NOTE: these posts ballooned to 3500 words, so I'm chopping them in half. The Big Ten Power rankings will become a separate post running Tuesday since the Big Ten never plays on Monday; seedwatch, nonconference updates, and viewing guide will run today.
Well, it finally happened. Going 1-3 in their tough stretch has moved Michigan out of the ranks of the one seeds in the circuits of computer formulas and minds of bracket projectors. The Matrix has Michigan fifth, on the verge of a top seed, but that has a lot to do with lag. The vast majority of 1 votes come from brackets that haven't been updated since Michigan got demolished by State. Almost everyone who's update since has moved them down a line.
The news is grimmer on Crashing The Dance, which has hurled Michigan all the way down to eighth. They're still a spot ahead of MSU. Miami is the main beneficiary, sliding up to the top line virtually everywhere after a narrow escape against Clemson yesterday.
Michigan still has the ability to play themselves back into a top seed. To be there by the end of the regular season they would probably have to win out; if they split their upcoming home games against MSU and Indiana they could probably wrest a one seed away by winning the league tournament. The bet here is they end up a 2.
Projected ones: Florida, Indiana, Duke, Miami.
ark bid: remote possibility
Last win for IUPUI: December 27th. Binghamton: January 19th. Central Michigan: also January 19th. All of these are unchanged since last week.
Cleveland State crammed in 3 games this week, two losses, and is a bad Horizon team. Bradley remains a 500-ish MVC team. Eastern is the same in the MAC. They're fourth nationally in block rate, though. They're sending back 17% of opponent twos! And 341st in defensive rebounding.
Western is going to win their division of the MAC but still cannot crack the KP 100 because they do things like lose to BGSU and not blow out that Northern Illinois team that infamously had four points at the half against Eastern.
Big sorts of teams
@ Marquette: L 79-69
Pitt gave up 60% on twos and sent Marquette to the line 29 times; they also allowed the Fightin' Wades to rebound 48% of their misses. Result: 1.27 PPP allowed and defeat despite playing a lot better on offense than they usually do. That's an aberration from a usually very good Pitt defense. Marquette may be a team to keep an eye on in your brackets.
SEEDWATCH: Still a five on CTD; four on the Matrix, but they're a hair away from five as well.
Kansas State (20-5)
@ Kansas: L 83-62. Baylor: W 81-61
Reeling Kansas got off the mat in a big way in a game K-State was never really in. The usually stout Wildcat rebounding got destroyed 45%-18%, and Kansas shot 54% from two.
K-State then turned around and blew out a Baylor team that's on the bubble despite losing to Charleston and Northwestern; in that one it was an avalanche of Baylor turnovers that did them in, mostly late. A six minute scoring drought whittled away a large K-State lead to two seven minutes into the second half. From there, K-State blew the doors off.
SEEDWATCH: Status quo. Four on both sites.
North Carolina State (18-7)
Virginia Tech: W 90-86 (OT)
We have to stop complaining about bad luck ruining what could have been a truly impressive nonconference win for Michigan, I think. Yeah: the last two NC State outings have been a one point win over Clemson and an OT win over Virginia Tech. They're still a little short on the luck end of the ledger, but they are who they are right now, a team that can get in a one-point game with any-damn-body.
MCHOBBIT UPDATE: Seems to have earned a bunch of playing time even with the healthy return of Lorenzo Brown. In 21 minutes he had 13 points on 8 possessions used. I take it back, McHobbit.
SEEDWATCH: Five on CTD, Six on the Matrix.
@ Auburn: W 83-75. Missouri: W 73-71.
Hey, two wins in a week for Arkansas, one of them against a team headed for the tourney in Missouri, the other on the road, where Arkansas is horrible. Road wins this year for Arkansas include at Auburn, and at Auburn, and also at Auburn.
Arkansas is now on the bubble to get on the bubble. They'll have to go at least 4-2 down the stretch to get in the conversation. With one of those games at Florida, that's a tall order. NIT looks good, though.
SEEDWATCH: nyet. CTD has them 12 teams away from a bid; Bracket Matrix doesn't even know their name.
West Virginia (13-12)
@ Baylor: L 80-60. Texas Tech: W 66-64.
Bob Huggins looks like a ragecomic drawing. That is all.
SEEDWATCH: ain't no seed
Games relevant to your interest that are on the TV and may be worth watching after the first ten minutes. Bolded teams are suggested teams to root for, calibrated for …
1) helping M win conference title
2) best chance for quality-win pile-up to help M seeding
3) greatest number of tourney teams from league
4) eff Michigan State
5) also Wisconsin
Notre Dame at Pitt, 7PM, ESPN
West Virginia at K-State, 9PM, ESPN
Indiana at Michigan State, 7PM, ESPN (I punt on rooting interest.)
Florida State at NC State, 9PM, ESPN2
Virginia at Miami, 9PM, ESPNU
Florida at Missouri, 9PM, ESPN
Minnesota at Ohio State, 7PM, BTN
Wisconsin at Northwestern, 9PM, BTN
Penn State at Illinois, 8:15, BTN
Iowa at Nebraska, 9PM, ESPN2
Duke at Virginia Tech, 9PM, ESPN
Miami at Wake Forest, 1PM, ESPN3
NC State at North Carolina, 4PM, ESPN
Arkansas at Florida, 7PM, ESPNU
Illinois at Michigan, 1PM, ESPN
Michigan State at Ohio State, 4PM, CBS
Northwestern at Purdue, 6PM, BTN