Mid-majors benefit from disastrous week for big-conference teams
|2010 NCAA Tournament Projection|
|Selection Sunday is not until March 14, but it's never too early to see what the 2010 NCAA Tournament field looks like as of right now. Note: The top-four seeds in each region, starting with the No. 1 seeds, receive geographic preference when possible. An imbalance in high seeds between regions (e.g. if more than two top-four seeds are closest to the same subregional location) may force a protected seed into a secondary location. Thus, in the coming weeks, shifts in seeding will alter which subregions fall into which regions. |
In this bracket, the Midwest matches up with the South, the East with the West in the national semifinals.
New multi-bid conference teams in: George Mason (CAA auto bid), UTEP, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Wichita State, Illinois.
Multi-bid conference teams out: Maryland (ACC auto bid), Connecticut, North Carolina, Northwestern, Texas Tech, Mississippi State.
Also considered: Mississippi State, North Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut, Dayton.
Bids by conference: Big 12 (7); Big East (6); ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Atlantic 10 (5); Mountain West and Colonial (3); West Coast, Conference USA and Missouri Valley (2). Auto bids in smaller conferences were determined by best RPI among all first-place (e.g. fewest losses) teams in the league. One-bid league winners and select other auto-bid teams are listed with their conference for clarity. Teams can be moved a seed line up or down to conform to bracketing rules.
Why they made it:
-- UTEP: Four top-100 wins are all on the road, no uncompetitive losses, Conference RPI stronger than competitors for the spot, road wins at two of the other top three in C-USA.
-- Wichita State: Would have been in last week had it not lost to Drake, took care of business this week, clear second-place team in a top-10 conference.
-- William & Mary: 3-2 RPI top 50 (including road wins at Maryland and Wake) enough to overcome two really bad league losses and current fourth place standing in CAA. Why they didn't make it:
-- Mississippi State: Very empty profile, has played five of six SEC games against three of the league's four bad teams, lost three straight on the road to inferior opponents, only 3-2 vs. RPI Top 100.
-- North Carolina: 2-6 vs. RPI top 50 mark, three home ACC losses, five Ls overall in last seven games, 2-4 ACC record.
-- Maryland: Nothing substantive enough in profile despite 4-2 ACC mark. Lost at home to W&M, which was last team in.
-- Connecticut: 1-5 vs. RPI top 50, 0-4 on the road.
In direct contrast to last week's Bracket Watch, there are 11 at-large teams from outside the BCS conferences, mostly because of really disastrous weeks from major-conference teams near the bracket's bottom. I highly doubt that will last, and the CAA almost surely won't end up with three bids. For this week, though, that seemed fair. Got a bone to pick with the Bracket Watch? Send feedback to email@example.com.