Posted on: March 26, 2011 3:51 pm

Big East and Big Ten come up empty/72 teams

The performance by the Big East and Big Ten in the NCAA tournament has been underwhelming to say the least.

The two conferences combined to earn 16 of the 37 at-large teams in the field. Of those 16 at-large teams, none remain in the Elite 8. (The only team from the Big East or Big Ten remaining is UCONN who won the Big East Auto Bid.) Meanwhile we have teams that some felt didn't belong in the field (VCU) and from one of the "weaker" Big 6 conferences (Arizona) who received at-large bids that are still alive and kicking.

Of the record 5 teams that received at-large bids with 14 losses; 3 of them came from the Big East and Big Ten. Marquette equitted itself well, winning two games to get to the Sweet 16, but Penn State and Michigan State fell flat in their opening games.

What am I trying to say with all of this? Maybe, the so called "best" conferences aren't really any better than any others. While I didn't believe any of the 16 at-large teams from the Big East and Big Ten where unworthy of getting in, it doesn't appear to be good for the Tournament to have so many teams in from a particular conference taking up a large portion of the at-large bids.

I would have loved to see what Colorado, Alabama, St. Mary's or Harvard could've done in the Tournament. What should be done then to give more access to the tournament to teams from more conferences? Do we need a cap on the number of teams from a particular conference? I don't think that's the solution, the Committee is supposed to look at individual teams and not what conference they are from; a cap would defeat that line of thinking.

I propose that we expand the Tournament to 72 teams, creating four additional 1st Round games. This would make the last 12 at-large teams who get into the field play in the 1st round instead of the last 4. These 12 teams would be the current 4 that are in the "First Four", the additional four at-large teams that would be included and the last four teams that received byes this year. The bubble was so weak this year I don't think anyone can argue that the last four teams that received byes were that deserving of receiving one.

This year you could've had, in addition to the "First Four" games that we had, Missouri vs. Alabama, Marquette vs. St. Mary's, Penn St. vs. Colorado and Michigan St. vs. Harvard; those would've been exciting games to watch and would've allowed for additional games throughout the day on Tuesday and Wednesday just like we do on Thursday and Friday of opening weekend. (Imagine all the reduced office productivity, haha!)
Posted on: January 15, 2010 5:59 am
Edited on: January 15, 2010 3:23 pm

Bracketology 1/15/10

The main headline from this edition of bracketology is that the Pac-10 is at this point in time a one-bid league. Do I think the league will be a one-bid league when all is said and done? No, but I have to be true to my bracketing principles that I seed teams based on if the season ended today. Eventually I think Washington will do well enough in league play to earn a bid along with California. The biggest winners of the fact that the Pac-10 only received 1 bid are the rest of the big six Power Leagues and the A-10. The other five Power Leagues and the A-10 all received AT LEAST 5 bids.

Kentucky and Texas are nearly even for the #1 overall seed, but I gave it to Texas. Kentucky does, however, get the winner of the Play-in (Opening Round) Game in the First Round due to the fact that the winner of the Play-in Game must play at a Fri/Sun site. Another difficult choice for me was whether or not Syracuse or Kansas received the 4th #1 seed, which ended up going to Syracuse. Neither team leads their league, but Syracuse got the nod with a 5-0 road/neutral record compared to Kansas' 4-1 record.

Seed Lines 1-5:
#1 Seeds- Texas, Kentucky, Villanova, Syracuse
#2 Seeds- Kansas, Duke, West Virginia, Georgetown
#3 Seeds- Purdue, Kansas State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh
#4 Seeds- Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Temple
#5 Seeds- Vanderbilt, Clemson, Connecticut, Tennessee

See all of the matchups on the Ya Sports! site:

One final note on the bracket:
Ohio St. and California were both moved down from the 9 seed line to the 10 seed line to fit Bracketing Principles and Procedures; they were switched with Dayton and Texas A&M who were originally 10 seeds in my bracket in the same regions as Ohio State and California.

Thanks and please feel free to comment and ask questions.

Edit: Thanks to Beer who pointed out a couple of errors in my bracket at the Ya Sports! site:

In the West Region: 2 Kansas vs. 15 ARKANSAS ST. (not LSU), Arkansas St. is the Sun Belt Champ and plays Kansas, that was merely a typo on my part.

Also, the "Pod" with Georgetown as the 2 seed is played in Providence instead of Milwaukee; I merely forgot to put the heading above those two games.

Posted on: February 1, 2009 4:39 pm

Super Bowl Sunday Bracket

Here is my Super Bowl Sunday edition of bracketology. There are quite a few changes from my last bracket. St. Mary's, Miami (FL), and Providence all lose out on at-large bids in favor of their replacements; USC, Texas A&M and Penn St.

Penn St. made a believer out of me with their win @Michigan St.

St. Mary's is going to struggle with Mills and will lose a couple of more games in conference play; St. Mary's is also without an RPI top 50 win, that and a horrendous SOS is why they are out of my bracket.

Georgetown barely stays in my bracket, I hate having a 3-6 team in conference play in the bracket but the rest of their resume speaks of a tournament team.

Nobody answered the trivia quiz from last time; the team with the highest RPI to receive an at-large bid was the New Mexico Lobos with an RPI of 74 in 1999 (Go Lobos!).

Auto bids are in CAPS. The winner of the South Region will play the winner of the Midwest Region in the Final Four; the winner of the East Region will play the winner of the West Region.

South Region (Memphis)

Games played in Kansas City:


8 California vs. 9 Boston College

Games played in Boise:

4 Minnesota vs. 13 NORTHERN IOWA

5 Syracuse vs. 12 SIENA

Games played in Minneapolis:

3 Marquette vs. 14 NORTH DAKOTA ST.

6 Ucla vs. 11 South Carolina

Games played in Miami:

2 Wake Forest vs. 15 WEBER ST.

7 Ohio St. vs. 10 Dayton

Midwest Region (Indianapolis)

Games played in Greensboro:


8 Southern Cal. vs. 9 Utah

Games played in Boise:

4 Kansas vs. 13 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

5 West Virginia vs. 12 NORTHEASTERN

Games played in Dayton:


6 GONZAGA vs. 11 Virginia Tech

Games played in Miami:


7 Arizona St. vs. 10 LSU

East Region (Boston)

Games played in Dayton:

1 Connecticut vs. 16 Play-in game (HOLY CROSS vs. MORGAN ST.)

8 Florida St. vs. 9 Missouri

Games played in Portland:

4 BUTLER vs. 13 Penn St.

5 WASHINGTION vs. 12 Brigham Young

Games played in Minneapolis:


6 Villanova vs. 11 Baylor

Games played in Philadelphia:

2 Clemson vs. 15 VERMONT

7 Tennessee vs. 10 UTAH ST.

West Region (Glendale)

Games played in Greensboro:

1 North Carolina vs. 16 LONG BEACH ST.

8 DAVIDSON vs. 9 Florida

Games played in Portland:

4 Texas vs. 13 BUFFALO

5 Illinois vs. 12 Georgetown

Games played in Kansas City:

3 MEMPHIS vs. 14 VMI

6 Purdue vs. 11 Texas A&M

Games played in Philadelphia:

2 Pittsburgh vs. 15 JACKSONVILLE

7 UNLV vs. 10 Kentucky


Last Four In: Texas A&M, Georgetown, Brigham Young, Penn St.

Last Four Out: Providence, Oklahoma St., Miami (FL), San Diego St.

Bids by Conference:

Big East- 8

ACC- 7

Big 10- 6

Big 12- 6

Pac 10- 5

SEC- 5

Mt. West- 3

Atlantic 10- 2


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com