Saturday, January 31, 2015

2/1 preview

Michigan at Michigan St - MSU can't afford to fool around much more
Miami at Florida St - a non-trivial spot for Miami now
Cincy, UConn, Dayton, and Washington among those in hold-serve situations as well

1/31 recap

Big 12:
@West Virginia 77, Texas Tech 58
@Kansas 68, Kansas St 57
@Iowa St 83, TCU 66
@Baylor 83, Texas 60 - um, Texas is 3-5 in the conference.  They need to fix this soon
Oklahoma 64, @Oklahoma St 56 - quality road win

@Pittsburgh 76, Notre Dame 72 - great, Pitt is doing juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust enough to stay barely alive.  As for ND, this won't hurt as long as this isn't a trend
North Carolina St 81, @Georgia Tech 80 (OT) - well that was almost a disaster
@Clemson 64, Boston College 49
@Wake Forest 73, Virginia Tech 70
@Louisville 78, North Carolina 68 (OT) - I'm starting to get the feeling seeding the top 5 in the ACC is going to require some dissection
Duke 69, @Virginia 63

Big 10:
Wisconsin 74, @Iowa 63 - status quo for both
@Illinois 60, Penn St 58
@Indiana 72, Rutgers 64
@Minnesota 60, Nebraska 42
Purdue 68, @Northwestern 60 - well, Purdue is 6-3 in conference.  Not worth monitoring yet though

@Washington St 89, Stanford 88 - awful, awful
@UCLA 72, Colorado 59 - UCLA is hanging onto this bubble by a thread

Big East:
@St John's 75, Providence 66 - the desperate team gets the win.  Provi can't quite reach lockdom, can they?
@Seton Hall 90, Xavier 82 - a critical home hold to consolidate SHU's place in the bracket; X is hardly safe but can survive this
Villanova 68, @DePaul 55
Georgetown 67, @Creighton 40
Butler 72, @Marquette 68 (OT) - overall, a productive day for the conference

@St Joseph's 75, Davidson 70 - this is the type of loss that's going to cost Davidson in a few weeks
Richmond 64, @VCU 55 - catastrophic injury, and all of a sudden we need to be careful seeding this team
@Rhode Island 59, George Washington 55 - oooh
UMass 60, @St Louis 56

@Tennessee 71, Auburn 63
@Florida 57, Arkansas 56 - there's that Arkansas road loss we all are waiting for
@Mississippi St 73, LSU 67 - an awful, terrible, no good loss for a bubble team
@South Carolina 67, Georgia 50 - another bubble team with a terrible no good road loss.  Road wins are tough asks, I get it, but these are subpar teams hosting these games, SEC
Ole Miss 67, @Missouri 47 - hey, someone paid attention!  And it's the team that started the day off the bubble the furthest
@Texas A&M 69, Vanderbilt 58 - A&M might be the clear #3 in here now
@Kentucky 70, Alabama 55

@Temple 55, Tulane 37
@Tulsa 78, South Florida 71 (OT) - near-catastrophe
@SMU 75, Central Florida 56

Pepperdine 67, @St Mary's 62 - catastrophic home loss
@BYU 78, Santa Clara 57

@Northern Iowa 70, Wichita St 54 - welp, time to flip flop the two in the S-Curve
Loyola loses again, and is dead and buried.  The two ISUs and UE have separated from the rest of the pack, with Evansville still somewhat in the NIT discussion

@Wyoming 63, Nevada 55
@Colorado St 80, Fresno St 57
@San Diego St 62, Utah St 42
@New Mexico 67, San Jose St 41
@UNLV 74, Air Force 63

@Old Dominion 68, Florida Atlantic 57 - still 2 back
Louisiana Tech co-leads on 8-1 after beating Marshall.  WKU there with a road win at USM.  And UAB won on the road to go to 7-2.  UTEP beat MTSU

@Gonzaga 82, Memphis 64

Sun Belt:  we've got a potential 3-team breakaway between Georgia Southern (8-2), Georgia St (8-3), and La-Monroe (8-3) after all 3 win
Green Bay loses on the road at Cleveland St.  This Horizon race is coming down to the last week, probably
I'm not even going to attempt to break down the Big South.  The new standings now have 7 teams in between 8-2 and 6-4.  I love this conference
William & Mary with a moderately good road win at James Madison, they've got the CAA lead by one game now
Big Sky might be interesting, as Sac St is now on 9-1 and EWU is on 7-1
Yale wins at Cornell, still the last undefeated in the Ivy (Harvard also wins)
Over in the MAC, Akron wins at Bowling Green.  Current status:  Akron and Kent tied on 6-2, everyone else 5-3
North Florida finally lost in the A-Sun, so FGCU is even with them again
@Wofford 49, Mercer 46 - Wofford gets the final score treatment!  Resume encroaching on the bubble

1/31 preview

There's obviously a million billion games, so just the highlights:

Providence at St John's - St John's is becoming desperate for a win.  Beware Provi
Xavier at Seton Hall - SHU can afford to lose this game, but they're running out of spending money
Wisconsin at Iowa - a big chance for Iowa to put away the bubble talk for awhile
Arkansas at Florida - UF is dead and buried but road games aren't trivial for Arky
TCU at Iowa St - TCU IS DEAD, PEOPLE.  god
Kansas St at Kansas - now the challenge for K-State:  can they hold on
Wichita St at Northern Iowa - massive for seeding purposes
North Carolina at Louisville - massive for seeding purposes
George Washington at Rhode Island - URI can fly back into the bubble race with a win, GW could really use a quality road win
Texas at Baylor - god, this Big 12
Duke at Virginia - I suppose this may have seeding implications
Akron at Bowling Green - winner to first in the MAC
Mercer at Wofford - winner to first in the SoCon, and Wofford can really separate from the pack with a win
Oklahoma at Oklahoma St - frankly, both could use this one pretty badly

1/30 recap

@Arizona 57, Oregon St 34 - yawn
Oregon 68, @Arizona St 67 (OT) - not an inspiring result, but a road win is a road win

Harvard 75, @Princeton 72
Yale 63, @Columbia 59 - these 2 road spots were the trickiest non-Harvard and non-Yale games on the Ivy sked, and both are through

@Buffalo 80, Kent St 55 - the race is on in the MAC again

Friday, January 30, 2015

1/30 preview

Finally, for the first time this year, we've got Ivy Friday!

Harvard at Princeton - Harvard could be in danger of falling off the pace.  They'll go 2 behind in the loss column to Princeton with a loss...
Yale at Columbia - and would cede favorite status to Yale.  With Columbia being probably the 3rd best team in the conference, getting this in hand would be huge for Yale
Oregon at Arizona St - OU really needs to start getting away from the pack in the P12 if they want to make a bubble run
Kent St at Buffalo - and a big game in the MAC!  Kent's really got a chance to get a +1 on the rest of the conference, but this feels like a house money game for them.  Must-win for Buffalo

It's also a full day in the MAAC, but leader Iona is off.

1/29 recap

Signature wins:
@Ohio St 80, Maryland 56 - OSU has fixed their profile issues and should be fine.  Maryland?  Tricky seeding them.  They're losing their grip on a protected seed
@Cincinnati 70, UConn 58 - significant result, so I have to put it under this column, I guess.  UConn is about out of time, Cincy is getting closer to safety
@UCLA 69, Utah 59 - kind of detrimental to Utah's hopes, but such an important get for UCLA.  Not quite dead yet

Catastrophic losses:
@UMass 66, Dayton 64 - Dayton doesn't have THAT much room between themselves and the bubble, you know.  This loss is fine; it just takes one mulligan off the board

Holding serve:
@Providence 83, DePaul 72
Michigan St 71, @Rutgers 71
@Old Dominion 71, Florida International 56 - analogy time!  This is like if you're playing a video game, and you're trying to level up, but you're only beating the easiest opponents in the game, getting little EXP.  This is ODU right now, having to fight back on the bubble and only having access to marginal wins
@Kentucky 69, Missouri 53
@Gonzaga 64, Portland 46
Colorado 98, @USC 94 (3OT)
@St Mary's 69, Loyola Marymount 54
@BYU 78, San Francisco 74
California 76, @Washington St 67

- Wofford's now got the SoCon lead at 8-1, as Chattanooga loses at Mercer.  Wofford has a profile that's worth putting it on the at-large board for, you know
- High Point goes to 8-2 in the Big South staying one step ahead of literally the entire conference
- I talked about ODU above.  As for the rest of CUSA, LaTech beats WKU at home, so they are now joint 7-1 in the conference.  UAB lost at UTEP to go one game off the pace, and MTSU lost too
- Tri-leaders on 5-1 in the Big West:  LBSU, Irvine, Davis.  LBSU and Irvine - the leaders we thought we'd have are coming to the front

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1/29 preview

DePaul at Providence - the longer DePaul lingers in this race, the more they hurt the conference
Chattanooga at Mercer - one of the more notable SoCon matchups of the year
Dayton at UMass - trap game
Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech - WKU with a golden chance to get away from the pack in CUSA
Maryland at Ohio St - another signature win chance for OSU
UConn at Cincinnati - Cincy isn't safe by any means
Utah at UCLA - UCLA is approaching last chance saloon

1/28 recap

Signature wins:
@Notre Dame 77, Duke 74 - erasing their SoS concerns, one signature win at a time
Stanford 84, @Washington 74 - road wins over bubble teams, to help consolidate your own position?  Good win

Catastrophic losses:
@Penn St 63, Minnesota 58 - Minny is dead and buried
@Arizona St 73, Oregon St 55 - just as OSU was starting to creep up the P12 standings and the bubble, this reminder that they're still not good
@Purdue 83, Indiana 67 - IU is still fine, but this could be worth a seeding line
Georgia Tech 70, @Miami 50 - and they are NOT fine.  You can't get blown out at home like this
Clemson 68, @NC State 57 - not a productive day for the ACC.  Can't lose home games to non-tourney teams!
@Creighton 77, St John's 74 - St John's is now officially in big trouble

Teams holding:
SMU 63, @South Florida 52
Temple 86, @Central Florida 62
Seton Hall 80, @Marquette 70 - a pretty good road hold for SHU
Rhode Island 64, @Fordham 63
@Richmond 86, Duquesne 55
@LSU 64, South Carolina 58
@Oklahoma 81, Texas Tech 36
@Wichita St 58, Loyola(Chi) 47
Northern Iowa 59, @Southern Illinois 52
Kansas 64, @TCU 61
Louisville 81, @Boston College 72
@Memphis 70, East Carolina 58
@Ole Miss 79, Mississippi St 73
@Arizona 90, Oregon 56

Albany 47, @Vermont 44 - to 8-0 in A-East and 2 games clear of everyone
The Colonial's getting weird.  At joint 7-2 is William & Mary and UNC-Wilmington, and the favorites Northeastern and JMU now trail by a game
After a day of top teams losing, High Point leads the Big South on 7-2...and half the world is behind them at 6-3 (Coastal Carolina, Radford, Charleston Southern, Winthrop, UNC-Asheville)

and because no one cares:  @Florida St 82, Wake Forest 76 (2OT)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1/28 preview

Albany at Vermont - for control of A-East
Duke at Notre Dame - ND has done plenty of good work to get to this point, so this is hardly mandatory for a high seed.  But it helps.  And Duke's case for the 1 line takes a big leap forward or a big step back here
Oregon at Arizona - OU's big chance to get into this bubble race
Stanford at Washington - very important for U-Dub to hold serve here

Plenty of other good teams in action, in hold-serve situations.  Among the more critical:  St John's needs to win on the road at Creighton...Indiana needs to consolidate their recent success with a win at Purdue...Kansas should handle TCU on the road...Seton Hall has to win at Marquette, just to stop sliding if nothing else

1/27 recap

Signature wins:
Xavier 66, @Georgetown 53 - road wins are gold, as I've always maintained
@Oklahoma St 64, Baylor 53 - OSU needs to hold home court against some of the teams ahead of them.  This is 1

Damaging losses:
West Virginia 65, @Kansas St 59 - the best analogy here is the figure skater who submits a very tough routine.  K-State had a horrible non-con, so in conference play, they have to take on a high degree of difficulty.  They need to win all these swing games.  So while this loss in a vacuum isn't bad, it's really damaging in the macro view
@Virginia Tech 70, Pittsburgh 67 (OT) - it's getting late early for Pitt's chances
@Utah St 56, Wyoming 44 - oh no, no no.  USU isn't awful by any means but Wyoming is going to face several tougher games than this
Florida 52, @Alabama 50 - 'Bama, you just HAVE to hold home court in this kind of game.  Have to
@Boise St 82, Colorado St 78 - not a good night for the MW

@VCU 72, George Washington 48 - blowing out your closest competition in the conference helps
Tulsa 62, @Tulane 55 - road wins, I say
@Michigan 58, Nebraska 44 - UM is trying to stay in the bubble race
@Georgia 70, Vanderbilt 62
@San Diego St 58, Fresno St 47
@Arkansas 69, Tennessee 64
Texas A&M 71, @Auburn 61 - no road win is trivial

over in the MAC, Kent beats CMU to go to 6-1.  Akron and BGU go to 5-2
Evansville beats Indiana St, and they go joint 6-3 in the MVC.  The race for 3rd here will get messy.  And irrelevant

Monday, January 26, 2015

1/27 preview

West Virginia at Kansas St - K-State keeps fighting back towards the bubble
Tulsa at Tulane - absolutely mandatory if Tulsa wants at-large hopes
Central Michigan at Kent St - it's a full day in the MAC, this is probably the most significant to the standings
Xavier at Georgetown - a G'town win will likely be a non-event for bracketing purposes
Nebraska at Michigan - two teams off the bubble pace, might be a loser leaves town game
George Washington at VCU - house money chance for GWU to add another signature win
Baylor at Oklahoma St - OSU has to spring one of these games at some point
Tennessee at Arkansas - it's also a full day in the SEC, but this is probably the highlight
Colorado St at Boise St - Boise approaching the last chance saloon; CSU really needs to win this though to validate the SDSU win

1/26 recap

@North Carolina 93, Syracuse 83 - non-event in terms of bracketology
@Iowa St 89, Texas 86 - mild worry for Texas, at 3-4 in the conference.  Don't want to get caught back in the pack.  Pretty important for ISU to grab all these home wins, because their unforgivable drop at TTU did some real harm

In the SWAC, Alabama St goes to 7-0, beating Southern at home.  Texas Southern also wins, and moves into 1st place at 6-1 among eligible postseason teams.

Horizon:  Valpo holds, Cleveland St does not

MEAC:  NCCU to 8-0

Southland:  Stephen F Austin wins, 7-0 in the league

S-Curve 1/26

The 1 line:  Kentucky (19-0), Virginia (19-0), Duke (17-2), Arizona (18-2)
The 2 line:  Gonzaga (19-1), Villanova (18-2), Kansas (16-3), Wisconsin (18-2)
The 3 line:  North Carolina (16-4), Maryland (18-3), Notre Dame (19-2), Utah (15-3)
The 4 line:  VCU (16-3), Iowa St (14-4), Wichita St (17-2), West Virginia (16-3)
The 5 line:  Louisville (16-3), Texas (14-5), Baylor (14-4), Providence (15-5)
The 6 line:  Indiana (15-5), Northern Iowa (18-2), Arkansas (15-4), SMU (15-4)
The 7 line:  Georgetown (14-5), Butler (15-6), Oklahoma (12-7), Stanford (14-5)
The 8 line:  Seton Hall (13-6), Ohio St (16-5), Dayton (16-3), Miami (14-5)
The 9 line:  San Diego St (14-5), Cincinnati (14-5), Georgia (13-5), Colorado St (17-2)
The 10 line:  Michigan St (13-7), George Washington (16-4), LSU (15-4), Oklahoma St (12-6)
The 11 line:  Old Dominion (15-4), Xavier (13-7), Iowa (13-7), North Carolina St (13-8), St John's (12-6), Wyoming (15-3)
The 12 line:  Tulsa (14-4), Western Kentucky (12-5), Green Bay (15-4), Wofford (14-5)
The 13 line:  Yale (11-6), Stephen F Austin (13-3), Iona (15-6), Kent St (13-5)
The 14 line:  Murray St (15-4), UC-Davis (12-4), William & Mary (10-7), North Carolina Central (12-5)
The 15 line:  South Dakota St (13-7), Coastal Carolina (11-5), Albany (12-7), Georgia Southen (10-4)
The 16 line:  New Mexico St (10-10), North Florida (10-9), Robert Morris (10-10), Sacramento St (11-6), Colgate (8-12), Southern (6-12)

Next 4 in:
George Washington
Oklahoma St
Old Dominion

Last 4 in:
North Carolina St
St John's

Last 4 out:
Syracuse (14-6)
Texas A&M (13-5)
Davidson (13-4)
*Wyoming (in as conference champion)
St Mary's (15-4)

Next 4 out:
Tennessee (12-6)
Washington (14-5)
Alabama (12-6)
Kansas St (12-8)

Consideration board:
Ole Miss (12-7)
Minnesota (12-8)
Illinois (13-8)
UConn (11-7)
BYU (13-7)
*Tulsa (in as conference champion)
Oregon (13-6)
Temple (13-7)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1/26 preview

Syracuse at North Carolina - Syracuse doesn't necessarily need this, but a golden chance to erase a couple of flaws
Texas at Iowa St - man, this Big 12

Southland, MEAC, and SWAC conference play as well...people, you do realize Alabama St is ineligible for postseason play, right?  Ignore their 6-0 SWAC mark.

1/25 recap

Signature wins:
@Ohio St 82, Indiana 70 - a desperately needed win for OSU; Indiana is still in okay position
@Butler 77, Seton Hall 57 - Butler sneaking away from the rest of the bubble pack in the BEast...Seton Hall needs to get back over .500 just in case
Notre Dame 81, @NC State 78 (OT) - all these matter for ND as they continue to erase the flaws of their SoS.  NC State is in typical bubble shape

Holding serve:
@UConn 66, South Florida 53
Virginia 50, @Virginia Tech 47
Duke 77, @St John's 68
@Wichita St 74, Drake 40
Cincinnati 56, @Central Florida 46
@Rhode Island 53, St Bonaventure 48
Louisville 80, @Pittsburgh 68
Northern Iowa 54, @Illinois St 53
@Villanova 71, Creighton 50
@Maryland 68, Northwestern 67
@Utah 77, Washington 56

Boston College 64, @Georgia Tech 62 - GT began ACC play on the back end of the bubble.  They're now 0-7 in the ACC
Albany goes to 7-0 in AEast and has Stony Brook buried 2 games back
Iona holds in the MAAC

1/25 preview

Indiana at Ohio St - all of a sudden, it's Indiana who's the lock and OSU who's in trouble
Duke at St John's - this won't fix St John's conference record, but it'll fix other resume flaws
Seton Hall at Butler - a loss won't hurt either too badly; unless it's part of a longer losing streak
Northern Iowa at Illinois - a non-trivial spot on the road
Louisville at Pittsburgh - perhaps the best chance Pitt has this season of forging into the bubble race
Notre Dame at NC State - UND still has to battle their SoS, so every one of these count
Washington at Utah - U-Dub need to rally back a bit to make it back on the right side of the bubble

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24 recap

Conference by conference:

Big 12
@Kansas St 63, Oklahoma St 53 - ok, so we're going to have to deal with K-State pretty soon if this continues.  Their non-con was terrible but if they convert 5-2 into 11-7 in this conference...there's too many quality wins in those 11 to keep them out.  The more interesting immediate debate is OSU, who is now pretty clearly #7 among the 7 teams in this conference that are supposed to be sure-fire tourney teams
@West Virginia 86, TCU 85 (OT) - this has gotta be it for TCU, without a significant rally
Kansas 75, @Texas 62 - a useful game when making the case for a 1 seed
@Texas Tech 78, Iowa St 73 - catastrophic loss for ISU
@Baylor 69, Oklahoma 58 - as I said before, these games where the home teams hold are zero-sum

@Clemson 59, Wake Forest 57
@North Carolina 78, Florida 74
Miami 66, @Syracuse 62 - bubble team beats bubble team on the road.  Significant result

@Purdue 67, Iowa 63 - I'd prefer Iowa not give these types of games away to make my job easier
@Penn St 79, Rutgers 51
@Minnesota 79, Illinois 71 - I din't think UI is surviving this bubble season all the way to March.  Neither might Minnesota
@Nebraska 79, Michigan St 77 - ok, now it's time to officially worry about Izzo making the tourney
Wisconsin 69, @Michigan 64 (OT) - wasn't mandatory for UM, but this would've solved a lot of problems

Big East
@Xavier 89, DePaul 76 - good
Georgetown 95, @Marquette 85 (OT)

@Oregon 82, UCLA 64 - honestly still not sure what to do with Oregon yet
@Oregon St 59, USC 55 - and Oregon St too
@Colorado 90, Washington St 58
Arizona 73, @California 50
@Stanford 89, Arizona St 70

Kentucky 58, @South Carolina 43
Texas A&M 67, @Tennessee 61 - road wins are gold; time to really start thinking about A&M in the field of 68
Arkansas 61, @Missouri 60 - hey, a road win!
Georgia 72, @Mississippi St 66
LSU 79, @Vanderbilt 75 (OT) - hey, another road win!
@Ole Miss 72, Florida 71 - but not here
@Alabama 57, Auburn 55

@George Washington 74, Duquesne 59
@Dayton 63, Richmond 60
Davidson 80, @George Mason 73 (OT)

Tulsa 66, East Carolina 64
@SMU 80, Houston 59
Memphis 57, @Tulane 55

Boise St 77, @Air Force 68
@Wyoming 63, New Mexico 62 (OT) - important home hold
@UNLV 79, Utah St 77 (OT)
@Colorado St 79, San Diego St 73 - significant, significant result for CSU

@Indiana St 72, Loyola(Chi) 61 - the end of Loyola's bubble contention; meanwhile ISU is 6-2 in the MVC but nowhere near the NIT.  Awkward
@Evansville 75, Southern Illinois 66 - which means I guess it's up to UE to save the conference's NIT hopes

@San Diego 77, BYU 74 - catastrophic loss for BYU, and it feels like they're about to lose the draft of the bubble
@Gonzaga 91, Pacific 60
St Mary's 74, @Portland 64
@Santa Clara 60, Pepperdine 57 - yeah, this 4-team race in the WCC is really a 2-team one

@UAB 81, Old Dominion 68 - okay, time to panic for ODU.  The resume can't absorb too many more of these
- The race in CUSA is getting weird, so we need to break this out.  Easy stuff first:  WKU is still the only undefeated team after beating UTSA, and UTEP lost at Marshall and is definitely off the pace now.  Right now it's:  WKU 7-0, LaTech and UAB on 6-1, MTSU on 5-2, and ODU and UTEP on 4-3.  The 4-team breakaway is not including the 4 teams I thought it would, and UAB and MTSU (especially UAB) having bad resumes are going to wreck ODU in particular right now

Other conferences
- Over in the MAC, Akron won at WMU, Kent won at Ball St, Ohio upset Buffalo at home, Toledo held over BGU at home.  All of this now means that Kent is your new solo leader at 5-1.  This will change, and often.
- In the Ivy, we're already down to 2 undefeateds after 2 matchdays.  Yale on 2-0; Princeton on 1-0.  This is because Dartmouth, on the road, bounced Harvard.
- In the Colonial, William & Mary holds over Northeastern at home, and we've got a 3-way tie there among these two teams and UNC-Wilmington now.
- After another day in the Big South, 3 way tie at 6-2, and 4 more teams are on 5-3.  Funtime!
- The Northeast is tightening up; RMU beats St Francis(NY) on the road, and those two and Bryant are joint leaders on 6-2
- all of a sudden, it's a 2 game lead in the loss column for Murray St in the OVC
- North Florida beats Lipscomb on the road to assume control of the A-Sun
- Stephen F Austin 79, @Sam Houston St 68, so guess who controls the Southland
- Texas Southern loses at UAPB.  A lot of my seeding of them assumed a perfect run in the SWAC.  For now...they did beat K-State, so I have no idea what to do
- everyone in the Summit's got 2 losses already.  Not good
- New Mexico St leads the WAC again
- you tell me who the best team in the Sun Belt is.  Because I have no idea.  Ga Southern leads on 6-2 for now

1/24 preview

Just the notable games listed:

In the meat grinder of the Big 12:  Oklahoma St at K-State, Kansas at Texas, TCU at WVU, Iowa St at TTU, Oklahoma at Baylor

DePaul at Xavier - will someone just end this DePaul fad already?
Texas A&M at Tennessee - both teams lurking a bit off the bubble pace, winner gets closer.  A lot of the rest of the SEC is in action too, but in mostly bubble vs. non-bubble matchups
Miami at Syracuse - gigantic bubble battle
Michigan St at Nebraska - must win for MSU
Wisconsin at Michigan - well, here's Michigan's back door into the bubble discussion
San Diego St at Colorado St - I can't stress how important this is to CSU

Lots of hold-serve games...Iowa at Purdue, Georgetown at Marquette, Illinois at Minnesota, Arkansas at Missouri, Georgia at Mississippi St, New Mexico at Wyoming, Old Dominion at UAB, Davidson at George Mason, St Mary's at Portland among the more critical of them.

Stephen F Austin at Sam Houston St - for control of the Southland
Akron at Western Michigan - probably the best MAC game of the day
Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia St - this looked a lot juicier in November

Friday, January 23, 2015

1/23 recap

VCU 63, @St Louis 61
@Green Bay 51, Valparaiso 50
Cleveland St holds at home over Detroit, Monmouth to 7-2 in the MAAC


1/23 preview

Only 6 games, but a couple non-trivial ones:

VCU at St Louis - not the easiest road spot
Valparaiso at Green Bay - here's 2 of your tri-leaders in the Horizon, at 5-1.  Cleveland St hosting Detroit tonight also

1/22 recap

The "What the **** is going on" result of the night:
DePaul 64, @Seton Hall 60 - DePaul goes on the road, and wins and is 5-2 in the Big East.  WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?

Significant results:
@Providence 69, Xavier 66 (OT) - gotta hold serve at home in the conference.  Provi at 5-2 and might be establishing itself as Big East #2
@Arkansas 93, Alabama 91 (OT) - kinda feels like 'Bama is not going to be able to keep pace in the SEC bubble race
@Miami 65, NC State 60 - in bubble battles, home teams winning means status quo for now
Arizona 89, @Stanford 82 - quality road win, no real harm to Stanford
Indiana 89, @Maryland 70 - it might be tough to ask Maryland to stay in the race for a top 3 seed for the rest of the year.  Meanwhile, Indiana trending upwards and at 5-1 in the B1G, are giving themselves lots of cushion
@Gonzaga 68, St Mary's 47 - road loss, so no biggie.  But getting the return game might be mandatory

Catastrophic losses, CUSA edition:
@Middle Tennessee 68, Old Dominion 58 (OT) - all of a sudden, that at-large bid for ODU is slipping away.  Further, I talked about that 4 team round-robin at the top of the CUSA standings...this is ODU's 2nd loss outside of that round robin.  They're in big big trouble now
@North Texas 73, Louisiana Tech 66 - and meanwhile, LaTech did itself no favors either
@Western Kentucky 71, UTEP 66 (OT) - and the other preseason fave, UTEP, loses as well.  Meanwhile, WKU gets a game within the round-robin and now has clear control of CUSA.  Which is a disaster for CUSA because they're ahead of 3 teams with better at-large profiles

Catastrophic losses, other division:
@Oregon St 66, UCLA 55 - I'm not sure at what point we have to start taking OSU seriously, but I'm not there yet
Arizona St 79, @California 44 - drive a stake in them already

Holding serve:
@Temple 73, South Florida 48
Notre Dame 85, @Virginia Tech 60
@UConn 67, Central Florida 60
George Washington 79, @Fordham 59
Ohio St 69, @Northwestern 67
@Rhode Island 59, LaSalle 47
@Virginia 57, Georgia Tech 28
Washington 52, @Colorado 50
@Oregon 75, USC 67

- Iona 78, @Rider 68 - road win for control of the MAAC
- With losses by Coastal Carolina and High Point on the road, everyone in the Big South has already absorbed 2 losses.  This might end up being one of the best conference races in the country
- Albany goes to 6-0 and is the last undefeated in AEast, as Vermont loses
- After a full day in the SoCon, Chattanooga and Wofford are joint 6-1 leaders
- Northeastern beats JMU and leads the Colonial by a full game
- Murray St 77, @Eastern Illinois 62, for control of the OVC
- Eastern Washington is still trapped a half game behind Sacramento St in the Big Sky
- Pepperdine lost on the road at San Fran; I don't think they can turn the 3-team breakaway in the WCC into a 4-team breakaway
- UC Davis loses at Hawaii; still has control of the Big West by a half-game.  But several good teams lurk, and this might be my 2nd favorite conference race behind the Big South

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1/22 preview

Games of note:

Iona at Rider - control of the MAAC at stake
Xavier at Providence - your standard fare high-stakes Big East bubble game
DePaul at Seton Hall - SHU, please help bury DePaul in the standings so they can get out of the way of the serious teams in this league
Ohio St at Northwestern - must, must win for OSU
NC State at Miami - standard fare bubble game
UTEP at Western Kentucky - massive CUSA game
Arizona at Stanford - Stanford's big chance at a signature win and lockdom
Maryland at Indiana
Washington at Colorado - close to a must-win for U-Dub
St Mary's at Gonzaga - here's your chance, Gaels

1/21 recap

There's a lot of hold-serve going on.

Breaks of service:
@St Joseph's 62, UMass 56 - I think some have UMass still lingering on the bubble; time for that to end
Evansville 65, @Loyola(Chi) 56 - probably the end of whatever hopes Loyola had left

Teams who held:
North Carolina 87, @Wake Forest 71
@Cincinnati 67, Houston 54
@Tulsa 73, Memphis 55
@St John's 60, Marquette 57
@Michigan St 66, Penn St 60
@Texas A&M 62, Missouri 50
@Northern Iowa 66, Indiana St 60
@Baylor 81, Huston-Tillotson 61
Wichita St 76, @Missouri St 53
@Utah 86, Washington St 64
@Oklahoma St 63, Texas Tech 43
SMU 66, @Tulane 52
@Butler 64, Creighton 61
@Illinois 66, Purdue 57
Mississippi St 78, @Auburn 71
@Boise St 86, San Jose St 36
New Mexico 71, @UNLV - really more of a toss-up game, but New Mexico is closer to the bubble now

In the MAC, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, and Kent St have moved to 4-1.  Buffalo and Akron lose on the road to go to 3-2

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1/21 preview

Unbelievable, on a full Wednesday, I see exactly zero impact games.  Every single game does not feature 2 teams that are on the bubble or better.  We have about 25 or so "hold serve" games where one good team has to hold on against a non-bubble team.  To wit:

Butler hosts Creighton
SMU goes to Tulane
Illinois hosts Purdue
Boise hosts SJSU
Utah hosts Washington St
Oklahoma St hosts Texas Tech
UNI hosts Indiana St and Wichita goes to Missouri St
A&M hosts Missouri
St John's hosts Marquette
Memphis at Tulsa
UNC at Wake
Cincy hosts Houston
Michigan St gets Penn St

I hereby dub Wednesday:  Hold Serve Wednesday.

It's also a full day in the MAC, so just expect that race to get even more confusing.

1/20 recap

Signature wins of the day:
@Davidson 77, Dayton 60 - Dayton should be fine; the real news is Davidson finally having something in their ledger that resembles a legitimate win
@Wisconsin 82, Iowa 50 - blowing out a tournament team is always a good look

Bubble impact games:
LSU 79, @Florida 61 - every road win for a SEC bubble team is large; and Florida is probably cooked for good
@Georgia 69, Ole Miss 64 - I have my doubts that Ole Miss can keep pace with the other SEC bubble teams
Tennessee 66, @South Carolina - USC is blowing their reasonably good non-con.  And UT gets a road win.  Big for UT.  I think we're beginning to see teams separate.  Arky/Ga/LSU/Bama/UT/A&M are now your 6 bubble teams, down from 9.
@Nebraska 52, Minnesota 49 - I believe it's time to forget about Minnesota for good

Holding serve:
Harvard 66, @Bryant 57
Michigan 54, @Rutgers 50
@Iowa St 77, Kansas St 71 - and thus begins the slide
@Syracuse 69, Boston College 61
Valparaiso 77, @Youngstown St 62
@Green Bay 78, Illinois-Chicago 55
@Kentucky 65, Vanderbilt 57
San Diego St 77, @Air Force 45

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bracket 1/19

Just for funsies:

1) Kentucky vs. 16) North Florida/Seattle
8) Butler vs. 9) Michigan St
4) Notre Dame vs. 13) North Carolina Central
5) Texas vs. 12) Tulsa
3) Iowa St vs. 14) Sam Houston St
6) Northern Iowa vs. 11) Miami/St Mary's
2) Wisconsin vs. 15) Coastal Carolina
7) Arkansas (13-4) vs. 10) North Carolina St

WEST Region
1) Duke vs. 16) Albany
8) Indiana vs. 9) Cincinnati
4) Wichita St vs. 13) Iona
5) Oklahoma vs. 12) Western Kentucky
3) VCU vs. 14) Eastern Illinois
6) SMU vs. 11) Syracuse/St John's
2) Arizona vs. 15) Sacramento St
7) San Diego St vs. 10) Old Dominion

SOUTH Region
1) Villanova vs. 16) St Francis(NY)
8) Oklahoma St vs. 9) Iowa
4) West virginia vs. 13) Northeastern
5) Louisville vs. 12) Buffalo
3) North Carolina vs. 14) Texas Southern
6) Baylor vs. 11) Xavier
2) Gonzaga vs. 15) North Dakota St
7) Stanford vs. 10) Georgia

EAST Region
1) Virginia vs. 16) Mercer/Colgate
8) Dayton vs. 9) Georgetown
4) Utah vs. 13) Cleveland St
5) Seton Hall vs. 12) Harvard
3) Maryland vs. 14) UC-Davis
6) Providence vs. 11) Colorado St
2) Kansas vs. 15) Louisiana-Monroe
7) Ohio St vs. 10) George Washington

The way-too-early NIT/CBI/CIT projections

It is obviously way too early to actually project what teams will make these tournaments, but here's the purpose of this post:  to give you an idea of where your team stands.  To know how close you are to the NIT bubble.  To know where to stand in relation to the other teams across the country.

Let's start with the NIT.  I listed the following teams as the last 14 out of the NCAA tournament:
LSU, BYU, Washington, Pittsburgh, Wyoming, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Alabama, Temple, UConn, UCLA, Florida, TCU, Davidson

In an average year, there are 22 at-large bids available in the NIT.  This means 8 more teams can make the NIT.  By my eyes, I would give those 8 spots to:

Illinois, Michigan, Bowling Green, Boise St, Louisiana Tech, Wofford, Loyola(Chi), UMass

This does leave out teams like Ole Miss with a shiny RPI, Memphis...and a few other power conference teams with winning records.  I do think many of them will fall by the wayside, and I wanted to leave room for a few other teams.  For example, I've put MVC #3, MAC #2, CUSA #2, and a couple A-10 teams in, which I think will be reflective of the final bracket.  Wofford also makes this field as an at-large, but Yale and Eastern Washington don't.  Some random reflections:

1) For the SEC, they literally have 8 or 9 teams on the bubble.  There's not enough room in the NIT for all of the teams that don't make the NCAA tournament.  A couple of them will likely get jobbed in March.
2) The MAC is loaded, but if they cannibalize themselves, they might not even get an at-large bid to the NIT this year.  It's going to be tough to pile up the wins necessary to make it.
3) For the MVC and WCC, it's clear to me that outside of the big 5 (Gonz, StMary's, BYU, WSU, UNI)'s going to be tough for anyone to get in a meaningful tournament.
4) Conferences I expect to pack the NIT field:  MWC, A-10, SEC, maybe the Pac-12

Some random observations about what I feel the CBI/CIT fields could look like:
1) With so many decent MAC teams this year, and with the mid-pack of the WCC and MVC struggling...I expect the CBI and CIT to be dominated by these 3 conferences.  Dominated.
2) Big West is having a nice year.  If the teams that played brutal schedules can get over .500, they'll make these fields.  However, with so few western conferences and the WAC and Big Sky struggling to even get teams eligible for the CBI/CIT...there's going to either have to be a commitment to travel, or bad luck in not making these fields.  I'm looking at you two, Hawaii and UC Davis.
3) The Horizon is a bit weird this year.  Green Bay will not be NIT-worthy this year unless they win the conference, obviously.  Valpo/CSU/GB is a decent top 3 and they'll all be in the postseason, but no one else is relevant.
4) The MAAC is way down this year.  Their 2nd and 3rd place teams will probably end up in the CBI/CIT just through attrition, but none of them are anywhere near the NIT except for Iona.
5) When will the Sun Belt ever get their act together?  I expected so much more from Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia St.  I suppose they'll make the CBI/CIT, but even now at this point they're on that bubble.
6) Some other teams off to good starts with good computer profiles, that figure to be EIEIO locks barring a collapse:  William & Mary, High Point, Stony Brook, Stephen F Austin, Yale.

Monday, January 19, 2015

1/20 preview

Kansas St at Iowa St - I anticipate KSU falling back to the pack now
Michigan at Rutgers, Minnesota at Nebraska - 4 desperate teams needing desperate results
LSU at Florida, Ole Miss at Georgia, Tennessee at South Carolina - have fun, SEC
Dayton at Davidson - important for both; Dayton would like to stay clear of the A-10 pack and Davidson needs a signature win badly
Vanderbilt at Kentucky - yawn
Iowa at Wisconsin

1/19 recap

@Duke 79, Pittsburgh 65 - standard result
Texas 66, @TCU 48 - standard result
@Georgetown 78, Villanova 58 - not a standard result!  Now G'town gets their signature win and Nova has some serious issues as far as the 1 line is concerned
@Kansas 85, Oklahoma 78 - standard result
Florida St 59, @Clemson 55

S-Curve 1/19

The 1 line:  Kentucky (17-0), Virginia (17-0), Villanova (17-1), Duke (15-2)
The 2 line:  Arizona (16-2), Gonzaga (18-1), Wisconsin (16-2), Kansas (14-3)
The 3 line:  Maryland (17-2), Iowa St (13-3), North Carolina (14-4), VCU (15-3)
The 4 line:  Utah (14-3), Wichita St (16-2), West Virginia (15-3), Notre Dame (17-2)
The 5 line:  Texas (13-4), Seton Hall (13-4), Oklahoma (12-5), Louisville (15-3)
The 6 line:  Baylor (13-4), Northern Iowa (16-2), Providence (14-5), SMU (14-4)
The 7 line:  San Diego St (14-4), Arkansas (13-4), Stanford (13-4), Ohio St (14-5)
The 8 line:  Butler (13-6), Dayton (15-2), Oklahoma St (12-5), Indiana (14-4)
The 9 line:  Georgetown (12-5), Cincinnati (12-5), Michigan St (12-6), Iowa (13-5)
The 10 line:  North Carolina St (13-6), George Washington (14-4), Georgia (11-5), Old Dominion (15-2)
The 11 line:  Xavier (12-6), Colorado St (17-2), Miami (12-5), Syracuse (13-5), St John's (12-5), St Mary's (15-3)
The 12 line:  Tulsa (12-5), Buffalo (12-4), Harvard (10-4), Western Kentucky (12-5)
The 13 line:  Northeastern (13-5), Iona (13-6), North Carolina Central (13-5), Cleveland St (11-9)
The 14 line:  Eastern Illinois (12-6), Sam Houston St (13-4), UC-Davis (14-3), Texas Southern (7-10)
The 15 line:  Coastal Carolina (14-4), Louisiana-Monroe (11-6), North Dakota St (12-6), Sacramento St (11-6)
The 16 line:  St Francis(NY) (11-8), Albany (9-7), North Florida (11-9), Mercer (11-9), Seattle (9-8), Colgate (8-11)

Next 4 in:
Old Dominion
Colorado St

Last 4 in:
St John's
St Mary's

Last 4 out:
LSU (13-4)
BYU (13-6)
Washington (13-4)
Pittsburgh (13-5)

Next 4 out:
Wyoming (16-3)
Tennessee (11-5)
Texas A&M (11-5)
Alabama (12-5)

Consideration board:
Temple (12-7)
UConn (9-7)
UCLA (11-7)
Florida (10-7)
TCU (14-3)
Davidson (12-4)
...and it goes on and on from here.  I could easily list another 20 teams.

Bubble Watch, part 14: midwestern/western conferences

Time to take quick glances at the conference races, and to get you the information you need to make informed decisions about the bottom part of your bracket.

Big Sky

The contenders:
Sacramento St (11-6) (5-1) RPI 156 SoS 252
Eastern Washington (13-5) (4-1) RPI 60 SoS 141
Northern Colorado (9-7) (4-1) RPI 216 SoS 295
Montana (8-8) (4-1) RPI 236 SoS 255

EWU has the RPI and the win at Indiana; but not much else.  As you can see, the rest of the conference is rather barren.  You never know with the selection committee and RPI; EWU can easily be on the 12 line, but otherwise I don't hold much optimism for this conference.

No postseason projected:
Northern Arizona (8-10) (3-2)
Portland St (9-7) (3-3)
Weber St (8-9) (3-3)
Idaho (7-9) (2-3)
Southern Utah (5-11) (2-3)
North Dakota (5-11) (1-4)
Idaho St (4-14) (1-5)
Montana St (3-14) (0-5)

Big West

The contenders:
UC Davis (14-3) (4-0) RPI 84 SoS 283
Long Beach St (9-11) (3-1) RPI 63 SoS 5
UC Irvine (9-8) (2-1) RPI 162 SoS 149
Hawaii (13-6) (1-2) RPI 211 SoS 271
UC Santa Barbara (8-9) (1-2) RPI 146 SoS 69

Every year, there's 12 top conferences (the power 5, Big East, AAC, MWC/WCC/A-10/MVC, and the MAC).  And it's a rotating slot for best-of-the-rest.  Right now, the Big West has moved into that slot.  It's more by default than anything else.  The Horizon is down.  CUSA way down.  MAAC down.  Kind of a default position for the Big West, because looking at the computer numbers, I'm not sure where it's coming from.

The benefit is that the league champ will benefit greatly.  LBSU has contributed with an insane SoS (non-con SoS 3).  Irvine has the signature win over Green Bay.  UCSB scheduled up.  That's how you build a conference profile.  Even the teams below contributed greatly to it just by racking up wins.

No postseason projected:
UC Riverside (9-9) (2-2)
Cal St Northridge (6-13) (2-2)
Cal Poly (8-8) (1-3)
Cal St Fullerton (8-10) (0-3)


The contenders:
Cleveland St (11-9) (5-1) RPI 135 SoS 139
Valparaiso (17-3) (4-1) RPI 90 SoS 262
Green Bay (15-4) (4-1) RPI 81 SoS 220

There's a pretty good 3-man race forming here.  Green Bay won at Miami but lost a couple crucial mid-major matchups (Ga State, Irvine) to lose bubble traction for good.  While the rest of the league didn't go anything special, they've collectively won enough to get their champion to the 13 line, most likely.  Valpo in particular has a gaudy record with little substance, but 17-3 is 17-3, you know.

No postseason projected:
Detroit (9-10) (3-2)
Oakland (7-12) (2-2)

Wright St (10-9) (2-3)
Milwaukee (6-12) (1-3)
Illinois-Chicago (5-14) (1-3)
Youngstown St (9-12) (0-6)


The contenders:
Sam Houston St (13-4) (5-0) RPI 110 SoS 241
Stephen F Austin (14-3) (4-0) RPI 96 SoS 268

I'm only listing 2 because I don't believe in anyone else.  SFA actually scheduled up a bit, to 142 in the non-con.  They fixed some things, and their only 3 losses are to top 35 teams.  They won at Memphis, beat LBSU...and not much else, which means no at-large bid.  But still, it's a marked improvement, and the committee will notice.  If they get by SHSU.

No postseason projected:
Abilene Christian (9-8) (3-1)
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-8) (3-1)
Lamar (9-8) (3-2)
Northwestern St (8-8) (3-2)

SE Louisiana (5-12) (2-2)
Houston Baptist (7-8) (2-3)
Incarnate Word (9-5) (1-3)

New Orleans (5-8) (1-3)
Nicholls St (4-10) (1-3)
McNeese St (6-9) (0-4)
Central Arkansas (0-15) (0-4)


The contenders:
North Dakota St (12-6) (4-1) RPI 159 SoS 285
Oral Roberts (10-8) (4-1) RPI 157 SoS 208
South Dakota St (13-7) (4-2) RPI 143 SoS 261

This conference is down from past years.  No team has emerged with a legit good profile like in past years.  It's tough to get excited about any of the leading profiles here, and you can discard them accordingly.

No postseason projected:
South Dakota (9-10) (3-2)
IUPUI (7-12) (3-2)
Denver (8-10) (2-3)
Western Illinois (7-10) (2-4)

IPFW (8-10) (1-4)
Omaha (7-11) (1-5)


The contenders:
Seattle (9-8) (2-1) RPI 263 SoS 251
New Mexico St (10-10) (2-1) RPI 169 SoS 92

The conference is garbage.  GCU is transitioning so Seattle is your leader.  Whatever.

No postseason projected:
Grand Canyon (11-8) (2-0)
Utah Valley (6-10) (1-1)
UMKC (6-13) (1-1)
Texas Pan American (7-12) (1-2)
Cal St Bakersfield (5-13) (1-2)
Chicago St (4-15) (0-2)

Bubble Watch, part 13: southern conferences

Time to take quick glances at the conference races, and to get you the information you need to make informed decisions about the bottom part of your bracket.


The contenders:
North Florida (11-9) (3-0) RPI 197 SoS 310
Lipscomb (9-9) (3-0) RPI 244 SoS 269
FGCU (12-7) (2-1) RPI 186 SoS 260
USC-Upstate (13-6) (1-2) RPI 205 SoS 330

UNF beat FGCU at home, hence FGCU being pigeon-holed for now.  Common sense would say that FGCU is the class of the league, but the computer numbers don't support it.  Outside of a good solid win at UMass, FGCU hasn't really done much to prove the computer numbers are wrong.  I'm not optimistic about this league's chances in March of doing much of anything, even if FGCU represents them.  I threw USC-Upstate up there with their gaudy record and wins at Mississippi St (eh) and Georgia Tech (!), but the rest of their SoS ain't great, so we'll see.

No postseason projected:
Northern Kentucky (8-10) (2-1)
Jacksonville (7-13) (1-2)
Stetson (5-13) (0-3)
Kennesaw St (5-14) (0-3)


The contenders:
North Carolina Central (13-5) (5-0) RPI 82 SoS 206
Norfolk St (11-9) (4-1) RPI 174 SoS 214
Hampton (8-9) (4-1) RPI 294 SoS 348

I could've just stopped at NCCU.  They are so clearly the class of the league, yet they don't even own a top 100 win.  Probably a 15 seed once conference tourney upsets elsewhere are factored in.  Move along, nothing to see here.

No postseason projection:
Maryland-Eastern Shore (10-9) (3-1)
Delaware St (8-9) (2-1)
South Carolina St (5-14) (3-2)
Howard (8-10) (2-2)
North Carolina A&T (5-14) (2-3)
Morgan St (4-15) (2-3)
Bethune-Cookman (5-13) (1-3)
Savannah St (4-13) (0-3)
Coppin St (1-16) (0-4)
Florida A&M (0-17) (0-4)


The contenders:
Eastern Illinois (12-6) (6-0) RPI 106 SoS 184
Murray St (15-4) (5-0) RPI 104 SoS 243
Eastern Kentucky (11-6) (3-1) RPI 130 SoS 200
Belmont (11-7) (3-2) RPI 108 SoS 132

Well, here we go, a conference with several respectable computer profiles.  Unfortunately, Belmont has all 3 top 100 wins for them and are off the pace in the standings, as far as I can tell.  The conference winner, whoever it is, will probably be in the 14 line, given the strength of the conference profile as a whole.  It's tough for me to get excited about anything that EIU or Murray has on their resume so far, frankly.

No postseason projection:
Tennessee-Martin (11-6) (3-1)
SE Missouri St (9-10) (3-3)
SIU-Edwardsville (7-10) (3-3)
Morehead St (7-13) (2-3)
Austin Peay (6-12) (1-3)
Tennessee Tech (9-10) (1-5)
Jacksonville St (8-12) (1-5)

Tennessee St (3-17) (0-5)


The contenders:
Mercer (11-9) (6-1) RPI 213 SoS 274
Wofford (14-5) (5-1) RPI 50 SoS 117
Chattanooga (12-7) (5-1) RPI 136 SoS 178
East Tennessee St (10-6) (5-3) RPI 150 SoS 248

Well, if anyone but Wofford wins the league, it's your standard fare situation for a small conference.  But if Wofford dot dot.  They came relatively close to warranting their own bubble entry, but losing on the road to RPI 325 schools (Citadel) usually takes you off the board from such things.  Still, beat Iona, won at NC wouldn't have been impossible, but they needed a clean sheet in conference play and already blew that part of the at-large equation.

No postseason projection:
Citadel (8-10) (3-4)
Western Carolina (8-11) (3-4)
Furman (5-12) (3-4)
VMI (7-12) (3-5)
UNC Greensboro (6-13) (2-4)
Samford (7-14) (0-8)


The contenders:
Texas Southern (7-10) (4-0) RPI 113 SoS 104

There's only one contender.  TSU.  Non-con SoS of 5.  Beat Michigan St.  Beat K-State.  Every loss was part of a brutal road non-con schedule.  I have no idea what to seed this team right now, but keep this up and they'll be seeded off the 16 line in March.  (naturally, Alabama St is at 5-0, 1/2 half ahead, for the time being)

No postseason projection:
Alabama St (9-5) (5-0)
Southern (7-12) (4-1)
Alabama A&M (4-11) (3-2)
Alcorn St (4-13) (3-2)
Jackson St (4-14) (2-3)
Prairie View (3-14) (1-3)
Mississippi Valley St (2-15) (1-3)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-15) (0-4)
Grambling St (2-13) (0-5)

Sun Belt

The contenders:
Louisiana-Monroe (11-6) (5-1) RPI 147 SoS 194
Georgia Southern (11-4) (4-2) RPI 140 SoS 324
Louisiana-Lafayette (10-7) (4-2) RPI 217 SoS 296
Georgia St (11-7) (4-3) RPI 118 SoS 160

UL-L did beat LaTech.  Georgia St did beat Green Bay.  Not much else was done from this conference.  Georgia St was supposed to be the king of all mid-majors, but have already absorbed 3 conference losses, pretty much killing the seed the conference could hope to get in March.  I would've thought UL-L would've been a greater threat, but their computer numbers are just terrible.

No postseason projection:
Texas St (10-6) (4-3)
Texas-Arlington (9-7) (3-3)
Arkansas St (8-8) (3-4)
South Alabama (5-12) (3-4)
Troy (7-8) (2-4)
Appalachian St (5-10) (2-4)
Arkansas-Little Rock (6-10) (1-5)

Bubble Watch, part 12: eastern conferences

Time to take quick glances at the conference races, and to get you the information you need to make informed decisions about the bottom part of your bracket.

America East

The contenders:

Albany (9-7) (4-0) RPI 196 SoS 315
Vermont (9-8) (4-0) RPI 198 SoS 257
Stony Brook (12-7) (3-1) RPI 71 SoS 113
Hartford (11-7) (4-1) RPI 188 SoS 275

Stony Brook is clearly the best team in the conference, but they trail by a game early after losing to Vermont.  SBU has a win at Washington and vs. WKU in hand already, and clearly represent the best chance for the league to win a game in March.  And for the league to avoid the 16 line and possibly Dayton.  No one else has a resume that's even close to avoiding such a fate.

No postseason projected:

UMass-Lowell (9-9) (3-2)
New Hampshire (9-9) (2-3)
Binghamton (2-18) (1-4)
Maryland-Baltimore County (2-15) (0-4)
Maine (1-16) (0-5)

Big South

The contenders:

Coastal Carolina (14-4) (5-1) RPI 124 SoS 297
High Point (13-4) (4-1) RPI 79 SoS 191
UNC Asheville (8-8) (4-1) RPI 281 SoS 325
Gardner-Webb (12-7) (4-2) RPI 101 SoS 97
Charleston Southern (10-7) (4-2) RPI 190 SoS 237

I actually think this race might be mildly interesting.  CCU already beat High Point on the road, so they have control of the league for now.  HPU is way up there on the RPI but it's kind of an empty-calories profile.  And there's Gardner-Webb, who won at Purdue and beat Clemson on a neutral.  So there's some teams in here who can nab a higher seed that you'd think.  G-W did beat CCU on the road, so that could be useful for winning the league.  Obviously, if UNCA or CSU win, it's a disaster for the league.

No postseason projected:

Radford (12-7) (3-3)
Winthrop (8-9) (3-3)
Presbyterian (6-13) (2-4)
Longwood (6-13) (2-4)
Campbell (7-12) (1-5)
Liberty (6-13) (0-6)


The contenders:

Northeastern (13-5) (5-1) RPI 68 SoS 155
William & Mary (11-6) (5-1) RPI 86 SoS 134
Hofstra (13-6) (4-2) RPI 170 SoS 328
James Madison (11-8) (4-2) RPI 161 SoS 148
UNC Wilmington (9-8) (4-2) RPI 154 SoS 207

Well, at least the league seems to be separating into a top half and bottom half.  N'eastern is the clear best team; they won at Richmond and FSU...they are a clear 13 seed, IMO.  It gets trickier if you have to look deeper in the conference.  There's not a lot of substance behind them, but the conference overall is better.

No postseason projected:

Elon (10-9) (2-4)
Drexel (4-13) (2-4)
Delaware (3-14) (2-4)
Towson (8-11) (1-5)
Charleston (6-13) (1-5)


NJIT (11-10) RPI 179 SoS 218 - hey, you might see this team in an EIEIO in March.  They beat both St Francis teams in the NEC, who lead that conference....beat Yale...won at Michigan.  There's substance here, folks.


The contenders:

Iona (13-6) (6-2) RPI 72 SoS 190
Rider (12-7) (6-2) RPI 152 SoS 284
Monmouth (9-9) (6-2) RPI 208 SoS 239
Canisius (10-7) (5-3) RPI 171 SoS 256

The MAAC is a mess this year.  Down year for them, with no real threat outside of Iona presenting a mild threat.  Even worse, the conference standings are congested.  I could easily list a few more teams with a chance to run down Iona for the conference lead.  No one has really gotten a signature win for the conference.

No postseason projected:

Manhattan (8-9) (5-3)
Siena (7-10) (4-4)
Fairfield (6-12) (4-4)
Quinnipiac (9-8) (3-5)
St Peter's (9-10) (3-5)
Niagara (3-14) (2-6)
Marist (1-17) (0-8)


The contenders:

St Francis(NY) (11-8) (5-1) RPI 160 SoS 266
Bryant (8-7) (5-1) RPI 177 SoS 244

St Francis(PA) (10-7) (4-2) RPI 123 SoS 174
Robert Morris (8-10) (4-2) RPI 203 SoS 189

St Francis(PA) at least beat Rutgers on the road.  But there's obviously nothing going on here, and I'll be surprised if their champion, whoever it is, avoids the 16 line.  They're a non-entity for bracketing purposes.

No postseason projected:

Mount St Mary's (8-9) (4-2)
Wagner (5-12) (3-3)
Fairleigh Dickinson (7-10) (2-4)
LIU-Brooklyn (6-11) (2-4)
Sacred Heart (7-12) (1-5)
Central Connecticut St (2-17) (0-6)

Patriot League

The contenders:

Colgate (8-11) (5-1) RPI 230 SoS 235
American (11-7) (4-2) RPI 94 SoS 172
Bucknell (9-10) (4-2) RPI 189 SoS 157
Lafayette (11-6) (3-3) RPI 117 SoS 186

Colgate is an awful team who happens to lead the league.  American is the team with the real chance to do damage in March, having at least beaten LaSalle on the road.  As you can see, if anyone but American wins this conference, I wouldn't expect to care much about them in March.

No postseason projected:

Loyola(MD) (7-10) (3-3)
Boston (7-10) (3-3)
Navy (7-11) (3-3)
Army (11-6) (2-4)
Lehigh (8-9) (2-4)
Holy Cross (6-10) (1-5)

Bubble Watch, part 11: MAC/CUSA/Ivy

It's time to take inventory of there all 351 teams in the country stand.  Over a dozen or so posts today, we'll break down the resumes that matter in typical Bubble Watch style.

Time to start looking at other conferences.  These are more going to be about the conference races than bubble chances, with one notable exception below.

First, we look at the MAC, which might have something special on its hand.


The favorite:
Buffalo (12-4) (3-1) RPI 45 SoS 154 - it's a shame their resume is truly barren of wins of any value.  It seems like they're the best in a crowded field.

The contenders:
Bowling Green (11-4) (3-1) RPI 66 SOS 211
Akron (12-5) (3-1) RPI 122 SoS 176 (beat South Carolina and USC at a neutral)
Kent St (12-5) (3-1) RPI 126 SoS 204
Western Michigan (12-5) (3-1) RPI 115 SoS 233
Central Michigan (12-3) (2-2) RPI 139 SoS 342
Toledo (10-7) (2-2) RPI 127 SoS 153
Eastern Michigan (12-5) (1-3) RPI 176 SoS 279

God, how do you even begin to sort these teams out?  First things first.  CMU and EMU have SoS problems, and you wonder how long they'll stay in the race.  Toledo and WMU should rule the MAC Westa, although Toledo is the one of these teams who is absorbing losses.  Akron has the best resume in the East, and I have to expect Kent fades.  Can Bowling Green keep pace with Buffalo and Akron?  And more importantly, will this conference cannibalize itself?  It seems highly likely.  There should be a 2nd team making the NIT out of here, but God knows who it'll be.  

No postseason projected:
Miami(OH) (6-11) (1-3)
Ohio (5-10) (0-4)
Ball St (7-8) (2-2)
Northern Illinois (7-8) (1-3)


Old Dominion (15-2) (4-1) RPI 30 SoS 122
Vital signs:  5-2 R/N, non-con SoS 45, 2-0 vs. Top 50, 4-1 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  VCU, N-LSU, Richmond?
Bad losses:  @WKU (eh), N-Illinois St (uh oh)
That win over VCU means everything right now.  Great non-con SoS, a minimum of losses, a signature win, it all adds up to a fighting chance in March.  But there are a lot of CUSA land mines in between then and now.  They double as the conference favorites right now, but they do trail in the standings.

The contenders:
Western Kentucky (12-5) (5-0) RPI 73 SoS 94 - did win at Ole Miss
Louisiana Tech (14-4) (5-0) RPI 97 SoS 287 - has a win at UTEP in hand
UTEP (12-5) (4-1) RPI 80 SoS 119 - did beat N-Xavier

This should be a healthy 4-man race into March.  All 4 have shown they're capable of nabbing quality wins against each other, so it might come down to a round-robin of the 4.  Among them, La Tech has a win already in hand, and ODU is the first of the 4 not to hold serve against the bottom 10 in the league.

No postseason projected:
UAB (8-10) (4-1)
Middle Tennessee (10-8) (3-2)
Florida International (9-9) (2-3)
Texas-San Antonio (8-8) (2-3)
Charlotte (8-9) (2-3)
Rice (5-11) (2-3)

Florida Atlantic (8-8) (1-4)
North Texas (7-10) (1-4)
Southern Miss (5-11) (0-5)
Marshall (4-14) (0-5) - I don't know...I'm sure one of these teams will get above .500 and go to an EIEIO, but don't ask me to name who it'll be.


The favorite:
Harvard (10-4) (1-0) RPI 59 SoS 89 - I can't give them bubble treatment when they lost @Arizona St, @BC, and N-Holy Cross, with no signature wins to balance.

The contenders:
Yale (11-6) (1-0) RPI 67 SoS 124 - hey, @UConn is a good win.  Tons of bad losses, so nowhere near the bubble, but still.  @UConn.
Columbia (9-6) (1-0) RPI 125 SoS 127 - some mild props to Columbia, who appear likely to be a solid #3 in the conference, but probably a full step behind Harvard/Yale.

No postseason projected:
Princeton (7-9) (1-0)
Brown (9-9) (0-1)
Cornell (8-9) (0-1)
Dartmouth (7-8) (0-1)
Penn (4-9) (0-1)