Saturday, February 23, 2008


Three Weekends Left...Time to Double Up

Tomorrow, we're three weeks away from Selection Sunday. Since we're heading down the homestretch, it's time for me to put out brackets a bit more frequently. Today's bracket will be the first of the week. The next update will be Monday night. I'll continue the Saturday/Monday schedule until March 10. At that point (work permitting), I'll put out a bracket every day until Selection Sunday.

To mark the milestone, I'm going to examine the bubble a bit more closely tomorrow evening. More specifically, I'm going to focus on what each of the bubble teams have left and assess their chances to be dancing in three weeks.

Shuffling the Top Line

The one seeds once again remain the same four. (Tune in Monday to see if tonight's Tennessee-Memphis game changes this.) Memphis remains the overall number one for now. Duke's mini-slide drops them to the fourth one-seed, however. After losses to Wake Forest and bracket newcomer Miami, the Blue Devils are in danger of being passed. for the top overall spot. Kansas and Tennessee round out the top line. At this point, I think Memphis is the only one of this group who isn't in real danger of falling to the two line. That could change depending on their performance tonight.

The two and three lines from Monday remain stable. Of the two seeds, North Carolina, UCLA, and (especially) Texas have a great chance to move up. Stanford would probably need to sweep the Pac 10 titles to be considered because of some non-conference stumbles. In fact, the stronger three seeds, Xavier, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, could pass the Cardinal as the season winds down. Louisville, the fourth three seed, has some non-conference smudges that, like the Cardinal, prevent them from moving up any more.

Indiana, Purdue, and Georgetown remain on the four-line. Drake drops down to a five-seed (but remains in Denver) as the result of a close loss to Bradley. Their BracketBuster game with Butler is crucial to both teams' fading hopes of a protected seed.

The bracket gained an at-large spot today based on South Alabama's win at Western Kentucky on Thursday night. For the people who've asked me about why the Jaguars are getting at-large consideration, Ken Pomeroy's RPI has them at 27 after Thursday night. That is clearly within the bounds for at-large consideration.

, Massachusetts, Miami, and UNLV join the party today, replacing Dayton and St. Joseph's (Both teams lost to LaSalle this week, something you cannot do at this point of the season while fighting for a bid.), Oregon (6-8 in the Pac 10 won't cut it), and Western Kentucky (see above). Certain teams that would be out any other year are still here. I'm particularly referring to Syracuse (barely hanging on at .500 in the Big East) and Ohio State. (The Buckeyes have to be here if the Gators and Orange are, since they beat both.) But I'll get more into the soapy mess that is this year's bubble tomorrow evening.

Conference Breakdown

Big East - 8
ACC - 6
Big 12 - 6
Pac 10 - 6
Big 10 - 5
SEC - 5
Atlantic 10 - 3
Mountain West - 2
West Coast - 2

New This Week

Out of the Bracket
Saint Joseph's
Western Kentucky (auto)

Last Four In

Rhode Island
Wake Forest

Last Four Out

Next Four Out
George Mason
Saint Joseph's

Also Considered
Illinois State
New Mexico
Western Kentucky

E-mail me with comments or questions.

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