Friday, February 27, 2015

Grip's Bracket - Friday, February 27

Automatic Bids

America East - Albany
Straightforward week for the Great Danes, who beat Hartford last Friday and then steamrolled hapless UMBC on Wednesday.  They host Vermont in their regular season finale on Saturday in what might be an America East title game preview.
Atlantic Sun - North Florida
The Ospreys completed a shocking sweep of Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, strolling in to Dunk City and winning by 14.  Now all they have to do is beat lowly Stetson on Senior Day and they'll get the # 1 seed in the conference tournament.  Most importantly, that would mean they avoid USC Upstate - who dealt them their only two league losses - until the final.
Big Sky - Eastern Washington
Montana went down in double OT at Idaho late last night, leaving the Eagles and Sacramento State tied for first.  EWU's 60 spot edge or so in RPI allows them to keep the bid and they welcome in the potentially weary Grizzlies tomorrow afternoon.
Big South - High Point
A wild night last night saw almost every contender lose except for the Panthers.  Charleston Southern - tied for first with High Point going in to last night - lost at Gardner Webb, Coastal Carolina lost at Presbyterian, Winthrop got dumped by 15 at 4-13 Campbell and Radford got shocked at 2-15 (8-22 overall) Liberty.  Those latter three are now two back of HPU, who won at UNC Asheville and CSU is a game back.  
Big West - UC Davis
The Aggies ate their first double digit loss of the season, falling by 14 at The Alan Williams Project last night.  That trims their lead over UC Irvine to just a game but the Anteaters have to go play that same UCSB team - who has won 5 of 6 to surge in to third since getting their star back from the flu - tomorrow night.
CAA - William & Mary
It's back to just the Tribe and UNC Wilmington atop the conference after the Seahawks stomped out James Madison on Wednesday and Northeastern got surprised at Elon last night.  If those Phoenix can upset UNCW in the regular season finale, it would mean an outright regular season title assuming W&M doesn't lose on Senior Day to Damion Lee-less Drexel.
Horizon - Valparaiso
What a final weekend for this league.  The Crusaders currently have a one game lead over Cleveland State, Green Bay and Oakland despite losing at Detroit on Wednesday but they have to go to Cleveland tonight for just the latest top of the table Horizon Friday showdown while the Phoenix host the Golden Grizzlies tomorrow afternoon.
Ivy - Harvard
Yale stubbed its toe.  Columbia's been a dangerous team for a couple of seasons now and the Bulldogs learned that last Saturday when the Lions came to New Haven and won, giving the Crimson a one game lead as they head to New York to face those same Lions and Cornell this weekend.
MAC - Central Michigan
Welcome to the bracket, Chippewas!  One of my favorite low major teams this year, CMU sits alone atop the MAC at 11-4 and has won 6 straight since an overtime loss against Bowling Green.  The Falcons lost on Saturday to Buffalo while Kent State and Toledo both ate surprising losses this week to Miami (Ohio) and Northern Illinois respectively and now all three are a game back.
MAAC - Iona
Add two more close calls to the ledger - and two more wins.  Beating Marist by four and Monmouth by one wrapped up the regular season title and now the Gaels have two emotional games left vs rival Manhattan and then at St. Peter's whom they got in to a postgame confrontation with in the first meeting before the MAAC tournament.
MEAC - North Carolina Central
The Eagles had the week off after dispatching Morgan State last Saturday.  Bethune Cookman, @Savannah State and then Senior Day against rival North Carolina A&T is all that stands between them and a perfect regular season.
NEC - St. Francis (NY)
The Terriers had to come from behind to dispatch Long Island in overtime last night and now close the regular season with a tricky road game at Bryant.  Luckily it is irrelevant as the regular season title and # 1 seed were wrapped up last week.
OVC - Murray State
Eastern Illinois - who is now 9-7 in the league after a 6-0 start - put up a fair fight last night but it's 15-0 now for the Racers and now only tomorrow night's trip to Tennessee Martin stands in the way of them and a perfect conference season.  This team was once 2-4 after a 93-58 loss to Valparaiso.  Amazing.
Patriot - Bucknell
Yet another twist in the title race came on Wednesday as the Bison got THUMPED at Lehigh.  Now they have to win at American tomorrow or hope that those same Mountain Hawks can knock off Colgate to hang on to the # 1 seed, which is vitally important since even the Patriot League title game is played at the home of the higher seed.
SoCon - Wofford
The Terriers survived a battle at Mercer last night and now only need to win at last placed Furman to win the outright regular season championship.  Second placed Chattanooga won in double overtime at VMI - the second straight 2OT game for the Keydets - but they will likely have to settle for the # 2 seed.
Southland - Stephen F. Austin
The bid goes back to the Jacks now that they've won their game in hand and forced an official tie atop the conference standings.  Tomorrow at Houston Baptist is their last road game of the season, with three straight at home including Senior Day against Sam Houston State that will likely decide the regular season champion.
Summit - South Dakota State
North Dakota State could've jumped back in front of the Jackrabbits but instead they were down 20 at the half at Oral Roberts and lost by 16.  The Bison are now in the clubhouse at 12-4 and have to hope South Dakota can upset SDSU tomorrow afternoon to win them a share of the conference crown.
Sun Belt - UL Monroe
I thought we were done with the inexplicable losses, Georgia State?  The Panthers lost at Arkansas Little Rock last night to leave the Indians Warhawks and Georgia Southern tied for first.  ULM's 8 spot edge in RPI (119 vs 127) gives them the bid back though both still have to play GA State again.
SWAC - Texas Southern
Southern lost at home to Alabama State on Monday to fall two games back of TSU.  But now the Tigers have to go play that same Hornet squad tomorrow that has led the SWAC most of the season, though they did win the first meeting by 15.
WAC - New Mexico State
The Aggies dusted off second place Grand Canyon by 17 on Saturday and now their final two regular season games are against 2nd to last place Texas Pan American and then last place Chicago State.

S Curve

Kentucky Virginia Duke Villanova
Gonzaga Wisconsin Arizona Kansas
Maryland Utah Baylor Oklahoma
Iowa State Northern Iowa Wichita State Louisville
Notre Dame West Virginia Arkansas North Carolina 
SMU Georgetown Butler Providence
San Diego State Oklahoma State VCU Georgia
Ohio State Indiana Xavier Colorado State
NC State Michigan State St. John's Ole Miss
Texas A&M Oregon Dayton Temple  
Iowa UCLA Cincinnati Pittsburgh/LSU
Texas/Davidson Wofford Iona Louisiana Tech
Harvard Stephen F. Austin Murray State Valparaiso
Central Michigan UC Davis Eastern Washington South Dakota State 
High Point William & Mary North Carolina Central New Mexico State
UL Monroe Albany Texas Southern/St. Francis (NY) Bucknell/North Florida

Last 4 In - Pittsburgh, LSU, Texas, Davidson
First 4 Out - Illinois, Purdue, Stanford, Boise State
Next 4 Out - Miami (FL), Tulsa, Old Dominion, Rhode Island


MIDWEST (Cleveland)

1) Kentucky (SEC)
16) Bucknell (Patriot)/North Florida (A-Sun)

8) Colorado State
9) St. John's

5) West Virginia
12) Louisiana Tech (C-USA)

4) Louisville
13) Harvard (Ivy)

6) Butler
11) Pittsburgh/LSU

3) Baylor
14) Eastern Washington (Big Sky)

7) San Diego State
10) Temple

2) Wisconsin (Big Ten)
15) High Point (Big South)

WEST (Los Angeles)

1) Gonzaga (WCC)
16) UL Monroe (Sun Belt)

8) Ohio State
9) NC State

5) Notre Dame
12) Texas/Davidson

4) Northern Iowa (MVC)
13) Valparaiso (Horizon)

6) Providence
11) Iowa

3) Oklahoma
14) Central Michigan (MAC)

7) VCU
10) Texas A&M

2) Arizona (Pac-12)
15) New Mexico State (WAC)

EAST (Syracuse)

1) Virginia (ACC)
16) Texas Southern (SWAC)/St. Francis (NY) (NEC)

8) Xavier
9) Michigan State

5) SMU (American)
12) Iona (MAAC)

4) Iowa State
13) Stephen F. Austin (Southland)

6) North Carolina
11) UCLA

3) Maryland
14) South Dakota State (Summit)

7) Oklahoma State
10) Dayton

2) Villanova (Big East)
15) William & Mary (CAA)

SOUTH (Houston)

1) Duke
16) Albany (AE)

8) Indiana
9) Ole Miss

5) Arkansas
12) Wofford (SoCon)

4) Wichita State
13) Murray State (OVC)

6) Georgetown
11) Cincinnati

3) Utah
14) UC Davis (Big West)

7) Georgia
10) Oregon

2) Kansas (Big 12)
15) North Carolina Central (MEAC)

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