Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville, Population 2, Version 1.2

Since 1985, there have been only four years in which a #13 or #14 seed did not win a game---including 13 years in which more than one of those seeds pulled the upset.

In the latest 100 matchups, the #9 has won 54 times over the #8.

Vandy is 8-3 in the Sagarin’s College Basketball Ratings’ Top 50…New Mexico 6-3…Ohio State 7-5…Georgetown 10-8…Purdue 8-4 (mostly w/ Robbie Hummel)…Villanova 9-6…Kansas State 8-6…West Virginia 12-5…Kentucky 10-1…DUKE & Syracuse 9-4…Kansas 11-2…Richmond 6-3.

On the flip side: Texas 5-7…BYU 4-5…Xavier 2-7…Tennessee & Pitt 6-6…Missouri 4-7…Michigan State 5-6…Marquette 5-9…Clemson & Florida State 5-7…California 1-6…Georgia Tech 4-8…UTEP 0-2…Louisville 3-8.

Sagarin’s Top 5: Kansas, DUKE, Syracuse, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Sagarin’s Top 5 Conference Ratings: Big 12, Big East, ACC, Big 10, SEC.

Houston’s Aubrey Coleman leads the nation with a stout 25.6 ppg. He fired up nearly 700 field goal attempts and over 300 free throws. Houston, a 13 seed, plays Maryland in the opening round. Houston averages a meager 9.1 turnovers a game. Their 12.6% of TO to Possessions is the best in Division I. That skimpy TO percentage is truly remarkable considering they play the 20th fastest tempo at over 72 possessions per game (ppg).

If Tennessee sleeps, or even takes a quick nap on SDSU, Bruce Pearl can take a quick exit. Hope so. The Vegas line is currently Tennessee by three. It’s an intriguing 6/11 matchup that the 11 could win.

There are only six teams in the Tournament that rank in the Top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency (according to kenpom.com)…the four #1 seeds plus Wisconsin and Kansas State.

Five of Marquette’s last six victories were by four points or less…three in OT, before Georgetown ran them off the court. That’s a lot of minutes for the starters. Factor in they’re traveling to San Jose for a Thursday game, and maybe Washington has a good shot in this 6/11 matchup. Vegas calls it: Marquette by 1 ½ points. I’m reevaluating my pick.

At times Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins is a man among boys.

Montana’s senior guard, Anthony Johnson’s wife plays for Montana’s Women’s basketball team.

Turnovers will be a significant factor in deciding the outcome of the tournament. Murray State (13 seed) forces turnovers on an incredible 24.6% of its opponent’s possessions---11th best in Division I. They have five double-figure scorers.

Vandy has six losses to teams that did not qualify for the NCAA tournament.

There are as many teams (2) at the dance from New Mexico as from North Carolina. There are 19 Division I teams in Carolina…two in New Mexico.

The seven teams from Texas ties the NCAA record set by California in 2002.

21 States have zero teams.

Minnesota coach Tubby Smith has taken four teams to the tournament at least twice. Minnesota has beaten Big Ten teams Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Purdue.

The 12 seed has 34 wins in the tournament…11 seeds have 31.

This season’s two biggest underachievers---Wake Forest and Texas---meet in the first round.

St. Mary’s and San Diego State have to travel over 3,000 miles for their first round games in Providence.

65 teams…18 coached by men who have been to the Final Four…nine who have won a national title.

Prediction: DUKE will be eliminated either in round two or get to the Final Four. If it’s Louisville, will the team that swept Syracuse or the one that lost to Western Carolina show up?

Purdue has totaled 86 points in its two games against NCAA Tournament teams since Robbie Hummel went down.

Xavier (6 seed) is bigger than #3 seed Pitt.

Any team higher than a 5-seed that makes the Sweet 16 is a Cinderella in my book.

Early round geographic advantages: Syracuse playing in Buffalo…Kansas and Kansas State in OKC…Utah State in Spokane…Washington in San Jose.

Teams left out of the dance need to suck it up and schedule more games against good non-conference teams.

I agree with Coach Knight when he says that the selection committee need more basketball people on it.

Baylor has the fifth highest points per possession efficiency in the country.

Turns out Syracuse’s Arinze Onuaku will miss the first two rounds.

#16 seed Vermont has won 13 road games.

Oklahoma State’s James Anderson could be a household after the tournament is over.

Great read: http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/articles/?p=32384

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