Bracket Projections: January 30th

Below are our most recent Bracket Projections.  As is the case every week, we are not unanimous on all of the teams or seedings, but have managed to come to this consensus.

-For our most recent video podcast where we collectively build the seed list – CLICK HERE

-For our most recent Under the Radar Video Podcast, where we discuss most of the teams outside the bubble seeded #13 through #16 – CLICK HERE

 

BRACKET NOTES

A few notes about this field:

– Utah was moved down to #16 overall on the seed list after losing at UCLA Thursday night.  This loss occurred after we recorded the Bracket Rundown podcast.  No other changes were made based on Thursday Night’s results.

– All teams were placed on their “natural” seed line.  While a few teams needed to be switched around to a less optimal region for the team within its seed line in order to accommodate the bracketing rules, noone needed to be moved up or down a line this week.

– A switch also had to be made among teams on the 4 seed line in order to obtain “region balance”.  The sum total of the Seed List rankings for the top four teams of each region has to be added up after bracketing the top 4 seed lines.  If there is more than a 5 point difference between the highest and lowest of these, the regions are considered out of balance and have to be adjusted.  This occurred and required me to send Butler to the East Region instead of the Midwest, with Louisville heading out West and Utah to the Midwest.  Utah was not allowed to play in the West Region because Arizona was already there.  The net loser in these moves was Louisville, which ended up having their entire tournament on the West Coast.  If they had been one or two spots higher on the Seed List, they would have stayed in the East or Midwest.  This is why, especially among the top 16 teams on the Seed List, even moving up one spot within a seed line can be very important.

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To discuss this, and other matters concerning college basketball, check out our relatively new and currently not very busy message boards.  There aren’t many people at the party , but there’s plenty of beer for everyone!! – CLICK HERE

Under the Radar Game of the Day – Friday, January 30, 2015: Yale at Columbia

For out latest Bracket Rundown podcast, CLICK HERE.

Yale at Columbia, 8:00 PM Eastern, American Sports Network

At long last, the Ivy League moves into its regular season conference play tonight, being the last conference in the country to truly do so.  While almost every Ivy team has played two league games so far (other than Penn and Princeton who have only played one), those games are against their “travel partners”.  Beginning tonight, and lasting for six weeks, the Ivy begins its normal Friday-Saturday schedule of conference games.  Our UTR Game of the Day heads to New York City as the Columbia Lions host the Yale Bulldogs as the battle to see if anyone can dethrone Harvard (which already has one conference loss, at Dartmouth) begins.

Heading into the season, tonight’s two opponents appeared to be the most likely candidates to take a run at the Crimson.  Yale enters tonight’s game with a 13-6 overall record and a 2-0 mark in conference, having swept their games against Brown.  Yale most notably picked up a huge road victory at defending national champion Connecticut on December 5.  While have lost six games, one was a double overtime loss to in-state rival Quinnipiac, another was a double overtime loss at Vanderbilt, and they were competitive in losses at Providence and at Albany.  We can also certainly forgive the Bulldogs for their loss at “the people’s team”, NJIT — a game that yours truly attended.  Yale’s best player, Justin Sears, suffered an injury very early in that game and did not return.

Tonight, Yale takes on the Columbia Lions, who split their first two Ivy League games of the season with Cornell.  The Lions are 9-7 overall without any wins of true note.  They also have a couple of bad losses, including the Cornell game and a loss at home to Loyola-Maryland.  Columbia did take on the same UConn team that Yale beat, but lost that game by 15 points.  Perhaps the best game the Lions played all season was a 56-46 loss at Kentucky — a game that the Lions hung around in, perhaps mostly because UK seemed to sleepwalk through the first 30+ minutes of it.  If the Lions are going to take a shot at contending with Harvard this season, they will need a win at home tonight over Yale, and may need to win their return trip to Yale later this season as well.  If either of these teams can actually dethrone the Crimson and capture the Ivy League’s automatic bid, it would break one of the longer NCAA tournament droughts in existence.  Columbia has not been in the field since 1968, while Yale has danced since 1962.

Bracket Rundown: January 29th

Joby, David and Chad build the latest Hoops HD S Curve, and banter about who they fell would be in the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today, as well as what seed they believe they would get.

 

To check out the the teams after they have been bracketed – CLICK HERE

And for all you radio lovers, there is an mp3 version of the show posted below…

Highlighted Games for Thursday, Jan 29th

NEWS AND NOTES

-For our most recent Under the Radar Video Podcast from last night – CLICK HERE

-For a viewing guide of tonight’s games, and all of the games this week, check out Matt Sarzyniak’s site by – CLICKING HERE

-We are hoping to record our Bracket Rundown Podcast this evening, as well as build our most recent bracket projections, so be on the lookout for that.

-I have always been outspoken about how overvalued I thought Duke was, and my reason for that is because they were merely decent and not great on the road.  That is NOT the case this year.  Despite the loss to Notre Dame last night, they took a top ten team to the wall in a true road game.  This is on top of earning road wins at Wisconsin and Louisville.  I’m no less impressed with Duke than I was before despite the loss.  If anything, I could still see them on the #1 line.

 

TONIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-WESTERN KENTUCKY AT LOUISIANA TECH (Conference USA) (***Spotlight Game***).  It’s both a Hoops HD Spotlight Game, and Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day.  If there is one game you should watch tonight, it’s this one.  CLICK HERE TO READ CHAD’S WRITE UP. 

-DEPAUL AT PROVIDENCE (Big East).  Providence appears to be safely inside the bubble for now.  De Paul is way outside, but has played better despite a loss in their last game, and can get there if they can string together several wins.  That’s much easier said than done, though.

-MICHIGAN STATE AT RUTGERS (Big Ten).  This is the kind of game Michigan State has to be able to win.

-DAYTON AT UMASS (Atlantic Ten).  Dayton has had a solid season so far, but they’re not to a point to where they can just sit back and relax.  UMass isn’t a tournament team, but they do have a good home record, so Dayton will get some credit if they’re able to win.

-MARYLAND AT OHIO STATE (Big Ten).  Maryland needs some road wins if they want to solidify themselves as a protected seed, and Ohio State needs some wins just to breathe some life into their profile.

-UCONN AT CINCINNATI (American).  UConn is outside the bubble and needs to start stringing together wins just to avoid missing the field.  Cincinnati’s profile is pretty solid, but it certainly has some room for improvement.

-PORTLAND AT GONZAGA (West Coast).  It’s a conference game that will seem like a buy game.

-KENTUCKY AT MISSOURI (SEC).  Kentucky looks to remain atop the rankings and stay on track to get the overall #1 seed.

-UTAH AT UCLA (Pac Twelve).  This is a winnable road game for the Utes, who look like a solid protected seed.

Under the Radar Game of the Day – Thursday, January 29, 2015: Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech

For our latest Under the Radar podcast, CLICK HERE.

Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech, 7:00 PM Eastern, CBS Sports Network

The choice for UTR Game of the Day tonight could not have been easier as first place in Conference USA is on the line as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in one of the conference’s biggest and most important games so far this season.  Western Kentucky has caught our attention (and may be turning a lot more heads if they keep winning), jumping out to a 7-0 start in C-USA play and a 14-5 record overall.  They have won 9 straight games and notably have already picked up wins over Ole Miss, Old Dominion and UTEP this season.  They also took Louisville to the wire, in a game much closer than its 9 point final margin of victory.  While an at-large bid would probably require the Hilltoppers to run the slate in CUSA regular season play, we are not writing them out of that conversation quite yet.

WKU’s opponent tonight is the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, who enter the game at 6-1 in conference and 15-5 overall.  La Tech was our preseason pick to win CUSA and, at least since conference play began, has been playing up to that billing.  The Bulldogs’ biggest problem was their lack of quality non-conference games.  They were only able to schedule three (at Temple, at Syrcause, and at NC State), and lost them all.  In addition, a non-conference loss at Louisiana-Lafayette and a conference loss at North Texas have probably knocked them out of any serious conversation for an at-large bid.  However, if they want to get back into those talks, or at least make a run at the top seed in the CUSA tournament, the Bulldogs need to win and keep winning.  And they need to start tonight, at home, against the Hilltoppers.

 

Under the Radar: January 28th

Chad and David are back for this week’s edition of Under the Radar.  They start the show by talking about the efforts to have UTEP face Kentucky in Cole Fieldhouse next year for the 50th anniversary of when the two faced each other in the national championship, and how the game fell through.  After that, they run through all 23 Under the Radar conferences and discuss the standings, the different conference tournament formats and how the rest of the season will impact them, and the teams like Western Kentucky, Green Bay and SFA that could still end up inside the bubble.

 

And for all you radio lovers, there is an mp3 version of the show below.