Barnes Bracketology - March 3, 2010

By: Matt Barnes
By: Matt Barnes

As we head into the final 10 days or so of Bracketology, here are some things that I believe.

- I think no more than 8 Big East teams will get in. That means UConn, ND, Seton Hall, USF and Cincy are fighting for one spot (since L'Ville is in barring a meltdown). I'm not sure more than 8 will ever get in, even with 16 teams in the conference.
- I think the Pac-10 will get two bids. I just don't see how the committee will hold a "Power Six" conference to one bid. This would be the year if any but I'm not convinced it will actually happen.
- This will be the last year we refer to the A-10 and MWC as "mid-major" conferences in basketball. The A-10 could get 5 teams in. The MWC could get 4 teams. That's the same or more than the Pac-10, Big Ten, and SEC may get in this year.

With that in mind, here's the post for today, with some changes thanks to Tuesday's action.

MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 65
(changes in italics)

LOCKS: And we're up to 32. That's right, 3 more teams have been added to the LOCKS list. They are Clemson, Marquette, and Missouri. Clemson is in after beating AT-LARGE team Georgia Tech. Marquette earned their spot after defeating AT-LARGE team Louisville. Missouri jumped in with a road win at Iowa State. UTEP won and is very close.

LOCKS (32): 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, Richmond, Clemson, Marquette, and Missouri.


AUTOS:
No changes here once again. All the names here either won or were idle.

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: Thanks to Tuesday's action, the order of the teams here have changed but the teams in this group have not. Florida and Illinois are in worse shape than they were thansk to losses, helping out teams like Dayton, UNLV, and Florida State.

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



BUBBLE WATCH

We saw some changes here. For one thing, some teams are out of the group. Some are happy to be out (Clemson, Missouri and Marquette) as they are now LOCKS. Others not so happy (Missouri, Northeastern and Wichita State) as they are now not even on the bubble watch. That leaves us with just 30 bubble teams. Cincy is in bad shape after failing to capitalize on a great opportunity for a big win at home against Villanova. More of these teams take to the court today so expect some more movement.

BUBBLE (30): UTEP, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Old Dominion, California, Florida State, UNLV, UConn, St. Mary's, Florida, Washington, Dayton, Virginia Tech, Siena, Utah State, Illinois, San Diego State, UAB, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Seton Hall, William & Mary, Charlotte, Cornell, Cincinnati, South Florida, Arizona State and Saint Louis.

Now on to the fun that is seeding.

SEEDING
A decent amount of changes involved here too. Ohio State is up to a 2 seed after beating Illinois and clinching a share of the Big Ten title. Without Hummel, Purdue falls to a 3 seed. Clemson's win over GT moved them up to a 7 seed, knocking fellow ACC member Wake Forest to a 8 seed. UTEP moved up to a 9 seed while UNLV slipped to a 10 seed. Old Dominion is up to a 10 seed, while Florida fell to a 12 seed.

Some teams didn't change seeds but did change regions to accommodate other changes.

(click on bracket to enlarge)

MIDWEST vs. WEST
SOUTH vs. EAST

MIDWEST REGION - St. Louis
#1 Syracuse* (28-2) vs. #16 Lehigh (19-10)/Jackson State (16-11) - Buffalo
#2 Ohio State (24-7) vs. #15 Morgan State (23-9) - Milwaukee
#3 Pittsburgh (22-7) vs. #14 Oakland (23-8) - Providence

#4
Vanderbilt (23-6) vs. #13 San Diego State (20-8) - Spokane
#5
Gonzaga (25-5) 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 Old Dominion (23-8) - Milwaukee
#8
Richmond (22-7) vs. #9 Georgia Tech (19-10) - 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) - Buffalo

#3 Michigan State (22-7) vs. #14 Murray State (28-4) - New Orleans

#4 Wisconsin (21-7) vs. #13 Kent State (22-8) - Spokane
#5 BYU (26-4) vs. #12
Dayton (19-9) - Spokane
#6
Butler (26-4) vs. #11 Florida (20-10) - New Orleans
#7
Oklahoma State (20-8) vs. #10 Florida State (20-8) - Buffalo
#8
Wake Forest (18-8) vs. #9 Louisville (19-10) - Oklahoma City

EAST REGION - Syracuse
#1 Kentucky (27-2) vs. #16 Coastal Carolina (27-5) - New Orleans
#2 Villanova (24-5) vs. #15 UC-Santa Barbara (17-9) - Providence

#3 Purdue (24-4) vs. #14 Wofford (23-8) - Milwaukee

#4
Baylor (23-6) vs. #13 Weber State (19-9) - San Jose #5 Temple (24-5) vs. #12 Virginia Tech (21-7) - San Jose
#6
Maryland (21-7) vs. #11 St. Mary's (24-5) - Milwaukee
#7 Texas (23-7) vs. #10 UNLV (22-7) - Providence
#8 Marquette (20-9) vs. #9 UTEP (23-5) - 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 Tennessee (21-7) vs. #13 Cornell (25-4) - Jacksonville

#5 Georgetown (19-9) vs. #12
Illinois (18-12) - Jacksonville
#6 Xavier (21-7) vs. #11
UConn (17-12) - San Jose
#7
Clemson (21-8) vs. #10 Siena (24-6) - Oklahoma City
#8
California (20-9) vs. #9 Missouri (21-8) - Jacksonville

*Top overall seed


WEDNESDAY'S GAMES TO WATCH
Kansas State @ Kansas - If KSU wants to have any chance of becoming a 1 seed, they need to win this game in Lawrence.
Kentucky @ Georgia - Losing at Tennessee is one thing. Losing at Georgia is another. Wildcats should handle the Dawgs or their 1 seed could be at risk.
Duke @ Maryland - A Duke loss means that 1 seed could be up for grabs once again. A Maryland win helps their seed even more.
Indiana @ Purdue - I normally don't put easy wins on here but Purdue needs to get some good mojo in this game as they look for their first win since Hummel's injury.
Temple @ Saint Louis - Huge game for SLU. With a win, they could really jump in the bubble discussion, especially since no one else has won a marquee game.
Oklahoma State @ Texas A+M - May or may not impact the seeding of both teams, depending on the result.
Wake Forest @ Florida State - The Demon Deacons are in freefall mode, which is not good for a team that's a lock. I would hate to move them to a bubble. FSU is a lock though with a win.
UConn @ Notre Dame - Hate to say an elimination game but it may just be. For ND, I think it no doubt is, especially with it being at home.
Charlotte @ Rhode Island - A couple of bubble teams battling to stay alive. A Charlotte loss probably bursts their bubble.
NC State @ Virginia Tech - If VT loses this home game, it will be a huge hit towards their at-large chances. And I mean huge.
Miss. State @ Auburn - The Bulldogs are still on the outside looking in. This road win will move them closer. A loss may have them staying outside the rest of the way.
Memphis @ UAB - Memphis is a fringe bubble contender so they need this badly. UAB is right in the hunt and with this win and then one over UTEP, could find themselves in the dance.

Well, there ya go. More great games tonight that are sure to shake things up in my field and in the seeding. 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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