Season Breakdown

We are currently in the heart of the season and only 52 days remain until Selection Sunday. Syracuse, Arizona and Wichita State are all still pushing forward hoping to take an unblemished record into the Big Dance. Along with these 3, 21 other teams are working hard to try to maintain a perfect record in conference play. On the other end of the spectrum there are 25 teams still looking for their first win to put on their conference resume.

Saint Louis has been getting the job done in the Atlantic 10. With Massachusetts falling to Richmond on Wednesday night, Saint Louis took over as the lone team atop the conference. A difficult schedule is still ahead of them as they have home games against Richmond, VCU, and Dayton as well as road matchups at VCU and Massachusetts to conclude the regular season. At 18-2, the Billikens only losses this season have come at the hands of Wisconsin and undefeated Wichita State. Don’t be surprised if you hear their name more when March rolls around.

Stony Brook and Vermont are battling for the top spot in the American East, more than likely only one team in this conference will make the tournament. That #1 seeding could come down to their head to head matchups on January 24th and February 27th.

Green Bay looks to have one of the best chances in the country to keep their conference record perfect. With a down Horizon league the Conference is theirs for the taking. As long as they don’t mess it up they could be the Cinderella team dancing in March.

San Diego State continues to win as they are on a 16 game winning streak with their last loss coming at the hands of Arizona. A possible 2 seed in the tournament looks like it is very doable for them.

American University gave Boston their first conference loss of the season leaving them with the only flawless record in the Patriot League.  If neither team slips up the rematch on February 19th will be an exciting game to watch.

After starting the season at 4-8, Chattanooga has rattled off 8 straight wins and has taken a 1.5 game lead in the Southern. It looks like this conference is theirs for the taking.

A February 15th game between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State could decide the Southland. SFA does own a one game advantage over Sam Houston but in conference play a 1 game lead doesn’t always lead to safety.

The SEC has been an interesting conference to watch this season. Kentucky started off slow but seems to have found their groove. On the other hand Missouri started off playing very well but has been faltering lately; they will need to find a way to win away from home if they want to play into March. Florida is holding steady at the top of the conference and again is a quiet team that could make a run in March.

 Arizona is still playing well in the Pac-12 and with Colorado’s injuries and Oregon’s complete collapse, there is a great possibility that the wildcats will at end the regular season undefeated.

Wichita State probably has the best chance to remain unbeaten but will face a big test at Indiana State on February 5th.

Syracuse is still playing extremely well and handling their ACC opponents very well. With 2 games remaining against Duke, however, they still have a chance to be tested.

Cincinnati and Kansas are holding the lead in the American and Big 12 conferences and it is starting to look like it is theirs to win or lose.

In the Big 10 a struggling Michigan has found a way to remain unbeaten against its conference opponents thus far. Ohio State and Wisconsin, are struggling leaving what looks like a conference race between cross state rivals Michigan and Michigan State. The two will face each other on Saturday January 25th in East Lancing, with a rematch on February 23rd.

Games are very important to all teams at this point, and with a team out of contention they still have their pride to play for and the hopes of earning a better seed for their conference tournament. In these tournaments anything can happen.


First Bracket

2013 has come to a close, Florida State has won the BCS title, so all focus on college sports has now shifted to basketball. Arizona has held strong to the AP #1 ranking for the past 5 weeks, and the rest of the top 5 aren’t backing down. Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State have held the 2-5 spots for five weeks as well. Teams are slowly falling from the ranks of the unbeatens as well. Villanova fell to Syracuse, Toledo lost at hard fought battle to Kansas at Allen field house, Oregon lost at Colorado, and Ohio State fell to Michigan State. 5 teams remain without a blemish in their record. Arizona from the Pac-12, Syracuse from the ACC, Wisconsin from the Big 10, Wichita State from the Missouri Valley, and Iowa State from the Big 12. It seems that Wichita State and Arizona will have the best opportunities to stay undefeated as the Pac-12 and Missouri Valley are probably the weakest of these conferences among the unbeatens. League play is underway which has allowed me to complete my first bracket for this season. Nothing is perfect and there are quite a lot of changes that will occur as the season progresses. Help is always wanted so leave comments as to how you feel certain teams fare this season.
Here is my Bracket as of now, no bracketing has taken place yet and only teams with a current record of above .650 were considered. This bracket is up to date with games that have been played through games January 5.

1 Syracuse, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan State
2 Baylor, Iowa State, Ohio State, Kansas
3 Massachusetts, Villanova, Oregon, Wichita State
4 Florida, Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State
5 San Diego State, Duke, Louisville, Colorado
6 Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Iowa
7 Memphis, Xavier, Pittsburgh, New Mexico
8 Creighton, Connecticut, Illinois, Georgetown
9 Florida State, UCLA, Saint Louis, George Washington
10 California,  VCU, Boise State, Texas
11 Kansas State, Virginia, Butler, Harvard
12 Michigan/ Wake Forest, Dayton/ Notre Dame, Southern Miss, Hawaii
13 New Mexico State, Toledo, Green Bay, North Dakota State
14 Manhattan, Boston University, Morehead State, Notrthern Colorado
15 Stephen F. Austin, Stony Brook, Arkansas State, St. Francis (NY)
16 William & Mary, East Tennessee State, Western Carolina/ Radford, Norfolk State/ Texas Southern