Despite being 3-6 in Big Ten play, Northwestern's tourney chances are not busted. They play 4 of their next 5 games at home, and all of the 5 are very winnable. The committee will respect any .500 or better record in the Big Ten.

Wake Forest vs Miami
-- Wake Forest is certainly in the tourney as of now, but ACC play is so challenging that a losing streak may be just around the corner. Home games against teams like Miami are absolute must wins.
-- Miami hasn't won an ACC road game since knocking of UVA last year, and needs a win here in the worst way to keep any dreams of making the Tourney alive.

Rhode Island at La Salle

-- Rhode Island is in the tourney now with a money RPI of 12, and a 17-3 record. Despite those gaudy #'s, the committee is biased, and will not treat them like a power conference team with similar #s. Thus every win is big the rest of the way, especially a winnable but challenging road game like this one. La Salle is solid. They're 11-10 record doesnt look good, but theyve lost a lot of close games to quality teams. Could be a very dangerous game for the Rams.

Air Force at San Diego St
-- SDSU is a team you don't hear much about, but they're still not out of the bubble picture. With a 37 RPI, and wins over Arizona and New Mexico, this is a team that can sneak in with a strong finish in MWC play. A home win against lowly Air Force is a must.