Kyle has taken a broader look at the bracketology breakdown, but I would be remiss not to point out that SBNation has its own certified bracketologist, Chris Dobbertean of Blogging the Bracket. Once again this week Chris is stalking the NCAA Tournament situation like a starving tiger on the trail of an unwitting villager. His best bracket guess is up over at SBNation.com and as always is worth a look. Among the highlights:
- Chris has Georgia as an 11 seed facing the #6 seed Missouri Tigers in Washington. Georgia is listed as one of Chris's "next four in", i.e., one of the lowest at-large teams not having to endure a play-in game.* He predicts Georgia to be the last of 5 SEC teams in, behind Florida, Kentucky, Vandy and Tennessee. Basketball schools, engage!
- Chris also surmises that despite their weekend road loss to the Wisconsin Badgers, Ohio State is still the tournament's #1 overall seed. I don't really think you can argue with him at this point, as the Buckeyes' body of work is outstanding. Wisconsin looks to be a solid top 5 seed in its own right, so there's not a lot of shame there.
- The closest thing the 'Dawgs have to a signature win is probably our home victory against Kentucky, which is fast fading into a misty, watercolor memory. However our 3 out-of-conference losses don't look so bad if Dobbertean's to be believed. He has Notre Dame as a #2 and Temple and Xavier as #6 seeds. Colorado has played its way up to "last 8 out" status, but that's probably their high water mark given that 2 of their last 5 games are against Kansas (in Lawrence) and Texas. UAB is currently at 18-6, 8-3 in CUSA and squarely on the bubble. They could help us out a little bit by beating Memphis on Wednesday and winning the conference games they should be favored in down the stretch.
- He projects 5 teams to make the field from the ACC, a pretty puny crop by their standards. None of those teams is Georgia Tech, and Paul Hewitt is still employed on North Avenue. Huzzah.
- BYU is somewhat quietly slotted as a #2 seed. The Cougars are led by a young man named Jimmer Fredette. You'll be naturally suspicious of him, as you should of any grown man known to anyone other than his mother as "Jimmer", but he's pretty good. Oh, and his fans are nasty, violent rage-oholics by Provo standards (H/T Jason Kirk). The Jimmeristas also think you'd dig Provo. You could do well there. Until you disappear in the middle of the night. Have a great day!
- The Dobber-man projects a ridiculous 11 teams to make the field from the Big East. That's not ridiculous because he's predicting it, it's ridiculous because it could conceivably happen. The truly absurd part is that all but 2 of those (#9 seed Marquette and #11 Cincy) are projected to the top half of the bracket. Imagine what that conference could do if they started playing football. Someone should look into that.
- Of utmost important for Georgia: beating Vandy in Athens tomorrow night. After a couple of subpar performances last week now would be a great time to break out of the lull and play a showcase game. With roadtrips to Knoxville and Gainesville looming over the next few days and a trek to Tuscaloosa to close the season on March 5, Georgia's tournament star could dim significantly without a win against the 'Dores. Even then, barring a scorching run, it's unlikely that we'll be assured of a spot in the Big Dance before the SEC tournament, and may need to win at least 1 there to punch our ticket. So go check out Chris's full rundown, and don't forget to swing by Blogging The Bracket for more frequent updates on the tournament picture as we head into the home stretch.
*Dear NCAA functionaries, you can call it the Battle of New Orleans if you want. You can play it in the Bahamas and have it emceed by Elin Nordgren. It's still a play-in game. We know.