Author: Mark Blaudschun

March Madness Update: Chapter 4

So here we are, less than three weeks away from Selection Sunday–which still remains one of the most anticipated days in the sports calendar year–and the NCAA tournament field is filled with legitimate bubble” teams, whose fate will be largely determined in the final few games of the regular season. In doing a  soft look at the potential NCAA tournament field, we came up with 71 teams for 68 spots–barring upsets in the conference tournaments which could cause a last second  bubble burst moment for some teams. We came up with 10 teams in the “bubble”. Let’s take a look, conference by conference ACC-Syracuse and NC State Big 12–Texas, Baylor Big 10–Nebraska, Penn State Pac-12–USC, UCLA, Washington, Utah But there is also some weird things brewing, such as: The Pac 12 with only two teams. The Big Ten with only 4 The SEC with as many as 8 The ACC with 10. Seed wise it looks like this. Villanova seems pretty solid as the No. 1 seed in the East and it will take a major meltdown to move Virginia off the No. 1 line in the South. Kansas is playing like Kansas again, which is a No. 1 seed–probably in the Midwest, although if Michigan State continues to roll, the Spartans could bump Kansas to the West. There is some debate about whether Xavier grabs a No. 1 slot, not...

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March Madness Update: Chapter 3

As we have said before, the 2017-18 college basketball season could produce the most wide open NCAA tournament in the past 20 years, with as many as a dozen legitimate contenders for the Final Four. What hasn’t changed is that it looks like 8 conferences producing multiple bids, taking 44 of the 68 spots. Here’s our first guess as to how that will break down. American (3)–Cincinnati, Houston, Wichita. Adding Wichita has, as expected, helped the overall strength of the conference. But  Cincinnati, which is still unbeaten in conference play, is a mildly surprising leader. ACC (9)–Virginia, Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Miami, Syracuse, FSU.   Still the strongest league from top to bottom  and NC State is even a possibility for a 10th slot. Virginia has a solid hold on the regular season race, but after a loss to Virginia Tech over the weekend, anything seems possible once March arrives. Big 12 (7)–Texas Tech,  Kansas, West Virginia, Kansas State, Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State–Anything is possible in this conference,  other than Iowa State making the field, which WOULD be a surprise. Big East (7)–Villanova, Xavier, Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Providence, Marquette–Conference is having another great season. If Villanova can get healthy enough by March, the Wildcats could make another national championship run. In fact, it might be tougher to get out of the Big East than win the...

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For BC, March Madness starts now

The schedule labels it as another week in the regular season, but Boston College knows better. It is more than that. In fact, you could make an argument that it is the most important week in BC basketball in the last decade. Here’s why. Boston College is 15-10, with games this week at winless Pittsburgh and a return meeting against Notre Dame at Conte Forum on Saturday. The Eagles have at least 7 games remaining this season (six regular season, at least one in the ACC tournament).  To be eligible for post season play, BC must have a .500 record. Let’s do some Math 101. Two more victories would give BC a 17-10 record. If that happens, the WORST that BC would be would be 17-15, which wouldn’t put them in the NCAA tournament, but would put them in a post season tournament of some kind. For a squad that was a woeful 2-34 in the ACC the past two seasons and has ended its season in early March the past several years, that is a worthy accomplishment and a reachable goal. The reason this week is more important than any the Eagles have played in the Jim Christian era should be obvious. Even though the Eagles have not won a road game in almost two years, winning Tuesday night in Pittsburgh seems reasonable. The Panthers are having a...

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March Madness Update: Chapter 2

You want chaos. You want upsets, you want a wide open NCAA tournament field when it is announced next month? Say hello to College Basketball, 2018. If the trends of the season are to believed, there is NO clear cut favorite this season. And if you are projecting Final Four teams, you need a list of at least 12 names–maybe more–to have any credibility. You want examples? How about St. John’s, which going into last week was winless in the Big East and a long shot to even be eligible for any post season play. All the Red Storm did was beat Duke and then prove that might not have been a fluke by going on to beat No. 1 Villanova. Look at the Big 12, where Kansas has made winning the conference title an annual event. Last week, the Jayhawks, who had lost conference games to Texas Tech (a surprise at the time) and Oklahoma (not a surprise), walked off their home court at Allen Field House following a 5-point loss to Oklahoma State (a surprise). In the Pac-12, UCLA was regarded as a “bubble” NCAA team until Thursday night, when they went to Arizona and stunned the first place Wildcats. In the Big 10, Purdue, a somewhat surprising unbeaten (in the conference) leader, was knocked off by Ohio State, which came up with a game-winning basket with 2.8 seconds...

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March Madness Update: Chapter 1

Here’s the bad news for those of us who must endure winter: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Friday, which means we have six more weeks of winter ahead of us. The good news? We are six weeks away from the real start of the college basketball season known as March Madness, which is conference tournament play, followed by three weeks of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which remains the greatest sustained (more than a week) sporting event in the country. So here at TMG, we are announcing the start of another season of bracketology–TMG reached a milestone  last season by correctly predicting all 68 tournament teams–and projections on the post season. We will start slowly and merely pick the field–without full brackets–for a few weeks. So here’s the first breakdown, with the 32 automatic qualifiers and the 36 at-large picks. Automatic qualifiers (32) America East–Vermont American–Cincinnati Atlantic 10–Rhode Island Atlantic Coast Conference–Virginia Atlantic Sun–Florida Gulf Coast Big 12–Kansas Big East–Villanova Big Sky–Montana Big South–UNC–Ashville Big Ten–Purdue Big West–UC-Santa Barbara Colonial Athletic Association–Charleston Conference USA–Middle Tennessee Horizon–Wright State Ivy–Harvard Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference–Rider Mid-American Conference–Buffalo Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference–Savannah State Missouri Valley Conference–Loyola-Chicago Mountain West Conference–Boise State Northeastern Conference–Wagner Ohio Valley Conference–Belmont Pacific-12 Conference–Arizona Patriot League–Bucknell Southeastern Conference–Auburn Southern Conference–East Tennessee State Southland Conference–SF Austin Southwestern Athletic Conference–Arkansas-Pine Bluff Summit Conference–South Dakota State Sun Belt Conference–Louisiana West Coast Conference–Saint Mary’s...

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Notes

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