Bracketology 2017: February 20

True Seed List 

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina
2: Louisville, Baylor, Oregon, Arizona
3: UCLA, Duke, Florida, Kentucky
4: Florida St., West Virginia, Purdue, Wisconsin
5: Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Cincinnati, SMU, Creighton, Northwestern
7: Iowa St., Saint Mary's, Minnesota, Dayton
8: VCU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma St., South Carolina
9: Xavier, USC, Miami FL, Michigan
10: Arkansas, Michigan St., Georgia Tech, California
11: Marquette, Wichita St., Illinois St., Providence, Kansas St., Seton Hall
12: UNC Wilmington, Middle Tennessee, Akron, Nevada
13: UT Arlington, Vermont, Monmouth, Valparaiso
14: Belmont, Princeton, UNC Asheville, Bucknell.
15: Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, Cal St. Bakersfield, North Dakota St.
16: North Carolina Central, New Orleans, Texas Southern, Mount St. Mary's, North Dakota, UC Irvine

OUT THIS BRACKET: Syracuse, TCU, Weber State, UC Davis

IN THIS BRACKET: Marquette, Kansas State, North Dakota, UC Irvine

On the bubble: The bubble has begun to shrink as of late, with a smaller group of teams remaining in debate as teams either win to sure up their status or loss to eliminate themselves.  In the end, I took, Arkansas, Michigan State, Georgia Tech , Providence, Illinois St., Kansas State and Seton Hall over Syracuse, TCU, Wake Forest, Texas Tech and Tennessee.  I do not think anyone outside of that list should get consideration at this stage.

The battle for the fourth 1-seed is very much up for grabs with Baylor's two-loss week.  In the end I took the ACC leaders - North Carolina - over Louisville, Oregon, Baylor or Arizona.  This blind resume test shows just how close it is:

The current bracket would have Richard Patino's Minnesota team in the same Indianapolis pod as Rick Patino's Louisville.  Turner/CBS would have a field day with that, obviously. 

The ACC sits at 10 bids - which seems like a possible number for them to achieve at this point.  Marquette playing their way back in gives the Big Easy 7 bids, while the Big 12 and Big Ten each have 6.

Florida State falls to a 4-seed after losing back-to-back road games.  The big deal here is that a top-4 seed likely puts them in Orlando on opening weekend.  Anything below that and it's luck of the draw.

Next Bracket: Thursday, February 23

 


Scoreboard Watching: February 20, 2017

In The Books

Friday
Stanford 73, California 68: Big upset in the Bay as Cal falls to 9-5 in Pac-12 play.  The Bears should still be okay, but can't afford to slip up too much more after Wednesday's home tilt with Oregon.
 
Princeton 71, Yale 52: The Tigers controlled the game throughout in what was billed as their toughest test in Ivy League play. They're two games clear of Harvard in the final four.
 
Oakland 82, Valparaiso 52: The Grizz sweep the Horizon League leaders and sit only one game back with a more favorable schedule than the Crusaders.
 
Kent State 70, Akron 67: The Zips first home loss in nearly two years basically guarantees that they won't be seeded above a 12-seed and will nee to win the MAC to make the cut.
 
Saturday
Kansas 67, Baylor 65: Just like that KU is up three games in the Big 12 with four to play.  If they can run away with the nation's strongest conference (per KenPom) and take the tournament, the door is open for the KU to take the #1-overall seed in the tournament.
 
North Carolina 65, Virginia 41: The Tar Heels gave Virginia taste of their on medicine, dominating the slow-paced match-up (the 61 possessions was UNC's 2nd lowest this season) and maintaining their one game lead in the ACC.
 
Miami 71, Clemson 65: The Hurricanes have won four of five games and are 8-6 in conference.  It's a tough home stretch though, as Virginia, Duke, Va Tech and Florida State make up their final four - with Duke being the only home game remaining.
 
Villanova 92, Seton Hall 70: Seton Hall falls to 6-8 in Big East play.  I find it hard to think they'll make the tournament if they're below .500 in conference, which would require wins against DePaul and Georgetown and a split of Xavier and Butler.
 
Duke 99, Wake Forest 94: An offensive shootout as the teams combine for 1.42 PPP.  That's bad news for a Wake team that falls to 6-9 in conference.  Wake is now 0-7 vs RPI Top 25 teams and will need to win out to reach .500 in conference.  They're alive, but it's a long shot.  Meanwhile, don't count the Blue Devils out of the 2-seed conversation.
 
Louisville 94, Virginia Tech 90: An iffy intentional foul call in the game's final moments did the Hokies in.  The statement of the afternoon though came on the sideline, when Buzz Williams switched to a VT T-shirt after sweating through his dress shirt in the first half.
 
West Virginia 83, Texas Tech 74 (2 OT): A thrilling rally by Tech pushed the game into OT, but the Red Raiders only managed 10 points the rest of the way, eventually faltering in the second extra period.  They'll likely need to finish 4-0 to be in the tournament discussion.
 
SMU 76, Houston 66: The Cougars stormed out to a 13 point lead early, but got into foul trouble and got beat up on the boards as SMU eventually took control.  They'll likely need to win out - which would include a win over Cincinnati - to be in serious contention.
 
Marquette 83, Xavier 61: The Eagles claw back to .500 in conference, only their second win since beating Villanova on January 24.  They'd be pretty save with a 3-1 finish the rest of the way.  The loss is Xaiver's third straight.
 
Kentucky 82, Georgia 77: That may who been Georgia's last chance at an at-large spot, especially after losing Yante Maten to what's being reported as a "serious knee injury" before the first media timeout.
 
Vanderbilt 71, South Carolina 62:  Three losses in four game for South Carolina, all against teams that are either out (Bama, Vandy) or on the bubble (Arkansas0.  Are they hitting the same skid they hit in December?
 
Iowa State 84, TCU 71:  The Horned Frogs fall to 6-8 in conference with Kansas and WVU coming up.  They'll need to at least split those to have any chance at an at-large bid.
 
Pitt 80, Florida State 66: The Seminoles road woes continue - especially at the free throw line where they shot 9-15 in the loss - a common thread in their road losses.  A lot of eyes will be on them in Brooklyn to see if they can figure out how to win outside of Tallahassee when it counts.
 
UCLA 102, USC 70: The Bruins easily avenge their earlier loss to their cross-town rivals.
 
Nebraska 58, Ohio State 57: The loss eliminates the Buckeyes from at-large conversation.
 
Purdue 80, Michigan State 63: A bad as the loss was, the loss of Eron Harris to a season-ended knee injury leaves Tom Izzo with an uphill battle to keep their 19-year tournament streak alive.
 
East Tennessee State 65, Chattanooga 51: The Buccaneers stay within a game of Furman, who they host on Wednesday.
 
Sunday
Wisconsin 71, Maryland 60: The Badgers put a stop to their two game skid to remain tied with Purdue atop the Big Ten standings.
 
Creighton 87, Georgetown 70: A quality win for the Jays that ends the slim hope the Hoyas had for a bubble bid.
 
Georgia Tech 71, Syracuse 65: Tech needed this to stay in good position to finish the regular season .500 in ACC play, a mark that I think will get them in the tournament.  Meanwhile, Syracuse has lost three in a row and would likely be out if the field was selected today - and they have red-hot Duke and Louisville in their next two.
 
Minnesota 83, Michigan 78 (OT): Not enough can be said for how Derrick Walton is willing this Wolverines' team to the tournament.  They came up short here, despite closing regulation on a 12-4 run to force the extra period.  Minnesota is in good shape to make the cut again with their fifth straight win.  Penn State and Nebraska remain, so 10 conference wins definitely seems doable.
 

Tipping Off Tonight

 
Iowa State at Texas Tech: It's desperation time in Lubbock.  After coming up short, the Raiders likely need to in out and reach. 500 in conference play to make the Tournament.
 
Miami at Virginia: The Cavaliers are coming off a lopsided loss at UNC and sit at 8-6 in the ACC, 1.5 games out of 4th place and the bye to the Quarters in the conference tournament.  Miami is comfortable for the moment at 8-6 as well, but have Duke and Florida State left on their schedule.
 
UT Arlington at Georgia Southern: Big game in the Sun Belt as both teams look to be the first to reach 11 wins in conference.

Scoreboard Watching: February 17, 2017

In The Books

Michigan 64, Wisconsin 58: The Wolverines needed it, picking up their best win of the season.  A 3-2 finish should let them rest comfortably heading into the BTT.
 
Oregon 79, Utah 61: The Utes were no match for the Ducks.  They're above .500 in conference, but unless they beat Cal on March 2 their best win of the season was against USC.
 
North Florida 92, Lipscomb 83: The loss moves Florida Gulf Coast back into sole possession of first place in the A-Sun.

Tipping Off Tonight 

Friday
Princeton at Yale: The Tigers put their 11 game winning streak on the line in the only game remaining on their schedule in which they're not favored by KenPom.
 
Valparaiso at Oakland: The last time these two teams played, Oakland took the road win in convincing fashion and looked like the class of the Horizon.  Tides have shifted though, as the Crusaders come in with a two game lead.  A win would all but give them the regular season title - up 3 games with 4 to play, including conference cellar-dwellers Detroit and Milwaukee.
 
Saturday
Kansas at Baylor: A loss could drop the Bears out of the 1-seed line if it's coupled with a UNC win.  Kansas could make a case for the 1-overall seed if they could sweep the season series over the Bears.
Virginia at North Carolina: UVA has lost four of out their last six games, and still has two contests against UNC remaining.  The first of which takes place in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heels haven't lost this season.
SMU at Houston: Here's Houston's opportunity to play themselves into the bubble conversation.  I'll be on-site, can they pick up the home win and get themselves in?
 
Xavier at Marquette: Marquette's only win since beating Villanova has come against DePaul.  They need this one bad to get back into the conversation.
 
Kentucky at Georgia: Like Houston above this is Georgia's last chance to grab some attention.  They should be able to capitalize should they win too, with a favorable final four games.  
 
Florida State at Pitt: FSU has struggled away from home, especially when it comes to shooting free throws.  They should win, but it's no gimmie.
 
TCU at Iowa State: The Cyclones are sitting comfortable following their sweep over K-State.  TCU is fighting for their lives meanwhile, after falling at home to OK-State.
 
Wake Forest at Duke: Wake needs a big win, but the Blue Devils are playing their best ball of the year.
 
Texas Tech at West Virginia: Tech is knocking on the door of the bid following their win over Baylor.  If they could still this upset, they'd definitely be in heading into the final weeks of the regular season.
 
USC at UCLA: The Trojans took round one, but UCLA is hot and playing at home.
 
Michigan State at Purdue: A win by Sparty would clinch a .500 conference record, while Purdue has taken over the favorite spot in the Big Ten after Wisconsin's recent skid.
 
Virginia Tech at Louisville: The Cards are still eyeing a possible 1-seed if they can take the ACC title.
 
Sunday
Michigan at Minnesota: The Wolverines are hot, but they have only one road win on the season and Williams Arena is never an easy place to win.
 
Syracuse at Georgia Tech: Likely a play-in game for Monday's edition of Bracketology 2017.
 
Maryland at Wisconsin: Along with Purdue, these two are tied atop the Big Ten standings heading into the home stretch.  Wisconsin hasn't lost consecutive Big Ten home games since 2014, when it lost three in a row.

Bracketology 2017: February 16

True Seed List 

Note - a few teams had to shift a seed in the actual bracket to avoid conference match-ups.  The list below is their "True Seed", meaning where they would live if not for those conflicts.

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2: North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida St., Duke, Florida
4: Kentucky, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia
5: Butler, Purdue, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Cincinnati, SMU, Creighton, Northwestern
7: Virginia Tech, Saint Mary's, Iowa St., USC
8: Xavier, South Carolina, Dayton, VCU
9: Miami FL, Minnesota, Oklahoma St., Arkansas
10: California, Wichita St., Michigan, Michigan St.
11: Illinois St., Syracuse, Providence, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech, TCU
12: Middle Tennessee, Akron, Vermont, UNC Wilmington
13: Nevada, Valparaiso, Monmouth, Belmont
14: Princeton, UT Arlington, UNC Asheville, Bucknell
15: Cal St. Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, North Dakota St., Mount St. Mary's, North Carolina Central
16: Texas Southern, New Orleans, Weber St., North Carolina Central

 

OUT THIS BRACKET: Kansas State, Wake Forest, Boise St., New Mexico St.

IN THIS BRACKET: Providence, Seton Hall, Nevada, Cal State Bakersfield

On the bubble: While some teams have clearly played themselves in and out of the bubble, a small group still remains very fluid.  In the end, I took Michigan, Michigan St., Illinois St., Syracuse, Providence, Georgia Tech, TCU and Seton Hall over Texas Tech, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Tennessee and Rhode Island.  There is very much an opportunity to play your way into the field as the end of the bubble is pretty weak right now.

Baylor's loss to Texas Tech shrinks the gap between the Bears and the 2-seed line quite a bit, but not enough to bump them, yet.  A loss to Kansas this weekend and a win by UNC over UVA may do it.  Speaking of Texas Tech, the Red Raiders are moving in the right direction with that win, but need to reach .500 in conference, which still requires a 4-1 finish.

Duke moves up to a 3-seed after last night's win at Virginia.  They're playing great basketball right now and a 2-seed is not out of the question if they stay hot.

Kansas holds strong as the #2 overall seed behind Villanova.  I still have Gonzaga slotted at #3 overall based on the committee's standings released on Saturday.

Indiana isn't even in the picture anymore after falling to 5-9 in Big Ten play last night.  Those wins over Kansas and UNC seem like seasons ago.

The ACC leads all conferences with 10 bids.  I still expect them to only get 9 in the end.  The Big Ten gets seven teams in, while the Big East and Big 12 get six apiece.

Next Bracket: Monday February 20.


Scoreboard Watching: February 16, 2017

In The Books

 
Duke 65, Virginia 55: The Blue Devils are very much starting to look like what everyone expected in the preseason.  UVA is sliding, 2-4 in their last five games after starting 16-3.  They'll head to UNC on Saturday.
 
Oklahoma State 71, TCU 68: That's seven wins in eight games for OK-State, who has a favorable schedule down the stretch.  Meanwhile, TCU falls to 6-7 in conference with their next three games at Iowa State, at Kansas and vs WVU.
 
Arkansas 83, South Carolina 76: A big road win for the Razorbacks helps to stall concerns over their recent poor play.
 
Maryland 74, Northwestern 64: The win sets up a showdown Sunday with Wisconsin that would at least give them a share of the Big Ten lead, if not outright if the Badgers were to fall in Ann Arbor tomorrow.
 
Iowa State 87, Kansas State 79: The Cyclones have bookended a six-losses-in-seven games streak for K-State, with their lone win in that span coming at Baylor.  They're in deep trouble though at 5-8 in conference, though they are favored by KenPom in all but one of their remaining contests.
 
Providence 75, Xavier 63: That's back-to-back wins over Butler and Xavier - and may just be enough to get them in the field for now.  They're at Creighton next Wenesday before closing it out with very winnable games against Marquette, DePaul and St. John's.
 
Seton Hall 87, Creighton 81: Similar story for Seton Hall, who may have played themselves back into the bubble conversation with a quality home win.  They'll host Villanova on Saturday.
 
Minnesota 75, Indiana 74: That's-that for IU.  They'll need a miracle to make the dance now.
 
Miami (FL) 70, Georgia Tech 61: Miami stay safe for now, while Georgia Tech falls below .500 again in ACC play, but I still like their chances.  They can finish 9-9 in ACC play with a 3-2 finish, which would only require wins over Pitt, NC State and a split in their two games with Syracuse.  I don't think the committee can leave them out if they finish .500 in conference play with wins over ND, FSU and UNC.

Tipping Off Tonight 

Wisconsin at Michigan: The Wolverines are playing their best basketball since before Thanksgiving, but Wisconsin will be a tough test.  It's still going to be an uphill battle for the Wolverines to make the cut.
 
Utah at Oregon: The Utes need it to get themselves back into the bubble field.

Scoreboard Watching: February 15, 2017

In The Books

Valentine's Day obligations mean that I'm a day behind here, so we'll start by catching up with...
 
MONDAY
Kansas 84, West Virginia 80 (OT): The Jayhawks erased a 14 point lead with two-minutes-and-change left to play to push the game into overtime before stealing back an unlikely win and holding firm on the 1-seed line.  Heartbreaking loss for WVU.
 
Texas Tech 84, Baylor 78: A huge win for the Red Raiders who get themselves back into the bubble conversation - for now.   They still need to finish 4-1 to get to .500 in B12 play, an absolute must given their putrid non-conference schedule.
 
Louisville 76, Syracuse 72 (OT): Back-to-back losses for the Cuse put them back squarely on the bubble.  They'll have to earn their spot, with a four game finishing stretch that features two games vs fellow-bubble GT, Duke and a return trip to Louisville remaining.
 
TUESDAY
Clemson 95, Wake Forest 83: The Tigers sweep a fellow bubble team in Wake, but still sit at only 4-9 in
conference, though most of their toughest games are behind them.
 
Virginia Tech 66, Pitt 63: The Hokies narrowly escape in Pitt to stay above .500 in conference play heading into Saturday's game at Louisville.
 
Michigan State 74, Ohio State 66: At 8-5 in Big Ten Play, the Spartans are fairly comfortable right now.  However, they're only favored by KenPom in one of their final five games.
 
Kentucky 83, Tennessee 58: Revenge came easy for the Wildcats while Tennessee drops their third game in four contests.

Tipping Off Tonight

 
Oklahoma State at TCU:  Two Big 12 bubble teams square off  in Fort Werth.  TCU is .500 in conference, but only has one game remaining against teams not projected in the tournament.  
 
Creighton at Seton Hall: Seton Hall is playing at home as desperate.  A loss would drop them to 5-8 in conference with Villanova and Xavier on deck.
 
Xavier at Providence: A huge opportunity for Providence to build upon the momentum of Saturday's win over Butler and keep their bubble hopes alive.
 
Duke at Virginia: UVA is only 3-3 in their last six, while Duke looks to be coming together with Coach K back on the bench.
 
Iowa State at Kansas State:  Five losses in six games make this home one a must win for K-State.
 
Maryland at Northwestern: The Wildcats return home coming off their biggest win in conference history.  A win would clinch .500 in Big Ten play and give them 20 on the season.
 
Indiana at Minnesota: IU is in major trouble, 5-8 in conference with four of their final five games on the road.  They'd have to do serious work just to finish 8-10 in a conference that the Committee is obviously not wowed by.
 
Georgia Tech at Miami (FL): Both teams are 6-6 in conference.  This is likely a play-in game for tomorrow's edition of Bracketology 2017.
 
Arkansas at South Carolina: The Razorbacks are reeling.  A road loss here would drop them out of the field for the time being.

Bracketology 2017: February 13

True Seed List 

Note - a few teams had to shift a seed in the actual bracket to avoid conference match-ups.  The list below is their "True Seed", meaning where they would live if not for those conflicts.

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2: North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida St., Virginia, Kentucky
4: Florida, Duke, West Virginia, Wisconsin
5: Butler, Purdue, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Creighton, Cincinnati, SMU, Northwestern
7: Xavier, South Carolina, Saint Mary's, Virginia Tech
8: USC, Dayton, Iowa St., VCU
9: Minnesota, Miami Fl, Oklahoma St., TCU
10: Kansas St., California, Michigan, Wichita St.
11: Michigan St., Arkansas, Wake Forest, Illinois St., Syracuse, Georgia Tech
12: Middle Tennessee, Akron, Vermont, UNC Wilmington
13: Valparaiso, Boise St., Monmouth, Belmont
14: UT Arlington, New Mexico St., Princeton, Bucknell
15: UNC Asheville, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, North Dakota St.
16: Texas Southern, Weber St., North Carolina Central, Mount St. Mary's, UC Davis, New Orleans

Out This Bracket: Indiana, Marquette, Seton Hall, Nevvada, Arkansas St., Winthrop, Sam Houston St.
In This Bracket:  Michigan, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Boise St., UT Arlington, UNC Asheville, New Orleans

The Bubble: There was a lot of losing among bubble teams over the weekend, which caused a few teams to shift out.  Michigan played itself in with two impressive wins last week. In the end, I also choose Michigan State, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Illinois State, Syracuse and Georgia Tech over Marquette, Seton Hall, Tennessee and Rhode Island.

The Selection Committee's Top 16 Preview did cause the baseline to be readjusted quite a bit.  Namely, Villanova moves into the #1 overall seed and the Committee inexplicably had Gonzaga at the #4 spot.  I put the Zags above Baylor after their road win at Saint Mary's.   Wisconsin moved down both because of the committee leaving them out of their top 16, then their loss last night to Northwestern in a win that all but clinched a tournament bid for NU - who are sitting comfortably as a 6-seed.

One last thought on the committee:  UCLA being ranked seven spots behind Oregon, despite just having beat the Ducks, losing in Eugene on a buzzer beater and winning in Rupp is a joke.  Major recency bias there with Oregon's win over Arizona.  That's a concern heading into the stretch run.  It will be interesting to see how much feedback from the hoops community causes them to readjust over the next month.

There are 11 ACC teams in the field, but that is very fluid as three of those teams are in the last four in.  Because of that, I had to give Wake Forest the bye and move Arkansas back into the First Four to avoid conference conflicts.  I still think the ACC's final number will be 9 teams - and I'll still be surprised if Arkansas can manage to make the cut.  I was at their game at LSU this weekend and they struggled for the first 25 minutes before finally taking the lead.

Next bracket will be this Thursday, February 16.

 


Scoreboard Watching: February 13, 2017

In The Books

Friday
Dayton 75, Rhode Island 74: The Ram give up a four point lead with 0:24 left to drop a near-must-win home game.
 
Saturday
Notre Dame 84, Florida State 72: The Seminoles struggle once again on the road, falling when a win would've given them a half game lead over UNC.
 
Gonzaga 74, Saint Mary's 64: Mark Few's team cruises in their roughest remaining game and should go into the WCC tournament undefeated.
 
Villanova 73, Xavier 57: Quality road win for the defending champs who are now expected to win the Big East by three games.
 
Kansas 80, Texas Tech 79: Tech badly, badly needed the win.  Now they need to finish 5-1 in conference just to reach .500 which would require a win over Baylor or West Virginia, if not both.  I don't see the Red Raiders getting in.
 
Oregon 81, USC 70: The Ducks bounce back with a comfortable road win after blowing a 19 point lead at UCLA on Thursday.
 
Georgetown 80, Marquette 62: Since beating Villanova, the Golden Eagles are 1-4, with their sole victory coming at DePaul.  They're now 6-7 in conference and need a strong finish to get back in.
 
Providence 71, Butler 65:  The loss is Butler's third in their last four games, including two to non-tournament-bound teams.
 
Pitt 80, Syracuse 75: The Orange's momentum comes to a halt.  They're still three games over .500 in ACC play, but have Duke and two contests with Louisville remaining.
 
West Virginia 85, Kansas State 66: Five losses in six games for a K-State team that falls to 5-7 in Big 12 play.
 
Georgia 76, Tennessee 75: Losses to Mississippi State and now this home loss to UGA have killed the momentum games with mid-January's wins over Kentucky and K-State.
 
St. John's 78, Seton Hall 70: A big blow for the Pirates' tournament hopes with a tough remaining schedule.
 
Baylor 70, TCU 52: Jamie Dixon's team falls to .500 in conference, while Baylor holds pace one game behind Kansas.
 
Arizona 62, California: The Wildcats improve to 12-1 in conference.
 
Michigan State 77, Iowa 66: The Spartans rebound from Tuesday's blowout loss at Michigan to cling to tournament hopes.
 
Elon 77, UNC Wilmington:  The CAA is suddenly a race after the Seahawks' third loss in six games.
 
Louisville 71, Miami 66: The Hurricanes need to steal a win at Virginia, Duke or FSU in order to finish above .500 in ACC play and feel good about their standings heading into Brooklyn.
 
UT Arlington 81, Arkansas State 75: The Mavericks move back into tie in the loss column in the Sun Belt.
 
Sunday
Northwestern 66, Wisconsin 59: The biggest win in the history of Northwestern Wildcats basketball?  Absolutely.  At 8-4 in conference, they're a couple wins away from totally locking themselves into the tournament.
 
SMU 60, Cincinnati 51: The Mustangs take a half game lead in the AAC and look eo be on very solid footing heading into the final couple weeks of the regular season.
 
Michigan 75, Indiana 63:  At 5-8 in conference, it appears as though the Hoosiers are done.  Meanwhile, Michigan follows up their runaway win over Michigan State with their first road win of the season.  They're still alive, but will need to finish strong to keep themselves above .500 in conference play.
 
San Diego State 70, Nevada 56: Boise State moves back into the MWC favorite spot after Nevada's second loss in three games.

Tipping Off Tonight

West Virginia at Kansas: The Jayhawks look for revenge after falling in Morgantown.
 
Baylor at Texas Tech: This may be Tech's last stand as they try to avoid a sub .500 conference record.
 
Louisville at Syracuse: The Orange look to bounce back from Saturday's loss at Pitt to pick up their third signature win in just over two weeks.

Bracketology 2017: Selection Committee Top 16 Prediction

Tomorrow at 12:30 ET on CBS, the NCAA Selection Committee will unveil it's top 16 teams for the first time ever.  I'm all for some level of transparency from the Committee, so this look will be an interesting preview into what factors they may be weighing when they reconvene in March.
 
So, when the Committee releases it's top 16 tomorrow, here's what I expect to see:
  1. Gonzaga
  2. Villanova
  3. Kansas
  4. Baylor
  5. North Carolina
  6. Arizona
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Florida State
  9. Louisville
  10. Oregon
  11. Virginia
  12. UCLA
  13. West Virginia
  14. Cincinnati
  15. Kentucky
  16. Florida
 

Scoreboard Watching: February 10, 2017

In The Books

UCLA 82, Oregon 79: Lonzo ball looked every bit the player who has garnered NPOY consideration, notching a double-double and leading the Bruins to a win that seemed unlikely when they trailed by 19 in the first half.  The Ducks' loss puts Arizona back into sole position of first place, where KenPom projects they'll win by a clear 2 games.
 
Duke 86, North Carolina 78: Massive win for the Blue Devils, who seem to be back to playing the basketball many expected they'd deliver when the season started.  Why? Grayson Allen is finally playing like a first-team ACC guard, notching 25 PTS in the win.  UNC drops into a tie with Florida State atop the ACC (UNC won the only h2h meeting) with Virginia just a half-game behind.
 
Purdue 69, Indiana 64: The Boilermakers stay within striking distance of Wisconsin behind Vincent Edwards' 26 PTS, 8 REB performance.  Indiana drops to 5-7 in conference.  Their home game against Michigan on Saturday just got a whole lot bigger as they cling to bubble hopes.
 
Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 69 (OT): The previously mentioned striking distance almost got a whole lot closer after Wisconsin needed overtime to avoid their second loss in conference play.
 
Furman 60, Chattanooga 56: The Paladins sit atop the SoCon while Chattanooga, who entered conference play as the odds-on favorite, falls two games back with six to play.
 
Lipscomb 66, Florida Gulf Coast 60: The Bison pull even with FGCU atop the A-Sun standings after each team won on the other's floor.  Four games remain for each team before the 8-team conference tournament.

Tipping Off This Weekend

Friday
Dayton at Rhode Island: Huge game for the Rams, who have been disappointing this year.  A win likely puts them in the field heading into the home stretch.
 
Akron at Eastern Michigan: Eastern has lost 5 of their last six games, but still remains slight favorites at home over the MAC-favorite Zips.
 
Saturday
Gonzaga at Saint Mary's: The #1 Zags last real hurdle to an undefeated regular season is on in primetime in Moraga.  The first meeting wasn't close, with Gonzaga cruising to a 23-point home win.  This one projects to be much closer, with Saint Mary's only favored by two.
 
Florida State at Notre Dame: In their first meeting, ND shot 15-for-21 3-PT and still lost in Tallahassee in a game dominated by freshman Jonathan Issac.  FSU has looked great as of late, posting 1.48 PPP in their last two games.  The road has not been kind to FSU, however, as they average a mere 0.99 PPP in true road games.
 
Villanova at Xavier: Xavier is rolling, winning five of their last six after starting 3-3 in conference.  Villanova is still eyeing the #1 overall seed in the tournament.
 
Kansas at Texas Tech: Texas Tech is behind the eight ball heading into a brutal stretch where they need to steal some signature wins.

Georgia at Tennessee: The Vols need to win games like this to stay on the good side of the bubble.
 
Kansas State at West Virginia: The Wildcats took round one of this match-up in Manhattan a couple weeks ago.  Morgantown has been boom or bust for the Mountaineers, who have defeated Kansas and Baylor at home, while falling to likes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
 
Clemson at Duke: Clemson's last stand?  A loss would guarantee that the Tigers won't finish above .500 in conference play.
 
Miami at Louisville: The Cards return home - where they've only lost once this season - to take on a Miami team that's been picking up some quality wins lately.
 
Sunday
Cincinnati at SMU: The Bearcats take a 15-game winning streak into Dallas in a game in which KenPom only gives them a 34% chance to win.  This is by far their biggest test in AAC play.
 
Michigan vs Indiana: Likely a play in/out game for Monday's edition of Bracketology 2017.
 
Virginia at Virginia Tech: Tony Bennett has only lost twice in Blacksburg in seven seasons.
 
Northwestern at Wisconsin: Northwestern has lost their last two, with Wisconsin and Maryland both on deck.  A four game losing streak would make the final stretch interesting in their quest for a first-ever NCAA Tournament bid.
 
Nevada at San Diego State: The Aztechs have been a huge disappointment this season, but they till pose the toughest remaining tests for Nevada in conference play.