Sunday, February 4, 2018

4-FEB Bracket Projections: Resume Stuffing Saturday

Bracket Updates
Saturday wasn’t a day full of prominent top ranked teams squaring off, but a host of schools hovering around the cut line cashed in on large opportunities.  Missouri (Kentucky), Washington (Arizona), Texas (Oklahoma), and Alabama (Florida) all picked up key resume wins, and strengthened their Quadrant 1 profile.  Providence also scored a nice bubble separation win over a Marquette team that was projected in the bracket matrix field in the last update.  All five schools move in for me.  Boise State, UCLA, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Maryland have been dumped to make room.

Winthrop has moved back in on the Big South auto bid, replacing Liberty who had knocked them out in the previous bracket. 

Teams With A Zero
To formally close it out since the game was still pending in my last post, Chicago State lost at Cal State Bakersfield by thirty, 91-61.  They continued their road trip and made a stop in Phoenix Saturday, and lost that one by 34, 89-55.  The Cougars have not had a lead in a game since back in the first half of the game against UT Rio Grande Valley.  If a Valley school is required for Chicago State to be in the game, then perhaps Thursday will bring good fortune when the Cougars host Utah Valley.  It looks dire, though.  I’ll predict Utah Valley 81-68.

Delaware State carried themselves better, garnering a large first half lead and parlaying that into a competitive first half.  However, the second twenty minutes allowed North Carolina Central to gain some separation to prevail 72-61.  It’s now time for a quick turnaround for the Hornets as they head from Durham to Greensboro for a game Monday night at North Carolina A&T.  The Aggies won in Dover in early January by ten.  I’ll tack on a point for the rematch and predict NC A&T 77-66.

Winless (against Division I) teams (2): Chicago State, and Delaware State.

Quadrant 1 Wins (Home vs Top 30 RPI, Neutral vs Top 50 RPI, Road vs Top 75 RPI)
Of the Bracket Matrix teams I’d consider bubble teams (teams in the field but not on 10% or more of brackets, plus the first four out), below are the quadrant 1 wins.  The below eleven teams would be vying for seven spots.  Bracket Matrix seed shown in parenthesis:
(11) Washington 4-3, .571
(11) North Carolina State 4-4, (11) Houston 3-3, .500
(11) Missouri 5-6, .455
(F4O) SMU 2-3, .400
(F4O) Western Kentucky 1-2, .333
(11) Virginia Tech 2-5, (10) Kansas State 2-5, .286
(11) Marquette 2-9, .182
(F4O) Syracuse 0-4, (F4O) Boise State 0-3 .000

NCAA Q1 Win Leaders
(9)- Villanova
(8)- Kansas
(7)- Virginia
(6)- Purdue, Oklahoma, Alabama
(5)- Clemson, Florida, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence, Missouri, Texas, Florida State, Florida
(4)- Auburn, Duke, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Kentucky, Miami FL, West Virginia, Washington, Temple, Gonzaga, North Carolina State, LSU
(3)- 8 teams

Notable Games (predictions in italics, 3-2 last week, 51-24 overall)
This week's top five as I see them:
#5 Wednesday, UNLV at Nevada- Nevada 80, UNLV 76
#4 Thursday, Duke at North Carolina- Duke 80, North Carolina 79
#3 Thursday, SMU at Houston- Houston 72, SMU 68
#2 Wednesday, Virginia at Florida State- Florida State 69, Virginia 68
#1 Wednesday, Ohio State at Purdue- Purdue 76, Ohio State 69

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