Bracket Breakdown: March 3
Gators one of five SEC teams in this week's field.
By: Mitch Light | 3/3/11, 12:20 PM EST
In: Boston College, Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Worth a Mention: Clemson
Notes: Boston College picked up a huge win Tuesday night, trouncing Virginia Tech 76–61 in Blacksburg. The Eagles close out the regular season with Wake Forest. They must avoid what would be a horrible loss. Virginia Tech, despite the loss at home to Boston College, is still in the field. Losing at Clemson this weekend might not bump them out, but a win would all but wrap things up. Clemson lost at Duke on Wednesday. The Tigers need to beat Virginia Tech this weekend then make a run in the ACC Tournament.
America East (1)
In: Richmond, Temple, Xavier
Worth a Mention: Dayton, Duquesne
Notes: Richmond is one of the final teams in the field. That win vs. Purdue in late November is the difference; without that win the Spiders would be on the outside looking in.
Big 12 (6)
In: Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M
Worth a Mention: Baylor, Nebraska
Notes: Colorado has a bad RPI (81), but it’s hard to ignore the Buffs’ quality wins — Texas, Kansas State (home and away) and Missouri. The loss at Iowa State on Wednesday, however, will not help. Baylor’s resume is highlighted by two wins vs. Texas A&M. The Bears will need to advance to the Big 12 title game — and they are capable of doing so.
Big East (11)
In: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia
Worth a Mention: None
Notes: It might not be popular with fans of other leagues, but the Big East is going to send 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Big Sky (1)
In: Northern Colorado
Big South (1)
In: Coastal Carolina
Big Ten (5)
In: Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Worth a Mention: Michigan, Penn State
Notes: Michigan is playing well, but the Wolverines’ resume is not quite NCAA Tournament-worthy — yet. The Wolverines host Michigan State this weekend in what is shaping up to be a huge game for both teams. That win might be enough to push Michigan into the field. Penn State has some good wins (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State), but they are all at home, and the Lions already have 13 losses.
Big West (1)
In: Long Beach State
In: George Mason, Old Dominion
Worth a Mention: VCU
Notes: VCU played its way out in the final week of the season, losing to Drexel on the road and James Madison at home. George Mason and Old Dominion are both secure.
Conference USA (1)
Worth a Mention: Memphis, UTEP
Notes: UAB, currently in with the automatic bid, strengthened its at-large case with a buzzer-beating win at Southern Miss on Thursday night. The Blazers’ RPI climbed to 28. Memphis’ loss at East Carolina was extremely damaging.
In: Butler, Milwaukee
Worth a Mention: Cleveland State
Notes: Milwaukee is in as the league’s automatic qualifier. The Panthers won the three-way tiebreaker and host the final three rounds of the tournament. Butler’s spot is far from secure. The Bulldogs have some solid wins (two vs. Cleveland State, Washington State on a neutral court, Florida State on a neutral court), but they have three losses to teams ranked 120 or worse in the RPI.
In: Kent State
In: Missouri State
Worth a Mention: Wichita State
Notes: Wichita State is a decent team that doesn’t have any good wins.
Mountain West (3)
In: BYU, San Diego State, UNLV
Worth a Mention: Colorado State
Notes: Colorado State has floated in and out of the bracket this year. This week, the Rams are out. Bottom line: They have only one win vs. a team that is currently in the field (at UNLV). CSU has a chance to play its way in this weekend when it visits San Diego State.
In: Long Island
In: Murray State
In: Arizona, Washington, UCLA, USC
Worth a Mention: Washington State
Notes: USC is the final team in our field this week. The Trojans have 12 losses, but they also have some really nice wins — Texas, Arizona and UCLA at home and at Tennessee. And keep in mind, the losses to Rider, TCU, Nebraska and Bradley occurred before point guard Jio Fontan became eligible. Washington State has some good wins (two vs. Washington, Gonzaga, Baylor), but the Cougars’ RPI is 72 and they have three losses to teams ranked 130 or worse.
In: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Worth a Mention: Alabama
Notes: Alabama has lost two in a row — at Ole Miss and at Florida — and now most likely needs to win the SEC Tournament to get in. Tennessee is in solid shape, but that could change if the Vols don’t win at South Carolina on Thursday night.
In: College of Charleston
In: McNeese State
Sun Belt (1)
In: Florida Atlantic
In: Texas Southern
In: Utah State
In: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s
Worth a Mention: None
Notes: Saint Mary’s has played its way back onto the bubble with recent losses at San Diego and at home vs. Utah State and Gonzaga. The Gaels should make it, but will be sweating on Selection Sunday unless they win the WCC Tournament.
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