Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Rapidly Shrinking Bubble

At the top of tonight's bracket (seed list), there are only slight changes in the ideal Elite Eight matchups: North Carolina and Georgetown (East), UCLA and Kansas (West), Tennessee and Duke (Midwest), and Memphis and Texas (South).

Stanford, Wisconsin, and Xavier all stand pat on the 3 line. Indiana jumps back up to the 4 line, replacing Vanderbilt. UConn, Notre Dame, and Purdue join them.

Blue Raiders and Toreros, Oh My!

The at-large pool was two spots smaller heading into tomorrow night. As predicted here a few weeks ago, San Diego won the West Coast title at home. This pretty much ensures that the West Coast Conference will have three bids instead of two. On that same page, you'll also see that I predicted that South Alabama would fall victim to the Sun Belt hosting curse. So they naturally lost to Middle Tennessee in the semifinals. Since the Jags are in pretty good shape to get an at-large, that means the Sun Belt should get two for the first time in that conference's modern era. Butler did manage to win the Horizon League tonight, keeping an at-large out there.

UAB and New Mexico are the two unlucky teams who fall out because of these results. Even though, Illinois State and Arizona State were slightly below them on the S-curve on Sunday, the Blazers and Lobos profiles don't have quite the punch as the Sun Devils'. The Redbirds are very much on the bubble, however, since they have no more games to play and the weakest profile of the teams currently in my bracket. I also swapped Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech. It's getting to the time in the season where you have to think of the wacky things the committee may do when selecting teams. So, if the season ended today, they'd probably reward a team who won an extremely competitive CAA by three games whose non-conference slate was also challenging over a mediocre ACC team whose non-conference slate wasn't that great.

Mind you, this may all change in a big way tomorrow and Thursday. Syracuse is still in, but they won't be if they can't beat Villanova tomorrow at noon. Arizona has that game with RPI-killer Oregon State in the Pac-10 opening round tomorrow. They get Stanford Thursday if they win.

Next update late tomorrow night.

Conference Breakdown

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

New This Bracket
Sacred Heart (auto)
San Diego (auto)
Virginia Commonwealth
Western Kentucky (auto)

Out of the Bracket
New Mexico
Virginia Tech
Wagner (auto)

Last Four In

Virginia Commonwealth
Arizona State
Illinois State

Last Four Out
Ohio State
Virginia Tech

Next Four Out
New Mexico

Also Considered

E-mail me with comments or questions.

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