JR Swift’s Blog

What I’m Thinking About Today

Today’s Update — March 10

Posted by jrswift on March 10, 2008

Will post a fully-updated projected field tomorrow and, needless to say, there will be a few changes with some of the upsets that have taken place over the last few days.  San Diego won the the West Coast Conference tournament which probably won’t prevent Gonzaga (or St. Mary’s)  from making the field but is going to take a bid away from one of the power conferences or perhaps push a team like Virginia Commonwealth out of the tournament.  South Alabama also lost tonight in their conference semi-finals so that makes Western Kentucky the odds-on favorite there.  It also likely pushes South Alabama into the same group as VCU, Illinois St. or New Mexico: teams with nice records but little in the way of a resume.  At least New Mexico still has a chance to improve their chances as the Mountain West tournament hasn’t started yet.

Things still are likely to sort themselves out once the major conference tournaments get started.  Teams inevitably play their way into (and out of) the field.  Villanova and Syracuse play in the first round of the Big East and the loser will likely be eliminated.  In the ACC, Virginia Tech and Maryland probably must defeat (likely) Miami and Clemson or they will also be gone.  Ole Miss and Florida need at least two wins to stay alive and that will mean defeating Kentucky (Ole Miss) or Mississippi St. (Florida) in the second round.  Ohio St. might need to defeat Michigan St. again in the Big 10 and Texas A&M might need to beat Kansas St. in the Big 12.  The Pac 10 has three teams on the bubble and they all have opportunities to improve their standing by beating teams already likely in the field but losing could tip the scale against them. New Mexico may have to make it to the Mountain West finals and that would mean knocking out UNLV on the Rebels’ home court.  As for the Atlantic 10, it is a mess but someone is going to end up making it to the conference finals and, if they are under consideration, that might be enough.

I always try to be conservative at this stage about who is actually in the field.  Too much can happen over the next week and I haven’t analyzed most of teams as closely as I’d like to do.  As we get closer to Sunday, the field will fill itself out.  Look for another update tomorrow.

JR

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