Barnes Bracketology - March 14, 2010 (FINAL)

By: Matt Barnes
By: Matt Barnes

IT'S SELECTION SUNDAY! For some like myself, it's like a national holiday. 65 teams learn their fate and bracketologists like myself are able to grade their performance. Let me apologize for not posting anything yesterday. I was halfway done and then, life happened. Way too much going on for me to finish the post. But this final post and final bracket is done so let's get right to it.

This is my bracket no matter how the Big Ten tournament ends up.

MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 65
(changes in italics)

LOCKS: My final group of locks includes Georgia Tech and San Diego State. SDSU got in with their win over New Mexico on Friday so they moved into this group before they won the conference tournament. Georgia Tech jumped in thanks to their win in the ACC semifinal.

LOCKS (41): 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, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, UTEP, California, UNLV, San Diego State and Georgia Tech.

AUTOS: Two words: GO BOBCATS! I'm still in shock about my Ohio Bobcats making the NCAA tournament. Besides OU, many other teams won their conference tournament to grab the automatic bid. They are Washington, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Sam Houston State, Vermont, UC-Santa Barbara, Morgan State, New Mexico State, and Houston.

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

AUTOS (22): America East - Vermont, Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State, Big Sky - Montana, Big South - Winthrop, Big West - UC Santa Barbara, Colonial - Old Dominion, Conference USA - Houston, Ivy - Cornell, MAAC - Siena, MAC - Ohio, MEAC - Morgan State, Northeast - Robert Morris, Ohio Valley - Murray State, Pac-10 - Washington, Patriot - Lehigh, Southern - Wofford, Southland - Sam Houston State, SWAC - Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Summit - Oakland, Sun Belt - North Texas, WAC - New Mexico State, WCC - St. Mary's

AT-LARGE: With 63 spots locked up, only 2 at-large spots are left. I'm giving them to Utah State and Minnesota

AT-LARGE (2): Utah State and Minnesota


BUBBLE WATCH

For me, the bubble is down to 5 teams. Utah State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Illinois and Florida. Of course, Minnesota could win the Big Ten tournament and forget all bubble talk. Miss. State had their chance but couldn't pull off the upset and they really, really needed that win. Illinois and Florida hace some great wins but in my mind, just too many losses. What it came down to for m is that Utah State is 10-5 against the RPI top-100 while the other two teams are under .500 (Florida: 9-11, Illinois: 6-11). Plus, while Illinois and Florida are 6-6 in their last 12 games, Utah State has won 17 of their last 18 games. Plus, an 8-5 road record looks good for the Aggies too.

BUBBLE (5): Utah State, Minnesota, Illinois, Mississippi State, and Florida.



Now, on to the bracket!

SEEDING
Instead of a lengthy explanation of the bracket, this time, I'm going to just let it speak for itself. But I do want to set out my goals for this final bracket in my bracketology.

1. Get all #1 seeds right and in the correct region
2. Have every team in the correct seed position, plus/minus 2 spots
3. Get at least 50% of the first/second round locations correct
4. BONUS: Correctly predict one actual first round tournament matchup

I know the last goal seems easy to achieve but remember, this is a large puzzle that can be put together in many ways. So if I just get one of the 32 first round games, I'll be happy. I didn't do that last year but I want to do it this time around.

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

MIDWEST vs. WEST
SOUTH vs. EAST

MIDWEST REGION - St. Louis
#1 Kansas* (32-2) vs. #16
Robert Morris (23-11) - Oklahoma City
#2
Villanova (24-7) vs. #15 Morgan State (27-9) - Providence
#3
Purdue (27-5) vs. #14 Wofford (26-8) - New Orleans
#4
Temple (29-5) vs. #13 Murray State (30-4) - San Jose
#5
BYU (29-5) vs. #12 Cornell (27-4) - San Jose
#6
Butler (28-4) vs. #11 California (23-10) - New Orleans
#7
Texas (24-9) vs. #10 Georgia Tech (22-12) - Providence
#8
Notre Dame (23-11) vs. #9 Florida State (22-9) - Oklahoma City

SOUTH REGION - Houston

#1 Syracuse (28-4) vs. #16 Lehigh (22-10)/Arkansas-Pine Bluff
(17-15) - Buffalo
#2 Kansas State (26-7) vs. #15
UC-Santa Barbara (20-9) - Oklahoma City
#3
New Mexico (29-4) vs. #14 Sam Houston State (25-7) - San Jose
#4
Maryland (23-8) vs. #13 Ohio (21-14) - Spokane
#5
Wisconsin (23-8) vs. #12 Utah State (27-7) - Spokane
#6
Vanderbilt (24-8) vs. #11 Wake Forest (19-10) - San Jose
#7
Marquette (22-11) vs. #10 Louisville (20-12) - Oklahoma City
#8
Old Dominion (26-8) vs. #9 Missouri (22-10) - Buffalo

EAST REGION - Syracuse
#1 Kentucky (32-2) vs. #16 Winthrop (19-13) - Milwaukee

#2
Ohio State (26-7) vs. #15 Vermont (25-9) - Milwaukee
#3
Georgetown (23-10) vs. #14 Oakland (26-8) - Providence
#4
Pittsburgh (24-8) vs. #13 Houston (19-15) - Spokane
#5
Texas A+M (23-9) vs. #12 Minnesota (21-12) - Spokane
#6
Xavier (24-8) vs. #11 Siena (27-6) - Providence
#7
Northern Iowa (28-4) vs. #10 San Diego State (25-8) - Milwaukee
#8
Clemson (21-10) vs. #9 St. Mary's (26-5) - Milwaukee

WEST REGION - Salt Lake City

#1
West Virginia (27-6) vs. #16 East Tennessee State (20-14) - Buffalo
#2
Duke (29-5) vs. #15 North Texas (24-8) - Jacksonville
#3
Baylor (25-7) vs. #14 Montana (22-9) - New Orleans
#4
Michigan State (24-8) vs. #13 New Mexico State (22-11) - Jacksonville
#5
Tennessee (25-8) vs. #12 Virginia Tech (23-8) - Jacksonville
#6
Gonzaga (26-6) vs. #11 UTEP (26-6) - New Orleans
#7
Richmond (26-8) vs. #10 UNLV (25-8) - Jacksonville
#8
Oklahoma State (22-10) vs. #9 Washington (24-9) - Buffalo

*Top overall seed

There you have it. My final bracket. Hope you enjoyed Barnes Bracketology 2010. Enjoy the madness...and GO BOBCATS!

MB
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