Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hodger's National Outlook

Bubble Notes (Feb. 24)
1. Villanova snaps UConn's 10-game winning streak, vaulting itself back into the bubble discussion.
2. Easily the most significant Bracket Buster win of the weekend, Kent State wins at St. Mary's to greatly enhance its at-large chances. Both teams pass the "eye test" and should be in the NCAA Tournament.
3. Miami (Fla) moves from the bubble to solidly in the field with a home win over choking Maryland. The Terps had put themselves in good shape for a bid but choked it away this week and now once again reside on the bubble.
4. A clutch win in Pullman gets Arizona back off the bubble. With its difficult nonconference schedule, all the Wildcats (7-7 in Pac 10) need to do to assure a NCAA bid is finish 9-9 in the Pac 10.
5. Struggling Baylor earns a LARGE win over K-State, despite 44 points from Michael Beasley. The Bears are back in the Field of 65 for now, but they better not relax. ... their work isn't finished.
6. Despite a high RPI (71), for now Arizona State is in the field and off the bubble after its road win over U-Dub.
7. UNLV gets a must-win at Wyoming to remain on the bubble.
8. West Virginia remains on the bubble with a home win over reeling Providence.
9. Look out, Steve Alford's New Mexico Lobos are in position to get a bid after winning at the Huntsman Center (Utah). Beat BYU and UNLV (both at The Pit) in their next two and the Lobos have a legitimate shot to go dancing.
10. CAA leader VCU wins at Akron, still in at-large discussion if it doesn't win conference tourney.12. Close doesn't count for Oregon, as it led UCLA for much of the game before falling. The Ducks are now a longshot, but if they win their last three (doable) to finish 9-9 in the Pac 10, they have a shot.
13. Kentucky remains on the board but is still a longshot after its home win over Arkansas.
14. Western Kentucky still a longshot despite beating UL Monroe.
15. Seton Hall's miniscule at-large hopes still flicker after home struggle over DePaul.
16. A Bracket Buster loss to Ohio means George Mason's at-large hopes are all but kaput, but I'll keep them on the board.17. Ole Miss is voted off the island with an embarrasing loss at LSU. Hard to believe the Rebs are completely off the board.
Saturday's Most Significant Victory: Villanova over UConn ('Nova works its way back to the bubble by beating red-hot Huskies).
Sittin' On the Top of the Bubble (11) -- 8 of these 11 would make my Field of 65
(34) UNLV (19-6)
(38) West Virginia (18-8)
(42) Rhode Island (20-7)
(43) New Mexico (22-6)
(46) Syracuse (17-10)
(48) Ohio State (17-9)
(49) Villanova (17-9)
(55) Saint Joseph’s (16-8)
(58) Florida (20-7)
(65) Maryland (17-11)
(67) Wake Forest (16-8)
Longshots (10)
(33) Dayton (17-8)
(51) Illinois State (18-8)
(56) Oregon (15-12)
(59) Western Kentucky (20-6)
(62) Houston (20-6)(64) Kentucky (15-10)
(68) UAB (19-8)
(70) George Mason (19-9)
(73) Seton Hall (16-11)
(78) Cal (15-9)
Sunday's Bubble Slate
Syracuse at Notre Dame, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Xavier at Dayton, 1 p.m.
Saint Joseph's at Rhode Island, 3 p.m.
Wake Forest at North Carolina, 5:30 p.m. (FSN)
Wright State at Illinois State, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Cal at Stanford, 8 p.m., (FSN)
Next Bracket Projection: Tuesday, Feb. 26

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