Thursday, January 31, 2019

31-JAN Bracket Projections: Minnesota rises, NC State, Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana drop.


Teams with a Zero
UNC Asheville has won a game every month this college basketball season.  In November, it was the St. Andrew’s Knights who were nearly doubled up by the Bulldogs 87-47.  December’s win was a comeback affair after trailing by one at the half to the Milligan Buffaloes, before winning 86-76.  Most notably though, in the final game on the January schedule, the Bulldogs earned their first win against Division I competition with a 71-62 win.  It was UNC Asheville’s best effort from an efficiency standpoint, which saw them post 1.15 points per possession while getting to the line 29 times.  They were the last team to earn a win over another Division I program.  The 2015 Grambling State and San Jose State teams can celebrate remaining the last teams to finish a season without a D1 win.  


Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 72-43 overall):
#5 Texas Tech at Kansas, Sat – Texas Tech 69, Kansas 68
#4 San Francisco at Saint Mary’s, Sat – Saint Mary’s 71, San Francisco 69
#3 Maryland at Wisconsin, Fri – Wisconsin 70, Maryland 66
#2 Virginia Tech at North Carolina State, Sat – North Carolina State 74, Virginia Tech 72
#1 North Carolina at Louisville, Sat – Louisville 77, North Carolina 75


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Three automatic bids being swapped out in this update. 
NEC- Sacred Heart (Fairleigh Dickinson)
Atlantic 10- VCU (Dayton)
CUSA- Old Dominion (North Texas)

Only switching out one at-large bid in this update.  DePaul is out, Seton Hall is in. 

My latest bracket has two bids going to a first timer, with Sacred Heart and Abilene Christian earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Arizona (6), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Rider, Texas State and Prairie View A&M would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid. 



Sunday, January 27, 2019

27-JAN Bracket Projections: Wisconsin rises, Mississippi drops.


Teams with a Zero
UNC Asheville found themselves with a 56-55 lead with less than five minutes to play, and in a tie game at 59 with two minutes left, but could not find a way to close out High Point on the road in a 65-61 UNC Asheville loss.  The loss drops the Bulldogs to 0-7 in Big South play, 2-19 overall, and 0-19 against Division I competition.  While Saturday delivered more disappointment, the good news is the most winnable game of the regular season is up next, according to kenpom.  USC Upstate will be in Asheville on Wednesday night, and Pomeroy has the Bulldogs as a five point underdog.  The Spartans are 1-7 in the Big South, with the one win taking place this past weekend against Longwood. 


Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 70-40 overall):
#5 Lipscomb at Liberty, Tue – Liberty 74, Lipscomb 70
#4 Ohio State at Michigan, Tue – Michigan 70, Ohio State 64
#3 Wisconsin at Nebraska, Tue – Nebraska 70, Wisconsin 66
#2 TCU at Texas Tech, Mon – Texas Tech 70, TCU 65
#1 Virginia at North Carolina State, Tue – North Carolina State 71, Virginia 70


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse.
 
A busy weekend leads to seven automatic bids being swapped out in this update.  
SWAC- Prairie View A&M (Texas Southern)
Big South- Lipscomb (Liberty)
NEC- Fairleigh Dickinson (Sacred Heart)
Atlantic 10- Dayton (VCU)
Big West- UC Irvine (UC Santa Barbara)
Pacific 12- Washington (Arizona)
CUSA- North Texas (Old Dominion)
  
Two at-large bids are being updated in this bracket.  Ohio State is back in, and Belmont is also moving in to create a two-bid OVC.  Butler and Seton Hall are now listed as outside the bracket after weekend losses.  Butler is in my first four out, Seton Hall is in my next four out.
  
My latest bracket has just one bid going to a first timer, with Abilene Christian earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Arizona (6), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Rider, Texas State and Prairie View A&M would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid. 


Thursday, January 24, 2019

24-JAN Bracket Projections: Kansas rises, Old Dominion drops.

Teams with a Zero
UNC Asheville, the lone program without a win against Division I competition, could not wait to get back on the court this week with a game at Winthrop at 2pm last Monday.  That’s about where the enthusiasm died as the Eagles jumped out to a 13-0 lead, grew it to 23-4 about midway through the first half, and knocked out a 21 point victory. 

The Bulldogs fall to 0-6 in the Big South, and 2-18 overall against all competition including two games against lower level programs.  This Saturday they’ll continue their road trip with a game against High Point, who is 10-9 overall and 3-2 in league play.  This has the makings of a double digit Panther win.


Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (3-2 last week, 68-37 overall):
#5 Ohio State at Nebraska, Sat – Nebraska 73, Ohio State 68
#4 Iowa State at Mississippi, Sat – Mississippi 73, Iowa State 72
#3 Auburn at Mississippi State, Sat – Mississippi State 74, Auburn 73
#2 Kansas at Kentucky, Sat – Kentucky 76, Kansas 71
#1 Michigan State at Purdue, Sun – Michigan State 74, Purdue 73


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule.  One major addition with this update is that I’ve reduced the impact related to margin of victory which has led to numerous at large changes among the final teams getting in.

Two automatic bids are being swapped out in this update. 
SWAC- Texas Southern (Grambling State)
Big South- Liberty (Lipscomb)

Eight at-large bids being updated in this bracket.  From the Big Twelve, Baylor and Kansas State are now in.  Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State and Minnesota are in, as well as two additional programs from the Big East.  Seton Hall is in, and perhaps by proxy DePaul is in.  I think a logical argument can be made for the first seven, but I’m mixed on DePaul, who is 3-4 against the Big East with wins against Seton Hall (twice) and St. John’s.  My projections have them at 9-9 in conference.  It might be a short stay for the Blue Demons as they are at Providence on Sunday, then hosting 6-0 (in conference play) Villanova next week.

Pittsburgh, Florida, Ohio State, Fresno State, Utah State, Toledo, San Francisco and Saint Mary’s are now listed outside of the field.  Ohio State is my first team out.

My latest bracket has two bids going to a first timer, with Abilene Christian and Sacred Heart each earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Rider and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic


Sunday, January 20, 2019

20-JAN Bracket Projections: Kentucky rises, Kansas, Auburn, and Ohio State drops.


Teams with a Zero
So, this is a UNC Asheville blog from now on.  An eventful Saturday for the Teams with a Zero.
We started the day in Madison, as Wisconsin used a late run to create some separation.  Wisconsin excelled by forcing Michigan into its worst efficiency of the season, aided by the largest turnover per possession percentage (24.1%) this season.  Ethan Happ led the way with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists, ending the undefeated Wolverine run. 

A few hours later in Durham, the sole remaining unbeaten team suffered their first loss as Duke beat Virginia 72-70.  After the discussion around Duke’s three point shooting woes against Syracuse, neither team fared well in this regard.  In fact, Virginia delivered their worst day shooting the long ball, just 17.6%, this season.  Duke was even worse, 14.3%, but dominated from inside the arc shooting 64.9%.  That’s the best any team has shot against Virginia all season.  Salute to all the folks who picked January 19th as the day the last undefeated teams would fall. 

It was also a great day for the winless teams.  Maryland Eastern Shore went on the road and beat Florida A&M in overtime 60-58 for the Hawks first Division I win this season.  Southern was at home, yet also needed overtime, and were able to knock off Arkansas Pine Bluff 69-67.  In fact, all the SWAC teams have now made their way off the list, as Alcorn State won at home handing Mississippi Valley State a 63-57 loss. 

That leaves us with one team.  UNC Asheville, 2-17 on the season with wins over St. Andrews Presbyterian and a ten point win over Milligan.  It’s been quite the fall from grace for the Bulldogs in their post-Nick McDevitt chapter.  They are 0-5 in Big South play, and this season have only hung within single digits of Stetson (80-74), Longwood (67-62) and Radford (71-63).  According to kenpom, the Bulldogs's best chance left at a win in the regular season will be in ten days when they host USC Upstate.  This Monday they will head to Rock Hill for a rematch against Winthrop, a game the Bulldogs lost at home 80-65. 


Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 65-35 overall):
#5 Mississippi State at Kentucky, Tue – Kentucky 75, Mississippi State 72
#4 Iowa State at Kansas, Mon – Iowa State 73, Kansas 72
#3 North Carolina State at Louisville, Thu – North Carolina State 76, Louisville 75
#2 Maryland at Michigan State, Mon – Michigan State 76, Maryland 70
#1 Virginia Tech at North Carolina, Mon – North Carolina 75, Virginia Tech 74


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

One automatic bid is being swapped out in this update. 
Atlantic 10- VCU (Dayton)

Two at-large bids being updated in this bracket.  Lipscomb remains in, but their conference counterpart Liberty has fallen out, giving the Bisons the automatic bid.  Replacing the slot the second Atlantic Sun was previously holding down is Toledo.  Butler is also in the field, while Florida State has fallen out. 

My latest bracket has three bids going to a first timer, with Abilene Christian, Grambling State, and Sacred Heart each earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Grambling State, Rider, and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid.  Toledo and San Francisco I have securing an at large bid, which would be the first bid in 38 years and 20 years, respectively. 



Thursday, January 17, 2019

17-JAN Bracket Projections: Syracuse rises, Montana drops.


Teams with a Zero
Virginia led the entire way against a quality Virginia Tech team, building as much as a 25 point lead before settling on the final margin of 81-59 to remain undefeated.  The Hokies meanwhile came within one point of joining Marshall (64) and Maryland (71) as the only teams to break the 60 point barrier against the Cavaliers.  The win by Virginia sets up a Saturday people have been circling for a while, as both remaining undefeated teams will face steep challenges.  Virginia travel to Duke who obviously will be without Tre Jones, but will at least have Cam Reddish back.  The Hoos will likely be a small two to three point underdog. 

The other undefeated team is the Michigan Wolverines, who were idle this week.  They are also on the road this weekend, with a game at Wisconsin on Saturday.  Unlike Virginia, Michigan will be a small favorite, probably by a point or so.

All four winless teams were unable to breakthrough in this week’s games.  UNC Asheville and Alcorn State were blown out against Campbell and Grambling State, respectively.  Another SWAC team, Southern, lost at Jackson State 64-58.  Maryland Eastern Shore was home to North Carolina A&T, but the Aggies prevailed 67-58.  This weekend however might bring some fortune, at least for the two teams in the SWAC, as both are expected to be small home favorites.  Southern will have Arkansas Pine Bluff, while Alcorn State will be hosting Mississippi Valley State.  The remaining two winless programs are less likely candidates to get that elusive win.  Maryland Eastern Shore will be at Florida A&M, and around a double digit dog.  UNC Asheville will head into Radford, in what is expected to be a similar spread.


Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 63-32 overall):
#5 Indiana at Purdue, Sat – Purdue 73, Indiana 71
#4 Maryland at Ohio State, Fri – Ohio State 72, Maryland 69
#3 Michigan at Wisconsin, Sat – Michigan 67, Wisconsin 66
#2 Kentucky at Auburn, Sat – Auburn 76, Kentucky 71
#1 Virginia at Duke, Sat – Duke 72, Virginia 69


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Three automatic bids are being swapped out in this update. 
Big West- UC Santa Barbara (UC Irvine)
Big South- Radford (Winthrop)
SWAC- Grambling State (Texas Southern)

Just one auto bid being updated in this bracket.  Arkansas is out after their third straight loss and falling to 1-3 in SEC play.  Lipscomb is in (Liberty is my auto for the Atlantic Sun). 

My latest bracket has three bids going to a first timer, with Abilene Christian, Grambling State, and Sacred Heart each earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Grambling State, Rider, and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid.  San Francisco I have securing an at large bid, and the Dons would be earning a bid for the first time since 1998.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

13-JAN Bracket Projections: Louisville rises, North Carolina drops.


Teams with a Zero
Speaking of zero, there was no drama had with either of the two remaining undefeated programs as both cruised to twenty point wins over the weekend.  Virginia went into Clemson, never trailed, and notched a 63-43 road win to move to 15-0.  Clemson was held to 0.70 points per possession after posting an effective field goal percentage of 28.7%, both the lowest for the Tigers all year and the best defensive effort by the Cavaliers to date.  Things ratchet up a bit for Virginia this week, with a home game against Virginia Tech before heading to Cameron Indoor on Saturday. 

Michigan was at home, but enjoyed an equal amount of success with an 80-60 win over Northwestern.  Michigan won’t play again until the weekend, but it’s a doozy.  They will be in Madison for a game against Wisconsin.

Congratulations to the South Carolina State Bulldogs who also never trailed, but allowed an eighteen point lead to trim to 64-61 at one point late second half, before prevailing with a final score of 72-68.  They escaped a monstrous 28 point, 19 rebound effort from Stanley Davis for Morgan State, both career highs, as was his six turnovers.  It was the first Division I win of the season for the Bulldogs, which leaves four such teams remaining.  Maryland Eastern Shore will host North Carolina A&T on Monday night.  UNC Asheville will welcome Chris Clemons and the Campbell Camels on Wednesday night.  Both winless teams will be underdogs, but likely in the single digits.  The other two winless teams, both from the SWAC, will be on the road.  Alcorn State is at Grambling State, and Southern is at Jackson State, with both games being on Monday night.


Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (2-3 last week, 61-29 overall):
#5 Nebraska at Indiana, Mon – Indiana 72, Nebraska 71
#4 Wisconsin at Maryland, Mon – Maryland 72, Wisconsin 68
#3 Iowa State at Texas Tech, Wed – Texas Tech 70, Iowa State 65
#2 Michigan State at Nebraska, Thu – Nebraska 75, Michigan State 73
#1 Virginia Tech at Virginia, Tue – Virginia 67, Virginia Tech 64


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Five automatic bids are being swapped out in this update. 
Pac Twelve- Arizona (Colorado)
Big West- UC Irvine (UC Santa Barbara)
CUSA- Old Dominion (North Texas)
Big South- Winthrop (Radford)
NEC- Sacred Heart (LIU Brooklyn)

No updates to the at large teams from the last update.
My latest bracket has two bids going to a first timer, with Abilene Christian and Sacred Heart each earning a spot.  Wichita State (7), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Rider, and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid.  San Francisco I have securing an at large bid, and the Dons would be earning a bid for the first time since 1998.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

10-JAN Bracket Projections: LSU, Murray State rise.


Teams with a Zero
Another unbeaten goes down as Houston loses on a charge in Philadelphia, and Temple knocks off the Cougars 73-69.  The Cougs basically played from behind throughout, and with mere tenths of a second left momentarily looked to have earned an and-one opportunity that would have given them the lead.  That was ultimately clarified to an offensive foul in what looked to be an acceptable call on replay, but nonetheless a tough way to get your first loss. 

That leaves us with only Virginia and Michigan left as unbeaten teams.  The Cavaliers boatraced Boston College on Wednesday night 83-56 to move to 14-0, and knock off half of the last acronym who gave them their last loss.  The Hoos will be at Clemson on Saturday and probably around a two possession favorite.  Michigan picked up another double digit win on Thursday night at Illinois.  The Wolverines have now won 30 of their last 31 games, with the lone loss behind the national championship game.  Michigan will get Northwestern at home Sunday.

Congratulations to the North Alabama Lions for their first division I win as a member of D1.  The Lions had Florida Gulf Coast at home on Tuesday, and turned in their best defensive effort of the year.  Freshman Cantavio Dutreil picked a fine time for his first double double, in fact it was the first time hitting double figures in either points or rebounds, and added four blocks and a steal to round out the stat sheet in the 61-56 win. 

Not to be overshadowed there was also joy to be had in Durham, New Hampshire as the Wildcats beat UMass Lowell on Wednesday.  New Hampshire hit a season high 56% of their two point attempts, and clamped down for their best defensive effort as well, allowing a 43% effective field goal percentage.  Still, it nearly wasn’t enough as UMass Lowell led 64-60 with a minute a change left until New Hampshire finished on an 8-0 run to earn the 68-64 win.

As for the five remaining winless teams, only Maryland Eastern Shore will be home as they host North Carolina Central.  South Carolina State travels to Morgan State, Southern is at Grambling State, UNC Asheville will go to Hampton, and Alcorn State is at Jackson State.  All five games are on Saturday.


Notable Games
This weekend's top five as I see them (3-2 last week, 59-26 overall):
#5 Louisville at North Carolina, Sat – North Carolina 81, Louisville 74
#4 Nevada at Fresno State, Sat – Fresno State 74, Nevada 72
#3 Mississippi at Mississippi State, Sat – Mississippi State 75, Mississippi 72
#2 Gonzaga at San Francisco, Sat – Gonzaga 76, San Francisco 75
#1 Indiana at Maryland, Fri – Maryland 73, Indiana 70


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  The pre-season weighting is now eliminated, and 100% weighted with this season’s results.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Two automatic bids are being swapped out in this update. 
Ivy- Yale (Brown)
Pac Twelve- Colorado (Oregon)

As for the at large teams, just one change this update.  Toledo is out, and Iowa is in. 
My latest bracket has one bid going to a first timer, with Abilene Christian hanging on to the Southland spot.  Wichita State (7), Arizona (6), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Rider, and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid.  San Francisco I have securing an at large bid, would be earning a bid for the first time since 1998.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

6-JAN Bracket Projections: North Carolina rises, Pittsburgh, Florida drops.


Teams with a Zero
Nevada’s unbeaten streak is over as they get palindromed at New Mexico 85-58.  The Lobos exercise some demons from the historic Wolf Pack come back from two seasons ago, allowing a 2-0 Nevada lead to be the day’s only real bright side for Nevada.  Nevada will likely be just fine in conference play, but I’m interested to see how they do at Fresno State next weekend.  The Mountain West probably has less strength in the middle this year, but I do think the two or three teams at the top are playing good basketball. 

Virginia ran away from Florida State, although mop up time allowed the Seminoles to close with a more respectable score.  Michigan got a double digit win against Indiana, as did Houston against Memphis, both on Sunday.  All three will be challenged on the road this week.  Houston will be at Temple, Michigan is at Illinois, and Virginia is at Boston College.

Two previously winless teams earned their first victory on Saturday.  Coppin State knocked off Savannah State in a game which neither team managed better than 0.92 points per possession.  Dejuan Clayton had an efficient day with a season high 23 points on just eleven shots.  Alabama State had less drama, and thumped Grambling State at home by a score of 74-53.  It was the defense that earned the Hornets the victory allowing a season low in effective field goal and two point shooting percentage against Division I competition. 

South Carolina State was close to breaking through, but lost to North Carolina A&T in overtime.  They will have to stew on that for a few extra days as they do not play again until this weekend.  The other six teams are in action.  While none will be favorites, five of the six will be playing at home giving them a little better chance to breakthrough.  Southern will have Texas Southern, Maryland Eastern Shore hosts Howard, and Alcorn State battles Prairie View A&M with all games on Monday.  North Alabama will get Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, and New Hampshire will have UMass Lowell on Wednesday.  UNC Asheville is the lone team facing a road test with a game at Longwood on Thursday. 


Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (3-2 last week, 56-24 overall):
#5 Fresno State at Utah State, Wed – Utah State 73, Fresno State 70
#4 TCU at Kansas, Wed – Kansas 74, TCU 73
#3 Purdue at Michigan State, Tue – Michigan State 79, Purdue 72
#2 Auburn at Mississippi, Wed – Mississippi 74, Auburn 73
#1 North Carolina at North Carolina State, Tue – North Carolina State 82, North Carolina 76


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Six automatic bids are being swapped out in this update after many conferences began play this weekend. 
Ivy- Brown (Yale)
Patriot- Lehigh (American)
Northeast- LIU Brooklyn (Wagner)
SWAC- Texas Southern (Grambling State)
American East- Vermont (Stony Brook)
Big South- Radford (Gardner Webb)

As for the at large teams, swapping out just one team after this weekend’s games.  Villanova is back in, Vanderbilt is out.    

My latest bracket has one bid going to first timers, with Abilene Christian clinging to the Southland bid.  Wichita State (7), Arizona (6), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Brown, Rider, and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid.  Toledo and San Francisco I have securing an at large bid, would be snapping a drought of 38 and 20 years, respectively.  



Thursday, January 3, 2019

3-JAN Bracket Projections: Gonzaga, St. John’s rise, Wisconsin drops.


Teams with a Zero
Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, and Houston all easily dispatched opponents this week to remain perfect.  Michigan’s win over Penn State by thirteen was the closest of all the games.  Each of the four will be in action this weekend.  Nevada will be the only one on the road, with a game at the Pit against New Mexico.  Michigan (Indiana), Virginia (Florida State) and Houston (Memphis) all have conference games at home.  I would posit that Michigan is most at risk, but all four should be favored in their matchups. 

We are down to nine winless teams after King Rice took his Monmouth Hawks into Penn and came out with a 76-74 OT win on Monday.  That was the last MAAC team searching for its first division one win of the 2018-19 season, which leaves the MEAC (3), SWAC (3), Atlantic Sun (1), American East (1), and Big South (1) the final conferences housing such teams.  We’ll see the list continue to dwindle, especially in the MEAC and SWAC when schools meet up with other teams in the same predicament. 

All nine teams are in action this weekend, several of which have winnable games.  Coppin State will host Savannah State, South Carolina State will welcome in North Carolina A&T, Southern is home against Prairie View A&M, and Alabama State has Grambling State in Montgomery.  All are fairly close to coin flip games.  New Hampshire is at Binghamton, and while maybe not as even as the games above, this is still a reasonable opportunity for the Wildcats.  Alcorn State gets Texas Southern at home, and kenpom has this as a double digit game, but I think it’s worth keeping an eye on.  Maryland Eastern Shore is at Morgan State, North Alabama is at North Florida, and UNC Asheville will host Winthrop in some of the anticipated lopsided matchups. 


Notable Games
This week's top five as I see them (4-1 last week, 53-22 overall):
#5 Florida State at Virginia, Sat – Virginia 73, Florida State 64
#4 North Carolina at Pittsburgh, Sat – Pittsburgh 77, North Carolina 75
#3 Kansas at Iowa State, Sat – Iowa State 77, Kansas 71
#2 Indiana at Michigan, Sun – Michigan 70, Indiana 66
#1 Michigan State at Ohio State, Sat – Ohio State 74, Michigan State 73


Bracket
My updated bracket can be found below.  The pre-season weighting is now eliminated, and 100% weighting is with this season’s results.  This bracket (as well as my previous brackets) are a projection of where I think the teams will be as of Selection Sunday.  In other words, it includes their future schedule, for better or for worse. 

Four automatic bids are being swapped out in this update. 
Ivy- Yale (Brown)
Pac Twelve- Oregon (Colorado)
Patriot- American (Lehigh)
Northeast- Wagner (LIU Brooklyn)

As for the at large teams, swapping out two after this week’s games.  Vanderbilt and Texas are in, Northwestern and Iowa are out. 

My latest bracket has three bids going to first timers, with Grambling State, Gardner Webb and Abilene Christian taking a spot.  Wichita State (7), Villanova (6), Arizona (6), Xavier (5), Providence (5), West Virginia (4), Butler (4), Seton Hall (3), Miami FL (3) and Iona (3) would see multiple year streaks of tournament appearances snapped if this bracket would hold.  Grambling State, Rider, and Texas State would be ending droughts of at least 20 years with an automatic bid.  Toledo and San Francisco I have securing an at large bid, would be snapping a drought of 38 and 20 years, respectively.