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NCAA Bracketology: Ohio State Basketball In At #1, Cleveland State Basketball Out

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In Chris Dobbertean's latest version of Bracketology, things haven't changed much for Ohio State, despite losing their first game of the season over the weekend. The Buckeyes are still slotted to play in Cleveland in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament, and are predicted to face the winner of a play-in game (Dobbertean has Long Beach State and Texas Southern filling this game). I don't see Ohio State relinquishing a #1 seed any time soon, unless they go on a mini losing streak or bow out early in the Big Ten Tournament.

As for the Cleveland State Vikings, that Butler loss is looking worse and worse by the day. Had they won that game, it would have gone a long way for their at-large chances, but instead, it gave the committee a reason to consider the Tournament Darling Bulldogs. Cleveland State is one of the first eight teams out, although with the way the Horizon shakes out, those two teams and Valpo (predicted as the Horizon champ as of now) could swap places like a shell game.

Also interesting to note is that Cincinnati is IN as of now. I have a bit of a problem with Cincinnati as of now. Their only wins in the KenPom top 50 are Xavier and St. John's, and they only have 4 total top 100 wins (Rutgers and Seton Hall being the other ones). And as of now, they're 55th in the RPI, although they get a bit more credit there, with "quality wins" over Dayton, Xavier, Seton Hall, Rutgers and St. John's. The slate is okay, but doesn't exactly excuse their 335th-ranked non-conference schedule. They're in the critical part of their Big East schedule: with Louisville, Providence, UConn, Marquette and two games against Georgetown remaining. At least from my perspective, they're going to need to win at least three of these and one Big East Tournament game to get in.

Michigan State is also getting an at-large bid in this week's Bracketology. That's a tough sell for me, as the committee looks at the last 10 games, and if Sparty's recent play continues, I just don't see them making the field. Their best non-con win is Washington and best win overall is Wisconsin, but they have lost 5 of their last 7 games, and many of those by double digits or more. Unless the Spartans can overcome a similarly difficult schedule to the Bearcats (@OSU, Illinois, @Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, @Michigan) or make a run in the conference tourney, they're going to be a tough sell to the committee, regardless of the team, and Izzo's prestige.

By conference, the Big East leads by far with 11 teams, but the Big Ten is second with six, followed by the Big 12, ACC and SEC with five.

You can see the full bracket here.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.