The Bracketology Report: Vanderbilt

Originally Published: January 7, 2004
By Charlie Creme | Insider Bracketologist

Editor's note: Each week Bracketology Insider will take an in-depth look at teams headed for the NCAA Tournament ... or not.

Week in review
Vanderbilt (No. 23 RPI, No. 193 SOS) continued its string of blowout wins, battering Lehigh (No. 249 RPI, No. 291 SOS) and TCU (No. 166, No. 65 SOS) to wrap up non-conference play. On Tuesday, pre-season SEC Player of the Year choice Matt Freije led three Commodores in double figures with 15 points despite playing just 15 minutes in the 85-59 victory over Lehigh.

On Saturday, Vanderbilt matched the best start in school history (11-0) with a surprisingly easy 95-60 trouncing of TCU. It was Vandy's first road game of the season, but the Commodores jumped out to a 20-7 lead and were never threatened.

Vanderbilt's 11 wins already match last season's victory total.

Coming up
Those 11 wins might not amount to much if Vanderbilt staggers to begin SEC play. The good news might be that the first conference opponent, Auburn (No. 57 RPI, No. 189 SOS), also has played just once on the road (a 13-point loss at UNLV). The last time the Tigers visited Nashville, two yeas ago, Vanderbilt was a six-point winner.

The tests get much tougher on Saturday when Vandy goes to Rupp Arena to meet Kentucky (No. 8 RPI, No. 60 SOS). Last season the Commodores suffered an embarrassing 106-44 drubbing in Lexington, one of three double-digit losses to the Wildcats a year ago. Vanderbilt hasn't won at Kentucky since January 28, 1974.

"Planting Seeds"
The Commodores are No. 25 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart. This makes Vandy a No. 7 seed.

Vanderbilt did all it could, going unbeaten in pre-SEC play and winning by an average margin of 22.3 points per game, albeit against a relatively weak schedule. Now it's on to the nightly slugfests of the SEC, where the Commodores know their season will be made or broken.

A win at Kentucky on Saturday would help keep Vanderbilt in the weekly projections for a long, long while.

Games of the Week
Vanderbilt fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS.
For Saint Louis @ TCU (Wed.)
IUPUI @ Oakland (Sat.)
Against Arkansas @ MISSISSIPPI ST. (Sat.)
TENNESSEE @ Florida (Sat.)


Inside the Numbers
Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include:
"Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) NONE
(vs. RPI 26-50) Michigan
(vs. RPI 51-100) @Belmont, Indiana, IUPUI
"Bad" losses
(vs. RPI 101-150) NONE
(vs. RPI sub-150) NONE
Record vs. projected field (2-0)
Win: IUPUI, Michigan
Loss: NONE
Record vs. at-large pool (n/a)
Win: does not yet apply
Loss: does not yet apply
Reason(s) to INCLUDE Vanderbilt
  • 22.3 point margin of victory
  • 4-0 vs. RPI Top 100
  • Reason(s) to EXCLUDE Vanderbilt
  • No. 193 SOS
  • only one road game
  • Season breakdown (11-0, 0-0)
    All RPI data through Tuesday, Jan. 6

    Date     Opponent         Result      Opp.RPI   Opp.SOS
    11/21    @Belmont          74-59        70        144
    11/24    Indiana           73-60        80        55
    11/29    Tennessee-Martin  94-60        141       9

    12/3 IUPUI 86-68 84 104 12/6 Michigan 83-63 27 58 12/10 Tennessee State 85-64 285 67 12/13 Tennessee Tech 98-79 116 19 12/20 Wofford 90-59 250 75 12/22 Appalachian St. 63-48 144 95 12/30 Lehigh 85-59 249 291

    1/3 @TCU 95-60 166 65 1/7 Auburn 57 189 1/10 @Kentucky 8 60 1/14 @Tennessee 82 292 1/17 Florida 14 21 1/24 @Arkansas 90 172 1/28 South Carolina 81 304 1/31 Kentucky 8 60

    2/7 @Florida 13 21 2/11 Georgia 60 105 2/14 @South Carolina 81 304 2/18 @Alabama 14 8 2/21 LSU 28 112 2/25 @Mississippi 89 146 2/28 Mississippi State 32 225

    3/3 Tennessee 82 292 3/6 @Georgia 60 105 3/11 SEC TOURNAMENT


    Joe Lunardi's forecast (Jan. 6)
    Chance of NCAA top seed: 5 percent
    Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 20 percent
    Chance of NCAA bid: 70 percent
    Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 65 percent
    Chance of NIT bid: 30 percent
    Chance of missing post-season: 0 percent

    Charlie Creme | email

    Women's College Basketball
    Charlie Creme projects the women's NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN.com.

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