Sunday, March 09, 2008


One Week Left...

There are six newcomers in tonight's bracket (seed list), one new at-large (Syracuse, replacing Maryland) and five new auto bid holders, one of whom (Winthrop) has a conference tournament title and is in for sure.

The Top Spot is Solid for Now

North Carolina's win at Cameron Indoor Saturday means they're the overall number one seed for the immediate future. Only a loss in the ACC tournament would allow Memphis to pass the Tar Heels at this point. UCLA and Tennessee stay on the top line. Georgetown's regular season title in the tougher Big East means the Hoyas pass Wisconsin on my S-curve, dropping the Badgers back to the 3 line.

Here are tonight's
ideal Elite Eight matchups: North Carolina and Georgetown (East), UCLA and Kansas (West), Tennessee and Texas (Midwest), and Memphis and Duke (South).

Louisville, Xavier, and Stanford remain on the three line. I was tempted to move the Cardinal down after they were swept by the LA schools, but didn't think anyone on the 4 line was quite worthy of the move up. Indiana's OT loss to Penn State and UConn's 45-point win over Cincinnati mean the Huskies and Hoosiers swap seed lines again.. Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and Purdue remain as protected seeds.

Bubble Mayhem

Kentucky furthered their at-large status today by defeating my alma mater. The Gators need a deep run in the SEC tournament to make it at this point. Syracuse is the sole new at-large tonight. The Orange replace Maryland, who in true Terrapin fashion, lost a game they really needed to win at UVa. The Terps are faced with a difficult road in the ACC tournament, facing NC State in round 1, followed by Clemson in the quarterfinals if they beat the Wolfpack. (And we all know what happened the last time those two met.) The Orange meanwhile, have a favorable draw in the Big East tournament. Villanova in the 8/9 game in that magical noon timeslot on Wednesday, with a quarterfinal matchup against Georgetown on the line.

The Pac 10 tournament will definitely be one to watch. Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon are fighting for two spots. The Wildcats face RPI killer Oregon State in round one. Get past that and it's Stanford in the quarterfinals. Not the most ideal map for a team that's 8-10 in the conference. The Sun Devils and Ducks are both 9-9. ASU faces USC in a quarterfinal, with the teams splitting 14-point home wins. Oregon faces Wazzu, who swept them this season. Slightly off topic, someone needs to tell Nike and the Oregon athletic department that putting names on the back of a jersey only works when the color of the name is a different shade than the color of the jersey.

My next update will be Tuesday, to account for the 4 conference championship games on Monday night. I'll then provide daily updates until Selection Sunday.

Conference Breakdown

Big East - 8
Big 12 - 6
Pac 10 - 6
ACC - 5
SEC - 5
Big 10 - 4
Mountain West - 3
Atlantic 10 - 2
Conference USA - 2
Missouri Valley - 2
West Coast - 2

New This Bracket
George Mason (auto)
Stephen F. Austin (auto)
Utah State (auto)
Wagner (auto)
Winthrop (auto)

Out of the Bracket
Boise State (auto)
Lamar (auto)
UNC Asheville (auto)
Robert Morris (auto)
Virginia Commonwealth (auto)

Last Four In

Virginia Tech
Arizona State
Illinois State

Last Four Out
Ohio State
Virginia Commonwealth

Next Four Out
Saint Joseph's

Also Considered
Western Kentucky

E-mail me with comments or questions.

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