In Search of 65, Week 2

MIDWEST SOUTH WEST EAST
1 Kansas Kentucky Syracuse Villanova
2 Purdue Michigan State Kansas State Duke
3 West Virginia Georgetown Wisconsin Ohio State
4 New Mexico Wake Forest Gonzaga Texas
5 Pittsburgh Texas A&M BYU Temple
6 Maryland Tennessee Vanderbilt Butler
7 Baylor Xavier Georgia Tech Missouri
8 California Marquette Mississippi UNLV
9 Richmond Charlotte Virginia Tech Illinois
10 Northern Iowa Siena Dayton Louisville
11 Florida Florida State South Florida UTEP
12 Saint Mary’s Cornell UAB Old Dominion
13 Utah State Northeastern Charleston Murray State
14 Kent State Coastal Carolina Oakland Sam Houston State
15 Belmont Weber State Pacific Morgan State
16 Arkansas State v. Jackson State Lehigh Vermont Robert Morris

Newbies: Virginia Tech, South Florida, Florida State

Goners: Virginia, Washington, Wichita State

Last Five In: UAB, Old Dominion, Florida State, South Florida, Saint Mary’s

Last Five Out: Clemson, Mississippi State, San Diego State, Connecticut, Rhode Island

  • I said last week that the teams from the ACC would revolve a little bit from week-to-week. This week Virginia Tech replaces its in-state rival (because now the Hokies have a MUCH better chance of getting a first-round bye in the ACC Tourney and can win as many as 11 conference games) with Florida State also hopping in due to losses by other bubble teams. Va. Tech is an interesting case because it can get to 10-6 in the conference and 24-8 overall with its best win being Tuesday night’s home win over Wake. Other than that, the Hokies may not beat another Tournament team.
  • I have USF and SMC as the last two teams in, but don’t expect them to be in the final bracket. They’re really just placeholders right now for Championship Week upsets. Look out especially in the Horizon (Butler tends to lose its conference tournament), the Mountain West (SDSU can sneak up), and the A-10 (URI or St. Louis may steal a bid). It’s doubtful right now that Siena or Northern Iowa could survive a conference tournament loss and still make the field.
  • Northern Iowa, Siena, and Cornell all fall down this week after bad in-conference losses. Cornell’s loss at UPenn eliminates any shot it has at an at-large (because unlike other mid-majors, Cornell would have to lose its league in order to get an at-large, not just be upset in a conference tourney). UNI’s loss at Bradley wasn’t terrible, but it’s one that knocks them out of a favorable first-round matchup. The same is true for Siena after the Saints lost at Niagara; they would have been tough to slip down below an 8 or 9 if they had run the table in the MAAC.
  • Kansas and Kentucky are almost certainly going to be 1-2 in the pecking order on Selection Sunday. They’ve both surged ahead of Syracuse and Villanova (who each lost at home last week) and don’t have as many roadblocks between now and March 14.
  • I still don’t know how high New Mexico and BYU can go. If the Lobos win out (including a road game in Provo and the MWC Tourney), they’d be 31-3 with at least six wins over Tournament teams and a top-10 RPI. Does that mean they can climb to a 2?
  • Kansas State is not the sixth-best team in the country in my opinion. The Wildcats benefit from some procedural stuff here bumping them up from 8 on the S-curve. It’ll be interesting to see who claims the final 2-seed after Duke, Michigan State, and Purdue.
  • My Elite Eight with this bracket: Kansas over Purdue, Michigan State over Kentucky, Syracuse over Dayton (wild!), Villanova over Ohio State
  • Biggest Upsets: Cornell over Texas A&M, South Florida over Vanderbilt, Dayton over K-State and Wisconsin
  • I’d be terrified and intrigued at the same time to see Jon Scheyer take on Missouri’s press in Round 2.
  • Richmond could give Kansas a game, and Marquette could push Kentucky.
  • Vermont would not repeat its upset over Syracuse.
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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John S on February 17, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    You know, I’m sick of people assuming Jon Scheyer isn’t a good point guard simply because he isn’t actually a point guard. He’s not flashy or spectacular, but he doesn’t turn the ball over or make bad decisions, and there is really no evidence he couldn’t handle a press (he wasn’t at the point last year against Clemson). Truth be told, he’s probably the most competent point guard Duke has had since Chris Duhon graduated, which admittedly says way more about Daniel Ewing/Sean Dockery/Greg Paulus than it does about Scheyer.

    Reply

  2. Posted by James Schneider on February 20, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    I don’t know how I feel about about Kansas State. I feel like they’re closer in quality to a typical 4 seed, but for some reason I have confidence in Kansas State(I suppose I’m also high on 4 seeds, I always have at least one in the final four)

    Reply

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