Barnes Bracketology - March 10, 2010

By: Matt Barnes
By: Matt Barnes
So far, luck has been on the side of bubble teams. Unlike last year when teams like Cleveland State won the conference tournament and took a spot from a bubble team, this year has been rather normal. The better team has won and no at-large spots had to be taken away. Of course, that can change in an instant once the power six conferences get involved. Teams like Seton Hall, Mississippi State, Minnesota and even North Carolina could make a deep run and actually win the conference tournament, worsening the chances for a bubble team. It's what truly makes the conference tournament season so much fun.

MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 65
(changes in italics)

LOCKS: Yet again, nothing new in this group. Butler won their conference tournament last night but were already a lock anyways. This group may see an addition tomorrow though in Notre Dame, if the Irish can get by Seton Hall.

LOCKS (35): 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, Missouri, Florida State, Louisville, and Virginia Tech


AUTOS:
Congrats to 2 more teams who have clinched their spot in the dance and yet again, I correctly predicted the winner of the tournament so no change needed but to put them in bold. In the Summit, Oakland defeated IUPUI. In the Sun Belt, North Texas beat Troy.

Teams that have clinched their automatic bid will appear in bold.

AUTOS (22): America East - Vermont, Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State, Big Sky - Weber State, Big South - Winthrop, 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 - North Texas, WAC - Utah State, WCC - St. Mary's

AT-LARGE: No changes here but games today are sure to shake this up a bit.

AT-LARGE (8): Notre Dame, UNLV, Washington, San Diego State, Florida, Memphis, Georgia Tech, and Illinois.



BUBBLE WATCH
Four of these teams played yesterday and all won but none are getting credit for their easy victories. All of the teams were playing much inferior teams and the only consequence to come from the result of their games was to no longer be a bubble team if they lost. But again, they all won, so no harm, no foul. It only gets tougher for all of them though as they try to get on the right side of the bubble.

BUBBLE (20): UTEP, California, Notre Dame, UNLV, Utah State, Washington, San Diego State, Florida, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, South Florida, Saint Louis, UAB, Dayton, and Mississippi State

No changes to the field or the bubble after Tuesday's games. What about the seeding?

SEEDING
With no games to really have an impact on the seeding, I have not made any changes to the bracket I made for Monday. Over the next two days though, don't be surprised to see some major shakeups though as many of the teams in my projected field of 65 begin to play and the upsets begin.

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN
Big East (8), ACC (7), Big 12 (7), Big Ten (5), MWC (4), SEC (4), A-10 (3), C-USA (2), Pac-10 (2), WCC (2)


(click on bracket to enlarge)

MIDWEST vs. WEST
SOUTH vs. EAST

MIDWEST REGION - St. Louis
#1 Kansas* (29-2) vs. #16 Vermont (24-9) - Oklahoma City

#2
Purdue (26-4) vs. #15 UC-Santa Barbara (18-9) - Milwaukee
#3
Villanova (24-6) vs. #14 Sam Houston State (22-7) - Providence

#4
Maryland (23-7) vs. #13 Siena (27-6) - Spokane
#5
Vanderbilt (23-7) vs. #12 Memphis (23-8) - Spokane
#6
Gonzaga (26-6) vs. #11 Washington (21-9) - Providence

#7
Northern Iowa (28-4) vs. #10 UNLV (23-7) - Milwaukee
#8
Louisville (20-11) vs. #9 Utah State (25-6) - Oklahoma City

SOUTH REGION - Houston

#1 Syracuse (28-3) vs. #16 Lehigh (21-10)/Jackson State
(19-11) - Buffalo
#2 Kansas State (24-6) vs. #15 Morgan State (24-9) - Oklahoma City

#3 Michigan State (24-7) vs. #14 Weber State (21-9) - Providence

#4 Texas A+M (22-8) vs. #13 Kent State (23-8) - San Jose

#5
Tennessee (23-7) vs. #12
Illinois (18-13) - San Jose
#6
Georgetown (20-9) vs. #11 San Diego State (22-8) - Providence
#7
Richmond (24-7) vs. #10 Virginia Tech (23-7) - Oklahoma City
#8
Wake Forest (19-9) vs. #9 UTEP (24-5) - Buffalo

EAST REGION - Syracuse
#1 Kentucky (29-2) vs. #16 Winthrop (19-13) - New Orleans

#2 West Virginia (24-6) vs. #15
East Tennessee State (20-14) - Buffalo

#3 New Mexico (28-3) vs. #14 Wofford (26-8) - San Jose

#4
Wisconsin (23-7) vs. #13 Cornell (27-4) - Spokane
#5
Temple (26-5) vs. #12 Notre Dame
(21-10) - Spokane
#6
Butler (28-4) vs. #11 Georgia Tech (19-11) - San Jose
#7
Texas (23-8) vs. #10 Old Dominion (26-8) - Buffalo
#8 Oklahoma State (21-9) vs. #9 Florida State (22-8) - New Orleans


WEST REGION - Salt Lake City

#1
Duke (26-5) vs. #16 Quinnipiac (23-8) - Jacksonville
#2 Ohio State (24-7) vs. #15
North Texas (24-8) - Milwaukee
#3
Pittsburgh (24-7) vs. #14 Oakland (26-8) - Jacksonville
#4 Baylor (24-6) vs. #13 Murray State (30-4) - New Orleans

#5 BYU (28-4) vs. #12
Florida (20-11) - New Orleans
#6 Xavier (23-7) vs. #11
St. Mary's (26-5) - Jacksonville
#7
Clemson (21-9) vs. #10 Missouri (22-9) - Milwaukee
#8
California (21-9) vs. #9 Marquette (20-10) - Jacksonville

*Top overall seed

WEDNESDAY'S GAMES TO WATCH
South Florida vs. Georgetown (Big East Second Round) - The Bulls have beaten the Hoyas before so they won't be intimidated. They may feel some pressure though cause they must win this game and probably another to be considered an at-large selection.
Seton Hall vs. Notre Dame (Big East Second Round) - Technically not an elimination game because I think Seton Hall would need to win another game but if ND loses this one, they put the ball in Seton Hall's court to take their bid.
Robert Morris @ Quinnipiac (Northeast Championship) - Winner gets the automatic bid to the big dance and maybe more importantly, a "coveted" 16 seed.
Montana @ Weber State (Big Sky Championship) - Montana upset Northern Colorado to get here. It will take another upset to reach the dance. Weber State is the clear favorite.

Don't forget, I am updating daily until Selection Sunday so check back tomorrow to see what's new and who's where. And also 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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