Comparing the Brackets
Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com, Michael Lazarus of foxsports.com, and Craig and Chris from Bracketology 101 all predict who they thought would make the tournament as of Monday. I thought it would be interesting to compare what teams they thought would make it in, to what I am predicting.
Joe Lunardi has 4 picks that are different from mine: Iowa, UTEP, St. Joseph's, and Stanford.
Michael Lazarus has 5 picks that are different from mine: Delaware State, Alabama State, St. Jospeph's, Iowa, and Stanford.
Craig and Chris' picks were most alike to the picks I made as we only disagreed on these 3 picks: Iowa, LSU, UTEP.
One team that all three analysts picked that I did not was Iowa. Two of the analysts thought that UTEP, St. Joseph's and Stanford would make the tourney, and I did not pick those teams. I am going to take a look at the 4 teams that these analysts thought would make it, and explain why I did not chose them.
Teams picked by all three analysts to make the tourney.
Iowa: Why are people picking Iowa to make the tourney? Is it because they almost beat Illinois? Frankly, I am not sure why. With the loss of Pierre Pierce this team is headed downhill and fast. They did have some great wins early in the season against Louisville, Texas, Texas Tech and Air Force, but when a team is 3-5 in the Big Ten in a down year, I find it hard to include them in the tourney. Add to that fact, that they just lost their best player makes this team a hard one to include in the tourney.
Teams picked by two of the three analysts.
UTEP: This team has a few big wins against Arizona State and at Nevada. I think that the WCC is only going to get one team in the tourney as of right now. Nevada is atop the WCC standings at 9-2, while UTEP is 8-3. This Saturday UTEP and Nevada play again in a game that will have huge implications on both of these teams chances for the big dance.
St. Josephs: I know St. Joe's is 8-1 in their league. But what some people forget is that they play in the A-10. The A-10 has never really been a good conference, and the conference definitely is struggling this year. When you take a look at their schedule, you can ask yourself who have they really beaten? When you have to argue over whether Xavier or Davidson is your best win of the season, you know you are really stretching. At this point, I just cannot include a team like this in my predictions.
Stanford: Okay, so they do have a win over my favorite team, Arizona. Stanford could have proved something to me last week by either beating Arizona or Arizona State on the road, but they lost both games. Their next 3 games are at home against California, USC and UCLA all games they should win if they want to be in the tourney. If they win those three, they will most likely be in, as far as I'm concerned after those games. But right now, with their record at 12-9 and 6-5 in the Pac 10, I am not going to include them.