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Bracketology 2009 Presented by BetUS.Com!

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Friday March 13, 2009

(Note to lazy visitors who don’t feel like reading: scroll down for bracket)

 

What a day!  So much happened yesterday, from the first games at noon, until the conclusion of the Syracuse/UConn marathon in the early morning hours.  Since I don’t have worlds of time to break it down, here’s a quick run through:

 

We now know three of the four one seeds.  Pitt and UNC were locked in by their regular season performances, and will remain one seeds.  Louisville takes the Big East’s third top seed after advancing to the Big East semis.  The final spot goes to Michigan State, who will get the spot so long as they advance to the Big Ten Championship game.

 

The bubble shrunk in a big way.  Arizona, UNLV, and Providence were among the teams who saw their tournament dreams die.  Creighton and Florida move into the field with the losses.  The Gators play Auburn in what has all the makings of play in game.  Creighton must now sit back and hope there’s no Cinderella teams fighting their way in.

 

I think the at-large field has largely been set.  St. Mary’s, Auburn, Virginia Tech and Maryland and possibly USC are the only teams that I could see playing their way in.  Still, they’d need things to go their way over the weekend, as I’d say 30 of the 34 at-large bids seem pretty safe.

 

North Carolina is the top overall seed, but Pitt gets the winner of the play-in game since they’re top seed at a Friday-Sunday site.  Also works out nice since the play-in winner and their fans can just stay in lovely Dayton for the weekend.

 

The action keeps on ticking along today.  The Patriot League’s automatic bid is up for grabs as American hosts Holy Cross.  Indianapolis seems like the place to be today as all 8 teams playing in the Big Ten Quarterfinals look set to go dancing next week.  The SEC will have a couple of key games as South Carolina faces Mississippi State in a dangerous game for the Gamecocks, while the Florida/Auburn nightcap will likely punch the winner’s ticket.  Virginia Tech can jump into the field with a  win over North Carolina today, while Maryland could likely do the same with a win over Wake Forest. 

 

Per usual, a number of teams were swapped one line from their “true seed” in order to either a) avoid rematches when possible or b) keep teams closer to home.  Because of that, I swapped the following teams:

         Gonzaga/LSU swapped 5/6 seeds to allow the ‘Zags to play in Portland

         Cal/Butler swapped 7/8 seeds to keep both teams closer to home

         Penn State/Oklahoma State swapped 9/10 seeds to avoid a Big Ten rematch

         Stephen F Austin/Cornell swapped 14/15 seeds to keep both teams closer to home

 

So, with all of that in mind, here’s a look at the field of 65, as it stands today (click to enlarge, you may have to click twice to get at full size)

 

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Last 4 IN

San Diego State:  Big win over UNLV yesterday in Vegas (their second in 5 days over the Rebels).  A close game with BYU today would likely punch their ticket.

South Carolina:  The Gamecocks likely need two in Tampa, starting with this afternoon’s tip-off with Mississippi State.

Creighton:  The Jays may have been yesterday’s biggest winner, all while sitting at home.  The Jays jump from the 2nd team out to the 2nd in thanks to losses by Arizona, Providence and UNLV.

Florida:  This could just as easily have been Auburn, as tonight’s SEC quarterfinal game will likely decide each teams’ fate.  I expect Florida to pull out the win in nearby Tampa, thus giving them the spot instead of the Tigers.

 

First 4 OUT

Auburn: See the Florida write up.

St. Mary’s:  The Gaels need Patty Mills to go off tonight on Eastern Washington, and show the committee he is indeed healthy and ready to lead.

Virginia Tech: A win over UNC and the Hokies might just jump into this thing.

Maryland:  Same story for the Terps, who take on Wake Forest in the A-T-L.

 

The bReAkDoWn

Big Ten (8)

Locked-In – Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State

Nearly Locked – Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT –

BIG EAST (7)

Locked-In – UConn, Pitt, Louisville, Marquette, Villanova, Syracuse, West Virginia

Nearly Locked –

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT – Providence

Big 12 (6)

Locked-In – Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri

Nearly Locked – Oklahoma State

Solidly In – Texas A&M, Texas

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT –

ACC (6)

Locked-In – North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida State

Nearly Locked –

Solidly In – Boston College

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT – Virginia Tech, Maryland

PAC 10 (5)

Locked-In – Washington, UCLA, Cal

Nearly Locked – Arizona State

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT – USC, Arizona

Mountain West (3)

Locked-In – Utah

Nearly Locked – BYU

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN – San Diego State

Bubble, but OUT –

SEC (3)

Locked-In– LSU

Nearly Locked – Tennessee

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN – South Carolina

Bubble, but OUT – Florida, Auburn, Kentucky

Atlantic 10 (2)

Locked-In – Xavier, Dayton

Nearly Locked –

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT –

West Coast (1)

Locked-In – Gonzaga

Nearly Locked –

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT – Saint Mary’s

The 1 Bidders:

(Teams are put where they would be without the protection of an automatic bid)

 

Bubble Busters (locked in but upset in Conference Tourney): Butler

 

Clinched Automatic Bids: Cornell (Ivy), East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun), Morehead State (OVC), Radford (Big South), Northern Iowa (MVC), Siena (MAAC), Chattanooga (SoCon), Cleveland State (Horizon), Portland State (Big Sky) VCU (CAA), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), North Dakota State (Summit), Robert Morris (Northeast)

 

Not Automatic yet, but still Locked-In – Memphis (C-USA)

Nearly Locked –

Solidly In –

Bubble, but IN –

Bubble, but OUT – Utah State (WAC)

Must Win Their Tournaments: Binghamton (America East), Bowling Green (MAC), Cal State Northridge (Big West), American (Patriot), Morgan State (MEAC), Stephen F Austin (Southland), Alabama State (SWAC)

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