Friday, February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

Another tough loss for the Badgers last night knocks them down to a 6-seed.  That's a loss in 3 of the last 4 games for Wisconsin with games remaining at Michigan State and at home against the red hot Gophers.  Ohio State worked their way back into the bubble discussion, and with two winnable Big10 games left against Penn State and Indiana, they could easily finish the regular season 18-13.  They'd probably need two Big10 tourney wins to earn an at-large bid, but they could be an 8th (or 9th) Big Ten representative in the field.

The Big Ten has the night off tonight, with three big match ups tomorrow night.
-Purdue @ Michigan: not much at stake for Purdue, other than clinching a double-bye in the Big10 tourney.  For Michigan, stakes are a big higher.  A home loss would knock their RPI down close to 60 and may bump them near the Last Four In.  A win, however, would be a huge resume booster and could slide them up as high as an 8-seed.
-Northwestern @ Indiana: with Michigan and Purdue left on their schedule, Northwestern needs to avoid a loss against the Hoosiers to avoid slipping onto the bubble.  Indiana is just outside the RPI top-100, so a win for them would mean an extra top-100 win for some of their prior opponents and one fewer sub-100 loss for those they beat earlier in the season.
-Iowa @ Maryland: Maryland is safely in the tournament, but is heading in the wrong direction for a team many consider to be a title contender.  They really need to right the ship after two straight losses.  Iowa needs this win to keep their NIT hopes alive, and to help Minnesota climb another spot in the Big10 standings if they beat Penn State Sunday.

Looking forward to the Big Ten Tournament, here's a great site that lets you plug in different scenarios to see where teams will be bracketed in DC in a couple weeks.  There are 20 regular season games left in the Big10 and a lot of different ways the seeding can still go.  If there are no upsets in the remaining 20 games, the Gophers will finish 4th with a double bye and face the winner of Michigan State/12v13 winner.  Given the last two results against Sparty, I'd rather face Northwestern, Michigan, or even possibly Maryland.

This bracket is created as if today were Selection Sunday, not a forward looking projection.

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

FFO: Syracuse, Providence, Illinois, Georgia Tech
NFO: Ohio State, Rhode Island, Ole Miss, Georgia 

Others still in contention for At-Large bid:
(<14 losses, Top-150 SOS, 3+ Top-100 wins)
9. Alabama
10. Clemson
11. Pittsburgh
12. Tennessee
13. Indiana
14. Texas Tech
15. Iowa
16. Auburn
17. Boise State
18. Houston
19. BYU
20. Colorado State
21. Texas A&M
22. Stanford
23. Colorado
24. Charleston
25. New Mexico
26. Fresno State
27. San Diego State
28. Memphis
29. La Salle
30. Connecticut

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