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

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. 

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