Friday, March 07, 2008


Close to the Homestretch

Today's bracket (seed list) is relatively stable compared to Monday's. However, with some big games among the Bubble Boys and the first conference tournaments wrapping up over the weekend, there could be some jostling in the first of my homestretch daily updates on Sunday. Remember, you can now compare my projection with many, many others at The Bracket Project.

A Newcomer in the Top 8

Xavier's loss at St. Joe's Thursday night cost them their spot on the 2 line. (Not that Drew Lavender's bum ankle helps their cause.) Wisconsin has a share of the Big Ten title at the moment and that's good enough to move them up to replace the Musketeers. The winner of tomorrow's Louisville-Georgetown Big East title tilt has a good chance to crash the party on Sunday, however. This change leads to the following ideal Elite Eight matchups now North Carolina and Wisconsin (East), UCLA and Kansas (West), Tennessee and Duke (Midwest), and Memphis and Texas (South).

Louisville, Georgetown, and Stanford remain on the three line. The Cardinal would've moved back up to the 2 line had they not lost to UCLA on a highly questionable foul call that forced overtime. Indiana replaces UConn on the 4 line after the Huskies lost to Providence last night (completing an unexpected season sweep for the struggling Friars). Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and Purdue join the Hoosiers as 4 seeds.

Look Who's Back

There's only one new at-large in the bracket today, and that's Kentucky. The Wildcats replace Florida, pretty much because they're winning games and the Gators aren't. This may change on Sunday after the two meet at Rupp. But there could be further shifts, Syracuse hosts Marquette Saturday and Ohio State takes on an unpredictable Michigan State team on Sunday. Wins for the Orange and Buckeyes in these games would help them considerably. Virginia Tech and Maryland are barely hanging on at the moment, and both teams face stern road tests to close out the ACC regular season. The Hokies visit Clemson and the Terps go to Virginia, who, despite their last place standing, will want to wreck their rival's tourney hopes. Also, pay special attention to two Pac 10 games. Oregon hosts Arizona, with the Ducks needing a win to boost their hopes. Arizona State is also barely hanging on at the moment, and if they give Oregon State their first conference win of the year, it could be fatal to the Sun Devils' hopes.

Conference Breakdown

Big East - 7
ACC - 6
Big 12 - 6
Pac 10 - 6
SEC - 5
Big 10 - 4
Mountain West - 3
Atlantic 10 - 2
Conference USA - 2
Missouri Valley - 2
West Coast - 2

New This Bracket
UC Santa Barbara (auto)

Out of the Bracket
Cal State-Northridge (auto)

Last Four In

Virginia Tech
Arizona State

Last Four Out
Ohio State
St. Joseph's

Next Four Out
Southern Illinois
Western Kentucky

Also Considered
George Mason
Rhode Island
Stephen F. Austin

E-mail me with comments or questions.

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