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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Mock NCAA tournament bracket: Eric Prisbell's field of 68

By Eric Prisbell
Newark Region
Seed Team Conf* Note
1Duke*ACC*Will the ACC test the Blue Devils?
2VillanovaBig EastTennessee looms as only loss
3MissouriBig 12Georgetown loss only blemish
4GeorgetownBig EastNo. 1 in SOS and RPI entering weekend
5Michigan StateBig TenWill be dangerous again in March
6FloridaSECGators rank 8th in schedule strength
7St. Mary'sWCCSt. John's win looking better
8MinnesotaBig TenVirginia loss stains resume
9 West VirginiaBig EastWin at Georgetown was third over top 50 team
10Virginia TechACCMissed chances vs. nonleague foes
11Old DominionCAA*Narrowly lost to Georgetown in opener
12Richmond/ArizonaA10/Pac-10Atlantic 10 may be one-bid league
13George MasonCAAWofford loss stings
14PrincetonIvy*Tigers rank 38th in RPI
15Long BeachBig West*49ers have losing record vs. D-I teams
16HamptonMEAC*Worst loss: Wake Forest
New Orleans Region
Seed Team Conf* Note
1Ohio StateBig Ten*The biggest threat to Duke
2San Diego StateMWC*Three top 50 wins already
3Notre DameBig EastAlready with four top 50 wins
4TexasBig 12More consistent after last season
5VanderbiltSECNo bad losses by Commodores
6PurdueBig TenNo Hummel, no problem
7North CarolinaACCKentucky win only true bright spot
8St. John'sBig EastLavin has two top 25 RPI wins
9Washington StatePac-10Wins over Portland, Gonzaga help
10MemphisC-USAOnly solid win is Miami
11Cleveland StateHorizon*The favorite in the Horizon?
12PortlandWCCWCC has a chance for three bids?
13CharlestonSouthern*Dangerous. Just ask Maryland.
14Montana StateBig Sky*Ranks 309th in SOS
15St. Peter'sMAAC*Three questionable losses
16Coastal Carolina/QuinnipiacPlay-inCoastal played four non-D-I teams
Anaheim Region
Seed Team Conf* Note
1SyracuseBig East*First true road game last weekend
2KentuckySEC*Four top 50 wins by Calipari's squad
3ConnecticutBig EastWin over Texas was fifth vs. RPI top 50
4TempleAtlantic 10*Boosted by Georgetown win
5Texas A&MBig 12Lone nonleague loss to Boston College
6Kansas StateBig 12Expectations higher for K-State
7WisconsinBig TenLost at Illinois by eight
8TennesseeSECLoss against Charlotte will hurt
9Wichita StateMVC*Shockers searching for quality win
10LouisvilleBig EastUNLV victory will carry weight
11 Boston CollegeACCLost to two Ivy League schools
12Utah StateWAC*No shame in losses to BYU, Georgetown
13OaklandSummit*Played a tough nonconference schedule
14VermontAmerica East*Ranks in top 50 of RPI
15 BelmontAtlantic Sun*Lost to Tennessee twice
16Nicholls State/Jackson StatePlay-inNicholls State with two D-I wins
San Antonio Region
Seed Team Conf* Note
1KansasBig 12*Josh Selby could be the difference
2PittsburghBig EastPanthers with two top 25 wins
3Central FloridaC-USA*Three top 50 wins
4Brigham YoungMWCMWC a solid three-bid league
5IllinoisBig TenOff to 3-0 start in Big Ten
6Nevada-Las VegasMWCMWC ranked ahead of ACC for now
7WashingtonPac-10*Most dangerous team in Pac-10
8MiamiACCLoss at Rutgers a stain
9CincinnatiBig EastEntered weekend unbeaten, untested
10Oklahoma StateBig 12Cowboys need more quality wins
11ButlerHorizonNot your 2010 Bulldogs
12Gonzaga/DaytonWCC/A10Dayton hanging by a thread
13AkronMAC*All five losses to top 50 RPI teams
14Florida AtlanticSun Belt*Worst loss: DePaul
15Austin PeayOVC*Didn't play a home game until Dec. 7
16AmericanPatriot*Eagles 95th in RPI

* - Projected conference champion

By Eric Prisbell  | January 7, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
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I guess no one has commented yet because NFL is in heart of playoffs, college football bowl games are not over just yet... To be honest trying to pick 68 teams that will be in the NCAA Tournament before most conference play is kind of ludicrous. The fact that you have 7 Big East Teams and only 4 ACC is a big dis to Terp fans. Also having Miami as an 8 seed while the Hurricanes are 0-2 in ACC play is just wrong. Many other teams in here that we know won't get voted in, but I guess your trying to get them noticed. Richmond, Wichita State, American,Hampton, etc. Good luck with this poll, I am sure once all the conferences get in the heart of their schedules this will get easier for you!

Posted by: adamritter1 | January 9, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing the committee will accommodate BYU's no Sunday play and place them in the West or Southeast regional.

Posted by: Yosh1 | January 10, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Duke-Terps game last night. There are not 20 teams better than Maryland. Though this exercise in futility you conducted is most likely based on the "now," I can, with certainty, inform you Maryalnd will be in the NCAA tournament. This from a cynical type fan.

Posted by: mdterps84 | January 10, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I only count 66 teams.

Posted by: leftovers | January 10, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

All bs.

Posted by: M20832 | January 10, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way you can get a basketball expert, someone who knows the game and maybe has insight into the selection process, to do the same thing so you guys can compare brackets? I think that would be interesting.

Posted by: themantoyou | January 10, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Does he honestly think that there aren't half a hundred schools including Maryland that can't beat the 16th or play-in teams? Give me a break.

Posted by: bullwinkle1 | January 10, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I love that you're putting this out so early. Thanks for doing this...

adam: he only has 4 acc schools in because the conference is down this year. Not a dis to MD, just a reflection of reality. People know that the bottom seeds are automatic qualifiers, yes?

Posted by: WrongDog | January 10, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't like that these are coming out earlier and earlier. I don't see the point frankly. As we get closer to the tournaments, sure. But now? Before most teams haven't even played more than 1 or 2 conference games? Really, that's necessary??

Posted by: Barno1 | January 10, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Where's Maryland?

Posted by: eternale5150 | January 10, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

You have American at 16 and Florida Atlantic at 14 (and you say FAU's worst loss is Depaul). You do realize that American won at FAU earlier this year by 10, right?

Posted by: skinned1 | January 10, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

It seems a lot of MD Terp fans are chimin in. Since Maryland is NOT mentioned in the brackets, you MD fans think this early poll is "ludacris". Someone even stated "with certainty" that the Terps would make the tourney. C'mon Man. Maryland played O.K. against Duke, (their best game of the season probably), and still lost. Duke, (using their standards), played horrible. Was it Duke playing poorly or was it Md playing over it's head? We will see over MD's next couple of games. They lose, they are who we think they are, they win, progress.
When MD beats someone of note, they will begin to get some love, if not, no recognition.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | January 11, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Purdue as a 6 seed??? Are you serious???

They are 15-1, RPI 11, SOS 44, ranked 8th in the country. They don't have a marquee win yet - but they are a top 4 seed at the moment, easily. I think you're overstating the Hummel loss as seeding impact - he's out for the year, not hurt a week before Selection Sunday. Though I guess the Boilermakers will put up or shut up in the next couple weeks - at Minn, OSU and WV - home vs MSU.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 11, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Hlynchmaestro, of course if the season ended today MD wouldn't be in. The person who stated with certainty that MD would make it was probably basing this on history. Gary's teams have gone to the tourney 14 of the last 17 years (and 3 of last 4), so we kind of expect it at Maryland. We also have a history of starting slow in recent years only to get some big wins down the stretch. And if you think Duke is winning in CP later this year, think again.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 11, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey Prisbell, you made a mistake. You left Maryland off your bracket. I'm sure it was an honest mistake.

Posted by: ams1986 | January 11, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Really, that's necessary??

Posted by: Barno1 | January 10, 2011 10:21 PM

Of course it's not necessary, Barn - it's a fun blog post to chat about the resumes of teams as we get into conference season.

One issue for the Terps, even if they do heat up in conference play... they only have (at present) four ACC games against RPI top 50 opponents (BC, Duke, Miami, Carolina). That's pretty amazing when you think about it - all the ACC has to offer is four teams in the top 50. Give me back my old ACC and 8 team round robin of my youth!

Terps need to play their butts off this Saturday in Philly.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 11, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Terps will win in Philly and in Wake. You heard it here.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 11, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

No. 1, I find mock brackets (especially this early in the season) kind of silly. No. 2, I know you base these on body of work thus far, but I can't see the Terps not finishing in the ACC's top 4. Especially after the way they played the top-ranked team in the country Sunday.

But, I do agree that no more than four from a weak ACC will qualify.

Posted by: scrappledog | January 11, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Terps will win in Philly and in Wake. You heard it here.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 11, 2011 12:10 PM

They had better win in Winston-Salem, Stetson and Presbyterian did too.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 11, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Anyone below 11-5 in the ACC does nt deserve to be in the tourney.

S. Greenberg

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | January 11, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

He didn't really say that did he? Doesn't seem like him.

Finishing 8-8 in the ACC almost always makes you a lock for the ncaa tourney. Unless you're Vtech and have no marquee out of conference wins.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 11, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

He didn't say they wouldn't be in, he said they don't deserve to be in...

Which frankly I tend to agree with, though I think 11-5 is a bit arbitrary.

The conference schedule can really mask some marginal teams, I'd rather see a second or third team come out of a mid-major conference than the middle of the road teams from a major. That would be my preference. I like to see teams play that excelled in their conferences. I know the argument is the worst team in the Big East is better than the best team etc etc... but it's all fairly arbitrary, and since it is collegiate, I'd rather they err on the side of rewarding good seasons (regardless of conference) instead of traditional conference strength.

Then everyone would in essence know exactly what it should take. A winning record in your conference is a start.

Posted by: gconrads | January 11, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

It will be Fairfield, not St Peters, in MAAC

Posted by: billcoffin | January 13, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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