The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 22, 2019

Bracketnomics 2019: Picking The Round of 32 for Saturday, March 23, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:02 am

Saturday, March 23, 2019  

Round of 32

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

LSU

58.68

3.4

36.9

70.0

15.3

17.7

10.2

Maryland

59.94

7.1

33.9

75.3

16.6

12.3

8.6

Maryland’s strength of schedule advantage is negligible.  LSU’s R+T advantage is also negligible.  Rebounding should be close to even, and it doesn’t appear like turnovers will decide this game.

It comes down to true shooting % margin, and Maryland’s is better by enough to move the needle into Terp territory.

Predicted Winner: Maryland but a close game

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Kentucky

60.47

9.9

36.9

74.7

15.9

16.1

16.3

Wofford

52.40

8.2

32.8

76.3

13.6

18.1

13.5

Wofford looked great in the closing minutes of their blowout win over Seton Hall, just like they did when they closed out the SoCon Championship Game against UNC-Greensboro.  This will not repeat itself Saturday.  Kentucky might give the Terriers a dose of their own medicine, but it will more than likely come in the first half.  The Wildcats are too much out of Wofford’s class, and the SOS difference makes UK’s analytics much superior to Wofford’s.

Even with P. J. Washington still unavailable until next week at the earliest, Kentucky has too much muscle and quickness for the Terriers.  Wofford’s excellent inside-outside combination won’t be able to connect enough times.

Predicted Winner: Kentucky by double digits

 

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Michigan

60.07

8.8

23.8

75.2

12.1

16.0

3.4

Florida

60.24

1.4

31.1

67.9

15.5

19.3

-1.0

Florida became one of the few teams with a negative R+T rating to advance to the Round of 32, and their R+T is still negative.  Michigan’s R+T is definitely a liability also, but at least it is positive.  The Wolverines has a far superior true shooting % margin, most of which is due to their top-rate defense, led by “defensive coordinator” Luke Yaklich.

Predicted Winner: Michigan by 5 to 12 points

 

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Florida St.

59.75

3.4

32.8

73.5

16.3

18.1

8.7

Murray St.

48.31

11.2

31.6

70.7

14.7

17.0

7.2

 

The popular pick is Ja Morant and the Racers, but the ACC was really tough at the top, and this data shows the Seminoles’ SOS looks insurmountable in this game.  The ‘Noles have a lot more muscle than Marquette, and they will be able to wear down Murray and control the boards while forcing the Racers into more second half mistakes.

Predicted Winner: Florida St. by 7 to 15

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Gonzaga

55.92

17.7

30.9

73.1

12.8

16.6

15.0

Baylor

58.64

1.5

37.8

71.4

16.6

16.2

9.0

Baylor’s SOS is a little better than Gonzaga, and the Bears should be able to get a couple extras offensive rebounds, but Gonzaga is too much better everywhere else.  A lot of people are picking the Bears to be the first team to send a #1-seed home, but in my opinion, Gonzaga has the best path to the Final Four of any #1-seed.

Predicted Winner: Gonzaga by double digits

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Michigan St.

61.31

13.6

33.6

73.8

16.0

12.8

11.9

Minnesota

59.70

2.0

31.5

72.4

14.8

14.3

1.1

Never before have conference rivals met in the Round of 32, and this does alter our data a little bit, but not much.  In their previous meeting, Michigan State thoroughly destroyed Minnesota in a game in East Lansing.  The analytical data in that game was not that much off the norm, as Michigan State was expected to dominate the offensive glass and get better percentage shots.

The data has not changed much from that home game for Sparty.  It will be closer this time, but the outcome should still be the same.  MSU has huge R+T and True Shooting % Margin advantages here.  Minny might not be able to beat the Spartans more than one time in 10 games on a neutral floor.

Predicted Winner: Michigan St. by 10-15 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Purdue

60.86

2.9

34.2

73.8

13.5

17.0

11.1

Villanova

58.03

5.1

30.5

72.9

14.2

15.3

3.2

 

The defending national champions may not make it to the Sweet 16.  Purdue isn’t that much slower than the Wildcats and much stronger.  The Boilermakers’ will eventually lose to a team with a superior TS Margin and enough muscle to make the board battle even, but I don’t think the Wildcats have the juice this year to be that team.

Predicted Winner: Purdue by 4 to 9 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Kansas

62.70

6.1

29.7

72.0

16.0

15.6

2.7

Auburn

59.91

1.7

32.5

67.9

14.7

21.9

6.8

 

This will be an interesting game, and it should be a nail-biter unless one team just doesn’t have it and lays an egg.  I believe that if these teams play 10 times, it would be 5 to 5 in wins.  Kansas has the better TS% Margin, but not by that much.   The difference in this game is that Auburn can force turnovers, and Kansas is turnover-prone.  That’s where I give the Tigers an ever so slight advantage overall.

Predicted Winner: Auburn by 6 or less

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 11, 2019

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For Monday, March 11, 2019

Today’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

Savannah State

85.2

0.0

Delaware State

79.5

5.7

Hofstra

106.3

0.0

Delaware

95.0

11.3

Wofford

113.2

0.0

UNC Greensboro

105.8

7.4

North Dakota State

97.8

0.0

Western Illinois

92.6

5.2

Central Michigan

101.9

2.5

Western Michigan

94.6

9.8

Wright State

102.9

0.0

Green Bay

97.8

5.1

Eastern Michigan

100.3

3.0

Ball State

102.8

0.5

Akron

103.5

2.5

Miami (OH)

101.2

4.8

Charleston

103.4

1.5

Northeastern

105.8

-0.9

Gonzaga

124.4

0.0

Pepperdine

100.6

23.8

Iona

98.0

0.0

Monmouth

93.9

4.1

Northern Illinois

101.1

2.5

Ohio

98.4

5.2

Northern Kentucky

104.4

0.0

Oakland

98.3

6.1

Omaha

100.1

0.0

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.5

0.6

Saint Mary’s

110.4

0.0

San Diego

105.5

4.9

 

PiRate Ratings  (1-353)

Rk

Team

PiRate

Conf

1

Gonzaga

124.4

West Coast

2

Virginia

123.3

ACC

3

Duke

123.2

ACC

4

North Carolina

121.0

ACC

5

Michigan St.

120.5

Big Ten

6

Tennessee

118.9

SEC

7

Kentucky

118.3

SEC

8

Texas Tech

118.3

Big 12

9

Michigan

118.1

Big Ten

10

Purdue

117.6

Big Ten

11

Virginia Tech

116.5

ACC

12

Wisconsin

115.7

Big Ten

13

Auburn

115.7

SEC

14

Nevada

115.0

Mtn West

15

Houston

115.0

AAC

16

Kansas

114.9

Big 12

17

Florida St.

114.7

ACC

18

Iowa St.

114.1

Big 12

19

Louisville

114.0

ACC

20

LSU

114.0

SEC

21

Buffalo

113.6

MAC

22

Maryland

113.4

Big Ten

23

Mississippi St.

113.4

SEC

24

Villanova

113.3

Big East

25

Kansas St.

113.2

Big 12

26

Wofford

113.2

SoCon

27

North Carolina St.

112.9

ACC

28

Marquette

112.6

Big East

29

Clemson

112.2

ACC

30

Texas

112.0

Big 12

31

Florida

111.7

SEC

32

Cincinnati

111.4

AAC

33

Oklahoma

111.3

Big 12

34

Syracuse

111.3

ACC

35

Virginia Commonwealth

111.1

Atl 10

36

Iowa

110.9

Big Ten

37

Indiana

110.6

Big Ten

38

Baylor

110.6

Big 12

39

Central Florida

110.6

AAC

40

Nebraska

110.5

Big Ten

41

Saint Mary’s

110.4

West Coast

42

Ohio St.

110.3

Big Ten

43

Penn St.

110.2

Big Ten

44

Mississippi

110.1

SEC

45

Creighton

110.0

Big East

46

Utah St.

110.0

Mtn West

47

TCU

110.0

Big 12

48

Minnesota

109.3

Big Ten

49

Oregon

109.3

Pac-12

50

Belmont

109.0

Ohio Val

51

Murray St.

109.0

Ohio Val

52

Lipscomb

108.8

A-Sun

53

Arkansas

108.7

SEC

54

Seton Hall

108.4

Big East

55

Dayton

108.4

Atl 10

56

Arizona St.

108.4

Pac-12

57

Butler

108.2

Big East

58

Alabama

108.0

SEC

59

Toledo

107.9

MAC

60

Furman

107.8

SoCon

61

St. John’s

107.8

Big East

62

New Mexico St.

107.7

WAC

63

Miami (Fla)

107.5

ACC

64

Fresno St.

107.5

Mtn West

65

Northwestern

107.2

Big Ten

66

Temple

107.2

AAC

67

Xavier

107.2

Big East

68

San Francisco

107.0

West Coast

69

Colorado

107.0

Pac-12

70

Davidson

106.8

Atl 10

71

Memphis

106.8

AAC

72

South Carolina

106.8

SEC

73

Providence

106.7

Big East

74

Hofstra

106.3

Colonial

75

East Tennessee St.

106.3

SoCon

76

Georgetown

106.3

Big East

77

Liberty

106.2

A-Sun

78

Illinois

106.2

Big Ten

79

Oregon St.

106.2

Pac-12

80

Missouri

106.1

SEC

81

Rutgers

106.0

Big Ten

82

Yale

106.0

Ivy

83

Vermont

106.0

Amer East

84

Notre Dame

105.9

ACC

85

Arizona

105.9

Pac-12

86

UNC Greensboro

105.8

SoCon

87

Northeastern

105.8

Colonial

88

USC

105.7

Pac-12

89

South Dakota St.

105.6

Summit

90

BYU

105.6

West Coast

91

Washington

105.5

Pac-12

92

UC Irvine

105.5

Big West

93

San Diego

105.5

West Coast

94

Texas A&M

105.4

SEC

95

Connecticut

105.2

AAC

96

Pittsburgh

105.1

ACC

97

West Virginia

104.9

Big 12

98

DePaul

104.9

Big East

99

UCLA

104.9

Pac-12

100

Oklahoma St.

104.8

Big 12

101

Wichita St.

104.8

AAC

102

Grand Canyon

104.7

WAC

103

Georgia Tech

104.6

ACC

104

Georgia Southern

104.6

Sun Belt

105

Northern Kentucky

104.4

Horizon

106

Boston College

104.3

ACC

107

SMU

104.2

AAC

108

Utah

104.2

Pac-12

109

Utah Valley

104.0

WAC

110

Stanford

103.9

Pac-12

111

San Diego St.

103.8

Mtn West

112

Loyola (Chi)

103.8

Missouri Val

113

Old Dominion

103.8

CUSA

114

Penn

103.6

Ivy

115

Georgia St.

103.6

Sun Belt

116

Georgia

103.5

SEC

117

Akron

103.5

MAC

118

Charleston

103.4

Colonial

119

Southern Miss

103.4

CUSA

120

Saint Louis

103.3

Atl 10

121

South Florida

103.2

AAC

122

Texas St.

103.2

Sun Belt

123

Jacksonville St.

103.2

Ohio Val

124

Tulsa

103.2

AAC

125

Western Kentucky

103.1

CUSA

126

Austin Peay

103.0

Ohio Val

127

Bowling Green

103.0

MAC

128

Harvard

102.9

Ivy

129

St. Bonaventure

102.9

Atl 10

130

Wright St.

102.9

Horizon

131

Ball St.

102.8

MAC

132

Drake

102.8

Missouri Val

133

Montana

102.8

Big Sky

134

Boise St.

102.6

Mtn West

135

Rhode Island

102.4

Atl 10

136

Radford

102.4

Big South

137

Loyola Marymount

102.2

West Coast

138

Colgate

102.1

Patriot

139

Bucknell

102.0

Patriot

140

Vanderbilt

102.0

SEC

141

Central Michigan

101.9

MAC

142

Louisiana Tech

101.8

CUSA

143

Southern Illinois

101.6

Missouri Val

144

Washington St.

101.6

Pac-12

145

Kent St.

101.5

MAC

146

Brown

101.4

Ivy

147

George Mason

101.4

Atl 10

148

Louisiana Monroe

101.3

Sun Belt

149

Miami (O)

101.2

MAC

150

UNLV

101.1

Mtn West

151

Northern Illinois

101.1

MAC

152

UC Santa Barbara

101.0

Big West

153

North Texas

100.9

CUSA

154

Abilene Christian

100.9

Southland

155

Coastal Carolina

100.7

Sun Belt

156

Pepperdine

100.6

West Coast

157

Samford

100.5

SoCon

158

Northern Colorado

100.4

Big Sky

159

Wake Forest

100.3

ACC

160

Eastern Michigan

100.3

MAC

161

Stony Brook

100.1

Amer East

162

UAB

100.1

CUSA

163

Gardner Webb

100.1

Big South

164

Omaha

100.1

Summit

165

Duquesne

100.1

Atl 10

166

Bradley

99.9

Missouri Val

167

UT Arlington

99.8

Sun Belt

168

Lehigh

99.8

Patriot

169

UTSA

99.8

CUSA

170

Louisiana

99.7

Sun Belt

171

Marshall

99.7

CUSA

172

Missouri St.

99.6

Missouri Val

173

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.5

Summit

174

Saint Joseph’s

99.4

Atl 10

175

Charleston Southern

99.4

Big South

176

Princeton

99.3

Ivy

177

Northern Iowa

99.3

Missouri Val

178

New Mexico

99.3

Mtn West

179

Sam Houston St.

99.2

Southland

180

Winthrop

99.2

Big South

181

Colorado St.

99.2

Mtn West

182

Richmond

99.0

Atl 10

183

Cal St. Fullerton

98.9

Big West

184

NJIT

98.8

A-Sun

185

Hartford

98.8

Amer East

186

Campbell

98.8

Big South

187

Florida Atlantic

98.7

CUSA

188

Seattle

98.6

WAC

189

Presbyterian

98.5

Big South

190

Weber St.

98.5

Big Sky

191

Ohio

98.4

MAC

192

Hawaii

98.4

Big West

193

Rider

98.4

Metro Atl

194

Oakland

98.3

Horizon

195

Mercer

98.2

SoCon

196

Illinois St.

98.1

Missouri Val

197

Hampton

98.1

Big South

198

Iona

98.0

Metro Atl

199

IUPUI

98.0

Horizon

200

Santa Clara

98.0

West Coast

201

American

98.0

Patriot

202

Lamar

98.0

Southland

203

North Florida

98.0

A-Sun

204

Appalachian St.

97.9

Sun Belt

205

Valparaiso

97.8

Missouri Val

206

Green Bay

97.8

Horizon

207

North Dakota St.

97.8

Summit

208

UT Rio Grande Valley

97.6

WAC

209

California Baptist

97.5

WAC

210

Massachusetts

97.5

Atl 10

211

Florida Int’l.

97.4

CUSA

212

Dartmouth

97.4

Ivy

213

South Alabama

97.4

Sun Belt

214

Illinois Chicago

97.3

Horizon

215

William & Mary

97.3

Colonial

216

La Salle

97.2

Atl 10

217

Indiana St.

97.2

Missouri Val

218

Columbia

97.2

Ivy

219

Pacific

97.1

West Coast

220

Fairleigh Dickinson

97.1

Northeast

221

Maryland Baltimore Co.

97.0

Amer East

222

Long Beach St.

96.9

Big West

223

Texas Southern

96.9

SWAC

224

Cal St. Bakersfield

96.7

WAC

225

South Dakota

96.7

Summit

226

Quinnipiac

96.6

Metro Atl

227

Cornell

96.4

Ivy

228

Evansville

96.4

Missouri Val

229

Boston University

96.2

Patriot

230

High Point

96.2

Big South

231

Little Rock

96.1

Sun Belt

232

Prairie View A&M

96.1

SWAC

233

Florida Gulf Coast

96.0

A-Sun

234

Holy Cross

95.9

Patriot

235

St. Francis PA

95.8

Northeast

236

Army

95.8

Patriot

237

UC Davis

95.6

Big West

238

Troy

95.6

Sun Belt

239

Sacred Heart

95.5

Northeast

240

Eastern Washington

95.5

Big Sky

241

Eastern Kentucky

95.4

Ohio Val

242

Middle Tennessee

95.2

CUSA

243

Fordham

95.2

Atl 10

244

Drexel

95.2

Colonial

245

Montana St.

95.2

Big Sky

246

Siena

95.1

Metro Atl

247

Norfolk St.

95.1

MEAC

248

California

95.0

Pac-12

249

Long Island

95.0

Northeast

250

Delaware

95.0

Colonial

251

Missouri Kansas City

95.0

WAC

252

Robert Morris

94.9

Northeast

253

UMass Lowell

94.9

Amer East

254

Air Force

94.8

Mtn West

255

Morehead St.

94.8

Ohio Val

256

Southeastern Louisiana

94.7

Southland

257

Portland St.

94.7

Big Sky

258

Western Michigan

94.6

MAC

259

Canisius

94.6

Metro Atl

260

UNC Wilmington

94.6

Colonial

261

Arkansas St.

94.5

Sun Belt

262

North Dakota

94.5

Summit

263

The Citadel

94.5

SoCon

264

Jacksonville

94.4

A-Sun

265

Detroit

94.4

Horizon

266

Marist

94.4

Metro Atl

267

Rice

94.3

CUSA

268

Chattanooga

94.3

SoCon

269

Sacramento St.

94.2

Big Sky

270

New Orleans

94.0

Southland

271

Towson

94.0

Colonial

272

Albany

94.0

Amer East

273

Loyola (MD)

93.9

Patriot

274

St. Francis (BKN)

93.9

Northeast

275

Monmouth

93.9

Metro Atl

276

James Madison

93.9

Colonial

277

Grambling St.

93.7

SWAC

278

Texas A&M-CC

93.7

Southland

279

East Carolina

93.7

AAC

280

Cal St. Northridge

93.7

Big West

281

Youngstown St.

93.5

Horizon

282

Houston Baptist

93.3

Southland

283

George Washington

93.3

Atl 10

284

Fairfield

93.2

Metro Atl

285

Navy

93.1

Patriot

286

Southern Utah

93.0

Big Sky

287

Tulane

92.9

AAC

288

Western Carolina

92.9

SoCon

289

North Carolina Central

92.8

MEAC

290

Cleveland St.

92.8

Horizon

291

Milwaukee

92.6

Horizon

292

Oral Roberts

92.6

Summit

293

Western Illinois

92.6

Summit

294

UT Martin

92.5

Ohio Val

295

UTEP

92.5

CUSA

296

Bethune Cookman

92.5

MEAC

297

Tennessee St.

92.5

Ohio Val

298

Lafayette

92.4

Patriot

299

North Carolina A&T

92.2

MEAC

300

Longwood

92.2

Big South

301

Charlotte

92.2

CUSA

302

Wagner

92.1

Northeast

303

Stephen F. Austin

92.1

Southland

304

Northern Arizona

92.1

Big Sky

305

Saint Peter’s

92.0

Metro Atl

306

VMI

91.9

SoCon

307

Niagara

91.9

Metro Atl

308

Elon

91.9

Colonial

309

Eastern Illinois

91.7

Ohio Val

310

UC Riverside

91.6

Big West

311

Central Arkansas

91.6

Southland

312

Nicholls St.

91.5

Southland

313

Howard

91.4

MEAC

314

North Alabama

91.2

A-Sun

315

Southeast Missouri St.

91.2

Ohio Val

316

Denver

91.1

Summit

317

Manhattan

90.8

Metro Atl

318

Idaho St.

90.7

Big Sky

319

Wyoming

90.3

Mtn West

320

Arkansas Pine Bluff

90.2

SWAC

321

Central Connecticut

90.0

Northeast

322

Jackson St.

89.9

SWAC

323

Binghamton

89.8

Amer East

324

Mount St. Mary’s

89.7

Northeast

325

Portland

89.6

West Coast

326

Florida A&M

89.6

MEAC

327

Tennessee Tech

89.5

Ohio Val

328

Bryant

89.3

Northeast

329

McNeese St.

88.9

Southland

330

Alabama St.

88.8

SWAC

331

Maine

88.6

Amer East

332

Cal Poly

88.4

Big West

333

SIU Edwardsville

88.0

Ohio Val

334

Stetson

87.9

A-Sun

335

USC Upstate

87.7

Big South

336

Morgan St.

87.6

MEAC

337

Southern

87.3

SWAC

338

South Carolina St.

87.3

MEAC

339

Northwestern St.

86.4

Southland

340

New Hampshire

86.2

Amer East

341

Kennesaw St.

86.1

A-Sun

342

San Jose St.

85.4

Mtn West

343

Savannah St.

85.2

MEAC

344

Idaho

85.0

Big Sky

345

Coppin St.

84.9

MEAC

346

Incarnate Word

84.6

Southland

347

Alabama A&M

84.6

SWAC

348

UNC Asheville

84.1

Big South

349

Alcorn St.

84.0

SWAC

350

Mississippi Valley St.

82.8

SWAC

351

Maryland Eastern Shore

81.1

MEAC

352

Delaware St.

79.5

MEAC

353

Chicago St.

79.3

WAC

PiRate Ratings (Alphabetical)

Rk

Team

PiRate

154

Abilene Christian

100.9

254

Air Force

94.8

117

Akron

103.5

58

Alabama

108.0

347

Alabama A&M

84.6

330

Alabama St.

88.8

272

Albany

94.0

349

Alcorn St.

84.0

201

American

98.0

204

Appalachian St.

97.9

85

Arizona

105.9

56

Arizona St.

108.4

53

Arkansas

108.7

320

Arkansas Pine Bluff

90.2

261

Arkansas St.

94.5

236

Army

95.8

13

Auburn

115.7

126

Austin Peay

103.0

131

Ball St.

102.8

38

Baylor

110.6

50

Belmont

109.0

296

Bethune Cookman

92.5

323

Binghamton

89.8

134

Boise St.

102.6

106

Boston College

104.3

229

Boston University

96.2

127

Bowling Green

103.0

166

Bradley

99.9

146

Brown

101.4

328

Bryant

89.3

139

Bucknell

102.0

21

Buffalo

113.6

57

Butler

108.2

90

BYU

105.6

332

Cal Poly

88.4

224

Cal St. Bakersfield

96.7

183

Cal St. Fullerton

98.9

280

Cal St. Northridge

93.7

248

California

95.0

209

California Baptist

97.5

186

Campbell

98.8

259

Canisius

94.6

311

Central Arkansas

91.6

321

Central Connecticut

90.0

39

Central Florida

110.6

141

Central Michigan

101.9

118

Charleston

103.4

175

Charleston Southern

99.4

301

Charlotte

92.2

268

Chattanooga

94.3

353

Chicago St.

79.3

32

Cincinnati

111.4

29

Clemson

112.2

290

Cleveland St.

92.8

155

Coastal Carolina

100.7

138

Colgate

102.1

69

Colorado

107.0

181

Colorado St.

99.2

218

Columbia

97.2

95

Connecticut

105.2

345

Coppin St.

84.9

227

Cornell

96.4

45

Creighton

110.0

212

Dartmouth

97.4

70

Davidson

106.8

55

Dayton

108.4

250

Delaware

95.0

352

Delaware St.

79.5

316

Denver

91.1

98

DePaul

104.9

265

Detroit

94.4

132

Drake

102.8

244

Drexel

95.2

3

Duke

123.2

165

Duquesne

100.1

279

East Carolina

93.7

75

East Tennessee St.

106.3

309

Eastern Illinois

91.7

241

Eastern Kentucky

95.4

160

Eastern Michigan

100.3

240

Eastern Washington

95.5

308

Elon

91.9

228

Evansville

96.4

284

Fairfield

93.2

220

Fairleigh Dickinson

97.1

31

Florida

111.7

326

Florida A&M

89.6

187

Florida Atlantic

98.7

233

Florida Gulf Coast

96.0

211

Florida Int’l.

97.4

17

Florida St.

114.7

243

Fordham

95.2

64

Fresno St.

107.5

60

Furman

107.8

163

Gardner Webb

100.1

147

George Mason

101.4

283

George Washington

93.3

76

Georgetown

106.3

116

Georgia

103.5

104

Georgia Southern

104.6

115

Georgia St.

103.6

103

Georgia Tech

104.6

1

Gonzaga

124.4

277

Grambling St.

93.7

102

Grand Canyon

104.7

206

Green Bay

97.8

197

Hampton

98.1

185

Hartford

98.8

128

Harvard

102.9

192

Hawaii

98.4

230

High Point

96.2

74

Hofstra

106.3

234

Holy Cross

95.9

15

Houston

115.0

282

Houston Baptist

93.3

313

Howard

91.4

344

Idaho

85.0

318

Idaho St.

90.7

78

Illinois

106.2

214

Illinois Chicago

97.3

196

Illinois St.

98.1

346

Incarnate Word

84.6

37

Indiana

110.6

217

Indiana St.

97.2

198

Iona

98.0

36

Iowa

110.9

18

Iowa St.

114.1

199

IUPUI

98.0

322

Jackson St.

89.9

264

Jacksonville

94.4

123

Jacksonville St.

103.2

276

James Madison

93.9

16

Kansas

114.9

25

Kansas St.

113.2

341

Kennesaw St.

86.1

145

Kent St.

101.5

7

Kentucky

118.3

216

La Salle

97.2

298

Lafayette

92.4

202

Lamar

98.0

168

Lehigh

99.8

77

Liberty

106.2

52

Lipscomb

108.8

231

Little Rock

96.1

222

Long Beach St.

96.9

249

Long Island

95.0

300

Longwood

92.2

170

Louisiana

99.7

148

Louisiana Monroe

101.3

142

Louisiana Tech

101.8

19

Louisville

114.0

112

Loyola (Chi)

103.8

273

Loyola (MD)

93.9

137

Loyola Marymount

102.2

20

LSU

114.0

331

Maine

88.6

317

Manhattan

90.8

266

Marist

94.4

28

Marquette

112.6

171

Marshall

99.7

22

Maryland

113.4

221

Maryland Baltimore Co.

97.0

351

Maryland Eastern Shore

81.1

210

Massachusetts

97.5

329

McNeese St.

88.9

71

Memphis

106.8

195

Mercer

98.2

63

Miami (Fla)

107.5

149

Miami (O)

101.2

9

Michigan

118.1

5

Michigan St.

120.5

242

Middle Tennessee

95.2

291

Milwaukee

92.6

48

Minnesota

109.3

44

Mississippi

110.1

23

Mississippi St.

113.4

350

Mississippi Valley St.

82.8

80

Missouri

106.1

251

Missouri Kansas City

95.0

172

Missouri St.

99.6

275

Monmouth

93.9

133

Montana

102.8

245

Montana St.

95.2

255

Morehead St.

94.8

336

Morgan St.

87.6

324

Mount St. Mary’s

89.7

51

Murray St.

109.0

285

Navy

93.1

40

Nebraska

110.5

14

Nevada

115.0

340

New Hampshire

86.2

178

New Mexico

99.3

62

New Mexico St.

107.7

270

New Orleans

94.0

307

Niagara

91.9

312

Nicholls St.

91.5

184

NJIT

98.8

247

Norfolk St.

95.1

314

North Alabama

91.2

4

North Carolina

121.0

299

North Carolina A&T

92.2

289

North Carolina Central

92.8

27

North Carolina St.

112.9

262

North Dakota

94.5

207

North Dakota St.

97.8

203

North Florida

98.0

153

North Texas

100.9

87

Northeastern

105.8

304

Northern Arizona

92.1

158

Northern Colorado

100.4

151

Northern Illinois

101.1

177

Northern Iowa

99.3

105

Northern Kentucky

104.4

65

Northwestern

107.2

339

Northwestern St.

86.4

84

Notre Dame

105.9

194

Oakland

98.3

191

Ohio

98.4

42

Ohio St.

110.3

33

Oklahoma

111.3

100

Oklahoma St.

104.8

113

Old Dominion

103.8

164

Omaha

100.1

292

Oral Roberts

92.6

49

Oregon

109.3

79

Oregon St.

106.2

219

Pacific

97.1

114

Penn

103.6

43

Penn St.

110.2

156

Pepperdine

100.6

96

Pittsburgh

105.1

325

Portland

89.6

257

Portland St.

94.7

232

Prairie View A&M

96.1

189

Presbyterian

98.5

176

Princeton

99.3

73

Providence

106.7

10

Purdue

117.6

173

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.5

226

Quinnipiac

96.6

136

Radford

102.4

135

Rhode Island

102.4

267

Rice

94.3

182

Richmond

99.0

193

Rider

98.4

252

Robert Morris

94.9

81

Rutgers

106.0

269

Sacramento St.

94.2

239

Sacred Heart

95.5

174

Saint Joseph’s

99.4

120

Saint Louis

103.3

41

Saint Mary’s

110.4

305

Saint Peter’s

92.0

179

Sam Houston St.

99.2

157

Samford

100.5

93

San Diego

105.5

111

San Diego St.

103.8

68

San Francisco

107.0

342

San Jose St.

85.4

200

Santa Clara

98.0

343

Savannah St.

85.2

188

Seattle

98.6

54

Seton Hall

108.4

246

Siena

95.1

333

SIU Edwardsville

88.0

107

SMU

104.2

213

South Alabama

97.4

72

South Carolina

106.8

338

South Carolina St.

87.3

225

South Dakota

96.7

89

South Dakota St.

105.6

121

South Florida

103.2

315

Southeast Missouri St.

91.2

256

Southeastern Louisiana

94.7

337

Southern

87.3

143

Southern Illinois

101.6

119

Southern Miss

103.4

286

Southern Utah

93.0

129

St. Bonaventure

102.9

274

St. Francis (BKN)

93.9

235

St. Francis PA

95.8

61

St. John’s

107.8

110

Stanford

103.9

303

Stephen F. Austin

92.1

334

Stetson

87.9

161

Stony Brook

100.1

34

Syracuse

111.3

47

TCU

110.0

66

Temple

107.2

6

Tennessee

118.9

297

Tennessee St.

92.5

327

Tennessee Tech

89.5

30

Texas

112.0

94

Texas A&M

105.4

278

Texas A&M-CC

93.7

223

Texas Southern

96.9

122

Texas St.

103.2

8

Texas Tech

118.3

263

The Citadel

94.5

59

Toledo

107.9

271

Towson

94.0

238

Troy

95.6

287

Tulane

92.9

124

Tulsa

103.2

162

UAB

100.1

237

UC Davis

95.6

92

UC Irvine

105.5

310

UC Riverside

91.6

152

UC Santa Barbara

101.0

99

UCLA

104.9

253

UMass Lowell

94.9

348

UNC Asheville

84.1

86

UNC Greensboro

105.8

260

UNC Wilmington

94.6

150

UNLV

101.1

88

USC

105.7

335

USC Upstate

87.7

167

UT Arlington

99.8

294

UT Martin

92.5

208

UT Rio Grande Valley

97.6

108

Utah

104.2

46

Utah St.

110.0

109

Utah Valley

104.0

295

UTEP

92.5

169

UTSA

99.8

205

Valparaiso

97.8

140

Vanderbilt

102.0

83

Vermont

106.0

24

Villanova

113.3

2

Virginia

123.3

35

Virginia Commonwealth

111.1

11

Virginia Tech

116.5

306

VMI

91.9

302

Wagner

92.1

159

Wake Forest

100.3

91

Washington

105.5

144

Washington St.

101.6

190

Weber St.

98.5

97

West Virginia

104.9

288

Western Carolina

92.9

293

Western Illinois

92.6

125

Western Kentucky

103.1

258

Western Michigan

94.6

101

Wichita St.

104.8

215

William & Mary

97.3

180

Winthrop

99.2

12

Wisconsin

115.7

26

Wofford

113.2

130

Wright St.

102.9

319

Wyoming

90.3

67

Xavier

107.2

82

Yale

106.0

281

Youngstown St.

93.5

 

PiRate Ratings (Conference)

#

America East

PiRate

83

Vermont

106.0

161

Stony Brook

100.1

185

Hartford

98.8

221

Maryland Baltimore Co.

97.0

253

UMass Lowell

94.9

272

Albany

94.0

323

Binghamton

89.8

331

Maine

88.6

340

New Hampshire

86.2

 

 

#

American Athletic

PiRate

15

Houston

115.0

32

Cincinnati

111.4

39

Central Florida

110.6

66

Temple

107.2

71

Memphis

106.8

95

Connecticut

105.2

101

Wichita St.

104.8

107

SMU

104.2

121

South Florida

103.2

124

Tulsa

103.2

279

East Carolina

93.7

287

Tulane

92.9

 

 

#

Atlantic 10

PiRate

35

Virginia Commonwealth

111.1

55

Dayton

108.4

70

Davidson

106.8

120

Saint Louis

103.3

129

St. Bonaventure

102.9

135

Rhode Island

102.4

147

George Mason

101.4

165

Duquesne

100.1

174

Saint Joseph’s

99.4

182

Richmond

99.0

210

Massachusetts

97.5

216

La Salle

97.2

243

Fordham

95.2

283

George Washington

93.3

 

 

#

Atlantic Coast

PiRate

2

Virginia

123.3

3

Duke

123.2

4

North Carolina

121.0

11

Virginia Tech

116.5

17

Florida St.

114.7

19

Louisville

114.0

27

North Carolina St.

112.9

29

Clemson

112.2

34

Syracuse

111.3

63

Miami (Fla)

107.5

84

Notre Dame

105.9

96

Pittsburgh

105.1

103

Georgia Tech

104.6

106

Boston College

104.3

159

Wake Forest

100.3

 

 

#

Atlantic Sun

PiRate

52

Lipscomb

108.8

77

Liberty

106.2

184

NJIT

98.8

203

North Florida

98.0

233

Florida Gulf Coast

96.0

264

Jacksonville

94.4

314

North Alabama

91.2

334

Stetson

87.9

341

Kennesaw St.

86.1

 

 

#

Big 12

PiRate

8

Texas Tech

118.3

16

Kansas

114.9

18

Iowa St.

114.1

25

Kansas St.

113.2

30

Texas

112.0

33

Oklahoma

111.3

38

Baylor

110.6

47

TCU

110.0

97

West Virginia

104.9

100

Oklahoma St.

104.8

 

 

#

Big East

PiRate

24

Villanova

113.3

28

Marquette

112.6

45

Creighton

110.0

54

Seton Hall

108.4

57

Butler

108.2

61

St. John’s

107.8

67

Xavier

107.2

73

Providence

106.7

76

Georgetown

106.3

98

DePaul

104.9

 

 

#

Big Sky

PiRate

133

Montana

102.8

158

Northern Colorado

100.4

190

Weber St.

98.5

240

Eastern Washington

95.5

245

Montana St.

95.2

257

Portland St.

94.7

269

Sacramento St.

94.2

286

Southern Utah

93.0

304

Northern Arizona

92.1

318

Idaho St.

90.7

344

Idaho

85.0

 

 

#

Big South

PiRate

136

Radford

102.4

163

Gardner Webb

100.1

175

Charleston Southern

99.4

180

Winthrop

99.2

186

Campbell

98.8

189

Presbyterian

98.5

197

Hampton

98.1

230

High Point

96.2

300

Longwood

92.2

335

USC Upstate

87.7

348

UNC Asheville

84.1

 

 

#

Big Ten

PiRate

5

Michigan St.

120.5

9

Michigan

118.1

10

Purdue

117.6

12

Wisconsin

115.7

22

Maryland

113.4

36

Iowa

110.9

37

Indiana

110.6

40

Nebraska

110.5

42

Ohio St.

110.3

43

Penn St.

110.2

48

Minnesota

109.3

65

Northwestern

107.2

78

Illinois

106.2

81

Rutgers

106.0

 

 

#

Big West

PiRate

92

UC Irvine

105.5

152

UC Santa Barbara

101.0

183

Cal St. Fullerton

98.9

192

Hawaii

98.4

222

Long Beach St.

96.9

237

UC Davis

95.6

280

Cal St. Northridge

93.7

310

UC Riverside

91.6

332

Cal Poly

88.4

 

 

#

Colonial Athletic

PiRate

74

Hofstra

106.3

87

Northeastern

105.8

118

Charleston

103.4

215

William & Mary

97.3

244

Drexel

95.2

250

Delaware

95.0

260

UNC Wilmington

94.6

271

Towson

94.0

276

James Madison

93.9

308

Elon

91.9

 

 

#

Conference USA

PiRate

113

Old Dominion

103.8

119

Southern Miss

103.4

125

Western Kentucky

103.1

142

Louisiana Tech

101.8

153

North Texas

100.9

162

UAB

100.1

169

UTSA

99.8

171

Marshall

99.7

187

Florida Atlantic

98.7

211

Florida Int’l.

97.4

242

Middle Tennessee

95.2

267

Rice

94.3

295

UTEP

92.5

301

Charlotte

92.2

 

 

#

Horizon

PiRate

105

Northern Kentucky

104.4

130

Wright St.

102.9

194

Oakland

98.3

199

IUPUI

98.0

206

Green Bay

97.8

214

Illinois Chicago

97.3

265

Detroit

94.4

281

Youngstown St.

93.5

290

Cleveland St.

92.8

291

Milwaukee

92.6

 

 

#

Ivy

PiRate

82

Yale

106.0

114

Penn

103.6

128

Harvard

102.9

146

Brown

101.4

176

Princeton

99.3

212

Dartmouth

97.4

218

Columbia

97.2

227

Cornell

96.4

 

 

#

Metro Atlantic

PiRate

193

Rider

98.4

198

Iona

98.0

226

Quinnipiac

96.6

246

Siena

95.1

259

Canisius

94.6

266

Marist

94.4

275

Monmouth

93.9

284

Fairfield

93.2

305

Saint Peter’s

92.0

307

Niagara

91.9

317

Manhattan

90.8

 

 

#

Mid-American

PiRate

21

Buffalo

113.6

59

Toledo

107.9

117

Akron

103.5

127

Bowling Green

103.0

131

Ball St.

102.8

141

Central Michigan

101.9

145

Kent St.

101.5

149

Miami (O)

101.2

151

Northern Illinois

101.1

160

Eastern Michigan

100.3

191

Ohio

98.4

258

Western Michigan

94.6

 

 

#

Mideastern Athletic

PiRate

247

Norfolk St.

95.1

289

North Carolina Central

92.8

296

Bethune Cookman

92.5

299

North Carolina A&T

92.2

313

Howard

91.4

326

Florida A&M

89.6

336

Morgan St.

87.6

338

South Carolina St.

87.3

343

Savannah St.

85.2

345

Coppin St.

84.9

351

Maryland Eastern Shore

81.1

352

Delaware St.

79.5

 

 

#

Missouri Valley

PiRate

112

Loyola (Chi)

103.8

132

Drake

102.8

143

Southern Illinois

101.6

166

Bradley

99.9

172

Missouri St.

99.6

177

Northern Iowa

99.3

196

Illinois St.

98.1

205

Valparaiso

97.8

217

Indiana St.

97.2

228

Evansville

96.4

 

 

#

Mountain West

PiRate

14

Nevada

115.0

46

Utah St.

110.0

64

Fresno St.

107.5

111

San Diego St.

103.8

134

Boise St.

102.6

150

UNLV

101.1

178

New Mexico

99.3

181

Colorado St.

99.2

254

Air Force

94.8

319

Wyoming

90.3

342

San Jose St.

85.4

 

 

#

Northeast

PiRate

220

Fairleigh Dickinson

97.1

235

St. Francis PA

95.8

239

Sacred Heart

95.5

249

Long Island

95.0

252

Robert Morris

94.9

274

St. Francis (BKN)

93.9

302

Wagner

92.1

321

Central Connecticut

90.0

324

Mount St. Mary’s

89.7

328

Bryant

89.3

 

 

#

Ohio Valley

PiRate

50

Belmont

109.0

51

Murray St.

109.0

123

Jacksonville St.

103.2

126

Austin Peay

103.0

241

Eastern Kentucky

95.4

255

Morehead St.

94.8

294

UT Martin

92.5

297

Tennessee St.

92.5

309

Eastern Illinois

91.7

315

Southeast Missouri St.

91.2

327

Tennessee Tech

89.5

333

SIU Edwardsville

88.0

 

 

#

Pac-12

PiRate

49

Oregon

109.3

56

Arizona St.

108.4

69

Colorado

107.0

79

Oregon St.

106.2

85

Arizona

105.9

88

USC

105.7

91

Washington

105.5

99

UCLA

104.9

108

Utah

104.2

110

Stanford

103.9

144

Washington St.

101.6

248

California

95.0

 

 

#

Patriot

PiRate

138

Colgate

102.1

139

Bucknell

102.0

168

Lehigh

99.8

201

American

98.0

229

Boston University

96.2

234

Holy Cross

95.9

236

Army

95.8

273

Loyola (MD)

93.9

285

Navy

93.1

298

Lafayette

92.4

 

 

#

Southeastern

PiRate

6

Tennessee

118.9

7

Kentucky

118.3

13

Auburn

115.7

20

LSU

114.0

23

Mississippi St.

113.4

31

Florida

111.7

44

Mississippi

110.1

53

Arkansas

108.7

58

Alabama

108.0

72

South Carolina

106.8

80

Missouri

106.1

94

Texas A&M

105.4

116

Georgia

103.5

140

Vanderbilt

102.0

 

 

#

Southern

PiRate

26

Wofford

113.2

60

Furman

107.8

75

East Tennessee St.

106.3

86

UNC Greensboro

105.8

157

Samford

100.5

195

Mercer

98.2

263

The Citadel

94.5

268

Chattanooga

94.3

288

Western Carolina

92.9

306

VMI

91.9

 

#

Southland

PiRate

154

Abilene Christian

100.9

179

Sam Houston St.

99.2

202

Lamar

98.0

256

Southeastern Louisiana

94.7

270

New Orleans

94.0

278

Texas A&M-CC

93.7

282

Houston Baptist

93.3

303

Stephen F. Austin

92.1

311

Central Arkansas

91.6

312

Nicholls St.

91.5

329

McNeese St.

88.9

339

Northwestern St.

86.4

346

Incarnate Word

84.6

 

 

#

Southwestern Athletic

PiRate

223

Texas Southern

96.9

232

Prairie View A&M

96.1

277

Grambling St.

93.7

320

Arkansas Pine Bluff

90.2

322

Jackson St.

89.9

330

Alabama St.

88.8

337

Southern

87.3

347

Alabama A&M

84.6

349

Alcorn St.

84.0

350

Mississippi Valley St.

82.8

 

 

#

Summit

PiRate

89

South Dakota St.

105.6

164

Omaha

100.1

173

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.5

207

North Dakota St.

97.8

225

South Dakota

96.7

262

North Dakota

94.5

292

Oral Roberts

92.6

293

Western Illinois

92.6

316

Denver

91.1

 

 

#

Sun Belt

PiRate

104

Georgia Southern

104.6

115

Georgia St.

103.6

122

Texas St.

103.2

148

Louisiana Monroe

101.3

155

Coastal Carolina

100.7

167

UT Arlington

99.8

170

Louisiana

99.7

204

Appalachian St.

97.9

213

South Alabama

97.4

231

Little Rock

96.1

238

Troy

95.6

261

Arkansas St.

94.5

 

 

#

West Coast

PiRate

1

Gonzaga

124.4

41

Saint Mary’s

110.4

68

San Francisco

107.0

90

BYU

105.6

93

San Diego

105.5

137

Loyola Marymount

102.2

156

Pepperdine

100.6

200

Santa Clara

98.0

219

Pacific

97.1

325

Portland

89.6

 

 

#

Western Athletic

PiRate

62

New Mexico St.

107.7

102

Grand Canyon

104.7

109

Utah Valley

104.0

188

Seattle

98.6

208

UT Rio Grande Valley

97.6

209

California Baptist

97.5

224

Cal St. Bakersfield

96.7

251

Missouri Kansas City

95.0

353

Chicago St.

79.3

 

Conference Tournaments Update

Atlantic Sun Conference

*** Championship Game–Sunday, March 10 ***

Liberty

74

Lipscomb

68

 

 

Big South Conference

*** Championship Game–Sunday, March 10 (at Radford) ***

Gardner-Webb

76

Radford

65

 

 

Colonial Athletic Association

Site: North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC

Quarterfinals–Sunday, March 10

Hofstra

76

James Madison

67

Delaware

85

William & Mary

79

Northeastern

80

UNC Wilmington

59

Charleston

73

Drexel

61

 

Semifinals–Monday, March 11

Seed

Team

Seed

Team

1

Hofstra (26-6)

5

Delaware (17-15)

2

Northeastern (21-10)

3

Charleston (24-8)

 

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Site: Times Union Center, Albany, NY (Siena)

Semifinals–Sunday, March 10

Iona

73

Siena

57

Monmouth

73

Canisius

59

Championship Game–Monday, March 11

Seed

Team

Seed

Team

1

Iona (16-15)

6

Monmouth (14-20)

 

 

Mid-American Conference (MACtion)

Site: 1st Rd @ Higher Seeds/ Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

First Round–Monday, March 11

Seed

Home Team

Seed

Visitors

8

Akron (16-15)

9

Miami (O) (15-16)

5

Central Michigan (21-10)

12

Western Michigan (8-23)

7

Northern Illinois (15-16)

10

Ohio (14-16)

6

Eastern Michigan (15-16)

11

Ball St. (15-16)

 

 

Missouri Valley Conference (Arch Madness)

Site: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO

*** Championship Game–Sunday, March 10 ***

Bradley

57

Northern Iowa

54

 

 

Patriot League

All games at home floor of higher seeds

Semifinals–Sunday, March 10

Colgate

80

Navy

70

Bucknell

97

Lehigh

75

 

*** Championship Game–Wednesday, March 13 ***

Seed

Home

Seed

Visitor

1

Colgate (23-10)

2

Bucknell (21-10)

 

 

Southern Conference

Site: US Cellular Center, Asheville, NC

Semifinals–Sunday, March 10

Wofford

81

East Tennessee St.

72

UNC Greensboro

66

Furman

62

 

*** Championship Game–Monday, March 11 ***

Seed

Team

Seed

Team

1

Wofford (28-4)

2

UNC Greensboro (28-5)

 

 

Summit League

Site: Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD

Quarterfinals

North Dakota St.

86

Oral Roberts

73

Purdue Ft. Wayne

96

South Dakota

70

 

Semifinals–Monday, March 11

Seed

Team

Seed

Team

8

Western Illinois (10-20)

4

North Dakota St. (16-15)

2

Omaha (20-10)

3

Purdue Ft. Wayne (18-14)

 

West Coast Conference

Site: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Semifinals–Monday, March 11

Seed

Team

Seed

Team

2

Saint Mary’s (20-11)

6

San Diego (21-13)

1

Gonzaga (29-2)

8

Pepperdine (16-17)

 

Teams With Automatic Bids

Team

Conf

W-L

Liberty

Atlantic Sun

28-6

Gardner-Webb

Big South

23-11

Murray St.

Ohio Valley

27-4

Bradley

Missouri Valley

20-14

 

February 25, 2019

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For Monday, February 25, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:34 am

PiRate Ratings (1-353)

Rk

Team

PiRate

Conf

1

Duke

124.2

ACC

2

Gonzaga

124.2

West Coast

3

Virginia

122.3

ACC

4

North Carolina

120.8

ACC

5

Michigan St.

120.4

Big Ten

6

Kentucky

119.0

SEC

7

Tennessee

118.1

SEC

8

Texas Tech

117.4

Big 12

9

Michigan

117.2

Big Ten

10

Purdue

116.5

Big Ten

11

Virginia Tech

116.1

ACC

12

Auburn

115.6

SEC

13

Wisconsin

115.4

Big Ten

14

Nevada

115.1

Mtn West

15

Iowa St.

115.1

Big 12

16

Kansas

114.8

Big 12

17

Florida St.

114.5

ACC

18

Houston

114.3

AAC

19

Buffalo

114.1

Mid-Amer

20

Maryland

113.9

Big Ten

21

Louisville

113.9

ACC

22

Marquette

113.5

Big East

23

LSU

113.2

SEC

24

Villanova

113.0

Big East

25

North Carolina St.

112.7

ACC

26

Kansas St.

112.7

Big 12

27

Iowa

112.3

Big Ten

28

Wofford

112.2

SoCon

29

Texas

112.2

Big 12

30

Cincinnati

112.0

AAC

31

Oklahoma

111.4

Big 12

32

Clemson

111.4

ACC

33

Syracuse

111.2

ACC

34

Ohio St.

111.2

Big Ten

35

Mississippi

111.0

SEC

36

Nebraska

110.9

Big Ten

37

Baylor

110.9

Big 12

38

Washington

110.7

Pac-12

39

Virginia Commonwealth

110.6

Atl 10

40

Saint Mary’s

110.5

West Coast

41

TCU

110.3

Big 12

42

Central Florida

109.7

AAC

43

Utah St.

109.7

Mtn West

44

Lipscomb

109.6

Atl Sun

45

Creighton

109.5

Big East

46

Indiana

109.4

Big Ten

47

Butler

109.1

Big East

48

St. John’s

109.0

Big East

49

Penn St.

108.9

Big Ten

50

Arizona St.

108.6

Pac-12

51

Minnesota

108.4

Big Ten

52

San Francisco

108.4

West Coast

53

Murray St.

108.3

OH Valley

54

Alabama

108.2

SEC

55

Belmont

108.2

OH Valley

56

Seton Hall

108.0

Big East

57

Miami (Fla)

107.6

ACC

58

Dayton

107.5

Atl 10

59

Oregon

107.4

Pac-12

60

Fresno St.

107.4

Mtn West

61

Furman

107.3

SoCon

62

Toledo

107.2

Mid-Amer

63

New Mexico St.

107.2

WAC

64

Northwestern

107.1

Big Ten

65

Florida

107.0

SEC

66

Illinois

107.0

Big Ten

67

East Tennessee St.

107.0

SoCon

68

Arkansas

106.9

SEC

69

Temple

106.9

AAC

70

Arizona

106.5

Pac-12

71

Georgetown

106.5

Big East

72

Memphis

106.4

AAC

73

Davidson

106.3

Atl 10

74

Vermont

106.3

Amer East

75

Oregon St.

106.3

Pac-12

76

Yale

106.2

Ivy

77

Colorado

106.2

Pac-12

78

Liberty

106.2

Atl Sun

79

South Dakota St.

106.1

Summit

80

Hofstra

106.0

Colonial

81

USC

106.0

Pac-12

82

South Carolina

105.9

SEC

83

BYU

105.9

West Coast

84

Texas A&M

105.9

SEC

85

Xavier

105.9

Big East

86

Grand Canyon

105.7

WAC

87

Providence

105.6

Big East

88

Pittsburgh

105.6

ACC

89

Notre Dame

105.5

ACC

90

Rutgers

105.5

Big Ten

91

UCLA

105.3

Pac-12

92

Connecticut

105.3

AAC

93

Missouri

105.0

SEC

94

Georgia Southern

104.8

Sun Belt

95

UNC Greensboro

104.8

SoCon

96

Northeastern

104.8

Colonial

97

Old Dominion

104.5

CUSA

98

UC Irvine

104.4

Big West

99

Northern Kentucky

104.4

Horizon

100

San Diego

104.3

West Coast

101

Wichita St.

104.3

AAC

102

San Diego St.

104.3

Mtn West

103

Boston College

104.3

ACC

104

Bowling Green

104.1

Mid-Amer

105

Georgia Tech

104.1

ACC

106

SMU

104.1

AAC

107

West Virginia

104.0

Big 12

108

Akron

103.9

Mid-Amer

109

Utah

103.9

Pac-12

110

DePaul

103.8

Big East

111

Georgia

103.8

SEC

112

Florida Atlantic

103.8

CUSA

113

Ball St.

103.7

Mid-Amer

114

Montana

103.7

Big Sky

115

South Florida

103.6

AAC

116

Texas St.

103.6

Sun Belt

117

Stanford

103.6

Pac-12

118

Harvard

103.6

Ivy

119

Oklahoma St.

103.6

Big 12

120

Loyola (Chi)

103.5

Mo Valley

121

Austin Peay

103.4

OH Valley

122

Utah Valley

103.4

WAC

123

Vanderbilt

103.4

SEC

124

Charleston

103.3

Colonial

125

Western Kentucky

103.1

CUSA

126

Tulsa

103.1

AAC

127

Georgia St.

103.1

Sun Belt

128

Saint Louis

103.0

Atl 10

129

Jacksonville St.

102.9

OH Valley

130

Penn

102.9

Ivy

131

Wright St.

102.8

Horizon

132

Boise St.

102.6

Mtn West

133

St. Bonaventure

102.6

Atl 10

134

Mississippi St.

102.6

SEC

135

Louisiana Tech

102.4

CUSA

136

Southern Miss

102.3

CUSA

137

Bucknell

102.2

Patriot

138

Radford

102.1

Big South

139

Central Michigan

102.1

Mid-Amer

140

North Texas

102.1

CUSA

141

Loyola Marymount

102.0

West Coast

142

Drake

102.0

Mo Valley

143

Colgate

101.7

Patriot

144

George Mason

101.6

Atl 10

145

Southern Illinois

101.6

Mo Valley

146

UC Santa Barbara

101.5

Big West

147

Louisiana Monroe

101.2

Sun Belt

148

Miami (O)

101.2

Mid-Amer

149

Brown

101.2

Ivy

150

Kent St.

101.1

Mid-Amer

151

Rhode Island

101.0

Atl 10

152

Northern Illinois

100.9

Mid-Amer

153

Coastal Carolina

100.7

Sun Belt

154

Duquesne

100.7

Atl 10

155

UNLV

100.7

Mtn West

156

Lehigh

100.6

Patriot

157

Missouri St.

100.4

Mo Valley

158

Samford

100.4

SoCon

159

Stony Brook

100.2

Amer East

160

Omaha

100.2

Summit

161

Winthrop

100.2

Big South

162

Princeton

100.2

Ivy

163

UTSA

100.1

CUSA

164

Eastern Michigan

100.0

Mid-Amer

165

UAB

99.9

CUSA

166

Cal St. Fullerton

99.9

Big West

167

Abilene Christian

99.9

Sthland

168

Pepperdine

99.8

West Coast

169

New Mexico

99.8

Mtn West

170

Northern Colorado

99.8

Big Sky

171

Wake Forest

99.7

ACC

172

Northern Iowa

99.6

Mo Valley

173

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.6

Summit

174

Louisiana

99.6

Sun Belt

175

Mercer

99.5

SoCon

176

Weber St.

99.4

Big Sky

177

Richmond

99.3

Atl 10

178

Sam Houston St.

99.2

Sthland

179

Bradley

99.1

Mo Valley

180

Hartford

99.0

Amer East

181

Gardner Webb

98.8

Big South

182

NJIT

98.8

Atl Sun

183

Colorado St.

98.8

Mtn West

184

Saint Joseph’s

98.7

Atl 10

185

Rider

98.7

Metro Atl

186

Campbell

98.7

Big South

187

Presbyterian

98.6

Big South

188

Dartmouth

98.6

Ivy

189

IUPUI

98.5

Horizon

190

UT Arlington

98.5

Sun Belt

191

Washington St.

98.4

Pac-12

192

Charleston Southern

98.3

Big South

193

Valparaiso

98.3

Mo Valley

194

Seattle

98.2

WAC

195

American

98.2

Patriot

196

Illinois St.

98.2

Mo Valley

197

Marshall

98.1

CUSA

198

Hawaii

98.0

Big West

199

Massachusetts

97.9

Atl 10

200

Oakland

97.9

Horizon

201

UT Rio Grande Valley

97.8

WAC

202

North Florida

97.8

Atl Sun

203

Texas Southern

97.8

SWAC

204

Maryland Baltimore Co.

97.8

Amer East

205

North Dakota St.

97.7

Summit

206

Green Bay

97.6

Horizon

207

Appalachian St.

97.6

Sun Belt

208

South Alabama

97.6

Sun Belt

209

Indiana St.

97.6

Mo Valley

210

Santa Clara

97.6

West Coast

211

Hampton

97.5

Big South

212

Iona

97.3

Metro Atl

213

California Baptist

97.3

WAC

214

William & Mary

97.2

Colonial

215

Illinois Chicago

97.2

Horizon

216

Lamar

97.1

Sthland

217

La Salle

97.0

Atl 10

218

High Point

96.9

Big South

219

Little Rock

96.9

Sun Belt

220

South Dakota

96.9

Summit

221

Florida Int’l.

96.8

CUSA

222

Pacific

96.8

West Coast

223

Quinnipiac

96.8

Metro Atl

224

Holy Cross

96.7

Patriot

225

Cal St. Bakersfield

96.6

WAC

226

Ohio

96.6

Mid-Amer

227

Boston University

96.5

Patriot

228

Long Beach St.

96.5

Big West

229

Evansville

96.4

Mo Valley

230

UC Davis

96.3

Big West

231

Cornell

96.2

Ivy

232

Fordham

96.2

Atl 10

233

Columbia

96.1

Ivy

234

Fairleigh Dickinson

96.1

Northeast

235

St. Francis (PA)

95.9

Northeast

236

Troy

95.8

Sun Belt

237

Drexel

95.7

Colonial

238

Marist

95.6

Metro Atl

239

Missouri Kansas City

95.5

WAC

240

Robert Morris

95.3

Northeast

241

Army

95.3

Patriot

242

Delaware

95.3

Colonial

243

Sacred Heart

95.3

Northeast

244

The Citadel

95.2

SoCon

245

Eastern Kentucky

95.2

OH Valley

246

Canisius

95.2

Metro Atl

247

Siena

95.2

Metro Atl

248

Norfolk St.

95.2

MEAC

249

Morehead St.

95.1

OH Valley

250

Air Force

95.1

Mtn West

251

Montana St.

95.1

Big Sky

252

Jacksonville

95.0

Atl Sun

253

Prairie View A&M

95.0

SWAC

254

UMass Lowell

95.0

Amer East

255

Towson

94.9

Colonial

256

Middle Tennessee

94.8

CUSA

257

Chattanooga

94.8

SoCon

258

Sacramento St.

94.7

Big Sky

259

James Madison

94.7

Colonial

260

Eastern Washington

94.7

Big Sky

261

UNC Wilmington

94.6

Colonial

262

Western Michigan

94.6

Mid-Amer

263

Detroit

94.5

Horizon

264

New Orleans

94.5

Sthland

265

Arkansas St.

94.5

Sun Belt

266

Southeastern Louisiana

94.5

Sthland

267

St. Francis (Bklyn)

94.4

Northeast

268

Rice

94.4

CUSA

269

George Washington

94.4

Atl 10

270

North Dakota

94.4

Summit

271

Long Island

94.2

Northeast

272

Houston Baptist

94.1

Sthland

273

Portland St.

94.1

Big Sky

274

East Carolina

94.0

AAC

275

Albany

94.0

Amer East

276

Wagner

93.9

Northeast

277

California

93.8

Pac-12

278

Southern Utah

93.8

Big Sky

279

Youngstown St.

93.7

Horizon

280

Grambling St.

93.7

SWAC

281

Texas A&M CC

93.6

Sthland

282

North Carolina Central

93.6

MEAC

283

Loyola (MD)

93.6

Patriot

284

Florida Gulf Coast

93.5

Atl Sun

285

UTEP

93.3

CUSA

286

Fairfield

93.3

Metro Atl

287

Bethune Cookman

93.2

MEAC

288

Cal St. Northridge

93.1

Big West

289

Monmouth

93.1

Metro Atl

290

Western Carolina

93.1

SoCon

291

UT Martin

93.1

OH Valley

292

Tennessee St.

93.1

OH Valley

293

Western Illinois

93.1

Summit

294

Stephen F. Austin

93.0

Sthland

295

Mississippi Valley St.

92.7

SWAC

296

Oral Roberts

92.7

Summit

297

Lafayette

92.6

Patriot

298

Milwaukee

92.6

Horizon

299

Florida A&M

92.4

MEAC

300

Longwood

92.3

Big South

301

Cleveland St.

92.3

Horizon

302

Eastern Illinois

92.3

OH Valley

303

Niagara

92.1

Metro Atl

304

Tulane

92.1

AAC

305

Nicholls St.

91.9

Sthland

306

Saint Peter’s

91.9

Metro Atl

307

Charlotte

91.8

CUSA

308

Navy

91.7

Patriot

309

UC Riverside

91.7

Big West

310

Idaho St.

91.5

Big Sky

311

North Carolina A&T

91.3

MEAC

312

Northern Arizona

91.2

Big Sky

313

Central Connecticut

91.0

Northeast

314

Howard

91.0

MEAC

315

VMI

91.0

SoCon

316

Southeast Missouri St.

90.9

OH Valley

317

Alabama St.

90.8

SWAC

318

Central Arkansas

90.7

Sthland

319

Manhattan

90.7

Metro Atl

320

North Alabama

90.6

Atl Sun

321

Denver

90.5

Summit

322

Elon

90.3

Colonial

323

Maine

90.2

Amer East

324

Portland

90.0

West Coast

325

McNeese St.

89.8

Sthland

326

Mount St. Mary’s

89.6

Northeast

327

Arkansas Pine Bluff

89.5

SWAC

328

Bryant

89.5

Northeast

329

Wyoming

89.5

Mtn West

330

Tennessee Tech

89.3

OH Valley

331

Jackson St.

89.3

SWAC

332

Binghamton

89.2

Amer East

333

Cal Poly

88.9

Big West

334

Morgan St.

88.6

MEAC

335

USC Upstate

88.3

Big South

336

SIU Edwardsville

88.2

OH Valley

337

Stetson

87.8

Atl Sun

338

South Carolina St.

87.6

MEAC

339

Northwestern St.

87.3

Sthland

340

Southern

86.9

SWAC

341

Kennesaw St.

85.5

Atl Sun

342

San Jose St.

85.5

Mtn West

343

Coppin St.

85.4

MEAC

344

UNC Asheville

85.2

Big South

345

Alcorn St.

85.2

SWAC

346

Savannah St.

85.2

MEAC

347

New Hampshire

85.2

Amer East

348

Alabama A&M

85.0

SWAC

349

Incarnate Word

84.8

Sthland

350

Idaho

84.8

Big Sky

351

Maryland Eastern Shore

81.1

MEAC

352

Chicago St.

79.4

WAC

353

Delaware St.

79.3

MEAC

 

PiRate Ratings (Alphabetical)

Rk

Team

PiRate

Conf

167

Abilene Christian

99.9

Sthland

250

Air Force

95.1

Mtn West

108

Akron

103.9

Mid-Amer

54

Alabama

108.2

SEC

348

Alabama A&M

85.0

SWAC

317

Alabama St.

90.8

SWAC

275

Albany

94.0

Amer East

345

Alcorn St.

85.2

SWAC

195

American

98.2

Patriot

207

Appalachian St.

97.6

Sun Belt

70

Arizona

106.5

Pac-12

50

Arizona St.

108.6

Pac-12

68

Arkansas

106.9

SEC

327

Arkansas Pine Bluff

89.5

SWAC

265

Arkansas St.

94.5

Sun Belt

241

Army

95.3

Patriot

12

Auburn

115.6

SEC

121

Austin Peay

103.4

OH Valley

113

Ball St.

103.7

Mid-Amer

37

Baylor

110.9

Big 12

55

Belmont

108.2

OH Valley

287

Bethune Cookman

93.2

MEAC

332

Binghamton

89.2

Amer East

132

Boise St.

102.6

Mtn West

103

Boston College

104.3

ACC

227

Boston University

96.5

Patriot

104

Bowling Green

104.1

Mid-Amer

179

Bradley

99.1

Mo Valley

149

Brown

101.2

Ivy

328

Bryant

89.5

Northeast

137

Bucknell

102.2

Patriot

19

Buffalo

114.1

Mid-Amer

47

Butler

109.1

Big East

83

BYU

105.9

West Coast

333

Cal Poly

88.9

Big West

225

Cal St. Bakersfield

96.6

WAC

166

Cal St. Fullerton

99.9

Big West

288

Cal St. Northridge

93.1

Big West

277

California

93.8

Pac-12

213

California Baptist

97.3

WAC

186

Campbell

98.7

Big South

246

Canisius

95.2

Metro Atl

318

Central Arkansas

90.7

Sthland

313

Central Connecticut

91.0

Northeast

42

Central Florida

109.7

AAC

139

Central Michigan

102.1

Mid-Amer

124

Charleston

103.3

Colonial

192

Charleston Southern

98.3

Big South

307

Charlotte

91.8

CUSA

257

Chattanooga

94.8

SoCon

352

Chicago St.

79.4

WAC

30

Cincinnati

112.0

AAC

32

Clemson

111.4

ACC

301

Cleveland St.

92.3

Horizon

153

Coastal Carolina

100.7

Sun Belt

143

Colgate

101.7

Patriot

77

Colorado

106.2

Pac-12

183

Colorado St.

98.8

Mtn West

233

Columbia

96.1

Ivy

92

Connecticut

105.3

AAC

343

Coppin St.

85.4

MEAC

231

Cornell

96.2

Ivy

45

Creighton

109.5

Big East

188

Dartmouth

98.6

Ivy

73

Davidson

106.3

Atl 10

58

Dayton

107.5

Atl 10

242

Delaware

95.3

Colonial

353

Delaware St.

79.3

MEAC

321

Denver

90.5

Summit

110

DePaul

103.8

Big East

263

Detroit

94.5

Horizon

142

Drake

102.0

Mo Valley

237

Drexel

95.7

Colonial

1

Duke

124.2

ACC

154

Duquesne

100.7

Atl 10

274

East Carolina

94.0

AAC

67

East Tennessee St.

107.0

SoCon

302

Eastern Illinois

92.3

OH Valley

245

Eastern Kentucky

95.2

OH Valley

164

Eastern Michigan

100.0

Mid-Amer

260

Eastern Washington

94.7

Big Sky

322

Elon

90.3

Colonial

229

Evansville

96.4

Mo Valley

286

Fairfield

93.3

Metro Atl

234

Fairleigh Dickinson

96.1

Northeast

65

Florida

107.0

SEC

299

Florida A&M

92.4

MEAC

112

Florida Atlantic

103.8

CUSA

284

Florida Gulf Coast

93.5

Atl Sun

221

Florida Int’l.

96.8

CUSA

17

Florida St.

114.5

ACC

232

Fordham

96.2

Atl 10

60

Fresno St.

107.4

Mtn West

61

Furman

107.3

SoCon

181

Gardner Webb

98.8

Big South

144

George Mason

101.6

Atl 10

269

George Washington

94.4

Atl 10

71

Georgetown

106.5

Big East

111

Georgia

103.8

SEC

94

Georgia Southern

104.8

Sun Belt

127

Georgia St.

103.1

Sun Belt

105

Georgia Tech

104.1

ACC

2

Gonzaga

124.2

West Coast

280

Grambling St.

93.7

SWAC

86

Grand Canyon

105.7

WAC

206

Green Bay

97.6

Horizon

211

Hampton

97.5

Big South

180

Hartford

99.0

Amer East

118

Harvard

103.6

Ivy

198

Hawaii

98.0

Big West

218

High Point

96.9

Big South

80

Hofstra

106.0

Colonial

224

Holy Cross

96.7

Patriot

18

Houston

114.3

AAC

272

Houston Baptist

94.1

Sthland

314

Howard

91.0

MEAC

350

Idaho

84.8

Big Sky

310

Idaho St.

91.5

Big Sky

66

Illinois

107.0

Big Ten

215

Illinois Chicago

97.2

Horizon

196

Illinois St.

98.2

Mo Valley

349

Incarnate Word

84.8

Sthland

46

Indiana

109.4

Big Ten

209

Indiana St.

97.6

Mo Valley

212

Iona

97.3

Metro Atl

27

Iowa

112.3

Big Ten

15

Iowa St.

115.1

Big 12

189

IUPUI

98.5

Horizon

331

Jackson St.

89.3

SWAC

252

Jacksonville

95.0

Atl Sun

129

Jacksonville St.

102.9

OH Valley

259

James Madison

94.7

Colonial

16

Kansas

114.8

Big 12

26

Kansas St.

112.7

Big 12

341

Kennesaw St.

85.5

Atl Sun

150

Kent St.

101.1

Mid-Amer

6

Kentucky

119.0

SEC

217

La Salle

97.0

Atl 10

297

Lafayette

92.6

Patriot

216

Lamar

97.1

Sthland

156

Lehigh

100.6

Patriot

78

Liberty

106.2

Atl Sun

44

Lipscomb

109.6

Atl Sun

219

Little Rock

96.9

Sun Belt

228

Long Beach St.

96.5

Big West

271

Long Island

94.2

Northeast

300

Longwood

92.3

Big South

174

Louisiana

99.6

Sun Belt

147

Louisiana Monroe

101.2

Sun Belt

135

Louisiana Tech

102.4

CUSA

21

Louisville

113.9

ACC

120

Loyola (Chi)

103.5

Mo Valley

283

Loyola (MD)

93.6

Patriot

141

Loyola Marymount

102.0

West Coast

23

LSU

113.2

SEC

323

Maine

90.2

Amer East

319

Manhattan

90.7

Metro Atl

238

Marist

95.6

Metro Atl

22

Marquette

113.5

Big East

197

Marshall

98.1

CUSA

20

Maryland

113.9

Big Ten

204

Maryland Baltimore Co.

97.8

Amer East

351

Maryland Eastern Shore

81.1

MEAC

199

Massachusetts

97.9

Atl 10

325

McNeese St.

89.8

Sthland

72

Memphis

106.4

AAC

175

Mercer

99.5

SoCon

57

Miami (Fla)

107.6

ACC

148

Miami (O)

101.2

Mid-Amer

9

Michigan

117.2

Big Ten

5

Michigan St.

120.4

Big Ten

256

Middle Tennessee

94.8

CUSA

298

Milwaukee

92.6

Horizon

51

Minnesota

108.4

Big Ten

35

Mississippi

111.0

SEC

134

Mississippi St.

102.6

SEC

295

Mississippi Valley St.

92.7

SWAC

93

Missouri

105.0

SEC

239

Missouri Kansas City

95.5

WAC

157

Missouri St.

100.4

Mo Valley

289

Monmouth

93.1

Metro Atl

114

Montana

103.7

Big Sky

251

Montana St.

95.1

Big Sky

249

Morehead St.

95.1

OH Valley

334

Morgan St.

88.6

MEAC

326

Mount St. Mary’s

89.6

Northeast

53

Murray St.

108.3

OH Valley

308

Navy

91.7

Patriot

36

Nebraska

110.9

Big Ten

14

Nevada

115.1

Mtn West

347

New Hampshire

85.2

Amer East

169

New Mexico

99.8

Mtn West

63

New Mexico St.

107.2

WAC

264

New Orleans

94.5

Sthland

303

Niagara

92.1

Metro Atl

305

Nicholls St.

91.9

Sthland

182

NJIT

98.8

Atl Sun

248

Norfolk St.

95.2

MEAC

320

North Alabama

90.6

Atl Sun

4

North Carolina

120.8

ACC

311

North Carolina A&T

91.3

MEAC

282

North Carolina Central

93.6

MEAC

25

North Carolina St.

112.7

ACC

270

North Dakota

94.4

Summit

205

North Dakota St.

97.7

Summit

202

North Florida

97.8

Atl Sun

140

North Texas

102.1

CUSA

96

Northeastern

104.8

Colonial

312

Northern Arizona

91.2

Big Sky

170

Northern Colorado

99.8

Big Sky

152

Northern Illinois

100.9

Mid-Amer

172

Northern Iowa

99.6

Mo Valley

99

Northern Kentucky

104.4

Horizon

64

Northwestern

107.1

Big Ten

339

Northwestern St.

87.3

Sthland

89

Notre Dame

105.5

ACC

200

Oakland

97.9

Horizon

226

Ohio

96.6

Mid-Amer

34

Ohio St.

111.2

Big Ten

31

Oklahoma

111.4

Big 12

119

Oklahoma St.

103.6

Big 12

97

Old Dominion

104.5

CUSA

160

Omaha

100.2

Summit

296

Oral Roberts

92.7

Summit

59

Oregon

107.4

Pac-12

75

Oregon St.

106.3

Pac-12

222

Pacific

96.8

West Coast

130

Penn

102.9

Ivy

49

Penn St.

108.9

Big Ten

168

Pepperdine

99.8

West Coast

88

Pittsburgh

105.6

ACC

324

Portland

90.0

West Coast

273

Portland St.

94.1

Big Sky

253

Prairie View A&M

95.0

SWAC

187

Presbyterian

98.6

Big South

162

Princeton

100.2

Ivy

87

Providence

105.6

Big East

10

Purdue

116.5

Big Ten

173

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.6

Summit

223

Quinnipiac

96.8

Metro Atl

138

Radford

102.1

Big South

151

Rhode Island

101.0

Atl 10

268

Rice

94.4

CUSA

177

Richmond

99.3

Atl 10

185

Rider

98.7

Metro Atl

240

Robert Morris

95.3

Northeast

90

Rutgers

105.5

Big Ten

258

Sacramento St.

94.7

Big Sky

243

Sacred Heart

95.3

Northeast

184

Saint Joseph’s

98.7

Atl 10

128

Saint Louis

103.0

Atl 10

40

Saint Mary’s

110.5

West Coast

306

Saint Peter’s

91.9

Metro Atl

178

Sam Houston St.

99.2

Sthland

158

Samford

100.4

SoCon

100

San Diego

104.3

West Coast

102

San Diego St.

104.3

Mtn West

52

San Francisco

108.4

West Coast

342

San Jose St.

85.5

Mtn West

210

Santa Clara

97.6

West Coast

346

Savannah St.

85.2

MEAC

194

Seattle

98.2

WAC

56

Seton Hall

108.0

Big East

247

Siena

95.2

Metro Atl

336

SIU Edwardsville

88.2

OH Valley

106

SMU

104.1

AAC

208

South Alabama

97.6

Sun Belt

82

South Carolina

105.9

SEC

338

South Carolina St.

87.6

MEAC

220

South Dakota

96.9

Summit

79

South Dakota St.

106.1

Summit

115

South Florida

103.6

AAC

316

Southeast Missouri St.

90.9

OH Valley

266

Southeastern Louisiana

94.5

Sthland

340

Southern

86.9

SWAC

145

Southern Illinois

101.6

Mo Valley

136

Southern Miss

102.3

CUSA

278

Southern Utah

93.8

Big Sky

133

St. Bonaventure

102.6

Atl 10

267

St. Francis (Bklyn)

94.4

Northeast

235

St. Francis (PA)

95.9

Northeast

48

St. John’s

109.0

Big East

117

Stanford

103.6

Pac-12

294

Stephen F. Austin

93.0

Sthland

337

Stetson

87.8

Atl Sun

159

Stony Brook

100.2

Amer East

33

Syracuse

111.2

ACC

41

TCU

110.3

Big 12

69

Temple

106.9

AAC

7

Tennessee

118.1

SEC

292

Tennessee St.

93.1

OH Valley

330

Tennessee Tech

89.3

OH Valley

29

Texas

112.2

Big 12

84

Texas A&M

105.9

SEC

281

Texas A&M CC

93.6

Sthland

203

Texas Southern

97.8

SWAC

116

Texas St.

103.6

Sun Belt

8

Texas Tech

117.4

Big 12

244

The Citadel

95.2

SoCon

62

Toledo

107.2

Mid-Amer

255

Towson

94.9

Colonial

236

Troy

95.8

Sun Belt

304

Tulane

92.1

AAC

126

Tulsa

103.1

AAC

165

UAB

99.9

CUSA

230

UC Davis

96.3

Big West

98

UC Irvine

104.4

Big West

309

UC Riverside

91.7

Big West

146

UC Santa Barbara

101.5

Big West

91

UCLA

105.3

Pac-12

254

UMass Lowell

95.0

Amer East

344

UNC Asheville

85.2

Big South

95

UNC Greensboro

104.8

SoCon

261

UNC Wilmington

94.6

Colonial

155

UNLV

100.7

Mtn West

81

USC

106.0

Pac-12

335

USC Upstate

88.3

Big South

190

UT Arlington

98.5

Sun Belt

291

UT Martin

93.1

OH Valley

201

UT Rio Grande Valley

97.8

WAC

109

Utah

103.9

Pac-12

43

Utah St.

109.7

Mtn West

122

Utah Valley

103.4

WAC

285

UTEP

93.3

CUSA

163

UTSA

100.1

CUSA

193

Valparaiso

98.3

Mo Valley

123

Vanderbilt

103.4

SEC

74

Vermont

106.3

Amer East

24

Villanova

113.0

Big East

3

Virginia

122.3

ACC

39

Virginia Commonwealth

110.6

Atl 10

11

Virginia Tech

116.1

ACC

315

VMI

91.0

SoCon

276

Wagner

93.9

Northeast

171

Wake Forest

99.7

ACC

38

Washington

110.7

Pac-12

191

Washington St.

98.4

Pac-12

176

Weber St.

99.4

Big Sky

107

West Virginia

104.0

Big 12

290

Western Carolina

93.1

SoCon

293

Western Illinois

93.1

Summit

125

Western Kentucky

103.1

CUSA

262

Western Michigan

94.6

Mid-Amer

101

Wichita St.

104.3

AAC

214

William & Mary

97.2

Colonial

161

Winthrop

100.2

Big South

13

Wisconsin

115.4

Big Ten

28

Wofford

112.2

SoCon

131

Wright St.

102.8

Horizon

329

Wyoming

89.5

Mtn West

85

Xavier

105.9

Big East

76

Yale

106.2

Ivy

279

Youngstown St.

93.7

Horizon

 

PiRate Ratings (By Conference)

#

America East

PiRate

74

Vermont

106.3

159

Stony Brook

100.2

180

Hartford

99.0

204

Maryland Baltimore Co.

97.8

254

UMass Lowell

95.0

275

Albany

94.0

323

Maine

90.2

332

Binghamton

89.2

347

New Hampshire

85.2

#

American Athletic

PiRate

18

Houston

114.3

30

Cincinnati

112.0

42

Central Florida

109.7

69

Temple

106.9

72

Memphis

106.4

92

Connecticut

105.3

101

Wichita St.

104.3

106

SMU

104.1

115

South Florida

103.6

126

Tulsa

103.1

274

East Carolina

94.0

304

Tulane

92.1

#

Atlantic 10

PiRate

39

Virginia Commonwealth

110.6

58

Dayton

107.5

73

Davidson

106.3

128

Saint Louis

103.0

133

St. Bonaventure

102.6

144

George Mason

101.6

151

Rhode Island

101.0

154

Duquesne

100.7

177

Richmond

99.3

184

Saint Joseph’s

98.7

199

Massachusetts

97.9

217

La Salle

97.0

232

Fordham

96.2

269

George Washington

94.4

#

Atlantic Coast

PiRate

1

Duke

124.2

3

Virginia

122.3

4

North Carolina

120.8

11

Virginia Tech

116.1

17

Florida St.

114.5

21

Louisville

113.9

25

North Carolina St.

112.7

32

Clemson

111.4

33

Syracuse

111.2

57

Miami (Fla)

107.6

88

Pittsburgh

105.6

89

Notre Dame

105.5

103

Boston College

104.3

105

Georgia Tech

104.1

171

Wake Forest

99.7

#

Atlantic Sun

PiRate

44

Lipscomb

109.6

78

Liberty

106.2

182

NJIT

98.8

202

North Florida

97.8

252

Jacksonville

95.0

284

Florida Gulf Coast

93.5

320

North Alabama

90.6

337

Stetson

87.8

341

Kennesaw St.

85.5

#

Big 12

PiRate

8

Texas Tech

117.4

15

Iowa St.

115.1

16

Kansas

114.8

26

Kansas St.

112.7

29

Texas

112.2

31

Oklahoma

111.4

37

Baylor

110.9

41

TCU

110.3

107

West Virginia

104.0

119

Oklahoma St.

103.6

#

Big East

PiRate

22

Marquette

113.5

24

Villanova

113.0

45

Creighton

109.5

47

Butler

109.1

48

St. John’s

109.0

56

Seton Hall

108.0

71

Georgetown

106.5

85

Xavier

105.9

87

Providence

105.6

110

DePaul

103.8

#

Big Sky

PiRate

114

Montana

103.7

170

Northern Colorado

99.8

176

Weber St.

99.4

251

Montana St.

95.1

258

Sacramento St.

94.7

260

Eastern Washington

94.7

273

Portland St.

94.1

278

Southern Utah

93.8

310

Idaho St.

91.5

312

Northern Arizona

91.2

350

Idaho

84.8

#

Big South

PiRate

138

Radford

102.1

161

Winthrop

100.2

181

Gardner Webb

98.8

186

Campbell

98.7

187

Presbyterian

98.6

192

Charleston Southern

98.3

211

Hampton

97.5

218

High Point

96.9

300

Longwood

92.3

335

USC Upstate

88.3

344

UNC Asheville

85.2

#

Big Ten

PiRate

5

Michigan St.

120.4

9

Michigan

117.2

10

Purdue

116.5

13

Wisconsin

115.4

20

Maryland

113.9

27

Iowa

112.3

34

Ohio St.

111.2

36

Nebraska

110.9

46

Indiana

109.4

49

Penn St.

108.9

51

Minnesota

108.4

64

Northwestern

107.1

66

Illinois

107.0

90

Rutgers

105.5

#

Big West

PiRate

98

UC Irvine

104.4

146

UC Santa Barbara

101.5

166

Cal St. Fullerton

99.9

198

Hawaii

98.0

228

Long Beach St.

96.5

230

UC Davis

96.3

288

Cal St. Northridge

93.1

309

UC Riverside

91.7

333

Cal Poly

88.9

#

Colonial Athletic

PiRate

80

Hofstra

106.0

96

Northeastern

104.8

124

Charleston

103.3

214

William & Mary

97.2

237

Drexel

95.7

242

Delaware

95.3

255

Towson

94.9

259

James Madison

94.7

261

UNC Wilmington

94.6

322

Elon

90.3

#

Conference USA

PiRate

97

Old Dominion

104.5

112

Florida Atlantic

103.8

125

Western Kentucky

103.1

135

Louisiana Tech

102.4

136

Southern Miss

102.3

140

North Texas

102.1

163

UTSA

100.1

165

UAB

99.9

197

Marshall

98.1

221

Florida Int’l.

96.8

256

Middle Tennessee

94.8

268

Rice

94.4

285

UTEP

93.3

307

Charlotte

91.8

#

Horizon

PiRate

99

Northern Kentucky

104.4

131

Wright St.

102.8

189

IUPUI

98.5

200

Oakland

97.9

206

Green Bay

97.6

215

Illinois Chicago

97.2

263

Detroit

94.5

279

Youngstown St.

93.7

298

Milwaukee

92.6

301

Cleveland St.

92.3

#

Ivy

PiRate

76

Yale

106.2

118

Harvard

103.6

130

Penn

102.9

149

Brown

101.2

162

Princeton

100.2

188

Dartmouth

98.6

231

Cornell

96.2

233

Columbia

96.1

#

Metro Atlantic

PiRate

185

Rider

98.7

212

Iona

97.3

223

Quinnipiac

96.8

238

Marist

95.6

246

Canisius

95.2

247

Siena

95.2

286

Fairfield

93.3

289

Monmouth

93.1

303

Niagara

92.1

306

Saint Peter’s

91.9

319

Manhattan

90.7

#

Mid-American

PiRate

19

Buffalo

114.1

62

Toledo

107.2

104

Bowling Green

104.1

108

Akron

103.9

113

Ball St.

103.7

139

Central Michigan

102.1

148

Miami (O)

101.2

150

Kent St.

101.1

152

Northern Illinois

100.9

164

Eastern Michigan

100.0

226

Ohio

96.6

262

Western Michigan

94.6

#

Mideastern Athletic

PiRate

248

Norfolk St.

95.2

282

North Carolina Central

93.6

287

Bethune Cookman

93.2

299

Florida A&M

92.4

311

North Carolina A&T

91.3

314

Howard

91.0

334

Morgan St.

88.6

338

South Carolina St.

87.6

343

Coppin St.

85.4

346

Savannah St.

85.2

351

Maryland Eastern Shore

81.1

353

Delaware St.

79.3

#

Missouri Valley

PiRate

120

Loyola (Chi)

103.5

142

Drake

102.0

145

Southern Illinois

101.6

157

Missouri St.

100.4

172

Northern Iowa

99.6

179

Bradley

99.1

193

Valparaiso

98.3

196

Illinois St.

98.2

209

Indiana St.

97.6

229

Evansville

96.4

#

Mountain West

PiRate

14

Nevada

115.1

43

Utah St.

109.7

60

Fresno St.

107.4

102

San Diego St.

104.3

132

Boise St.

102.6

155

UNLV

100.7

169

New Mexico

99.8

183

Colorado St.

98.8

250

Air Force

95.1

329

Wyoming

89.5

342

San Jose St.

85.5

#

Northeast

PiRate

234

Fairleigh Dickinson

96.1

235

St. Francis (PA)

95.9

240

Robert Morris

95.3

243

Sacred Heart

95.3

267

St. Francis (Bklyn)

94.4

271

Long Island

94.2

276

Wagner

93.9

313

Central Connecticut

91.0

326

Mount St. Mary’s

89.6

328

Bryant

89.5

#

Ohio Valley

PiRate

53

Murray St.

108.3

55

Belmont

108.2

121

Austin Peay

103.4

129

Jacksonville St.

102.9

245

Eastern Kentucky

95.2

249

Morehead St.

95.1

291

UT Martin

93.1

292

Tennessee St.

93.1

302

Eastern Illinois

92.3

316

Southeast Missouri St.

90.9

330

Tennessee Tech

89.3

336

SIU Edwardsville

88.2

#

Pac-12

PiRate

38

Washington

110.7

50

Arizona St.

108.6

59

Oregon

107.4

70

Arizona

106.5

75

Oregon St.

106.3

77

Colorado

106.2

81

USC

106.0

91

UCLA

105.3

109

Utah

103.9

117

Stanford

103.6

191

Washington St.

98.4

277

California

93.8

#

Patriot

PiRate

137

Bucknell

102.2

143

Colgate

101.7

156

Lehigh

100.6

195

American

98.2

224

Holy Cross

96.7

227

Boston University

96.5

241

Army

95.3

283

Loyola (MD)

93.6

297

Lafayette

92.6

308

Navy

91.7

#

Southeastern

PiRate

6

Kentucky

119.0

7

Tennessee

118.1

12

Auburn

115.6

23

LSU

113.2

35

Mississippi

111.0

54

Alabama

108.2

65

Florida

107.0

68

Arkansas

106.9

82

South Carolina

105.9

84

Texas A&M

105.9

93

Missouri

105.0

111

Georgia

103.8

123

Vanderbilt

103.4

134

Mississippi St.

102.6

#

Southern

PiRate

28

Wofford

112.2

61

Furman

107.3

67

East Tennessee St.

107.0

95

UNC Greensboro

104.8

158

Samford

100.4

175

Mercer

99.5

244

The Citadel

95.2

257

Chattanooga

94.8

290

Western Carolina

93.1

315

VMI

91.0

#

Southland

PiRate

167

Abilene Christian

99.9

178

Sam Houston St.

99.2

216

Lamar

97.1

264

New Orleans

94.5

266

Southeastern Louisiana

94.5

272

Houston Baptist

94.1

281

Texas A&M CC

93.6

294

Stephen F. Austin

93.0

305

Nicholls St.

91.9

318

Central Arkansas

90.7

325

McNeese St.

89.8

339

Northwestern St.

87.3

349

Incarnate Word

84.8

#

Southwestern Athletic

PiRate

203

Texas Southern

97.8

253

Prairie View A&M

95.0

280

Grambling St.

93.7

295

Mississippi Valley St.

92.7

317

Alabama St.

90.8

327

Arkansas Pine Bluff

89.5

331

Jackson St.

89.3

340

Southern

86.9

345

Alcorn St.

85.2

348

Alabama A&M

85.0

#

Summit

PiRate

79

South Dakota St.

106.1

160

Omaha

100.2

173

Purdue Fort Wayne

99.6

205

North Dakota St.

97.7

220

South Dakota

96.9

270

North Dakota

94.4

293

Western Illinois

93.1

296

Oral Roberts

92.7

321

Denver

90.5

#

Sun Belt

PiRate

94

Georgia Southern

104.8

116

Texas St.

103.6

127

Georgia St.

103.1

147

Louisiana Monroe

101.2

153

Coastal Carolina

100.7

174

Louisiana

99.6

190

UT Arlington

98.5

207

Appalachian St.

97.6

208

South Alabama

97.6

219

Little Rock

96.9

236

Troy

95.8

265

Arkansas St.

94.5

#

West Coast

PiRate

2

Gonzaga

124.2

40

Saint Mary’s

110.5

52

San Francisco

108.4

83

BYU

105.9

100

San Diego

104.3

141

Loyola Marymount

102.0

168

Pepperdine

99.8

210

Santa Clara

97.6

222

Pacific

96.8

324

Portland

90.0

#

Western Athletic

PiRate

63

New Mexico St.

107.2

86

Grand Canyon

105.7

122

Utah Valley

103.4

194

Seattle

98.2

201

UT Rio Grande Valley

97.8

213

California Baptist

97.3

225

Cal St. Bakersfield

96.6

239

Missouri Kansas City

95.5

352

Chicago St.

79.4

Conference Ratings

#

League

PiRate Avg.

1

Big Ten

111.7

2

Atlantic Coast

111.6

3

Big 12

111.2

4

Southeastern

109.0

5

Big East

108.4

6

Pac-12

104.7

7

American Athletic

104.6

8

West Coast

104.0

9

Mid-American

102.5

10

Atlantic 10

101.2

11

Mountain West

100.8

12

Ivy

100.6

13

Southern

100.5

14

Missouri Valley

99.7

15

Sun Belt

99.5

16

Conference USA

99.1

17

Western Athletic

97.9

18

Colonial Athletic

97.7

19

Horizon

97.2

20

Patriot

96.9

21

Summit

96.8

22

Big West

96.7

23

Ohio Valley

96.7

24

Big South

96.1

25

Atlantic Sun

96.1

26

America East

95.2

27

Big Sky

94.8

28

Metro Atlantic

94.5

29

Northeast

93.5

30

Southland

93.1

31

Southwestern Athletic

90.6

32

Mideastern Athletic

88.7

 

Coming Monday Afternoon: Updated Bracketology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 29, 2019

The PiRate Ratings Look At The One Bid Leagues

Mid-Major teams have been pulling off big time upsets for many years longer than the 68-team field era.  Back in the days when just 32 teams made the NCAA Tournament, Cal State Fullerton snuck into the Elite 8 and came within a couple possessions of advancing to the Final Four in 1978.  Before that, Texas Western had to be considered a Mid-Major team in their run to the National Championship in 1966, even though the Miners were no surprise team that year as they entered the NCAA Tournament as the number two-ranked team in the polls.

In the recent era, all the fun with Mid-Majors began with George Mason in 2006.  That GMU team was a controversial at-large pick after they lost in the Colonial Athletic Tournament.  Since then, Virginia Commonwealth, Wichita State, and most recently Loyola of Chicago have made it to the Final Four.  Of course, Butler made it to within a couple inches of a National Championship on its way to back-to-back Championship Game appearances.

Is there a Mid-Major in 2019 that could do the unthinkable and go all the way?  If you consider Nevada or Buffalo a Mid-Major, then it could happen. If you consider Nevada and Buffalo like Gonzaga, then probably not, but there are many teams that could win an opening round game and a couple that could sneak into the Sweet 16.  Here’s a breakdown of the potential one-bid leagues.

 

America East Conference

Four teams have separated themselves from the rest of the pack, but for now this is a three-team race between Vermont (6-1/16-5) and Stony Brook (5-1/17-4) , the two teams that have dominated this league in the past and and Maryland-Baltimore County (5-2/13-9), the team that won the conference tournament last year before becoming the first ever 16-seed to beat a 1-seed.
Last week, UMBC beat Vermont, and then Vermont blew Stony Brook off their own floor, giving every team a loss in league play. Wednesday night UMBC host Stony Brook, so this race will see movement in the upper half of the standings.
Fourth place U Mass-Lowell (4-2/12-9) has a four-game winning streak, which includes a win over UMBC. The River Hawks host Vermont this Saturday, so this race could be a tight four-way competition by the weekend.

 

Atlantic 10 Conference

The A-10 moves into Mid-Major territory this year, because this looks like a one-bid league. In a 14-team league with some weak teams bringing up the pack, it is obvious that there must also be either a few really strong teams or several competitive teams, and in this case, the league has eight competing for the conference championship and six that are legitimate threats as potential first round NCAA Tournament underdogs. Former Final Four surprise team George Mason (7-1/13-8) looks better than their overall record. The Patriots lost by one point at Kansas State, and they competed with Cincinnati, Baylor, and Vermont. Coach Dave Paulsen did a great job at Bucknell, and he has slowly brought GMU back to the top of the standings in the league.
Davidson (6-1/15-5) has turned up the defensive intensity in league play, and the Wildcats are limiting league foes to 39% shooting, 26% three-point shooting, and 59 points per game. Coach Bob McKillop is in his 30th season at DC, and he has the talent to take his 10th team to the Big Dance.
If you are looking for a team on the rise, look no further than Duquesne (5-2/14-6), where Coach Keith Dambrot has quickly turned the fortunes around in this once strong program. Dambrot owned the MAC at Akron with eight league titles in 11 years, and he is working his magic with the Dukes, making them the equal of big brother Pitt in the Steel City.
Saint Lous (5-2/14-6) lost a heart-breaker by a point against Davidson this past Saturday, and the Billikens could be a half-game out of first place had the breaks gone their way at the end. Former Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford has revived this program that suffered three consecutive 21-loss seasons.
Virginia Commonwealth (5-2/14-6) didn’t skip a beat when Will Wade left for LSU, and Mike Rhoades took over the program and brought back the Havoc Defense. VCU is killing it on the defensive end of the floor, limiting opponents to 38% shooting and forcing a lot of turnovers. The offense began to look competent in the Rams’ big win at Duquesne last time out. Keep an eye on VCU. If their offense continued to improve, they might be the team to beat in this league, and they have the defense to upset an opponent in the NCAA Tournament.
A Former VCU coach, Anthony Grant has resurrected his coaching career at Dayton (5-2/13-7), where the Flyers have won eight of 10 games riding the backs of their two big men, Josh Cunningham and Obadiah Toppin. The two forwards are instant offense in the paint, but they have excellent range and can drain the three if left open.

 

Atlantic Sun Conference

This may be the best two-team race in all of college basketball, and you should make a note to tune into ESPN+ tonight and catch the big game between the two league powers vying for the top spot in the league. There might be consideration to take both teams in the NCAA Tournament if they continue to dominate this league.
Liberty (7-0/18-4) hosts Lipscomb (7-0/16-4) at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, and the winner will find itself in the top 35 in the NET Ratings if they also win Saturday. This game will feature the high-flying offense of Lipscomb against the tough defense of Liberty.
In their eight-game winning streak that started with the big upset of UCLA, the Flames have limited opponents to 55 points per game while scoring 71 points per game. Liberty is undefeated at home, and they have an experienced coach in Ritchie McKay, who took New Mexico to the NCAA Tournament in the previous decade.
Lipscomb is the reigning conference tournament champions, under Coach Casey Alexander. The Bisons program was once the Duke of NAIA, and Alexander continues to win with a roster full of local players in the talent-rich Nashville area. Lipscomb scores 85 points per game by following the basic rules of the new advanced metrics–their offense is designed to get a lot of open three-point shots and to draw a lot of fouls with quick and straight moves to the basket.
NJIT (5-2/17-5) is the one team that could sneak past the two top teams in the conference tournament, but still must play Liberty twice, as well as play at Lipscomb, so the Highlanders might be fighting just to earn the number three seed in the A-Sun Tournament.

 

Big Sky Conference

An exciting three-team race has developed in this league, which is down a bit this year and probably will not field a team capable of challenging for an opening round win in the Big Dance. Northern Colorado (8-2/14-7) has a half-game lead over Montana (7-2/14-6) and Weber St. (7-2/13-7).
Northern Colorado has the top player in the league in Jordan Davis, who averages 24 points per game and has scored in double figures in every game this year. The problem with the Bears is that sometimes the rest of the team relies too much on Davis to do everything, and it leads to offensive lapses.
Montana has won eight of 10 games with balanced scoring and by taking care of the ball. The Grizzlies have four players averaging between 13 and 16 points per game. The Grizzlies went on a big winning streak in January and February last year to sweep the regular season and tournament championships.
Weber State may be the best equipped to play tough against a power conference team in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have the second best scorer in the Big Sky in Jerrick Harding, who scores better than 21 points per game. Inside, they have the league’s two best rebounders. Brekkot Chapman clears the glass on the defensive end, and Zach Braxton gets a lot of offensive boards and second chance points.

 

Big South Conference

Radford (7-0/15-6) is the clear best team in this league, and the Highlanders own a top 25 win this year having won at Texas after Thanksgiving. All five starters returned from last year’s conference tournament champion team that unfortunately had to play Villanova in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Mike Jones has one of the most unique backgrounds with a wide range of coaching styles in his days as an assistant. He has been on staffs coached by Shaka Smart, John Beilein, and he was on Dennis Felton’s staff at Georgia, when the Bulldogs pulled off one of the most incredible feats in modern basketball history. In 2008, he helped guide Georgia to the SEC Tournament Championship after the tournament was forced to move from the Georgia Dome to Georgia Tech’s Alexander Coliseum following the direct hit from a tornado that rendered the Georgia Dome too dangerous to continue. Georgia was forced to play two games in one day and win four games in three days in order to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, and the Bulldogs did it.

In addition Jones is the son of a former ABA basketball star Jimmie Jones, who I saw play for the Memphis Pros in the early 1970’s.

 

Big West Conference

This league will probably only garner a 15-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but there is some really good basketball being played in the Big West, and more than one head coach might be in line for a pay raise and move to a power conference.
UC-Irvine (5-1/17-5) and UC Santa Barbara (4-1/15-4) are the heavy co-favorites, but there is enough parity in the Big West for somebody else to earn the league’s automatic bid.
Former Alabama and North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried has resurfaced at Cal State Northridge (3-2/9-12), and the Matadors play at a frenetic pace that might cause another earthquake one night. CSUN has two big scorers averaging better than 20 points per game in Lamine Diane (23.5ppg) and Terrell Gomez (20.1 ppg). Diane averages a double-double, and CSUN has a roster to watch out for in a three-day tournament.

Hawaii (3-2/12-7) is always handicapped by having to play difficult road trips. For those that do not pay attention to geography, the Rainbow Warriors basically have to fly the equivalent of New York City to Phoenix, Arizona, every time they go from the island to LAX, and then they must travel by bus to places like Irvine, Fullerton, and Santa Barbara.

 

Colonial Athletic Association

What team has the nation’s longest winning streak? If you said the current number one Tennessee Volunteers, you are wrong by two games. The Vols have won 14 in a row, but Hofstra (9-0/19-3) has won 16 games in a row. The Pride have fielded some great teams in the past under former coaches Jay Wright (that Jay Wright) and Butch Van Breda Kolff. Current Coach Joe Mihalich comes from the Paul Westhead coaching tree, but Hofstra does not play anything like the legendary offensive mastermind.
Mihalich’s team is one of the most efficient on the offensive side of the ball, as the Pride average about 120 points for every 100 possessions in CAA play. They connect on almost 51% of their field goal attempts, 42% of their three-point attempts, and better than 80% of their free throw attempts in conference play. The name of the game is to put the ball through the hoop, and the Pride certainly accomplishes that most nights. Add the best turnover ratio with a high percentage of forced turnovers coming by the all important steal, and you have a team with the ability to sneak into the Sweet 16 with the right matchup.

 

Conference USA

This has been a league where outstanding coaches have made major impacts before going to bigger and better Power Conference programs. Kermit Davis, Jr. has taken his genius to Ole Miss. Michael White is now at Florida. Jerod Haase is at Stanford.
The current hot coach is Grant McCasland, who has guided North Texas to a 6-2/18-3 mark so far this year. McCasland has a history of producing powerful teams at lower classifications including a national junior college championship. The Mean Green lead the league, but they have a brutal finish to their schedule. Aside from the fact that they must play four of their next six games on the road in some difficult places to win, this league is experimenting with a new scheduling method, where the final two weeks of games will be scheduled based on conference standings. So, North Texas will likely have to play the best three teams in the league to finish the regular season, while a team like Western Kentucky (4-4/11-10) will get to play middle of the pack teams and arrive at the CUSA Tournament without having to play the same schedule.

WKU has the talent (highest two rated players, including 5-star center Charles Bassey) to win the league’s automatic bid, but that talent has not gelled. Teams can gain confidence entering conference tournament play by mopping up against mediocre competition, so I expect the eventual conference champion to come from off the pace due to the new scheduling experiment.

Other middle of the pack teams that should compete for the lone bid are Marshall (5-3/12-9), Lousiana Tech (5-4/15-7), and Florida International (4-4/13-8)

 

Horizon League

Northern Kentucky (8-1/18-4) has the talent and coaching to pull off a first round NCAA Tournament shocker. The Norse have not been a Division 1 program for very long, after being a division two power for years. Coach John Brannen has his team prepared to play hard night after night, and he could be in line for promotion to a big program with a good showing in March. In these times, seldom do you see a team that can pass the ball as well as great teams from the past like North Carolina under Dean Smith and Indiana under Bob Knight. NKU is one of the few remaining teams that know how to move the ball rather than dribble for 15 seconds of fake offense. If the Norse can get a little more rebounding power, they have the tools to be a dangerous 14-seed against a 3-seed that overlooks them.

 

Ivy League

As per usual, this league brings up the rear in playing its conference schedule. Here we are at the end of January, and the eight Ivy teams have played two conference games each. It is too early to get a grip on this race, because last place Penn (0-2/12-6) has played rival Princeton (2-0/10-5) in both conference games, losing two close games. At the same time, the Quakers own the Big Five this year with wins over Villanova, La Salle, St. Joe’s, and Temple. They also own a blowout win over Miami of Florida.
Princeton won at Arizona State, but they also lost at Duke by 51 points. With four consecutive conference road games coming up, expect the Tigers to be no better than 4-2 in a couple weeks.
Yale (2-0/12-3) swept travel partner Brown (0-2/12-6) in two close games. The Bulldogs have the most balanced scoring in the East with five players scoring double figures per game and two more averaging better than eight per game. Yale’s big liability is there inability to hold onto the ball. The Bulldogs turn the ball over too many times, and that will keep them from advancing if they win the Ivy League Tournament.

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

The MAAC has been mired near the bottom of the conferences for many years, and this league will most likely produce a 16-seed in this year’s tournament with a decent chance that said qualifier will be forced to play a First Four game in Dayton. The problem with the MAAC is that the regular season champion has not won the conference tournament since 2010!
That is not good news for the league’s only decent team. Rider (6-1/11-8) won the regular season championship last year with a similar strong offensive efficiency, but the Broncos laid an egg agaist 9th seed Saint Peter’s in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament with a 30% shooting effort.
In recent years, the 4-seed has won more conference tournament titles with around 11 or 12 conference wins. This year, that could be Siena (4-3/9-11), Iona (5-3/7-12), or Canisius (5-2/8-11). If any of these three win the bid, it’s Dayton here they come.

 

Mid-American Conference

The MAC has a chance to move to a two-bid conference two different ways. Buffalo (6-1/18-2) is going to the Dance unless the Bulls totally collapse, so if another team wins the always competitive conference tournament, there definitely will be two MAC teams in the Field of 68. If Buffalo wins both the regular season and conference tournament, there is a chance that Toledo (4-3/16-4) or Bowling Green (6-1/14-6) could sneak in as an at-large team if there are no upsets in the Power Conference tournaments.
Northern Illinois (4-3/11-9) was the team that knocked off Buffalo, which is a reason why the MAC Tournament every year is exciting with a lot of plot twists. The regular season division champions always have a rough going in Cleveland.

 

Mideastern Athletic Conference

The MEAC owns three of the five 15-seed NCAA Tournament victories over 2-seeds, but the champion in recent years has not only been placed on the 16-seed line, they have had to play a First Four game in Dayton.
This year, Norfolk State (7-0/12-10) (Beat 2-seed Missouri in 2012 Dance) and North Carolina A&T (6-0/11-9) lead the pack and figure to contend for that spot in Dayton. The two co-leaders use different methods to win, and if they should meet in the MEAC Championship Game, it will be one not to miss. Norfolk State has the inside punch and rebounding ability, but the Spartans sometimes have a difficult time taking care of the ball. NC A&T has some liabilities in the paint, but the Aggies can guard the perimeter and know how to take care of the ball.

 

Missouri Valley Conference

Arch Madness is always fun in Saint Louis every year, and this year should be one of the better in recent years. Loyola of Chicago (6-2/13-8) became the nation’s darling last year in their run to the Final Four, and the Ramblers lead the way again this season, but this team is not clicking like last year’s team. Drake (5-3/16-5) also has a Final Four team in its past, which by the way came the closest to beating a Kareem Abdul Jabbar-led UCLA team.
This Valley has balance, and the next four teams after the two above have enough talent to get hot for three days and steal the lone bid. Keep an eye on Missouri State (4-4/10-11). Coach Dana Ford was a Gregg Marshall assistant at Wichita State, when the Shockers owned the Valley, and in the last week, the Bears looked just like one of those Wichita teams in blowout victories over Loyola and Bradley. MSU outscored the two victims 125-72. They out-shot Loyola 63%-37%, and they held the Ramblers to an incredible eight rebounds for the game!

 

Northeast Conference

Short of some other low major conferences sending 20-loss teams to the Big Dance, the champion of the NEC is doomed to play a First Four game in Dayton. There isn’t a particularly strong team in the league this year.
Robert Morris (7-1/12-9) is one team that has won a game in Dayton before losing big as a 16-seed in the next game. St. Francis of Brooklyn (5-3/13-8) has never been in the NCAA Tournament. There isn’t another league team with the talent to win a game in Dayton this year.

 

Ohio Valley Conference

Like its first cousin, the Atlantic Sun Conference, the OVC has multiple teams capable of winning in the NCAA Tournament. There are actually four talented teams this year, as well as a potential top three draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Murray State (7-1/16-3) has been sort of like the Kentucky of the OVC. The Racers have won the conference championship under nine different head coaches, one of them being current head man Matt McMahon. Led by superstar Ja Morant, the Racers have competed on the road against good SEC teams. Morant might be the best and toughest point guard in the nation. He averages 24 points and 10.5 assists per game, and he does it without taking ill-advised shots. He does tend to make some bad decisions passing the ball, but he is tough as nails. Against top rival Belmont (6-2/15-4), he played 37 minutes, 35 of them with a sprained ankle.
Speaking of Belmont, the Bruins hit a rough spot for a week, but they have rebounded to win by double digits at Murray. Coach Rick Byrd’s teams always pass and shoot brilliantly, but in recent years, he has been able to bring in and train big guys to compete against the power conference teams inside the paint.
Jacksonville State (7-1/15-6) owns both of the wins over Belmont, and former Western Kentucky coach Ray Harper has taken three teams to the NCAA Tournament in his previous seven years as a Division 1 coach. The Gamecocks know how to play tough man-to-man defense, and teams like JSU tend to play their best in conference tournament play.
Don’t overlook Austin Peay (6-2/14-7). The Governors can fill it up from outside, and a hot streak in March could send this team to its first NCAA Tournament berth in four years. Coach Matt Figgers comes from the Frank Martin coaching tree, and Martin’s teams always peak at the right time. If this APSU team peaks in March, they are just talented enough to win the conference tournament.

 

Patriot League

It’s a down year in the Patriot League this season, but there could be something exciting that comes from the lack of having that one rather good team. Army (6-2/11-10) is tied for first with Lehigh (6-2/13-6) and perennial champion Bucknell (6-2/12-8). The Black Knights have never appeared in the NCAA Tournament, even when Bob Knight or Mike Krzyzewski coached the Academy. In 29 years in the Patriot League, Army has finished with a winning conference record just one time, so if Coach Jimmy Allen can guide his roster of 20 players (yes, you read that correctly) to the Big Dance this year, it will be quite a milestone. Army’s two conference losses were by one and two points, and in their current four-game winning streak, they have outscore their conference rivals by 11.5 points per game.

 

Southern Conference

The Socon has four teams this year strong enough to do damage in the NCAA Tournament, possibly even contend for a Sweet 16 berth. The league will most likely get just one bid, but there could be a second team that sneaks into the Dance. The problem is that with four really good teams, the second best team is going to lose too many games, or all four teams will see their won-loss records affected by the parity.
Wofford (9-0/17-4) has been to four NCAA Tournaments during Coach Mike Young’s tenure, with the Terriers coming close twice against power conference teams. This is Young’s best team in Spartanburg, and the Terriers haven’t lost since Christmas. In their eight-game winning streak, Wofford has a scoring margin of 84-66. Three of their four losses were to top 25 teams.
UNC-Greensboro (8-1/19-3) and East Tennessee State (7-2/17-5) might be better NCAA Tournament representatives than Wofford due to unique playing styles and the makeup of their rosters. UNCG’s one conference loss was a devastating one, as Wofford beat them by 29 points. On the other hand, the Spartans played SEC powers Kentucky and LSU rather closely before losing.
ETSU has won nine of their last 10 games, and the Buccaneers still have a home game with Wofford. Coach Steve Forbes took the 2016 Bucs to the NCAA Tournament after losing to UNCG and Wofford in the regular season, so don’t discount the chance that the Bucs can repeat the feat in 2019.
As good as these three teams are, one other team actually has a top 25 win this year. Furman (5-4/16-5) won at Villanova and began the season with a 12-0 record. They are just 4-5 in their last nine games, including losses to the other three top teams.

 

Southland Conference

This league has fallen back near the bottom of the conference pack the last couple of years, and unless there are some really bad teams pulling off upsets to get to the Big Dance, the league’s qualifier will most likely be placed in Dayton in the First Four.
Sam Houston State (7-0/12-8) has emerged from the shadows of Abilene Christian (6-2/17-4) to take command of the conference race, but the Bearkats have road games to play against the top contenders and could relinquish their game and a half lead over ACU.

 

Southwestern Athletic Conference

In recent years, this has been the lowest ranked conference in Division 1, but this league has a storied history with teams that have outperformed their expectations. Almost every team must play “paycheck” road games in November and December to fund their programs, so usually every single team begins conference play with a winning percentage under 30%.
Prairie View (7-0/9-11) played its first 12 games on the road and began the season 1-11. The Panthers have since won eight games in a row by better than 10 points per game. Alabama State (6-1/8-10) played two home games early, but they were against two non-scholarship Division 3 teams. The Hornets will get a chance to sting Prairie View on the Panthers’ home floor a week from tonight.
Texas Southern (4-3/9-11) has a history of getting hot at the right time and winning the SWAC Tournament. The Tigers might be the potential most competitive league team in the NCAA Tournament, as they own a win at Baylor, at Oregon, and at Georgia, as well as competitive losses at Iowa State and Arizona State. Coach Johnny Jones has taken LSU and North Texas to past NCAA Tournaments.

 

Summit League

South Dakota State (7-1/17-6) has become one of those teams that the nation knows about because they seem to win their conference every year. The Jackrabbits have won five of the last seven conference tournaments, but they have yet to put a mark on the left side of the won-loss ledger once they arrived at the Dance. They have come close in the first round against two Big Ten teams in recent years, and this year might give SDSU a third try against a Michigan, Michigan State, or Purdue as a 15-seed against a 2-seed.
SDSU’s chief rivals this year are Omaha (6-2/12-9) and Purdue Fort Wayne (5-3/13-10). Both teams have the potential to run off 100 points on a given night, but neither has the defense to win three games in three days, unless SDSU falters, and their path to the automatic bid comes against weak opponents.

 

Sun Belt Conference

This may be the most balanced league in college basketball as seven teams are not that different from each other. Georgia State (6-2/15-6) and Texas State (6-2/17-4) lead the rest of the pack, but neither team is strong enough to dominate the rest of the league.
Texas-Arlington (5-3/9-12), Georgia Southern (5-3/13-8), UL-Monroe (4-3/11-8), Louisiana (4-3/13-7), and Coastal Carolina (4-3/10-9) could just as easily get hot and win the SBC Tournament, but whoever wins is likely to quickly exit as a 14 or 15-seed.
Georgia State has won the automatic bid two of the last four seasons, and Coach Ron Hunter has the one of the league’s two most recent NCAA Tournament victories, knocking off 3-seed Baylor in 2015. Texas State has the best defense of the top contenders, but the Bobcats have the weakest offense of the contenders.

Georgia Southern Coach Mark Byington comes from the Bobby Cremins coaching tree, which makes him a branch of the Frank McGuire tree. The Eagles can pick teams apart with steal after steal and get out and run in transition. Many times, teams like this begin to gel in February and early March, so watch out for Georgia Southern come SBC Tournament time. The only possible pitfall is that sometimes teams like this get to March very fatigued.

 

Western Athletic Conference

In recent years, New Mexico State (5-1/16-4) has enjoyed a dynasty in the WAC with NCAA Tournament berths six out of the last seven seasons and eight in the last dozen years. NMSU has done this with four different head coaches, but the best of the quartet might be current head man Chris Jans. The Aggies could have a team capable of breaking through in the NCAA Tournament this year, as they scared the daylights out of Kansas, leading the Jayhawks into the second half.
NMSU will not be handed the conference championship of tournament championship, as there are two or three other teams that can knock them off. In recent years, Grand Canyon (6-1/13-7) has been the Aggies’ chief nemesis. Former NBA Mr. Hustle Dan Majerle has built GCU in his own image, and the Antelopes “hit the dirt” as often as Vince Coleman and Maury Wills used to do on the diamond. Teams that don’t hustle pay the price against the Antelopes, and now Majerle has enough talent to get to the Big Dance.

The team that has emerged as the surprise leader in the league is Cal State Bakersfield (6-1/14-6). Coach Rod Barnes has experience taking teams picked to finish in the middle of the pack to the conference penthouse in the past. He won an SEC championship at Ole Miss and took three Rebel teams to the NCAA Tournament. He has already upset New Mexico State in the WAC Championship Game to earn a bid at Bakersfield.

March 14, 2011

2011 PiRate NCAA Basketball Tournament Preview

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:01 pm

1. Which teams meet the upper range criteria in every category?  That means they outscored their opponents by eight or more per game; their field goal percentage was greater than 7.5% better than their opponents; they outrebounded their opponents by five or more per game; they forced at least three more turnovers per game than they committed; and they stole the ball 7.5 or more times per game.

 

ANSWER—No teams this year meet all the perfect criteria described above.  Six teams come close to meeting the perfect criteria, but all fall short in at least one statistic.  This means there is no clear-cut favorite—only six teams that most closely resemble the great champions of the past.  Of the six, three come from power conferences.  These three are Kansas, Ohio State, and Syracuse.

 

Kansas fails to meet the turnover margin requirement, but the Jayhawks surpass all the other qualifications.  Ohio State comes up a tad bit short in field goal percentage margin, rebounding margin, and steals per game, but just misses in all three.  Syracuse misses in rebounding and turnover margin, but they Orangemen do not miss by much. 

 

2. Which teams can be immediately eliminated due to a negative R+T rating?  Which teams have an incredibly low R+T Rating (<2.0)?

 

ANSWER—Three teams can immediately be eliminated due to negative R+T Ratings.  It comes as no surprise that Alabama State and Texas-San Antonio, two teams facing off in the First Round in Dayton, have negative R+T ratings.  The third team is Michigan.  The Wolverines were outrebounded by 1.9 boards per game, and they only had a +1.4 turnover margin with just 4.7 steals per game.

 

Five other teams finished with R+T ratings less than 2.0.  This usually means one and done for these teams, unless they have outstanding FG% margins or cupcake opponents with worse criteria numbers.  Those five teams are: Penn State, Richmond, St. Peter’s, UCLA, and UCSB.

 

3. Which teams are capable of winning it all?

 

ANSWER—We separate the contenders from the pretenders by looking at the total PiRate Criteria score and then looking to see if the high criteria scoring teams receive merit on every individual statistic.

 

Last year, Duke was head and heels better than the other 64 teams.  The Blue Devils had the highest score overall, and they satisfactorily rated in every PiRate category.

 

No teams appear to be as strong this year as the Blue Devils were last year, but nine teams meet most of the minimum requirements to be considered Final Four contenders this year.

 

It should come as no surprise that the top two teams, Ohio State and Kansas, rank at the top in the Criteria.  Kansas actually has the highest score of the 68 teams, a score of 23.  The Jayhawks outscored their opposition by 17.2 points, shot 11.7% better from the field than their opponents, and outrebounded their opponents by 7.8 boards per game.  These stats are worthy of a powerhouse.  However, KU enjoyed just a 0.9 turnover margin and stole the ball 7.9 times per game, giving the Jayhawks an R+T Rating of 9.5.  We tend to look for teams with an R+T Rating in excess of 10, so KU is not a great favorite to go all the way. 

 

Ohio State’s total Criteria score is 21, good for second best.  However, the Buckeyes enjoy an R+T Rating of 13.2, which is a number we really like in a Final Four contender.  This number correlates to 13 extra scoring opportunities that their opposition does not receive.  OSU outscores their opponents by 17.3 points per game, shot 6.9% better from the field than they allows, outrebounded their opponents by 4.9 per game, had a turnover margin of +4.8, and stole the ball 7.2 times per game. 

 

San Diego State comes in third with 19 total criteria points.  BYU, Pittsburgh, and Texas come in next with 18 points; the Panthers have an R+T rating above 10.  The other three teams with PiRate Criteria scores showing themselves to be strong contenders for a Final Four berth are Syracuse, Purdue, and Duke

 

Florida, North Carolina, and UNLV are actually almost in a statistical tie with Duke, meaning those three are dark horse candidates for the Final Four.

 

Overall, this is the weakest field by far in the six tournaments where we have ranked the teams according to our criteria.  Looking back, this could be the weakest field since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. 

 

North Carolina State, Kansas, and Villanova won national titles in the past with less than stellar numbers.  We do not have all the statistics from those years, so we cannot really calculate criteria numbers for those three champions.  Could this be a season in which one team gets hot for six games and comes from out of the pack to win it all?  It could happen, but we are sticking with this mechanical system and going with its results.  Kansas, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, and Texas appear to be the best PiRate Criteria matches to past Final Four teams, and they are the quartet we officially pick to make it to Houston.  Syracuse becomes the wildcard team that could sneak into the mix.

 

Here is a look at the First Four Round One games and the 32 second round games.  The number in (parentheses) represents the PiRate Bracketnomics criteria number.

 

First Four Round

 

#16 Texas-San Antonio 19-13 (Elim) vs. #16 Alabama State 17-17 (Elim)

At first, we thought this was highly ironic, but upon further review, we consider it sort of a compliment.  These two teams both must be eliminated based on negative R+T ratings.  Of course, one of them must win this game so that they can advance to a 25-point or more loss in the next round.

 

Most of you filling out your brackets do not have to worry about these games in Dayton.  You get to turn in your choices after these games have been played.

 

UTSA has better criteria numbers after you factor out both teams’ R+T numbers. 

 

Prediction: Texas-San Antonio 64  Alabama State 55

 

 

#12 U A B 22-8 (2) vs. #12 Clemson 21-11 (1)

If you have been following the “experts” since the pairings were announced Sunday evening, then you know that these two teams do not belong in the tournament in their opinion.  It is not our mission statement to declare which teams should and should not have been included in the Big Dance, but we will tell you that Harvard and Saint Mary’s enjoyed Criteria scores several points better than these two teams, while Colorado and Virginia Tech had equal numbers to these two.

 

This game should be as close as the criteria scores show.  UAB has a one-point advantage in the criteria, but the Blazers just do not excel in any stage of the game.  Clemson’s strong point is forcing turnovers by way of steals, and that leads to a lot of cheap baskets.  Cheap baskets pay off big time in the NCAA Tournament, so we will take the Tigers in this one.

 

Prediction: Clemson 74  UAB 67

 

#11 Southern Cal 19-14 (-1) vs. #11 Virginia Commonwealth 23-11 (-1)

The winner of this game is going home two days later.  Neither team merits inclusion in the Big Dance this year. 

 

Southern Cal has no apparent weakness according to the PiRate Criteria.  In fact, they have a great resume—for an NIT team.

 

The Trojans outscore their opponents by four points per game, and they outshoot them by 3.3%.  They have a small rebounding margin of 1.2, and they have an even smaller turnover margin of 0.6.  They average six steals per game and have a R+T rating of 2.1.  On top of these modest numbers, their schedule was average.

 

VCU is much in the same boat as USC with two exceptions.  They have a negative turnover margin, but they also average 8.5 steals per game.

 

The only other difference in these teams is their records away from home.  USC won only 41% of their games, while VCU won 60%.

 

This one is quite tough to pick, but we will go with the Trojans due to their superior inside talent.  We expect USC to win the rebounding edge by at least five.

 

Prediction: Southern Cal  65  V C U  60

 

#16 UNC-Asheville 19-13 (-5) vs. #16 Arkansas-Little Rock 19-16 (-13)

Obviously, we have two teams that would not even merit NIT bids had they lost in the championship games of their conference tournaments.  UALR has one of the lowest Criteria Scores in the seven years we have been calculating this data.

 

UNC-Asheville actually has a couple of positive Criteria stats.  Their R+T is 5.5, which had it come against a more difficult schedule, would have made them worthy of becoming a possible team to watch in the Round of 64.

 

We will go with UNCA here, as schedule strength is about the same for both teams.

 

Prediction: UNC-Asheville 69  Arkansas-Little Rock 59

 

 

Second-Round Games

 

East Regional

 

#1 Ohio State 32-2 (21) vs. #16 UTSA (Elim)/Alabama State (Elim)

This game will be over quickly.  There will be no scare, not even for two TV timeouts.  The second highest Criteria score versus one of the teams with an R+T Rating of “Eliminate.”

 

The Buckeyes outscored their opponents by more than 17 points per game.  Their strength of schedule was 13 points better than UTSA and 16 points better than Alabama State. 

 

We will go under the theory that UTSA will be the opponent in this game.  Using our Criteria Rating, Ohio State figures to be 30-40 points better than UTSA.  Coach Thad Matta will definitely empty his bench early in this game, so the Buckeyes may “only win” by 25-30. 

 

Prediction: Ohio State 78  Texas-San Antonio 50

 

#8 George Mason 26-6 (8) vs. #9 Villanova 21-11 (5)

George Mason is the higher seed in this game, so if they win, it cannot really be considered an upset.

 

Villanova was on course to be a four-seed when the Wildcats were 16-5 and contending for the Big East Conference regular season title.  The Wildcats could not compete down low against the more physical teams in their league.

 

George Mason has a higher PiRate Criteria Score, but it is not an insurmountable advantage.  The key stat for this game is the R+T Rating.  For GMU, it is 6.8.  For VU, it is 4.9.  Considering that Villanova played a harder schedule, these numbers basically cancel each other out, thus making this a tossup game.

 

There are two variables to consider here.  George Mason performed much better on the road, and Villanova is banged up a bit.

 

Prediction: George Mason 66  Villanova 62

 

#5 West Virginia 20-11 (6) vs. #12 UAB (2)/Clemson (1)

We believe the Mountaineers will be facing Clemson in this game, but the prediction will hold up if they play UAB. 

 

West Virginia is not as good this season as last season, and the Mountaineers will not advance to the Final Four, or even the Elite Eight.  They are liable to be out by the end of the weekend.  However, they are strong enough to get into the Round of 32. 

 

The Mountaineers best attribute is that they put up decent numbers against one of the toughest schedules in the country.  Of the NCAA Tournament teams, only Georgetown played a tougher schedule.  They will have to limit turnovers, or else this game will be close and go down to the wire.  We believe Coach Bob Huggins will be able to keep the pace at a level he likes and not allow Clemson (or UAB) to force the Mountaineers into enough mistakes to turn the tide.

 

Prediction: West Virginia 69  Clemson 62 (Or UAB 58)

 

#4 Kentucky 25-8 (14) vs. #13 Princeton 25-6 (-2)

Princeton has pulled off the big upset in the past, and they came within a missed jumper at the buzzer of becoming the only #16 seed to beat a #1 seed.  However, that was two decades ago.  The Tigers have not been to the NCAA Tournament in seven years, and that big win over UCLA was 15 years ago. 

 

Kentucky is not the type of team that will allow Princeton’s style of play to affect their style of play.  The Wildcats should actually play better than their norm with fewer mistakes. 

 

We believe that Princeton will actually crumble under relentless man-to-man pressure and turn the ball over enough times in the opening minutes of the game to allow the Wildcats to open a quick double-digit lead.  This group of Cats tends to fiddle around a little once they get a quick double-digit lead and then play uninspired ball until the opponent makes a run.  Then, they go on the attack at the right time and put the game away.

 

Adolph Rupp had a team just like this in 1958.  They were called “The Fiddlin’ Five.”  They were also called National Champions.  We won’t go so far as to put UK into this category, but we will advance the Wildcats into the next round and then into the Sweet 16.

 

Prediction: Kentucky 72  Princeton 59

 

#6 Xavier 24-7 (8) vs. #11 Marquette 20-14 (3)

If you are looking for a tough, hard-fought game with two Midwestern teams, then tune into this game Friday evening.

 

If the Musketeers were a little more competent at forcing turnovers, they could be a dark horse candidate to advance to the Elite Eight.  XU shoots the ball well and plays well on defense when it comes to preventing a lot of easy shots.  They do well on the boards, and against a team that cannot exploit their ball-handling and ball-hawking deficiencies, they will hold their own inside.  The only other possible problem for the Musketeers is a lack of depth, but in the NCAA Tournaments, TV timeouts are longer.  It is hard to wear a team down with such long breaks every four or so minutes.

 

Marquette does not have enough depth to take advantage of Xavier’s lack of depth, so this factor will become a non-factor.  The Golden Eagles got to this tournament due to their ability to put the ball into the basket.  Marquette needs to shoot better than 46% to win, while Xavier is adept at holding teams under 45% as a rule.

 

Prediction: Xavier 71  Marquette 65

 

#3 Syracuse 26-7 (17) vs. #14 Indiana State 20-13 (-4)

Syracuse has been getting very little national exposure since their 18-0 start ended with an 8-7 finish.  The Orangemen are a team to watch in this tournament.  If not for a pedestrian 71% winning percentage away from the Carrier Dome, we would have them as one of the top four teams in this tournament.

 

Coach Jim Boeheim’s team outscores their opposition by 10.3 points per game; they outshoot them by 7.6%, and they outrebound them by 3.6 boards per game.  Their turnover margin is +1.9, and they averaged almost nine steals per game.  Their R+T Rating is 7.6, and their Strength of Schedule is somewhere between above-average and very good.  This is the Criteria Score of a team that will advance to the Sweet 16 and compete for an Elite Eight and Final Four berth.

 

Indiana State needs the return of Larry Bird to win this game.  They are too perimeter-oriented.  The Sycamores do not have the beef down low to contend in the paint, and even though Syracuse plays a 2-3 zone, teams rarely beat the Orangemen by firing up 25 long-range bombs.

 

This one smells like a blowout.

 

Prediction: Syracuse 81  Indiana State 62

 

#7 Washington 23-10 (13) vs. #10 Georgia 21-11 (2)

Washington is one of those teams that can play with anybody in this tournament—when they are playing up to their potential.  The Huskies could also exit in the first round if they play like they did the weekend they went to Oregon and Oregon State.

 

Georgia is much more consistent, but their best effort will not defeat the Huskies’ best effort.

 

Washington lacked the seasoned experience this season, and it showed when they ventured away from Seattle.  The Huskies lost to weaker opponents because they lacked the composure to win on foreign courts.  That changed when they arrived in Los Angeles for the Pac-10 Tournament.  Isaiah Thomas took over command of the team and led them to the tournament title.  This makes UW a scary and dangerous team capable of returning to the Sweet 16.

 

Georgia must really dominate the glass in this game, because we believe they will turn the ball over too many times against UW’s pressure man-to-man defense.  It is our opinion that the Bulldogs will play a little timidly at the start of this game and find themselves in a hole.

 

The Bulldogs had trouble against Alabama’s defense, and Washington is similar but with a much better offense.

 

Prediction: Washington 78  Georgia 70

 

#2 North Carolina 26-7 (15) vs. #15 Long Island 27-5 (-1)

 

Long Island is just the type of team that can forget that their opponent is a dynasty program that chews up and spits out little programs like this.

 

Teams from Brooklyn don’t intimidate easily, especially when they are led by a trio of Texans.  So, LIU will not be intimidated, but will they be talented enough to make a game of this contest?

 

That’s the rub.  They lack the defensive ability to slow down the Tar Heels, while Coach Roy Williams’ team will be able to hold the Blackbirds under their scoring average.  The big problem for LIU will be holding onto the ball, and we could see North Carolina forcing 20 turnovers in this game.  When the Tar Heels force more turnovers than they commit, they are almost unbeatable.  This game could be interesting for a short time, but it will eventually get out of hand.

 

Prediction: North Carolina 88  Long Island 70

 

West Regional

 

#1 Duke 30-4 (15) vs. #16 Hampton 24-8 (-8)

Duke has nothing to worry about here.  This will be like one of their November/December home games where they quickly put the cupcake away with a barrage of power and speed.  You know the type: a 37-point win over Princeton; a 34-point win over Miami of Ohio; a 52-point win over Colgate.

 

Hampton got to the Dance using an aggressive defense and three-point shooting barrage on offense.  Duke will not be affected by the defensive pressure, and they will cut off the open shots from the outside.  It will be a mercy killing, and it will be quick.  Look for the Blue Devils to be up by more than 15 points before the halfway point of the first half.  By the time Coach K empties the bench, the Blue Devils should be up by 25-30 points.

 

Prediction: Duke 81  Hampton 61

 

#8 Michigan 20-13 (Elim) vs. #9 Tennessee 19-14 (10)

Michigan is the highest-rated team that fails to meet our R+T Rating requirement, so the Wolverines are automatically tabbed as a first-round loser.

 

Coach Jim Beilein has been in a similar position before.  He guided a West Virginia team with not-so-flashy Criteria numbers to the Elite Eight, where they forced Louisville to come from 20 points down to rally for the victory.  That WVU team had one of the worst negative rebounding numbers of any team in Elite Eight history, but that team made few mistakes and had a nice turnover margin.

 

This Michigan team was only outrebounded by two a game, but they do not create enough extra possessions with their miniscule turnover margin of 1.4 and their average of just 4.7 steals per game.

 

Tennessee has been up and down, and the Volunteers are not going to make a repeat run to the Elite Eight this year.  However, Coach Bruce Pearl’s troops will control the boards in this game and maybe force more turnovers than they commit.  We figure that Tennessee will have 10 more opportunities to score in this game, and that is too many for the Wolverines to make up with their three-point shooting.

 

Prediction: Tennessee 74  Michigan 69

 

#5 Arizona 27-7 (3) vs. #12 Memphis 25-9 (-1)

Memphis was not going to earn an at-large bid this season had they failed to win the Conference USA Tournament.  They received an ideal first round opponent, and the Tigers actually have a fighting chance to pull off yet another classic #12-seed over #5-seed upset.

 

Arizona needs to pound the ball inside and rely on numerous offensive rebounds to win this game.  Other teams might be able to exploit Memphis’s poor ball-handling skills, but the Wildcats do not have the defensive acumen to take advantage here.

 

Memphis will try to make this an up-tempo game where they can neutralize Arizona’s height advantage inside.  It has a chance of working, but Arizona probably has too much power inside and just enough quickness to stop the Tigers’ transition game.

 

Prediction: Arizona 76  Memphis 69

 

#4 Texas 27-7 (18) vs. #13 Oakland 25-9 (3)

This has become a popular upset pick in the media.  Oakland has generated a lot of positive press, and many “experts” are calling for the upset in this game.  We are not one of them.  Not only do we believe the Longhorns will take care of Oakland with relative ease in this game, we believe Texas is a force to be reckoned with in the next two or three rounds. 

 

Let’s look at Texas’ Criteria Rating.  At 18, the ‘Horns rate as our sixth best team in the tournament.  They have a 13.5 point scoring margin, a 7.1% field goal margin, a 6.6 rebounding margin, and a 1.2 turnover margin.  Their only Achilles Heel is a low amount of steals resulting in a R+T Rating of 8.3.  Had that number been above 10, we would be selecting Coach Rick Barnes’ team for the Final Four.

 

Oakland won this year with strong rebounding and an excellent ability to force their opponents into bad shots.  Center Keith Benson is a future NBA player, but he is not enough to propel the Golden Grizzlies into the next round.

 

Prediction: Texas 77  Oakland 65

 

#6 Cincinnati 25-8 (9) vs. #11 Missouri 23-9 (10)

On paper, this looks like the best game of this round between a team with contrasting styles.

 

Cincinnati is one of the top defensive teams in the tournament.  The Bearcats are tough inside, and they have quality depth to continue playing hard in the paint. 

 

Missouri uses the “40 minutes of Hell” approach that Coach Mike Anderson learned under his mentor Nolan Richardson.  The Tigers press full court and run the fast break as often as they get the chance.  They are perimeter-oriented and can score a lot of points in a hurry.

 

When we try to decide tossup games, we look to the all-important defense and rebounding stats, since that is what wins close games in the Big Dance. 

 

Missouri is vulnerable in both of these crucial areas.  They have given up a lot of cheap baskets this year when teams solved their press.  The Tigers were outrebounded by 1.7 boards per game.

 

Cincinnati owns a +2.7 rebounding margin, and the Bearcats held onto the ball quite competently.  We believe Coach Mick Cronin’s crew will advance.

 

Prediction: Cincinnati 68  Missouri 65

 

#3 Connecticut 26-9 (9) vs. #14 Bucknell 25-8 (-4)

Ask Kansas Coach Bill Self if it is wise to underestimate Bucknell.  The Bison know how to hold onto the ball and work for intelligent shots.  Give them an opening, and they can bury you with a high field goal percentage.

 

Connecticut did the unthinkable by winning five games in five days.  Their defense does not get the merit it deserves, because Kemba Walker gets more attention for his offensive antics.  The Huskies actually held teams under 40% from the field.

 

Coach Jim Calhoun knows how to prepare a team for tournament action.  He will have UConn ready for this game, and the Huskies will not overlook the Bison.

 

Prediction: Connecticut 73  Bucknell 58

 

#7 Temple 25-7 (5) vs. #10 Penn State 19-14 (-1)

Temple’s score must be tempered by the fact that they are a wounded team coming into this tournament.  Two starters suffered injuries late in the season, and one is out for the remainder of the year, while the other may or may not be ready to play.  We must throw out Temple’s score of “5” in the PiRate Criteria, because 40% of the key players that produced that number will either not play or be greatly less effective.

 

Penn State is a lot like Southern Cal in this tournament.  The Nittany Lions have the look of a strong NIT team.  Aside from a so-so record against a strong schedule, they really have little to offer outside of one star player. 

 

We believe this Keystone State rivalry game will be close, and it could come down to the last shot.  Because the Owls are limping, we will go with the Big Ten representative.

 

Prediction: Penn State 59  Temple 56

 

#2 San Diego State 32-2 (19) vs. #15 Northern Colorado 21-10 (-6)

Most of you reading this probably cannot remember Texas Western University, but you may have scene the movie where the Miners were too quick for Kentucky and pulled off the big upset to win the 1966 National Championship.  Maybe some of you remember the Long Beach State 49ers ascension into the top 10 under Jerry Tarkanian and then Lute Olson.  Still more can remember when Tark the Shark moved to UNLV and turned the Runnin’ Rebels into a national power.

 

San Diego State is the next Western team to fit this bill.  The Aztecs are legitimate contenders to advance deep into this tournament.  They have few exploitable weaknesses, and they are the best team West of the Rockies.  Coach Steve Fisher knows how to get teams ready for tournament play, as he has three Final Fours on his resume and one National Championship.

 

SDSU’s PiRate Criteria numbers are flashy.  Their scoring margin is 13.3 points per game.  Their FG% margin is 7.1%.  They outrebound their opposition by almost seven per game, and they force 1.6 more turnovers than they commit.  Their one weak spot is a pedestrian 6.2 steals average.  If they run up against a more powerful team inside, they could have trouble getting enough extra scoring opportunities.

 

Northern Colorado will not be one of those teams that can cause trouble for the Aztecs.  The Bears are a good rebounding team, but their rebounding prowess came against a schedule that rates 10 points weaker than San Diego State’s schedule.

 

Prediction: San Diego State 73  Northern Colorado 51

 

Southwest Regional

#1 Kansas 32-2 (23) vs. #16 Boston U 21-13 (-11)

Kansas is a team on a mission.  The Jayhawks will not allow a repeat of what happened last year, and that extra incentive should be enough to send KU to Houston.

 

Kansas has the top PiRate Criteria Score this year.  They meet the basic requirements that most prior National Champions have met—scoring margin: 17.2; FG% margin: 11.7; Rebounding margin: 7.8; Turnover Margin: 0.9; Steals per game: 7.9; R+T Ratings: 9.5.

 

How do you beat this year’s KU team?  Kansas State and Texas pulled it off by matching up well inside and going head-to-head with them in the paint.

 

Boston U has the second lowest PiRate Criteria score of the 65 teams that have positive R+T Ratings.  The Terriers are way overmatched in this game, and they will have to be glad they just made it here.

 

Prediction: Kansas 90  Boston U 62

 

#8 U N L V 24-8 (15) vs. #9 Illinois 19-13 (1)

If our ratings are worth their salt, then this game should not be all that close.  UNLV may be just the third best team in the Mountain West, but the MWC was better overall this year than the Pac-10.  Third best in the MWC makes the Runnin’ Rebels one of the dozen or so teams capable of making a two weekend run.

 

Coach Lon Kruger has taken two different teams to the Elite Eight (Kansas State and Florida).  His teams play intelligently without being flashy.

 

UNLV went 24-3 against teams not named Brigham Young or San Diego State.  They are not particularly strong on the boards, and this will eventually be their downfall.  The Rebels shoot the ball brilliantly, and they alter enough opponent shots to force a lower field goal percentage.  They also take care of the ball and do not make a lot of floor mistakes.

 

Illinois is an inconsistent, underachieving team.  This can be dangerous for the prognosticator, because it is difficult if not impossible to predict which schizophrenic state will appear for each game.

 

The Illini are not particularly strong on the glass or at taking care of the ball, and that is a recipe for disaster when the opponent is as good as UNLV.  Even if Illinois comes out playing their best basketball, it may not be enough to beat UNLV playing their typical game.

 

Prediction: U N L V  72  Illinois 64

 

#5 Vanderbilt 23-10 (5) vs. #12 Richmond 26-7 (2)

Here is another game getting a lot of attention due to its upset potential.  Historically, the #12 seed produces the a lot of great upsets.

 

This game could go either way.  Both teams have exploitable weaknesses, and it just so happens that both teams’ have the assets capable of exploiting the other’s weaknesses.

 

Let’s start with Vanderbilt.  The Commodores are not particularly strong on the defensive perimeter.  Worthy opponents have been able to beat them off the drive and get a lot of open inside shots.  This weak perimeter defense has also led to frontcourt players having to help, thus leaving open holes near the basket.

 

Richmond’s offense is a modified version of the Princeton Offense.  The Spiders have the talent to get open shots inside and in the five to ten-foot range.

 

Richmond cannot rebound against more physical teams.  The Spiders make up for their rebounding liabilities by seldom throwing the ball away.

 

Vanderbilt has an excellent physical presence inside with three beefy players that can rebound the ball on offense and defense.

 

So, which team gets the edge in our PiRate Ratings?  We always look to defense in rebounding in tossup games.  Vanderbilt holds the rebounding edge, while Richmond holds the defensive edge.  It is basically a wash, so we have to look elsewhere.  While Richmond has been much better away from home, Vanderbilt’s schedule is seven points more difficult.  We’ll go with the power conference team, but not by much

 

Prediction: Vanderbilt 70  Richmond 67

 

#4 Louisville 25-9 (12) vs. #13 Morehead State 24-9 (3)

This should be an interesting game, but in the end the big brothers are going to defeat their little brothers in this battle of two Bluegrass State teams.

 

40 years ago this week, another little brother upset a big brother on their way to a surprise appearance in the Final Four (later vacated).  In 1971, Western Kentucky did not just upset Kentucky, the Hilltoppers ran the Wildcats off the floor.  Can there be a repeat two score later?  No!

 

Coach Rick Pitino’s Cardinals are vulnerable on the boards, and Morehead State has the nation’s best rebounder in the nation in Kenneth Faried.  However, the Eagles do not have enough talent or depth to keep up with Louisville.  They may emerge with a slight rebounding edge in this game, but it will not be enough to make up for all the open shots the Cardinals will get.

 

Louisville is going to run into trouble when they meet up with a team that can rebound and play credible defense.  That would be Kansas in the Sweet 16.  Until then, they have a relatively easy route to the Sweet 16.

 

Prediction: Louisville 78  Morehead State 62

 

#6 Georgetown 21-10 (8) vs. #11 Southern Cal (-1)/Va. Commonwealth (-1)

Last year, we discussed Georgetown’s vulnerabilities and the probability that they would fail to make it past the first weekend.  We expected the Hoyas to fall as a favorite in their second game, but they were a one and done team.

 

This year’s team is not much better than last year’s Hoya team, but they received a much more favorable draw.

 

Coach John Thompson III’s Hoyas once again have a rather low R+T Rating thanks to a turnover margin of -1.9 and a low amount of steals per game.  They will exit from the tournament in the next round unless there is a monumental upset in their pairing.

 

Neither USC nor VCU has the talent to take advantage of Georgetown’s deficiencies.  The three teams combined have a R+T rating below Purdue’s.

 

One additional note: The Hoyas will be a tad bit better than their Criteria Score in the tournament.  Chris Wright suffered a hand fracture in the middle of the schedule, and he is expected to be near 100% for the tournament.  You have to add maybe one point to their Criteria Score, but that is not enough to put them over the top in their second game.

 

Prediction: Georgetown 69  Southern Cal 61 (or VCU 60)

 

#3 Purdue 25-7 (16) vs. #14 St. Peter’s 20-13 (-7)

If only… Purdue fans will never know just how good their team might have been with Robbie Hummel joining JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore playing together.  This would have been the best Boilermaker team since Rick Mount led Purdue to the Championship Game against UCLA in 1969.

 

The Boilermakers no longer have that one glaring weakness that Gene Keady’s teams had and thus prevented Purdue from getting past the second round.  This team does well on the boards like most of those past Purdue teams, but they are particularly strong when it comes to forcing turnovers and taking advantage by converting steals into points.  It is the way many teams go on runs that put opponents out of commission.

 

St. Peter’s just barely avoided being immediately eliminated with a negative R+T Rating.  They squeaked by at 0.1.  It might as well be a negative number, as the Peacocks were outrebounded by 0.4 per game and had a turnover margin of -0.9 against a schedule that was four points below average and seven points weaker than the schedule Purdue faced.

 

Prediction: Purdue 73  St. Peter’s 56

 

#7 Texas A&M 24-8 (8) vs. #10 Florida State 21-10 (2)

The Big 12’s third best team has enough talent to challenge for a Sweet 16 berth.  We’ll leave the next round for another time and talk about this game.

 

The Aggies have no glaring weakness, and they have a few strengths, namely rebounding and defense (which wins games in the NCAA Tournament).  They are much like Kansas Lite.  A&M was not a team of surprises during the regular season.  They beat the teams they were supposed to beat and failed to upset the teams better than they were.  We expect the trend to continue.  They are better than the Seminoles.

 

Florida State does not take good care of the ball, and that costs them in confrontations against good opponents.  The Seminoles do not play particularly well away from Tallahassee, and they should be making a quick exit from the Dance.

 

Prediction: Texas A&M 73  Florida State 65

 

#2 Notre Dame 26-6 (11) vs. #15 Akron 23-12 (-9)

This is the best Irish team since Digger Phelps led Notre Dame in the late 1980’s.  Throw in the fact that this team has a chip on its shoulders following a first round exit last year, and the Irish have to be considered the Sweet 16 favorite in their four-team pairing this weekend.

 

The Irish finished the regular season with a scoring margin of 10.4 points per game.  Down the stretch, they went 7-2 against teams in this tournament.  The Selection Committee placed Notre Dame in a bracket that should provide a very memorable Sweet 16 contest against one of their most bitter arch-rivals.

 

Akron has a big seven-foot center, but the Zips do not rebound the ball all that well.  Zeke Marshall, the aforementioned big man, concentrates his efforts on blocking shots, and he frequently is not in position to rebound the ball.  So, the blocked shot frequently turns into a made basket off an offensive rebound.  The Zips did not fare well on the road this year, and with a considerably weaker schedule than average, this does not bode well.

 

Prediction:  Notre Dame 81  Akron 57

 

Southeast Regional

#1 Pittsburgh 27-5 (18) vs. #16 UNC-Asheville (-5)/U A L R (-13)

One of us here at the PiRate Ratings might be dating himself, but he sees a lot of the 1962 Cincinnati Bearcats in this year’s Pitt team.  The Panthers have a dominating inside power game that will pulverize any finesse team that cannot hit 10 three-pointers.  Neither UNCA nor UALR has a remote chance to make this game a close contest.

 

Pitt outscored their opposition by 13.1 points per game.  This stat looks even better when you factor in that they compiled this gaudy stat playing in a league that produced 11 NCAA Tournament teams.  The Panthers outshot their opponents by 7.6%, and they totally dominated the glass with a 10.4 rebounding advantage.  If you are thinking the way to beat them is to play a packed in zone, think again.  Ashton Gibbs can bury you from outside with his near 50% three-point accuracy, and Brad Wannamaker can still get the ball inside to one of the bruisers waiting to punish you with a thunder dunk.

 

Only a negative turnover margin prevents the Panthers from being there with Kansas as a co-favorite for winning all the marbles.

 

Pitt’s cupcake opponent will have to be happy with winning their First Four game, because they will be humiliated in this game.

 

Prediction: Pittsburgh 78  UNC-Asheville 54 (or UALR 48)

 

#8 Butler 23-9 (7) vs. #9 Old Dominion 27-6 (10)

This is the second best matchup in this round, and the winner will put a scare into Pittsburgh in the next round and even have a decent shot at the upset.

 

Butler is now the hunted rather than the hunter.  The Bulldogs will not sneak up on anybody this year.  More importantly, they are not as talented as they were last year.  The Bulldogs fared much better on the road last year than this season.  However, down the stretch, Butler started to look like a team proficient enough to get past the first weekend once again.

 

Old Dominion has the talent to advance past the first weekend as well.  The Monarchs are a miniature version of Pittsburgh, the team they would face in the next round should they win this game.

 

ODU is the nation’s number one rebounding team with a +12.2 margin.  The Monarchs’ schedule was not outstanding, but it was on par with several teams from the so-called power conferences, and they finished 6-4 against teams in this tournament.  This is a better ODU team than the one that upset Notre Dame in the first round last year, and this game should be one you do not want to miss.

 

 

Prediction: Old Dominion 72  Butler 70 in overtime

 

#5 Kansas State 22-10 (9) vs. #12 Utah State 30-3 (14)

This is the one game where a number 12 seed winning would not really be all that much of an upset.  Utah State should have been a top eight seed in this tournament.  If we were conspiracy buffs, we would say that the Selection Committee searched for a team that the Aggies do not match up with all that well and placed them in this spot to verify their actions.

 

Kansas State does not take care of the ball well enough to advance very deep into this tournament, but their first game opponent cannot take advantage of that weakness.

 

Utah State has dominated their opponents by forcing them to play a patient half-court game with very little scoring in transition.  They prefer to work the ball patiently for a good shot and then force opponents to take a low-percentage shot.  Thus, the Aggies outrebound their opponents, but they do so by forcing more bad shots than by out-leaping their opponents.

 

Kansas State has the talent to force Utah State to play at a quicker tempo and force them to defend one-on-one.  Jacob Pullen is a poor man’s (and smaller) Derrick Rose.  He can break down most opponents off the dribble, and he should be able to force USU to resort to some type of combination defense to keep him from going wild.

 

What scares us most about Utah State is that they had two opportunities to show they are deserving of their lofty ranking.  They lost to BYU and to Georgetown, and they never really threatened to pull of the upset in either game.

 

This is one game where we are going to go against our own chalk.  Kansas State’s schedule was seven points tougher, and the Wildcats can exploit the Aggies’ weaknesses.

 

Prediction: Kansas State 70  Utah State 63

 

#4 Wisconsin 23-8 (7) vs. #13 Belmont 30-4 (9)

This game has become the most-picked upset special around the nation.  Belmont is being compared with Butler of last year.  The Bruins are lofty of all this attention-gathering admiration, but Wisconsin is not the Washington Generals.

 

Belmont has the highest scoring margin in the nation at 18.4 points per game.  The Bruins outshot their opposition by 5.7% per game, and they took a lot of three-point attempts.  They outrebounded their opponents by 3.9, and they had an eye-popping 5.3 turnover margin.  They share the top steals per game average in this tournament with Missouri at 9.7, and their R+T Rating is the best in the tournament at 16.2 (three better than number two Ohio State).

 

Of course, these statistics were compiled against inferior competition.  Belmont’s schedule strength is nine points below the national average and a dozen below their first round opponent.  Against the opponents that made it to this tournament, they were 1-3.  They beat Alabama State by 13.  The three losses were on the road to in-state rivals Tennessee (twice) and Vanderbilt, but they led in the second half of those games.

 

The last time Belmont was in the Big Dance, the Bruins came within a missed last shot of sending Duke home.   

 

Wisconsin was not expected to be this good in 2011.  This was supposed to be a minor rebuilding season for the Badgers.  The Badgers usually run Coach Bo Ryan’s Swing Offense with great efficiency, rarely turning the ball over.  They outscored their opponents by 9.9 points per game, and they outshot they outrebounded them by 3.8 boards per game. 

 

The Badgers have been a hot and cold team this year.  When they have been hot, they have been nearly unbeatable, because Ryan’s teams always limit possessions.  When they have been cold, they have been easily beatable, because Ryan’s teams always limit possessions.  They finished the season as cold as ice, so the Badgers must be considered a slight underdog in this game.

 

Prediction: Belmont 74  Wisconsin 70

 

#6 St. John’s 21-11 (9) vs. #11 Gonzaga 24-9 (13)

Here is a game where we believe the seedings should be switched.  Gonzaga has been here enough times to be considered a regular in the NCAA Tournament, like Duke, Kansas, Ohio State, and Connecticut.  This makes a baker’s dozen consecutive appearances in the Big Dance for the Bulldogs. 

 

In past years, Gonzaga had a big scorer that could take over games.  Adam Morrison comes to mind.  This year, the Zags are more difficult to prepare for, because they are more team-oriented.  There is not a big star on the roster, but all five starters are capable of taking the team on his shoulders with a hot night.

 

In their nine-game winning streak to close the season, Gonzaga eliminated Saint Mary’s from the Dance party with two victories.  The Bulldogs scoring margin in those nine games was 76-58.  This is a good team playing its best ball of the year, and we expect Coach Mark Few to win yet another NCAA Tournament game.

 

St. John’s comes into the tournament minus one of its stars.  Starting forward D. J. Kennedy went down for the season with a knee injury in the Big East Tournament, and the Red Storm is now suspect in the paint.  Their Criteria Score of nine should be discounted by two to three points.  It is enough to take this contest from tossup status to near-comfortable status for Gonzaga.

 

Prediction: Gonzaga 74  St. John’s 66

 

#3 Brigham Young 30-4 (18) vs. #14 Wofford 21-12 (-1)

So, you didn’t get a chance to see Pete Maravich play at LSU in 1968, 1969, or 1970, eh?  We must admit that nobody will ever be the collegiate equal for Maravich, but Jimmer Fredette may be the closest thing to him.

 

Throw out the floppy socks and floppy Beatles haircut and throw out some of the most unbelievable passes in the history of the game (so unbelievable that Maravich’s teammates frequently could not see them coming), and Fredette is not that far behind Maravich.

 

The sports nation will be turning its eyes to this game just to see if Fredette can make a run at a single game scoring mark.  If we remember correctly, Notre Dame’s Austin Carr set the mark back in 1970 with 61 points against Ohio U in a regional qualifier game.

 

BYU may have been a strong Final Four contender had Brandon Davies not loved his girlfriend so much.  The Cougars averaged 8.7 fewer points per game once Davies was suspended. 

 

Wofford will not be able to take much advantage of Davies’ absence.  The Terriers fared well in all PiRate Criteria categories, but they did not meet even the minimum “numbers to look for” in any category, and their schedule strength was five points below the norm. 

 

Prediction: Brigham Young 75  Wofford 63

 

#7 U C L A 22-10 (-3) vs. #10 Michigan State 19-14 (1)

If only this were a few years ago.  Neither of these historically dominating teams is going to make waves in this year’s tournament, and the winner will be around for just one more game.

 

UCLA would be a national title contender if Kevin Love had stuck around for four years.  Imagine Love as a senior on this team.  Can you say Bill Walton-like numbers?  Alas, the Bruins must get by with a couple of well above-average forwards instead of the best three-man tandem in the nation.

 

The Bruins have the worst turnover margin of any team in this tournament.  At -3.4, UCLA would need to dominate on the boards, and while they usually win that battle, it is anything but dominating.

 

Michigan State’s one asset year in and year out under Coach Tom Izzo has been their rebounding acumen.  For most teams, a +4.3 edge on the boards would be considered outstanding, but in East Lansing, this is considered a down year. 

 

Neither team has done all that well away from their home court this season, and there really is only one stat where one team stands out ahead of the other.  MSU’s schedule was four points tougher than UCLA’s schedule.  That’s our spread for this game.  

 

Prediction: Michigan State 64  UCLA 60

 

#2 Florida 26-7 (15) vs. #15 UC-Santa Barbara 18-13 (-10)

The Gators looked like a potential Final Four team in the last month, at least when they were not playing Kentucky.  UCSB is not Kentucky. 

 

Florida tends to commit too many floor mistakes to win four games in this year’s tournament.  They have enough talent to get through the first weekend, but we do not see the Gators extending their stay after that.

 

UCSB upset Long Beach State to get here, and the Gauchos are one of the weakest teams in the tournament according to our Criteria Score.  With negative rebounding and turnover margins, they just barely escape automatic elimination with a R+T rating of 0.3. 

 

Prediction: Florida 76  U C S B  54

 

 

 

Our Bracket

 

You have seen the 32 teams that we believe will win the second round games.  Here is how we fill out the rest of our bracket.

 

Third Round Winners

Ohio State over George Mason

Kentucky over West Virginia

Syracuse over Xavier

North Carolina over Washington

Duke over Tennessee

Texas over Arizona

Connecticut over Cincinnati

San Diego State over Penn State

Kansas over UNLV

Louisville over Vanderbilt

Purdue over Georgetown

Notre Dame over Texas A&M

Pittsburgh over Old Dominion

Kansas State over Belmont

Gonzaga over Brigham Young

Florida over Michigan State

 

Sweet 16 Winners

Ohio State over Kentucky

Syracuse over North Carolina

Texas over Duke

San Diego State over Connecticut

Kansas over Louisville

Purdue over Notre Dame

Pittsburgh over Kansas State

Florida over Gonzaga

 

Elite 8 Winners

Ohio State over Syracuse

Texas over San Diego State

Kansas over Purdue

Pittsburgh over Florida

 

Semifinal Winners

Ohio State over Texas

Kansas over Pittsburgh

 

National Championship

Kansas over Ohio State

March 9, 2011

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 9 Update

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Three More Tickets Punched

Horizon League Championship

Butler 59  Milwaukee 44

 The Bulldogs held Milwaukee to 30% shooting from the field, and Matt Howard connected on seven of nine shots to pace Butler with 18 points, as the defending National Final runner-up earned another spot in the Big Dance.

 Summit League Championship

Oakland 90  Oral Roberts 76 

The Golden Grizzlies displayed a great offensive show with the aid of numerous first half steals by Drew Valentine and Reggie Hamilton to build a double-digit lead by the break.  After withstanding an early second half run by the Golden Eagles, Oakland pulled away to win the automatic bid.  

Keith Benson topped Oakland with 28 points and 14 rebounds.  Hamilton added 25 with six assists, while Will Hudson recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Sunbelt Conference Championship

U A L R  64  North Texas  63 

The Trojans won their first Sunbelt Championship and earned their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1990.

 

SBC Player of the Year Solomon Bozeman drove from the backcourt to the left side of the top of the key and drained a three-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining to give UALR the decisive points.  Bozeman scored a game-high 20 points. 

North Texas had led by seven points with less than two minutes to go, but the Mean Green wilted under the Trojan pressure defense.  With one last chance to try to win, UNT committed a turnover on the inbounds pass. 

11 Automatic Qualifiers To Date

Team Conference Record
Arkansas-Little Rock Sunbelt  19-16
Belmont  Atlantic South 30-4
Butler  Horizon 23-9
Gonzaga West Coast 24-9
Indiana State  Missouri Valley  20-13
Morehead State  Ohio Valley  24-9
Oakland  Summit  25-9
Old Dominion Colonial 27-6
St. Peter’s Metro Atlantic 20-13
UNC-Asheville Big South 19-13
Wofford Southern 21-12

 

Two Tickets To Be Punched Tonight

Big Sky Tournament Championship @ 9PM ET On ESPN2

#2 Montana (21-9) at #1 Northern Colorado (20-10)

 

Semifinal Round

Montana 57  Weber State 40

Northern Colorado 73  Northern Arizona 70

 

These two split their regular season series with Northern Colorado winning 63-45 in Greeley, and Montana winning 55-42 in Missoula.  Tonight’s game will be played at Butler-Hancock Hall in Greeley, so Northern Colorado will enjoy the home court advantage. 

This game is a great study in contrasts.  Northern Colorado is a quicker team, but Montana is a stronger team.  Northern Colorado has one exceptionally dominant player, while Montana has more, albeit less exceptional, weapons.

 

The Bears’ offense runs through 6-1 senior guard Devon Beitzel.  Beitzel averages a league-best 21 points per game, and he is deadly at the free throw line, where he connects on 91% of his tosses. 

The rest of the team collectively shoots under 41% from the field and commits more turnovers than assists, so if the Grizzlies can stop Beitzel, or at least limit his touches, they have a chance of defending their crown.

 

Montana has the dominant big man in the conference in 6-11/260 senior center Brian Qvale.  If the Grizzlies can keep this game a half-court affair, they stand a great chance of winning with Qvale plugging the middle on defense and controlling the boards at both ends of the court.  Qvale averages 15 points and nine boards a game, and he had a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds in the semifinal round.  Montana likes to limit possessions, so those numbers are even more impressive than they look. 

In the win over UNC, Montana held the Bears to 23.3% shooting, while they shot just 32.6% in the loss at Greeley.

 

It is our opinion that the visiting number two seed will pull off the mild upset over the host numbone seed, but it is not a strong feeling. 

 Northeast Conference Tournament Championship @ 7PM ET On ESPN2

#3 Robert Morris (18-13) at #1 Long Island (26-5)

Semifinal Round

Long Island 69  Central Connecticut 67

Robert Morris 64  Quinnipiac 62

Brooklyn has not been this excited over one of their own sports teams since the Dodgers won the 1955 World Series.  Long Island is one of the most exciting teams in the nation, and their 26-5 record has throngs of Brooklynites cramming into the Wellness, Recreation, and Athletic Center.  The WRAC holds just 2,500 seats, but you can bet that more than that amount will find their way into the game tonight, as they “Pack the WRAC.” 

Those fans will be converging to the corner of Ashland and Dekalb tonight, dressed in all white, to watch what could be a blowout win for their team.   

LIU is on a roll.  The Blackbirds have won 12 games in a row (longest current streak in the nation) and 20 of their previous 21 games.  They average almost 83 points per game.  The Blackbirds have exceptional depth with eight players capable of scoring 15 or more points. 

 

The Blackbirds pose difficult matchups with their roster, as they rely on quick guards and medium-sized forwards with great leaping ability to play at a fast pace.  There is no center on the roster, but the two 6-7 forwards have controlled the boards in most games this year. 

Those forwards are Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere, who team up for 25.4 points and 15.7 rebounds per game.

 5-10 backup guard Jason Brickman plays just 22 minutes per game, but he leads the team with 5.3 assists per game.  When he comes in the game, the pace picks up, and the Blackbirds shoot a lot of threes in transition.

 

Robert Morris is definitely not cannon fodder.  The Colonials are the two-time defending NEC Tournament champions, and they believe they can three peat even on the road in hostile conditions. 

The Colonials have won eight games in a row, relying on a stellar defense that limits possessions and pressures the guards.  They are missing their leading scorer, as 5-9 guard Karon Abraham’s season ended two weeks ago with a torn Achilles Tendon.  On the positive side, Abraham missed RMU’s win at LIU on December 2, as he was serving a multi-game suspension. 

Velton Jones and Russell Johnson will have to shine tonight for the Colonials to pull off the upset.  The duo are the only double figure scorers left, but both shoot less than 39% from the field. 

Without Abraham, RMU shoots just 33.7% from behind the arc, so the only way they can possibly win tonight is to replicate the formula that was successful more than three months ago—control the tempo and prevent LIU from getting off any uncontested three-pointers. 

We believe this game will begin slowly with RMU taking the lead in the early stages.  Somewhere in the first half, LIU will go on one of their patented runs and gain the lead.  Then, a second spurt will give them a commanding lead.  RMU might cut into that lead, but we believe in the end, the Blackbirds will be celebrating at the WRAC.  We do not believe the Brooklynites will be crying “Wait ‘Til Next Year.”  This will be like October of 1955 in the borough.

 

Yesterday’s Other Tournament Results

Atlantic 10 Conference

First Round

LaSalle 75  St. Bonaventure 73  2ot

St. Joseph’s 71  George Washington 59  ot

Rhode Island 70  St. Louis 61

Dayton 78  U Mass 50

 

Big East Conference

First Round

Connecticut 97  DePaul 71

Rutgers 76  Seton Hall 70 ot

South Florida 70  Villanova 69

Marquette 87  Providence 66 

M A C

First Round

Bowling Green 74  Northern Illinois 54

Ohio U 74  Toledo 57

Akron 67  Eastern Michigan 53

Buffalo 64  Central Michigan 50

 

M E A C

First Round

MD-Eastern Shore 87  F A M U 85  2ot

S. C. State 64  Delaware State 59 

Ivy League Playoff Set

Princeton defeated rival Penn 70-58 last night in Philadelphia, forcing a one-game playoff for the Ivy League’s automatic berth.  Princeton (24-6) will take on co-champion Harvard (23-5) Saturday afternoon at 4PM Eastern Time.  The game will be played at Yale University in New Haven, CT, and it can be seen live on ESPN3.com.

Princeton has appeared in all seven Ivy League tiebreaking playoff games in the history of the league.  This is Harvard’s first Ivy League basketball championship of any kind.  The Crimson last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1946. 

There is a chance that the loser of this game could hold a slim chance of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.  Harvard is ranked #35 in the RPI, while Princeton is ranked #49.  Harvard has two wins over top 50 teams as well as three losses.  Their biggest win was at Boston College.  Princeton has just one win against the top 50 and two losses.  For the Ivy to earn two bids, the Tigers have to win Saturday and hope Harvard’s high RPI is enough to earn the second bid. 

Conference Tournaments In Action Today

Big 12 Conference

Tournament Site: Kansas City

1st Round Games

#8 Nebraska (19-11) vs. #9 Oklahoma State (18-12)  12:30 PM ET

#5 Colorado (19-12) vs. #12 Iowa State (16-15)  3 PM ET

#7 Baylor (18-12) vs. #10 Oklahoma (13-17)  7PM ET

#6 Missouri (22-9) vs. #11 Texas Tech (13-18) 9:30 PM ET 

Big East Conference

Tournament Site: New York City

2nd Round Games

#8 Georgetown (21-9) vs. #9 Connecticut (22-9)  12 Noon ET on ESPN

#5 St. John’s (20-10) vs. #13 Rutgers (15-16)  Approx. 2:15 PM ET on ESPN

#7 Cincinnati (24-7) vs. #15 South Florida (10-22)  7 PM ET on ESPN

#6 West Virginia (20-10) vs. #11 Marquette (19-13)  Approx. 9:15 PM ET on ESPN 

Conference USA

Tournament Site: El Paso, TX

1st Round Games

#8 East Carolina (16-14) vs. #9 Central Florida (19-10)  1 PM ET

#5 Southern Miss (21-9) vs. #12 Tulane (13-16)  3:30 PM ET

#6 Marshall (21-10) vs. #11 Houston (12-17)  7:30 PM ET

#7 S M U (17-13) vs. #10 Rice (13-17)  10 PM ET 

M E A C

Tournament Site: Winston-Salem, NC

Note: The MEAC has a unique way of scheduling their tournament.  As a result, one first round game will be played today as well as two quarterfinal round games.  The other two quarterfinal round games will be played Thursday. 

1st Round

#6 Norfolk State () vs. #11 Howard ()  3 PM ET

Quarterfinal Round

#1 Bethune-Cookman (20-11) vs. #9 South Carolina State (10-21)  7 PM ET

#2 Hampton (21-8) vs. #10 Maryland-Eastern Shore (9-21)  9:30 PM ET 

Mountain West Conference

Tournament Site: Las Vegas

1st Round

#8 Wyoming (10-20) vs. #9 T C U (10-21)  5 PM ET 

Pac-10 Conference

Tournament Site: Los Angeles

1st Round

#8 Stanford (15-15) vs. #9 Oregon State (10-19)  9 PM ET on Fox Sports Net

#7 Oregon (14-16) vs. #10 Arizona State (12-18)  11:30 PM ET on Fox Sports Net 

Southland Conference

Tournament Site: Katy, TX (Houston Area)

Quarterfinal Round

#2 Northwestern State (LA) (18-13) vs. #7 Texas-San Antonio (16-13)  1 PM ET

#3 Sam Houston (17-12) vs. #6 Stephen F. Austin (18-10)  3:30 PM ET

#1 McNeese State (19-10) vs. #8 Nicholls State (14-13)  7 PM ET

#4 Texas State (15-15) vs. #5 Southeastern Louisiana (15-13)  9:30 PM ET 

S W A C

Tournament Site: Garland, TX (Dallas-Ft. Worth Area) 

Quarterfinal Round

#2 Jackson State (16-14) vs. #7 Prairie View (10-21)  12:30 PM ET

#1 Texas Southern (18-11) vs. #8 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-23)  9 PM ET

W A C

Tournament Site: Las Vegas

1st Round

#5 Hawaii (18-11) vs. #8 San Jose State (15-14)  3 PM ET

#6 Nevada (12-18) vs. #7 Fresno State (14-16)  5:30 PM ET

March 8, 2011

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 8 Update

 

The Four Newest Dance Invitees

Did you see those conference championship games last night?  Was this the Monday Night Fights or basketball?  There were more cut men and cut women than in your average boxing card.

 

When it is all or nothing for these smaller conferences, you get what we saw last night—teams playing like their lives were on the line.

 

Colonial Athletic Association

Old Dominion 70

Virginia Commonwealth 65

 

Old Dominion 27-6

 

The Monarchs are capable of making a semi-surprise run in the Big Dance.  They lead the nation in rebounding margin, and they can score points in the paint. 

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

St. Peter’s 62

Iona 57

 

St. Peter’s 20-13

 

The Peacocks beat Alabama earlier in the season, and their defense could keep them within striking defense in an opening round game, but we cannot see SPC advancing to the second round.

 

Southern Conference

Wofford 77

College of Charleston 67

 

Wofford 21-12

 

The Terriers finally beat the Cougars (we predicted this yesterday), and they will not roll over and play dead in the first round.  This team returns to the Dance for the second consecutive season, and they will not back down.  They may not advance, but they will not be in awe of their heavily favored first round opponent.

 

West Coast Conference

Gonzaga 75

Saint Mary’s 63

 

Gonzaga 24-9

 

This edition of Zags may not be the most talented in the Coach Mark Few era, but they are playing their best ball at the right time.  It will depend on their bracket, but this team has Sweet 16 potential.

 

Three More Invitations Go Out Tonight

By 11:15 PM Eastern Time tonight, we will know the names of three more NCAA Tournament participants.  Let’s break down these games.

 

Horizon League Championship @ 9PM ET on ESPN

Butler (22-9)  at  Milwaukee (19-12)

 

Butler defeated Cleveland State in the semifinal round Saturday evening, while Milwaukee topped Valparaiso.  During the regular season, Milwaukee swept the Bulldogs, winning 76-52 at home and 86-80 in overtime on the road.  The top-seeded Panthers host this game.

 

Both teams are red hot coming into this title match.  Milwaukee has gone 10-1 in their last 11 games, and the only loss was in the Bracketbuster to Buffalo.  Their defense is what got them here, as they shoot only 43% from the field and 65% at the foul line.

 

Three Panthers average double figures in scoring, led by Anthony Hill.  Hill averages just under 16 points per game, but he broke out with a 24-point, 11-rebound performance in the semifinal game against Valpo.  Kaylon Williams is the X-factor for Panthers.  He can score when needed, rebound with the big men, and run the offense.  He recorded a triple-double earlier in the season against Butler (10 points-10 rebounds-10 assists), and he added a double-double in the second win over the Bulldogs.

 

Butler missed Gordon Hayward even more than most experts predicted.  The Bulldogs played a tough pre-conference schedule and limped into February.  With their backs against the wall, they reeled off eight consecutive victories to get to the title game tonight.

 

Most basketball fans know Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack from last year’s team that made the surprise run to the National Championship Game.  The duo has teamed for 32 points and 6.5 rebounds per game this year.  However, it has been the emergence of 6-11 sophomore center Andrew Smith that has allowed Butler to turn things around and look like a force to be reckoned with once again.  Smith averaged 11 points per game over the second half of the season.  In the eight game winning streak, he has averaged 32 minutes per game and pulled down close to eight rebounds per game.  His 63% field goal percentage has forced defenses to stop him first, giving Howard and Mack more room to get open.  Smith was a non-factor in the two games against Milwaukee, and he is the key to tonight’s game.  If he plays 32 minutes and gets double figure points and eight rebounds, Butler will be cutting down the nets yet again.

 

Summit League Championship @ 9PM ET on ESPN2

Site: Sioux Falls, SD

Oakland (24-9)  vs. Oral Roberts (19-14)

 

If you like high-scoring, fast-paced games, you will definitely clear your schedule to view this one.  Oakland is the second best offensive team in the nation, averaging 86 points per game (92 ppg in their last 10 games).  The Grizzlies connect on close to 50% of their field goal attempts, and they tend to hit spurts where they score 10 points in two minutes.  Oral Roberts averages 81 points per game and has no qualms running with Oakland.

 

Both teams are riding major winning streaks entering tonight’s title game.  Oakland has won 17 of their last 18 games, while the Golden Eagles have won 10 in a row.  In the regular season, Oakland won both high-scoring games, but both were nail-biters that went down to the wire. 

 

Oakland has a tall and short combination that has done a lot of the damage on opponents.  6-11 center Keith Benson is the best player in the league.  Benson averages 17.7 points and 10 rebounds per game.  He showed he can do it against the big schools, as he had 17 points and 12 rebounds in a close loss to Michigan State and 26 points and 10 rebounds in a big win at Tennessee. 

 

5-11 guard Reggie Hamilton is a threat to top 20 points any night.  He is quick and can get open without help from screens.

 

Oral Roberts has a star in its own right.  Dominique Morrison averages just under 20 points per game, and he doesn’t need to heave up 25 shots per game to get those points.  Morrison shoots 51.3% from the field, 40% from behind the three-point line, and 78.4% at the foul line.  He scored 56 points in the two games against Oakland.

 

This should be a great game, and we don’t believe Oakland is that much of a favorite.  ORU has been to the Big Dance four times in the last six years, while Oakland is the defending tournament champion.  We expect the winner to top 90 points in this game, and it is too close to call.  We say Oakland has about a 54% chance and Oral Roberts a 46% chance of winning.

 

Sunbelt Conference Championship @ 7PM ET on ESPN2

Site: Hot Springs, AR

 

North Texas (22-10)  vs. U A L R (18-16)

 

On paper this looks like a mismatch, even though the teams finished one game apart in the regular season.  North Texas finished fourth in the West with an 8-8 league mark, while Little Rock finished fifth at 7-9.

 

North Texas was one of the biggest underachievers this season.  The Mean Green returned four starters from their 2010 conference champion team and were expected to win again this year with the best backcourt and one of the best frontcourts in the league.  Instead, a 3-9 swoon in the middle of the season placed them out of contention for the West crown.  Since that awful slide, UNT has recovered with five consecutive victories.

 

6-5 senior guard Tristan Thompson has led the way for the Mean Green in the tournament, scoring 80 points in the first three games.  He has done a lot of the damage at the foul line, where he is 31-35 in Hot Springs, including an unbelievable 20-20 performance in the win over top-seed Florida Atlantic.  Thompson combines a quick move to the basket with a sweet shot from outside.  Beefy forward George Odufuwa averages 11 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, and UALR has a tough matchup problem against him.

 

The Trojans dropped both regular season games to North Texas, mostly because they could not compete under the basket.  Their chance to win this game will come down to limiting possessions and trying to win 55-50.  They have won three games in the tournament by getting to the foul line and hitting foul shots, while using the clock and taking 30 seconds to shoot on most possessions.  UALR’s big star in this tournament has been senior guard Solomon Bozeman.  Like Thompson, Bozeman has gotten to the free throw line and made the most of his opportunities.  He has connected on 37 of 42 attempts including an eye-popping 19 of 22 against Middle Tennessee last night.

 

We expect a low-possession, low-scoring game.  There may be fewer than 100 field goal attempts tonight.  North Texas has been there before, while UALR has never won the Sunbelt Conference Tournament.  We think that trend will continue, but it wouldn’t surprise us if this game stays relatively close for the entire 40 minutes.  We could see North Texas winning 60-54.

 

The Other Tournaments In Action Today

 

Atlantic 10 Conference

First Round At Higher Seed Home Court

 

#9 Dayton (19-12) at #8 U Mass (15-14)  9PM ET on CBSC

#12 St. Joseph’s (9-21) at #5 George Washington (17-13)  7PM ET on CBSC

#10 LaSalle (14-17) at #7 St. Bonaventure (16-13)  5 PM ET on CBSC

#11 St. Louis (12-18) at #6 Rhode Island (18-12)  7 PM ET no TV

 

Big East Conference

Madison Square Garden in New York City

 

#16 Depaul (7-23) vs. #9 Georgetown (21-9) 12 Noon ET on ESPN2

#13 Rutgers (14-16) vs. #12 Seton Hall (13-17) Approx. 2:15 PM ET on ESPN2

#15 South Florida (9-22) vs. #10 Villanova (21-10) 7PM ET on ESPNU

#14 Providence (15-16) vs. #11 Marquette (18-13) Approx 9:15 ET on ESPNU

 

Big Sky Conference

Semifinal Round At Higher Seed Home Court

#3 Weber State (18-11) at #2 Montana (20-9)

#4 Northern Arizona (19-11) at #1 Northern Colorado (19-10)

 

Mid-American Conference

1st Round At Higher Seed Home Court  All Games At 7PM ET

 

#10 Northern Illinois (9-20) at #7 Bowling Green (13-18)

#11 Eastern Michigan (9-21) at #6 Akron (19-12)

#9 Central Michigan (10-20) at #8 Buffalo (17-12)

#12 Toledo (4-27) at #5 Ohio U (17-14)

 

Mideastern Athletic Conference

Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC

 

#9 South Carolina State (9-21) vs. #8 Delaware State (9-20)  9PM ET

#10 Maryland-Eastern Shore (8-21) vs. #7 Florida A&M (12-19)  6:30 PM ET

 

Note: One more 1st round game Wednesday plus two quarterfinal games

 

 

March 7, 2011

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 7 Update

NCAA Tournament Qualifier #4

Congratulations to the Indiana State Sycamores, the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champions.  ISU defeated Missouri State Sunday by a score of 60-56, giving them eight wins in their last nine games.  This Sycamore team is not to be confused with the 1979 National Finalists with some guy named Larry Bird doing a lot of the scoring, but ISU (20-13) has enough talent to pull off an upset in the first round.  The last time they were in the Big Dance, ISU upset Oklahoma 70-68 in the first round of the 2001 tourney; they lost 85-68 to Gonzaga in the next round.  The Sycamores lost by nine at Notre Dame and by 13 against Purdue, so they can compete against Top 10 teams.

 

Indiana State joins UNC-Asheville, Belmont, and Morehead State as automatic qualifiers in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Four More Teams To Enter The Dance Party Tonight

The field of automatic qualifiers doubles from four to eight tonight.  Let’s take a look at the four conference championships for Monday.

 

Colonial Athletic Association

Virginia Commonwealth (23-10)  vs. Old Dominion (26-6)

7:00 PM EST on ESPN

 

In the semifinal round, VCU upset top-seed George Mason 79-63, while Old Dominion ousted Hofstra 77-69.  Bubble teams will be cheering hard for ODU because if VCU wins, the CAA could send an extra team to the Dance.  George Mason and ODU are virtually assured at-large spots, but VCU will be College Insiders, CBI or NIT-bound if they lose tonight.

 

ODU has won eight games in a row and 12 of 13.  Big forward Frank Hassell has continued to improve and impress down below, and Notre Dame can tell you how well he plays in the postseason; ODU beat the Irish in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.

 

VCU slumped at the end of the regular season, losing four of their final five games (and the one win was in the Bracketbuster) to fall from first to fourth.  The Rams won nine games in a row in the middle of the season, including a road victory over their opponent tonight. 

 

Forward Jamie Skeen will be the key man to watch.  If he can match or beat Hassell point-for-point and rebound-for-rebound, VCU should pull off the victory.  If Hassell wins the battle, then the Monarchs will live up to their preseason billing as best in the league. 

 

If the game comes down to the backcourt, then VCU has the superior tandem there with Bradford Burgess and Joey Rodriguez.  If the battle comes down to the rebounding game, ODU will win and maybe win by 10-20 points.

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

St. Peter’s (19-13)  vs.  Iona (22-10)

7:00 PM EST on ESPN2

 

St. Peter’s pulled off the big upset in this tournament, defeating #1-seed Fairfield 62-48 in yesterday’s semifinal round.  Iona slaughtered Rider 83-59 to earn their spot in the championship game.  The Gaels won their opener by 30 over Siena, so they are the clear-cut favorite tonight.

 

St. Peter’s is an experienced team.  The Peacocks’ top four players are seniors—Wesley Jenkins, Jeron Belin, Nick Leon, and Ryan Bacon.  The quartet averages a combined 45 points a game with all four averaging more than 10 points a game.  Their strongest asset is their defensive ability, and teams have a tough time scoring on SPU.  Unfortunately, the Peacocks barely top 40% shooting from the field and less than 64% at the foul line.  To win tonight, they need to connect on at least 45% of their shots and get some second chance opportunities.

 

Iona has the look of a champion.  The Gaels have won nine games in a row by an average margin of 18.6 points per game.  They swept SPU by 18 and 14 in the regular season.  Star forward Michael Glover has recorded 17 double-doubles, and the only thing that could prevent him from making it 18 tonight would be his early exit from the game due to the game being a blowout.

 

As you can surmise, we think Iona will put this game away with a big run about halfway into the opening half after a five to eight-minute period to calm the nerves.

 

Southern Conference

College of Charleston (24-9)  vs.  Wofford (20-12)

9:00 PM EST on ESPN2

 

Semifinal Scores

College of Charleston 63  Furman 58

Wofford 86  Western Carolina 72

 

The top two teams in the league meet for the third time and Charleston won the first two meetings.  The Cougars won the battle on the boards in both games and in turn took several more shots.  Andrew Goudelock was unstoppable in both games, and Wofford must do something to keep the ball out of his hands tonight and prevent him from scoring his average of 23 points per game to have a chance.

 

The Terriers are the defending SoCon Tournament champions, and they were the overwhelming pick to repeat as champions this year.  They will need a repeat of yesterday’s performance to pull off the upset.  Wofford connected on 54% of their field goals, 50% of their three-point attempts, and 80% at the foul line.  Their big three, Noah Dahlman, Jamar Diggs, and Cameron Rundles, teamed for 52 points and 16 rebounds.  Wofford also has excellent depth with three players capable of coming off the bench and scoring points and pulling down rebounds in massive numbers.

 

Charleston proved to be the better team in the regular season sweep, but we tend to believe this night will belong to Wofford.  The Terriers are playing up to their potential, while the Cougars are not. 

 

West Coast Conference

Saint Mary’s (24-7)  vs. Gonzaga (23-9)

9:00 PM EST on ESPN

 

Semifinal Round

Saint Mary’s 73  Santa Clara 64

Gonzaga 71  San Francisco 67

 

This is the game of the night.  We tend to believe both teams have done enough to punch a ticket to the tournament, but still, this will be a hard-fought rivalry game.

 

The teams split their regular season series, both winning close games on the other’s home court.  If you like offense, then this is the game for you.  Both teams routinely top 80 points per game, and both have enjoyed many nights where they shot in excess of 50% from the field.

 

Gonzaga has won eight games in a row, and the Bulldogs utilize great depth to wear down opponents.  They can go 10-deep with very little drop in talent, as no player averages over 14 points per game, and only one tops six rebounds per game. 

 

SMC relies on a trio of talented players in Mickey McConnell, Rob Jones, and Matthew Dellavedova.  They team up to average 43.3 points per game.  McConnell is one of the best outside shooters in the nation, and he is virtually automatic at the charity stripe.

 

This game is a tossup in the truest since, and we expect it to go down to the final minute for the third time this season.  They could not settle it in 40 minutes the last time they faced off, so this has to be considered a 50-50 game.  We will go with Gonzaga’s 50% chance tonight.

 

Continuing Tournaments

America East Conference

Semifinal Round

Boston U. 55  Hartford 49

Stony Brook 69  Vermont 47

 

Championship Game—Saturday, March 12@ 12 Noon on ESPN2

Stony Brook (15-16) at Boston U (20-13)

 

Northeast Conference

Semifinal Round

Long Island 69  Central Connecticut 67

Robert Morris 64  Quinnipiac 62

 

Championship Game—Wednesday, March 9 @ 7PM on ESPN2

Robert Morris (18-13) at Long Island (26-5)

 

Patriot League

Semifinal Round

Lafayette 73  American 71  2ot

Bucknell 66  Lehigh 64

 

Championship Game—Friday, March 11 @ 4:45 PM on ESPN2

Lafayette (13-18) at Bucknell (24-8)

 

Summit League

Quarterfinal Round

South Dakota State  85  I P F W  75

I U P U I  79  Missouri-KC  55 

 

Semifinal Round—Monday, March 7 @ Sioux Falls, SD

Oakland (23-9)  vs.  South Dakota State (19-11) @ 7:00 PM EST

Oral Roberts (18-14)  vs.  I U P U I (19-13) @ 9:30 PM EST

 

Sunbelt Conference

Quarterfinal Round

Western Kentucky 81  Louisiana-Lafayette 76

North Texas 78  Florida Atlantic 64

Middle Tennessee 73  Florida International 38

U A L R  59  Arkansas State 52

 

Semifinal Round—Monday, March 7 @ Hot Springs, AR

Western Kentucky (16-15)  vs. North Texas (21-10) @ 7:00 PM EST

Middle Tennessee (16-15)  vs.  U A L R (17-16) @ 9:30 PM EST

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Big Sky Conference and Horizon League Tournament Championships are decided, and four more conference tournaments begin.  Check back Tuesday afternoon for more coverage.

March 5, 2011

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 6 Update

Congratulations To Three Champions

Three teams have punched their tickets to the Big Dance.

 

Big South Conference

UNC-Asheville 60  Coastal Carolina 47

 

UNC-Asheville 19-13

 

Atlantic Sun Conference

Belmont 87  North Florida 46

 

Belmont 30-4

 

Ohio Valley Conference

Morehead State 80  Tennessee Tech 73

 

Morehead State 24-9

 

Scores From Other Conference Tournaments

 

America East Conference

Vermont 57  Binghamton 46

Stony Brook 67  Albany 61

Boston U 69  New Hampshire 60

Hartford 66  Maine 63

 

Sunday, March 6 Semifinal Round

Vermont 23-7  vs. Stony Brook 14-16

Boston U. 19-13  vs. Hartford 11-19

 

Big Sky Conference

Weber State 79  Eastern Washington 70

Northern Arizona 65  Montana State 62

 

Tuesday, March 8 Semifinal Round

Montana 20-9  vs. Weber State 18-11

Northern Colorado 19-10  vs. Northern Arizona 19-11

 

Colonial Athletic Association

George Mason 68  Georgia State 45

Virginia Commonwealth 62  Drexel 60

Old Dominion 59  Delaware 50

Hofstra 72  William & Mary 56

 

Sunday, March 6 Semifinal Round

George Mason 26-5  vs.  Virginia Commonwealth 22-10

Old Dominion 25-6  vs. Hofstra 21-10

 

Horizon League

Butler 76  Cleveland State 68

Milwaukee 70  Valparaiso 63

 

Tuesday, March 8 Championship Game

Butler 22-9  vs. Milwaukee 19-12

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Fairfield 55  Marist 31

St. Peter’s 70  Loyola (MD) 60

Rider 79  Canisius 64

Iona 94  Siena 64

 

Sunday, March 6 Semifinal Round

Fairfield 24-6  vs. St. Peter’s 18-13

Rider 23-9  vs. Iona 21-10

 

Missouri Valley Conference

Missouri State 60  Creighton 50

Indiana State 61  Wichita State 54

 

Sunday, March 6 Championship Game

Missouri State 25-7  vs. Indiana State 19-13

 

Southern Conference

Western Carolina 77 UNC-Greensboro 66

Wofford 67  Appalachian State 56

Furman 61  Chattanooga 52

College of Charleston 78  Elon 60

 

Sunday, March 6 Semifinal Round

Western Carolina 18-14  vs. Wofford 19-12

Furman 22-9  vs. College of Charleston 23-9

 

Summit League

Oakland 82  Southern Utah 66

Oral Roberts 72  North Dakota State 65

 

Sunday, March 6 Quarterfinal Round Continues

I P F W  18-11  vs. South Dakota State 18-11

I U P U I  18-13  vs. Missouri-Kansas City 16-13

 

Sunbelt Conference

Western Kentucky 66  Louisiana-Monroe 50

North Texas 83  Troy 69

Florida Int’l 53  Denver 49

U A L R  82  South Alabama 68

 

Sunday, March 6 Quarterfinal Round

Louisiana-Lafayette 14-14  vs. Western Kentucky 15-15

Florida Atlantic 21-9  vs. North Texas 20-10

Middle Tennessee 15-15  vs. Florida Int’l  11-18

Arkansas State 17-14  vs. U A L R  16-16

 

West Coast Conference

Santa Clara 76  Loyola Marymount 68

San Francisco 76  Pepperdine 59

 

Sunday, March 6 Semifinal Round

St. Mary’s 23-7  vs. Santa Clara 19-13

Gonzaga 22-9  vs. San Francisco 17-13

March 4, 2011

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 5 Update 1

Two new conference tournaments begin today (Saturday), but more importantly the first three spots in the Big Dance Card will be filled.

 

All Times EST

Summit League Tournament

Tournament Site: Sioux Falls, SD

Saturday, March 5: Quarterfinal Round

G 1: #1 Oakland vs. #8 Southern Utah  7PM

G 2: #2 Oral Roberts vs. #7 North Dakota State 9:30 PM

 

Sunday, March 6: Quarterfinal Round

G 3 #4 I P F W vs. #5 North Dakota State 7 PM

G 4 #3 I U P U I vs. #6 Missouri-Kansas City 9:30 PM

 

Monday, March 7: Semifinal Round

G 5: G 1 Winner vs. G 3 Winner 7 PM

G 6: G 2 Winner vs. G 4 Winner  9:30 PM

 

Tuesday, March 8: Championship Game at 9PM on ESPN2

G 5 Winner vs. G 6 Winner

 

Hot Team:  Oral Roberts has won eight consecutive games by an average margin of 12.6 points per game.   This includes a key win over IUPUI that clinched the second seed.

 

Oakland enters the tournament riding a five-game winning streak.  The Golden Grizzlies won 15 of their final 16 regular season games.

 

Not Hot:  Missouri-Kansas City lost its last three games, but they were to three of the top four teams in the league.

 

Team Nobody Wants To Play: South Dakota State is only one hour from Sioux Falls, and the Jackrabbits will fill the arena.  Oakland would much rather play four-seed I P F W in the semifinals.  If SDSU wins their quarterfinal game, look for them to give Oakland fits in a semifinal match.

 

Oakland as Favorite:  The Golden Grizzlies finished 17-1 in league play, so they must be considered solid favorites.  Their lone league loss came at IUPUI, and in their 18 conference games they had a +14.2 scoring margin.    

 

Our Pick:  We will stick with the favorite to win here, even though we believe they will struggle to win their semifinal and final game.

 

 

Sunbelt Conference Tournament

Tournament Site: Hot Springs, AR (using Summit Arena and Convention Center Court)

 

Saturday, March 5: Opening Round

G 1: #3E Western Kentucky vs. #6W Louisiana-Monroe  7:45 PM (Convention Center)

G 2: #4W North Texas vs. #5E Troy  7:30 PM (Summit Arena)

G 3: #3W Denver vs. #6E Florida International  9:45 PM   (Summit Arena)

G 4: #4E South Alabama vs. #5W U A L R  10PM (Convention Center)

 

Sunday, March 6: Quarterfinal Round

G 5: G 1 Winner vs. #2W Louisiana-Lafayette  7:30 PM (Summit Arena)

G 6: G 2 Winner vs. #1E Florida Atlantic  7:45 PM (Convention Center)

G 7: G 3 Winner vs. #2E Middle Tennessee  10 PM (Convention Center)

G 8: G 4 Winner vs. #1W Arkansas State  9:45 PM (Summit Arena)

 

Monday, March 7: Semifinal Round (Summit Arena)

G 9: G 5 Winner vs. G 6 Winner  7PM

G10: G 7 Winner vs. G 8 Winner  9:30 PM

 

Tuesday, March 8: Championship Game (Summit Arena)

G11: G 9 Winner vs. G 10 Winner at 7PM on ESPN2

 

Hot Team: Louisiana-Lafayette has won 11 consecutive games, but seven of those wins were by five points or less or in overtime.  The Ragin’ Cajuns defeated both division winners in that stretch

 

Not Hot: Denver dropped from first to third when they lost their last three games and six of their final eight.  The Pioneers had won eight consecutive games in midseason, but they lost their offensive touch down the stretch.

 

Team That Nobody Wants To Play: After starting conference play 0-4, Western Kentucky righted the ship and won eight of their last 12 conference games.  The Hilltoppers greatly underachieved, and with two studs in Steffphon Pettigrew and Sergio Kerusch, WKU can beat anybody in the SBC.

 

Florida Atlantic As Favorite: The Owls started 8-0 in league play before faltering a bit down the stretch.  We do not feel strongly that FAU can win three games in three days.  In fact, we believe they will not even be around for the championship game. 

 

Our Pick: When UL-Lafayette takes on Western Kentucky in the quarterfinal round, we believe the winner of that game will upset FAU in the semifinal round and go on to win the league’s lone bid to the Dance.

 

The First Three Bids Go Out Today

 

The league championship games are on tap for Saturday.  Let’s look at the scores from Friday with the schedule for the three conference championship games.

 

Big South Conference— 4:00 PM on ESPN2

#3 UNC-Asheville (18-13) at #1 Coastal Carolina (28-4)

 

UNCA beat Charleston Southern 72-63 and High Point 62-45.  Coastal Carolina beat Gardner-Webb 83-72 and VMI 89-81

 

Atlantic Sun Conference—6:00 PM on ESPN2

Site: Macon, GA

#1 Belmont (29-4) vs. #6 North Florida (15-18)

 

Belmont defeated Kennesaw State 72-57 and Mercer 80-72.  North Florida defeated Jacksonville 68-64 and East Tennessee 59-55

 

Ohio Valley Conference—8:00 PM on ESPN2

Site: Nashville

#2 Morehead State (23-9) vs. #4 Tennessee Tech (20-11)

 

Morehead State beat Austin Peay 68-49.  Tennessee Tech beat UT-Martin 83-59 and Murray State 64-59.

 

Scores From Other Conference Tournaments

 

Colonial Athletic Association

#9 Georgia State 58  #8 UNC-Wilmington 52

#5 Drexel 75  #12 Towson  69

#7 Delaware 60  #10 Northeastern 58

#11 William & Mary 72  #6 James Madison 68

 

Quarterfinal Round—Saturday

#1 George Mason vs. #9 Georgia State

#4 Virginia Commonwealth vs. #5 Drexel

#2 Old Dominion vs. #7 Delaware

#3 Hofstra vs. #11 William & Mary

 

Horizon League

#3 Cleveland State 73  #6 Wright State 59

#4 Valparaiso 88  #5 Detroit 78

 

Semifinal Round—Saturday

#1 Milwaukee vs. #4 Valparaiso

#2 Butler vs. #3 Cleveland State

 

M A A C

#9 Marist 73  #8 Niagara 61

#7 Siena 68  #10 Manhattan 66 OT

 

Quarterfinal Round—Saturday

#1 Fairfield vs. #9 Marist

#4 St. Peter’s vs. #5 Loyola (MD)

#3 Rider vs. #6 Canisius

#2 Iona vs. #7 Siena

 

Missouri Valley

#1 Missouri State 58  #8 Southern Illinois 56

#5 Creighton 60  #4 Northern Iowa 57

#2 Wichita State 70  #10 Bradley 56

#3 Indiana State 52  #6 Evansville 50

 

Semifinal Round—Saturday

#1 Missouri State vs. #5 Creighton

#2 Wichita State vs. #3 Indiana State

 

Southern Conference

#5N UNC-Greensboro 71  #4S Davidson 64

#3N Appalachian State 65  #6S Georgia Southern 57

#3S Furman 61  #6N Samford 48

#4N Elon 85  #5S Citadel 74

 

Quarterfinal Round—Saturday

#1N Western Carolina vs. #5N UNC-Greensboro

#2S Wofford vs. #3N Appalachian State

#2N Chattanooga vs. #3S Furman

#1S College of Charleston vs. #4N Elon

 

West Coast Conference

#8 Loyola Marymount 72  #5 Portland 68

#6 Pepperdine 84  #7 San Diego 81

 

Quarterfinal Round—Saturday

#4 Santa Clara vs. #8 Loyola Marymount

#3 San Francisco vs. #6 Pepperdine

 

Ivy League Results (Princeton and Harvard)

Harvard 79  Penn 64

Princeton 77  Dartmouth 55

 

Princeton is now 11-1.  Harvard is now 11-2.  The two teams square off in Cambridge tonight.  If Princeton wins, the Tigers clinch the Ivy League title.  If Harvard wins, then Princeton must win at Penn Tuesday night to force a playoff for the Ivy League title.

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