1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 29th

THE BRACKET
Bracket 022916
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, Michigan State

The 2 Seeds

Oklahoma, Xavier, Miami (FL), North Carolina

The 3 Seeds

Oregon, Utah, Maryland, West Virginia

The 4 Seeds

Duke, Iowa State, Kentucky, Iowa

The 5 Seeds

Purdue, Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas

The 6 Seeds

California, Indiana, Arizona, St. Joseph’s

The 7 Seeds

Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Colorado

The 8 Seeds

Dayton, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, South Carolina

The 9 Seeds

USC, Providence, Wichita State, Oregon State

The 10 Seeds

Connecticut, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Florida

The 11 Seeds

Vanderbilt, Tulsa, Michigan, St. Bonaventure, VCU, St. Mary’s

The 12 Seeds

Arkansas-Little Rock, Valparaiso, San Diego State, Monmouth

The 13 Seeds

South Dakota State, Akron, Yale, Chattanooga

The 14 Seeds

Stony Brook, Hawaii, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Weber State

The 16 Seeds

Winthrop, North Florida, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Tulsa, Michigan, St. Bonaventure, VCU

First Four Out

Butler, Temple, Gonzaga, Alabama

Next Four Out

George Washington, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Washington

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (7), Pac-12 (7), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), SEC (5), Big East (4), Atlantic 10 (4), American (3)

ACC – Virginia, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati, Tulsa

Atlantic 10 – St. Joseph’s, Dayton, St. Bonaventure, VCU

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence

Big Sky – Weber State

Big South – Winthrop

Big Ten – Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan

Big West – Hawaii

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, USC, Oregon State

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Kentucky, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – St. Mary’s

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1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 26th

THE BRACKET
Bracket 022616
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Kansas, Villanova, Oklahoma, Xavier

The 2 Seeds

North Carolina, Michigan State, Virginia, Miami (FL)

The 3 Seeds

Oregon, Maryland, Duke, West Virginia

The 4 Seeds

Utah, Kentucky, Iowa, Iowa State

The 5 Seeds

Texas A&M, Arizona, Indiana, Purdue

The 6 Seeds

California, Baylor, Notre Dame, Texas

The 7 Seeds

Dayton, South Carolina, St. Joseph’s, Texas Tech

The 8 Seeds

Colorado, USC, Connecticut, Wisconsin

The 9 Seeds

Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Providence, Wichita State

The 10 Seeds

Florida, Michigan, Oregon State, Syracuse

The 11 Seeds

Tulsa, Cincinnati, St. Bonaventure, Monmouth, Temple, Butler

The 12 Seeds

St. Mary’s, San Diego State, Valparaiso, Arkansas-Little Rock

The 13 Seeds

Akron, Stony Brook, Yale, Chattanooga

The 14 Seeds

IPFW, Hawaii, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Winthrop

The 16 Seeds

Weber State, North Florida, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Cincinnati, St. Bonaventure, Temple, Butler

First Four Out

George Washington, Alabama, Vanderbilt, VCU

Next Four Out

Gonzaga, Washington, Davidson, Ohio State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (7), Pac-12 (7), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (5), SEC (4), American (4), Atlantic 10 (3)

ACC – North Carolina, Virginia, Miami (FL), Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Temple

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, St. Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence, Butler

Big Sky – Weber State

Big South – Winthrop

Big Ten – Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan

Big West – Hawaii

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, USC, Oregon State

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Kentucky, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – IPFW

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – St. Mary’s

1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 22nd

THE BRACKET
Bracket 022216
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Villanova, Kansas, Virginia, Oklahoma

The 2 Seeds

North Carolina, Xavier, Michigan State, Oregon

The 3 Seeds

Maryland, Miami (FL), Iowa, Duke

The 4 Seeds

Kentucky, West Virginia, Utah, Arizona

The 5 Seeds

Iowa State, Dayton, Purdue, Texas A&M

The 6 Seeds

Baylor, Indiana, California, Notre Dame

The 7 Seeds

Texas, USC, Providence, South Carolina

The 8 Seeds

St. Joseph’s, Colorado, Texas Tech, Florida

The 9 Seeds

Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Wichita State

The 10 Seeds

Wisconsin, Seton Hall, VCU, Michigan

The 11 Seeds

Cincinnati, Monmouth, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Alabama, Butler

The 12 Seeds

St. Mary’s, San Diego State, Valparaiso, Arkansas-Little Rock

The 13 Seeds

Chattanooga, Akron, IPFW, Stony Brook

The 14 Seeds

Yale, Hawaii, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Winthrop

The 16 Seeds

Montana, North Florida, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Oregon State, Gonzaga, Alabama, Butler

First Four Out

Temple, Tulsa, George Washington, Washington

Next Four Out

Vanderbilt, St. Bonaventure, Ohio State, Florida State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (7), Pac-12 (7), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (5), SEC (5), Atlantic 10 (3), American (2), West Coast (2)

ACC – Virginia, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, St. Joseph’s, VCU

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – Winthrop

Big Ten – Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan

Big West – Hawaii

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, Utah, Arizona, California, USC, Colorado, Oregon State

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Kentucky, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – IPFW

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – St. Mary’s, Gonzaga

1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 19th

THE BRACKET
Bracket 021916
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Villanova, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier

The 2 Seeds

Oklahoma, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Michigan State

The 3 Seeds

Iowa, Maryland, Oregon, Duke

The 4 Seeds

Kentucky, West Virginia, Dayton, Arizona

The 5 Seeds

Purdue, Iowa State, Utah, Notre Dame

The 6 Seeds

USC, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor

The 7 Seeds

Indiana, California, St. Joseph’s, Connecticut

The 8 Seeds

Colorado, Providence, Florida, Syracuse

The 9 Seeds

South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Wichita State, Texas Tech

The 10 Seeds

Seton Hall, Wisconsin, Michigan, VCU

The 11 Seeds

Monmouth, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Oregon State, Alabama

The 12 Seeds

Butler, St. Mary’s, San Diego State, Valparaiso, Arkansas-Little Rock

The 13 Seeds

Chattanooga, Akron, IPFW, Stony Brook

The 14 Seeds

Yale, Hawaii, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Montana

The 16 Seeds

NC-Asheville, North Florida, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Oregon State, Alabama, Butler, St. Mary’s

First Four Out

George Washington, Florida State, Temple, LSU

Next Four Out

Tulsa, Washington, Vanderbilt, Ohio State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (7), Pac-12 (7), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (5), SEC (5), Atlantic 10 (3), American (2), West Coast (2)

ACC – Virginia, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, St. Joseph’s, VCU

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – NC-Asheville

Big Ten – Michigan State, Iowa, Maryland, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan

Big West – Hawaii

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, Arizona, Utah, USC, California, Colorado, Oregon State

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Kentucky, Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – IPFW

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 15th

THE BRACKET
Bracket 021516
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Villanova, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa

The 2 Seeds

Virginia, Xavier, North Carolina, Maryland

The 3 Seeds

Miami (FL), Michigan State, West Virginia, Oregon

The 4 Seeds

Dayton, Kentucky, Iowa State, Duke

The 5 Seeds

Arizona, Purdue, Utah, Notre Dame

The 6 Seeds

Indiana, USC, Texas A&M, Texas

The 7 Seeds

Baylor, Providence, Colorado, South Carolina

The 8 Seeds

California, Florida, Syracuse, St. Joseph’s

The 9 Seeds

Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Wichita State

The 10 Seeds

VCU, Seton Hall, Wisconsin, Texas Tech

The 11 Seeds

Florida State, Monmouth, Cincinnati, Oregon State, Gonzaga

The 12 Seeds

LSU, Butler, San Diego State, Valparaiso, Chattanooga

The 13 Seeds

Arkansas-Little Rock, Akron, South Dakota State, Stony Brook

The 14 Seeds

Yale, Hawaii, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Montana

The 16 Seeds

NC-Asheville, North Florida, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Cincinnati, Oregon State, LSU, Butler

First Four Out

St. Mary’s (CA), Washington, George Washington, Alabama

Next Four Out

St. Bonaventure, Temple, Vanderbilt, Creighton

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (8), Pac-12 (7), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (5), SEC (5), Atlantic 10 (3), American (2)

ACC – North Carolina, Virginia, Miami (FL), Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Florida State

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, VCU, St. Joseph’s

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – NC-Asheville

Big Ten – Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin

Big West – Hawaii

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, USC, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, Oregon State

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Kentucky, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, LSU

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – Gonzaga

1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 11th

THE BRACKET
Bracket 021116
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Villanova, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa

The 2 Seeds

Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, Maryland

The 3 Seeds

Xavier, Miami (FL), Michigan State, West Virginia

The 4 Seeds

Dayton, Purdue, USC, Kentucky

The 5 Seeds

Duke, Arizona, Baylor, Iowa State

The 6 Seeds

Texas A&M, Texas, Utah, Notre Dame

The 7 Seeds

South Carolina, Providence, Indiana, Florida

The 8 Seeds

Pittsburgh, Wichita State, Colorado, St. Mary’s (CA)

The 9 Seeds

VCU, St. Joseph’s, Syracuse, California

The 10 Seeds

Connecticut, Michigan, Florida State, Seton Hall

The 11 Seeds

Gonzaga, Monmouth, Valparaiso, Butler

The 12 Seeds

Cincinnati, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Washington, Chattanooga, San Diego State

The 13 Seeds

Arkansas-Little Rock, Akron, South Dakota State, Stony Brook

The 14 Seeds

UC Irvine, Yale, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, North Florida

The 16 Seeds

NC-Asheville, Montana, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Cincinnati, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Washington

First Four Out

George Washington, Texas Tech, St. Bonaventure, LSU

Next Four Out

Vanderbilt, Creighton, Alabama, Kansas State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (8), Pac-12 (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (6), Big East (5), SEC (4), Atlantic 10 (3), American (2), West Coast (2)

ACC – Virginia, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Florida State

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, VCU, St. Joseph’s

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, Texas

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – NC-Asheville

Big Ten – Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin

Big West – UC Irvine

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, USC, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, Oregon State, Washington

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Kentucky, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – St. Mary’s (CA), Gonzaga

1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 8th

THE BRACKET
Bracket 020816
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Villanova, Oklahoma, Xavier, Kansas

The 2 Seeds

Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia

The 3 Seeds

Maryland, Michigan State, West Virginia, Miami (FL)

The 4 Seeds

Dayton, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Purdue

The 5 Seeds

USC, Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor

The 6 Seeds

Texas, Providence, Pittsburgh, Duke

The 7 Seeds

Indiana, Utah, Notre Dame, South Carolina

The 8 Seeds

Florida, Wichita State, Colorado, St. Mary’s (CA)

The 9 Seeds

VCU, Syracuse, California, Connecticut

The 10 Seeds

St. Joseph’s, Seton Hall, Florida State, Michigan

The 11 Seeds

George Washington, Gonzaga, Valparaiso, Monmouth

The 12 Seeds

Butler, Cincinnati, Washington, Oregon State, San Diego State, Chattanooga

The 13 Seeds

Arkansas-Little Rock, South Dakota State, Akron, Stony Brook

The 14 Seeds

UC Irvine, Yale, NC-Wilmington, UAB

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, North Florida

The 16 Seeds

NC-Asheville, Montana, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Butler, Cincinnati, Washington, Oregon State

First Four Out

Wisconsin, Clemson, LSU, Vanderbilt

Next Four Out

Texas Tech, St. Bonaventure, Georgia, Kansas State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (8), Pac-12 (8), Big 12 (6), Big Ten (6), Big East (5), SEC (4), Atlantic 10 (4), American (2), West Coast (2)

ACC – North Carolina, Virginia, Miami (FL), Pittsburgh, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Florida State

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, VCU, St. Joseph’s, George Washington

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – NC-Asheville

Big Ten – Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan

Big West – UC Irvine

Colonial – NC-Wilmington

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, USC, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon State

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Texas A&M, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – St. Mary’s (CA), Gonzaga

1-3-1 Sports Midweek Review

THE 1-3-1 MIDWEEK REVIEW

1 Thought From the Games Earlier this Week

Texas A&M looks like the only SEC team capable of advancing past the first weekend. The Aggies currently sit alone atop of the SEC, though LSU, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida are all within two games. Having seen the majority of SEC teams play this season, (thanks a lot for the SUPER HIGH-QUALITY basketball, ESPN!), I can safely rule out all other teams in the conference from receiving an at-large tournament birth. Now that we’ve narrowed the field down to five eligible bachelors for that pretty lady in March, we can talk about who’s likely to advance the furthest. The answer: Texas A&M, but only by default. LSU will be lucky to make the tournament with their abysmal Non-Con SOS, and if they do so, it’ll most likely be on the Ben Simmons hype train – hello TV ratings! South Carolina appears to be quite the fraud, having gone 4-3 after starting 15-0 with their Charmin soft early season slate. Who saw that coming!? (Spoiler Alert: 1-3-1 Sports Midweek Review on January 14th, 2016) Kentucky has lost three of six, including games against SEC bottom-feeders Auburn and Tennessee, and they no longer have talent quite like the Harrison twins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Finally, there is Florida, who may be the best bet to prove me wrong; their distinct flaw is an offense that becomes very complacent and stagnant too frequently.

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3 Games to Watch this Week

i. Columbia @ Yale (Friday @ 5 pm EST, TV – FS1)
I have to admit, I’m a real sucker for watching quality mid-major and low-major college basketball. A televised game between the two leaders of the Ivy League, both of whom are undefeated in conference… count me in! The highlight of this game for me will be the opportunity to finally see German guard sensation Maodo Lo. Though he is a senior, I have yet to see him play; he may be the key to leading the Lions to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1968. I feel like the blurb highlighting this game would be incomplete without a reference to these two teams also featuring some of the smartest basketball players in the NCAA. For some, it even runs in the family. The younger sister of Columbia’s senior leader Grant Mullins, Missy, plays basketball at fellow Ivy league school and academic juggernaut Harvard. The cousin of Yale’s Brandon Sherrod, Derek, is an offensive tackle in the NFL who graduated from Mississippi State with a degree in financial risk management, and a 3.54 GPA to boot.

ii. Michigan State @ Michigan (Saturday @ 2 pm EST, TV – CBS)
This is one of the most heated rivalries in not only the Big 10, but in all of college basketball. The recent resurgence of the bad blood has been facilitated by the Wolverines experiencing great success under John Beilein. This year is no different, as the two teams have a combined 36-10 record and both sit in the upper half of the Big 10 standings. The Wolverines will look to avoid back-to-back home losses after the debacle against Indiana earlier in the week. A loss in this one could cause a bit of panic in Ann Arbor in regards to making the tournament, and rightfully so – the Wolverines have struggled mightily against quality competition (2-5 against the RPI top-50). On top of that, there has been nothing definitive that could generate realistic optimism regarding the return of team captain and leading scorer Caris Levert. The Spartans are dealing with a significant injury of their own, as point guard Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn is likely to miss his sixth straight game due to a painful case of plantar fasciitis.

iii. Baylor @ West Virginia (Saturday @ 8 pm EST, TV – ESPN2)
These two top-15 teams need a victory in this game to keep pace with top-ranked Oklahoma in the Big 12 conference race. This match-up offers quite the contrast, as Baylor’s potent inside-out, slow tempo offense will be matched up with West Virginia’s fast-paced, press-oriented defense. West Virginia leads the country in steals per game, averaging over 10 – the ability to turn teams over at high rates is a demonstrated staple of Bob Huggins’ teams in recent years. Baylor ranks 141st in the nation in turnovers per game, so they’ll have to be smart with the ball if they want to go into Morgantown and steal a victory. The counter to the turnover issue could end up being the rebounding advantage Baylor should have inside. Baylor is 4th in the country in offensive rebound percentage, pulling down 41% of offensive rebounds that are available to the team; the Mountaineers will need to find bodies and block out to prevent second-chance opportunities.

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1 Bold Prediction for the Week

Diamond Stone continues his coming out party and meteoric rise up NBA draft boards with a great performance in a Maryland victory over Purdue. Freshmen phenom Diamond Stone has slowly been getting more playing time from Mark Turgeon, and the increase of his contributions to the success of the Terps has coincided with the bump in minutes. He will have an opportunity to prove his worth when the Boilermakers roll into town on Saturday. Purdue’s strength is definitely inside, led by senior big man A.J. Hammons, who is coming off of a 32 point, 11 rebound, 4 block game in a lopsided victory over Nebraska. Though he may not lead the team in any one category, I think that Diamond Stone will use his skill set to be a key contributor. This can be achieved by limiting Hammons and making key plays down the stretch, both of which may not show up in the box score, on the way to a Maryland victory.

Prediction:

Maryland – 73
Purdue – 67

1-3-1 Sports Field of 68 – February 1st

THE BRACKET
Bracket 020116
PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Oklahoma, North Carolina, Villanova, Xavier

The 2 Seeds

Kansas, Iowa, Texas A&M, Virginia

The 3 Seeds

Maryland, Michigan State, Oregon, Iowa State

The 4 Seeds

West Virginia, Miami (FL), Providence, Purdue

The 5 Seeds

Dayton, Kentucky, Louisville, Baylor

The 6 Seeds

USC, Arizona, Indiana, Utah

The 7 Seeds

Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Michigan, Duke

The 8 Seeds

Texas, Florida, Colorado, Wichita State

The 9 Seeds

St. Mary’s (CA), Notre Dame, St. Joseph’s, VCU

The 10 Seeds

California, George Washington, Connecticut, Gonzaga

The 11 Seeds

Butler, Valparaiso, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Florida State

The 12 Seeds

Syracuse, Washington, Monmouth, Arkansas-Little Rock, San Diego State

The 13 Seeds

Chattanooga, South Dakota State, Stony Brook, UC Irvine

The 14 Seeds

Akron, Hofstra, UAB, Yale

The 15 Seeds

Belmont, North Florida, Stephen F. Austin, NC-Asheville

The 16 Seeds

New Mexico State, Montana, Bucknell, Hampton, Wagner, Texas Southern

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BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Seton Hall, Florida State, Syracuse, Washington

First Four Out

Texas Tech, UCLA, Clemson, LSU

Next Four Out

Ohio State, Georgetown, Oregon State, Boise State

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CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC (9), Pac-12 (7), Big 12 (6), Big Ten (6), Big East (5), SEC (4), Atlantic 10 (4), American (2), West Coast (2)

ACC – North Carolina, Virginia, Miami (FL), Louisville, Pittsburgh, Duke, Notre Dame, Florida State, Syracuse

America East – Stony Brook

American – Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 – Dayton, St. Joseph’s, George Washington, VCU

Atlantic Sun – North Florida

Big 12 – Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas

Big East – Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Butler, Seton Hall

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – NC-Asheville

Big Ten – Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan

Big West – UC Irvine

Colonial – Hofstra

Conference USA – UAB

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Yale

MAAC – Monmouth

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Hampton

Missouri Valley – Wichita State

Mountain West – San Diego State

Northeast – Wagner

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Oregon, Arizona, USC, Utah, Colorado, California, Washington

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Texas A&M, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida

Southern – Chattanooga

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – St. Mary’s (CA), Gonzaga