The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 7, 2018

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Update–March 7, 2018

Today’s PiRate Ratings For Conference Tournament Games

Home Team Visitor  
or Higher Seed Lower Seed Spread
LaSalle Massachusetts 4.1
George Washington Fordham 6.1
Florida St. Louisville 0.7
North Carolina St. Boston College 3.4
Virginia Tech Notre Dame -0.3
North Carolina Syracuse 7.9
Oklahoma St. Oklahoma -0.5
Texas Iowa St. 5.6
Georgetown St. John’s -3.1
Marquette DePaul 5.2
Florida Int’l. Southern Miss. 0.2
UTSA UTEP 2.7
North Texas Louisiana Tech -1.9
UAB Florida Atlantic 9.0
Hampton Florida A&M 9.4
Bethune-Cookman Morgan St. 1.8
UNLV Air Force 9.4
Utah St. Colorado St. 5.7
Wyoming San Jose St. 12.6
Colorado Arizona St. -7.8
Stanford California 10.8
Washington Oregon St. -0.7
Oregon Washington St. 9.7
Bucknell Colgate 9.3
Georgia Vanderbilt 1.9
South Carolina Ole Miss 2.8
New Orleans Texas A&M-CC 2.9
Lamar Central Arkansas 0.8
Coastal Carolina Texas St. 1.2
Appalachian St. Little Rock 3.9
UL-Monroe Arkansas St. 2.4
Troy South Alabama 3.9

Games in RED are Championship Games for Automatic NCAA Tournament Bids.

Last Night’s Conference Tournament Championship Games

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
Charleston 83 Northeastern 76 ot
Horizon League Tournament
Wright St. 74 Cleveland St. 57
Northeast Conference Tournament
Long Island 71 Wagner 61
Summit League Tournament
South Dakota St. 97 South Dakota 87
West Coast Conference Tournament
Gonzaga 74 BYU 54

Teams With Automatic Bids to the Dance

Team Bid Conf. W-L
Charleston AUTO CAA 26-7
Gonzaga AUTO WCC 30-4
Iona AUTO MAAC 20-13
Lipscomb AUTO A-SUN 23-9
Long Island AUTO NEC 18-16
Loyola (Chi.) AUTO MVC 28-5
Michigan AUTO BTen 28-7
Murray St. AUTO OVC 26-5
Radford AUTO B-South 22-12
South Dakota St. AUTO Summit 28-6
UNC-Greensboro AUTO SoCon 27-7
Wright St. AUTO Horizon 25-9

Conference Championship Games Scheduled For Wednesday

Patriot League Tournament
Championship–March 7
Time Home Visitors TV
7:30 PM #1 Bucknell #2 Colgate CBSSN

 

Conference Tournaments Beginning Today

Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament
Washington, DC
First 4 Rounds EST/Championship EDT
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #12 LaSalle #13 Massachusetts  
8:30 PM #11 George Washington #14 Fordham  
       
Second Round–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 VCU #9 Dayton NBCSN
2:30 PM #5 George Mason LaSalle or UMass NBCSN
6:00 PM #7 Richmond #10 Duquesne NBCSN
8:30 PM #6 St. Louis GWU or Fordham NBCSN
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 Rhode Island VCU or Dayton NBCSN
2:30 PM #4 St. Joseph’s GMU/LaSalle/UMass NBCSN
6:00 PM #2 St. Bonaventure Richmond or Duquesne NBCSN
8:30 PM #3 Davidson Stl/GWU/Fordham NBCSN
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM URI/VCU/Dayton StJo/GMU/LaSalle/UMass CBSSN
3:30 PM StBon/Rich/Duq Dav/Stl/GWU/Fordham CBSSN
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     CBS

Rhode Island is a lock to get into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team if the Rams do not win the conference tournament.  St. Bonaventure is most likely in as well, but the Bonnies could sure use a quarterfinal win to make it secure.  Davidson is a potential bid stealer.  The Wildcats are the hottest team in the league and sport the league’s top defense.  Davidson knocked off Rhode Island in the regular season finale.

A player to watch in this tournament is Justin Wilson of VCU.  Wilson has the talent and ability to carry his team to the semifinals, where the right matchup could produce a dark horse for the league title.

Big 12 Conference Tournament
Kansas City
All Times CST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 Oklahoma St. #9 Oklahoma ESPNU
8:00 PM #7 Texas #10 Iowa St. ESPNU
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM #4 Kansas St. #5 TCU ESPN2
1:30 PM #1 Kansas Okla. St. or Oklahoma ESPN2
6:00 PM #2 Texas Tech Texas or Iowa St. ESPNU
8:00 PM #3 West Virginia #6 Baylor ESPNU
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM Kan/Okl St/Okla Kan St. or TCU ESPN2
8:00 PM TTU/Tex/Iowa St. WVU or Baylor ESPN2
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM     ESPN

Kansas is aiming to secure a number one seed in the Big Dance, but the Jayhawks have been a bit inconsistent this year.  West Virginia swooned in the middle of the season, but the Mountaineers began to put it all together late in the season.  Kansas State, TCU, and Texas Tech had their moments during the season, but none of the three looked like a champion as March came marching in.  Oklahoma has taken on water to the point where a first-round loss to rival Oklahoma St. could sink the Sooners.  Texas and Baylor might need one tournament win to earn tournament lock status, while Iowa St. is really the only team that must win the automatic bid to get into the field of 68.  This should be one of the most exciting Big 12 Tournaments ever.

Big East Conference Tournament
New York City
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #8 Georgetown #9 St. John’s FS1
9:30 PM #7 Marquette #10 DePaul FS1
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 Xavier G’Town or St. John’s FS1
2:30 PM #4 Creighton #5 Providence FS1
7:00 PM #2 Villanova Marq. or DePaul FS1
9:30 PM #3 Seton Hall #6 Butler FS1
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM Xavier/GTown/St. Johns Creighton or Providence FS1
9:00 PM Villa/Marq/DePaul S. Hall or Butler FS1
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM     Fox

Except for Georgetown and DePaul, any of the other eight teams in this league could win the conference tournament.  Villanova finished behind Xavier in the standings, but the Wildcats own the Musketeers.  St. John’s finished in a last place tie, but the Red Hawks beat Duke, Villanova, and Marquette in consecutive games.  So, it would not be all that shocking if SJU found the magic in MSG and make a run.

Conference USA Tournament
Frisco, TX
Top 12 Teams Qualify
All Times CST
       
Note: This facility splits into two separate courts until the semifinals
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 Florida Int’l. #9 Southern Miss. TBA
6:30 PM #5 UTSA #12 UTEP TBA
8:30 PM #7 North Texas #10 Louisiana Tech TBA
9:00 PM #6 UAB #11 Florida Atlantic TBA
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 Middle Tennessee FIU or Southern Miss Stadium
6:30 PM #4 Marshall UTSA or UTEP Stadium
8:30 PM #2 Old Dominion N Tex or La Tech Stadium
9:00 PM #3 Western Kentucky UAB or FAU Stadium
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:30 PM MTSU/FIU/USM Marsh/UTSA/UTEP CBSSN
3:00 PM ODU/UNT/LT WKU/UAB/FAU CBSSN
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:30 PM     CBSSN

This should be an interesting tournament just for the logistics.  If you have ever attended a giant AAU tournament, you most likely have seen multiple courts set up with a curtain dividing the action.  This tournament is going to face something similar.  The event will take place where the Dallas Cowboys practice.  There’s nothing new about staging the Final Four in a domed stadium meant for football.  However, there will be two courts facing parallel to each other with a thick black curtain separating the games.  There will be no worries about the basketball rolling from one court to the other interrupting a game, because the courts will be set in opposite end zones.  However, there is no guarantee that the sounds from one court might be heard on the other court, especially referee whistles and scoreboard horns.

The tournament itself should be quite interesting.  Middle Tennessee romped over the rest of the league with the exception of Marshall.  Marshall’s style of play is totally different than all the other teams in the league and all but a few teams nationally.  The Thundering Herd are one of the most exciting teams to watch in all levels of basketball.

Even though they are highly ranked, Middle Tennessee is far from a lock to make the NCAA Tournament if they do not win the automatic bid.  The Blue Raiders are 49th in the RPI, 48th in predictive metrics, 3-3 in Quadrant 1 games, and 2-1 in Quadrant 2 games.  They are certainly on the Bubble.

Western Kentucky and Old Dominion are fairly evenly matched with enough talent to win the tournament and represent the league well in an opening round NCAA Tournament game.  UAB is the  only dark horse with the horses to pull off a couple of upset wins, but anything other than the top four seeds advancing to the semifinals would be shocking.

 

Mountain West Conference Tournament
Las Vegas
All Times PST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:00 AM #8 UNLV #9 Air Force Stadium
1:30 PM #7 Utah St. #10 Colorado St. Stadium
4:00 PM #6 Wyoming #11 San Jose St. Stadium
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 Nevada UNLV or Air Force CBSSN
2:30 PM #4 Fresno St. #5 San Diego St. CBSSN
6:00 PM #2 Boise St. Utah St. or Color. St. CBSSN
8:30 PM #3 New Mexico Wyoming or San Jose CBSSN
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM Nev/UNLV/AFA FSU or SDSU CBSSN
8:30 PM BSU/USU/CSU UNM/Wyom/SJSU CBSSN
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
3:00 PM     CBS

If your favorite power conference team is in need of a new coach, then your school’s administration should keep a watch on this conference.  This is a league that features a lot of excellent coaches that could move on to big time schools and win big, much like the MAC in football.

At the top of this list are Nevada’s Eric Musselman, Boise State’s Leon Rice, Wyoming’s Allen Edwards, Fresno State’s Rodney Terry, and New Mexico’s Paul Weir.

Nevada has an NCAA bid locked up, but unless another team wins the MWC Tournament, this will be a one-bid league.  Boise State was on the Bubble at one time, but the Broncos’ resume, which includes a road win at Oregon  and home win over Loyola (Chi.) still might be a bit too thin.

San Diego State is like the snake in the grass that the mice cannot see.  The Aztecs can usually play great defense, but their offense is a bit too inconsistent.  This year, that is not the case, as their offense is rather strong, but their defense has not been up to recent standards.  However, SDSU enters this tournament riding a six-game winning streak with evidence that their defense is starting to come around.  Of all the dark horses in all the conferences, we believe the Aztecs are the most dangerous.

 

Pacific 12 Conference Tournament
Las Vegas
All Times PST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 Colorado #9 Arizona St. Pac12
2:30 PM #5 Stanford #12 California Pac12
6:00 PM #7 Washington #10 Oregon St. Pac12
8:30 PM #6 Oregon #11 Washington St. Pac12
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 Arizona Colorado or Ariz. St. Pac12
2:30 PM #4 UCLA Stanford or Cal Pac12
6:00 PM #2 USC Wash or Oregon St. Pac12
8:30 PM #3 Utah Oregon or Wash St. FS1
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM Ariz/Color/Ariz St UCLA/Stanford/Cal Pac12
8:30 PM USC/Wash/OreSt Utah/Oreg/WSU FS1
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     FS1

Will the on-court action be as exciting as the off-court action in this league?  Arizona had to withstand a lot of negative press and speculation about Coach Sean Miller and star player DeAndre Ayton.

Then, there is the case of the hottest team in November and early December becoming an also-ran in conference play, yet remaining on the Bubble.  In other years prior to the current set-up where last 10 or 12 games meant a lot, this metric is not considered by the Selection Committee.  Thus, Arizona State, 8-10 in the Pac-12 and tied for eighth, is still very much in consideration for an at-large bid, while Utah and Stanford, both 11-7 in the league are not seriously being considered.  Stanford swept ASU, clearly showing the world that they are a superior team, while Utah split with the Sun Devils.  It just goes to show that this current system, while being easy to understand, is seriously flawed.

Imagine if the San Diego Padres won series over the Cubs, Nationals, and Astros early in the season and led the NL West through the end of May and then swooned to a 83-79 finish, while the Dodgers go 92-70 but end up with losing records to the Cubs and Nats and lose their interleague series with Cleveland.  Would it be right for the Padres to go to the playoffs based on those April and May wins, while the Dodgers stay home, even if the Dodgers owned the Padres in head-to-head games?  This would be a joke!  But, in college basketball, it is hailed as the new genius way to determine who belongs in the Dance.

It is our opinion that conference standings mean something, in fact a lot more than most of the other factors used to pick at-large teams.  The third place team in a league is obviously better than the eighth place team in the same league.

 

Southeastern Conference Tournament
St. Louis
First 4 Rounds CST, Championship Game CDT
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #12 Georgia #13 Vanderbilt SECTV
8:30 PM #11 South Carolina #14 Ole Miss SECTV
       
Second Round–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 Texas A&M #9 Alabama SECTV
2:30 PM #5 Missouri Georgia or Vandy SECTV
6:00 PM #7 Mississippi St. #10 LSU SECTV
8:30 PM #6 Arkansas S. Carolina or Ole Miss SECTV
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 Auburn A&M or Alabama ESPN
2:30 PM #4 Kentucky Mizzou/UGa/Vandy ESPN
6:00 PM #2 Tennessee Miss St. or LSU SECTV
8:30 PM #3 Florida Ark/USC/Ole Miss SECTV
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM Aub/A&M/Alabama UK/MO/GA/VU ESPN
2:30 PM UT/MSU/LSU Fla/Ark/USC/OM ESPN
       
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM     ESPN

Co-champion Auburn is a wounder Tiger.  Without their one legitimate star inside presence, Anfernee McLemore, we do not see the Tigers making it to the Championship Game, and they could fall short of the Semifinals.

Co-champion Tennessee really only goes seven deep, which is okay in the NCAA Tournament, but having to win three games in three days will be tough.

Florida and Kentucky can always be counted to put it all together starting the second week of March.  The Gators and Wildcats have enough vulnerabilities this year that either team winning the tournament would be a mild surprise.

It is the next six teams in this league that should make this an exciting tournament.  Alabama is like the 33rd car in Indy Qualifying, always worried that another car might run an exceptional qualifying run and bump them from the field.  The Crimson Tide absolutely must win Thursday over Texas A&M to have any chance to make the field.  A win over Auburn on Friday would do the trick.

Who do we like in this tournament?  It all hinges on one player who has been in action for all of two minutes all season.  Will Michael Porter, Jr. return to action for Missouri?  If so, will he be able to play considerable minutes?  If so, then Missouri becomes our favorite to run the table and win the Arch Madness encore.  The Tigers are already strong enough to compete for the championship, so if Porter can come close to looking like he did when Missouri played Kansas in that pre-season charity game, the Tigers might capitalize on the return and cut down the nets in their home state.

Texas A&M is a team to watch.  The Aggies will have to fight off a feisty Alabama team playing for its tournament life.  An A&M win on Thursday would set up a quarterfinal game with an Auburn team that A&M handled in Auburn.

 

Southland Conference Tournament
Katy, TX
Top 8 Teams Qualify
All Times CST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #5 New Orleans #8 Texas A&M-CC ESPN3
7:30 PM #6 Lamar #7 Central Arkansas ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #4 Sam Houston St. UNO or TAMCC ESPN3
7:30 PM #3 Stephen F. Austin Lamar or Cent. Ark. ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #1 SE Louisiana SHSU/UNO/TAMCC ESPN3
7:30 PM #2 Nicholls St. SFA/Lamar/Cent. Ark. ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:00 PM     ESPN2

How many times have you watched a classic horse race where an all-time favorite horse like American Pharoah or Secretariat is in third place entering the top of the stretch?  The champion may be down 4 or 5 lengths, and the horses leading him may have decent past performances that show they close well.  Still, all eyes are on the all-time great, because you just know the heroic equine is going to run a 11.4 final furlong and pass the two horses in front.

The Southland Conference has its Secretariat or Citation.  Stephen F. Austin enters the tournament as the number three seed, but the fans of top-seed Southeast Louisiana and second-seed Nicholls State will tell you that they fear the Lumberjacks.  SFA played the two co-champs in back-to-back games more than two months ago.  Since then, the Lumberjacks have improved by about 7-10 points.  SFA is the real favorite to win the tournament for the fourth time in five years.

 

Sun Belt Conference Tournament
New Orleans
First 3 Rounds CST, Championship Game CDT
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM #8 Coastal Carolina #9 Texas St. ESPN3
2:00 PM #5 Appalachian St. #12 Little Rock ESPN3
5:00 PM #7 UL-Monroe #10 Arkansas St. ESPN3
7:30 PM #6 Troy #11 South Alabama ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM #1 UL-Lafayette CCU or Tex St. ESPN3
2:00 PM #4 UT-Arlington Appy St. or Little Rock ESPN3
5:00 PM #2 Georgia St. ULM or Arky St. ESPN3
7:30 PM #3 Georgia Southern Troy or USA ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM ULL/CCU/Tex St UTA/Appy/Little Rock ESPN3
2:00 PM GSU/ULM/ASU GSU/Troy/USA ESPN3
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     ESPN2

Louisiana Lafayette (We know they now call themselves just Louisiana, but until it is the household name we will still add “Lafayette”) is the overwhelming favorite to win the tournament and be a formidable first-round opponent, but it is not a foregone conclusion that the Ragin’ Cajuns will slaughter three opponents and earn the one bid that will go to the league.

ULL has an incredible offense and can light up the scoreboard, but occasional defensive lapses have led to giving up too many points.  Georgia State hung 106 points on them two weeks ago.  Panthers’ coach Ron Hunter knows how to prepare his teams for tournament play, and Georgia State should be considered a co-favorite.

Texas-Arlington is a team to watch in this tourney.  The Mavericks usually win the hustle stats, and those extra opportunities mean even more in March.

 

Conference Tournaments Continuing Today

All times EST

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
Second Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 Florida St. #9 Louisville ESPN
2:00 PM #5 North Carolina St. #12 Boston College ESPN
7:00 PM #7 Virginia Tech #10 Notre Dame ESPN2
9:00 PM #6 North Carolina #11 Syracuse ESPN2
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 Virginia Fla. St. or Louis. ESPN
2:00 PM #4 Clemson NCSt/BC ESPN
7:00 PM #2 Duke VaT/N.Dame ESPN
9:00 PM #3 Miami (Fla.) North Carolina or Syracuse ESPN
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM UVa/FSU/Louis. Clem/NCSt/BC TBA
9:00 PM Duke/VaT/ND Mia.UNC/Syr TBA
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:30 PM     ESPN

 

Mideastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Quarterfinals–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 Hampton #9 Florida A&M ESPN3
8:00 PM #2 Bethune-Cookman #7 Morgan St. ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #3 Savannah St. #6 UNC-Central ESPN3
8:00 PM #4 North Carolina A&T #5 Norfolk St. ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM Hampton/FAMU NCAT/Norfolk St ESPN3
8:00 PM BCU/MSU Sav/UNCC ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

February 15, 2018

2018 NCAA Division 1 Conference Tournament Schedule

Here is a look at the 32 Division 1 conferences’ tournament schedules.  A few league still have “to be announced starting times.”

America East Conference Tournament
All Games Played at Higher Seed
Tournament Re-seeded after quarterfinals
Top 8 Teams
       
Quarterfinals–March 3
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA #1 #8 ESPN3
TBA #4 #5 ESPN3
TBA #2 #7 ESPN3
TBA #3 #6 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 6
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA Highest Remaining Lowest Remaining ESPN3
TBA 2nd Highest 3rd Highest ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA Higher Lower ESPN2

Vermont (11-0/21-5) has won 14 games in a row and should be the overwhelming favorite to return to the NCAA Tournament.  The Catamounts are one of the better shooting teams from behind the arc, and they are sneaking good on the boards.  They will not be an easy out for a favored power conference team in the first round.

American Athletic Conference Tournament
Orlando, FL
First 3 Rounds EST/Championship EDT
       
First Round–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM # 8 #9 ESPNU
2:30 PM #5 #12 ESPNU
6:00 PM #7 #10 ESPNU
8:30 PM #6 #11 ESPNU
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN2
2:30 PM #4 5 or 12 ESPN2
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPNU
8:30 PM #3 6 or 11 ESPNU
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, or 12 CBS
3:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 CBS
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
3:00 PM     CBS

Cincinnati (12-0/23-2) faces three tough regular season  games on their schedule before the AAC Tournament begins.  The Bearcats play at Houston (9-3/19-5) tonight in a game you can see on CBSSN at 7 PM Eastern.  UC looks like a national championship contender.  The Bearcats are number one in the nation in field goal percentage defense and in scoring margin.  The team is one of the quickest teams we have seen in many years, and they plug defensive holes fast enough to give up many decent shots.  Coach Mick Cronin’s forces are better offensively this year, because they just may be the best passing team in college basketball.  The ball moves much quicker through the air than by the dribble, and combining fast player movement with crisp passing makes it hard to contain.  The only question is whether the Bearcats have played a tough enough schedule.  Road games at Houston and Wichita State will give us the answer.

Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament
Washington, DC
First 4 Rounds EST/Championship EDT
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #12 #13  
8:30 PM #11 #14  
       
Second Round–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 #9 NBCSN
2:30 PM #5 12 or 13 NBCSN
6:00 PM #7 #10 NBCSN
8:30 PM #6 11 or 14 NBCSN
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 NBCSN
2:30 PM #4 5, 12, or 13 NBCSN
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 NBCSN
8:30 PM #3 6, 11, or 14 NBCSN
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, 12, or 13 CBSSN
3:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, 11, or 14 CBSSN
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     CBS

Rhode Island (13-0/21-3) has secured a bid to the NCAA Tournament with or without the automatic bid.  Should somebody upset the Rams in the A-10 Tournament, there will be an extra A-10 team dancing, which means one bubble will pop.  URI has a 16-game winning streak, and Danny Hurley will become a hot commodity in the coaching wars in late March and April.

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
Brooklyn
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #12 #13 ESPN2
2:00 PM #10 #15 ESPN2
7:00 PM #11 #14 ESPNU
       
Second Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 #9 ESPN
2:00 PM #5 12 or 13 ESPN
7:00 PM #7 10 or 15 ESPN2
9:00 PM #6 11 or 14 ESPN2
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN
2:00 PM #4 5, 12, or 13 ESPN
7:00 PM #2 7, 10, or 15 ESPN
9:00 PM #3 6, 11, or 14 ESPN
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, 12, or 13 TBA
9:00 PM 2, 7, 10, or 15 3, 6, 11, or 14 TBA
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:30 PM     ESPN

Virginia (13-1/24-2) lost at home to rival Virginia Tech (7-6/18-8), placing the Hokies many places higher on the Bubble.  This tournament should be up for grabs, because there are many quality teams.  One will get hot and play its best basketball of the season, and that team will earn the automatic bid.  Keep an eye on North Carolina State (7-6/17-9).  First year coach Kevin Keatts proved to be one of the best tournament coaches when he was at UNCW, and his players have played well above their talent levels for him.  Just a tad more improvement, and the Wolf Pack could be dangerous in the Barclay’s Center.

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
All Games Played at Higher Seed
All Times EST
       
Quarterfinals–February 26
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA #1 Florida Gulf Coast #8 ESPN3
TBA #4 #5 ESPN3
TBA #2 #7 ESPN3
TBA #3 #6 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 1
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA 1 or 8 4 or 5 ESPN3
TBA 2 or 7 3 or 6 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA     ESPN

Florida Gulf Coast (11-0/20-8) has already secured the top seed and will host every game it plays in the A-Sun Tournament.  This Eagles team is not as strong as the great dunking 2013 team that advanced to the Sweet 16, but it will be a major upset if FGCU loses.

Big 12 Conference Tournament
Kansas City
All Times CST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 #9 ESPNU
8:00 PM #7 #10 ESPNU
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM #4 #5 ESPN2
1:30 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN2
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPNU
8:00 PM #3 #6 ESPNU
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 ESPN2
8:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 ESPN2
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM     ESPN

This will be one interesting and exciting tournament.  Except for Iowa State, any of the other nine teams has the ability to win this tournament.  It will be important to finish in the top six to avoid having to play an extra game to win the thing, but even the 7 through 9 seeds will have chances to win four games in four days.  Baylor (6-7/16-10) has won four straight games to move from the cellar to a fifth place tie.  The Bears are the hot team, and their wins at Oklahoma State and Texas plus a home win over Kansas proves that they are good enough to keep winning.  Saturday’s game against front-runner Texas Tech (10-3/22-4) should be one of the best of the weekend.

Big East Conference Tournament
New York City
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #8 #9 FS1
9:30 PM #7 #10 FS1
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 FS1
2:30 PM #4 #5 FS1
7:00 PM #2 7 or 10 FS1
9:30 PM #3 #6 FS1
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM 1, 8,or 9 4 or 5 FS1
9:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 FS1
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM     Fox

Villanova (10-3/23-3) dropped from the top of the polls and then dropped from the top of the conference.  Xavier (12-2/24-3) is the hot team, but the Musketeers have eeked out a lot of their wins this year.  Teams that pick up many close wins seldom advance to the Final Four, but it is not impossible.  Xavier pinned one of the losses on Cincinnati, and it is slightly possible that the Final Four could have two teams from the Queen City.

After losing 11 games in a row, St. John’s (3-11/14-13) has won four in a row, including two over top five teams (Duke and Villanova).  Seldom does the last place team look capable of winning a power conference tournament, but there is precedence.  Virginia won the ACC after finishing last in the standings one season in the 1970’s.

Big Sky Conference Tournament
Reno, NV
All Times PST
       
First Round–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 #9 Pluto tv
2:30 PM #5 #12 Pluto tv
5:30 PM #7 #10 Pluto tv
8:00 PM #6 #11 Pluto tv
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 Pluto tv
2:30 PM #4 5 or 12 Pluto tv
5:30 PM #2 7 or 10 Pluto tv
8:00 PM #3 6 or 11 Pluto tv
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:30 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, or 12 Pluto tv
8:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 Pluto tv
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM     ESPNU

Three teams have put it together in the month of February, and one of the three should win the tournament.  Montana (13-0/20-5) has won 13 games in a row; Weber St. (10-2/17-7) has won 7 in a row; and Idaho (9-3/17-7) has won 4 in a row.  Montana plays at Idaho on Saturday.

Big South Conference Tournament
1st Round & Championship Game at Higher Seeds
Quarterfinals and Semfinals at #1 Seed
All Times EST
       
First Round–February 27
Time Home Visitors TV
7:00 PM #7 #10 BSN
7:00 PM #8 #9 BSN
BSN TV at http://bigsouthsports.com    
Quarterfinals–March 1
Time Home Visitors TV
1:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
3:30 PM #3 #6 ESPN3
7:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
9:30 PM #4 #5 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 2
Time Home Visitors TV
6:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 ESPN3
8:30 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
1:00 PM     ESPN

UNC-Asheville (11-3/18-9) was the preseason pick to win the Big South, but the Bulldogs underachieved through early January.  Since then, UNCA has passed four teams to move to the top of the standings, riding a 7-game winning streak.  Keep an eye on eighth place Charleston Southern (6-8/11-14).  The Buccaneers have won four of five games, and they could easily be 9-9 by the time the tournament starts.  Many of CSU’s losses have been close, including road losses against the top part of the league.  The Bucs are peaking at the right time.

Big Ten Conference Tournament
New York City
All Times EST
       
First Round–February 28
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:30 PM #12 #13 Big Ten
7:45 PM #11 #14 Big Ten
       
Second Round–March 1
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 #9 Big Ten
2:15 PM #5 12 or 13 Big Ten
6:30 PM #7 #10 Big Ten
8:45 PM #6 11 or 14 Big Ten
       
Quarterfinals–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 Big Ten
2:15 PM #4 5, 12, or 13 Big Ten
6:30 PM #2 7 or 10 Big Ten
8:45 PM #3 6, 11, or 14 Big Ten
       
Semifinals–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
2:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, 12, or 13 CBS
4:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, 11, or 14 CBS
       
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
4:30 PM     CBS

The Big Ten season is ending early this year so the league can stage its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.  MSG also hosts the Big East Tournament.

The top three teams (Ohio St. 13-1/22-5), Michigan St. (13-2/25-3), and Purdue (12-2/23-4) have separated themselves from the rest of the field and are all safely in the Dance.  Michigan (10-5/21-7) is close to a lock.  There are three or four other teams that will begin the tournament needing multiple wins to have a chance to get into the field.  Nebraska (11-4/20-8) is a victim of the new way of picking at-large teams.  In past years, the Cornhuskers would be a near lock with an 11-4 record in the Big Ten.  With the new quadrant system being used, Nebraska does not have a Quadrant 1 win and not enough Quadrant 2 wins.  The Huskers have three winnable conference games and could be 14-4 in the league and still back on the Bubble, so NU will need to do some damage in the Big Apple.

Big West Conference Tournament
Anaheim, CA
Top 8 Teams Qualify & Tournament Re-seeds for Semifinals
All Times PST
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #2 #7 FSWest
2:30 PM #3 #6 FSWest
6:00 PM #1 #8 FSWest
8:30 PM #4 #5 FSWest
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM Highest Remaining Lowest Remaining TBA
9:00 PM 2nd Highest 3rd Highest TBA
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
9:00 PM     ESPN2

UC-Santa Barbara (8-2/19-5), UC-Irvine (8-3/13-14), UC-Davis (7-4/16-9), Cal State Fullerton (7-4/14-9), and Long Beach St. (7-4/13-14) have stayed bunched together all season, and no team has a great edge over any other.  With the game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, there are basically three home teams in UCI, CSF, and LBSU.  This one is up for grabs.

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
North Charleston, SC
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 #9 CAA TV
8:30 PM #7 #10 CAA TV
       
Quarterfinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 Comcast
2:30 PM #4 #5 Comcast
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 Comcast
8:30 PM #3 #6 Comcast
       
Semifinals–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 CBSSN
8:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 CBSSN
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     CBSSN

In the late 1990’s John Kresse took College of Charleston to multiple NCAA Tournaments.  The Cougars (11-3/20-6) have not been to the Big Dance since, but this looks like the most promising year this century for C of C.  The Cougars are strong in the backcourt and have a beefy forward in Jarrell Brantley.

Conference USA Tournament
Frisco, TX
Top 12 Teams Qualify
All Times CST
       
Note: This facility splits into two separate courts until the semifinals
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 #9 TBA
6:30 PM #5 #12 TBA
8:30 PM #7 #10 TBA
9:00 PM #6 #11 TBA
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 8 or 9 Stadium
6:30 PM #4 5 or 12 Stadium
8:30 PM #2 7 or 10 Stadium
9:00 PM #3 6 or 11 Stadium
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:30 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, or 12 CBSSN
3:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 CBSSN
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:30 PM     CBSSN

Middle Tennessee (12-1/20-5) will be the favorite, but the Blue Raiders will not waltz to an easy three-peat in CUSA.  The tournament has been moved to the North Dallas suburbs, where it will be played on the Cowboys’ practice facility.  The football field will be split into two courts so that two games can be played at a time (women’s tournament will also be there simultaneously).

The next three best teams, Western Kentucky (10-2/18-7), Old Dominion (10-2/19-5), and Marshall (8-4/17-8) have very little chance of sniffing an at-large bid.  WKU may have a slight chance, but realistically the Hilltoppers need to win out in the regular season and make it to the finals before their at-large hopes would be legitimate.

It’s the tier below these top four that should concern Middle Tennessee the most.  North Texas (7-5/14-11) is virtually a home team in the conference tournament.  UTSA (7-5/14-11) has improved by 10 points since December.  UAB (7-6/16-10) has not yet played up to its talent level, which means the Blazers could peak at tournament time.

Horizon League Tournament
Detroit (Motor City Madness)
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:30 PM #7 #10 ESPN3
8:00 PM #8 #9 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 3
5:30 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
8:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
       
       
Quarterfinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #3 #6 ESPN3
7:30 PM #4 #5 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 ESPNU
9:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 ESPNU
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     TBA

Northern Kentucky (12-2/19-7) and Wright St. (11-3/19-8) have flip-flopped between first and second place all year.  Northern Kentucky is the defending conference champions, and the Norse were the overwhelming favorite to repeat this year.

There are a couple more teams to consider in this tournament.  UIC (10-4/15-12) has quietly moved into third following a 7-game winning streak, and the top two teams still must visit UIC Pavilion.  Oakland (8-6/16-11) has a powerful, up-tempo offense, which is not all that consistent.  When consistent, the Golden Grizzlies have the ability to beat any league opponent.  Oakland won by 13 at NKU.

Ivy League Tournament
Philadelphia (Ivy Madness)
Top 4 Teams Qualify
Semifinals EST Championship Game EDT
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:30 PM #1 #4 ESPNU
3:00 PM #2 #3 ESPN2
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
9:00 PM     ESPN2

Penn (7-1/17-7) and Harvard (7-1/12-11) have secured half of the spots in the field of four that will square off at the Palestra.  The Quakers will have the home court advantage.

The other two spots are still very much up for grabs with five teams competing and six conference games remaining.  This is a down year for the Ivy, and the winner of the tournament will most likely face a #1 seed in the first round if not forced to go to Dayton for the First Four.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament
Albany, NY
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 1
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM # 8 #9 ESPN3
7:00 PM #7 #10 ESPN3
9:00 PM #6 #11 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
9:30 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #3 6 or 11 ESPN3
9:30 PM #4 #5 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 ESPN3
9:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     TBA

This is a league in transition, as its previous top teams have settled back in the pack.  The current top three in the standings are the three teams playing their best ball in February, and we would tend to believe that one of the trio will win the automatic bid.  Those three teams are: Rider (12-2/19-7), Canisius (12-2/18-9), and Niagara (10-4/17-10).  For Rider and Canisius, it was the mid 1990’s when they were in the NCAA Tournament, while Niagara went in 2007.

Mid-American Conference Tournament
Cleveland (First Round at Higher Seeds)
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 5
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA #8 #9 TBA
TBA #5 #12 TBA
TBA #7 #10 TBA
TBA #6 #11 TBA
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
2:30 PM #4 5 or 12 ESPN3
6:30 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
9:00 PM #3 6 or 11 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, or 12 CBSSN
9:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 See *
* This game will be available at cbssports.com
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     ESPN2

Buffalo (11-2/19-7) looked like the clear-cut favorite until the last week or so, and now the Bulls have stiff competition from Toledo (11-2/19-7).  However, historically, the MAC Tournament has seen an abnormally large number of surprises.  We don’t expect it to be any different this year.  Central Michigan (5-8/16-10) has disappointed this year, as their talent level is better than their results so far.  The Chippewas are a very longshot to win the tournament, but it would not surprise us if CMU looks much stronger in Cleveland–if they get there.

Mideastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Norfolk, VA
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM #4 #13 ESPN3
9:00 PM #5 #12 ESPN3
       
First Round–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
4:00 PM #8 #9 ESPN3
6:30 PM #6 #11 ESPN3
9:00 PM #7 #10 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
8:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #3 6 or 11 ESPN3
8:00 PM 4 or 13 5 or 12 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, 12, or 13 ESPN3
8:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     ESPN2

The winner of this conference may be forced to go to the First Four round in Dayton, but there is one team from this league that no other 16-seed wants to see in Dayton.  Savannah State (10-1/13-13) is the most up-tempo team in Division 1.  Watching the Tigers play is the closest thing to watching UNLV play in the 1970’s (not like Loyola Marymount under Paul Westhead.)  Former Georgetown great Horace Broadnax has had a total change in coaching paradigm in the last two years.  He used to coach like his mentor John Thompson, emphasizing defense and patient offense.  Now, Broadnax’s Tigers play like a Mike D’Antoni-coached team.  There is little need for a shot-clock in SSU games.  The Tigers average better than 84 possessions per game.  They take more than 73 field goal attempts per game.  They force more than 18 turnovers per game and average close to 10 steals per game, and they score 86.5 points per game.  If it weren’t for an inability to rebound, we would have SSU on our list of low majors with a legitimate chance to upset a power team in the Round of 64.  If they get to the NCAA Tournament and advance past the First Four, they will be forced to play somebody like Virginia, Villanova, or Cincinnati, and they don’t have the muscle to pull off the biggest upset in the history of the Dance.  However, if they get there, you will want to watch them play.

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
St. Louis (Arch Madness)
All Times CST
       
First Round–March 1
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 #9 MVC TV
8:30 PM #7 #10 MVC TV
       
Quarterfinals–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 MVC TV
2:30 PM #4 #5 MVC TV
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 MVC TV
8:30 PM #3 #6 MVC TV
       
Semifinals–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
2:30 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 CBSSN
5:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 CBSSN
       
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     CBS

With Wichita State now in the AAC, it figured that the Valley race would be wide open.  While it still may be so, it sure looks like Loyola (Chi.) (12-3/22-5) is doing its best to return to glory.  The Ramblers won it all in 1963, and they have only been back to the NCAA Tournament one time since legendary coach George Ireland retired in the late 1960’s.  Southern Illinois (10-5/18-10) was a national joke a few years ago when Coach Barry Hinson went on one of the most famous rants in coaching history, and ESPN featured it for two days.  Hinson has never taken a team to the NCAA Tournament in 17 years as a head coach.

Mountain West Conference Tournament
Las Vegas
All Times PST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:00 AM # 8 #9 Stadium
1:30 PM #7 #10 Stadium
4:00 PM #6 #11 Stadium
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 CBSSN
2:30 PM #4 #5 CBSSN
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 CBSSN
8:30 PM #3 6 or 11 CBSSN
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 CBSSN
8:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 CBSSN
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
3:00 PM     CBS

In our opinion, Eric Musselman should be the National Coach of the Year.  His Nevada Wolfpack (11-2/22-5) has 10 transfers on the roster.  Musselman inherited a 22-game loser in Reno when he arrived three years ago and immediately turned the program around, going 24-14 and winning the CBI Tournament.  He won both the regular season and conference tournament last year, but Nevada quickly got behind by double digits against Iowa State in the first round and went home after one game.

This year, Nevada has the tools to do some damage in the tournament.  They are most likely going back as an at-large team if they do not win the automatic bid.

Boise State (10-4/20-6) is worthy of making the tournament even if the Broncos cannot top Nevada for the conference tournament title.  Former Mark Few assistant Leon Rice has built the BSU program up to where it is now on par with the football program.  Rice could be in line for a pay raise and a relocation to a power conference school.

Northeast Conference Tournament
All Games at Higher Seed
Top 8 Teams Qualify and Tournament Re-seeds after Quarterfinals
All Times EST
       
Quarterfinals–February 28
Time Home Team Visitors TV
TBA #1 #8 NEC *
TBA #2 #7 NEC *
TBA #3 #6 NEC *
TBA #4 #5 NEC *
* NEC Front Row at http://necfrontrow.com/
       
Semifinals–March 3
Time Home Team Visitors TV
12:00 PM Highest Remaining Lowest Remaining ESPN3
2:00 PM 2nd Highest 3rd Highest ESPN3
       
Championship–March 6
Time Home Team Visitors TV
7:00 PM     ESPN2

The NEC is a candidate for placing its automatic qualifier in a First Four game.  No league team this year has enough force to do any damage in the NCAA Tournament.  First place Wagner (11-3/18-7) is not much of a favorite to win the NEC Tournament.  The Seahawks’ three conference losses came to teams in the lower half of the standings.

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
Evansville, IN
Top 8 Teams Qualify, Southeast Missouri ineligible due to low APR Scores
All Times CST
       
First Round–February 28
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM #5 #8 OVC
8:30 PM #6 #7 OVC
OVC Network at http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch
       
Quarterfinals–March 1
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM #4 5 or 8 OVC
8:30 PM #3 6 or 7 OVC
       
Semifinals–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #1 4, 5, or 8 ESPNU
9:00 PM #2 3, 6, or 7 ESPNU
       
Championship–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     ESPN2

The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament is set up so that the top two seeds have large advantages over the rest of the field.  The top two start in the semifinals and only have to win twice to earn the automatic bid.

It also severely handicaps the rest of the field when the top two are considerably better than the rest of the field.  Murray State (12-2/20-5) and Belmont (12-2/20-7) have dominated the league for years, and both are capable of knocking off a favored opponent in the opening round.

The tournament has moved away from Nashville to Evansville, Indiana, so Belmont will not have a home town advantage.  Murray, Kentucky, is an easy drive from Evansville, but then so is Nashville.  It should make for a grand finale if the Racers and Bruins meet for all the marbles.

Pacific 12 Conference Tournament
Las Vegas
All Times PST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM # 8 #9 Pac12
2:30 PM #5 #12 Pac12
6:00 PM #7 #10 Pac12
8:30 PM #6 #11 Pac12
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 Pac12
2:30 PM #4 5 or 12 Pac12
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 Pac12
8:30 PM #3 6 or 11 FS1
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, or 12 Pac12
8:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 FS1
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     FS1

The Pac-12 may not be the best conference in the West this year.  The best four teams, maybe five teams, out West are not from the Pac-12.  Arizona (10-3/20-6) may not be as strong as Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, Nevada, Boise State, and maybe New Mexico State.  So, it figures that the league will send a minimum number of teams to the Big Dance, maybe just two or three.

Arizona State (7-6/19-6) was once a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and the Sun Devils will most likely make it into the field because of the new criteria, where the way a team ends the season is not considered at all.  Wins over Kansas, Kansas State, and Xavier should be enough to get Bobby Hurley’s team into the field, where you can bet they will be placed in position to play Rhode Island in the first or second game, and the Committee will claim it was purely coincidental.

The Arizona rivals face off in Tempe tonight, and it should be one worth watching.  Tune in to ESPN at 9:00 PM Eastern.

USC, Oregon, and Washington still have work to do to make it into the field, while Utah, Colorado, and Stanford are probably looking at only an automatic bid as a means of Dancing.

Patriot League Tournament
All Games Played at Higher Seed
All Times EST
       
First Round–February 27
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA #7 #10 Stadium
TBA #8 #9 Stadium
       
Quarterfinals–March 1
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA #1 Bucknell 8 or 9 Stadium
TBA #4 #5 Stadium
TBA #2 7 or 10 Stadium
TBA #3 #6 Stadium
       
Semifinals–March 1
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA 1 or 8 4 or 5 CBSSN
TBA 2 or 7 3 or 6 CBSSN
       
Championship–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA     CBSSN

Bucknell (13-2/19-9) secured the top seed this past weekend, so the Bison will host any game they play in the Pat Tourney.  One of their two league defeats came at home, so it is possible that they could be upset, but not very likely.

Southeastern Conference Tournament
St. Louis
First 4 Rounds CST, Championship Game CDT
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #12 #13 SECTV
8:30 PM #11 #14 SECTV
       
Second Round–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #8 #9 SECTV
2:30 PM #5 12 or 13 SECTV
6:00 PM #7 #10 SECTV
8:30 PM #6 11 or 14 SECTV
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN
2:30 PM #4 5, 12, or 13 ESPN
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 SECTV
8:30 PM #3 6, 11, or 14 SECTV
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, 12, or 13 ESPN
2:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, 11, or 14 ESPN
       
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM     ESPN

There will be a double dose of Arch Madness this year, as the SEC moves its tournament to St. Louis.  It happens to coincide with the return to power of Missouri (8-5/18-8), and the Tigers’ fans may rival those from the Bluegrass.  Coach Cuonzo Martin was born just across the river, and he will have a loyal following as Mizzou has to be considered a co-favorite to win the conference tournament.  Now, if Michael Porter can suit up and play any amount of meaningful minutes, Missouri will become the odds-on favorite to win the tournament.

Auburn (11-2/23-3) will win the regular season title, while Tennessee (9-4/19-6) will most likely finish second, but the PiRates do not believe either team’s style of play and talent can win three games in three days.  If Missouri doesn’t win the tournament, it could be Alabama (8-5/17-9), a team with tough defense and enough offense to win three times in three days.

Of course, there are Florida (8-5/17-9) and Kentucky (6-7/17-9).  Who would ever count out either team with the incredible talent on both rosters?  It would not be a surprise if one or both peaked at the right time.

Southern Conference Tournament
Asheville, NC
All Times EST
       
First Round–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #8 #9 ESPN3
7:30 PM #7 #10 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
2:30 PM #4 #5 ESPN3
6:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
8:30 PM #3 #6 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
4:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 ESPN3
6:30 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
9:00 PM     ESPN2

This looks like a two-team race.  East Tennessee (13-1/22-5) was cruising along with the nation’s best winning streak at 16, before they crashed and burned at UNC-Greensboro (11-2/20-6).  If anybody else wins the automatic bid, it is going to be a quick one and done.  Both ETSU and UNCG have the talent to win an opening round game.  ETSU has the strong front court, while UNCG has a fantastic press defense.

Southland Conference Tournament
Katy, TX
Top 8 Teams Qualify
All Times CST
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #5 #8 ESPN3
7:30 PM #6 #7 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #4 5 or 8 ESPN3
7:30 PM #3 6 or 7 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #1 4, 5, or 8 ESPN3
7:30 PM #2 3, 6, or 7 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:00 PM     ESPN2

This is no longer Stephen F. Austin (10-3/21-5) and the 7 Dwarfs.  The Lumberjacks may very well win the conference tournament again this year, but they won’t just show up and receive the trophy.

Nicholls State (11-2/17-9) and Southeast Louisiana (11-3/17-10) rank ahead of SFA at the moment, and Sam Houston State (10-4/16-11) and New Orleans (10-4/13-12) are bunched up in a tight race.  None of the contenders have exceptionally strong resumes, so this league could be staring at a 16-seed in the tourney.

Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament
First Round at Higher Seed, Semifinal and Final Round in Houston
Grambling and Alabama A&M are ineligible due to low APR Scores
All Times CST
       
Quarterfinals–March 6
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA #1 #8 TBA
TBA #4 #5 TBA
TBA #2 #7 TBA
TBA #3 #6 TBA
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
2:30 PM 1 or 8 4 or 5 TBA
8:30 PM 2 or 7 3 or 6 TBA
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
3:00 PM     ESPN2

It hurts that the best team, Grambling (10-3/14-12) in the league is ineligible to play in the NCAA Tournament.  The other nine teams have losing records, so the winner of this conference tournament will almost assuredly be playing in Dayton in the First Four round.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (9-4/9-18) went 0-14 outside of the SWAC, yet the Lions could be the favorite to win the tournament.  Southern (8-5/12-14) and Alabama St. (6-6/6-18) are actually the two hottest teams at the moment.

Summit League Tournament
Sioux Falls, MS
All Times CST
       
Quarterfinals–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 #8 MidcoSN
8:30 PM #2 #7 MidcoSN
       
Quarterfinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #4 #5 MidcoSN
8:30 PM #3 #6 MidcoSN
       
Semifinals–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1 or 8 4 or 5 MidcoSN
8:30 PM 2 or 7 3 or 6 MidcoSN
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:00 PM     ESPN2

The top two teams will send a lot of fans to Sioux Falls to make their games feel like home games.  South Dakota State (10-1/22-6) and South Dakota (10-2/23-6) have to be considered prohibitive co-favorites, but we will keep a careful eye on Fort Wayne (6-6/17-12).  The Mastodons are like the Boston Red Sox during the Ted Williams days.  You know they are going to score, score, score with a powerful offense, but you never know if they are going to give up too many to the opponent.  If you saw the second half of Fort Wayne’s two-point loss at SDSU, you know that when this team puts it all together, they can beat any team in the Summit.  Indiana coach Archie Miller will tell you how talented these guys are.  The question is, will they ever put it all together for three consecutive days?

Sun Belt Conference Tournament
New Orleans
First 3 Rounds CST, Championship Game CDT
       
First Round–March 7
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM # 8 #9 ESPN3
2:00 PM #5 #12 ESPN3
5:00 PM #7 #10 ESPN3
7:30 PM #6 #11 ESPN3
       
Quarterfinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM #1 8 or 9 ESPN3
2:00 PM #4 5 or 12 ESPN3
5:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN3
7:30 PM #3 6 or 11 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:30 AM 1, 8, or 9 4, 5, or 12 ESPN3
2:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3, 6, or 11 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM     ESPN2

A month ago, this tournament looked like a mere formality where the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (11-1/21-4) would party in New Orleans.  As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friends.”  From almost out of nowhere, Georgia State (10-3/19-7).  A recent 10-game winning streak, which included a 14-point trouncing of ULL, brought GSU to within a game of first place.

West Coast Conference Tournament
Las Vegas
All Times PST
       
First Round–March 2
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #8 #9 The W
8:00 PM #7 #10 The W
The W at: http://www.wccsports.com/ot/upcoming-events.html
       
Quarterfinals–March 3
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM #3 #6 The W
3:00 PM #4 #5 The W
7:00 PM #1 8 or 9 ESPN2
9:00 PM #2 7 or 10 ESPN2
       
Semifinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 1, 8, or 9 4 or 5 ESPN
8:00 PM 2, 7, or 10 3 or 6 ESPN2
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM     ESPN

We know about the top two teams, as they are always in contention for an NCAA bid every year.  Gonzaga (13-1/23-4) is no longer a mid-major team.  Once you make it to within a couple minutes of a national championship, you deserve the ranks to join teams from the past like UNLV, Marquette, Jacksonville, and UTEP that came to national prominence from out of nowhere.

Saint Mary’s (13-1/24-3) is not that far behind Gonzaga.  With Jock Londale in the post, they may have the top center in the nation.  SMU should get into the Dance as an at-large if they do not win the automatic bid.

Now, the question is can a third team earn a bubble-busting spot by beating both of the league powers?  BYU (9-5/20-7) certainly has the talent to get hot and run the table at Orleans Arena.  The Cougars can be tough to match up with, especially when they get their running game going.

Western Athletic Conference Tournament
Las Vegas
All Times PST
       
Quarterfinals–March 8
Time Home Visitors TV
12:00 PM #3 #6 ESPN3
2:30 PM #2 #7 ESPN3
6:00 PM #1 #8 ESPN3
8:30 PM #4 #5 ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 9
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM 3 or 6 2 or 7 ESPN3
8:30 PM 1 or 8 4 or 5 ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     ESPNU

This is a league with one really good team and three or four average teams that have the capability to sneak into the tournament title.  It would be ashamed for this league if New Mexico State (9-0/22-3) were to be upset in the tournament and end up as a 1-seed in the NIT.  The Aggies may have their best team in Las Cruces since Lou Henson took the 1970 team to the Final Four.  Coach Chris Jans has been rebuilding his reputation, and after a stint as Gregg Marshall’s assistant at Wichita State, he has made a strong comeback in his first year at NMSU.  He may be able to set up a long dynasty in the WAC.

Before you think that the Aggies will go through the motions and win the league title, there are four other decent teams that can beat them.  Seattle (6-3/17-9) and Utah Valley (6-3/17-8) are tied for second, but we believe that Grand Canyon (6-4/17-9) may be the team that best has the tools to upset NMSU.  The Antelopes are coached by former NBA tough man, Dan Majerle, and his teams are an extension of his hustle.

 

August 21, 2017

2017 Big 12 Conference Preview

The Big 12 Conference was supposed to be the first super league way back in the 1990’s when the best teams from the former very strong Southwest Conference merged with the Big 8 Conference. It was supposed to be superior to the Southeastern Conference, which had already expanded to 12 teams, and the Big Ten Conference, which had expanded to 11 teams. With Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado perenially among the top 10 in the nation, and with Texas A&M, Missouri, and Oklahoma State competing for a spot among the nation’s elite, the Big 12 looked poised to become the league that all others looked up to.

It didn’t last long. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas A&M departed for the Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten, and SEC. The league added TCU and West Virginia to get back to 10 teams, but this conference is struggling to remain important. Rumors persist that schools still might bolt the league for one of the other four super conferences.

2017 promises to bring some interesting changes to the league without any teams bolting. There are three new coaches in the league. Matt Rhule takes over a Baylor team in transition, after Jim Grobe served as an emergency fill-in coach for a year. The Bears will play a combination of spread offense and the power offense Rhule used at Temple.

Tom Herman is the new head coach at Texas. Herman made Houston a semi-national power, even getting the Cougars into the Playoff hunt. Texas suffered three consecutive losing seasons under Charlie Strong, and the Longhorns have not been a national contender for eight seasons.

The biggest change of all comes in Norman, Oklahoma, where Bob Stoops made a decision this summer to retire. Lincoln Riley, the wonderboy of the offense is the new coach, and he inherits a Sooner squad that could easily average more than 45 points per game. Whether the defense can stop the top offenses that the Sooners will face will determine if OU can challenge for a playoff spot. A trip to the Giant Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio, looms in week two,

The Big 12 Media and our PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings basically agree that this year’s Big 12 race will come down to the Bedlam game. Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma in that game this year, but unlike most years, it is not the last weekend on the schedule.

Here’s how the Media voted.

2016 Big 12 Conference Media Poll
# Team 1st Pl. Total
1 Oklahoma 19 303
2 Oklahoma St. 12 294
3 Kansas St. 1 231
4 Texas 0 213
5 TCU 0 202
6 West Virginia 0 183
7 Baylor 0 129
8 Texas Tech 0 85
9 Iowa St. 0 83
10 Kansas 0 37

Here are the PiRate, Mean, and Bias preseason ratings.

Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 123.8 121.8 124.8 123.5
Oklahoma St. 118.2 117.0 119.8 118.3
Kansas St. 113.9 113.4 114.3 113.9
Texas 112.2 113.0 112.4 112.6
T C U 111.4 108.6 111.1 110.3
West Virginia 107.7 108.8 107.5 108.0
Baylor 103.9 106.4 103.8 104.7
Iowa State 101.0 102.4 101.7 101.7
Texas Tech 101.3 101.0 100.1 100.8
Kansas 91.0 94.4 90.3 91.9
         
Big 12 Averages 108.4 108.7 108.6 108.6

And, here are out not-so-scientific preseason won-loss predictions and bowl projections.

 

Big 12 Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Oklahoma 8-1 11-2 Cotton
Oklahoma St. 8-1 11-2 Fiesta
Kansas St. 6-3 8-4 Camping World
Texas 6-3 8-4 Alamo
TCU 6-3 8-4 Texas
West Virginia 4-5 6-6 Cactus
Baylor 4-5 6-6 Liberty
Texas Tech 2-7 4-8  
Iowa St. 1-8 3-9  
Kansas 0-9 2-10  
       
No Big 12 team available for Heart of Dallas Bowl

Oklahoma to win the Big 12 Conference Championship Game in a rematch with Oklahoma State.  The Big 12’s top two teams in the standings will face off in Arlington, Texas, on December 2.

Trivia Answer: Not many people guessed at our trivia question, and none were correct. Here’s the question once again.
In 1918, Georgia Tech beat North Carolina State 118-0. For half a century no Division 1 team scored 100 points on another Division 1 team. In 1949 San Jose State beat New Mexico 103-0, but the Spartans would not become a major college participant until the following season, so this one doesn’t count. The last time a Division 1 team scored 100 points on another Division 1 team was in 1968, when current AAC West member Houston beat current AAC West member Tulsa 100-6.
A Houston wide receiver caught a 25-yard pass for a touchdown in that 100-6 game that made the score 93-6. He later went on to fame in the music business. A Tulsa lineman also became a famous celebrity on television and through his books.
Here are your three trivia questions:
1. Name the Houston Wide Receiver that would become a famous music celebrity.
2. Explain how this wide receiver once performed the National Anthem for a sporting event that was postponed soon after he performed, yet there was no rain, snow, or lightning.
3. Name the Tulsa lineman that became a famous TV celebrity and has used this game as a means to help advance his career.
The answers
1. Larry Gatlin
2. Gatlin and his brothers sang the National Anthem prior to the scheduled Game 3 of the 1989 World Series. Moments later, the great Earthquake hit the Bay, postponing the game for 10 days.
3. Dr. Phil

Coming Tomorrow. The Pac-12. Two teams have the talent to make it to Playoffville this year, but this league is rather balanced with some quality talent, and it could be difficult for any team to win enough games to get there.

March 8, 2017

Conference Tournament Update–Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Good Wednesday to all.  Today, the PiRates are hunkered down in our own version of our war room, preparing for Selection Sunday and the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

We have received a heavy load of contacts from you ladies and gentlemen, and a lot of you want to know about our Red-White-Blue Ratings.

  1. We do not know why the Prediction Tracker has not posted our ratings the last two weeks, because we sent them in.  They use a system that takes them off our page, and maybe it is not working properly or it was something we did to make them invisible.
  2. We will attempt to publish ratings for all 67 NCAA Tournament games.
  3. We will publish all the Four Factor and PiRate Bracketnomics information for every team in the Field and update it for every round.

This marks the peak of conference tournament action, as more games will be played in the next two days than any other time during Conference Championship Fortnight.

Teams That Clinched Automatic Bids Tuesday

Making The Field 100% of the Time???

Here’s a trivia question you can use to fool your sports teams?  Name the only school that has made the NCAA Tournament every year since it has been an eligible Division I team.

The answer is simple if you watched the Horizon League Tournament Championship Game last night.  Northern Kentucky, in its first year of D1 eligibility won the automatic bid by holding on against 23-loss Milwaukee.  The Norse closes the season on a rush, winning nine of their last 10 games, but it looks like they will be a heavily over-matched opponent as a 15-seed or at best a 14-seed.

 

Top of the Mountain Again

Our congratulations go out for a fifth time to Mount St. Mary’s, winner of the Northeast Conference Tournament Championship.  This may be the best MSM team to make it to the NCAA Tournament.  The Mountaineers have been fodder for some major #1 seeds through the years, losing to Kentucky by 46, North Carolina by 39, and to Michigan State by 23.  The Mountaineers have been sent to Dayton twice before, beating Coppin State and losing to Albany.  Short of some additional upsets where sub .500 teams receive automatic bids, Mount St. Mary’s is most likely looking at a third trip to Dayton.

 

Reaching the Summit

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits were not expected to compete for the Summit League title this year after former coach Scott Nagy left for the Wright State job, and prospects were not great when SDSU finished the regular season at just 8-8 in the league.  New coach  T.J. Otzelberger may be a star in the making, as he has a slew of national supporters from his days as an assistant at Washington and Iowa St.  His Jackrabbits won the Summit League Championship last night, which means SDSU (18-16) is going to be a 16-seed with a possible visit to Dayton.

 

Bulldog Tough Again

Gonzaga looked like a Final Four team again last night after a week of malaise.  The Bulldogs punished rival Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference Championship Game, looking more like a power team from the 1960’s and 1970’s from the Big Ten.  And, star guard Nigel Williams-Goss looked more like Oscar Robertson last night, basically destroying the Gaels’ with his shooting, passing, and ball-hawking defense.

 

Other Conference Tournament Games

The Bubble burst for one team, while two others strengthened their resumes in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.  Clemson stayed alive by dismissing North Carolina State with relative ease.  Wake Forest withstood a valiant effort from an undermanned Boston College team, and Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons may have secured their at-large spot with the win.  However, another win today over Virginia Tech should definitely get them in.  Georgia Tech fell to Pittsburgh in an ugly game, which was made uglier by an open microphone that caught Panther Head Coach Kevin Stallings saying some very nasty things to one of his players, making it two years with two teams where an open mic caught the fiery Gene Keady disciple cursing one of his players.

 

Last Place Team Watch

99% of you reading this probably saw none of the Big Sky Tournament opening round games, but to the 1% that did, you were quite entertained Tuesday.  Portland State and Sacramento State won their first games in high-octane fashion, but the nightcap between last place Southern Utah and 6-seed Montana State proved to be the game of the day.  At the end of regulation, the game was tied at 78.  Five minutes later after overtime, the score was knotted at 93-93.  Five minutes later, it was 101-101.  It took three extra sessions, but the last place team with a 5-26 record entering the night emerged victorious.  Southern Utah won 109-105 to advance to the quarterfinals against 3-seed Weber State.  The Thunderbirds were led by former Texas Tech Red Raider Randy Onwuasor, who broke the tournament record with 43 points.  Onwuasor played 53 out of the 55 minutes, and he had a rather poor shooting night, hitting just 11-33 from the field, but he drew fouls like a cheap diner draws flies.  The bulky guard connected on 20 foul shots, something that is rarely done when your last name isn’t Maravich or Chamberlain.

 

SWAC’s Best Advance

In recent years, the Southwestern Athletic Conference representative in the NCAA Tournament has been a 16-seed and frequently forced to play in the Opening Round (First Four) in Dayton.  Texas Southern has a chance to move up to a 15-seed if they win the conference tournament in Houston.  The Tigers began tournament play with an 87-72 win over 8-seed Alabama State.  TSU has a surrogate team playing for their NCAA Tournament hopes.  Alcorn State also advanced yesterday with a win over Mississippi Valley.  If the 2-seed Braves win the SWAC Tournament title, it is just as if Texas Southern wins it.  Alcorn State is on probation for low APR scores, and they are ineligible for postseason play.  If ASU wins, then TSU gets the bid as the regular season champion.

 

Big Conference Action Today

The ACC started conference play yesterday and continues with Round 2 today.  Six other multiple bid leagues commence action today–The Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC.  Here is a look at each of these multiple bid league brackets.

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament–Brooklyn
First Round, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 12 Clemson 16-14 vs. 13 North Carolina St. 15-16 75-61  
2 10 Wake Forest 18-12 vs. 15 Boston College 9-22 92-78  
3 11 Georgia Tech 17-14 vs. 14 Pittsburgh 15-16 59-61  
                   
Second Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 8 Syracuse 18-13 vs. 9 Miami (Fla.) 20-10 12:00 PM ESPN
5 5 Duke 23-8 vs. 12 Clemson 17-14 2:00 PM ESPN
6 7 Virginia Tech 21-9 vs. 10 Wake Forest 19-12 7:00 PM ESPN2
7 6 Virginia 21-9 vs. 14 Pittsburgh 16-16 9:00 PM ESPN2
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 1 North Carolina   vs.   Game 4 winner   12:00 PM ESPN
9 4 Louisville   vs.   Game 5 winner   2:00 PM ESPN
10 2 Florida St.   vs.   Game 6 winner   7:00 PM ESPN
11 3 Notre Dame   vs.   Game 7 winner   9:00 PM ESPN
                   
Semfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
12   Game 8 winner   vs.   Game 9 winner   7:00 PM ESPN or 2
13   Game 10 winner   vs.   Game 11 winner   9:00 PM ESPN or 2
                   
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
14   Game 12 winner   vs.   Game 13 winner   9:00 PM ESPN

 

 

Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament–Pittsburgh (Duquense)
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Massachusetts 14-17 vs. 13 St. Joseph’s 11-19 6:00 PM ASN
2 11 St. Louis 11-20 vs. 14 Duquesne 10-21 8:30 PM ASN
                   
2nd Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 LaSalle 15-14 vs. 9 Davidson 15-14 12:00 PM NBCSN
4 5 St. Bonaventure 19-11 vs.   Game 1 winner   2:30 PM NBCSN
5 7 George Mason   vs. 10 Fordham   6:00 PM NBCSN
6 6 George Washington 18-13 vs.   Game 2 winner   8:30 PM NBCSN
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Dayton 24-6 vs.   Game 3 winner   12:00 PM NBCSN
8 4 Rhode Island 21-9 vs.   Game 4 winner   2:30 PM NBCSN
9 2 VCU 24-7 vs.   Game 5 winner   6:00 PM NBCSN
10 3 Richmond 19-11 vs.   Game 6 winner   8:30 PM NBCSN
                   
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   1:00 PM CBSSN
12   Game 9 winner   vs.   Game 10 winner   3:30 PM CBSSN
                   
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
13   Game 11 winner   vs.   Game 12 winner   12:30 PM CBS

 

 

Big 12 Conference Tournament–Kansas City
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 TCU 17-14 vs. 9 Oklahoma 11-19 7:00 PM ESPNU
2 7 Texas Tech 18-13 vs. 10 Texas 10-21 9:00 PM ESPNU
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 4 Iowa St. 20-10 vs. 5 Oklahoma St. 20-11 12:30 PM ESPN2
4 1 Kansas 28-3 vs.   Game 1 winner   2:30 PM ESPN2
5 2 West Virginia 24-7 vs.   Game 2 winner   7:00 PM ESPNU
6 3 Baylor 25-6 vs. 6 Kansas St. 19-12 9:00 PM ESPNU
                   
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 4 winner   vs.   Game 3 winner   7:00 PM ESPN or 2
8   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   9:00 PM ESPN or 2
                   
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   6:00 PM ESPN

 

 

Big East Conference Tournament–New York City
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 St. John’s 13-18 vs. 9 Georgetown 14-17 7:00 PM FS1
2 7 Xavier 19-12 vs. 10 DePaul 9-21 9:30 PM FS1
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 Villanova 28-3 vs.       12:00 PM FS1
4 4 Marquette 19-11 vs. 5 Seton Hall 20-10 2:30 PM FS1
5 2 Butler 23-7 vs.       7:00 PM FS1
6 3 Providence 20-11 vs. 6 Creighton 23-8 9:30 PM FS1
                   
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 1 winner   vs.   Game 2 winner   6:30 PM FS1
8   Game 3 winner   vs.   Game 4 winner   9:00 PM FS1
                   
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   5:30 PM Fox

 

 

Big Ten Conference Tournament–Washington, DC
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Nebraska 12-18 vs. 13 Penn St. 14-17 4:30 PM ESPN
2 11 Ohio St. 17-14 vs. 14 Rutgers 14-17 7:00 PM BTN
                   
2nd Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 Michigan 20-11 vs. 9 Illinois 18-13 12:00 PM BTN
4 5 Michigan St. 18-13 vs.   Game 1 winner   2:20 PM BTN
5 7 Iowa 18-13 vs. 10 Indiana 17-14 6:30 PM ESPN2
6 6 Northwestern 21-10 vs.   Game 2 winner   8:50 PM ESPN2
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Purdue 25-6 vs.   Game 3 winner   12:00 PM ESPN
8 4 Minnesota 23-8 vs.   Game 4 winner   2:20 PM ESPN
9 2 Wisconsin 23-8 vs.   Game 5 winner   6:30 PM BTN
10 3 Maryland 24-7 vs.   Game 6 winner   8:50 PM BTN
                   
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   1:00 PM CBS
12   Game 9 winner   vs.   Game 10 winner   3:30 PM CBS
                   
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
13   Game 11 winner   vs.   Game 12 winner   3:00 PM CBS

 

 

Pac-12 Conference Tournament–Las Vegas
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Arizona St. 14-17 vs. 9 Stanford 14-16 3:00 PM P12 Net.
2 5 California 19-11 vs. 12 Oregon St. 5-26 5:30 PM P12 Net.
3 7 Colorado 18-13 vs. 10 Washington St. 13-17 9:00 PM P12 Net.
4 6 USC 23-8 vs. 11 Washington 9-21 11:30 PM P12 Net.
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Oregon 27-4 vs.   Game 1 winner   3:00 PM P12 Net.
6 4 Utah 20-10 vs.   Game 2 winner   5:30 PM P12 Net.
7 2 Arizona 27-4 vs.   Game 3 winner   9:00 PM P12 Net.
8 3 UCLA 28-3 vs.   Game 4 winner   11:30 PM ESPN
                   
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   9:00 PM P12 Net.
10   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   11:30 PM ESPN
                   
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11   Game 9 winner   vs.   Game 10 winner   11:00 PM ESPN

 

 

Southeastern Conference Tournament–Nashville
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Mississippi St. 15-15 vs. 13 LSU 10-20 7:00 PM SECN
2 11 Auburn 18-13 vs. 14 MIssouri 7-23 9:00 PM SECN
                   
2nd Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 Georgia 18-13 vs. 9 Tennessee 16-15 1:00 PM SECN
4 5 Alabama 17-13 vs.   Game 1 winner   3:20 PM SECN
5 7 Vanderbilt 17-14 vs. 10 Texas A&M 16-14 7:00 PM SECN
6 6 Ole Miss 19-12 vs.   Game 2 winner   9:20 PM SECN
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Kentucky 26-5 vs.   Game 3 winner   1:00 PM SECN
8 4 South Carolina 22-9 vs.   Game 4 winner   3:20 PM SECN
9 2 Florida 24-7 vs.   Game 5 winner   7:00 PM SECN
10 3 Arkansas 23-8 vs.   Game 6 winner   9:20 PM SECN
                   
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   1:00 PM ESPN
12   Game 9 winner   vs.   Game 10 winner   3:20 PM ESPN
                   
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
13   Game 11 winner   vs.   Game 12 winner   1:00 PM ESPN

Today’s TV Schedule

You can have a lot of fun watching a slew of games today and tonight, even if just one bid goes out.  That one automatic addition will come from the Patriot League, where the top seed Bucknell Bison host Lehigh.  Time and TV follow.

Championship Games
Time (ET) Network Conference Team vs. Team
7:30 PM CBSSN Patriot Bucknell vs. Lehigh

 

 

Ongoing Tournament Games
Time (ET) Network Conference Team vs. Team
12:00 PM ESPN ACC Syracuse vs. Miami (Fla.)
2:00 PM ESPN ACC Duke vs. Clemson
7:00 PM ESPN2 ACC Virginia Tech vs. Wake Forest
9:00 PM ESPN2 ACC Virginia vs. Pittsburgh
           
6:00 PM ASN A-10 Massachusetts vs. St. Joseph’s
8:30 PM ASN A-10 St. Louis vs. Duquesne
           
7:00 PM ESPNU Big 12 TCU vs. Oklahoma
9:00 PM ESPNU Big 12 Texas Tech vs. Texas
           
7:00 PM FS1 Big East St. John’s vs. Georgetown
9:30 PM FS1 Big East Xavier vs. DePaul
           
4:30 PM ESPN Big Ten Nebraska vs. Penn St.
7:00 PM BTN Big Ten Ohio St. vs. Rutgers
           
12:30 PM Campus Insiders CUSA Western Kentucky vs. UTSA
3:00 PM Campus Insiders CUSA Rice vs. Southern Miss.
6:30 PM Campus Insiders CUSA UAB vs. Charlotte
9:00 PM Campus Insiders CUSA Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic
           
6:00 PM ESPN3 MEAC UNC-Central vs. Delaware St.
8:00 PM ESPN3 MEAC Norfolk St. vs. South Carolina St.
           
2:00 PM MWN MWC Utah St. vs. San Jose St.
4:30 PM MWN MWC Wyoming vs. Air Force
7:00 PM MWN MWC San Diego St. vs. UNLV
           
3:00 PM P12 Net. Pac-12 Arizona St. vs. Stanford
5:30 PM P12 Net. Pac-12 California vs. Oregon St.
9:00 PM P12 Net. Pac-12 Colorado vs. Washington St.
11:30 PM P12 Net. Pac-12 USC vs. Washington
           
7:00 PM SECN SEC Mississippi St. vs. LSU
9:00 PM SECN SEC Auburn vs. MIssouri
           
6:00 PM ESPN3 Southland Sam Houston St. vs. Central Arkansas
8:30 PM ESPN3 Southland Lamar vs. Southeastern Louisiana
           
1:30 PM ESPN3 Sun Belt Coastal Carolina vs. South Alabama
3:00 PM ESPN3 Sun Belt Arkansas St. vs. Louisiana-Monroe
6:00 PM ESPN3 Sun Belt Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Arkansas-Little Rock
8:30 PM ESPN3 Sun Belt Troy vs. Appalachian St.

 

 

 

January 6, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For January 7-8, 2017

Early Look At Mid and Low Major Conferences
As we take our first look at the conferences that should receive just one NCAA Tournament bid, we are in total agreement among the lot of us that 22 leagues will definitely produce just one tournament team–the winner of their conference tournament, or in the case of the Ivy League, the regular season conference championship, and it is likely that a 23rd league will receive just one bid.

Let’s take a look at the 23 probable one-bid leagues.

America East
Vermont, MD.-Baltimore Co., UMass-Lowell, and Stony Brook are tied for first, but only with 1-0 conference marks. Vermont is 11-5 overall, with two losses to top 25 teams.

Atlantic Sun
Conference play has yet to begun, but Florida Gulf Coast and Jacksonville look strong in the pre-conference. FGCU lost at Michigan State by just one point, while Jacksonville sports the top won-loss record at 12-5. We believe overall that this league is stronger than it has been in recent years, but no at-large bid is possible this year.

Big Sky
Eastern Washington, Southern Utah, and Weber State have begun the conference race at 2-0, with Montana a half-game back at 2-1. EWU owns a hot home court advantage, and they already have four overtime wins in their 15 games played.

Big South
With losses by 55 to Creighton, 37 to George Mason, and 31 to Texas Tech, you would not expect Longwood to be on top in the conference race at 3-0, but the Lancers from tiny Farmville, Virginia, own first place by themselves by a game over Radford, UNC-Asheville, Winthrop, Campbell, and Liberty. UNCA lost at Ohio State by a bucket.

Big West
It’s a down year in this league, as no team looks capable of avoiding a 15 or 16-seed. Most of the members in this league perform poorly away from home, and we expect this year’s race to be won with a record as low as 10-6. UC-Irvine, Long Beach State, and UC-Davis appear to be the top teams, but there is not much separating the teams at this point. While somewhat mediocre, this league could put on one of the most exciting conference tournament’s this season.

Colonial Athletic
UNC-Wilmington is on the cusp of competing for a spot on the bubble, but at this point, it looks like they would have to win the CAA Tournament to get into the Big Dance. The Seahawks join Charleston, Northeastern, and James Madison at 3-0 in league play. Northeastern is the hot team at this point. The Huskies have won six games in a row, including four on the road, with one of those coming at Michigan State.

Conference USA
Middle Tennessee is 2-0 in the league and 12-3 overall, as well as 2-0 against SEC teams, but the Blue Raiders would be a long shot in the at-large sweepstakes this year. If Middle wins the automatic bid with a record in the vicinity of 29-5, they could receive an 11 seed and possibly a 10 seed. Chief challengers to the Blue Raiders this year are Marshall, Louisiana Tech, and Western Kentucky. Keep an eye on Marshall, as their unique fast-paced philosophy can give the Thundering Herd a big advantage against teams lacking depth, especially at conference tournament time.

Horizon
No, it’s not a Super Bowl preview, but Oakland and Green Bay look like the top two teams in this league. Actually, both of these teams are close runners-up to Valparaiso at this point. The Crusaders are 1-0 in the conference and 11-3 overall, with wins over Alabama, BYU, and Rhode Island. Northern Kentucky and Wright State have shown signs of moving up into the top tier with the big three.

Ivy
This is still the one holdout league that does not sanction a post-season conference tournament. Thus, one hot team can become the first official invitee to the Big Dance, but in recent years, this has not happened. There is no clear-cut favorite to win the crown as the first conference games commence next weekend. Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Penn look to be the leading contenders at this point, but this group is not setting the woods on fire.

Metro Atlantic
After a sluggish first month of the season, Canisius has found its groove. The Golden Griffins have reeled off seven consecutive wins, averaging 88.6 points per game. With approaching road games with Iona and Fairfield, if Canisius wins both, they will be in the driver’s seat in the MAAC. Pre-season favorite Monmouth has not been as strong as expected and just lost three games in a row. Still, you cannot dismiss the Hawks, as they have non-conference win over Memphis and an overtime loss to South Carolina. Monmouth beat Canisius and can gain command by pulling off the sweep when they face them in Buffalo on January 16.

Mid-American
The MAC once was worthy of multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament, but in recent years, this league has been down some. Akron, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan have separated a bit from the rest of the pack in this league, and these three top contenders are just talented enough to compete in the Round of 64. Home court advantanges are rather strong in this league, so expect the teams to beat up on each other, leaving no team with a conference mark better than 14-4.

Mideastern Athletic
The MEAC has frequently been given #15 and #16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, but this league consistently produces teams capable of pulling off huge upsets. The league does not get the credit it deserves, because the teams tend to begin the season slowly and develop as the year progresses. We like what UNC-Central has done to this point, and it would not surprise us if the Eagles make a run to 20 regular season wins. UNCC won at Missouri and led at LSU by as much as 13, before the Tigers came back to win in the final minute.

Missouri Valley
This is a caveat one-bid league. Wichita State would be on the bubble if the Shockers won 25 games but not the MVC Tournament title. However, at this point, we do not see a serious contender to knock WSU off the perch at Arch Madness. Illinois State currently shares first with the Shockers with a 3-0 league mark, but WSU looks to be double digits better than any league opponent. Sure, some team is liable to upset the Shockers, but we don’t see WSU losing more than two conference games, and they have as good a chance at running the table in the league as the do at losing twice.

Mountain West
The MWC has taken quite a tumble this year, as this looks like a sure one-bid league. Nevada and Boise State are this year’s quality clubs, but they do not have at-large approved resumes. Normal power San Diego State has begun league play at 0-2, so this does not look like the Aztecs’ year.

Northeast
It looks like a strong possibility that the conference tournament champion in this league will be headed to the opening round (first four) in Dayton. The NEC is rather weak this year, even though second division Wagner has a win at Connecticut. Fairleigh Dickinson has a game and a half lead in the race with a perfect 3-0 mark, but the Knights tumbled off their horses outside of league play. Keep an eye on Long Island. The Blackbirds are just 9-7 and 2-1 in the league, but most of their losses have been close, and they did beat St. John’s.

Ohio Valley
In past years, both Murray State and Belmont have done quite well in NCAA Tournament play. The two contenders already have moved to the top of the standings in their respective divisions, and it looks like they might square off when the bid is on the line in March.

Patriot
Bucknell and Boston U are tied at 3-0 in league play with Loyola (MD), Holy Cross, and Lafayette a game back at 2-1. Lehigh looked like a top contender in the preseason, taking Xavier to the final gun before losing by 3 and winning at Mississippi State, but the Mountain Hawks lost at home to Loyola to fall to 1-2 in league play.

Southern
This will be an exciting conference race with five teams competing for the regular season title. Furman, East Tennessee, Chattanooga, Samford, and UNC-Greensboro are about equal, and the five could stay within two games of each other all season. A multiple tie in the 14-4 and 13-5 range is quite possible.

Southland
Stephen F. Austin has lost the magic, as it left town for Stillwater, Oklahoma. Now, this league is wide open. New Orleans, and Nicholls State, two teams not expected to contend for league honors, currently are unbeaten in league play.

Southwestern Athletic
In recent years, the SWAC champion has known it would be headed to Dayton, and chances are strong that could happen again this year. In recent years, multiple league members have been ineligible for postseason play due to low APR scores, but that number has been reduced to just Alcorn State this year, and the Braves are an also-ran in the SWAC this year. Jackson State and Texas Southern have begun league play at 2-0, with Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 1-0. Grambling and Southern are 1-1, and most of their out of conference losses have been closer than normal for this league. We believe Southern might be the best representative for this league this year.

Summit
Bigger schools better keep an eye on this league. Whoever draws the conference tournament champion better not overlook their opponent, because their is quality in numbers in the Summit League this season. North Dakota State got hot at the right time, and the Bison are 3-0 in league play. Fort Wayne can play quality defense, bang the boards, and run the fast break like a team from the 1970’s. The Mastodons beat Indiana and gave a good game against Notre Dame. They can score points in spurts, and they average close to 90 points per game.

Sun Belt
UT-Arlington is off to a 12-3 start with a 2-0 mark in conference play. Included in those dozen wins is a big upset of Saint Mary’s, but as each day passes, that win does not look so much like an upset, just more like one really good team beating another really good team. Still, the Mavericks do not have enough on their resume to contend for a bubble spot. Arkansas State is also 2-0 in the league, but the Red Wolves do not have a signature win that gives them a shot at the bubble. Their win at Georgetown could look better in March than it does now, but still we see only one team making the dance from this league.

Western Athletic
New Mexico State is 1-0/14-2, but the Aggies’ best win is only against Arizona State. This is not enough to merit bubble consideration, so if NMSU runs the table in the league and then loses in the WAC Finals, they could be NIT bound at 30-3. UT Rio Grande Valley is a hot team with seven wins in eight games, and the Vaqueros can fill the nets with buckets, but they don’t play enough defense to do damage in the Dance.

Multiple Bid Leagues
45 bids remain after the 23 one bid leagues are accounted for. Those 45 bids will go to nine conferences, an average of five per league. Of course, some of the nine leagues will receive just two or three bids, unless an upset winner earns the automatic bid. Let’s look at those now.

American Athletic
Cincinnati and SMU appear to be in good shape for now. The Bearcats (2-0/12-2) are ranked in the top 25 and have a win at Iowa State. Cinti can strengthen their hold on an at-large bid with a win at Houston (3-0/12-3) tomorrow. SMU (3-0/13-3) currently owns a nine-game winning streak, but they have yet to record a win over a top 25 team (they have yet to play one). They do own a win over Pittsburgh as well as losses to Michigan and USC. Central Florida is in the mix at 3-0/12-3. They present a monster matchup problem with 7 foot 6 inch center Tacko Fall hitting 80% of his shots (95% are within a foot of the basket or dunks) and pulling down double digit rebounds while playing a one-man zone in the low post.

Atlantic 10
Dayton and Rhode Island look like the class of the league at this point, but both teams have a watchful eye on VCU. Two of the three should make the Dance, and it is possible that this league will send a third team there as well, but for now, we are sticking with two for sure.

West Coast
Gonzaga and St. Mary’s should both get bids, but SMC cannot afford to slip and lose more than two conference games. A win at Dayton is not enough to guarantee the Gaels an at-large bid. They will have to go 12-2 in league play or beat Gonzaga one time out of three.

39 Bids Left for 6 Power Leagues
Of the remaining six power leagues, we will give only 3 bids to the SEC. Kentucky, Florida, and one other team from among South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama should receive bids.
The Pac-12 will send 3 or 4 teams. UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon look good at this point, while USC and California vying for a possible fourth bid.

We are going with 5 Big East bids: Villanova, Xavier, Butler, Creighton, and Marquette.

6 bids go to the Big Ten: Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and either Northwestern, Ohio State, or Michigan State.

The Big 12 could send 8 teams dancing: Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, TCU, and Oklahoma State would all be in the tournament if the season ended today.

The ACC will reign supreme in this year’s Dance Party. As of this moment, we have an incredible 10 teams in the tournament: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest all have tourney-worthy resumes.

This brings us to 65 bids. The remaining three bids are reserved for three possible conference tournament surprise winners. If the three do not emerge, then the at-large possibles to secure the bids would come from a pool of these teams: an additional SEC team from the group of Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama; yet another ACC team from among Syracuse, North Carolina State, and Pittsburgh; Houston from the AAC; an additional Big Ten team from the group of Northwestern, Michigan State, and Ohio State; an additional Pac-12 team from the USC/Cal pairing; and Wichita State, should the Shockers finish highly-ranked but fail to win the MVC Tournament.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 10
1. West Virginia
2. Villanova
3. Kentucky
4. Baylor
5. Kansas
6. Duke
7. North Carolina
8. Gonzaga
9. UCLA
10. Virginia

ACC
1. Duke
2. North Carolina
3. Virginia
4. Louisville
5. Florida State
6. Clemson
7. Notre Dame
8. Miami (FL)
9. Virginia Tech
10. Wake Forest
11. Pittsburgh
12. Syracuse
13. North Carolina St.
14. Georgia Tech
15. Boston College

Big 12
1. West Virginia
2. Baylor
3. Kansas
4. Texas Tech
5. Iowa St.
6. Kansas St.
7. Oklahoma St.
8. TCU
9. Oklahoma
10. Texas

Big East
1. Villanova
2. Xavier
3. Butler
4. Creighton
5. Marquette
6. Seton Hall
7. Georgetown
8. Providence
9. St. John’s
10. DePaul

Big Ten
1. Purdue
2. Wisconsin
3. Michigan
4. Indiana
5. Minnesota
6. Northwestern
7. Michigan St.
8. Ohio St.
9. Maryland
10. Illinois
11. Iowa
12. Nebraska
13. Penn St.
14. Rutgers

Pac-12
1. UCLA
2. Arizona
3. Oregon
4. USC
5. California
6. Utah
7. Colorado
8. Stanford
9. Arizona St.
10. Washington
11. Washington St.
12. Oregon St.

SEC
1. Kentucky
2. Florida
3. South Carolina
4. Arkansas
5. Georgia
6. Alabama
7. Tennessee
8. Vanderbilt
9. Texas A&M
10. Ole Miss
11. LSU
12. Auburn
13. Mississippi St.
14. Missouri

This Weekend’s Spreads

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Syracuse Pittsburgh 4 4 -4
Duke Boston College 24 28 24
Florida St. Virginia Tech 8 10 13
Georgia Tech Louisville -12 -16 -19
Notre Dame Clemson 3 5 5
North Carolina North Carolina St. 14 15 9
West Virginia TCU 13 15 6
Kansas St. Oklahoma 9 8 9
Baylor Oklahoma St. 10 11 21
Kansas Texas Tech 11 11 13
Iowa St. Texas 11 11 8
Georgetown Butler -3 -4 -1
Seton Hall DePaul 14 15 16
Providence Dayton -1 1 -4
Xavier St. John’s 14 16 15
Villanova Marquette 11 13 19
Penn St. Michigan St. -1 -3 -4
Michigan Maryland 6 7 -1
Indiana Illinois 10 11 2
Washington Oregon St. 10 12 10
Arizona St. Utah -1 -2 -2
Washington St. Oregon -11 -16 -19
Arizona Colorado 12 11 15
Georgia Missouri 14 14 17
South Carolina Texas A&M 7 5 8
LSU Mississippi St. 6 4 11
Florida Tennessee 12 12 15
Auburn Ole Miss 3 1 -6
Alabama Vanderbilt 3 3 1
Kentucky Arkansas 16 17 17

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Nebraska Northwestern 1 -2 4
Purdue Wisconsin 4 3 7
Iowa Rutgers 9 10 8
Minnesota Ohio St. 6 6 13
Virginia Wake Forest 10 15 12
UCLA Stanford 19 18 8
USC California 4 2 1

October 31, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For November 1-5, 2016

The College Football Playoff Committee doles out its first playoff ranking tomorrow, and it looks like their job became easy enough that they can come in late to the office. With losses to Baylor, West Virginia, and Nebraska, and wins by Clemson and Washington, four undefeated Power 5 Conference teams remain. Obviously, the first ranking will include Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, and Washington as its first quartet. There is some talk that Texas A&M should be in the mix, but including a one-loss SEC team over an unbeaten Washington, Michigan, or Clemson, would draw enough ire from the non-SEC football world that the committee would be barbecued in the media.

In the end, there is only one way to hold a proper playoff. The playoffs should be decided the same way they are decided in every sport that has a playoff–on the field. No committee should be needed to figure out which teams to invite. Politics should have no bearing on the process. It is obvious that if it comes down to it, a one-loss team like Ohio State, Alabama, or Clemson will always trump a one-loss team like Washington, Baylor, or Louisville.

The champions of the Power 5 conferences should receive automatic bids to an 8-team playoff. Or, the winners of the conference championship games should receive automatic bids. That would mean, until the Big 12 expanded to at least 12 teams and implemented a championship game, their conference would not receive an automatic bid. Also, no independent team could be eligible for the playoffs, so Notre Dame, BYU, Army, and U Mass would have to find a league or else never be eligible for a playoff spot.

As for the other three spots in the playoffs, take the Group of 5 and award the top conference champion overall, the sixth playoff spot. That would be Western Michigan as of now.  Of the remaining four conference champions, give them spots 7 through 10 and have them play a preliminary “play-in” round to earn the 7th and 8th spots in the playoffs.

Let’s take a look at this in action. First, the Big 12 would have to expand by at least two teams to retain their automatic bid status. For the sake of argument, let’s add Notre Dame and BYU as the 11th and 12th teams. Army and U Mass could go to Conference USA.

Imagine for a moment that these moves have occurred. Now, using what has happened so far this year, let’s say that Clemson wins the ACC, Alabama wins the SEC, Michigan wins the Big Ten, Oklahoma wins the Big 12, and Washington wins the Pac-12. Western Michigan goes 13-0 to win the MAC and become the best Group of 5 team. The remaining four Group of 5 Champions are South Florida in the AAC, Western Kentucky in CUSA, Troy in the Sun Belt, and San Diego State in the Mountain West.

In the preliminary round, #7 seed South Florida would host #10 seed Troy, while #8 seed San Diego State would host #9 seed Western Kentucky. Western Michigan would be the #6 seed; Oklahoma #5, Washington #4, Clemson #3, Michigan #2, and Alabama #1.

After the preliminary round, #1 Alabama would host the winner of the SDSU-WKU game; #2 Michigan would host the winner of the South Florida-Troy game; #3 Clemson would host #6 Western Michigan; and #4 Washington would host #5 Oklahoma.

The debate would revolve around teams like Troy and Western Kentucky getting spots in playoffs, even if they were just preliminary rounds. But, this is the same thing that happens in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, where the champion of the #31 conference tournament gets an automatic bid, while a top ten team that does not win their league’s conference tournament does not receive an automatic bid.

In the end, the NCAA will never implement such a plan, because fairness is not part of their plan. A fair profit is all that matters, so for now, the big powers will get the benefit of the doubt for financial reasons only.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 135.9 129.1 135.8 133.6
2 Michigan 128.7 126.4 128.7 127.9
3 Washington 128.8 121.6 128.6 126.3
4 Louisville 127.2 122.5 127.1 125.6
5 Clemson 126.7 119.5 125.6 123.9
6 LSU 124.8 119.8 124.4 123.0
7 Auburn 123.7 121.2 123.9 122.9
8 Ohio St. 121.9 121.5 122.2 121.9
9 Oklahoma 120.9 119.4 120.6 120.3
10 Virginia Tech 119.1 117.7 119.5 118.8
11 Texas A&M 117.5 115.5 117.3 116.8
12 Florida St. 119.2 112.7 118.3 116.7
13 North Carolina 118.4 112.0 118.3 116.2
14 Colorado 117.5 113.0 117.3 116.0
15 Oklahoma St. 115.2 116.2 115.0 115.5
16 USC 117.7 112.9 115.5 115.4
17 Wisconsin 115.4 113.4 116.1 115.0
18 Florida 114.7 116.6 113.2 114.8
19 Tennessee 115.5 112.7 114.7 114.3
20 Baylor 113.8 114.3 114.2 114.1
21 Pittsburgh 115.1 111.4 114.3 113.6
22 Miami 115.7 110.0 115.0 113.6
23 Western Michigan 112.9 111.8 114.6 113.1
24 Stanford 114.6 108.6 114.0 112.4
25 Penn St. 112.0 113.2 111.4 112.2
26 Nebraska 113.2 110.2 113.1 112.2
27 Ole Miss 114.3 109.2 113.0 112.2
28 Washington St. 112.4 109.5 112.2 111.4
29 West Virginia 111.8 110.8 111.3 111.3
30 Iowa 112.1 109.5 111.9 111.2
31 Notre Dame 112.7 108.8 111.3 110.9
32 Texas 110.3 111.4 109.7 110.5
33 UCLA 110.2 108.7 109.5 109.5
34 Houston 109.3 108.2 110.7 109.4
35 Utah 111.7 106.2 110.1 109.3
36 Northwestern 110.4 106.4 109.4 108.7
37 South Florida 108.8 107.0 109.3 108.4
38 Arkansas 109.9 105.2 108.0 107.7
39 BYU 109.6 104.1 109.2 107.6
40 Georgia Tech 109.2 105.3 108.1 107.5
41 Georgia 107.8 107.4 106.9 107.4
42 Kansas St. 106.6 108.9 106.5 107.3
43 Mississippi St. 107.8 106.3 106.7 106.9
44 TCU 106.5 108.0 105.6 106.7
45 Boise St. 105.7 106.9 106.7 106.4
46 Oregon 107.1 105.3 106.3 106.2
47 San Diego St. 105.6 104.2 107.6 105.8
48 Minnesota 105.8 104.7 105.3 105.3
49 Western Kentucky 105.5 102.9 106.8 105.1
50 Temple 104.6 103.9 105.0 104.5
51 Tulsa 103.4 104.8 104.1 104.1
52 North Carolina St. 104.9 102.3 104.5 103.9
53 Texas Tech 104.6 103.8 103.1 103.9
54 Michigan St. 104.5 103.9 102.8 103.7
55 Indiana 102.9 104.8 102.5 103.4
56 Virginia 104.3 101.5 103.8 103.2
57 Arizona St. 103.9 102.8 102.5 103.1
58 Maryland 102.3 104.7 100.8 102.6
59 Syracuse 104.0 100.8 102.6 102.5
60 Navy 102.6 101.7 102.4 102.3
61 Toledo 101.5 101.8 102.0 101.8
62 California 104.6 97.8 102.2 101.5
63 Duke 101.7 101.6 101.0 101.4
64 Wake Forest 101.6 100.4 102.0 101.4
65 Kentucky 101.1 102.0 100.5 101.2
66 Appalachian St. 100.4 100.7 102.4 101.2
67 Vanderbilt 101.6 98.4 100.3 100.1
68 Memphis 100.7 98.8 99.6 99.7
69 South Carolina 99.7 99.3 99.3 99.5
70 Boston College 99.9 98.8 99.4 99.4
71 Arizona 99.6 97.4 98.1 98.4
72 Iowa St. 98.6 98.2 97.9 98.2
73 Louisiana Tech 96.9 98.8 98.6 98.1
74 Missouri 97.9 97.6 97.2 97.6
75 Central Florida 95.9 97.3 96.6 96.6
76 Cincinnati 96.4 96.8 96.4 96.6
77 Middle Tennessee 95.8 96.7 96.3 96.3
78 Army 92.8 99.8 94.9 95.8
79 New Mexico 94.8 96.9 95.7 95.8
80 Central Michigan 95.0 96.9 95.4 95.8
81 Air Force 94.8 96.2 94.8 95.3
82 Troy 93.0 97.7 95.0 95.3
83 Northern Illinois 94.1 95.5 95.4 95.0
84 SMU 94.4 93.9 96.5 95.0
85 Oregon St. 96.7 92.2 95.3 94.7
86 East Carolina 94.0 95.5 94.3 94.6
87 Illinois 95.0 91.6 94.0 93.6
88 Ohio 91.3 97.1 92.0 93.5
89 Wyoming 92.2 92.3 93.2 92.6
90 Connecticut 92.4 91.3 92.0 91.9
91 Southern Mississippi 91.6 91.9 92.0 91.9
92 Arkansas St. 90.6 92.6 92.3 91.8
93 Utah St. 91.0 93.6 90.8 91.8
94 Colorado St. 90.0 91.8 90.9 90.9
95 Purdue 91.8 90.2 90.5 90.8
96 Rutgers 92.0 89.6 90.6 90.8
97 Georgia Southern 88.2 88.6 90.0 89.0
98 Kent St. 87.2 89.0 87.9 88.1
99 Miami (O) 86.8 87.7 88.2 87.6
100 Old Dominion 86.2 89.7 86.7 87.5
101 Ball St. 85.4 87.9 86.5 86.6
102 Akron 84.2 89.9 85.6 86.6
103 Tulane 84.9 88.9 85.6 86.5
104 Nevada 85.3 87.7 85.9 86.3
105 UNLV 85.1 88.2 85.2 86.2
106 South Alabama 83.5 90.1 84.8 86.1
107 Eastern Michigan 85.1 87.4 85.4 86.0
108 Hawaii 85.9 84.9 85.7 85.5
109 Georgia St. 82.7 87.4 84.6 84.9
110 UTSA 81.7 88.4 84.1 84.8
111 Marshall 82.8 86.4 83.7 84.3
112 Kansas 82.9 88.1 80.3 83.8
113 North Texas 81.7 84.8 82.5 83.0
114 Massachusetts 80.3 86.6 81.4 82.8
115 Bowling Green 82.4 82.8 82.4 82.5
116 San Jose St. 82.7 82.7 82.2 82.5
117 Idaho 79.5 84.8 81.1 81.8
118 Fresno St. 80.0 83.5 79.7 81.1
119 Florida International 79.1 83.7 79.3 80.7
120 UL-Lafayette 77.7 83.8 79.5 80.4
121 Rice 77.6 84.3 77.6 79.8
122 Buffalo 76.3 83.2 76.9 78.8
123 Florida Atlantic 74.1 78.8 77.0 76.6
124 Charlotte 73.7 79.0 74.4 75.7
125 UTEP 72.2 76.7 73.4 74.1
126 New Mexico St. 71.6 74.7 72.5 72.9
127 Texas St. 67.5 69.7 68.3 68.5
128 UL-Monroe 64.9 69.8 65.2 66.6

 

PiRate Retrodictive Rankings
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Michigan
3 Clemson
4 Louisville
5 Washington
6 Texas A&M
7 Ohio St.
8 Wisconsin
9 Western Michigan
10 Auburn
11 Nebraska
12 Florida
13 Oklahoma
14 Colorado
15 LSU
16 Washington St.
17 Penn St.
18 Virginia Tech
19 West Virginia
20 Florida St.
21 Boise St.
22 USC
23 North Carolina
24 Tennessee
25 Utah
26 Baylor
27 Houston
28 Stanford
29 South Florida
30 Oklahoma St.
31 Arkansas
32 Pittsburgh
33 Appalachian St.
34 San Diego St.
35 Tulsa
36 Troy
37 Minnesota
38 Iowa
39 Northwestern
40 BYU
41 Ole Miss
42 Temple
43 Georgia Tech
44 Kansas St.
45 Western Kentucky
46 Miami (Fla)
47 Navy
48 Kentucky
49 Wyoming
50 Toledo
51 Arizona St.
52 California
53 Texas Tech
54 UCLA
55 Oregon
56 Texas
57 Georgia
58 Maryland
59 Louisiana Tech
60 North Carolina St.
61 Indiana
62 Memphis
63 Middle Tennessee
64 Wake Forest
65 TCU
66 South Carolina
67 Central Florida
68 Vanderbilt
69 Syracuse
70 Air Force
71 Colorado St.
72 Mississippi St.
73 Southern Miss.
74 Notre Dame
75 New Mexico
76 SMU
77 Boston College
78 Ohio
79 Army
80 Oregon St.
81 Duke
82 Old Dominion
83 Central Michigan
84 Michigan St.
85 Akron
86 Georgia Southern
87 Cincinnati
88 Arizona
89 Eastern Michigan
90 East Carolina
91 Missouri
92 Idaho
93 Virginia
94 Arkansas St.
95 South Alabama
96 Utah St.
97 Illinois
98 North Texas
99 Hawaii
100 Rutgers
101 Northern Illinois
102 UTSA
103 Ball St.
104 Tulane
105 Connecticut
106 Kent St.
107 Purdue
108 Iowa St.
109 UL-Lafayette
110 Miami (O)
111 Georgia St.
112 UNLV
113 Nevada
114 San Jose St.
115 New Mexico St.
116 Marshall
117 Bowling Green
118 Charlotte
119 Massachusetts
120 UL-Monroe
121 Florida Int’l.
122 Kansas
123 Texas St.
124 Buffalo
125 UTEP
126 Rice
127 Fresno St.
128 Florida Atlantic

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 108.8 107.0 109.3 108.4
Temple 104.6 103.9 105.0 104.5
Central Florida 95.9 97.3 96.6 96.6
Cincinnati 96.4 96.8 96.4 96.6
East Carolina 94.0 95.5 94.3 94.6
Connecticut 92.4 91.3 92.0 91.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 109.3 108.2 110.7 109.4
Tulsa 103.4 104.8 104.1 104.1
Navy 102.6 101.7 102.4 102.3
Memphis 100.7 98.8 99.6 99.7
SMU 94.4 93.9 96.5 95.0
Tulane 84.9 88.9 85.6 86.5
         
AAC Averages 99.0 99.1 99.4 99.1
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 127.2 122.5 127.1 125.6
Clemson 126.7 119.5 125.6 123.9
Florida St. 119.2 112.7 118.3 116.7
North Carolina St. 104.9 102.3 104.5 103.9
Syracuse 104.0 100.8 102.6 102.5
Wake Forest 101.6 100.4 102.0 101.4
Boston College 99.9 98.8 99.4 99.4
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Virginia Tech 119.1 117.7 119.5 118.8
North Carolina 118.4 112.0 118.3 116.2
Pittsburgh 115.1 111.4 114.3 113.6
Miami 115.7 110.0 115.0 113.6
Georgia Tech 109.2 105.3 108.1 107.5
Virginia 104.3 101.5 103.8 103.2
Duke 101.7 101.6 101.0 101.4
         
ACC Averages 111.9 108.4 111.4 110.6
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 120.9 119.4 120.6 120.3
Oklahoma St. 115.2 116.2 115.0 115.5
Baylor 113.8 114.3 114.2 114.1
West Virginia 111.8 110.8 111.3 111.3
Texas 110.3 111.4 109.7 110.5
Kansas St. 106.6 108.9 106.5 107.3
TCU 106.5 108.0 105.6 106.7
Texas Tech 104.6 103.8 103.1 103.9
Iowa St. 98.6 98.2 97.9 98.2
Kansas 82.9 88.1 80.3 83.8
         
Big 12 Averages 107.1 107.9 106.4 107.2
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 128.7 126.4 128.7 127.9
Ohio St. 121.9 121.5 122.2 121.9
Penn St. 112.0 113.2 111.4 112.2
Michigan St. 104.5 103.9 102.8 103.7
Indiana 102.9 104.8 102.5 103.4
Maryland 102.3 104.7 100.8 102.6
Rutgers 92.0 89.6 90.6 90.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 115.4 113.4 116.1 115.0
Nebraska 113.2 110.2 113.1 112.2
Iowa 112.1 109.5 111.9 111.2
Northwestern 110.4 106.4 109.4 108.7
Minnesota 105.8 104.7 105.3 105.3
Illinois 95.0 91.6 94.0 93.6
Purdue 91.8 90.2 90.5 90.8
         
Big Ten Averages 107.7 106.5 107.1 107.1
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 105.5 102.9 106.8 105.1
Middle Tennessee 95.8 96.7 96.3 96.3
Old Dominion 86.2 89.7 86.7 87.5
Marshall 82.8 86.4 83.7 84.3
Florida International 79.1 83.7 79.3 80.7
Florida Atlantic 74.1 78.8 77.0 76.6
Charlotte 73.7 79.0 74.4 75.7
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisiana Tech 96.9 98.8 98.6 98.1
Southern Mississippi 91.6 91.9 92.0 91.9
UTSA 81.7 88.4 84.1 84.8
North Texas 81.7 84.8 82.5 83.0
Rice 77.6 84.3 77.6 79.8
UTEP 72.2 76.7 73.4 74.1
         
CUSA Averages 84.5 87.9 85.6 86.0
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 112.7 108.8 111.3 110.9
BYU 109.6 104.1 109.2 107.6
Army 92.8 99.8 94.9 95.8
Massachusetts 80.3 86.6 81.4 82.8
         
Indep. Averages 98.9 99.8 99.2 99.3
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 91.3 97.1 92.0 93.5
Kent St. 87.2 89.0 87.9 88.1
Miami (O) 86.8 87.7 88.2 87.6
Akron 84.2 89.9 85.6 86.6
Bowling Green 82.4 82.8 82.4 82.5
Buffalo 76.3 83.2 76.9 78.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 112.9 111.8 114.6 113.1
Toledo 101.5 101.8 102.0 101.8
Central Michigan 95.0 96.9 95.4 95.8
Northern Illinois 94.1 95.5 95.4 95.0
Ball St. 85.4 87.9 86.5 86.6
Eastern Michigan 85.1 87.4 85.4 86.0
         
MAC Averages 90.2 92.6 91.0 91.3
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 105.7 106.9 106.7 106.4
New Mexico 94.8 96.9 95.7 95.8
Air Force 94.8 96.2 94.8 95.3
Wyoming 92.2 92.3 93.2 92.6
Utah St. 91.0 93.6 90.8 91.8
Colorado St. 90.0 91.8 90.9 90.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 105.6 104.2 107.6 105.8
Nevada 85.3 87.7 85.9 86.3
UNLV 85.1 88.2 85.2 86.2
Hawaii 85.9 84.9 85.7 85.5
San Jose St. 82.7 82.7 82.2 82.5
Fresno St. 80.0 83.5 79.7 81.1
         
MWC Averages 91.1 92.5 91.5 91.7
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 128.8 121.6 128.6 126.3
Stanford 114.6 108.6 114.0 112.4
Washington St. 112.4 109.5 112.2 111.4
Oregon 107.1 105.3 106.3 106.2
California 104.6 97.8 102.2 101.5
Oregon St. 96.7 92.2 95.3 94.7
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colorado 117.5 113.0 117.3 116.0
USC 117.7 112.9 115.5 115.4
UCLA 110.2 108.7 109.5 109.5
Utah 111.7 106.2 110.1 109.3
Arizona St. 103.9 102.8 102.5 103.1
Arizona 99.6 97.4 98.1 98.4
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.4 106.4 109.3 108.7
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Florida 114.7 116.6 113.2 114.8
Tennessee 115.5 112.7 114.7 114.3
Georgia 107.8 107.4 106.9 107.4
Kentucky 101.1 102.0 100.5 101.2
Vanderbilt 101.6 98.4 100.3 100.1
South Carolina 99.7 99.3 99.3 99.5
Missouri 97.9 97.6 97.2 97.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 135.9 129.1 135.8 133.6
LSU 124.8 119.8 124.4 123.0
Auburn 123.7 121.2 123.9 122.9
Texas A&M 117.5 115.5 117.3 116.8
Ole Miss 114.3 109.2 113.0 112.2
Arkansas 109.9 105.2 108.0 107.7
Mississippi St. 107.8 106.3 106.7 106.9
         
SEC Averages 112.3 110.0 111.5 111.3
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 100.4 100.7 102.4 101.2
Troy 93.0 97.7 95.0 95.3
Arkansas St. 90.6 92.6 92.3 91.8
Georgia Southern 88.2 88.6 90.0 89.0
South Alabama 83.5 90.1 84.8 86.1
Georgia St. 82.7 87.4 84.6 84.9
Idaho 79.5 84.8 81.1 81.8
UL-Lafayette 77.7 83.8 79.5 80.4
New Mexico St. 71.6 74.7 72.5 72.9
Texas St. 67.5 69.7 68.3 68.5
UL-Monroe 64.9 69.8 65.2 66.6
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.8 85.5 83.2 83.5

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.3 110.0 111.5 111.3
2 ACC 111.9 108.4 111.4 110.6
3 Pac-12 110.4 106.4 109.3 108.7
4 Big 12 107.1 107.9 106.4 107.2
5 Big Ten 107.7 106.5 107.1 107.1
6 Independents 98.9 99.8 99.2 99.3
7 AAC 99.0 99.1 99.4 99.1
8 MWC 91.1 92.5 91.5 91.7
9 MAC 90.2 92.6 91.0 91.3
10 CUSA 84.5 87.9 85.6 86.0
11 Sun Belt 81.8 85.5 83.2 83.5

 

 

This Week’s Games–November 1-5
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Tuesday, November 1
Northern Illinois Bowling Green 14.7 15.7 16.4
Ball St. Western Michigan -24.5 -20.9 -25.1
         
Wednesday, November 2
Akron Toledo -15.3 -9.9 -14.4
         
Thursday, November 3
Ohio U Buffalo 18.0 16.9 18.1
Iowa St. Oklahoma -19.3 -18.2 -19.7
Georgia St. Arkansas St. -5.4 -2.7 -5.2
Colorado UCLA 10.3 7.3 10.8
         
Friday, November 4
Miami (O) Central Michigan -5.2 -6.2 -4.2
Connecticut Temple -9.2 -9.6 -10.0
Boise St. San Jose St. 26.0 27.2 27.5
         
Saturday, November 5
Boston College Louisville -24.3 -20.7 -24.7
Clemson Syracuse 25.7 21.7 26.0
Duke Virginia Tech -14.4 -13.1 -15.5
North Carolina St. Florida St. -11.3 -7.4 -10.8
North Carolina Georgia Tech 12.2 9.7 10.2
Miami (Fla.) Pittsburgh 3.6 1.6 3.7
Washington St. Arizona 15.8 15.1 17.1
USC Oregon 13.6 10.6 12.2
California Washington -21.2 -20.8 -23.4
West Virginia Kansas 31.9 25.7 34.0
Kansas St. Oklahoma St. -5.6 -4.3 -5.5
Notre Dame (N) Navy 10.1 7.1 8.9
Army Air Force 1.0 6.6 3.1
Ole Miss Georgia Southern 29.1 23.6 26.0
Mississippi St. Texas A&M -6.7 -6.2 -7.6
Auburn Vanderbilt 25.1 25.8 26.6
Texas Tech Texas -3.2 -5.1 -4.1
Rutgers Indiana -8.4 -12.7 -9.4
Illinois Michigan St. -6.5 -9.3 -5.8
Northwestern Wisconsin -3.0 -5.0 -4.7
Middle Tennessee UTSA 17.1 11.3 15.2
Wake Forest Virginia -0.2 1.4 0.7
Rice Florida Atlantic 6.0 8.0 3.1
Colorado St. Fresno St. 13.0 11.3 14.2
Southern Miss. Charlotte 20.9 15.9 20.6
Baylor TCU 9.8 8.8 11.1
Stanford Oregon St. 20.9 19.4 21.7
Cincinnati BYU -10.2 -4.3 -9.8
Troy Massachusetts 15.7 14.1 16.6
Arkansas Florida -1.8 -8.4 -2.2
Michigan Maryland 29.4 28.7 30.9
Minnesota Purdue 17.0 17.5 17.8
Appalachian St. Texas St. 35.9 34.0 37.1
SMU Memphis -3.8 -2.4 -0.6
South Carolina Missouri 5.0 4.7 5.1
UL-Lafayette Idaho 0.8 2.0 1.4
UL-Monroe South Alabama -13.6 -18.3 -17.6
Central Florida Tulane 14.0 14.4 14.0
Western Kentucky Florida Int’l. 29.4 22.2 30.5
North Texas Louisiana Tech -12.2 -11.0 -13.1
Old Dominion Marshall 5.9 6.2 5.5
San Diego St. Hawaii 23.7 23.3 25.9
Penn St. Iowa 2.9 6.7 2.5
Kentucky Georgia -4 -2.4 -3.4
LSU Alabama -8 -6.3 -8.4
Tulsa East Carolina 12.4 12.3 12.8
Ohio St. Nebraska 11.7 14.3 12.1
New Mexico Nevada 12.5 12.2 12.8
Wyoming Utah St. 4.2 1.7 5.4

(N)–Game to be played in Jacksonville, FL

FBS vs. FCS Week 10  
Home Visitor PiRate
Tennessee Tennessee Tech 41
UTEP Houston Baptist 16

 

Bowl Projections

The bowl outlook took a major turn this past weekend with numerous upsets bringing multiple teams into the bowl discussions.  Let’s take a look at how each conference was affected.

Group of 5 Leagues

American Athletic Conference

South Florida recovered from its loss to Temple by beating Navy at its own game.  This now opens the door in the West for Tulsa, which beat Memphis to move into position to take the West if they win out.  Because the AAC does not slot bowl teams into specific bowls, it did not change much.  Houston with two losses is out of the NY6 Bowl picture for now.  The AAC has eight bowl tie-ins but appears headed to having just seven bowl eligible teams.  However, SMU is getting better and better every week, so the Mustangs could sneak in as the eighth eligible team.  For now, we are predicting that Cincinnati will not be bowl eligible.

Conference USA

Western Kentucky should win the East with Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion earning bowl bids from this division.  The West is up for grabs, but Louisiana Tech is starting to look like the team that will emerge as the division winner.  Southern Miss. and North Texas are still alive, and UTSA is a dark horse.  We see six bowl eligible teams emerging, which is perfect, since the league has six bowl tie-ins.

Independents

BYU is going to be bowl eligible and get the Poinsettia bid allotted to the Cougars.  With Army’s upset of Wake Forest, the Black Knights should get to seven wins and become bowl eligible.  Notre Dame still looks like a team on the outside.  The Fighting Irish might need to beat USC in the season finale to get to 6-6, and for now, we do not believe they can beat the Trojans.

Mid-American Conference

Western Michigan is now in the driver’s seat for the NY6 Bowl thanks to Wyoming’s win over Boise State.  The Broncos have a rather easy November schedule and figure to play a 7-5 or even 6-6 team in the MAC title game.

The East has become quite interesting.  While Ohio has the upper hand in the race, keep an eye on Miami of Ohio.  Miami has not figured in the race in years, but the Redhawks won at Eastern Michigan Saturday to move to 3-2 in the league.  If Miami wins out, and Ohio loses to Toledo and either Central Michigan or Akron, then Miami could be the division winner with a 6-6 overall mark.

The MAC will have at least seven bowl eligible teams, and they only have five bowl tie-ins.  Because WMU for now is slotted for the Cotton Bowl, there will be one surplus team to become an at-large invitee to another bowl.

Mountain West Conference

Boise State’s loss not only knocks them well back in the NY6 Bowl pecking order, the Broncos now need Wyoming to lose twice in order to get a trip to the MWC Championship Game.  It has been awhile since the Broncos have played at home in the bowl season, but we believe they will garner another bowl even if they do not win the league.

San Diego State is all but assured to win the West Division, and the Aztecs could be the only division team to gain bowl eligibility.  Hawaii’s loss at home to New Mexico means the Rainbow Warriors are probably looking at 6-7 at best.  At 6-7, UH would have preference over the 5-7 teams trying to gain alternate status to bowls.

Sun Belt

With 11 teams and just four bowl tie-ins, the SBC usually produces an extra bowl eligible team or two.  We believe two league teams will receive at-large bids this year.  Troy and Appalachian State are already bowl eligible, while Arkansas State and Georgia Southern in good shape.  South Alabama and either Idaho or Louisiana-Lafayette should give the league a couple of at-large candidates.

Power 5 Leagues

Atlantic Coast Conference

Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville in the Atlantic and North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh in the Coastal are assured of bowls, but after that, it is a jumbled race.  For now, we believe Miami, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech will become bowl eligible, but North Carolina State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Duke will not.  We also believe Duke may fall to 4-8, taking the Blue Devils out of the 5-7 bowl sweepstakes, where they hold the APR Ace card.  Boston College has a fat APR score and could get in at 5-7.  Overall, we see nine bowl teams from this league.  Because Clemson should get a playoff spot and Louisville is safe as a NY6 Bowl team, and because there is a chance that either North Carolina or Virginia Tech could sneak into the Cotton Bowl picture, this league will not supply all its contracted bowls with teams.

Big 12 Conference

With the two undefeated teams losing this past weekend, it is almost impossible now for a team from this league to make the Playoffs.  It is the price the Big 12 pays for not expanding (and as some believe because Texas says no expansion).  As of today, we have the league champion going to the Sugar Bowl, and no other team should earn an NY6 bid.  With Texas and Texas Tech winning, this now makes a strong case for seven bowl eligible teams (TCU dropping out for now) for seven bowls.

Big Ten Conference

Can Michigan win at the Giant Horseshoe?  We believe the Wolverines are now considerably better than Ohio State, and we cannot see a West Division team staying within two touchdowns of the Maize and Blue.  Jim Harbaugh has his alma mater looking much like it did back in the Bo Schembechler 1970’s.

Should Michigan hand Ohio State that season-ending loss, and should Penn State win out, the Nittany Lions could be the Rose Bowl’s choice over a multiple loss West Division champion.

We are looking at 10 bowl eligible teams in this league, but we also believe three teams will be in the NY6, meaning the league will come up one team short for its bowl obligations.

Pac-12 Conference

With Washington’s win at Utah, we now show the Huskies going to the Palouse and beating rival Washington State in the season finale.  In the South, Colorado controls its own destiny with a favorable schedule, but they will have to beat Utah in Boulder on the final weekend.

We show UCLA, Cal, and Oregon falling short, while Arizona State recovers to gain bowl eligibility.  This leads to seven bowl eligible teams for eight spots (one playoff and seven bowls), so the Cactus Bowl would have to find another team.

Southeastern Conference

In what was an interesting turn of events this past weekend in the East Division, South Carolina upset Tennessee and Kentucky won at Missouri.  Florida now controls its own destiny in the division, but if the Gators lose to Arkansas and LSU on the road, and Kentucky beats fading Georgia and Tennessee teams, the Wildcats would be the major shocking surprise winner in the division!

Alabama plays at LSU this weekend, and we just cannot see the Tigers winning this game.  The Tide get Auburn at home, so it looks like a march to the top seed for the Saban Dynasty.

We have added South Carolina to the Bowl list this week, and with Kentucky now 99% assured of gaining bowl eligibility, that brings the SEC to 11 bowl eligible teams, which means they will supply a team for every bowl tie-in.

The 7-loss Alternate Teams

This week, we have 78 teams gaining bowl eligibility.  We have Hawaii at 6-7, so the Rainbow Warriors would be team #79.  The 80th team would thus go to the highest APR score of the 5-7 teams.  Duke would be that team if the Blue Devils can win two more times, but their schedule is set up for a hard crash, and thus we do not believe they will win five games.

Next up among the possible 5-7 teams is Vanderbilt.  If the Commodores win one of their final four games (Missouri is still to be played), it looks like they will be the 80th team in the field.  It might mean a 1,500+ mile trip out West.

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
New Mexico MWC CUSA New Mexico vs. North Texas
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC Arizona St. vs. San Diego St.
Cure AAC SBC Temple vs. Appy St.
Camellia MAC SBC Miami (O) vs. S. Alabama
New Orleans CUSA SBC La. Tech vs. Troy
Miami Beach AAC MAC Central Fla. vs. Central Mich.
Boca Raton AAC CUSA Houston vs. Western Ky.
Poinsettia MWC BYU Colorado St. vs. BYU
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Eastern Mich. vs. Wyoming
Bahamas AAC/CUSA MAC/CUSA South Florida vs. Toledo
Armed Forces Navy Big 12 Navy vs. Texas Tech
Dollar General MAC SBC Ohio U vs. Arkansas St.
Hawaii CUSA MWC Middle Tenn. vs. Boise St.
St. Petersburg AAC ACC/ND Memphis vs. Miami (Fla.)
Quick Lane ACC/ND Big Ten [Akron] vs. Indiana
Independence SEC ACC/ND Ole Miss vs. [Idaho]
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA {Hawaii} vs. Sou. Miss.
Military ACC/ND AAC [Army] vs. Tulsa
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Minnesota vs. Utah
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 Kansas St. vs. {Vanderbilt}
Pinstripe ACC/ND Big Ten Pittsburgh vs. Maryland
Russell Athletic ACC/ND Big 12 Va. Tech vs. Oklahoma St.
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Iowa vs. Wash. St.
Texas Big 12 SEC West Virginia vs. Tennessee
Birmingham AAC SEC [Ga. Sou.] vs. S. Carolina
Belk ACC/ND SEC Wake Forest vs. Florida
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Baylor vs. USC
Liberty Big 12 SEC Texas vs. Arkansas
Sun ACC/ND Pac-12 Georgia Tech vs. Stanford
Arizona CUSA/SBC MWC/SBC Old Dominion vs. Air Force
Music City ACC/ND/B10 SEC Northwestern vs. Georgia
Orange ACC/ND B10/SEC Louisville vs. Nebraska
Citrus ACC/ND/B10 SEC Wisconsin vs. Auburn
TaxSlayer ACC/ND/B10 SEC Florida St. vs. Kentucky
Peach Semifinal Semifinal Alabama vs. Washington
Fiesta Semifinal Semifinal Michigan vs. Clemson
Outback Big Ten SEC Ohio St. vs. LSU
Cotton At-Large At-Large N. Carolina vs. Western Mich.
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Penn St. vs. Colorado
Sugar Big 12 SEC Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
Championship Semifinal Winners Alabama vs. Michigan
           
[Team] At-Large Selection
{Team} At-Large Selection of projected 7-Loss Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 6, 2016

NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference Tournament Update: 3/6/16

Teams Earning Automatic Bids
Ohio Valley: Austin Peay (18-17)
Ivy League: Yale (22-6)

 

Automatic Bids To Be Awarded Today
Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast vs. Stetson 12:30 PM ESPN2 *
Stetson is ineligible for the postseason. North Florida will go if the Hatters win.
 
Big South: Winthrop vs. UNC-Asheville 2:30 PM ESPN2
 
Missouri Valley: Evansville vs. Northern Iowa 2:00 PM on CBS

 

Results of Tournaments Played To Date

America East Conference Tournament Score
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
Quarterfinal Round  
Wednesday, March 2  
#8 UMBC (7-24) @ #1 Stony Brook (23-6) 76-86
#7 Hartford (9-22) @ #2 Albany (24-7) 68-59
#6 Maine (8-21) @ #3 Vermont (19-12) 82-99
#5 Binghamton (8-21) @ #4 New Hampshire (18-11) 51-56
   
Semifinal Round  
Monday, March 7  
#7 Hartford (10-22) @ #1 Stony Brook (24-6)  
#4 New Hampshire (19-11) @ #3 Vermont (20-12)  
   
Championship  
Saturday, March 12  
11:00 AM EST on ESPN2  
   
   
Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament  
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
Quarterfinal Round  
Tuesday, March 1  
G1: #8 USC-Upstate (10-21) @ #1 North Florida (21-10) 69-92
G2: #5 Kennesaw St. (11-19) @ #4 Florida Gulf Coast (17-13) 64-74
G3: #7 Stetson (10-21) @ #2 NJIT (17-13) 82-67
G4: #6 Lipscomb (11-20) @ #3 Jacksonville (16-15) 92-89
   
Semifinal Round  
Thursday, March 3  
#4 Florida Gulf Coast (18-13) @ #1 North Florida (22-10) 89-56
#7 Stetson (11-21) @ #6 Lipscomb (12-20) 96-75
   
Championship  
Sunday, March 6 12:30 PM on ESPN2  
#7 Stetson (12-21) @ #4 Florida Gulf Coast (19-13)  
   
Note: If Stetson wins the tournament, then North Florida will  
represent the A-Sun in the NCAA Tournament due to Stetson  
being ineligible for the postseason.  
   
   
Big South Conference Tournament  
Site: Buies Creek, NC (Campbell)  
   
1st Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G1: #8 Longwood (9-22) vs. #9 Charleston Southern (9-20) 75-69
G2: #7 Radford (16-14) vs. #10 Presbyterian (10-19) 64-65
G3: #6 Gardner-Webb (15-15) vs. #11 Campbell (12-17) 79-69
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G4: #1 High Point (20-9) vs. #8 Longwood (10-22) 89-78
G5: #4 UNC-Asheville (19-11) vs. #5 Liberty (13-18) 80-49
G6: #2 Winthrop (21-8) vs. #10 Presbyterian (11-19) 67-53
G7: #3 Coastal Carolina (18-10) vs. #6 Gardner-Webb (16-15) 65-69
   
Semifinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
#1 High Point (21-9) vs. #4 UNC-Asheville (20-11) 69-80
#2 Winthrop (22-8) vs. #6 Gardner-Webb (17-15) 82-69
   
Championship  
Sunday, March 6  
#2 Winthrop (23-8) vs. #4 UNC-Asheville (21-11)  
   
   
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament  
Site: Baltimore  
   
1st Round  
Friday, March 4  
G1: #8 Elon (16-15) vs. #9 Drexel (5-24) 56-57
G2: #7 Charleston (16-13) vs. #10 Delaware (7-22) 67-63
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
G3: #1 Hofstra (22-8) vs. #9 Drexel (6-24) 80-67
G4: #4 James Madison (21-10) vs. #5 William & Mary (19-10) 64-79
G5: #2 UNC-Wilmington (22-7) vs. #7 Charleston (17-13) 66-64
G6: #3 Towson (20-11) vs. #6 Northeastern (17-14) 60-71
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
#1 Hofstra (23-8) vs. #5 William & Mary (20-10)  
#2 UNC-Wilmington (23-7) vs. #6 Northeastern (18-14)  
   
Championship  
Monday, March 7  
7:00 PM on NBC Sports Network  
   
   
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament  
Site: Albany (Siena)  
   
1st Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G1: #8 Rider (12-19) vs. #9 Quinnipiac (9-20) 60-57
G2: #7 Canisius (13-18) vs. #10 Niagara (7-24) 102-97
G3: #6 Manhattan (12-17) vs. #11 Marist (7-22) 81-63
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G4: #1 Monmouth (25-6) vs. #8 Rider (13-19) 59-48
G6: #2 Iona (19-10) vs. #7 Canisius (14-18) 71-55
   
Saturday, March 5  
G5: #4 Saint Peter’s (14-15) vs. #5 Fairfield (18-12) 64-55
G7: #3 Siena (20-11) vs. #6 Manhattan (13-17) 89-76
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
#1 Monmouth (26-6) vs. #4 Saint Peter’s (15-15)  
#2 Iona (20-10) vs. #3 Siena (21-11)  
   
Championship Round  
Monday, March 7  
7:00 PM on ESPN  
   
   
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament  
Site: St. Louis  
   
1st Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G1: #8 Loyola (Chi.) (14-16) vs. #9 Bradley (5-26) 74-66
G2: #7 MIssouri St. (12-18) vs. #10 Drake (7-23) 69-67
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G3: #1 Wichita St. (23-7) vs. #8 Loyola (Chi.) (15-16) 66-58
G4: #4 Northern Iowa (19-12) vs. #5 Southern Illinois (22-9) 66-60
G5: #2 Evansville (23-8) vs. #7 Missouri St. (13-18) 66-56
G6: #3 Illinois St. (18-13) vs. #6 Indiana St. (14-16) 57-65
   
Semifinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
#1 Wichita St. (24-7) vs. #4 Northern Iowa (20-12) 52-57
#2 Evansville (24-8) vs. #6 Indiana St. (15-16) 68-42
   
Championship Game  
Sunday, March 6  
#2 Evansville (25-8) vs. #4 Northern Iowa (21-12)  
   
   
Northeast Conference  
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Wednesday, March 2  
G1: #8 Robert Morris (10-21) @ #1 Wagner (20-9) 50-59
G2: #5 Mount St. Mary’s (13-18) @ #4 St. Francis (Bklyn) (15-16) 60-51
G3: #7 St. Francis (Pa.) (13-16) @ #2 Fairleigh Dickinson (15-14) 72-74
G4: #6 Long Island (15-14) @ #3 Sacred Heart (12-17) 84-76
   
Semifinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
#6 Long Island (16-14) @ #1 Wagner (21-9) 65-81
#5 Mount St. Mary’s (14-18) @ #2 Fairleigh Dickinson (16-14) 75-80
   
Championship  
Tuesday, March 8  
#2 Fairleigh Dickinson (17-14) at @1 Wagner (22-9)  
   
   
Ohio Valley Conference Tournament  
Site: Nashville  
   
1st Round  
Wednesday, March 2  
G1: #5 Tennessee Tech (19-10) vs. #8 Austin Peay (14-17) 72-92
G2: #6 Murray St. (16-13) vs. #7 Eastern Illinois (13-16) 78-62
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G3: #4 Tennessee St. (20-9) vs. #8 Austin Peay (15-17) 72-74
G4: #3 Morehead St. (18-11) vs. #6 Murray St. (17-13) 75-66
   
Semifinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G5: #1 Belmont (20-10) vs. #8 Austin Peay (16-17) 96-97
G6: #2 UT-Martin (18-13) vs. #3 Morehead St. (19-11) 83-70
   
Championship  
Saturday, March 5 6:00 PM on ESPN2  
#2 UT-Martin (19-13) vs. #8 Austin Peay (17-17) 73-83
   
   
Patriot League Tournament  
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
   
1st Round  
Monday, March 1  
G1: #9 Holy Cross (10-19) @ #8 Loyola (Md.) (9-20) 72-67
G2: #10 Lafayette (6-23) @ #7 Navy (18-13) 70-78
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Wednesday, March 3  
G3: #9 Holy Cross (11-19) @ #1 Bucknell (17-12) 77-72
G4: #5 Colgate (13-16) @ #4 Army (18-12) 69-82
G5: #6 American (11-18) @ #3 Boston U (18-13) 69-64
G6: #7 Navy (19-13) @ #2 Lehigh (15-14) 63-65
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
#9 Holy Cross (12-19) @ #4 Army (19-12)  
#6 American (12-18) @ #2 Lehigh (16-14)  
   
Championship  
Wednesday, March 9 @ Higher Seed  
7:30 PM on CBS Sports Network  
   
   
Southern Conference  
Site: Asheville, NC  
   
1st Round  
Friday, March 4  
G1: #8 Samford (13-18) vs. #9 VMI (9-20) 92-85
G2: #7 Mercer (18-13) vs. #10 Citadel (10-21) 71-69
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
G3: #1 Chattanooga (26-5) vs. #8 Samford (14-18) 59-54
G4: #4 Wofford (15-16) vs. #5 Western Carolina (15-16) 83-88
G5: #2 East Tennessee (21-10) Vs. Mercer (19-13) 81-65
G6: #3 Furman (17-14) vs. #6 UNC-Greensboro (14-17) 80-64
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
#1 Chattanooga (27-5) vs. #5 Western Carolina (16-16)  
#2 East Tennessee (22-10) vs. #3 Furman (18-14)  
   
Championship  
Monday, March 7  
9:00 PM on ESPN2  
   
   
West Coast Conference Tournament  
Site: Las Vegas  
   
1st Round  
Friday, March 4  
G1: #8 Loyola Marymount (13-16) vs. #9 San Diego (9-20) 64-61
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
G2: #3 BYU (22-9) vs. #6 Santa Clara (11-19) 72-60
G3: #4 Pepperdine (17-12) vs. #5 San Francisco (15-14) 90-86
G4: #1 Saint Mary’s (24-4) vs. #8 Loyola Marymount (14-16) 60-48
G5: #2 Gonzaga (23-7) vs. #7 Portland (12-19) 92-67
   
Semifinal Round  
Monday, March 7  
#1 Saint Mary’s (25-4) vs. #4 Pepperdine (18-12)  
#2 Gonzaga (24-7) vs. #3 BYU (23-9)  
   
Championship  
Tuesday, March 8  
9:00 PM on ESPN  

 

Brackets For Tournaments Not Yet Underway

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
Sites: Washington, DC
1st Round
Tuesday, March 8
G1: #12 North Carolina St. (15-16) vs. #13 Wake Forest (11-19)
G2: #11 Florida St. (18-12) vs. #14 Boston College (7-24)
 
2nd Round
Wednesday, March 9
G3: #8 Pittsburgh (20-10) vs. #9 Syracuse (19-12)
G4: #5 Duke (22-9) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #7 Clemson (17-13) vs. #10 Georgia Tech (18-13)
G6: #6 Virginia Tech (18-13) vs. G2 Winner
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G7: #1 North Carolina (25-6) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #4 Notre Dame (20-10) vs. G4 Winner
G9: #2 Virginia (24-6) vs. G5 Winner
G10: #3 Miami (24-6) vs. G6 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner
G9 Winner vs. G10 Winner
 
Championship Round
Saturday, March 12
9:00 PM on ESPN
 
Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament
Site: Brooklyn
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #12 George Mason (11-20) vs. #13 St. Louis (10-20)
G2: #11 Duquesne (16-15) vs. #14 LaSalle (8-21)
 
2nd Round
Thursday, March 10
G3: #8 Fordham (17-12) vs. #9 Richmond (15-15)
G4: #5 George Washington (22-9) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #7 Rhode Island (17-14) vs. #10 U Mass (13-17)
G6: #6 Davidson (18-11) vs. G2 Winner
 
Quarterfinal Round
Friday, March 11
G7: #1 Dayton (24-6) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #4 St. Joseph’s (24-7) vs. G4 Winner
G9: #2 VCU (22-9) vs. G5 Winner
G10: #3 St. Bonaventure (22-7) vs. G6 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Saturday, March 12
G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner
G9 Winner vs. G10 Winner
 
Championship
Sunday, March 13
12:30 PM on CBS
 
 
Big 12 Conference Tournament
Site: Kansas City
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #8 Kansas St. (16-15) vs. #9 Oklahoma St. (12-19)
G2: #7 Texas Tech (19-11) vs. #10 TCU (11-20)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G3: #4 Texas (20-11) vs. #5 Baylor (21-10)
G4: #1 Kansas (27-4) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #2 West Virginia (24-7) vs. G2 Winner
G6: #3 Oklahoma (24-6) vs. #6 Iowa St. (21-10)
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
 
Championship Game
Saturday, March 12
6:00 PM on ESPN
 
 
Big East Conference Tournament
Site: New York
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #8 Georgetown (14-17) vs. #9 DePaul (9-21)
G2: #7 Marquette (19-12) vs. #10 St. John’s (8-23)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G3: #1 Villanova (27-4) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #4 Providence (22-9) vs. #5 Butler (21-9)
G5: #2 Xavier (26-4) vs. G2 Winner
G6: #3 Seton Hall (22-8) vs. #6 Creighton (18-13)
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
 
Championship Round
Saturday, March 12
5:30 PM on Fox
 
 
Big Sky Conference Tournament
Site: Reno, NV
 
1st Round
Tuesday, March 8
G1: #8 Portland St. (12-17) vs. #9 Northern Colorado (10-20)
G2: #5 North Dakota (15-14) vs. #12 Southern Utah (5-23)
G3: #7 Montana St. (14-16) vs. #10 Sacramento St. (13-16)
G4: #6 Eastern Washington (16-14) vs. #11 Northern Arizona (5-24)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G5: #1 Weber St. (23-8) vs. G1 Winner
G6: #4 Idaho St. (16-14) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #2 Montana (19-10) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #3 Idaho (20-11) vs. G4 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
8:45 PM on ESPNU
 
 
Big West Conference Tournament
Site: Anaheim
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
#4 UCSB (17-12) vs. #5 UC Davis (10-18)
#1 Hawaii (24-5) vs. #8 Cal St. Fullerton (10-19)
#2 UC-Irvine (24-8) vs. #7 Cal Poly (10-19)
#3 Long Beach St. (18-13) vs. #6 UC Riverside (14-18)
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
2nd Highest Remaining Seed vs. 3rd Highest Remaining Seed
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
11:30 PM on ESPN2
 
 
Conference USA Tournament
Site: Birmingham
 
1st Round
Tuesday, March 8
G1: #12 Florida Atlantic (7-24) vs. #13 UTSA (5-26)
 
2nd Round
Wednesday, March 9
G2: #8 Western Kentucky (16-15) vs. #9 North Texas (12-19)
G3: #5 Old Dominion (19-12) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #7 Charlotte (13-18) vs. #10 Rice (12-19)
G5: #6 UTEP (18-13) vs. #11 Florida Int’l (13-18)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G6: #1 UAB (26-5) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #4 Louisiana Tech (23-8) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #2 Middle Tennessee (21-9) vs. G4 Winner
G9: #3 Marshall (16-15) vs. G5 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
2:30 PM on Fox Sports 1
 
 
Horizon League Tournament
Site: Detroit
 
1st Round
Saturday, March 5
G1: #4 Green Bay (19-12) vs. #9 Cleveland St. (9-22)
G2: #5 Milwaukee (19-12) vs. #8 Northern Kentucky (9-20)
G3: #3 Wright St. (19-12) vs. #10 Illinois-Chicago (5-24)
G4: #6 Detroit (15-14) vs. #7 Youngstown St. (11-20)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Sunday, March 6
G5: G1 Winner vs. G2 Winner
G6: G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Monday, March 7
G5 Winner vs. #1 Valparaiso (26-5)
G6 Winner vs. #2 Oakland (21-10)
 
Championship
Tuesday, March 8
7:00 PM on ESPN
 
 
Mid-American Conference Tournament
Site: Cleveland, 1st Round at Higher Seed
 
1st Round
Monday, March 7
G1:#9 Toledo (17-14) at #8 Eastern Michigan (17-14)
G2: #12 Bowling Green (14-17) at #5 Kent St. (19-12)
G3: #10 Western Michigan (13-18) at #7 Northern Illinois (20-11)
G4: #11 Miami (O) (12-19) at #6 Ball St. (19-12)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G5: #1 Akron (24-7) vs. G1 Winner
G6: #4 Central Michigan (17-14) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #2 Ohio (20-10) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #3 Buffalo (17-14) vs. G4 Winner
 
Semfinal Round
Friday, March 11
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner
 
Championship Round
Saturday, March 12
7:30 PM on ESPN
 
 
Mid-eastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Norfolk, VA
 
1st Round
Monday, March 7
G1: #5 Savannah St. (14-14) vs. #12 Delaware St. (7-24)
G2: #6 North Carolina A&T (10-21) vs. #11 Coppin St. (8-21)
 
Tuesday, March 8
G3: #8 UM-Eastern Shore (10-21) vs. #9 Morgan St. (8-21)
G4: #7 UNC-Central (12-18) vs. #10 Howard (12-19)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Wednesday, March 9
G5: #1 Hampton (18-10) vs. G3 Winner
G6: #2 Norfolk St. (16-15) vs. G4 Winner
 
Thursday, March 10
G7: #3 South Carolina St. (17-13) vs. G2 Winner
G8: #4 Bethune-Cookman (14-17) vs. G1 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G5 Winner vs. G8 Winner
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
 
Championship Game
Saturday, March 12
1:00 PM on ESPN2
 
 
Mountain West Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #8 Wyoming (14-17) vs. #9 Utah St. (15-14)
G2: #7 UNLV (17-14) vs. #10 Air Force (14-17)
G3: #6 Colorado St. (16-15) vs. #11 San Jose St. (9-21)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G4: #1 San Diego St. (23-8) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #4 New Mexico (17-14) vs. #5 Nevada (18-12)
G6: #2 Fresno St. (22-9) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #3 Boise St. (20-11) vs. G3 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G4 Winner vs. G5 Winner
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
5:00 PM on CBS
 
 
Pac-12 Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #8 Washington (17-13) vs. #9 Stanford (15-14)
G2: #5 Colorado (21-10) vs. #12 Washington St. (9-21)
G3: #7 USC (20-11) vs. #10 UCLA (15-16)
G4: #6 Oregon St. (18-11) vs. #11 Arizona St. (15-16)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G5: #1 Oregon (25-6) vs. G1 Winner
G6: #4 Arizona (24-7) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #2 Utah (24-7) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #3 California (22-9) vs. G4 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
10:15 PM on FS1
 
 
Southeastern Conference Tournament
Site: Nashville
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #12 Tennessee (13-18) vs. #13 Auburn (11-19)
 
2nd Round
Thursday, March 10
G2: #8 Florida (18-13) vs. #9 Arkansas (16-15)
G3: #5 Vanderbilt (19-12) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #7 Ole Miss (20-11) vs. #10 Alabama (17-13)
G5: #6 Georgia (17-12) vs. #11 Mississippi St. (14-16)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Friday, March 11
G6: #1 Texas A&M (24-7) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #4 LSU (18-13) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #2 Kentucky (23-8) vs. G4 Winner
G9: #3 South Carolina (24-7) vs. G5 Winnerr
 
Semifinal Round
Saturday, March 12
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
G8 Winner vs. G9 Winner
 
Championship
Sunday, March 13
2:00 PM on ESPN
 
 
Southland Conference Tournament
Site: Katy, TX
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 9
G1: #5 Southeastern Louisiana (11-20) vs. #8 New Orleans (10-19)
G2: #6 McNeese St. (9-19) vs. #7 Nicholls St. (10-22)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G3: #4 Houston Baptist (16-15) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #3 Sam Houston (17-14) vs. G2 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
#1 Stephen F. Austin (25-5) vs. G3 Winner
#2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (24-6) vs. G4 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
9:30 PM on ESPN2
 
 
Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Houston
 
1st Round
Tuesday, March 8
G1: #7 Mississippi Valley St. (6-26) vs. #10 Grambling (7-23)
G2: #8 Alabama A&M (10-17) vs. #9 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-24)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Wedneday, March 9
G3: #2 Alcorn St. (15-14) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #1 Texas Southern (17-13) vs. G2 Winner
 
Thursday, March 10
G5: #3 Jackson St. (17-14) vs. #6 Prairie View A&M (7-23)
G6; #4 Southern (19-12) vs. #5 Alabama St. (14-16)
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G3 Winner vs. G5 Winner
G4 Winner vs. G6 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
6:30 PM on ESPNU
 
 
Summit League Tournament
Site: Sioux Falls, SD
 
Quarterfinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G1: #1 IPFW (23-8) vs. #8 South Dakota (14-17)
G2: #2 South Dakota St. (23-7) vs. #7 Oral Roberts (14-16)
 
Sunday, March 6
G3: #4 IUPUI (13-18) vs. #5 North Dakota St. (18-12)
G4: #3 Omaha (18-12) vs. #6 Denver (15-14)
 
Semifinal Round
Monday, March 7
G5: G1 Winner vs. G3 Winner
G6: G2 Winner vs. G4 Winner
 
Championship
Tuesday, March 8
9:00 PM on ESPN2
 
Sun Belt Conference Tournament
Site: New Orleans
 
1st Round
Thursday, March 10
G1: #5 Georgia Southern (14-16) vs. #8 South Alabama (13-18)
G2: #6 Georgia St. (16-13) vs. #7 Texas St. (14-15)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Friday, March 11
G3: #4 UL-Lafayette (16-13) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #3 UT-Arlington (22-9) vs. G2 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Saturday, March 12
#1 UALR (27-4) vs. G3 Winner
#2 UL-Monroe (19-12) vs. G4 Winner
 
Championship
Sunday, March 13
1:00 PM on ESPN2
 
 
Western Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G1: #4 Utah Valley (12-17) vs. #5 Missouri-KC (11-18)
G2: #2 Cal St. Bakersfield (21-8) vs. #7 Chicago St. (4-27)
G3: #3 Seattle (13-15) vs. #6 UT-Rio Grande Valley (8-21)
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
#1 New Mexico St. (22-9) vs. G1 Winner
G2 Winner vs. G3 Winner
 
Championship
Saturday, March 12
11:00 PM on ESPNU

 

The American Athletic Conference and Big Ten Conference brackets will be determined later today after their regular season schedules conclude.

 

 

 

 

February 5, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Picks For February 6-7, 2016

Breaking News: The University of Louisville has self-imposed a ban on the postseason for this year.  This means one extra bubble team just benefitted greatly.

 

Here are this weekend’s picks from the top 6 conferences.

 

Remember:

Red= An algorithm based 100% on the Four Factors

White= An algorithm combining the Four Factors and a Least Squares formula on who beat who where and when

Blue= A 100% ratings’ based algorithm concentrating on scoring margin and strength of schedule

All ratings rounded to nearest whole number except when that number is 0.  Then, even if the rating is 1/1000 of a point different, the team 1/1000 of a point better is listed as a 1-point favorite.

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 6, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Pittsburgh Virginia -2 1 1
Wake Forest Florida St. -4 -5 -3
Louisville Boston College 24 26 19
Duke North Carolina St. 12 12 10
Virginia Tech Clemson 1 1 -1
Notre Dame North Carolina -3 -1 -5
TCU Kansas -10 -10 -12
Oklahoma St. Iowa St. -4 -4 1
Texas Texas Tech 7 6 8
Kansas St. Oklahoma -7 -3 -7
West Virginia Baylor 8 8 10
Xavier Marquette 15 14 12
Creighton Depaul 12 15 17
Providence Villanova -4 -2 -5
St. John’s Butler -11 -14 -8
Seton Hall Georgetown 6 16 9
Michigan Michigan St. -3 -3 -5
Nebraska Rutgers 16 17 14
Maryland Purdue 5 5 6
Penn St. Indiana -10 -24 -15
California Stanford 8 8 7
Washington Arizona -3 -2 -9
Washington St. Arizona St. -3 -5 -3
Oregon St. Colorado 2 -1 -1
Alabama Missouri 11 10 10
Kentucky Florida 6 4 7
Texas A&M South Carolina 9 7 10
Georgia Auburn 10 13 7
LSU Mississippi St. 8 9 14
Arkansas Tennessee 7 7 8
Ole Miss Vanderbilt -2 -3 2

 

Games Schedule for: Sunday, February 7 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Georgia Tech Miami (Fl.) -3 -2 -5
Illinois Iowa -13 -11 -16
Oregon Utah 11 9 12

 

February 1, 2016

America’s Most Accurate Bracketology Composite—February 1, 2016

As Ground Hog’s Day approaches, the numbers of potential at-large teams drops into a more manageable number.  Conference tournament action kicks off in less than four weeks, and four dozens of teams, their only chance to make the Big Dance will be to win their conference tournament.

In the past week, a couple of conferences on the verge of having a second team guaranteed to make the Field of 68 became clearer to the 32 Bracketologists that we consider A-1.  The West Coast Conference now looks like a two-bid league for sure with both Gonzaga and St. Mary’s on pace to become locks.  The American Conference is close to being assured of at least two teams with Cincinnati coming on strong and Connecticut looking like they have just enough positives on their resume to get in the Dance.

In the case of the Missouri Valley, Wichita State opened up a three-game lead over rivals Evansville and Southern Illinois, as the Shockers now look like a Sweet 16 team with the entire roster healthy.  San Diego State has lapped the field in the Mountain West, and it looks like the Aztecs will be the lone team to earn a spot in the field if they win the conference tournament as well.

The bubble has been reduced to just 15 teams this week, with the top five on the bubble in the field, and the bottom 10 on the outside, looking in.

Here is this week’s One-bid Conference Review.

America East

Stony Brook (8-0/17-4) made it 13 wins in a row with a 27-point win over contender Maine and a road win against Vermont by double digits.  The Seawolves have enough talent to pull off a Round of 64 upset and cannot be overlooked.  SBU should be no worse than 14-2/23-6 entering the AmEast Conference Tournament.  Only Albany (6-2/17-6) still has a chance to take away the top seed, and we don’t see it happening.  It will be a monumental upset if any team other than the Seawolves win this bid.

 

Atlantic Sun

North Florida (7-0/18-6) has begun to distance themselves from the rest of the league.  Florida Gulf Coast (4-3/13-10) has dropped three games in a row, while Jacksonville (5-2/13-11) has moved into second place.  UNF looks like a 12-2/23-8 team at worst entering A-Sun Tourney play.  The Ospreys have a pair of guards that can shoot opponents out of the game when they get on a hot streak.  Dallas Moore and Beau Beech can knock it in from downtown and get inside the arc for open shorter looks.  They both scored 31 points at LSU earlier in the season and might have upset the Tigers had Ben Simmons not gone for 43 points.

 

Big Sky

Montana (8-1/13-7)  maintained the lead in the Big Sky with a road win over middle-of-the-pack rival Montana State, while top contender Weber State (7-1/15-6) swept the league’s two bottom-feeders.  The top two teams meet Saturday, February 27, in Ogden, with the winner most likely to earn the top-seed.  Unlike in years past, when only the top four, six, or eight teams qualified for the conference tournament, and the top-seed hosted it, the league has switched to a new format where all 12 teams qualify for the tournament, and it will be played in Reno.

 

Big South

This league is one of the most interesting of the low major conferences.  Seven teams are still in contention for the conference tournament.  Winthrop (8-3/16-6) is the hot team, having won eight consecutive games.  The Eagles are tied for first with UNC-Asheville (8-3/15-8).  Five other teams are within two games of first.  The conference tournament is at last place Campbell.

 

Big West

The top two teams both suffered setbacks last week but still remain the teams to beat.  Defending champion UC-Irvine (6-1/17-6) still has the best roster for scaring an #2 or #3 seed, but Hawaii (5-1/16-3) may have the better overall talent.  As usual for the league, the conference tournament is in Anaheim, and that should help Irvine a little.

 

Colonial

This is a five-team race to the conference championship, and any of the five could compete in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament.  Presently, UNC-Wilmington (8-2/16-5) and Hofstra (8-2/16-6) are both enjoying healthy winning streaks, but February presents both schools tough finishing schedules.  The co-leaders face off for the first of two times Thursday night in Hempstead.  The out-of-conference schedules were not strong enough to merit an extra bid from this league, but there are two or even three teams talented enough to compete in the Field of 68.

 

Conference USA

UAB (8-1/18-4) is in the catbird’s seat in C-USA.  The Blazers are close to locking up the top-seed in the conference tournament, and the league has made it easier for them by putting the conference tournament in Birmingham.  Middle Tennessee (7-2/15-6) is firmly in control of the important second spot, where the top two seeds receive byes to the third day of the tournament.  UAB must still visit MTSU on Sunday, February 21.

 

Horizon

Valparaiso (9-1/19-4) is running away with this race.  Wright State (7-3/13-10) defeated Valpo earlier this year, but the Crusaders will have the chance to get revenge at home later this month.  The top two seeds receive byes to the conference tournament semifinal round.  Valpo could earn a 10-seed if they win out, but they will not receive an at-large bid if they are upset in the conference tourney.

 

Ivy

The one holdout when it comes to conference tournaments, the Ivy League still may be faced with a playoff of two or even three teams.  Currently, two teams remained unbeaten in league play.  Yale (4-0/13-5) knocked off previously unbeaten in Ivy play Princeton Saturday night, while Columbia (4-0/15-6) won at Harvard.  The Bulldogs and Lions face off Friday night in New Haven, with a return game in the Big Apple on March 5.  There is a good chance that the two might be forced to play a rubber game on March 12.

 

Metro Atlantic

The top three teams have begun to distance themselves from the rest of the league.  Monmouth (9-2/17-5) has won eight of nine games, including wins over the other two contenders, Siena (8-3/15-7) and Iona (8-3/11-9).  The three contenders each face the other two one more time this year, starting with Monmouth facing Siena in Albany tonight.  The MAAC Tournament will be in Albany again.

 

Mid-American

The MAC returns to its old conference tournament format with the four first round games played on campus sites and the winners joining the four teams receiving byes in Cleveland for the final three rounds.  Even though the league is still divided into divisions, the teams will be seeded one to 12 in the postseason.  In a showdown of division leaders last Tuesday, Akron (6-2/17-4) bested Northern Illinois (5-3/16-5).  Kent State (6-2/15-6) and Central Michigan (5-3/12-9) currently hold on to the other two of the top four seeds, but there are teams behind these four capable of winning the lone automatic bid.

 

Mideastern Athletic

This race tightened since we last reported, as South Carolina State (7-2/12-11) won at league-leader Hampton (8-1/12-8) Saturday.  It was the only regular season meeting between the top two teams, so Hampton does not have to go to Orangeburg.

 

Missouri Valley

Wichita State (10-0/16-5) has opened up a three-game lead over Evansville (7-3/18-5) and Southern Illinois (7-3/18-5), and short of SIU winning out in the regular season, which would include a Wednesday night win over the Shockers, this league will be reduced to one bid if WSU wins the automatic berth.

 

Mountain West

San Diego State (9-0/16-6) is on the verge of doing in the MWC what Wichita State has done in the MVC.  The Aztecs are now 2 1/2 games ahead of number two New Mexico (6-2/13-8).  The conference tournament is in Vegas, but the home team UNLV Rebels are mired in a distant seventh place and in utter disarray, so do not expect the home team to win the tournament or even make it to the semifinals.

 

Northeast

This remains an exciting race, as six teams remain in contention for the conference championship.  Seeding is very important in the NEC, because all conference tournament games are played on the superior-seed home courts.  Saturday, Wagner (7-3/14-7) won at Mount St. Mary’s (7-3/10-13) to become the hot team.  Fairleigh Dickinson (7-3/11-10) will make the 30-mile trek to Staten Island Thursday night to face Wagner.

 

Ohio Valley

Belmont (8-1/16-7) lost its first league game of the season, when the Bruins lost at Tennessee Tech (8-2/16-7).  The Golden Eagles also bested Tennessee State (6-2/15-6) earlier in the week.  TTU must still face the other two contenders on enemy turf this month.  Morehead State (6-3/12-9) is in fourth place in the East Division, but that record would be good for first in the West Division.  The top two seeds earn byes to the semifinal round.

 

Patriot

Bucknell (9-1/12-9) has won nine of their last 10 games, and the Bison hold a 2 1/2 game lead over Navy (6-3/15-7), after the Midshipmen lost twice to bottom division opponents last week.  All conference tournament games are played at the home courts of the higher seeds, and it will be very difficult for anybody to beat Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion.

 

Southern

With non-conference wins over Georgia, Dayton, and Illinois, and a loss at Iowa State, Chattanooga (7-1/18-3) might be capable of advancing past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, if star big guard Casey Jones can return from his ankle injury and play at the same pace prior to the injury.  This team is solid and capable of winning 30 games.  Any other team earning the bid from this league will be a great disappointment, because the Mocs are 10 points better than anybody else when Jones is healthy.

 

Southland

Brad Underwood should be coaching in a Power 5 conference.  The head man of Stephen F. Austin (8-0/15-5), even in his early 50’s, is talented enough to get a big time job and lead a major conference team to a Final Four.  The Lumberjacks face their sternest test of the conference season this Saturday, when they venture to co-leader Houston Baptist (8-0/14-7).  Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-1/16-4) is close behind but lost at home to SFA over the weekend.

 

Southwestern Athletic

Three teams appear to be above the rest in the league, but it looks like an almost certainty that the winner of the automatic bid will have to turn around on just two or three days off to play a First Four game in Dayton.  Texas Southern (8-0/9-11), Southern (7-2/15-7), and Jackson State (6-2/11-10) are the top three, while Alcorn State (6-3/8-12) is eligible to play in the SWAC Tournament, but ineligible to play in any postseason tournament.  If the Braves were to win the Conference Tournament, the league will then choose the representative.

 

Summit

How about a race with four teams tied for first as they round the final turn and head for home?  Locked in a tight race are South Dakota State (7-2/18-5), IPFW (7-2/18-6), Omaha (7-2/15-8), and IUPUI (7-2/11-13).  The conference tournament remains in Sioux Falls, so the Jackrabbits have the advantage over the other three co-leaders.  For Omaha, this is the Mavericks’ first year as an eligible member of Division 1.  Omaha may actually be the best of the quartet, and they still must face SDSU twice.

 

Sun Belt

Arkansas-Little Rock (9-1/19-2) probably has no chance at an at-large bid, even if they were to win out through the conference tournament semifinals before losing in the championship game.  Even at 29-3, the Trojans would likely be headed to the NIT.  UALR’s chief competition is Louisiana-Lafayette (7-3/11-8).

 

This leaves 46 teams from multiple bid leagues.  Here is a rundown on each conference.

American

Safe

—–

Okay for Now

Cincinnati (6-3/16-6)

Bubble–IN

Connecticut (5-3/15-6)

Bubble–OUT

Tulsa (6-3/14-7)

Temple (6-3/12-8)

 

Atlantic Coast

Safe

North Carolina (8-0/19-2)

Louisville (6-2/17-4)

Virginia (6-3/17-4)

Miami (5-3/16-4)

Okay for Now

Duke (4-4/15-6)

Pittsburgh (6-3/17-4)

Notre Dame (6-3/15-6)

Bubble–IN

Syracuse (5-5/15-8)

Florida State (4-5/14-7)

Bubble–OUT

Clemson (6-3/13-8)

 

Atlantic 10

Safe

Dayton (8-1/18-3)

Okay for Now

Virginia Commonwealth (8-0/16-5)

Bubble–IN

St. Joseph’s (7-1/18-3)

Bubble–OUT

George Washington (5-3/16-5)

 

Big 12

Safe

Oklahoma (6-2/18-2)

Baylor (6-2/17-4)

West Virginia (6-2/17-4)

Kansas (5-3/17-4)

Iowa St. (5-3/16-5)

Okay for Now

Texas (5-3/14-7)

Bubble–IN

Texas Tech (2-6/12-8)

Bubble–OUT

Kansas St. (2-6/13-8)

 

Big East

Safe

Villanova (8-1/18-3)

Xavier (7-2/19-2)

Providence (6-3/18-4)

Okay for Now

Seton Hall (5-4/15-6)

Bubble–IN

Butler (3-6/14-7)

Bubble–OUT

Creighton (5-4/14-8)

 

Big Ten

Safe

Iowa (8-1/17-4)

Maryland (8-2/19-3)

Michigan St. (6-4/19-4)

Purdue (7-3/19-4)

Okay for Now

Michigan (7-2/17-5)

Indiana (8-1/18-4)

Bubble–IN

—–

Bubble–OUT

Wisconsin (5-4/13-9)

 

Pac-12

Safe

Oregon (7-2/18-4)

Arizona (5-4/17-5)

Utah (6-3/17-5)

USC (6-3/17-5)

Okay for Now

Colorado (6-3/17-5)

Bubble–IN

California (4-5/14-8)

Washington (6-3/14-7)

Bubble–OUT

UCLA (4-5/13-9)

Oregon St. (3-6/12-8)

 

Southeastern

Safe

Texas A&M (7-1/18-3)

Kentucky (6-2/16-5)

Okay for Now

Florida (5-3/14-7)

South Carolina (6-2/19-2)

Bubble–IN

LSU (6-2/13-8)

Bubble–OUT

Vanderbilt (4-4/12-9)

Alabama (2-6/11-9)

West Coast

Safe

—–

Okay for Now

St. Mary’s (9-1/18-2)

Bubble–IN

Gonzaga (9-2/17-5)

Bubble–OUT

BYU (7-3/16-7)

 

The 68 Teams Seeded

1 Oklahoma
1 Villanova
1 North Carolina
1 Xavier
2 Iowa
2 Kansas
2 Virginia
2 Texas A&M
3 Maryland
3 Oregon
3 Michigan St.
3 Iowa St.
4 West Virginia
4 Miami (FL.)
4 Louisville
4 Purdue
5 Kentucky
5 Dayton
5 Providence
5 Baylor
6 Arizona
6 Utah
6 USC
6 Duke
7 Texas
7 Michigan
7 Indiana
7 Florida
8 Pittsburgh
8 South Carolina
8 Wichita St.
8 Notre Dame
9 Colorado
9 Virginia Commonwealth
9 St. Mary’s 
9 Cincinnati
10 Valparaiso
10 St. Joseph’s
10 Syracuse
10 California
11 Florida St.
11 Seton Hall
11 Connecticut
11 Washington
11 Gonzaga
12 Butler
12 LSU
12 Texas Tech
12 Monmouth
12 San Diego St.
13 UALR
13 Chattanooga
13 South Dakota St.
13 Stony Brook
14 Akron
14 UNC-Wilmington
14 UC-Irvine
14 UAB
15 Yale
15 Belmont
15 North Florida
15 Stephen F. Austin
16 Winthrop
16 Montana
16 Hampton
16 Wagner
16 Bucknell
16 Texas Southern

Last Four IN:Gonzaga, Butler, LSU, Texas Tech

First Four OUT: Wisconsin, UCLA, George Washington, Clemson

Next Four OUT: Vanderbilt, Kansas St., Oregon St., Creighton

 

 

January 29, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Picks For January 30-31, 2016

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:05 pm
Games Schedule for: Saturday, January 30, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Syracuse Georgia Tech 6 5 9
Florida St. Clemson 6 5 8
Louisville Virginia 8 7 5
North Carolina St. Miami (Fl.) -5 -5 -3
North Carolina Boston College 28 28 30
Florida West Virginia -1 2 -1
Texas Vanderbilt 5 3 6
Kansas St. Ole Miss 9 10 12
TCU Tennessee -2 -4 -1
Texas A&M Iowa St. 2 4 5
Arkansas Texas Tech 4 3 10
LSU Oklahoma -7 -5 -4
Baylor Georgia 11 6 15
Kansas Kentucky 6 4 8
Auburn Oklahoma St. -3 -1 2
Marquette Butler 1 1 -1
Depaul Xavier -12 -14 -15
Creighton Seton Hall 5 5 2
Georgetown Providence 3 2 1
Penn St. Michigan -6 1 -5
Indiana Minnesota 19 19 23
Purdue Nebraska 13 13 10
USC Washington 9 9 4
Utah Stanford 8 1 6
UCLA Washington St. 10 11 12
Arizona Oregon St. 12 12 14
South Carolina Alabama 8 10 8
Missouri Mississippi St. 1 -1 -2
Games Schedule for: Sunday, January 31, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
St. John’s Villanova -18 -20 -25
Notre Dame Wake Forest 11 11 10
Ohio St. Maryland -4 -3 -5
Iowa Northwestern 18 14 19
Colorado California 3 3 5
Michigan St. Rutgers 26 27 22
Pittsburgh Virginia Tech 8 9 7
Illinois Wisconsin -1 -2 -5
Arizona St. Oregon -2 1 2

 

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.