Men's Club Bracketology: Mid-February Update
Parity is very much alive in the NCBBA here in mid-February. There have been 3 new #1s the last 3 top 20 polls, and four different teams are receiving 1st place votes in the most recent poll. There are a lot of good teams around the league, but some are standing out above the rest. Central Michigan, Fairfield and Georgetown have even clinched their spots in the field of 40. (Check out CBT's Domination Rankings of all teams of all levels to see just how impressive the Hoyas have been.) Who else is in?
*= Clinched regional playoff berth.
Great Lakes Regional:
1 Central Michigan* (North Champion) VS 8 Missouri Black (West Runner-Up)
After a 4-6 season last year, the Chippewas are off to an impressive 11-1 campaign and are ranked #10. They started off the year with a sweep of in-state rival Michigan, and recently swept last year’s national runner-up Notre Dame to clinch the GL-E championship. This team has 8 total seniors that bring a lot of experience and leadership heading into post-season play.
4 WUSTL (West Champion) VS 5 Ohio State (East Runner-Up)
3 Butler (South Champion) VS 6 DePaul (North Runner-Up)
2 Xavier (East Champion) VS 7 Indiana (South Runner-up)
1 Georgetown* (West Champion) VS 8 Salisbury (East Runner-Up)
4 Towson (East Champion) VS 5 James Madison (South Runner-Up)
James Madison has burst onto the scene this semester after a pair of wins against Virginia by 13 each and splitting with #3 Virginia Tech on the road. The # 13 Dukes success starts on the defensive end with leaders like John Ford and Harrison Gillenwater. A win in a series with Radford should have them on their way to Charlottesville for the MA regional.
3 Villanova (North Champion) VS 6 Maryland (West Runner-Up)
2 Virginia Tech (South Champion) VS 7 St. Joes (North Runner-Up)
New England Regional:
1 Boston College (East Champion) VS 8 UMASS-Lowell (North Runner-Up)
4 Fairfield* (West Champion) VS 5 Northeastern (East Runner-Up)
Fairfield barely missed the regional tournament last year in what was a very competitive NE-West. Although they started off this season 1-3, they have responded by winning 10 straight including a sweep of Sacred Heart. With Yale and Sacred Heart still to square off, the #15 Stags have clinched a spot in the NE regional and can secure a top 4 seed with a split against Adelphi.
3 Vermont (North Champion) VS 6 Brown (South Runner-Up)
Vermont has had a quiet start to the year despite winning the Happy Valley Invitational last season and being a regional qualifier. Although previously unranked the #17 Catamounts are sitting undefeated atop the NE-North at 6-0. They still have to get past SNHU and UMASS-Lowell, who are in 2nd and 3rd respectively, if they want to go dancing again.
2 UCONN (South Champion) VS 7 Sacred Heart (West Runner-Up)
North Atlantic Regional:
1 Penn State (South Champion) VS 8 St. Bonaventure (West Runner-Up)
4 Syracuse (West Champion) VS 5 Robert Morris (South Runner-Up)
3 TCNJ (East Champion) VS 6 Albany (North Runner-Up)
TCNJ was a regional qualifier last year, and has had some highs and lows this season. They are trending upwards though with a statement sweep of Montclair State. Senior Michael Hoffman – featured earlier this year on CBT – looks to lead this Lions team on a redemptive tournament run after a heartbreaking loss by 1 to Syracuse in 2022.
2 RPI (North Champion) VS 7 Montclair State (East Runner-Up)
1 USC – Cardinal (South Champion) VS 4 UCLA (At-Large Bid)
2 GCU-Purple (East Champion) VS 3 Stanford (North Champion)
With the addition of the Pacific-East in the new year, the Pacific regional takes a new form. With just one at-large bid for a non-conference champion, games mean that much more. GCU-Purple has realized this starting off conference play with two sweeps putting them at 4-0. The Antelopes seem to be frontrunner in PAC-E.
1 Wake Forest (North Champion) VS 4 Auburn (South Runner-Up)
2 Florida State (South Champion) VS 3 Coastal Carolina (North Runner-Up)
Coastal Carolina recently sneaked their way into the #20 spot of the top 20 poll but expect the Chanticleers to keep climbing. They are 10-1 on the year with their lone loss coming on the road to South Carolina by 1 point. Mason Grigg is averaging 24 ppg and has had multiple 30 point games, including a triple-double. Bryson Pugh is pulling in 13 boards a game too. Get your popcorn ready for when #8 Wake Forest comes to Conway to end conference play in March.
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