projection hazy, ask again later
An easier patch of schedule has stopped Michigan's losing business, stabilizing their seed. Meanwhile, two projected ones last week have gone down. Florida lost to Missouri on the road; Miami went down against Wake Forest for their first ACC loss.
The resulting brackets are uncertain about the top line for the first time in a while—Duke and Indiana are Bracket Matrix locks and then there is a ton of disagreement. Gonzaga, Michigan, Miami, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona, and even New Mexico get Bracket Matrix support, though a couple of those outliers are from dot blogspots (no offense to dot blogspots). Miami and the Zags get tentative nods in the hivemind. Crashing the Dance goes with Kansas and Florida, with Michigan in sixth.
On the other hand, Jerry Palm has dropped the Gators and 'Canes all the way to the three line and put them in a terrifying bracket featuring one-seed Michigan hypothetically staring down this gauntlet after an obligatory round one victory: VCU, Louisville, Florida. Yeesh.
Anyway, I'm eyeballing it and:
- Gonzaga's good wins are against Oklahoma, KSU, and Oklahoma State. (They've played half of the Big 12.) They have losses against Illinois and Butler and have a super-easy conference schedule.
- Kansas has a win against OSU, a sweep of KSU, a split against Okie State, and losses to MSU, Oklahoma, and TCU(!).
- Florida has blowout wins over Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Marquette. They split with Mizzou and Arkansas, and lost to Arizona and K-State.
- Arizona beat Miami, NCSU, and Florida in the nonconference schedule. They've got four Pac-12 losses and have not beaten a team headed to the tourney in conference save the OT opener against Colorado.
- Miami beat MSU, NCSU and Duke. They swept UNC and beat Virginia. They lost to Arizona, Wake Forest, Indiana State, and Florida Gulf Coast. They had some injury early in the season that may have hampered them, but Florida Gulf Coast? Seriously?
- Michigan beat Pitt, KSU, NCSU, split with OSU, lost at OSU, Indiana, Wisconsin, and MSU.
If I'm the committee Michigan has the most understandable four losses—all these teams have four except the Zags—and has wins to go with anyone plus the attractive feature that no one battling it out for the #3 or #4 seed has beaten anyone they've lost to except Kansas. I am with Palm: if the season ended today they would be on the top line. It does not; Michigan will have to at least split the MSU and Indiana games to be projected a one before the Big Ten Tourney. Florida and Miami going down does give them some argument with a 3-1 record down the stretch.
Projected ones: Duke, Indiana, Michigan, Kansas
ark bid: remote possibility
Last win for IUPUI: December 27th. Binghamton: January 19th. Central Michigan: also January 19th. All of these are still unchanged since last week.
Cleveland State lost 50-41 to Wright State last week and is headed for a 5-11 Horizon record. Bradley remains a 500-ish MVC team. Eastern Michigan… was in Bracket Busters? What the…? Eastern is a .500 MAC team. I'm so confused. (By the way, remember that Ray Lee kid people unearthed as a possible late Burke replacement? He played eight games early and hasn't since. It looks like they're going to redshirt him.)
Western was also in Bracket Busters, winning against Pacific. They're nowhere near an at-large bid even now, but they'll win their division in the MAC.
Big sorts of teams
Notre Dame: L 51-42. @ St John's: W 63-47.
Played a Wisconsin special against Notre Dame, which we're defining as a sub-60 possession game in which neither team cracks a PPP. Pitt didn't even get 80% of the way there as they went 0/8 from three and got pounded on the boards. Rule: if Pitt gets pounded on the boards, they are going to lose.
As per usual when Pitt loses a game like this, a long stretch where their offense dies is the culprit. After taking a 28-24 lead with just over 16 minutes left, the Panthers scored six points over the next ten minutes.
The St John's win was a decent one against a .500 BE team. Pitt's excellent shooting D a came up against a team that can't shoot or rebound, and that was it.
SEEDWATCH: Dropped a spot on both sites we track here, down to a five—a tenuous five—on the Matrix and a six on CTD. Palm has them a 7.
Kansas State (23-5)
West Virginia: W 71-61. @ Texas: W 81-69. Texas Tech: W 75-55.
Three comfortable wins over teams K-State should beat. K State grabbed their usual ton of OREBs in all, shooting well inside the arc and turning the ball over a lot… you get the idea. Their PPP was 1.2 over the course of these games thanks to a ton of free throws and the shooting from two.
SEEDWATCH: Still a four on BM; CTD actually moved them down to a five. Palm says four.
North Carolina State (19-8)
FSU: W 84-66. @ North Carolina: L 76-65.
Florida State can't score with these guys this year, especially when TJ Warren is going nuts with 31 points on 18 shot equivalents and eight(!) offensive rebounds amongst NCSU's 21(!) total; the Wolfpack got back 58% of their misses. Game over, man. Florida State is absolutely terrible at rebounding, if you're curious.
Then North Carolina got its revenge. Too many turnovers for the Wolfpack and some ugly free-throw shooting—CJ Leslie was 0/4—doomed them. This one lurched around wildly, with NC State surging from ten down to take a four-point lead in the first ten minutes of the second half. Four minutes after that lead was established, NC State decided they'd done enough scoring for one game. They were not correct.
MCHOBBIT UPDATE: Back to the salt mines: ten minutes against FSU with two points and an assist; five minutes against UNC with one missed three, an assist, and two fouls to his credit.
SEEDWATCH: Five on CTD, Six on the Matrix.
Georgia: W 62-60. @ Florida: L 71-54.
Arkansas remains on the bubble-bubble and could get on the bubble by winning out. A two point home win over Georgia does not suggest they are going to do that what with games against Kentucky and Missouri left.
West Virginia (13-12)
@ Kansas State: L 71-61. Oklahoma State: L 73-57.
Y'all be bad at basketball.
SEEDWATCH: poppy seed muffins that get you arrested for opiods.
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
Was yesterday. K-State beat Texas Tech by lots.
Indiana at Minnesota, 7PM, ESPN
Nebraska at Wisconsin, 9PM, BTN
Florida at Tennessee, 9PM, ESPN
MICHIGAN at Penn State, 6:30 PM, BTN
Purdue at Iowa, 8:36 PM, BTN
Ohio State at Northwestern, 7PM, ESPN2
Gonzaga at BYU, 11PM, ESPN2
Alabama at Florida, noon, ESPN
Kansas at West Virginia, 2PM, CBS
Penn State at Minnesota, 3PM, BTN
Nebraska at Illinois, 5:15 PM, BTN
Miami at Duke, 6PM, ESPN
Iowa at Indiana, 7:30, BTN
Arizona at UCLA, 9PM, ESPN
Purdue at Wisconsin, 1PM, ESPN
Michigan State at MICHIGAN, 4PM, CBS
NC State at Georgia Tech, 6PM, ESPNU