College Basketball Bracketology, February 1: Crazy Weekend Shakes Up The Bracket

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College Basketball Bracketology, February 1: Crazy Weekend Shakes Up The Bracket

This bracketology will evaluate teams based on how they have performed this point in the season. It will not factor in how they are projected to do in the rest of the season. Teams that are currently in first place in their respective conference will be given an automatic bid from that conference. A conference in parentheses next to a team indicates a conference champion.

With the 68-team format, there will now be four play-in games. There will be two play-in games for the bottom four at-large teams, and two play-in games for the bottom four conference tournament winners who earned automatic bids.

In the bracket, the winner of the East Region plays the winner of the West Region, and the winner of the Southeast Region plays the winner of the Southwest Region.

 

East Region

No. 1 Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. No. 16 Bethune-Cookman (MEAC)/McNeese State (Southland)

Ohio State is the nation's only undefeated team. The Buckeyes are a perfect 9-0 in the Big Ten after just barely surviving at Northwestern in their most recent game. The Buckeyes still have some tough games ahead of them, playing Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois, Penn State, and Wisconsin twice before the end of the season.

Bethune-Cookman holds a half-game lead over Hampton in the MEAC. The Wildcats start a four-game homestand on Saturday against Coppin State.

McNeese State has split the first four games of a five-game road trip. The Cowboys finish this stretch off on Saturday at Stephen F. Austin. They will then return home for the first time since January 15 to Central Arkansas on February 12.

 

No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Marquette

North Carolina will have a chance to tie Duke for first place in the ACC if the Tar Heels can win at Boston College tonight. The Tar Heels will not meet Duke until next Thursday.

Marquette stands in the middle of the Big East at 5-4. The Golden Eagles just ended a two-game slide with a win over Syracuse on Saturday. They will play their fourth straight game against a top 25 opponent on Wednesday when they play at Villanova.

 

No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 George Mason/St. John's

Minnesota's four-game winning streak ended with a loss at Purdue. The Golden Gophers play a must-win at Indiana on Wednesday night.

George Mason has won seven straight games in CAA to get itself into the field this week. The Patriots are only one game behind VCU for first place in the CAA. The Patriots received a key OOC game at Northern Iowa as part of the annual BracketBusters.

St. John's had been having some major struggles in the second half of January. Three straight loses made the Red Storm look like it had in past years. However, a dominating win over Duke on Sunday keeps the Johnnies in the bracket.

 

No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 13 Harvard (Ivy)

Texas A&M has dropped three of its last four games. The Aggies host Baylor on Saturday for third place in the Big 12.

Harvard has looked great through four Ivy League games. The Crimson are 4-0 and play at Princeton, which is 2-0, on Friday night and Penn, also 2-0, on Saturday.

 

No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Virginia Tech

Arizona has won three straight games and is in second place in the Pac-10. The Wildcats start a three-game road trip at Stanford on Thursday. 

Virginia Tech has won four of its last five games. Malcolm Delaney has continued to have a very strong year, averaging 18.1 PPG.

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Montana guard Will Cherry is No. 3 in the Big Sky in scoring.

 

No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Montana (Big Sky)

Notre Dame has won its last three games and is tied with Louisville for second place in the Big East. The Fighting Irish most recently won at No. 2 Pittsburgh. They will wrap up a short road-trip at Depaul on Thursday.

Montana looks to continue its winning streak into February. The Grizzlies won their last six games in January to take first place from Northern Colorado in the Big Sky.

 

No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 10 Utah State (WAC)

Vanderbilt's three-game winning streak ended with a loss to Arkansas this weekend. The Commodores play at Florida, which currently leads the SEC East, tonight.

Utah State has not lost overall since December 4, and the Aggies have not lost at home all season. The Aggies kept their undefeated season in WAC play alive with a double overtime win at Hawaii in their most recent game. They have legitimate chances to go undefeated in WAC play, and a win at St. Mary's in their BracketBuster could help their seeding tremendously.

 

No. 2 Duke (ACC) vs. No. 15 Wofford (SoCon)

Duke picked up a tough loss at St. John's on Sunday, but the Blue Devils are still in first place in the ACC. 

Wofford finally seems to have gotten its act together. The Terriers have won six out of their last seven and currently lead the Southern Conference. In conference play, senior forward Noah Dahlman is averaging 23.5 PPG in SoCon games.

 

West Region

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Long Beach State (Big West)

Kansas has won two straight games since losing to Texas. However, the Jayhawks remain in second place in the Big 12. 

Long Beach State has struggled in its last few games, but the 49ers have managed to keep a two-game lead on Cal State Northridge, which stands in second place in the Big West.

 

No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Cincinnati

UNLV stands in fourth place in the Mountain West. The Rebels play a big game at BYU on Saturday.

Cincinnati has lost three of its last five. With this slide, the Bearcats have dropped three-games behind Pittsburgh in the Big East. 

 

No. 5 Washington (Pac-10) vs. No. 12 Alabama (SEC)

Washington's three-game winning streak ended with a loss at Washington State. The Huskies continue a road trip at Oregon State on Thursday.

Believe it or not, Alabama is currently in first place in the SEC at 5-1. The Crimson Tide's only conference loss came at Arkansas by five points. 

 

No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 13 Oakland (Summit)

Syracuse has really struggled recently, dropping four-straight games. The Orange play at No. 6 Connecticut on Wednesday.

Oakland remains undefeated in conference play. The Golden Grizzlies play their next two games on the road, including a game at third place IUPUI on Saturday.

 

No. 6 Florida vs. No. 11 Baylor

Florida's three-game winning streak came to and end with a loss at Mississippi State on Saturday. The Gators remain in first place in the SEC East. Their next two games will be against top 25 opponents (Vanderbilt and Kentucky).

Baylor remains a struggling team, but the Bears are still in the bracket. However, the Bears desperately need a key win at Texas A&M on Saturday.

 

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Buffalo (MAC)

Purdue has won three of its last four games and plays an important game at Wisconsin tonight. After the game at Wisconsin, the Boilermakers have a week off before hosting Indiana.

Buffalo has won five straight games after starting MAC play at 0-2. The Bulls play at Ball State, which leads the MAC West, on Saturday.

 

No. 7 Boston College vs. No. 10 Georgia

Boston College dropped back down to the middle of the ACC with losses Florida State and Duke this past week. 

Georgia has lost three of its last four. The Bulldogs desperately need to beat Arkansas and Auburn in their next two games.

 

No. 2 Connecticut vs. No. 15 Long Island (NEC)

Connecticut blew a late lead and lost to Louisville in double overtime on Saturday. The Huskies will host No. 17 Syracuse tomorrow night.

Long Island's winning streak ended with a loss to St. Francis (PA) on January 22. However, the Blackbirds have rebounded with wins in their last two games. 

 

Southeast Region

No. 1 Pittsburgh (Big East) vs. No. 16 Maine (A-East)/Texas Southern (SWAC)

Pittsburgh survived at Rutgers to move to 8-1 in Big East play. The Panthers play two of their next three games on the road.

Maine has won seven straight games and holds a half-game lead over Vermont in the America East. The Black Bears play at third place Boston tonight.

Texas Southern wins the tiebreaker for first place in the SWAC over Jackson State. The Tigers will rematch Jackson State on February 12.

 

No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Tennessee

Michigan State ended a three-game slide with an overtime win over Indiana. The Spartans play a must-win game at Iowa on Wednesday.

Tennessee has won its last two games and is tied for second place in the SEC East. The Volunteers play a must-win at Aubrurn on Thursday.

 

No. 5 Georgetown vs. No. 12 Penn State/Washington State

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Michigan State guard Korie Lucious has been dismissed from the team.

Georgetown has won five straight games to improve to 6-4 in the Big East. The Hoyas host Providence, which recently knocked off a pair of top 25 teams, on Saturday.

Penn State upset Wisconsin on Saturday for the Nittany Lions third win over a top 25 team. Tonight, they will get another chance for a win over a top 25 team at Illinois.

Washington State has won three of its last four, including a win over top 25 Washington on Sunday.

 

No. 4 Missouri vs. No. 13. Virginia Commonwealth (CAA)

Missouri lost to Texas on Saturday, dropping to 3-3 in Big 12 play. The Tigers wrap up a short road-trip at Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

Virginia Commonwealth has not lost since January 3. The Rams start a three-game road trip at Northeastern on Wednesday. 

 

No. 6 Illinois vs. No. 11 Wichita State

Illinois has had major struggles recently, dropping four of its last five games. The Fighting Illini host a pesky Penn State team tonight.

Wichita State has won three straight games and is in second place in the MVC. The Shockers play at fourth place Indiana State on Tuesday.

 

No. 3 Villanova vs. No. 14 Coastal Carolina (Big South)

Villanova has dropped three of its last four. The Wildcats host Marquette and West Virginia in their next two games.

Coastal Carolina has won 18 straight games and just swept a four-game road trip. The Chanticleers host second place Liberty on Thursday.

 

No. 7 St. Mary's (WCC) vs. No. 10 Richmond

St. Mary's has dropped two of its last three games. The Gaels return home the sixth and seventh place teams in the WCC, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.

Richmond's three-game winning streak ended with a loss to Xavier over the weekend.

 

No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt)

San Diego State rebounded from its first loss of the season with an easy win over Wyoming. The Aztecs play at third place Colorado State tomorrow night.

Florida Atlantic finally lost in conference play, losing to Western Kentucky on Saturday.

 

Southwest Region

No. 1 Texas (Big 12) vs. No. 16 Austin Peay (OVC)

Texas has looked like a Final Four team during Big 12 play. The Longhorns have already gotten the toughest conference games out of the way and remain undefeated in the Big 12. They play two of the bottom teams in the Big 12, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, in their next two games.

Austin Peay lost to Morehead State on Saturday, but the Governors remain in first place in the OVC.

 

No. 8 Florida State vs. No. 9 Temple

Florida State's winning streak ended with a loss at Clemson on Saturday. The Seminoles currently stand in third place in the ACC.

Temple has won three of its last four games and is in a tie for third place in the A-10.

 

No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 12 Cleveland State (Horizon)

Louisville came back in back-to-back games to win, but the Cardinals could not get any more of that magic at Georgetown on Monday. The Cardinals dropped that game by a score of 62-59.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After a slow start in conference play, Cleveland State has come roaring back to take hold of first place in the Horizon League. The Vikings play two big games in their next two games, hosting Valparaiso and Butler.

 

No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Belmont (A-Sun)

Wisconsin's three-game winning streak ended with a loss at Penn State on Saturday. The Badgers host Purdue tonight.

Belmont rebounded from a loss at Lipscomb with wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson. The Bruins hold a one-game lead over East Tennessee State in the Atlantic Sun.

 

No. 6 Xavier (A-10) vs. No. 11 Memphis (C-USA)

Xavier has won seven straight games and is undefeated in A-10 play. 

Memphis' winning streak ended with a loss at Marshall on Saturday. The Tigers host Tulsa on Wednesday.

 

No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 14 Fairfield (MAAC)

Kentucky has won four of its last five and is in second place in the SEC East. The Wildcats play a pair of road games this week at Mississippi and Florida.

Fairfield has been red hot in MAAC play, standing at 10-1. 

 

No. 7 West Virginia vs. No. 10 Missouri State (MVC)

West Virginia could not survive against Louisville, but the Mountaineers got the job done at Cincinnati on Sunday. They will host Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Missouri State's last four games have come down to the final possession. Missouri State has managed to win two of these games and lose two. 

 

No. 2 Brigham Young (MWC) vs. No. 15 Bucknell (Patriot)

Brigham Young defeated San Diego State to take hold of first place in the Mountain West. However, the Cougars dropped the following game at New Mexico. They will play at eighth place Wyoming on Wednesday.

Bucknell's undefeated season in Patriot League ended with a loss at Army. 

 

Last Four In

Penn State, St. John's, George Mason, Washington State

First Four Out

UAB, Duquesne, Gonzaga, Maryland

Next Four Out

Nebraska, Colorado State, Butler, UCLA

 

For more college basketball news, follow Jesse Kramer on Twitter by clicking here.

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