Sunday, January 28, 2007

JANUARY 28th Field of 65

1 seeds - 16 seeds as I see them by the season's end.

1 - North Carolina, Florida, UCLA, Wisconsin
2 - Pittsburgh, Kansas, Ohio State, Oregon
3 - Arizona, Oklahoma State, Duke, Texas A&M
4 - Nevada, Georgetown, Indiana, Kentucky
5 - Memphis, Alabama, Butler, Air Force
6 - Texas, LSU, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
7 - Tennessee, Southern Illinois, Clemson, Marquette
8 - Creighton, Villanova, Arkansas, Washington State
9 - USC, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Xavier
10 - Maryland, Notre Dame, Missouri State, Gonzaga
11 - UNLV, Texas Tech, Illinois, Vanderbilt
12 - Akron, West Virginia, Northern Iowa, Virginia Commonwealth
13 - Western Kentucky, Drexel, Long Beach State, Winthrop
14 - Davidson, Marist, Pennsylvania, Bucknell
15 - Belmont, Weber State, Vermont, Oral Roberts
16 - Jackson State, Sacred Heart, Delaware State, Austin Peay, Texas A&M CC

Last Out - Washington, Boston College, Georgia, Virginia, UCONN, Florida State, Louisville, Hofstra, Stanford, San Diego State, Michigan, New Mexico State, BYU

Bids to the NCAA Tournament

I listed some of the top teams from each small conference. These are all the teams that I could realistically see winning their respective conference tournaments and representing their leagues in the NCAA field of 65. My picks are in bold.

AMERICA EAST - Albany or Vermont
ATLANTIC SUN - East Tennessee State, Belmont, or Lipscomb
BIG SKY - Weber State, Montana, or Northern Arizona
BIG WEST - CS Fullerton, Long Beach State, or UCSB
IVY LEAGUE - Penn, Cornell
MAAC - Marist, Manhattan, Loyola MD, Siena
MID-CON - Oral Roberts, Oakland
MEAC - Delaware State
NORTHEAST - Central Connecticut, Sacred Heart
OVC - Samford, Austin Peay
PATRIOT - Holy Cross, Bucknell
SOUTHERN - College of Charleston, Davidson, Appalachian State
SOUTHLAND - Northwestern State, Texas A&M CC, Sam Houston State
SWAC- Jackson State, Grambling, Texas Southern
Sun Belt- South Alabama, Western Kentucky, Middle Tenn State

Possibly More than 1 Bid - meaning that these conferences may have an at-large bid if their best team doesn't win their conference tournament for an automatic bid

Atlantic 10 - Xavier (at large), George Washington, UMASS
Big South - Winthrop (at large), High Point
Colonial - Virginia Commonwealth, Hofstra, Drexel, George Mason, Old Dominion
Conference USA - Memphis (at large), Southern Miss, Houston, Rice
Horizon League - Butler (at large), Wright State, Loyola Chi, Wisconsin-GB
MAC - Akron (at large), Ohio, Toledo, Kent State
WCC - Gonzaga (at large), Santa Clara, San Francisco, St Mary's
WAC - Nevada (at large), New Mexico State, Fresno State, Boise State

Multiple Bid Leagues - These leagues will definitely have more than one team in the tournament. I've listed all the hopeful candidates, with my picks to be part of the field of 65 in bold.

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Maryland,Virginia, Florida State, Georgia Tech

Big East - Pittsburgh, Marquette, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, West Virginia, UCONN, Providence, Villanova, DePaul, St. John's

Big 10 - Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Iowa

Big 12 - Kansas, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Missouri Valley - Southern Illinois, Creighton, Missouri State, Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Bradley, Evansville

Mountain West - Air Force, UNLV, BYU, San Diego State, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado State

Pac-10 - UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, USC, Washington State, Washington, Stanford, California

SEC - Florida, LSU, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia


These teams have failed to meet my expectations throughout this year. I have made a list of bust-teams, with their (pre-season ranks) in parenthesees.

Kansas (1) - Still a top 10 team but not dominant like I thought they'd be.

LSU (8) - At 2-3 in the SEC, the Tigers have already lost more conference games than all of last year.

Boston College (11) - Well, they're not busts in the ACC just yet, but it might get ugly fast. With the loss of Sean Williams mid-season, the team thats lost to the likes of Duquesne and Vermont only loses the best shot-blocker in the nation and a much-needed presence down low. Now their depth is depleted. Barring heroic efforts from Dudley, Marshall, and Rice every night, Boston College could fall to the lowly level of teams like Wake Forest.

Syracuse (13) - In a mediocre Big East, the Orange have done little to stand-out from the crowd.

UCONN (17) - They're just not ready. They rose early in the season, and steadily got ranked lower and lower through their first Big East games. They need a leader. I don't think Adrien can adjust so easily from filler player to superstud, either.

Creighton (20) - Well, they're one of the better teams in the MVC but a rank this high goes to a team who dominates their mid-major conference.

Michigan (29) - Senior leadership bring them to upper-class NIT mediocrity once again.

San Diego State (30) - This team is just too talented to be lost in the middle of the MWC.

Hofstra (37) - Everyone was excited about their backcourt, and putting them in their top 25's as a clearly-deserving and determined team. They were mediocre in non-conference play, and though they are excelling in conference play, they're still in 2nd place.

Charlotte (46) - I thought this team would be able to hang with everyone, but they have trouble hanging with anyone

Penn State (51) - One of the worst in the Big 10