Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:NCAA Tournament
Posted on: March 5, 2010 4:38 pm
 

College Basketball Tourney Bubble Watch: 3-05-10

Written by Chris Canada, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

The first set of conference tourneys started this past Tuesday. Most of the major conferences don't start until March 9-11. Therefore most teams have one game left to impress the committee before starting conference tournament play. Lots of changes since my last update. Remember, there are 65 spots available, comprised of 31 automatic bids to conference champions and 34 at-large bids. Here is a comprehensive look at the major leagues in Division-I (full rankings are current AP poll)...

From the results that follow, I predict that at this point 61 teams are safe, which includes 31 auto-bids and 30 at-large bids. Out of these 61 teams, 30 come from major conferences and 31 from minor ones. March 14th is approaching rapidly, so teams need to bunker down and play hard to make the field of 65. This means that there are FOUR remaining at-large bids that will go to the ''bubble'' teams that I have listed.

If I were to choose from the remaining bubble teams that are listed below, my last four in, in order, would be: St Mary's, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Arizona State. My first four out would be St Louis, Wichita St, Mississippi St, and Rhode Island. My next four out would be San Diego St, Memphis, Mississippi, and Washington. Charlotte, Tulsa, and Illinois St are also on my bubble list (read below).

This ordering is based on where they stand now, and how I predict them to finish down the stretch. These rankings could change dramatically during next week's conference tourneys. Look for my picks for these crucial bubble watch games at the end of each conference's analysis. My picks will be italicized. Also, the difference between ''locks'' and ''should be in'' is that if a team were to lose their remaining 2 games, ''locks'' would still make the tournament regardless, while ''should be in'' would have to be reevaluated. ''Bubble'' means that the team still has work to do.

SEC (4) Championship March 11-14 in Nashville, TN - Projected Champion: Kentucky

Locks: #3 Kentucky (28-2, 13-2), #16 Tennessee (22-7, 10-5), #13 Vanderbilt (23-6, 12-3) 

Should be in: Florida (20-10, 9-6) 

Bubble: #35 Mississippi St (21-9, 9-6), Mississippi (20-9, 8-7) 

Analysis: As always we start off with the SEC, as we should because we represent a Florida Gator site! 
The Gators have now lost two in a row after a big win at home against Tennessee. They had a chance to take down Vandy at home, but couldn't seal the deal in the home finale. Now, will this ruin their chances at an NCAA berth? 
They'll probably lose at Kentucky. But the Gators will play the #5 seed in the West to start the SEC tournament. Here are the scenarios I see for making the tourney: 
  • Win over Kentucky, definitely in
  • Lose to Kentucky, win two+ tourney games, definitely in
  • Lose to Kentucky, win only one tourney game, 75% chance
  • Lose to Kentucky, lose first round of tourney, 10% chance 

Unlike previous years, I think Florida has the resume to push them over the edge. The Gators have some very quality non-conference wins so far. They've beaten the current #11 Michigan State on a neutral court when the Spartans were #2 nationally. They then defeated Rutgers to take home the tournament title. They are also 2-0 against the ACC with wins over FSU in Gainesville and NC State on the road. 

As for their nine losses, they consist of a neutral site loss against current #1 Syracuse and a home loss to current #3 Kentucky where both games were tied late in the second half, a close road loss to current #13 Vandy, a neutral site loss to Richmond (who's an NCAA lock from the tough A-10), one point last second loss at current #16 Tennesse, current #25 Xavier at home, and South Carolina and Georgia on the road. The only really bad loss was to South Alabama, which was probably a letdown after consecutive losses to 'Cuse and Richmond. 

John Calipari has the Kentucky Wildcat program back to it's lofty status of the 90's. They're on a roll right now. It's pretty much a forgone conclusion that they will take the championship. In a related story, I hate Kentucky, but I digress... 

Tennessee knocked off Kentucky last week. That, along with an early season win against Kansas have them in the ''lock'' category. 

Vanderbilt has been solid all year and is also a lock. 

Mississippi St had played themselves to the brink of being off the bubble lately. But a late loss against a shaky Auburn team has really hurt their chances at a bid. They'll need a run in the SEC tournament to prove their worth. 

Ole Miss won both games last week, and beat LSU at home this week. They'll also need a run in the SEC tournament to prove their worth. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): Vanderbilt won at Florida, Kentucky won at Georgia, Arkansas lost at Tennessee, Mississippi State lost at Auburn, LSU lost at Mississippi 

Games this weekend (3/5-3/7): Saturday: Tennessee at Mississippi St 6pm (ESPN), South Carolina at Vanderbilt 2pm (ESPN2), Mississippi at Arkansas 4pm (ESPN 360) 

Sunday: Florida at Kentucky 12pm (CBS) 

ACC (6) Championship March 11-14 in Greensboro, NC - Projected Champion: Duke 

Locks: #4 Duke (25-5, 12-3), #22 Maryland (22-7, 12-3) 

Should be in: Clemson (21-8, 9-6), Florida St (21-8, 9-6), Wake Forest (18-9, 8-7), #34 Virginia Tech (22-7, 9-6) 

Bubble: Georgia Tech (19-10, 7-8) 

Analysis: Unlike last year when there were three teams with a legit shot at winning the NCAA tournament, this year's ACC doesn't have a dominating team. At this point, I think Duke is in the best position to win the conference title. They continue to win year in and year out, which is a testament to the great job Mike Krkhasdf;nlaksdvfski has done over the last 30+ years. 

Maryland knocked off Duke to pull into a tie for the conference lead. They have locked up a berth with their 12 conference wins. 

Clemson, Wake, and FSU all have good enough resumes to get in at this point. 

Virginia Tech got a win against NC State this week. Every win helps at this point in the season. Their 22-7 record is a bit inflated. If they win their season finale at GT, they'll probably assure their berth. 

Georgia Tech is falling fast. They're somewhat of a mystery. Sometimes they look great and sometimes they're flat. I've moved them to the bubble with their late season swoon. The season finale against VT at home will be crucial, else they'd need a great win in the ACC tournament. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): Georgia Tech lost at Clemson, Duke lost at Maryland, Wake Forest lost at Florida State, North Carolina State lost at Virginia Tech 

Games this weekend (3/5-3/7): Saturday: North Carolina at Duke 9pm (ESPN), Maryland at Virginia 1:30pm (ESPN360), Florida St at Miami 12pm (ESPN2), Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech 4pm (ESPN 360) 

Sunday: Clemson at Wake Forest 6pm (FSN) 

Big East (7) Championship March 9-13 in New York, NY - Projected Champion: Syracuse 

Locks: #1 Syracuse (28-2, 15-2), #9 Villanova (24-5, 13-4), #17 Pittsburgh (23-7, 12-5), #19 Georgetown (19-10, 9-8), #10 West Virginia (23-6, 12-5), #30 Marquette (20-9, 11-6) 

Should be in: #38 Louisville (19-11, 10-7) 

Bubble: #39t Notre Dame (20-10, 8-8) 

Analysis: The Big East is definitely the toughest conference to play in, because it seems like you are playing a top-25 team every night. Villanova, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia & Georgetown look to be the teams I see going deep in the tourney. Syracuse is the best team in the country. 

Marquette is a lock after dismantling Louisville this week. 

I think Louisville really lost a lot of steam with this Marquette game. I still think they have a strong enough resume, but another blowout loss at home against #1 Syracuse will not help their chances. 

Notre Dame had a great week last week, taking down Pitt and Georgetown. This week they took care of UConn to solidify their chances at a spot. A win over Marquette would probably secure their bid. 

Cincy lost at home against villanova in a must-win. 

UConn also lost at Notre Dame in a must-win. Both are now off the bubble and must win the conference tourney to make the big dance. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): Georgetown lost at West Virginia, St. John's lost at Syracuse, Villanova won at Cincinnati, Louisville lost at Marquette, Connecticut lost at Notre Dame, Providence lost at Pittsburgh 

Games this weekend (3/5-3/7): Saturday: Syracuse at Louisville 2pm (ESPN), West Virginia at Villanova 12pm (CBS), Rutgers at Pittsburgh 4:30pm (ESPN 360), Cincinnati at Georgetown 12pm (ESPN 360), Notre Dame at Marquette 2pm (ESPN 360) 

Big Ten+1 (5) Championship March 11-14 in Indianapolis, IN - Projected Champion: Michigan St 

Locks: #7 Purdue (25-4, 13-4), #11 Michigan St (23-7, 13-4), #6 Ohio St (24-7, 14-4), #15 Wisconsin (22-7, 12-5) 

Should be in: #32 Illinois (18-12, 10-7) 

Bubble: none 

Analysis: Purdue took control of the conference last week, but with Hummel's injury, they've become third fiddle to Michigan St and Ohio St. I now think that Michigan St will take the title, but two other teams can jump up and grab it. 

Wisconsin is also a lock at this point. 

Illinois lost again this week to Ohio St. They are rapidly approaching the bubble. A loss at home against Wisconsin will throw them right back onto the bubble. 

Minnesota got blown out at Michigan. Their at-large hopes are gone. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): Illinois lost at Ohio State, Minnesota lost at Michigan, Indiana lost at Purdue, Iowa lost at Wisconsin, Penn State lost at Michigan State 

Games this weekend (3/5-3/7): Saturday: Purdue at Penn St 2:30pm 
Sunday: Michigan at Michigan St 4pm (CBS), Wisconsin at Illinois 2pm (ESPN) 

Big 12 (7) Championship March 10-13 in Kansas City, MO - Projected Champion: Kansas 

Locks: #1 Kansas (28-2, 14-1), #26 Texas (23-7, 9-6), #5 Kansas St (24-5, 11-4), #21 Baylor (23-6, 10-5), #31 Missouri (22-8, 10-5), #23 Texas A&M (21-8, 10-5), #29 Oklahoma St (20-9, 8-7) 

Should be in: none 

Bubble: none 

Analysis: Kansas is clearly in the driver's seat for conference supremacy. 
Kansas State has turned themselves into a top ten team, and they're a lock. 

Texas has gone from #1 to out of the top-25 in two months. Pretty crazy. However, they are still a lock for the tourney. 

Baylor and Missouri have been hot all season. Texas A&M are flying high right now and are locks for the tourney as well. 
Okie State got their big win over Kansas last week that clinched a spot in the big dance. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): Oklahoma lost at Texas, Missouri won at Iowa State, Baylor won at Texas Tech, Kansas State lost at Kansas, Oklahoma State lost at Texas A&M 

Games this weekend (3/5-3/7): Saturday: Kansas at Missouri 2pm (CBS), Iowa St at Kansas St 6pm (ESPN 360), Texas at Baylor 4pm (ESPN), Texas A&M at Oklahoma 12pm (ESPN), Nebraska at Oklahoma St 1:30pm (ESPN 360) 

Pac-10 (1) Championship March 11-14 in Los Angeles, CA - Projected Champion: California 

Locks: California (20-9, 12-5) 

Should be in: none 

Bubble: Arizona State (21-9, 11-6), Washington (20-9, 10-7) 

Analysis: With all of the resources available, this conference is pretty damn bad. Is it possible that the Pac-10 can only bring ONE team to the NCAA tourney? This most certainly seems like strong possibility. Not one team in the Pac-10 has registered one vote for the AP top 25 in two months. Absoultely ridiculous. 

California has separated itself as the clear leader, and I think they'd make the tourney if they slipped up in the conference tournament. 

Arizona St and Washington have finally started to separate themselves from the rest of the league, and they are the only other teams that may make the tourney. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): USC lost at Arizona State, Washington won at Oregon 

Games this weekend (3/5-3/7): Saturday: UCLA at Arizona St 4pm (CBS), California at Stanford 6pm (FSN), Washington at Oregon St 8pm 

Other Conferences (31) 

Projected Champions (Locks/Should Be In's): Temple (Atlantic-10+4), UTEP (Conference USA), Butler (Horizon), Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley), New Mexico (Mountain West), Gonzaga (West Coast), Utah St (Western Athletic) 

Projected Champions (must win conference, 18): Stony Brook (America East), Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Coastal Carolina (Big South), UC Santa Barbara (Big West), #39t Old Dominion (Colonial Athletic), #37 Cornell (Ivy League), Siena (MAAC), Akron (Mid-American), Morgan State (MEAC), Quinnipiac (Northeast), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Lehigh (Patriot League), Wofford (Southern), Sam Houston State (Southland), Jackson State (SWAC), Oakland (Summit League), North Texas (Sun Belt) 

Locks (9): #20 Temple (25-5, 13-2, Atlantic 10+4), #25 Xavier (22-7, 13-2, Atlantic 10+4), #27 Richmond (23-7, 12-3, Atlantic 10+4), #24 UTEP (23-5, 14-1, Conference USA), #12 Butler (26-4, 18-0, Horizon League), #28 Northern Iowa (25-4, 15-3, Missouri Valley), #8 New Mexico (28-3, 14-2, Mountain West), #14 BYU (27-4, 12-3, Mountain West), #18 Gonzaga (25-5, 13-2, West Coast), 

Should be in (4): Dayton (19-10, 8-7, Atlantic 10+4), UAB (23-6, 11-4, Conference USA), UNLV (22-7, 10-5, Mountain West), #33 Utah St (24-6, 13-2, Western Athletic) 

Bubble: Charlotte (19-10, 9-6, Atlantic 10+4), Rhode Island (21-7, 9-6, Atlantic 10+4), St Louis (19-10, 10-5, Atlantic 10+4), Memphis (22-8, 12-3, Conference USA), Tulsa (21-9, 10-5, Conference USA), Wichita St (23-8, 12-6, Missouri Valley), Illinois St (21-9, 11-7, Missouri Valley), San Diego St (20-8, 9-5, Mountain West), St Marys (24-5, 11-3, West Coast) 

Analysis: There are many great teams out there that aren't in any of the big six major conferences. I have broken up the projected conference champions by their ability to make the tourney regardless of whether they won their conference title or not. I have determined that 25 different conference champions and 6 at-large spots are safe right now. 

I have broken the champions into two categories: the first will be those from traditionally tough conferences that should have a splash at the tourney, and the second are those in traditionally small conferences. 

The ''locks'' include seven teams currently ranked in the top-25, including Xavier, BYU, Temple, Butler, UTEP, New Mexico, & Gonzaga. 
There are four teams that should be in as of right now. Teams on the bubble are hoping that these teams lose along the way because this is where you usually find your bubble busters year-in and year-out. 

As for the bubble, I have added nine teams for which a limited number of spots remain. 

From the A-10+4, St Louis, Charlotte and Rhode Island have outside chances at a bid. URI dominated Charlotte this week to pull ahead. St Louis had a real shot to take down Temple, but blew their opportunity. Both will have to hope a team above them falls back, as well as win their remaining two games. 

From Conference USA, Memphis and Tulsa is still alive. Memphis is in better shape than Tulsa. Marshall lost this week and are now off the bubble. 

From the Horizon, Butler is the only team that would make the tournament regardless of if they won their conference tornament or not. Bubble teams are praying that Butler wins the tournament to prevent the Horizon from becoming a two team league. 

From the Missouri Valley, Wichita St is a very good team and can easily take one of the spots is MSU or St Mary's falters. Illinois St needs to win and win big soon, and probably make the MVC conference finals. Northern Iowa is the only team that would make the tournament regardless of if they won their conference tornament or not. Bubble teams are praying that Northern Iowa wins the tournament to prevent the MVC from becoming a two team league. 

From the Mountain West, San Diego St is in a similar position to Wichita St. They need to have some conference tourney wins, most likely against New Mexico or BYU. 

From the West Coast, St Marys may be the last team in the big dance as of right now. If they go deep in their conference tournament, they're in. Gonzaga is the only team that would make the tournament regardless of if they won their conference tornament or not. Bubble teams are praying that they win the tournament and St Mary's lose early to prevent the WCC from becoming a two team league. 

From the Western Athletic, New Mexico St and Louisiana Tech lost this week and they're chances are nil. Utah St is the only team that should make the tournament regardless of if they won their conference tornament or not. Bubble teams are praying that they win the tournament to prevent the WAC from becoming a two team league. 

This week's results (3/1-3/4): Fresno State lost at Utah State, UTEP won at Marshall, Cal State Bakersfield lost at Gonzaga, Brigham Young won at Utah, TCU lost at New Mexico, Temple won at Saint Louis, Memphis won at UAB, Charlotte lost at Rhode Island, Xavier won at Fordham, Southern Methodist lost at Tulsa, Colorado State lost at San Diego State, Dayton lost at Richmond, New Mexico State lost at Nevada 

Games this week (3/5-3/7): Friday: Drake vs Northern Iowa 1pm, Missouri St vs Wichita St 7pm, Indiana St vs Illinois St 9:30pm 

Saturday: BYU at TCU 6pm, George Washington at Temple 2pm, UAB at UTEP 9pm, Tulsa at Memphis 1pm, Richmond at Charlotte 2pm, Rhode Island at Massachusetts 4pm, Wyoming at UNLV 4pm, St Bonaventure at Xavier 4pm, Saint Louis at Dayton 7pm, San Diego St at Air Force 9pm, New Mexico St at Utah St 9pm

You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/college-ba
sketball/college-basketball-tourney
-bubble-watch-3-05-10.html
Posted on: February 23, 2010 12:15 am
 

College Basketball Rewind: 2-22-10

Written by Chris Canada, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

Now that we are a little more than half way through the 2009-10 college basketball season, we look at where we are right now, as teams are knee deep in their conference schedules. March madness is seven weeks away, and teams have a ton to play for. Remember, there are 65 spots available, comprised of 31 automatic bids to conference champions and 34 at-large bids. Here is a comprehensive look at the major leagues in Division-I (rankings are current AP poll )...

From the results that follow, I predict that at this point 64 teams are safe, which includes 31 auto-bids and 33 at-large bids. This means that there are ONE remaining bids that will go to the ''bubble'' teams that I have listed. Out of the 64 that I have found, 30 come from major conferences and 34 from minor ones. A lot can change over the next few weeks, as you've already seen since last week .

SEC (4)

Projected Champion: #2 Kentucky (26-1, 11-1)

Should be in: #19 Tennessee (20-6, 8-4), #16 Vanderbilt (20-6, 9-3), Florida (19-8, 8-4)

Bubble: #34 Mississippi St (19-8, 7-5), Mississippi (17-9, 5-7)

Analysis: As always we start off with the SEC, as we should because we represent a Florida Gator site !

Great bounce back after a really really rough week following a road loss to South Carolina and getting worked at home against a tough Xavier team. The Gators took care of the Auburn at home on Thursday, and then followed it up with a really good looking bubble-buster win at Ole Miss. The Gators move off the bubble and into the field of 65.

The Gators have some very quality non-conference so far. They've beaten the current #14 Michigan State on a neutral court when the Spartans were #2 nationally. They then defeated Rutgers to take home the tournament title. They are also 2-0 against the ACC with wins over FSU in Gainesville and NC State on the road.

As for their eight losses, they consist of a neutral site loss against current #4 Syracuse and a home loss to current #2 Kentucky where both games were tied late in the secondhalf, a close road loss to current #16 Vandy, a neutral site loss to current #23 Richmond (who's leading the very tough A-10), one point last second loss at current #19 Tennesse, and this weekend's two losses. The only real bad loss was to South Alabama, which was probably a letdown after consecutive losses to 'Cuse and Richmond.

We still have four more games against SEC opponents, including a home game against current #19 Tennessee, a road test at Georgia, a tough but winable game against current #17 Vandy in Gville, and the season finale at current #2 Kentucky

Hopefully they find their stride during conference play. The two remaining home conference games are tough, but coming away with at least one of them will cement their bid. Also barring a meltdown at Georgia, they should be in good shape. They'll probably lose at Kentucky, but unlike previous years, I think Florida has the resume to push them over the edge, but they still have some work to do.

John Calipari has the Kentucky Wildcat program back to it's lofty status of the 90's. They're on a roll right now. It's pretty much a forgone conclusion that they will take the championship. In a related story, I hate Kentucky, but I digress...

Tennessee has started well, and have a really good win at home against Kansas. Vanderbilt looks very good at this point, even with the tough home lose against UK this weekend. Mississippi St is on the bubble, as is Ole Miss. But unlike the Bulldogs, the Rebels are barely holding on.

ACC (7)

Projected Champion: #5 Duke (23-4, 11-2)

Should be in: #37t Wake Forest (18-7, 8-5), #40 Clemson (19-7, 7-5), Florida St (19-7, 7-5), Georgia Tech (18-9, 6-7), #28 Maryland (19-7, 9-3), #27 Virginia Tech (20-4, 7-3)

Bubble: None

Analysis: Unlike last year when there were three teams with a legit shot at winning the NCAA tournament, this year's ACC doesn't have a dominating team. It looks like Duke is in the best position to win the conference title. However, Maryland is right there only one game back in the loss column.

Clemson, Wake, and FSU all have good enough resumes to get in at this point. Maryland is playing GREAT basketball right now, and have moved themselves into the &should be in& category. GT is a mystery. Sometimes they look great and sometimes they're flat. I still have them in, but if they continue losing, we'll have to reassess. Virginia Tech is in with their 21-5 record.

Big East (7)

Projected Champion: #4 Syracuse (25-2, 12-2)

Should be in: #7 Villanova (22-4, 11-3), #12 Pittsburgh (21-6, 10-4), #11 Georgetown (18-7, 8-6), #8 West Virginia (21-5, 10-4), #33 Louisville (18-9, 7-5), #32 Marquette (17-9, 8-6)

Bubble: Notre Dame (17-10, 6-8), Cincinnati (15-11, 6-8), Connecticut (16-11, 6-8)

Analysis: The Big East is definitely the toughest conference to play in, because it seems like you are playing a top-25 team every night. Villanova, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia & Georgetown look to be the teams I see going deep in the tourney. I still have Syracuse on top, even though they almost lost a 23 pt second half lead to Georgetown.

I think Louisville and Marquette played their way into the tourney this week.

Notre Dame & Cincy are really pushing it. UConn will have to run the table from here on out to make the tourney. Pretty incredible after bringing back so much talent from a final four team last year...

Big Ten+1 (5)

Projected Champion: #3 Purdue (23-3, 11-3)

Should be in: #14 Michigan St (21-7, 11-4), #9 Ohio St (21-7, 11-4), #17 Wisconsin (20-7, 10-5), #30 Illinois (17-10, 9-5)

Bubble: Minnesota (16-10, 7-7)

Analysis: Purdue took control of the conference this week. Michigan St and Ohio St are tied at one game back. I now think that Purdue will take the title, but three other teams can jump up and grab it. Wisconsin is also a lock at this point.

Illinois should be in with a string of solid wins. Minnesota is the only other team worthy of consideration, but they need a miracle.

Big 12 (6)

Projected Champion: #1 Kansas (26-1, 12-0)

Should be in: #21 Texas (21-6, 7-5), #6 Kansas St (22-4, 9-3), #24 Baylor (20-6, 7-5), #29 Missouri (20-7, 8-4), #22 Texas A&M (19-7, 8-4)

Bubble: #35t Oklahoma St (19-7, 7-5)

Analysis: Kansas is clearly in the driver's seat for conference supremacy. Kansas State will also be battling it out for the conference title. Texas has gone 4-6 since starting 17-0.

Baylor and Missouri have started off very hot. Texas A&M are flying high right now and should bein the tourney as well. Okie State has some work ahead of them, but a couple of big wins could get them in. Last week got them REAL close.

Pac-10 (1)

Projected Champion: California (18-9, 10-5)

Should be in: none

Bubble: Washington (18-9, 8-7), Arizona State (19-8, 9-5)

Analysis: This conference is TERRIBLE. Is it possible that the Pac-10 can only bring ONE team to the NCAA tourney? This most certainly seems like the case. Not one team in the Pac-10 has registered one vote for the AP top 25 in a month. Absoultely ridiculous.

This conference is so mediocre it's pitiful. California is on top of this conference at the moment, but Arizona St or Washington could take over. I thought two teams would end up separating themselves from the pack, but every team keeps losing, and losing bad. Ugh...

Other Conferences (34)

Projected Champions (threat teams, 7): #23 Richmond (22-6, 11-2, Atlantic 10), #26 UTEP (20-5, 11-1, Conference USA), #15 Butler (25-4, 17-0, Horizon League), #25 Northern Iowa (24-3, 14-2, Missouri Valley), #10 New Mexico (25-3, 11-2, Mountain West), #18 Gonzaga (22-5, 10-2, West Coast), #35t Utah St (22-6, 11-2, Western Athletic)

Projected Champions (non-threat teams, 18): Stony Brook (America East), Campbell (Atlantic Sun), Weber State (Big Sky), Coastal Carolina (Big South), UC Santa Barbara (Big West), Northeastern (Colonial Athletic), #37t Cornell (Ivy League), Siena (MAAC), Akron (Mid-American), Morgan State (MEAC), Robert Morris (Northeast), #37t Murray State (Ohio Valley), Lehigh (Patriot League), Wofford (Southern), Sam Houston State (Southland), Jackson State (SWAC), Oakland (Summit League), North Texas (Sun Belt)

Should be in (9): #20 Temple (22-5, 10-2, Atlantic 10), #31 Xavier (19-7, 10-2, Atlantic 10), Charlotte (18-8, 8-4, Atlantic 10), Rhode Island (20-6, 8-5, Atlantic 10), UAB (21-5, 9-3, Conference USA), Memphis (20-7, 10-2, Conference USA), Wichita St (22-7, 11-5, Missouri Valley), #13 BYU (25-3, 10-2, Mountain West), UNLV (20-7, 8-5, Mountain West)

Bubble: Dayton (18-8, 7-5, Atlantic 10), St Louis (18-8, 9-3, Atlantic 10), Old Dominion (21-8, 13-3, Colonial Athletic), Marshall (20-7, 8-4, Conference USA), Tulsa (19-8, 8-5, Conference USA), Illinois St (20-8, 10-6, Missouri Valley), San Diego St (20-7, 9-4, Mountain West), St Marys (22-5, 9-3, West Coast), Louisiana Tech (21-6, 8-4, Western Athletic)

Analysis: From the minor conferences, I have determined that 25 different conference champions and NINE at-large spots are safe right now. I have broken the champions into two categories: the first will be those from traditionally tough conferences that should have a splash at the tourney, and the second are those in traditionally small conferences. The ''threat teams'' and ''should be in'' include seven teams currently ranked in the top-25, including Richmond, Northern Iowa, BYU, Temple, Butler, New Mexico, & Gonzaga.

As for the at-larges, I would think Xavier, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Temple, Memphis, UAB, BYU, UNLV, & Wichita St are good enough to make the tourney without winning their conference. Teams on the bubble are hoping that these teams lose along the way because this is where you usually find your bubble busters year-in and year-out.

Notice I have FIVE teams from the Atlantic-10. It's very odd to think about that, but with the Pac-10 having a terrible year, combined with fact that the A-10 teams have some really great wins, it's really possible that this can happen.

You can view the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/college-ba
sketball/college-basketball-rewind-
2-22-10.html

Posted on: February 9, 2010 10:46 pm
 

College Basketball Rewind: 2-8-10

Written by Chris Canada, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

Now that we are a little more than half way through the 2009-10 college basketball season, we look at where we are right now, as teams are knee deep in their conference schedules. March madness is seven weeks away, and teams have a ton to play for. Remember, there are 65 spots available, comprised of 31 automatic bids to conference champions and 34 at-large bids. Here is a comprehensive look at the major leagues in Division-I (rankings are from current AP poll )...

From the results that follow, I predict that at this point 63 teams are safe, which includes 31 auto-bids and 32 at-large bids. This means that there are four remaining bids that will go to the ''bubble'' teams that I have listed. Out of the 63 that I have found, 28 come from major conferences and 35 from minor ones. A lot can change over the next few weeks, as you've already seen since last week .

SEC (5)

Projected Champion: #3 Kentucky (22-1, 7-1)

Should be in: #12 Tennessee (18-4, 6-2), #22 Vanderbilt (17-5, 6-2), Florida (17-6, 6-3), #32t Mississippi (17-6, 5-4)

Bubble: South Carolina (13-9, 4-4), Mississippi St (16-7, 4-4)

Analysis: As always we start off with the SEC, as we should because we represent a Florida Gators site! I'll keep Florida in the &should be in& column for the 2010 NCAA Championship , even after this week's Tennessee loss. Yes, outsiders may think this is a big homer pick, but I think I can explain it.

The Gators have some very quality non-conference so far. They've beaten the current #10 Michigan State on a neutral court when the Spartans were #2 nationally. They then defeated Rutgers to take home the tournament title. They are also 2-0 against the ACC with wins over FSU (currently #37) in Gainesville and NC State on the road.

As for their six losses, they consist of a neutral site loss against current #2 Syracuse and a home loss to current #3 Kentucky where both games were tied with roughly four minutes left, a close road loss to current #22 Vandy, a neutral site loss to #41t Richmond (an 18-6 team whose resume consists of wins over Missouri, Mississippi St, UMass, GW, Temple and an overtime loss at Wake Forest), and one point last second loss at current #12 Tennesse. The only real bad loss was to South Alabama, which was probably a letdown after consecutive losses to 'Cuse and Richmond.

We still have a ton of games against quality SEC opponents, including another game against current #12 Tennessee, Mississippi St in Gville, at current #32t Mississippi, current #22 Vandy in Gville, and at current #3 Kentucky

Hopefully they find their stride during conference play. They should be able to win at least 1 of 3 remaining home conference games. If they can win 2 of their remaining 4 road games, they should be in good shape. Also, Xavier comes to Gainesville for a late season non-conference matchup that could mean a lot to the tournament committee. Unlike previous years, I think Florida has the resume to push them over the edge.

John Calipari has the Kentucky Wildcat program back to it's lofty status of the 90's. They have bounced back nicely after their first loss of the year. From the looks of it now, I believe that they will take the championship. In a related story, I hate Kentucky, but I digress...

Tennessee has started well, and have a really good win at home against Kansas. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt look very good at this point. Mississippi St lost twice this week and moves back to the bubble, along with South Carolina, who's barely holding on.

ACC (6)

Projected Champion: #8 Duke (19-4, 7-2)

Should be in: #28 Wake Forest (16-5, 6-3), Clemson (16-7, 4-5), #37 Florida St (17-6, 5-4), #20 Georgia Tech (17-6, 5-4), #29 Maryland (16-6, 6-2)

Bubble: Virginia (14-7, 5-3), #38 Virginia Tech (18-4, 5-3)

Analysis: Unlike last year when there were three teams with a legit shot at winning the NCAA basketball tournament, this year's ACC is WIDE OPEN for the taking. At this point, Duke is in the best position to win the conference title. However, at this point you could argue that eight of twelve teams still have a shot at making the tournament at this point.

Duke is still in control of this league, however they got whooped by Georgetown last weekend, which makes them seem week. GT, Clemson, Wake, and FSU all have good enough resumes to get in at this point. Maryland is playing GREAT basketball right now, and have moved themselves into the &should be in& category.

Virginia Tech moved back to the bubble after a poor loss to Miami last week, and even though they won twice this week, they still have some work to do. Virginia is flying high with new coach Tony Bennett, formerly of Washington State. UNC and Miami are now OFF the bubble completely with two losses each last week.

Big East (5)

Projected Champion: #2 Syracuse (23-1, 10-1)

Should be in: #4 Villanova (20-2, 9-1), #25 Pittsburgh (17-6, 7-4), #7 Georgetown (17-5, 7-4), #5 West Virginia (19-3, 8-2)

Bubble: Connecticut (14-9, 4-6), Notre Dame (17-7, 6-5), Louisville (15-8, 6-4), Cincinnati (14-9, 5-6), #39 Marquette (15-8, 6-5), #44 South Florida (15-8, 5-6)

Analysis: The Big East is definitely the toughest conference to play in, because it seems like you are playing a top-25 team every night. Villanova, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia & Georgetown look to be the teams I see going deep in the tourney.

Georgetown put the beatdown on Villanova last weekend. Syracuse now takes over the top spot in the league (It could be argued they were already #1).

Notre Dame has a good week this week winning two games, but are still on the bubble. UConn, Louisville, Cincy, & Marquette on the bubble as well. Joining them this week is South Florida, who has beaten Pitt and Georgetown recently, but lost to Marquette last night.

Big Ten+1 (5)

Projected Champion: #10 Michigan St (19-5, 9-2)

Should be in: #6 Purdue (19-3, 7-3), #13 Ohio St (18-6, 8-3), #11 Wisconsin (18-5, 8-3), #36 Illinois (16-8, 8-3)

Bubble: Northwestern (16-7, 5-6), Minnesota (14-8, 5-5)

Analysis: Michigan St seems like the clear class of the league (and is a great notch in the belt for Florida!), but two losses this week bring them back down a bit. Purdue may be higher ranked at this point but I think Michigan St will end up taking the crown. Ohio St and Wisconsin are also locks at this point.

Illinois won both games with week, including a big win over MSU. They play Wisconsin early in the week, which could really be huge for their tourney chances. An 8-3 conference record is good enough for the tourney at this point. With each loss Minnesota and Northwestern gather, they fall further and further behind other more deserving teams.

Big 12 (6)

Projected Champion: #1 Kansas (22-1, 8-0)

Should be in: #14 Texas (19-4, 5-3), #9 Kansas St (19-4, 6-3), #24 Baylor (17-5, 4-4), #43 Missouri (17-6, 5-3), #26 Texas A&M (17-6, 6-3)

Bubble: Oklahoma St (16-7, 4-5), Oklahoma (13-9, 4-4)

Analysis: Kansas is clearly in the driver's seat for conference supremacy. Kansas State will also be battling it out for the conference title. What happened to Texas? In an interesting development lost four of six after starting 17-0. Kansas and Texas have two head-to-head matchups coming up, and I'm sure they'll have a chance to see each other again in the conference tourney.

Baylor and Missouri have started off very hot. Texas A&M are flying high right now and should bein the tourney as well. Okie State lost twice last week and fell back onto the bubble. They have some work ahead of them, but a couple of big wins could get them in. Oklahoma has a TON of work to do, but a win over Texas in their last game is a good start. They are now back on the bubble.

Pac-10 (1)

Projected Champion: California (15-8, 7-4)

Should be in: none

Bubble: Washington St (15-8, 5-6), Washington (16-7, 6-5), Arizona (12-11, 6-5), Arizona State (16-8, 6-5)

Analysis: This conference is TERRIBLE. Is it possible that the Pac-10 can only bring ONE team to the NCAA tourney? This most certainly seems like the case. Not one team in the Pac-10 registered one vote for the AP top 25 for the second consecutive week. Absoultely ridiculous.

This conference is so mediocre it's pitiful. California is on top of this conference at the moment, but Arizona St, Arizona, Washington & Wash St are right behind. I thought two teams would end up separating themselves from the pack, but every team keeps losing, and losing bad. Ugh...

Other Conferences (35)

Projected Champions (threat teams, 7): #21 Temple (19-5, 7-2, Atlantic 10), #39 UAB (19-4, 7-2, Conference USA), #18 Butler (21-4, 14-0, Horizon League), #19 Northern Iowa (21-2, 12-1, Missouri Valley), #17 BYU (22-3, 7-2, Mountain West), #16 Gonzaga (19-4, 7-1, West Coast), Utah St (18-6, 8-2, Western Athletic)

Projected Champions (non-threat teams, 18): Stony Brook (America East), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Pacific (Big West), Northeastern (Colonial Athletic), #27 Cornell (Ivy League), #34t Siena (MAAC), Kent State (Mid-American), Morgan State (MEAC), Robert Morris (Northeast), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Lehigh (Patriot League), Charleston (Southern), Sam Houston State (Southland), Jackson State (SWAC), Oakland (Summit League), Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Should be in (10): Xavier (16-7, 8-2, Atlantic 10), #30 Charlotte (18-5, 8-1, Atlantic 10), #32t Rhode Island (19-3, 7-2, Atlantic 10), #41t Richmond (18-6, 7-2, Atlantic 10), Tulsa (18-5, 7-2, Conference USA), #31 UTEP (17-5, 8-1, Conference USA), #15 New Mexico (21-3, 7-2, Mountain West), #23 UNLV (19-4, 7-2, Mountain West), #41t Wichita St (20-5, 8-3, Missouri Valley), #34t St Marys (21-3, 8-1, West Coast)

Bubble: Dayton (16-6, 5-3, Atlantic 10), Old Dominion (18-7, 10-3, Colonial Athletic), Memphis (16-7, 6-2, Conference USA), Marshall (16-7, 5-4, Conference USA), San Diego St (16-7, 5-4, Mountain West), Louisiana Tech (19-4, 7-2, Western Athletic)

Analysis: From the minor conferences, I have determined that 25 different conference champions and ten at-large spots are safe right now. I have broken the champions into two categories: the first will be those from traditionally tough conferences that should have a splash at the tourney, and the second are those in traditionally small conferences. The ''threat teams'' include six teams currently ranked in the top-25, including UAB, Temple, Butler, Northern Iowa, BYU, & Gonzaga.

As for the at-larges, I would think Xavier, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Richmond, Tulsa, UTEP, New Mexico, UNLV, Wichita St, & St Mary's are good enough to make the March Madness tourney without winning their conference. Teams on the bubble are hoping that these teams lose along the way because this is where you usually find your bubble busters year-in and year-out.

Notice I have FIVE teams from the Atlantic-10. It's very odd to think about that, but with the Pac-10 having a terrible year, combined with fact that the A-10 teams have some really great wins, it's really possible that this can happen.

You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/college-ba
sketball/college-basketball-rewind-
2-8-10.html

Posted on: February 1, 2010 11:31 pm
 

College Basketball Rewind: 2-1-10

Written by Chris Canada, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

Now that we are a little more than half way through the 2009-10 college basketball season, we look at where we are right now, as teams are knee deep in their conference schedules. March madness is six weeks away, and teams have a ton to play for. Remember, there are 65 spots available, comprised of 31 automatic bids to conference champions and 34 at-large bids. Here is a comprehensive look at the major leagues in Division-I (rankings are current AP poll )...

From the results that follow, I predict that at this point 61 teams are safe, which includes 31 auto-bids and 30 at-large bids. This means that there are four remaining bids that will go to the ''bubble'' teams that I have listed. Out of the 61 that I have found, 28 come from major conferences and 33 from minor ones. A lot can change over the next few weeks, as you've already seen since last week .

 

SEC (6)

Projected Champion : #4 Kentucky (20-1, 5-1)

Should be in : #14 Tennessee (16-4, 4-2), Mississippi St (16-5, 4-2), #18 Vanderbilt (16-4, 5-1), Florida (15-6, 4-3), #25 Mississippi (16-5, 4-3)

Bubble : South Carolina (13-8, 4-3), Alabama (13-8, 3-4)

Analysis : As always we start off with the SEC, as we should because we represent a Florida Gator site! I'll keep Florida in the &should be in& column, even after this week's Tennessee loss. Yes, outsiders may think this is a big homer pick, but I think I can explain it.

The Gators have some very quality non-conference so far. They've beaten the current #5 Michigan State on a neutral court when the Spartans were #2 nationally. They then defeated Rutgers to take home the tournament title. They are also 2-0 against the ACC with wins over FSU (currently #26) in Gainesville and NC State on the road.

As for their six losses, they consist of a neutral site loss against current #3 Syracuse and a home loss to current #4 Kentucky where both games were tied with roughly four minutes left, a close road loss to current #18 Vandy, a neutral site loss to Richmond (a 15-6 team whose resume consists of wins over Missouri, Mississippi St, UMass, GW and an overtime loss at Wake Forest), and one point last second loss at current #14 Tennesse. The only real bad loss was to South Alabama, which was probably a letdown after consecutive losses to 'Cuse and Richmond.

We still have a ton of games against quality SEC opponents, including another game against current #14 Tennessee, Mississippi St in Gville, at current #25 Mississippi, current #18 Vandy in Gville, and at current #4 Kentucky

Hopefully they find their stride during conference play. They should be able to win at least 2 of 4 remaining home conference games. If they can win 3 of their remaining 5 road games, they should be in good shape. Also, current #29t Xavier comes to Gainesville for a late season non-conference matchup that could mean a lot to the tournament committee. Unlike previous years, I think Florida has the resume to push them over the edge.

John Calipari has the Kentucky Wildcat program back to it's lofty status of the 90's. They lost their first game of the season this week at South Carolina, due to the outstanding performance of Devan Downey. However, they won impressively against Vandy this weekend. From the looks of it now, I believe that they will take the championship. In a related story, I hate Kentucky, but I digress...

Tennessee has started well, and have a really good win at home against Kansas. Mississippi St, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt look very good at this point. The bubble holds South Carolina & Alabama at this point, but that could change in a split second.

 

ACC (5)

Projected Champion : #10t Duke (17-4, 5-2)

Should be in : #29t Wake Forest (14-5, 4-3), #33t Clemson (16-6, 4-4), #26 Florida St (16-5, 4-3), #21 Georgia Tech (16-5, 4-3)

Bubble : North Carolina (13-8, 2-4), Miami (16-5, 2-5), Virginia (13-6, 4-2), #42 Maryland (14-6, 4-2), Virginia Tech (16-4, 3-3)

Analysis : Unlike last year when there were three teams with a legit shot at winning the NCAA tournament, this year's ACC is WIDE OPEN for the taking. At this point, after watch a select few games, I think Duke is in the best position to win the conference title. However, at this point you could argue that all twelve teams still have a shot at making the tournament at this point. Talk about a loaded conference.

Duke is still in control of this league, however they got whooped by Georgetown this weekend. Besides GT, everyone seemed to go 1-1 this week. GT, Clemson, Wake, and FSU all have good enough resumes to get in at this point. Virginia Tech moved back to the bubble after a poor loss to Miami. Virginia is flying high with new coach Tony Bennett, formerly of Washington State. UNC and Miami have gotten off to rough starts in conference and are still on the bubble.

 

Big East (5)

Projected Champion : #2 Villanova (19-1, 8-0)

Should be in : #3 Syracuse (21-1, 8-1), #22 Pittsburgh (16-5, 6-3), #7 Georgetown (16-4, 6-3), #6 West Virginia (17-3, 6-2)

Bubble : Connecticut (13-8, 3-5), Notre Dame (15-7, 4-5), Louisville (13-8, 4-4), Cincinnati (14-7, 5-4), #37 Marquette (13-8, 4-5)

Analysis : The Big East is definitely the toughest conference to play in, because it seems like you are playing a top-25 team every night. Villanova, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia & Georgetown look to be the teams I see going deep in the tourney.

Notre Dame & UConn both lost twice this week, and join Louisville, Cincy, & Marquette on the bubble. Besides those top five teams, the rest of the contenders really haven't made a compelling argument as to when they should be in.

 

Big Ten+1 (4)

Projected Champion : #5 Michigan St (19-3, 8-0)

Should be in : #8 Purdue (18-3, 6-3), #13 Ohio St (16-6, 6-3), #16 Wisconsin (16-5, 6-3)

Bubble : Illinois (14-8, 6-3), Northwestern (14-7, 3-6), Minnesota (13-8, 4-5)

Analysis : Michigan St seems like the clear class of the league (and is a great notch in the belt for Florida!). Purdue looks like they have straightened the ship after a spell of losses. They should be a lock for the tourney, as should Ohio St and Wisconsin.

Illinois won both games with week, but are still on the bubble. With each loss Minnesota and Northwestern gather, they fall further and further behind other more deserving teams.

 

Big 12 (6)

Projected Champion : #1 Kansas (20-1, 6-0)

Should be in : #9 Texas (18-3, 4-2), #10t Kansas St (17-4, 4-3), #20 Baylor (16-4, 4-3), #35 Missouri (16-5, 4-2), #41 Oklahoma St (16-5, 4-3)

Bubble : Texas A&M (15-6, 4-3)

Analysis : Kansas is clearly in the driver's seat for conference supremacy. Texas and Kansas State will also be battling it out for the conference title. Kansas and Texas have entertaining two head-to-head matchups coming up, and I'm sure they'll have a chance to see each other again in the conference tourney.

Baylor, Missouri and Okie State have all started off very hot. Texas A&M has some work ahead of them, but a couple of big wins should get them in.

 

Pac-10 (2)

Projected Champion : California (14-7, 6-3)

Should be in : Arizona State (15-7, 5-4)

Bubble : Washington St (14-7, 4-5), Washington (14-7, 4-5), Arizona (12-9, 6-3)

Analysis : Is it possible that the Pac-10 can only bring ONE team to the NCAA tourney? If you look at how the teams stack up right now, you can make the case. Not one team in the Pac-10 registered one vote for the AP top 25 this week. Absoultely ridiculous.

This conference is so mediocre it's pitiful. California is on top of this conference at the moment, but Arizona St, Arizona, Washington & Wash St are right behind. I think two teams will end up separating themselves from the pack, and I think Cal and ASU will be those teams.

 

Other Conferences (33)

Projected Champions (threat teams, 8) : #19 Temple (18-4, 6-1, Atlantic 10), #43 George Mason (15-7, 10-1, Colonial Athletic), #28 UAB (18-3, 6-1, Conference USA), #23 Butler (18-4, 11-0, Horizon League), #24 Northern Iowa (19-2, 10-1, Missouri Valley), #12 BYU (21-2, 6-1, Mountain West), #17 Gonzaga (17-4, 6-1, West Coast), Louisiana Tech (18-4, 6-2, Western Athletic)

Projected Champions (non-threat teams, 17) : Stony Brook (America East), Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun), Weber State (Big Sky), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Pacific (Big West), #27 Cornell (Ivy League), #31 Siena (MAAC), Akron (Mid-American), Morgan St (MEAC), Robert Morris (Northeast), Murray St (Ohio Valley), Lehigh (Patriot League), Western Carolina (Southern), Sam Houston St (Southland), Jackson St (SWAC), Oakland (Summit League), Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Should be in : #29t Xavier (15-6, 7-1, Atlantic 10), #36 Charlotte (16-5, 6-1, Atlantic 10), #32 Rhode Island (17-3, 5-2, Atlantic 10), Tulsa (17-4, 6-1, Conference USA), #15 New Mexico (20-3, 6-2, Mountain West), #33t UNLV (17-4, 5-2, Mountain West), #40 Wichita St (19-4, 8-3, Missouri Valley), #38 St Marys (19-3, 6-1, West Coast)

Bubble : Richmond (16-6, 5-2, Atlantic 10), Dayton (15-6, 4-3, Atlantic 10), Old Dominion (17-6, 9-2, Colonial Athletic), Memphis (15-6, 5-2, Conference USA), Marshall (15-6, 4-3, Conference USA), #38 UTEP (15-5, 6-1, Conference USA), San Diego St (15-6, 4-3, Mountain West), Utah St (16-6, 6-2, Western Athletic),

Analysis : From the minor conferences, I have determined that 25 different conference champions and eight at-large spots are safe right now. I have broken the champions into two categories: the first will be those from traditionally tough conferences that should have a splash at the tourney, and the second are those in traditionally small conferences. The &threat teams& include five teams currently ranked in the top-25, including Temple, Butler, Northern Iowa, BYU, & Gonzaga.

As for the at-larges, I would think Xavier, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Tulsa, New Mexico, UNLV, Wichita St, & St Mary's are good enough to make the tourney without winning their conference. Teams on the bubble are hoping that these teams lose along the way because this is where you usually find your bubble busters year-in and year-out.

You can view the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/college-ba
sketball/college-basketball-rewind-
2-1-10.html





Posted on: January 26, 2010 1:19 pm
 

College Basketball Rewind: 1-25-10

Written by Chris Canada, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

Now that we are a little more than half way through the 2009-10 college basketball season, we look at where we are right now, as teams are knee deep in their conference schedules. March madness is seven weeks away, and teams have a ton to play for. Remember, there are 65 spots available, comprised of 31 automatic bids to conference champions and 34 at-large bids. Here is a comprehensive look at the major leagues in Division-I (rankings are current AP poll)...

From the results that follow, I predict that at this point 58 teams are safe, which includes 31 auto-bids and 27 at-large bids. This means that there are seven remaining bids that will go to the ''bubble'' teams that I have listed. Out of the 58 that I have found, 31 come from major conferences and 27 from minor ones. A lot can change over the next few weeks, as you've already seen since 
last week.

SEC (6)

Projected Champion: #1 Kentucky (19-0, 4-0)

Should be in: #14 Tennessee (15-3, 3-1), #31 Mississippi St (15-4, 3-1), #23 Vanderbilt (15-3, 4-0), Florida (14-5, 3-2), #18 Mississippi (15-4, 3-2)

Bubble: Alabama (12-7, 2-3)

Analysis: As always we start off with the SEC, as we should because we represent a Florida Gator site! I moved Florida to the &should be in& column. Yes, outsiders may think this is a big homer pick, but I think I can explain it.

The Gators have some very quality non-conference so far. They've 
beaten the current #5 Michigan Stateon a neutral court when the Spartans were #2 nationally. They then defeated Rutgers to take home the tournament title. They are also 2-0 against the ACC with wins over FSU (currently #26) in Gainesville andNC State on the road.

As for their five losses, they consist of a neutral site loss against current #4 Syracuse and a 
home loss to current #1 Kentucky where both games were tied with roughly four minutes left, a close road loss to current #21 Vandy, and a neutral site loss to Richmond (a 15-6 team whose resume consists of wins over Missouri, Mississippi St, UMass, GW and an overtime loss at Wake Forest). The only real bad loss was to South Alabama, which was probably a letdown after consecutive losses to 'Cuse and Richmond.

We still have a ton of games against quality SEC opponents, including two games against current #14 Tennessee, current #31 Mississippi St in Gville, at current #20 Mississippi, current #23 Vandy in Gville, and at current #1 Kentucky

Hopefully they find their stride during conference play. They should be able to win at least 3 of 5 remaining home conference games. If they can win 3 of their remaining 6 road games, they should be in good shape. Also, current #37 Xavier comes to Gainesville for a late season non-conference matchup that could mean a lot to the tournament committee. Unlike previous years, I think Florida has the resume to push them over the edge.

John Calipari has the Kentucky Wildcat program back to it's lofty status of the 90's. They have blown through their early SEC schedule. From the looks of it now, I believe that they will take the championship. In a related story, I hate Kentucky, but I digress...

Tennessee has started well, and have a really good win at home against Kansas. Mississippi St, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt look very good at this point. The bubble holds Alabama at this point, but that could change in a split second.

ACC (6)

Projected Champion: #8 Duke (16-3, 4-2)

Should be in: #29 Wake Forest (14-4, 4-2), #28 Clemson (15-5, 3-3), #26 Florida St (15-4, 3-2), Virginia Tech (15-3, 2-2), #19 Georgia Tech (14-5, 3-3)

Bubble: North Carolina (12-7, 1-3), Miami (15-4, 1-4), #41t Virginia (12-5, 3-1), #35 Maryland (13-5, 3-1)

Analysis: Unlike last year when there were three teams with a legit shot at winning the NCAA tournament, this year's ACC is WIDE OPEN for the taking. At this point, after watch a select few games, I think Duke is in the best position to win the conference title. However, at this point you could argue that all twelve teams still have a shot at making the tournament at this point. Talk about a loaded conference.

Duke and Clemson are locks and GT, VT, Wake, and FSU all have good enough resumes to get in at this point. Virginia is flying high with new coach Tony Bennett, formerly of Washington State. UNC and Miami have gotten off to rough starts in conference and now fall back to the bubble.

Big East (7)

Projected Champion: #3 Villanova (18-1, 7-0)

Should be in: #4 Syracuse (19-1, 6-1), #17 Pittsburgh (15-4, 5-2), #7 Georgetown (15-3, 6-2), #9 West Virginia (15-3, 6-2), #19 Connecticut (13-6, 4-3), Notre Dame (15-5, 4-3)

Bubble: Louisville (13-7, 4-3), Cincinnati (13-7, 4-4)

Analysis: The Big East is definitely the toughest conference to play in, because it seems like you are playing a top-25 team every night. Villanova, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia & Georgetown look to be the teams I see going deep in the tourney. Notre Dame is playing well right now and I see them punching their ticket. UConn got a huge win over former #1 Texas after losing three straight. They have too much talent back from a final four team to miss the big dance.

Louisville and Cincy have some work to do if they want a bid. I think this is the year that Marquette starts to feel the loss of former coach Tom Crean. Also, can Rick Pitino get Louisville back in shape?

Big Ten+1 (4)

Projected Champion: #5 Michigan St (17-3, 7-0)

Should be in: #10 Purdue (16-3, 4-3), #20 Ohio St (14-6, 4-3), #16 Wisconsin (16-4, 6-2)

Bubble: Illinois (12-8, 4-3), #40 Northwestern (14-5, 3-4), Minnesota (12-7, 3-4)

Analysis: Michigan St seems like the clear class of the league (and is a great notch in the belt for Florida!). Purdue started off really hot, winning thier first 13 games, but they have recently lost 3 games and have cooled off a bit. They should still be fine for the tourney. Ohio St and Wisconsin should be fine.

Illinois, Minnesota and Northwestern also have good resumes so far, but need to get a few more big wins.

Big 12 (6)

Projected Champion: #2 Kansas (18-1, 4-0)

Should be in: #6 Texas (17-2, 3-1), #11 Kansas St (16-3, 3-2), #24 Baylor (15-3, 3-2), #34 Missouri (15-4, 3-1), #33 Oklahoma St (15-4, 3-2)

Bubble: #32 Texas A&M (14-5, 3-2), Texas Tech (14-5, 2-3)

Analysis: Texas is no longer undefeated as they lost not once, but twice this past week. Kansas is now in the driver's seat for conference supremacy. It's still going to be them two battling it out for the conference title. They have two head-to-head matchups coming up, and I'm sure they'll have a chance to see each other again in the conference tourney.

Kansas State and Baylor have really surprised me as they've started off very hot. Missouri they should be able to make it back to the tournament, where they reached the elite eight last season, and Okie St looks solid after a big win over K-State last weekend. Texas A&M and Texas Tech have some work ahead of them.

Pac-10 (2)

Projected Champion: #43t California (13-6, 5-2)

Should be in: Arizona State (14-6, 4-3)

Bubble: Washington St (14-6, 4-4)

Analysis: Is it possible that the Pac-10 can only bring ONE team to the NCAA tourney? If you look at how the teams stack up right now, you can make the case. Not one team in the Pac-10 registered one vote for the AP top 25 last week. I've never seen that before.

There are only four teams that can realistically be worthy of making the tourney as of right now, and one of them is on probation (the USC OJ Mayos). California is on top of this conference at the moment, but Arizona St & Wash St are right behind.

Other Conferences (27)

Projected Champions (threat teams, 7): #15 Temple (17-3, 5-0, Atlantic 10), #25 UAB (17-2, 5-0, Conference USA), #30 Butler (16-4, 9-0, Horizon League), #27 Northern Iowa (17-2, 8-1, Missouri Valley), #12 BYU (20-1, 5-0, Mountain West), #13 Gonzaga (16-3, 5-0, West Coast), #43t Louisiana Tech (18-3, 6-1, Western Athletic)

Projected Champions (non-threat teams, 18):
 Maine (America East), Campbell (Atlantic Sun), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), #46t Coastal Carolina (Big South), Pacific (Big West), #37t Old Dominion (16-5, 8-1, Colonial Athletic), #35 Cornell (Ivy League), #41t Siena (MAAC), Akron (Mid-American), Morgan St (MEAC), Quinnipiac (Northeast), Murray St (Ohio Valley), Lehigh (Patriot League), Western Carolina (Southern), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), Oakland (Summit League), Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Should be in: #23 New Mexico (18-3, 4-2, Mountain West), #39 UNLV (16-4, 4-2, Mountain West)

Bubble: #37t Xavier (13-6, 5-1, Atlantic 10), Richmond (15-6, 4-2, Atlantic 10), Rhode Island (15-3, 3-2, Atlantic 10), Dayton (14-5, 3-2, Atlantic 10), Charlotte (14-5, 4-1, Atlantic 10), Memphis (14-5, 4-1, Conference USA), Marshall (15-4, 4-1, Conference USA), Tulsa (16-3, 5-0, Conference USA), UTEP (13-5, 4-1, Conference USA), Wichita St (17-4, 6-3, Missouri Valley), Illinois St (14-6, 5-4, Missouri Valley), San Diego St (14-6, 3-3, Mountain West), #43t St Marys (17-3, 4-1, West Coast), Utah St (15-6, 5-2, Western Athletic),

Analysis: From the minor conferences, I have determined that 25 different conference champions and two at-large spots are safe right now. I have broken the champions into two categories: the first will be those that should have a splash at the tourney, and the second are those in traditionally small conferences. The ''threat teams'' include three teams currently ranked in the top-25, including Temple, UAB, BYU, & Gonzaga. The rest of those teams play in traditionally tougher conferences.

As for the at-larges, I would think New Mexico, & UNLV are good enough to make the tourney without winning their conference. Teams on the bubble are hoping that these teams win their leagues because this is where you usually find your bubble busters year-in and year-out.



You can view the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/college-ba
sketball/college-basketball-rewind-
1-25-10.html
Posted on: January 18, 2010 9:28 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 9:40 pm
 

College Basketball Rewind: 1-18-10

Written by Chris Canada, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

Now that we are a little more than half way through the 2009-10 college basketball season, we look at where we are right now, as teams are knee deep in their conference schedules. March madness is exactly two months away, and teams have a ton to play for. Remember, there are 65 spots available, comprised of 31 automatic bids to conference champions and 34 at-large bids. Here is a comprehensive look at the major leagues in Division-I (rankings are current AP poll)...

From the results that follow, I predict that at this point 58 teams are safe, which includes 31 auto-bids and 27 at-large bids. This means that there are seven remaining bids that will go to the ''bubble'' teams that I have listed. Out of the 58 that I have found, 30 come from major conferences and 28 from minor ones. A lot can change over the next few weeks, and I'll update this list periodically.

SEC (4)

Projected Champion: #2 Kentucky (18-0, 5-0)

Should be in: #8 Tennessee (14-2, 2-0), #23 Mississippi St (15-3, 3-0), #26 Vanderbilt (14-3, 3-0)

Bubble: Florida (12-5, 1-2), #22 Mississippi (13-4, 1-2), South Carolina (11-6, 2-1), Alabama (11-6, 1-2)

Analysis: We start off with the SEC, as we should because we represent a Florida Gator site ! This year's version of the Gators team is hard to figure out. They have a very impressive win over Michigan State, at a time when MSU was #2 in the nation, as well as non-conference wins over Florida State, Rutgers, and NC State. They also played very well against top-five foes Syracuse & Kentucky. However, they have also have lost to Richmond and South Alabama. What gives?

Hopefully they find their stride suring conference play. They should be able to win at least 4 or 5 of 6 remaining home conference games. If they can win 3 or 4 of their remaining 7 road games, they should be in good shape. Also, Xavier comes to Gainesville for a late season non-conference matchup that could mean a lot to the tournament commitee. Unlike previous years, I think Florida has the resume to push them over the edge.

John Calipari has the Kentucky Wildcat program back to it's lofty status of the 90's. They have blown through their early SEC schedule. From the looks of it now, I believe that they will take the championship. In a related story, I hate Kentucky, but I digress...

Tennessee has started well, and have a really good win at home against Kansas. Mississippi St and Vanderbilt look very good at this point, as both have started 3-0 in conference play. The bubble holds Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Alabama at this point, but that could change in a split second.

ACC (7)


Projected Champion:   #7 Duke (14-2, 2-1)

Should be in:   #36 Wake Forest (12-3, 2-1), #17 Clemson (15-3, 3-1), #31 Florida St (14-4, 2-2), Miami (15-3, 1-3), #24 North Carolina (12-6, 1-2), #19 Georgia Tech (13-4, 2-2)

Bubble:   Virginia Tech (14-5, 4-1), #30 Virginia (11-4, 3-0), Maryland (11-5, 2-1)

Analysis:   Unlike last year when there were three teams with a legit shot at winning the NCAA tournament, this year's ACC is WIDE OPEN for the taking. At this point, after watch a select few games, I think Duke is in the best position to win the conference title. However, at this point you could argue that all twelve teams still have a shot at making the tournament at this point. Talk about a loaded conference.

Duke and Clemson are locks and GT, UNC, Wake, FSU, and Miami all have good enough resumes to get in at this point. Virginia is flying high with new coach Tony Bennett, formerly of Washington State. Can they keep up their hot 3-0 conference start?

Big East (8)


Projected Champion:
  #4 Villanova (16-1, 5-0)

Should be in:   #5 Syracuse (17-1, 4-1), #9 Pittsburgh (15-2, 5-0), #12 Georgetown (13-3, 4-2), #11 West Virginia (13-3, 4-2), #27 Connecticut (11-6, 2-3), Notre Dame (14-4, 3-2)

Bubble:   Louisville (12-6, 3-2), Providence (11-7, 3-3), Cincinnati (12-6, 3-3), #38 Marquette (11-6, 2-3), St Johns (12-5, 2-3)

Analysis:   The Big East is definitely the toughest conference to play in, because it seems like you are playing a top-25 team every night. Villanova, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia & Georgetown look to be the teams I see going deep in the tourney. Notre Dame is playing well right now and I see them punching their ticket. UConn is currently on quite the slide, losing three straight. However, they have too much talent back from a final four team to miss the big dance.

Louisville, Providence, Cincy, Marquette, and even the Jonnies have some work to do if they want a bid. Is this the year that Marquette starts to feel the loss of former coach Tom Crean? Can Rick Pitino get Lousiville back in shape? The Colossus of Clout? The Colossus of Clout?

Big Ten+1 (4)


Projected Champion:
  #6 Michigan St (15-3, 5-0)

Should be in:   #13 Purdue (14-3, 2-3), #21 Ohio St (13-5, 3-3), #18 Wisconsin (14-4, 4-2)

Bubble:   Illinois (12-6, 4-1), #41 Northwestern (13-4, 5-3), Michigan (10-7, 3-2), Minnesota (12-6, 3-3)

Analysis:   Michigan St seems like the clear class of the league (and is a great notch in the belt for Florida!). Purdue started off really hot, winning thier first 13 games, but they have recently lost 3 games and have cooled off a bit. They should still be fine for the tourney. Ohio St and Wisconsin should be fine.

Although Illinois has a few bad losses (notably Georgia...gross), they have started 4-1 in conference play. Michigan got a great win today against UConn and with a few more big wins, may just get that bid they crave. Minnesota and Northwestern also have good resumes so far, but need to get a few more big wins.

Big 12 (5)


Projected Champion:
  #1 Texas (17-0, 3-0)

Should be in:   #3 Kansas (16-1, 2-0), #10 Kansas St (15-2, 2-1), #25 Baylor (14-2, 2-1), #39 Missouri (14-4, 2-1)

Bubble:   Oklahoma (11-6, 2-1), Oklahoma St (13-4, 1-2), #33 Texas A&M (12-5, 1-2)   Analysis: Texas is one of only two undefeated teams left. However, Kansas is JUST behind with only one loss to Tennessee. It's definitely going to be them two battling it out for the conference title. At this point, I'll give it to Texas, as they've taken care of business. But Kansas is just as good as them. They have two head-to-head matchups coming up, and i'm sure they'll have a chance to see each other again in the conference tourney.

Kansas State and Baylor have really surpised me as they've started off very hot. Missouri lost a close one against Oklahoma yesterday, but they should be able to make it back to the tournament, where they reached the elite eight last season. Texas A&M gave Texas all they had last night, but couldn't win in overtime. They'll have some work ahead of them, as will Oklahoma and Okie St.

Pac-10 (2)


Projected Champion:   #41t Arizona State (14-5, 4-2)

Should be in:   Washington St (13-5, 3-3)

Bubble:   Washington (12-5, 3-3), California (11-6, 3-2)

Analysis:   Is it possible that the Pac-10 can only bring ONE team to the NCAA tourney? If you look at how the teams stack up right now, you can make the case. Not one team in the Pac-10 registered one vote for the AP top 25 last week. I've never seen that before.

There are only 5 teams that can realistically be worthy of making the tourney right now, and one of them is on probation (the USC OJ Mayos). Arizona St is on top of this conference at the moment, but Wash St and UW are right behind.

Other Conferences (28)


Projected Champions (threat teams, 7): #16 Temple (15-3, 3-0, Atlantic 10), Memphis (13-4, 3-0, Conference USA), #32 Butler (14-4, 7-0, Horizon League), #20 Northern Iowa (16-1, 7-0, Missouri Valley), #14 BYU (18-1, 3-0, Mountain West), #15 Gonzaga (14-3, 3-0, West Coast), #39 Louisiana Tech (17-2, 5-0, Western Athletic)

Projected Champions (non-threat teams, 18): Vermont (America East), Campbell (Atlantic Sun), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Pacific (Big West), #35 William & Mary (Colonial Athletic), #34 Cornell (Ivy League), #46t Siena (MAAC), Akron (Mid-American), Morgan St (MEAC), Quinnipiac (Northeast), Murray St (Ohio Valley), Lafayette (Patriot League), Western Carolina (Southern), UT-San Antonio (Southland), Oakland (Summit League), Prairie View (SWAC), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)

Should be in:   #29 UAB (15-2, 3-0, Conference USA), #28 New Mexico (16-3, 2-2, Mountain West), #33 UNLV (14-4, 2-2, Mountain West)

Bubble:   #44t Xavier (12-5, 4-0, Atlantic 10), Richmond (14-5, 3-1, Atlantic 10), #37 Rhode Island (14-2, 2-1, Atlantic 10), Dayton (13-4, 2-1, Atlantic 10), #42t Old Dominion (14-5, 6-1, Colonial Athletic), #44t Marshall (15-2, 4-0, Conference USA), Tulsa (14-3, 4-0, Conference USA), Wichita St (16-3, 5-2, Missouri Valley), Illinois St (13-5, 4-3, Missouri Valley), Missouri St (13-5, 3-4, Missouri Valley), San Diego St (13-5, 2-2, Mountain West), St Marys (16-3, 3-1, West Coast), Utah St (13-6, 3-2, Western Athletic)

Analysis:   From the minor conferences, I have deteremined that 25 different conference champions and three at-large spots ar safe right now. I have broken the champions into two categories: the first will be those that should have a splash at the tourney, and the second are those in traditionally small conferences. The "threat teams" include three teams currently ranked in the top-25, including Temple, BYU, & Gonzaga. The rest of those teams play in traditionally tougher conferences.

As for the at-larges, I would think UAB, New Mexico, & UNLV are good enough to make the tourney without winning their conference. Teams on the bubble are hoping that these teams win their leagues because this is where you usually find your bubble busters year-in and year-out.

You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/college-ba
sketball/college-basketball-rewind-
1-18-10.html

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com