Barnes Bracketology - February 25, 2010

By: Matt Barnes
By: Matt Barnes

If you're a fan of college basketball, then you had to be a fan of yesterday's action. Teams that had a chance to make a huge splash came close but yet, so far. Others made a splash but will it be big enough in the long run? Others were just hoping to tread water and not hurt their standings. And then there was others who were simply trying to avoid the upset but failed in doing so.

Thanks to yesterday's action, there has been some shake-ups in my field of 65. Teams are in and teams are out. But maybe more importantly, some teams did themselves a huge favor by improving their position on the bubble.

MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 65

LOCKS: Teams like Maryland and Missouri are getting close to locking up their spot. Wins yesterday keep both teams on a roll. If they can avoid the big upset, you'll see both in this group soon. But for now, no changes.

LOCKS (25): Duke, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Villanova, West Virginia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Texas A+M, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, New Mexico, BYU, Temple, Xavier, Gonzaga and Butler.


AUTOS:
No change here from yesterday.

AUTOS (22): America East - Stony Brook, Atlantic Sun - Campbell, Big Sky - Weber State, Big South - Coastal Carolina, Big West - UC Santa Barbara, Colonial - Old Dominion, Conference USA - UTEP, Ivy - Cornell, MAAC - Siena, MAC - Akron, MEAC - Morgan State, MVC - Northern Iowa, Northeast - Robert Morris, Ohio Valley - Murray State, Pac-10 - California, Patriot - Lehigh, Southern - Wofford, Southland - Sam Houston State, SWAC - Jackson State, Summit - Oakland, Sun Belt - Middle Tennessee State, WAC - Utah State

AT-LARGE: Yesterday's action really shook this group up. That's because many of these teams played and with mixed results. The big winner in the group is UTEP who I think with 11 wins in a row has done enough to warrant a spot in this group. The big loser is no doubt William & Mary, who with their loss to Towson now find themselves 5th in the Colonial conference. Sorry, that's not gonna cut it. They're back on the bubble, where they will probably stay. Also not in as good of shape anymore is Virginia Tech, who lost to BC in a game the Hokies needed to win. They now find themselves on the edge of the AT-LARGE cliff.

AT-LARGE (18): Richmond, Missouri, Maryland, Louisville, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, UNLV, Florida, Marquette, UConn, Rhode Island, Illinois, UTEP, Washington, St. Mary's, and Virginia Tech



BUBBLE WATCH

Thanks to last night's games, the BUBBLEs group is one smaller as Saint Louis has had their bubble burst. With a win over Xavier, the Billikens had a chance to make a big jump. But now, their chances are slim to none and until they get another marquee victory, they're toast. Meanwhile, Notre dame has vaulted up in the ranks with a huge win over Pitt. It's not enough quite yet but they're on the right track. The news is not good for South Florida though who continue to fall, after losing to Villanova last night.

BUBBLE (39): Richmond, Northern Iowa, Missouri, Maryland, Louisville, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, UNLV, Florida, Marquette, UConn, Rhode Island, Illinois, UTEP, Washington, St. Mary's, Virginia Tech, California, Utah State, Dayton, Siena, San Diego State, Charlotte, Cincinnati, UAB, Seton Hall, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, William & Mary, Mississippi State, Arizona State, South Florida, Northeastern, Wichita State, and Cornell.

That's the field as of now. We'll see what happens next.

SEEDING

As far as the top four seeds, I'm not willing to change anything quite yet. The loss to Notre Dame was not good for Pitt in their quest for a #2 seed but at the same time, it wasn't that bad of a loss to knock them down to a #4 seed. BYU is getting close to a #4 seed, thanks to a quality win over San Diego State. Also, don't sleep on Temple, who had a quality win over Dayton, and Texas, who beat a good Oklahoma State team. There's still time for both to jump into a top 4 seed.

Tomorrow, I will make my first complete bracket so this section will be interesting tomorrow. Today though, here are my unchanged top 4 seeds:

MIDWEST REGION - St. Louis
1. Kansas (Oklahoma City) -- TOP OVERALL SEED.
2. West Virginia (New Orleans)
3. Michigan State (Buffalo)
4. New Mexico (San Jose)

EAST REGION - Syracuse
1. Kentucky (New Orleans)
2. Kansas State (Oklahoma City)
3. Georgetown (Jacksonville)
4. Wisconsin (Spokane)

SOUTH REGION - Houston
1. Syracuse* (Buffalo)
2. Duke (Jacksonville)
3. Pittsburgh (Providence)
4. Vanderbilt (San Jose)

WEST REGION - Salt Lake City
1. Purdue (Milwaukee)
2. Villanova (Providence)
3. Ohio State (Milwaukee)
4. Gonzaga (Spokane)

*NOTE: Syracuse is ineligible to play in the East Region because their home court is being used as the region site.

THURSDAY'S GAMES TO WATCH
South Carolina @ Kentucky - UK has one loss this season. It came to USC. A win by UK just moves them closer to locking up a #1 seed.
Wisconsin @ Indiana - This shouldn't be a problem for the Badgers, but if they lose, they probably lose the #4 seed I have them projected to be.
Georgia @ Vanderbilt - Vandy is in good shape right now but they better bring their "A" game against UGA, who has been playing well as of late, especially against good teams.
Arizona @ California - Simply said, Cal needs to win every game if they want to feel safe.
Arizona State @ Stanford - It wouldn't be a quality win for the Sun Devils but a road win nonetheless.

Check back tomorrow as I will have my first bracket right here. Should be fun. After I post the first one, it will be updated every day.

Don't forget, you can share your opinion in the comments section below, on Twitter @MattBarnesWRDW, or my Facebook page. I'd love to hear what you think. See ya tomorrow.

MB
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