Sunday, February 12, 2006


Bracket Projection for Sunday, 12 February

The countdown can now begin. We're officially a month away from Selection Sunday. There are lots of changes this week. The BracketBusters next week are really looming large for the usual one-bid leagues, who actually make their presence known in this week's bracket.

Short Summary

There were some changes in my top four lines this week, but nothing earth-shattering. NC State and Iowa switched places. Ohio State fell to a 5 from a 4 and LSU replaced them. The real changes happened at the bottom of the at-large pool and in the 7-10 range. The Missouri Valley now has five teams in, with Missouri State's win at Northern Iowa being the impetus for their inclusion as a 12-seed. Additionally, UNCW makes the Colonial a two-bid league once again. Colorado, Iowa State, and Stanford's struggles allowed more "mid-major" bids this week.

These changes rippled up the bracket as well, with Nevada, Wichita State, and Bucknell getting to the 8 line. George Mason, Creighton, and San Diego State rose to the 9 line.

Syracuse needs to win to stay in the bracket at this point. A loss to St. John's today could knock them out of next week's projection. Cincinnati has a chance to get themselves off the bubble with a win at Pitt. Illinois-Ohio State and West Virginia-Georgetown both have important seeding implications this afternoon.

Last Four In
Missouri State
UNC Wilmington

First Four Out

Next Four Out
Air Force
Florida State
Iowa State

League Breakdown

8 Big East
7 Big Ten
5 Missouri Valley
4 Pac-10
3 Big XII
2 Colonial
2 Conference USA
2 Western Athletic

Things don't look so rosy for the A-10 and Mountain West who find themselves as new entrants on the Banana Peel list.

America East
Albany now has a game and a half lead on Binghamton. The two won't meet again unless they meet in the conference tournament final.

Atlantic Sun
Belmont has the auto-bid for the wacky A-Sun this week since they have a better RPI than Lipscomb, who is tied with the Bruins in the standings. East Tennessee is a half-game back. The Bucs close the season at Lipscomb and Belmont before hosting the conference tournament. Stay tuned. You haven't heard the last of Matt Doherty's Florida Atlantic or Gardner-Webb either.

Atlantic 10
George Washington has a three game lead on Charlotte. The 49ers were getting serious at-large consideration this week. That was until they lost at the last place team in the ACC, Wake Forest. Xavier, Temple, and LaSalle also have cases, but they also have a lot to do.

Big Sky
Northern Arizona has only one league loss and a two and a half game lead on Montana.

Big South
Winthrop and Birmingham-Southern are tied at the top of the league. Winthrop has the auto bid for the week thanks to a far superior RPI number. A win at Marquette will do that for a team.

Big West
Meet the new boss...same as the old boss. Cal-Irvine lost a thriller at home to Cal Poly last night, paving the way for Pacific to reclaim the top spot. Not a vintage year for the Tigers, who find themselves as a 15 seed this week.

George Mason leads UNCW by a game and Hofstra by a game and a half. Patriots play Drexel at mid-week, then travel to Wichita for their BracketBuster. Then they play chasers Hofstra five days later.

Milwaukee is back in charge with a two game lead over Butler. The Panthers BracketBuster with Missouri State became all the more interesting with the Bears win at the UNI Dome.

Ivy Group
Penn leads still way below .500 Princeton by a game and Yale and Cornell by two. Quakers and Tigers have two games in hand though.

Metro Atlantic
Iona continues to lead Manhattan by a game. This one will go right down to the league tournament.

Akron leapfrogged Kent State this week. Zips remain a game behind in the race. Miami and Ohio still have fading chances.

Delaware State now leads Hampton and Coppin State by two and a half games.

IUPUI beat preseason favorite Oral Roberts by five yesterday. Jaguars now have a two game lead on the Golden Eagles.

Mountain West
San Diego State beat Air Force Wednesday, then lost to Utah on Saturday. Aztecs now have a game and a half lead on UNLV and a two game advantage on Air Force and BYU. UNLV lost at the Marriot Center on Saturday. Inopportune losses moved Air Force out of the bracket.

Fairleigh Dickinson now has a two and a half game lead on Monmouth.

Ohio Valley

Murray State leads Samford by two and a half games.

Bucknell leads Lehigh by a game and a half. The two meet a week from Wednesday in Lewisberg.

This is a league where everyone is beating up on everyone else. Georgia Southern now moves into the top spot and the play-in game. (The word "Southern" gets a lot of use in this week's play-in game.) Elon is tied with the Eagles, but the Phoenix's overall record and RPI keep them out this week.

Northwestern State leads Sam Houston State, Lamar, and McNeese State by two and a half games.

Sun Belt
Western Kentucky leads South Alabama by two and a half games.

West Coast
Gonzaga leads Loyola Marymount by a game and a half.

Enjoy the week!

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