Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Burstin' Bubbles: March 4

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As you all know by now, Michigan sits firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, and probably needs at least two more victories (@MINN on Saturday, 1st round of the BTT) to secure a spot in the Big Dance. Burstin' Bubbles will run down the relevant bubble games of the day leading up to the tourney. Jamiemac over at mgoblog has been doing a tremendous job of this, but it never hurts to spread the love a bit:

Michigan's Resume (for comparison's sake):
18-12 (8-9 Big Ten)
ESPN InsideRPI: 48 (up one from yesterday)
SOS: 11 (down one from yesterday)
4-5 vs. RPI 1-25
1-4 vs. RPI 26-50
4-2 vs. RPI 51-100
Signature win(s): Duke (home), UCLA (neutral-site)
Bracket Matrix: Fifth team out (up one); made 11 of 62 brackets.

Yesterday's bubble scores:

South Florida 70, Cincinnati 59 (Good)
Oklahoma State 77, Kansas State 71 (Good)
St. John's 59, Georgetown 56 (OT) (Good)
Wake Forest 65, Maryland 63 (Good)
New Mexico 77, Utah 71 (Bad)
Ohio State 60, Iowa 58 (Bad)

All in all, the bubble was good to Michigan last night. Georgetown's loss will remove them from consideration for the Tourney field, as will Cincinnati's choke job against USF. Oklahoma State probably won their way into the tournament, while at the same time putting Kansas State (and their horrendous non-conference schedule) on life support. Maryland is still alive (losing to a top-10 team is by two points is rarely cause to eliminate a team from contention), but they will probably have to win on the road at Virginia on Saturday to firm up a bid.

As for tonight's slate of bubblicious-ness (TV listings where appropriate; bubble team of note listed first):

Boston College (20-9, 8-6 ACC; RPI: 49) @ North Carolina State (15-12, 5-9 ACC): This one is pretty simple: BC wins and they're in. It's tough to keep a 20+ win team with a winning record in the ACC out of the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia Tech (17-11, 7-7 ACC; RPI: 59) vs. No. 2 North Carolina (25-3, 11-3 ACC) [7:00, ESPN]: The Hokies currently sit as the second team out in the Bracket Matrix, and are named in 22 of 59 current brackets. Beating UNC would put be the kind of signature victory that takes a team off the bubble and into the field of 65. However, a loss here would leave VT scrambling to lock up a .500 record in the ACC with a tough road tilt at Florida State on Saturday.

Miami (FL) (17-10, 6-8 ACC; RPI: 44) @ Georgia Tech (10-17, 1-13 ACC): Barring an epic meltdown, Miami should win this game. However, they sit as the third team out on the Bracket Matrix, so I figured I would throw this game on the list. The real game to watch for here is the 'Canes game against NC State on Saturday, one which they will likely need to win to get an at-large bid.

Kentucky (19-10, 8-6 SEC; RPI: 67) vs. Georgia (11-18, 2-12 SEC): Same deal as above, except Kentucky would probably make the tournament if the field was set today. A win here is a must, however, as the Wildcats are coming off of two straight losses, including a pasting at the hands of South Carolina. The SEC is seriously weak this season, and a 9-7 record (UK finishes the regular season @ Florida on Saturday) in conference may not be enough to make the field.

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[Insert half-assed booing of Ashley Judd here]

Florida (21-8, 8-6 SEC; RPI: 50) @ Mississippi State (17-12, 7-7 SEC): Speak of the devil. Florida is only 2-6 in SEC road games, so a win for them at Miss State would be huge for them. Again, the SEC is a pretty weak conference this season ... the game against Kentucky could essentially be a play-in game for both teams.

Wisconsin (18-10, 9-7 Big Ten; RPI: 31) @ Minnesota (20-8, 8-8 Big Ten; RPI: 39) [8:30, Big Ten Network]: Both teams sit on the bubble, but I can't see Michigan getting in over Wisconsin, who swept the Wolverines in the season series and will likely finish with at least a 10-8 record after their season finale against a pathetic Indiana team. Then again, Michigan plays Minnesota on Saturday, and if we beat them we'll certianly make the field over the Gophers. So, um, I guess Go Gophers?

Texas A&M (21-8, 7-7 Big 12; RPI: 34) @ Colorado (9-19, 1-13 Big 12): This is a gimme for A&M, who currently sit in the tourney field in a solid 38 of 59 brackets on the Bracket Matrix. So yeah, probably in. Damn. Any chance Chauncey has leftover eligibility for the Buffs?

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UNLV (20-8, 8-6 MWC; RPI: 51) vs. Air Force (9-18, 0-14 MWC): Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.


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joseph burrell said...

oh Ashley Judd is so beautiful I would have been there to see her in person, but I had to work doing some bookmaking work that night, it was a shame