NCAA Tournament Bracketology 2014: Big East, Big Ten, C-USA and Mountain West Conferences

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Part Two of my series focusing on college basketball teams heading to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.  This cheat sheet will give you all the relevant numbers that you need to know when picking your brackets.

I’ve already released my first piece, which covered the American, Atlantic 10, ACC, and Big 12 Conferences.

This installment will feature the Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, and Mountain West Conference.  Keep checking back on Fantasy CPR as I continue to preview the remaining conferences all Saturday long.

One thing to note about this and further installments is that I hold teams from “major” conferences to a higher standard.  Any loss to a team with an RPI under 100 is a bad loss.  Quality wins are against teams RPI 60 or above at home, and 75 and above for road or neutral site games.

This part deals with those conference that will have more than one bid, but less than the major conferences.

Let’s keep dancing…


(RPI is in parentheses)


Regular Season Champion:  Villanova

Projected Bids: 4

Villanova (28-4, RPI 5, SOS 28)

vs. RPI top 50: 4-3

vs. RPI under 200: 3-0

Quality wins: vs. (3) Kansas at Paradise Island, Bahamas, vs (54) Iowa at Paradise Island, Bahamas, at (39) St. Joseph’s, at (63) St John’s, at (67) Georgetown, vs. (45) Xavier, at (51) Providence, at (45) Xavier

Bad losses: vs. (126) Seton Hall at New York

Projected seed: 2

Villanova had a one seed locked up.  All they had to do was get out of the first round of the Big East Tournament.  Well, they didn’t.  They were felled on a last second shot by Seton Hall in one of the first salvos of March Madness tournament basketball.  The Wildcats might still end up with a one seed, though.  After all, the committee has said repeatedly that the emphasis is placed on the regular season and not the conference tournament.  That said, ‘Nova left the door wide open for Michigan or Wisconsin if they can win the Big Ten tournament.


Creighton (25-6, RPI 8, SOS 24)

vs. RPI top 50: 6-3

vs. RPI under 200: 4-0

Quality wins: at (39) St. Joseph’s, vs. (41) Arizona State at Fullerton, CA, vs. (47) Nebraska, vs. (45) Xavier, at (5) Villanova, vs. (5) Villanova

Bad losses: NONE

Projected Seed: 3 if they win the Big East tourney, 4 if not

The Blue Jays beat Villanova twice by a combined 49 points.  That kind of domination over a top five team shows that this team is primed to make a big tournament run this year.  They probably have the player of the year in Doug McDermott, and a very good supporting cast around him this year.  The fact that there is nothing in that bad loss column has them chasing down a two seed.  The win over Xavier might clinch it.  A Big East Tournament title definitely would.


Xavier (21-11, RPI 45, SOS 33)

vs. RPI top 50: 3-4

vs. RPI under 200: 2-0

Quality wins: vs. (42) Tennessee, vs. (15) Cincinnati, at (63) St. John’s, vs. (8) Creighton

Bad losses: vs. (171) USC at Paradise Island, Bahamas, vs. (126) Seton Hall, at (126) Seton Hall

Projected seed: 11

They needed a win over Creighton to put them comfortably in.  For now, they are in, but those losses to Seton Hall and USC hurt.  Their RPI is not as high as you would like when chasing an at-large bid, but the name is still attached to the Big East, even if most of the teams are different.  There is no way the committee will only take two Big East teams, which is good for the Musketeers.


Providence (21-11, RPI 51, SOS 62)

vs. RPI top 50: 2-6

vs. RPI under 200: 4-0

Quality wins: at (63) St. John’s, vs. (8) Creighton, vs. (45) Xavier, vs, (63) St. John’s at New York

Bad losses: vs. (126) Seton Hall

Projected seed: 11

The Friars got a gift when Seton Hall knocked off Villanova.  Yes, they would have liked to have the win over the Wildcats themselves, but a trip to the Big East Championship Game will look awfully nice come Sunday, especially since Xavier lost.

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