BACATOLOGY: NCAA TOURNAMENT ANALYSIS 2/21

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Okay week 2 and this is where things are really going to pick up. Selection Sunday is less than 3 weeks away. Runs will be made, bubbles will be popped and there will always be someone coming from out of left field to steal a bid, Comments and questions are always welcome. Tips are mandatory! Bare with any small errors or misspellings😉 Grab a beer and some chicken fingers or some coffee and cruller for you morning birds and jump in.

There are 32 AQs (automatic qualifiers from each conference). * denotes projected AQ. There are 36 at large bids. I am projecting 20 at large locks leaving 16 available spots in the field. I am projecting 34 schools competing for those 16 open spots.


1 SEEDS
  • GONZAGA*
  • ARIZONA*
  • KANSAS*
  • AUBURN*

2 SEEDS
  • PURDUE*
  • KENTUCKY
  • TEXAS TECH
  • BAYLOR

3 SEEDS
  • DUKE*
  • VILLANOVA
  • ILLINOIS
  • WISCONSIN

4 SEEDS
  • UCLA
  • TENNESSEE
  • PROVIDENCE*
  • TEXAS

5 SEEDS
  • HOUSTON *
  • ALABAMA
  • UCONN
  • OHIO STATE

6 SEEDS
  • USC
  • LSU
  • ARKANSAS
  • MARQUETTE

7 SEEDS
  • SAINT MARY'S
  • IOWA STATE
  • MICHIGAN STATE
  • XAVIER

8 SEEDS

(26) MURRAY STATE *23-2: Q1: 2-1, Q2: 5-0, Q3: 5-1, R/N: 12-2, SOS: 238/97


Racers are currently the projected AQ from the Ohio Valley but have an excellent shot as an at large if they fail to win the conference tourney. Just two losses this year, a 13 point loss to Auburn and a forgivable neutral site loss in Q3 to E Tennessee State. Biggest wins are over two bubble schools and both on the road. ...Memphis and Belmont. Add in a win over projected Southern conference AQ Chatanooga and thats a decent resume for a low mid major. Belmont at home up next and win that and they really will be an large lock with that strong NET rating no matter what happens in the OVC tourney.

(31) COLORADO STATE 20-4: Q1: 3-2, Q2: 6-1, Q3: 5-1, R/N: 9-3, SOS: 96/129

Just when I was ready to lock the Rams up for a bid, they suffered a blowout loss at UNLV. Its just a Q2 loss but not one a bubble team wants considering they suffered a Q3 home loss to UNLV earlier in the season. Still CSU does have a better profile than the rest of the MWC bubbles mainly due to their OOC performance and schedule which saw wins over St Mary's, Creighton, and Mississippi State. In league there are the wins over San Diego State and at Boise. Rams finish with home games with Wyoming and Boise sandwiched around at road tilt at Utah State. Like to see them win 2 to make it academic but its still would be hard to imagine them falling from this spot to out of the field

(30) BOISE STATE* 20-6: Q1: 4-1, Q2: 5-4, Q4: 5-1, R/N: 6-3, SOS: 95/202

The Broncs are now the projected AQ in the Mountain West but that is a precarious spot at best in a conference where 4 schools are competing for NCAA bids. 9 wins vs Q1/2 schools yet digging deeper shows only 2 wins vs teams projected in the field but two very good ones..Wyoming and at San Diego State. Those 4 Q1 wins are not as good as you think and the Broncs will certainly test the Quad system this year. MWC has a high cache this year despite schools like Boise not really having done much OOC and their SOS OOC at 202 does not help. For them the best win here is just Santa Clara. There is a loss to Q4 Cal Bakersfield. Its a tricky stretch finish for them road trips to San Diego State and UNLV and home tilts with Colorado State and Nevada. Even though currently projected here as an 8, things could really change if they do not win one of their games vs CSU/SDSU. Safe for now but remember that power 6 conference schools around them will have more chances to get better wins.


(36) SETON HALL 15-9: Q1: 5-6, Q2: 2-3, R/N: 5-6, SOS: 17/71

The Pirates are not playing well and were very fortunate to avoid a bad loss over the weekend to De Paul. Without the injured Aiken, for SHU its about buckling down and avoid anything bad down the stretch. The Pirates already built their resume in the non conference and early portion of their Big East schedule and that is why they are in solid positioning seed wise at the moment. They hit all the check marks, ooc road wins, strong Q1 mark, strong sos and no read bad losses. Pirate have 6 wins vs teams in the field....Texas, Michigan, Creighton, Xavier, UConn, and Wagner. Two tough road games to play at Xavier and at Creighton. Sure it would be nice to pick one of those off but the Pirates would seem safe if they can handle Butler and lowly Georgetown at home. If thy lose 3 of 4, that is when they need to worry as that 16-12 mark is going to be problematic for them.


9 SEEDS

(19) IOWA 18-8: Q1: 1-5, Q2: 5-3, R/N: 5-5, SOS: 47/271


The Hawkeyes stock had fallen but boy did they come up with a vitalizing road win at Ohio State. That win checks some boxes for now...quality road win, finally getting a Q1 and becoming the 2nd win vs a team in the field. Yes its still not all that impressive but Iowa has two things working for them. That overall NET of 19 is going to keep them in the field and likely seeded better than they should. The 2nd is simply they have not done anything wrong. No losses outside Q2 and that is always a big plus to the selection committe. Out of conference performance not a strength with that 271 sos of mark and wins over Utah State and Virginia really do not move the needle. Still some big games to come with 3 Q1 opportunities, the first of which is at home to Michigan State, the other two dangerous road journeys at Illinois and at Michigan. In between they will be at Nebby and home to Northwestern. If they take care of the latter its likely that even with the flimsy Q1 mark that will be enough. I would like to see them get another quality win though for extra safety and to quell the critics.


(80) RUTGERS 16-10: Q1: 6-3, Q2: 2-4, Q3: 2-2, Q4: 6-1, R/N: 3-8, SOS: 35/307

Rutgers' 4 game "NCAA tourney" type run came to an end at Purdue. There is no shame in losing to a top 5 school and it does not hurt the RU profile. Consider all the good on this profile. 6 Quad 1 wins....7 wins vs teams in the field. ..Purdue, Illinois, at Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. 3 wins over schools that are projected in the top 16. NET fell to 80 and its clear RU is an outlier for the committee to consider. Poor early season performance. Just 6-4 in a terrible non conference schedule rated 307. A ghastly loss at home to Lafayette, plus another to A10 bottom feeder UMass. Not being able to pick up a non conference road win or a quality non conference win anywhere is also a negative. Throw in the fact that RU also lost to plenty of middling schools like Northwestern, Maryland, Penn State, Minnesota, and De Paul. 3-8 on the road is the worst of all the schools projected in the field. Their resume is quite perplexing. And no matter how some want to concentrate on the 4 game stretch and 6 Quad 1 wins, its body of work, not what have you done for me lately or wins matter more than losses. For now, RU is a 9 seed at this moment in time but its going to change. Their profile is such that the bottom is much greater than their ceiling right now. Different combination of wins can change whether RU is a lock before the Big 10 tourney or will have to make a tourney run. In the best case scenerio, RU gets through with 3 wins in its next 3 vs atUM/Wisky/at Indy and takes care of Penn State and gets to 19 wins. That likely is going to put RU on the 8 line. The NET will be a factor in seeding RU. Its going to hold them back from getting that really good seed. The really bubbly case is what if RU just wins vs Wisky and PSU at home, does not pick up a need road win and sits at 18-12 heading into the Big 10 tourney. I think with one conference tourney win they are locked in but if they lose that game, sitting at 18-13 and thats is when its 50/50 type thing. RU will be at the mercy of the selection committee where all the negatives I just listed can be used as justification to keep them out and whether you agree with them or not, there are legitimate negatives on this profile. Even if RU struggles mightily, loses the next 2 and beats PSU to finish 17-13, it will still have a shot to play strong in the Big 10 tourney make the semis and try and get it in at 19-14. There are a multitude of scenerios right now. The good news though for RU fans is that this team is playing differently. Winning games down the stretch or in the Big 10 tourney should be expected given what we have seen recently. Will lock in this week if they win at Michigan and beat Wisconsin. Two losses and they move to the dreaded last 4 in/last 4 out grouping.


(57) NOTRE DAME 18-8: Q1: 2-6, Q2: 4-1, Q3: 7-1, R/N: 7-7, SOS: 58/30

Irish survived what would have been a hideous loss by edging BC in overtime but could not pull off the road win at Wake that could have locked them in the field. In the weak ACC with a muddled crowded bubble picture, the Irish for now are slight ahead of the pack. The schedule is extremely favorable with 4 bottom feeders up on the docket. However that means no Q1 opportunities until the ACC tourney but the Irish can sweep all 4 they will not need them anyway. However these games offer potential bad stains on the resume. With a Q3 loss already to BC, not sure they can even afford to lose one of these. That early season Kentucky win is really going to go far with the committee. Beyond that is rather meager...road win at Miami and win over UNC. That is only two wins vs schools projected in the field. You look at this resume and really wonder what the hell has happened to the ACC that this is a 12-4 school in 2nd place


(65) MIAMI 19-8: Q1: 4-1, Q2: 5-4, Q3: 6-3, R/N: 9-4, SOS: 66/128

It has been a case of a mixed bad for the Hurricanes all year long. The marquee win was a Duke but there is other stuff like the win over CUSA AQ North Texas, the sweep of Wake Forest, wins over bubbles UNC and at Va Tech. These are all plenty to make it as an at large. Yet as Saturday's Q3 loss at home to Virginia (which was the 2nd loss to them), the Canes have been prone to losing to alot of mediocrity. Home losses to UCF and getting swept by Florida State give some pause. Note losses to bubble Notre Dame and vs Dayton. Canes have to clean this up and cannot afford these type of losses going forward. Unfortunately none of the next 4 will help their profile and all are potential landmines...3 on the road...Pitt/BC/Cuse and home to Va Tech. If they go 2-2 they will be in trouble. Best for them to get them all and lock in before there is a chance for them to play their way out of the tournament before ACC play begins where they would then have to make a run.


10 SEEDS

(38) WYOMING 21-4: Q1: 3-2, Q2: 5-0, Q3: 5-2, R/N: 10-4, SOS: 111/188


Cowboys have moved back and forth between MWC AQ and MWC bubble. Despite the gaudy 21-4 record and 8-2 mark in Q1/2, Wyoming cannot feel that comfortable without taking care of business down the stretch. There are just 2 quality wins among those 8...Boise St and Colorado St. The rest are made up of middling MWC schools. Even their best OOC wins of Grand Canyon and Washington are unimpressive. There are 3 Q2 losses now too as Stanford as slipped but the one truly bad one was suffered just this week at New Mexico. Important week starts at Colorado State, they will not have to win that game but I think its important they go 3-1 in the final stretch which also shows a trip to UNLV and home games with Nevada and Fresno State. For better or worse the Mountain West has great NET numbers across the board and that is helping the profiles of the bubbles. It is all but certain that at least 3 schools will get bid but will they be able to get in all 4.


(62) CREIGHTON 18-8: Q1: 3-5, Q2: 4-2, Q3: 5-1, R/N: 8-5, SOS: 48/227

Bluejays got a much needed quality win over Marquette yesterday that gave them some seperation from the cut line. This completed a sweep of Marquette and added to the impressive win list which includes Villanova, at UConn and BYU. The overall NET lagging somewhat probably due to close games OOC which was a weak schedule. This could come into play only if Creighton falters down the stretch. Otherwise the wins look too good and shouldnt get dinged for a Q3 loss to ASU. Yet it is a tough finish...at St Johns, at Providence, and home games to UConn and Seton Hall. Want to get a split of those 4 to lock themselves in.


(40) WAKE FOREST 21-7: Q1: 1-4, Q2: 5-3, R/N: 7-5, SOS: 92/334

Deacons have 21 wins but yet remain in a wobbly spot because they simply do not have the goods in Q1. That is life in the ACC these days where even wins over the 2nd place team isn't a Q1 win. Despite that, Saturday's win over Notre Dame was a must win and they got it and it is one of the biggest wins of the year because it is the only win over a projected ncaa team...though UNC may count as well for some bracketologists. Lots of wins but little quality and that shows in that 15 of their 21 wins are to Q3/4. Yet there is little chance at moving the needle in the last 3...at Clemson, UL and NC State. Wake would do well to just sweep and hope that 24 win total and decent NET numbers is enough. A slip up in any of these 3 would be a bad loss and might require a decent run in the ACC. Not as safe as one might think at first glance.


(43) INDIANA 16-9: Q1: 2-5, Q2: 3-4, R/N: 3-6, SOS: 49/313

Hooisers are hanging in the field although it seems like each day they move close to the first four games. They could not find a way to take down Wisconsin at home and that was their 4th straight loss. Its do or die time for them starting tonight at Ohio State. Hoosier have thin numbers on the road. They have yet to notch a quality road win in league play and have just that neutral site win over Notre Dame beyond that. Of course they have a feather in their cap victory over Purdue that will go along way and they did handle the Buckeyes earlier in the year. Yet red flags abound..the poor road mark of 36, the OOC SOS of 313, Just 2 Q1 wins, The 5-9 mark vs Q1 and 2 will not get it done. Beyond OSU, there are two other quality win opportunities vs RU and at Purdue but the Hoosiers who do have no bad losses absolutely cannot absorb any versus the likes of Maryland and Minnesota. I really think they need 4 of 5 to make sure they are in before the Big 10 tourney. Tonight's game is huge!


11 SEEDS

(39) NORTH TEXAS*: 18-4: Q1: 1-4, Q2: 5-2, Q3: 4-1, R/N: 10-2, SOS: 126/53


North Texas is the projected AQ from CUSA. The Mean Green took down UAB for their 12th straight and 16th in their last 17 and we are at the point where they likely have a strong case for an at large bid if something goes wrong in the CUSA tournament. Note the strong OOC SOS of 53 reflected in losses to Kansas and Miami. Non conference wins over Wichita State and Drake are Q2 but their biggest was the win over UAB who they split with. Just one "bad loss" to Buffalo. If they can win their next 4 which seems very doable and get at least to the CUSA semis, I really like their chances of an at large.


(50) DAVIDSON* 21-4: Q1: 2-1, Q2: 3-3, R/N: 11-3, SOS: 146/224

Davidson is the projected AQ from the Atlantic 10. A10 usually has more than one school in the field and the tourney can be unpredictable. Unfortunately the 3 A10 bubbles are distant bubbles at this point. Davidson has an middling shot as an at large. Wins over Alabama OOC puts them in play but in league not sure wins over VCU and St Bonnies move any needles and note they did lose to bubble San Francisco. Their overall and non conference SOS will not help them out. 16 of their 21 wins are to Q3 and Q4 schools. Their next 3 are against dregs of the A10 so they cannot lose any of those and then an intriguing matchup at Dayton. Should they get that one and maybe reach the A10 semis that would give them 26 wins and there is their path to an at large selection.


(56) TCU 16-8: Q1: 4-5, Q2: 3-3, R/N: 7-4, SOS: 36/276

Not a good week for the Horned Frogs who dropped a home game to Iowa State and on the road to Baylor. That makes 3 straight missed opportunities for a quality win. The issue is the Q1 wins are looking less impressive. Sure beating LSU and Iowa State are solid enough but the road wins over Oklahoma and Kansas St now carry less weight at those schools have floated out of the field and close to .500 overall. This resume is screaming for more quality wins to stay in the field. The good news is 5 of their last 6 games are Q1 chances. The bad news is 5 of their last 6 are Q1 chances. Games at Texas and home to Texas Tech, 2 games within 3 days with Kansas, the 2 games with WVU might be their only relative break in a wicked current 9 game stretch. High reward, almost deadly risk. The Frogs will have trouble staying in the field if they cannot win at least 3 of these and more likely need 4 to really put themselves in solid position. Not so sure they can do it.


(29) SAN FRANCISCO 20-7: Q1: 3-4, Q2: 5-1, R/N: 8-4, SOS: 88/158

Amazingly even after losing a game at St Mary's the Dons have floated from just out of the field to above the first 4 in. That shows how fluid the bubble can be and shows just how tight everything is along the cut line. The Dons are not in great shape with #1 Gonzaga coming in this week. Yes it is a great opportunity and a win punches their at large ticket yet another loss would give them #8 and leave them 0-4 vs the top 2 in the WCC. Don't forget there are also landmines at Pacific and at San Diego also left. Their resume really lacks beef. Their only win over a tourney team is vs Davidson. There is a win over UAB which is just okay and they split with conference bubble BYU. Big to note that OOC loss to bubble Loyola. There is a Q4 loss lurking to Portland and a Quad 3 to Grand Canyon. It's likely setting up for San Fran to face St Mary's again in the WCC tourney. I know the NET is outstanding at 29 but obviously Gonzaga is pulling that up and there are 8 Q1 wins here but is this really a NCAA tourney team?


FIRST FOUR 12 SEEDS

(34) MICHIGAN 14-11: Q1: 3-7, Q2: 3-3, Q3: 4-1, R/N: 6-8, SOS: 4/27


For now let's put all the turmoil aside from the Howard meltdown after Sunday's loss to Wisconsin. The fallout has yet to be determined. The Wolverines are teetering right now as their overall loss mark is approaching dangerous levels. Just 14-11, 3 games above .500 they really need to keep that number above this. Next loss will knock them out of the tourney. That is a shame because there are some really good things here that stand out among bubbles. The strong overall sos of 4 and the fine ooc scheduling which ranks 27. Got a win non conference over bubble San Diego State. In league the win at Iowa earlier in the week helped the metrics. There is a win at bubble Indiana. Then of course the big marquee win vs Purdue will keep giving. Yet that 6-10 mark vs Q1/2 is getting unwieldly. There are a ton of chances for Q1 wins down the stretch although oddly enough the game vs RU will be a Q3 game. Those in the know though realize its a quality win opportunity and its pretty much a must win at this point. The last 4 after even with 3 at home vs Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State and then a trip to Ohio State. This is a very tough stretch. Michigan needs at least 3 of these and even that puts them just 17-13 which would mean more work to be done in the Big 10 tourney. Its becoming likely that Michigan will be floating in and out of the bubble the next two weeks and unless they get to 18-12 they will never feel safe here.


(44) MEMPHIS 15-9: Q1: 3-3, Q2: 3-4, Q3: 5-2, R/N: 5-7, SOS: 60/64

Tigers managed to float into the field due to the bubble collapsing around them but yet did suffer their own ding on their profile when they got beat pretty good at SMU. Not a safe spot now with the Mustangs lurking for an at large. Not sure with Houston's profile sagging a bit that the AAC can pull off 3 bids. Even though Memphis was swept by SMU and both beat Houston, the difference is Memphis' win was on the road and Memphis has a better OOC win over Alabama. There are some red flags here, the Q3s obviously are bad...East Carolina and Georgia but even some of these Q2 losses Ole Miss and Tulane are not good. Interesting to see how their profile is analyzed. Not sure they can afford slipups in the 3 of Temple, Wichita, and USF before Houston. The latter of course could cement them in if they can pull of the sweep. Could go either way.


(37) LOYOLA CHICAGO 19-6: Q1: 2-2, Q3: 2-3, Q3: 7-1, R/N: 8-4, SOS: 88/158

Ramblers suffered a crushing Quad 3 home loss to Drake that knocked them out of the MVC perch and back to the at large field. To say they are hanging on by a thread is an understatement and literally they are hanging their NCAA hopes on beating San Francisco. Not sure in the long run that after another loss somewhere it will be enough to garner a bid. The profile is no longer clean. If they do not beat Northern Iowa in the season finale as well as win their other 2 games, they will not win the regular season title and that is a must at this point if they have any realistic shot and they will also have to make the MVC finals. Never count them out yet I do not think they are good as previous Sister June incarnations.


(32) SAN DIEGO STATE 17-6: Q1: 2-6, Q2: 3-0, R/N: 5-5, SOS: 78/94

Somehow the Aztecs are in despite a rather meh profile. First on the plus side there are no bad losses. 6 losses all inside the Q1/2 bracket. The SOS is strong overall and OOC. The NET is getting better and better. Unfortunately just 5 wins in Q1 and 2 is rather light especially when compared to other Mountain West bubbles. Resting their tourney hopes on a neutral site win over St Mary's and a 30 point beatdown of Colorado State does not seem look a good place to be. Up next is a make or break game at Boise State. Its an absolute must win for SDSU to stay in the bracket along with its final two vs dreg San Jose and a dangerous trip to Nevada. Without the Boise win, they bounce out of the field and will need a MWC tourney run or maybe to win it all which they can do. Should be interesting yet again to see how the Mountain West conference sorts itself out over the next 3 weeks.

12 SEEDS

VERMONT*
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE*


13 SEEDS

CHATANOOGA*
OHIO*
IONA*
NORTHERN IOWA*


14 SEEDS

WAGNER*
PRINCETON*
SEATTLE*
MONTANA STATE*


15 SEEDS

COLGATE*
CLEVELAND STATE*
UNC WILMINGTON*
LONGWOOD*


16 SEEDS

LONG BEACH STATE*
TEXAS STATE*
JACKSONVILLE STATE*
NORFOLK STATE*
SOUTHERN*
NEW ORLEANS*




BUBBLE OUT

(54) BYU 17-9: Q1: 3-5, Q2: 4-3, Q4: 7-1, R/N: 9-7, SOS: 54/95

Cougars rally fell short at St Mary's and now sit outside looking in. Going to be tough for 4 WCC schools to make thetourney and its becoming clear that BYU will need a strong WCC run which might include beating Gonzaga in the semis if WCC seeding holds. That seems like a tall task but with 9 losses already including 6 in league that is where they are at. Going to be regretting that Q4 loss to Pacific. Snooping around, there are good wins here...splitting with St Marys and San Fran, a OOC win over San Diego State and 32 point rout over Oregon that latter win having less cache by the day though. In a tough pickle.


(46) SMU 19-6: Q1: 2-1, Q2: 3-3, Q3: 7-1, Q4: 7-1, R/N: 6-6, SOS: 114/281

Mustangs continue to go up and down. They followed up the Houston win by losing AQ status when they lost at Temple. That was just a Q2 loss but its still a bad loss for a school with little margin of error. However yesterday's win over Memphis renewed their chances and at least puts them in play down the stretch. For me the thing keeping them out are the Q3 and Q4 losses...you can excuse maybe the Missouri loss but not the Loyola Marymount Q4. Their resume is basically sweeping Memphis and beating Houston. All roads to them getting back in the field runs through Houston. They will need to win next Sunday at Houston. If they cannot do that its likely they will have to beat Houston at some point in the AAC tourney to get in. Hard case to make otherwise


(49) FLORIDA 17-10: Q1: 2-7, Q2: 3-2, Q4: 7-1, R/N: 5-7, SOS: 84/218

Things looked bleak following the road loss to Texas A&M but the Gators took advantage of #2 Auburn coming into Gainesville knocking them off giving them a much need marquee win. Just their 2nd Q1 and 2nd win against the field for that matter its not nearly enough to put them in. Besides the weak 2-7 Quad 1 mark, the overall Q1/2 mark is woeful at 5-9 . There is a Quad 4 loss to Texas Southern lurking further in. Their hopes rest in two games down the stretch..first Arkansas followed by road tilts at Georgia and Vandy and then closing with Kentucky. UF will need one of those two home and both road games. That should be put them right on the cusp but its likely unless they win all 4, they will need to pick up another quality win of note in the SEC tourney. The good thing for them compared to the midmajors around the bubble is that opportunities are there.


(42) NORTH CAROLINA 19-8: Q1: 1-7, Q2: 4-0, Q4: 6-1, R/N: 6-6, SOS: 57/35

If Rutgers is going to be the most talked about school with great wins and a bad NET, UNC is the school with the solid net and barren quality win resume. UNC finally notched their first Quad 1 at Virginia Tech but the Hokies are not a tourney team and example of when a Quad 1 win is not really a Quad 1 win. The Tar Heels best win is Michigan in non conference play and that is a team barely clinging inside the field. 3 losses in the only meetings to ACC bubbles ND, Miami and Wake do not help their cause. That bad loss to Pitt is a Quad 4. Again with the ACC so terrible there are very few shots at quality victories and the unbalanced schedule not helping UNC this year. 3 middling games to get through which can only blow up the resume before a trip to Duke in Coach K's last game at Cameron. Certainly setting up for a classic game that will go a long way in deciding UNC's fate. Otherwise do something in the ACC tourney.


(63) OREGON 16-10: Q1: 2-4, Q2: 4-3, Q3: 3-3, R/N: 5-6, SOS: 55/31

Somehow the Ducks are hanging around but this time they are down to their last quack. A week from hell saw them get thumped at Arizona State and then lose in the closing minute at Arizona after leading much of the way. All the good that Oregon did in the middle part of the season to turn their season around has gone down the crapper in the past two weeks. That Arizona win would have been huge and now Oregon's hopes hinge on beating UCLA and USC this week. They did it before, on the road albeit without fans. Those two wins are the only reason the Ducks are even breathing now as their is just a win over SMU to point to. Bad losses galore, 2x to ASU, Stanford, and California really stick out. Note there is 32 point loss to bubble BYU. They have been one of the most unpredictable teams around so I wouldnt put it past them to win of these two and then promptly play their way out with losses to the Washington schools.

(60) KANSAS STATE 14-12: Q1: 4-9, Q2: 3-3, R/N: 5-7, SOS: 7/141

Cats suffered an agonizing overtime loss at Oklahoma State that they really could not afford. Now down to 14-12, the bulky loss total is a major issue again. What remains is a brutal gauntlet with road games at Kansas and Texas Tech and home games vs Iowa State and Oklahoma. Nothing less than 3 win keeps them alive. Can they really pull off a feather in their cap marquee road win...and even with that say at 17-13 are still up against it and would need a significant Big 10 tourney win. A shame too because they do have 4 wins vs NCAA projected schools: Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State and TCU. Hurts that non conference suffered just too many close losses. Too many losses is the word here and I just think its going to be tough to overcome them at this point.


(55) BELMONT 23-5: Q1: 1-2, Q2: 3-3, R/N: 12-4, SOS: 189/52

Winners of 10 in a row, the Bruins at large hopes are going to rest with taking down conference leading Murray State on the road Thursday. Always tough for a low mid major school to get a bid especially from the Ohio Valley but Belmont has done it before. However that is when they were regular season champs, this year Murray State is top dog and has been their own at large profile. Belmont must beat Murray then make it to the OVC finals where they can either win it or hope that it will be enough to get them in. Cannot say I am confident even that will be enough but they certainly will be in the discussion. A win over Murray State would be a nice addition to a resume that shows wins over projected NCAA schools Iona and Chatanooga...note 3 of the 5 losses are to projected NCAA schools Ohio, Murray State, and LSU. Worst loss is still to Q2 Morehead State.


(81) VIRGINIA 17-10: Q1: 3-5, Q2: 4-2, Q3: 3-3, R/N:7-6, SOS: 61/140

Cavs kept their flickering hopes alive with a needed win at Miami. The overall NET is still lagging at 81 and unlike Rutgers they do not appear to have enough quality wins to overcome that. On the plus side the 2 biggest wins are very good. Duke on the road and neutral site over Providence, that makes 2 wins over projected AQs in major conferences. They did sweep Miami. Losses to Notre Dame and UNC. The issue is just way too many losses in general to medicore ACC competition NC State and Clemson but even worse two Q3 non conference losses to James Madison and Navy. Again hurt by the profile of the down ACC. UVA faces a must win game when they host Duke, win and win the next 2 vs FSU and UL and they will be in striking distance and ready to vault into the field with a solid ACC tourney. Lose and they will simply have to win the ACC tourney.


(45) OKLAHOMA 14-13: Q1: 3-10, Q2: 4-2, Q3: 1-1, R/N: 5-8, SOS: 3/148

Sooners' boat is taking on too much water now. 13 losses and just one game above .500 is no bueno. Just 8-13 vs Q1,2, 3 says it all. Those numbers do not make the tournament. The heartbreaking losses at Kansas and Texas took the wins out of their sails as they were routed at Iowa State. Wins vs Arkansas, Texas Tech and Iowa State would make for a nice base if they had 4 less losses. Only path now would winning out which means winning at Texas Tech, then taking care of OK State, WVU and at Kansas State. Absolutely nothing less at this point due to their loss total. No school has received an at large bid with 15 losses, Good luck

(85) SAINT BONAVENTURE 17-7: Q1: 3-3, Q2: 3-3, Q3: 1-1, R/N: 6-5, SOS: 97/87

Bonnies probably have the best resume of the A10 bubbles but its going to take to alot to improve that 85 overall NET. Some good wins here for a high mid major. Neutral site wins over Boise St and Marquette. In league, they swept St Louis and beat VCU. Still not being able to beat Dayton and more importantly league leading Davidson is a big drawback. The Q2 loss to George Mason hurts more than the Q3 loss to MVC AQ Northern Iowa. They will need more clearly. Need to win out regular season which means winning at VCU and then getting to the A10 finals. Now someone seems to come out of the shadows every year in the A10, they are best positioned but it certainly is a thread the needle proposition at this point.


(52) DAYTON 19-8: Q1: 2-2, Q2: 5-3, Q4: 8-3, R/N: 7-4, SOS: 120/125

Flyers are at least circling about and have a head turning win. Still I am going to be blunt here. Its going to be virtually impossible for Dayton to get an at large. Those 3 Quad 4 losses are brutal. Home losses to Lipscomb, UMass Lowell, and Austin Peay...gtfoh. On the other hand, UD has wins over Kansas, Miami, Belmont, Va Tech, St Louis, VCU. Not bad at all for a A10 program. If you think Rutgers profile is scandalous, the Dayton profile is downright libelous.


(58) VCU 18-7: Q1: 2-2, Q2: 4-4, Q3: 6-1, R/N: 9-3, SOS: 87/68

There really just is not anything here to recommend. Wins over Dayton and Davidson in a down A10 do not get you a NCAA bid neither does going on a run and winning games against A10 dregs. The schedule gets a little tougher with games vs St Louis and St Bonnies but who exactly are they. Yeah get to 24-7 lose the A10 final to Davidson, finish at 24-8 and then we will talk but not until then.


(41) VIRGINIA TECH 16-11: Q1: 0-5, Q2: 5-4, Q3: 5-2, R/N: 6-7, SOS: 81/134

Hokies are the 2022 version of Colgate last year. Great NET but for no reason. If playing only 5 Q1 games does not enthuse you, how about winning zero quad 1 games? Not excited yet? Well they do have a win over Notre Dame. Well that does not make a serious NCAA contender and neither does the fact they beat St Bonnies and Virginia. Bad lossses to BC and NC State only add to the trouble on this resume. Hokies had a shot at taking down UNC and failed. Their last 4 are 3 dregs and a trip to Miami. Even all 4 will still leave them out of the last 4. They will need a serious run in the ACC tourney which will include a win over Duke to have a serious chance.


(69) WEST VIRGINIA 14-12: Q1: 2-11, Q2: 4-1, R/N: 3-8, SOS: 3/131

The best thing to say about WVU is they have no losses outside of Q2 and their SOS is sparkling. There is a win over UConn and yet in league the only win of note was Iowa State. It's late early for their at large chances. With 12 losses, 11 of them in Q1, its clear WVU is not a good team nor can they beat good teams. Losers of 10 of 11, I suppose with 4 straight Q1s plus a home Q2 to close the year if they did a complete turnaround and won 3 of these they would be moving back into contention...do you see them doing it, I don't


(78) VANDERBILT 14-12: Q1: 2-7, Q2: 2-3, Q3: 6-2, R/N: 5-6, SOS: 29/91

The first of 3 SEC schools gasping for crumbs at the nether regions of the NCAA tournament bubble. I will say the win over Texas A&M kept them alive and their schedule is actually favorable if they are capable of making a push. Home games vs Alabama and Florida with road trips to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Its not like they have not surprised before. Their are wins vs LSU, at Arkansas and BYU. Right now at 4-10 vs Q1/2 the metrics are terrible Yes it seems like a stretch but get these four and all the metrics improve. We shall see.


(47) MISSISSIPPI STATE 16-11: Q1: 2-8, Q2: 1-1, Q3: 7-2, R/N: 3-8, SOS: 45/182

MSU down to their last leg. Tigers missed a shot at a Q1 by falling at Alabama but rebounded with 2 wins over terrible Missouri. Their only shot now involves winning the last 4 and that would include beating Auburn at home. They will need additional Quad 1 wins in the SEC tourney. Anything short of that and they became a NIT bubble school. Just 3-9 in Quad 1 and 2 and only big wins are Alabama and Arkansas both at home. A lot to not recommend.

(71) TEXAS A&M 15-11: Q1: 1-7, Q2: 2-2, Q3: 5-2, R/N: 5-7, SOS: 50/268

Aggies broke an 8 game losing streak by knocking off Florida but reverted back to their losing ways with a loss to Vandy. Hard to believe they were ranked and 14-2 at one point. Those good wins vs Arkansas and Notre Dame seem like years ago. Another that will have to win out including winning at Alabama and then probably make the SEC finals. Not going to happen. The Q1 mark and 3-9 Q1/2 mark speaks for itself


(79) COLORADO 18-9: Q1: 1-6, Q2: 3-2, Q3: 6-1, R/N: 7-5, SOS: 82/325

I suppose a Pac 12 school at 18-9 competing for 4th in the standings has to be considered. Unfortunately the numbers are troublesome despite 18 wins. Strikes against them right away with the overall NET and that abominable non conference sos of 325. Just 1 Q1 win over Oregon not even projected in the field. A Q3 loss to Southern Illinois means the profile cannot even claim its clean. Just amazing how the Pac 12 is really pathetic this year. I see Arizona at home is coming up so any slim hopes rest with winning that as well as the two others and then probably knocking the Wildcats off again in the Pac 12 tourney. I mean its much like the Oregon State profile from last year so why not them.



LAST 4 BYES: WAKE FOREST, INDIANA, TCU, SAN FRANCISCO
LAST 4 IN: SAN DIEGO STATE, LOYOLA CHICAGO, MEMPHIS, MICHIGAN


FIRST FOUR OUT: BYU, SMU, FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA
NEXT FOUR OUT: OREGON, KANSAS STATE, BELMONT, VIRGINIA


Currently projecting #8 Boise State vs #9 Rutgers to the winner to take on #1 Kansas


While I have a total of 34 schools competing for those 16 open bids, realistically its more like 26 schools competing for 16 spots.
 
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Scarlet Shack

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Well done pal !

My optimistic take question ?…

win the next four …where does that land us heading into the big ten tourney (besides being ranked 20th and a double bye in the big ten tournament )?

I say 6 seed …what do you think?
 

BillyC80

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Well done pal !

My optimistic take question ?…

win the next four …where does that land us heading into the big ten tourney (besides being ranked 20th and a double bye in the big ten tournament )?

I say 6 seed …what do you think?
While the mantra is always let’s go 1-0, the way RU is playing there’s a realistic shot at winning out in the regular season. Have no idea where that lands us seeding-wise, but we would for sure clear the dreaded 8/9 slot and get to at least a 7. Win a game in the B1GT and a 6 or even 5 might be possible.
 

bac2therac

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Well done pal !

My optimistic take question ?…

win the next four …where does that land us heading into the big ten tourney (besides being ranked 20th and a double bye in the big ten tournament )?

I say 6 seed …what do you think?

RU winning the next 4....

20-10/14-6...probably 4 or 5 in Big 10 with possible bye
Q1: 9-3
Q1/2: 11-7

overall rank in AP 25: #17

NET rank: 56
Seed heading into Big 10 Tourney: 7 because the NET will ding us, could be a last 6.
 

bac2therac

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I am seeing RU showing up in alot of last 4 ins and I see Lunardi now has us back in the last 4 byes grouping. Palm took us from 11 all the way out of the field just by losing to Purdue..wtf, a drop of 9 spots because we lost to Purdue.

Obviously I have an more optimistic view for now....

there are some 9s around in the Bracket Matrix including Bracketdave who has not updated yet today. Obviously if RU loses to Michigan they will take a substantial fall down the seed list but where is unknown because its pretty tight in the next grouping.
 

RU23

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Can’t emphasize enough how much I agree on UNC. They do not deserve to be in the tourney at the moment, as evidenced by another awful display tonight against Louisville.

Sadly their gaudy record in the overrated ACC will almost certainly get them in. Hoping they blow this.

Indiana making it a game with OSU. Hoping they lose their 5th straight. Will be squarely on the bubble if they do.

Illinois State hanging close with Loyola Chicago early, WVU not so much hanging with TCU
 

RU23

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UNC sucks but will make the tourney, book it.

Lets salvage this OSU, don’t blow this…
 

jordkap

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UNC sucks but will make the tourney, book it.

Lets salvage this OSU, don’t blow this…
The refs in that game were awful both ways too. So many missed calls only to be followed by some tickey tack nonsense. Never knew what a foul was or was not the whole second half. UNC had 8 total the whole game.
 
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kcg88

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Bad results for us tonight. Every bubble team is winning.
 

Greene Rice FIG

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Is there any thought or worries that the committee could go against what computers say and overrate or underrate a conference?

B1G and ACC come to mind.
 
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Shell21

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Wow Indiana really blew those last couple possessions. Overtime in Columbus !
 

bac2therac

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Is there any thought or worries that the committee could go against what computers say and overrate or underrate a conference?

B1G and ACC come to mind.
Big 10 is always underseeded by the selection committee. The committee loves the Big 12 and also the Big East

expect one shitty ACC school to make it that does not deserve it, happens every year
 
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fatsam98

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Liddell what is you doing. This ain't no Michigan handshake line
 

bac2therac

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it was bullshit he did that, he could potentially cost his team the game when it was sealed up 5 and going to the line, now if they call the tech they get the shots and the ball