The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 9, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Saturday, March 9, 2019

March 9, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Gonzaga

Duke

Virginia

Kentucky

2

Tennessee

Michigan

North Carolina

Michigan St.

3

LSU

Houston

Purdue

Texas Tech

4

Florida St.

Kansas

Wisconsin

Kansas St.

5

Virginia Tech

Marquette

Maryland

Mississippi St.

6

Villanova

Nevada

Buffalo

Cincinnati

7

Iowa St.

Louisville

Wofford

Auburn

8

Baylor

Syracuse

Iowa

Washington

9

Ole Miss

Central Florida

Oklahoma

St. John’s

10

Virginia Commonwealth

Florida

Minnesota

Ohio St.

11

Texas

Utah St.

Seton Hall

Temple

12

North Carolina St./TCU

Arizona St./Alabama

Belmont

Lipscomb

13

New Mexico St.

Old Dominion

Vermont

Hofstra

14

UC-irvine

South Dakota St.

Montana

Drake

15

Yale

Texas St.

Bucknell

Wright St.

16

Radford

Sam Houston St.

Norfolk St./St. Francis (PA)

Iona/Texas Southern

 

Last 4 Byes

Texas

Utah St.

Seton Hall

Temple

 

Last 4 In

North Carolina St.

Arizona St.

TCU

Alabama

 

First 4 Out

Clemson

Indiana

Furman

Georgetown

 

Next 4 Out

Murray St.

Nebraska

UNC Greensboro

Saint Mary’s

 

Bids By Conference

Bids

ACC

8

Big Ten

8

Big 12

8

SEC

8

AAC

4

Big East

4

MWC

2

Pac-12

2

One-Bid Leagues

24

 

Potential Bid Stealer Tonight

Belmont plays Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Game tonight, and the winner will receive the first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  This should be a must-watch game for you if you go mad over March Madness.

Both teams enter this game sporting 26-4 records, and both teams have a star player that will make this game worth watching.  Murray’s Ja Morant is an NBA Lottery Pick.  The 6 foot 3 inch sophomore point guard has moved ahead of the injured Darius Garland as the top point guard on the draft board.  Morant averages 24.2 points per game with a John Stockton-like 10.3 assists per game.  He doesn’t just jack up a ton of shots every night either; he takes sensible shots rarely off-balance, and he can put a team on his back and win in the postseason, as last night’s nip and tuck semifinal game with Jacksonville State proved.  The Gamecocks made a furious second half comeback to take the lead late in the game, before Morant took over and put JSU away with a key three-point play the old-fashioned way.  He then supplied enough tight defense to force JSU’s last chance shot to be a low-percentage one.

Belmont is led by their swingman guard/forward.  Dylan Windler is a multi-tooled 6 foot 8 inch senior that has continued to improve during his four year stay in Nashville.  Windler put  up Elgin Baylor type numbers last night in Belmont’s semifinal win over Austin Peay.  The Governors actually led this game for a good part of the first half, but Windler was on fire while also being a beast on the boards.  When is the last time, a wing player scored 32 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a Division 1 game?  Might it have been the Hall of Famer from Seattle University that starred for the Lakers for a dozen years?  Windler averages 21.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for Belmont.

Magic Johnson has been front and center at this tournament, and when he saw Windler play last night, he no doubt thought about his former rival with Indiana State and the Boston Celtics, as Windler drained eight three-pointers.  Windler, by the way, hails from the Sycamore State.  He projects as a D-League prospect at the present time, but he could work his way into a second-round selection with a couple more excellent outings on the national stage.

Which brings us to this:  Obviously, one of these two stars will be sad tonight after the other flashes a big smile knowing he is headed to the Big Dance.  Is there a chance that the loser might steal an at-large bid?

Belmont must be given some consideration if the Bruins lose a close game tonight.  At 26-4, they are currently sitting at #41 in the Net Ratings.  The Bruins are 13-3 away from the Curb Events Center, and they have two wins over rival Lipscomb plus a win at UCLA.  Among their four losses is a game at Purdue, where Belmont was in the game most of the day.  Purely mechanical, this Belmont team is probably better than Bubble teams like Arizona State, Alabama, Clemson, and TCU.  If Lipscomb holds off Liberty tomorrow in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship; if Purdue wins the Big Ten Conference Tournament; and if UCLA advances to the Semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, Belmont’s resume might be good enough to sneak into the Dance with a trip to Dayton in the First Four.

 

 

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