In Saturday night’s post, I teased putting UConn at top of the scrap heap, and upon further study of their resume - which trumps all – I have no choice but to put them at the overall #1 seed. Their most recent triumph ended Notre Dame’s 45-game home winning streak. The Huskies have now defeated Miami-FL, Wisconsin, Buffalo, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Cincinnati and now Notre Dame away from home. That’s a feat.
Among the high risers this week are Missouri and Virginia Tech, who were not in the last eight out of our last bracket (Missouri due to admitted oversight) a fortnight ago. For the most part, the Tigers are playing strong basketball at both ends of the court. Virginia Tech has come out of nowhere with five straight wins behind the three-headed monster of Malcolm Delaney, AD Vassallo and Jeff Allen. Tech proved that their win on Wednesday night at Wake Forest was not a fluke by withstanding many punches and eventually knocking out the Miami Hurricanes.
Choosing the 34th at-large team is always a pain. This week was not any easier. And I know what Joe Bracket will be thinking when Penn State and/or Providence is not in. Penn State is 5-3 in conference and have wins against Purdue and Michigan; however, they have a 7-game stretch that I’m not optimistic about with contests versus Wisconsin and Minnesota and trips to East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Lafayette, Champaign, and Columbus. 5-3 can easily become 7-8. As for my dear Friars, they are 5-2 in the Big East yet all five wins have come against the six weakest teams. If they split their next four against Syracuse, @ UConn, Villanova, and @ West Virginia, then they have an argument. That said, PC lost second half leads to Georgetown and Marquette in their league losses. A bad omen.
* Switched Michigan State and Wake Forest to avoid 2 ACC teams as 1 and 2 seeds in the same region.
* Switched Notre Dame and Memphis due to a seeding conflict.
* Tennessee slips to the 10th seed line resulting from having already played Kansas.
If you have any questions, comments, or just wish to send a shout, shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1: UConn (Big East), North Carolina, Duke (ACC), Pittsburgh
2: Oklahoma (Big XII), Louisville, Michigan State (Big Ten), Wake Forest
3: Texas, Gonzaga (WCC), Butler (Horizon), Clemson
4: Purdue, Syracuse, Illinois, Arizona State (PAC-10)
5: Minnesota, Marquette, Xavier (A-10), Memphis (C-USA)
6: Notre Dame, UCLA, Georgetown, West Virginia
7: Ohio State, Davidson (Southern), Kentucky (SEC), California
8: Florida, Villanova, Kansas, UNLV (MWC)
9: Miami-FL, St. Mary’s, Missouri, Virginia Tech
10: Michigan, Baylor, Washington, Tennessee
11: Dayton, Florida State, Utah State (WAC), Illinois State (MVC)
12: Siena (Metro Atlantic), Wisconsin, South Carolina, VCU (CAA)
13: Boston College, USC, BYU, Portland State (Big Sky)
14: Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), Miami-Ohio (MAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), VMI (Big South)
15: Vermont (America East), North Dakota State (Summit), Austin Peay (Ohio Valley), American (Patriot), Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
16: Long Beach State (Big West), Morgan State (MEAC), Cornell (Ivy), Robert Morris (Northeast), Prairie View A&M (SWAC)
Last Four In: South Carolina, Boston College, USC, BYU
Last Four Out: Penn State, Providence, Texas A&M, Mississippi State
Next Four Out: Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma State, San Diego State
Seeding Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only in Order of Percentage)
Big Ten: 7/11
Big East: 9/16
Big XII: 5/12
West Coast: 2/8
Mountain West: 2/9