Sunday, February 05, 2006


Bracket Projection for Super Bowl Sunday

This week's bracket further reinforces my notion that the science of bracketology is a lot like those Sudoku puzzles that suddenly became popular while I wasn't paying any attention. The Big East and Big Ten are proving to be very hard to fit into a proper bracket while fulfilling as many of the NCAA's bracket integrity rules as possible. The other major problem I'm discovering at the moment is that there are a lot of potential first and second round matchups I have to bracket around, so as to avoid regular season rematches.

Here's the link to the bracket.

Short Summary

There was a change on the top line late last night. Sorry Illinois, if you can't beat Penn State at home, you must temporarily forfeit your one seed. My friend Sam asked me if UF would move up with the home win over Kentucky. In a word, "No." Texas now takes the fourth one seed. Tennessee and Iowa jumped onto the the third line, while Ohio State dropped to the fourth. George Washington is a new fourth seed as well. I was impressed with their win at Xavier Thursday night. It was the second time I'd been able to watch them after a road win at Charlotte.

Kansas is back in. The seven seed line now looks like it could be a final four on its own. KU, Arizona, North Carolina, and Maryland.

Last Four In
Air Force
Utah State
Wichita State

First Four Out
Iowa State
Miami (Florida)

Next Four Out

Other Teams Who Fell Out This Week
Vanderbilt (Commodores are looking less and less tournament worthy. They're lucky to have most of the SEC contenders visiting Memorial Gym in the second half of the season.)

League Breakdown

9 Big East
7 Big Ten
4 Big 12
4 Missouri Valley
4 Pac-10
2 Atlantic 10
2 Conference USA
2 Mountain West
2 Western Athletic

As always, the traditional one-bid leagues jockeying for league tournament position (except for the Ancient Eight)...which brings me to this week's Banana Peel list.

America East
Albany now has a full two game lead on the Binghamton Bearcats. However, the campus formerly known as Harpur College has two games in hand. They'll try to pick up some ground today as they entertain Maine.

Atlantic Sun
Lipscomb has the auto-bid for this week, but they have no shortage of pursuers. East Tennessee State, Belmont, and Florida Atlantic are all a half-game back.

Big Sky
Northern Arizona remains unbeaten and owns a two and a half game lead on both Montana and Montana State.

Big South
Winthrop dropped a 14-point decision to Coastal Carolina Saturday. That moved the Eagles a game behind Birmingham-Southern.

Big West
UC-Irvine still leads Pacific by two games; however, the Tigers have two games in hand.

George Mason beat UNC Wilmington Saturday night to remain in first. The Seahawks remain a game back. Hofstra is a game and a half back. The Flying Pride of Dutchmen (too many nicknames) also have a game in hand. VCU, ODU, and Northeastern are all two games back.

Last week I said,
"Milwaukee is running away and hiding."

Not so much anymore, with back-to-back losses to Wright State and Butler. The Bulldogs are now just a game back with two in hand.

Ivy Group
Penn remains unbeaten and is leading 5-12 Princeton, Harvard, and Cornell by a game. Penn and Princeton have played four league games. The Crimson and Big Red have played six.

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

Kent State jumped ahead of Akron this week. Zips remain a game behind in the race, while Miami is a game and a half back.

Delaware State finally lost last night to a below-average South Carolina State team. Florida A&M, Coppin State, and Hampton are all two games back.

Preseason favorite Oral Roberts has almost caught IUPUI. Jags lead by a half-game and have a game in hand on the Golden Eagles.

Another week, another leader in the NEC. This week 2005 champ Fairleigh Dickinson is on top. Central Connecticut State and Monmouth are a game back. Robert Morris and Mount Saint Mary's are two behind.

Ohio Valley

Murray State beat Samford pretty easily during the week to move to the top of the league. Bulldogs are still only a game back.

Bucknell leads Lehigh by a game and a half. Engineering Mountain Hawks (another school with too many nicknames, be glad Auburn's not involved here) have a game in hand.

Elon still is on top, thanks to Davidson's loss to Western Carolina Saturday. Georgia Southern, College of Charleston, and Davidson are all a game behind the Phoenix. Western Carolina and Wofford are two back.

Northwestern State leads McNeese State by a game and a half and Sam Houston State by two. McNeese has a game in hand.

Sun Belt
Western Kentucky leads South Alabama by a game.

West Coast
Gonzaga leads resurgent Loyola Marymount by two games.

Western Athletic
Two bids this week for the WAC. Utah State beat Louisiana Tech, knocking the Bulldogs out of the bracket. Utah State got one of the last at-large places, while Nevada picked up the auto-bid when they beat New Mexico State and moved into first place.

As always, thoughts and feedback are welcome.

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