Barnes Bracketology - March 2, 2010

By: Matt Barnes
By: Matt Barnes

After a wild weekend of games, it was a bit refreshing to just have 2-3 games that really mattered be played. That'll change though tomorrow thanks to a great slate of games tonight.

The big question in today's games is will the bubble teams step up? Many of the bubble teams are doing themselves no favors by losing. For some of the bubble teams, just a simple win could go a long way to their chances of making the tournament. That was the case for Clemson and Cal over the weekend, while other teams fell by the wayside. For now though, here is today's post.

MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 65
(changes in italics)

LOCKS: No changes here as expected. No team played yesterday that really had a chance to lock up their spot in the field.

LOCKS (29): 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, Butler, Northern Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma State, and Richmond.


AUTOS:
No changes here as Morgan State won, which works with my prediction of them winning the MEAC.

AUTOS (21): America East - Stony Brook, Atlantic Sun - Belmont, Big Sky - Weber State, Big South - Coastal Carolina, Big West - UC Santa Barbara, Colonial - Old Dominion, Conference USA - UTEP, Ivy - Cornell, MAAC - Siena, MAC - Kent State, MEAC - Morgan State, Northeast - Quinnipiac, 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: NO changes here as none of these teams played on Monday.

AT-LARGE (15): Clemson, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Louisville, Missouri, Florida State, UNLV, Florida, UConn, Illinois, St. Mary's, Washington, Dayton Virginia Tech, and San Diego State.



BUBBLE WATCH

Only one team out of this group played yesterday and that was Utah State who thrashed Fresno State as expected. Because of that, they're staying where they are. Should see some movement here though tomorrow as some of these teams are in action.

BUBBLE (36): Clemson, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Louisville, Missouri, Old Dominion, California, Florida State, UNLV, UTEP, Florida, UConn, Illinois, St. Mary's, Washington, Dayton, Virginia Tech, Siena, Utah State, San Diego State, UAB, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Mississippi State, Seton Hall, William & Mary, Charlotte, Cornell, Minnesota, South Florida, Northeastern, Arizona State, Wichita State, and Saint Louis.

So no changes in the field. But there is a change in the seeding.

SEEDING

Despite the lack of games, there was a change in the seeding. The change is thanks to Georgetown. The Hoyas have been (cue Tom Petty) freefalling. They've lost 4 of their last 5, and at 19-9 and 9-8 in the Big East, they are no longer worthy of a #4 seed. The team that is gonna benefit from their fall is Baylor, who has really played great as of late. They have an RPI of 11, and 5 top-50 RPI victories, one less than Kentucky.

(click on bracket to enlarge)

MIDWEST vs. WEST
SOUTH vs. EAST

MIDWEST REGION - St. Louis
#1 Syracuse* (27-2) vs. #16 Lehigh (19-10)/Jackson State (16-11) - Buffalo
#2 Purdue (24-4) vs. #15 Morgan State (22-9) - Milwaukee
#3 Pittsburgh (22-7) vs. #14 Oakland (23-8) - Providence

#4
Tennessee (21-7) vs. #13 San Diego State (20-8) - Spokane
#5
Gonzaga (24-5) vs. #12 Washington (19-9) - Spokane
#6 Texas A+M (20-8) vs. #11 Utah State (24-6) - Providence

#7
Northern Iowa (25-4) vs. #10 Florida State (20-8) - Milwaukee
#8
Richmond (22-7) vs. #9 Georgia Tech (19-9) - Buffalo

SOUTH REGION - Houston
#1 Kansas (27-2) vs. #16 Quinnipiac (21-8) - Oklahoma City
#2 West Virginia (23-6) vs. #15 Middle Tenn. St. (19-12) - New Orleans

#3 Michigan State (22-7) vs. #14 Murray State (27-4) - Buffalo

#4 Wisconsin (21-7) vs. #13 Kent State (22-8) - San Jose
#5 BYU (26-4) vs. #12
St. Mary's (24-5) - San Jose
#6
Xavier (21-7) vs. #11 Virginia Tech (21-7) - Buffalo
#7
Oklahoma State (20-8) vs. #10 Florida (20-9) - New Orleans
#8
Clemson (20-8) vs. #9 Louisville (19-10) - Oklahoma City

EAST REGION - Syracuse
#1 Kentucky (27-2) vs. #16 Coastal Carolina (26-5) - New Orleans
#2 Villanova (23-5) vs. #15 UC-Santa Barbara (17-9) - Providence

#3 Ohio State (23-7) vs. #14 Wofford (23-8) - Milwaukee

#4
Baylor (22-6) vs. #Weber State (19-9) - Jacksonville
#5 Georgetown (19-9) vs. #12 Dayton (19-9) - Jacksonville
#6
Maryland (21-7) vs. #11 Old Dominion (23-8) - Milwaukee
#7 Texas (23-7) vs. #10 Siena (24-6) - Providence
#8 California (20-9) vs. #9 UNLV (22-7) - New Orleans


WEST REGION - Salt Lake City
#1 Duke (25-4) vs. #16 Stony Brook (21-8) - Jacksonville
#2 Kansas State (24-4) vs. #15
Belmont (19-11) - Oklahoma City
#3
New Mexico (27-3) vs. #14 Sam Houston State (21-6) - San Jose
#4 Vanderbilt (22-6) vs. #13 Cornell (25-4) - Spokane

#5 Temple (24-5) vs. #12
Illinois (18-11) - Spokane
#6 Butler (26-4) vs. #11
UConn (17-12) - San Jose
#7
Wake Forest (18-8) vs. #10 UTEP (22-5) - Oklahoma City
#8
Marquette (19-9) vs. #9 Missouri (21-8) - Jacksonville

*Top overall seed


TUESDAY'S GAMES TO WATCH
Illinois @ Ohio State - A win by Illinois would do wonders for their chances. A loss may knock them out. As for OSU, a win could mean a #2 seed.
Villanova @ Cincinnati - Simply put, a must-win game for Cincy. For Nova, not that much at stake as their #2 seed seems safe win or lose.
Vanderbilt @ Florida - Vanderbilt still has time to improve their seeding, and a road win in Gator country could do that. As for the Gators, they need this win badly, especially since their last game is at Kentucky.
UTEP @ Marshall - The Miners are getting close to locking up their spot, thanks to their 12-game win streak. But winning at Marshall won't be easy.
Baylor @ Texas Tech - The Bears just got the #4 seed in my bracket. A loss would force me to take it right back.
Minnesota @ Michigan - Thanks to losses by others, Minnesota has crept back into Bubble talk. But a loss in Ann Arbor would quiet all of that talk.
South Florida @ DePaul - USF's faint hopes of making the tournament depend on this game. A true must-win for the Bulls.
Missouri @ Iowa State - The Tigers are close to getting in. Very very close. Depending on other teams, winning this road game may be enough.
Georgia Tech @ Clemson - The top two teams on the bubble so I have no problem saying the winner of this game locks up their spot.
Louisville @ Marquette - Teams number 3 and 4 on the bubble so again, I have no problem saying the winner of this game locks up their spot.

That's the post for you today. Enjoy the games tonight and make sure to check back here tomorrow. Don't forget, you can share your opinion in the comments section below, on Twitter @MattBarnesWRDW, or my Facebook page.

MB
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