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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Jan. 22 (Memphis Tigers a 3 Seed)

Monday, January 22, 2007
Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - Jan. 22

The Breakdown
Two heads are always better than one when compiling a bracket, and for the first time in a while, that was the case again at Bracketology 101. Craig took some time off from his Marine schedule and chipped in with his opinions and bracket expertise this week. The result, as has been the case in recent weeks, was a lot of movement on and around the bubble.

This week proved to be particularly interesting because it involved some changes to our projections of several teams and conferences. The team suffering the biggest fall this week was Boston College, who dropped out of the bracket altogether (from a 9 seed) with the news that center Sean Williams - the team's second best player and top defender - had been kicked off the team. Another factor in BC's removal was their brutal stretch of conference games at the end of February that, without Williams, could ultimately doom their tourney hopes. Overall, the ACC is getting tougher to figure out each week, as eight teams are viable options for bids. Florida State's upset win over Virginia Tech earned it the ACC's sixth bid. Maryland, at 1-4 in conference, is the league's seventh and final team in right now, and the Terps need to pick up some more good ACC wins soon to stay there.

The second biggest free-fall of the week was made by LSU, who fell from an admittedly high 4 seed to a 9 seed. Their current seed is mostly a projection, as the Tigers have too much talent to continue to play as inconsistently as they have in recent weeks. LSU was joined in this week's backet by the SEC's seventh bid, Vanderbilt. The Commodores make the field thanks to huge wins this week over Alabama and Kentucky.

The MVC continues to be a mess, as Missouri State and Creighton both lost twice (the Bluejays did win at Bradley, though). Both teams are hanging on to spots in the bracket, but more and more it looks like the MVC might end up being a 3-team league. Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois look solid right now, but all of the top- and middle-tier teams in the conference are beating each other up too much, especially on the road, for this to be a 5-team or maybe even a 4-team league as some predicted. Creighton, which already has seven losses, will be the next MVC team out if they don't beat Missouri State this week.

The Big East saw two of its teams, UConn and West Virginia, drop out of the bracket this week, while a hot Villanova team, off wins over Notre Dame and Texas, made its bracket return. The Big XII, meanwhile, picked up a bid thanks to Texas Tech's upset of Kansas.

The mid-majors also proved to be very interesting this week. Despite their loss to St. Joe's and thanks to a win over UMass last Thursday, Xavier remains our pick out of the one-bid A-10. Even though VCU finally had a semi-credible conference win in beating ODU, we still project the Colonial right now to be a one-bid league and are sticking with Hofstra as that one team. Our lone two-bid conferences remain the MWC and the WAC. We admittedly looked pretty foolish Wednesday as New Mexico State lost to pitiful Louisiana Tech, but our season-long love of the Aggies was rewarded Saturday, as they knocked off Nevada. The win not only confirmed our projection that they pose a huge threat to the Wolfpack come conference tournament time, but it also gave a serious boost to their at-large hopes. We'll see how many bracket experts jump aboard the Aggies bandwagon now...

Here is Bracketology 101's Field of 65 for Jan. 22:

Last Four In
Syracuse, Creighton, Missouri State, Maryland

Last Four Out
Boston College, West Virginia, Michigan, Drexel

Conference Breakdown
ACC (7), SEC (7), Pac-10 (6), Big East (6), Big XII (5), MVC (4), Big Ten (4), MWC (2), WAC (2)

America East - Vermont

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Maryland

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - Xavier

Big East - Pittsburgh, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Syracuse

Big Sky - Idaho State

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State

Big 12 - Texas A&M, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech

Big West - Long Beach State

Colonial - Hofstra

C-USA - Memphis

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Loyola (MD)

MAC - Ohio

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Southern Illinois, Norther Iowa, Creighton, Missouri State

MWC - Air Force, UNLV

Northeast - Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

Pac-10 - UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, Washington State, USC, Stanford

Patriot - Holy Cross

SEC - Florida, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas

Southern - Appalachian State

Southland - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SWAC - Jackson State

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WAC - Nevada, New Mexico State

WCC - Gonzaga

The Seeds
The 1s
UCLA, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin

The 2s
Oregon, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Kansas

The 3s
Pittsburgh, Duke, Memphis, Oklahoma State

The 4s
Air Force, Clemson, Alabama, Arizona

The 5s
Washington State, Marquette, Butler, Nevada

The 6s
Indiana, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Kentucky

The 7s
USC, Tennessee, UNLV, Southern Illinois

The 8s
Texas, Georgetown, Northern Iowa, Texas Tech

The 9s
Villanova, Stanford, Michigan State, LSU

The 10s
Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Florida State, Vanderbilt

The 11s
Gonzaga, Syracuse, Creighton, Missouri State

The 12s
Maryland, Xavier, New Mexico State, Hofstra

The 13s
Winthrop, Western Kentucky, Ohio, Appalachian State

The 14s
Oral Roberts, Vermont, Holy Cross, Penn

The 15s
Loyola (MD), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Idaho State, Long Beach State

The 16s
Belmont, Austin Peay, Sacred Heart, Delaware State (Play-In Game), Jackson State (Play-In Game)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at

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