The Bracketology Report: Charlotte
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
Charlotte (No. 43 RPI, No. 102 SOS to start the week) opened Conference USA play with two solid wins. In the conference opener Jan. 6, senior Demon Brown notched a career-high 34 points, including 27 in the second half, to key a 75-70 victory over DePaul (No. 97 RPI, No. 61 SOS) in Chicago. The 49ers shot poorly but hit the glass hard to earn the road W.
In its C-USA home opener Saturday, Charlotte allowed East Carolina (No. 165 RPI, No. 265 SOS) to close to within five early in the second half before completing an 81-65 triumph. Sophomore Curtis Withers' 22 points and 10 rebounds were good for his eighth double-double of the year.
The 49ers will experience the first true challenges of their C-USA season over the next week, games that will begin to determine whether Charlotte is going to be a serious factor in the conference race. First up is a rumble at Memphis (No. 45 RPI, No. 88 SOS) on Saturday. With wins at Syracuse, Old Dominion and Southern Illinois, Charlotte has been impressive on the road thus far; the Tigers should prove to be a worthy test.
Next Tuesday, Charlotte will launch a three-game homestand with a match-up against Marquette (No. 65 RPI, No. 211 RPI). The Golden Eagles feasted on junk food in the early season before entering the meatier portion of their schedule and will be looking to make a point to national observers when they visit the 49ers.
The 49ers are No. 32 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart. That puts Charlotte in an 8/9 game, with the 49ers being the fourth Conference USA team in the projected NCAA field.
While enjoying its best start in nine years, Charlotte's mission now, of course, is to play its way out of the 8/9 game, whose winner is all but guaranteed to face the region's top seed. With all the C-USA heavyweights on the horizon -- home and away against Cincinnati (No. 21 RPI, No. 161 SOS), and home vs. Louisville (No. 2 RPI, No. 10 SOS) and UAB (No. 29 RPI, No. 7 SOS) -- the 49ers will get their chances.
Games of the Week Charlotte fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS. For SYRACUSE @ Seton Hall (Tues.)
ALABAMA @ Georgia (Wed.)
Against MEMPHIS @ Tulane (Tues.)
Southern Miss @ MARQUETTE (Fri.)
Inside the Numbers Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include: "Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) @Syracuse
(vs. RPI 26-50) @Southern Illinois
(vs. RPI 51-100) @Old Dominion, @DePaul
(vs. RPI 101-200) NONE
(vs. RPI sub-200) NONE
Record vs. projected field (3-1)
Win: @Syracuse, @Old Dominion, Delaware St.
Record vs. at-large pool (n/a)
Win: does not yet apply
Loss: does not yet apply
Reason(s) to SEED Charlotte
- No. 43 RPI
- 5-2 road record
Reason(s) to DROP Charlotte
- No. 144 non-conference SOS
- middle of C-USA deeper than usual
Season breakdown (10-3, 2-0)
All RPI data through Monday, Jan. 12
Date Opponent Result Opp.RPI Opp.SOS 11/21 George Washington 76-80 (L) 82 72 11/24 No Carolina A&T 102-39 322 227 11/26 @Syracuse 96-92 27 166 11/30 @UNC-Asheville 92-65 266 82
12/3 @Alabama 72-79 (L) 14 1 12/6 @Old Dominion 105-102 (2OT) 54 53 12/11 Davidson 76-65 132 15 12/13 Appalachian State 85-64 182 157 12/23 @Rhode Island 90-96 (L,OT) 31 48 12/30 Delaware State 72-52 139 17
1/2 @Southern Illinois 64-59 40 108 1/6 @DePaul 75-70 97 61 1/10 East Carolina 81-65 165 265 1/17 @Memphis 45 88 1/20 Marquette 65 211 1/24 UAB 29 7 1/28 Saint Louis 103 149 1/31 @Cincinnati 21 161
2/7 @East Carolina 165 265 2/12 Louisville 2 10 2/14 @Saint Louis 103 149 2/18 South Florida 129 136 2/21 @Southern Miss 62 20 2/25 @TCU 159 74 2/28 Cincinnati 21 161
3/3 @Houston 114 75 3/6 Tulane 149 119 3/10-13 Conference USA Tournament
Joe Lunardi's forecast (Jan. 12)
Chance of NCAA top seed: 0 percent
Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 10 percent
Chance of NCAA bid: 65 percent
Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 60 percent
Chance of NIT bid: 30 percent
Chance of missing post-season: 5 percent
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- No. 43 RPI