Monday: Bracketology Implications

February 13th, 2012

What to watch for Monday night as it relates to NCAA Tournament & NIT Bracketology. Each of tonight's 3 nationally televised games have major postseason implications.

#23 Louisville (20-5, 8-4) vs #2 Syracuse (25-1, 12-1) - For Syracuse, the only question is whether they can earn a #1 seed in the Dance. Oddly, despite the gaudy record and ranking, Syracuse has not beaten a Top 50 RPI team on the road, let alone a ranked road foe. That could change tonight against Louisville, and put a lot of the questions about Syracuse to rest. Louisville's been on fire after a rough spell. A marquee win over Syracuse would not only potentially push them into the AP Top 15, but also put them on track for a potential 3 seed in the tourney.

#6 Baylor (21-4, 8-4) vs Iowa St (18-7, 8-4) - These two teams are trending in opposite directions. Baylor was looking like a potential #1 seed a month ago, but that seems almost impossible at this point. On the flip-side, Iowa St came out of nowhere to enter the NCAA Tournament radar. The Cyclones still have work to do to lock up a bid. Most of their success has come at home, and their best road wins all season are against mediocre Oklahoma and Texas A&M. A win at Baylor would be a huge boost to their resume.

Kansas State (17-7, 6-6) vs #10 Kansas (20-6, 10-2) - While .500 in the Big 12 should be enough to get K-State into the Tournament, anything lower would put them in a serious danger zone. Besides Kansas tonight, the Wildcats face Baylor and Missouri on the road coming up. Talk about a brutal stretch. A loss tonight could send K-State on a spiral that finds them 6-9 in Big 12 play. For Kansas, the ultimate goal (besides yet another Big 12 title) is a #1 seed, which is not out of the question.

Stetson (8-17, 5-9) vs Belmont (19-7, 11-2) - Earlier in the season, Belmont was considered a contender for an NCAA at-large bid. Instead, the Bears are locked in a battle with Mercer for the A-Sun title and will have to enter the Tournament in the traditional fashion. A win would put Belmont in a tie atop the league, and one step closer to at least locking up the automatic NIT bid.

Shawn Siegel, CHN's resident Bracketologist, checks in throughout the week with a look at how the day's schedule impacts the NCAA Tournament & NIT fields.