The Bracketology Report: Manhattan

Updated: January 21, 2004, 4:52 PM ET
By By Tom Durso | 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
In a battle of MAAC unbeatens, Manhattan (No. 42 RPI, No. 102 SOS) drew first blood, dropping St. Peter's (No. 135 RPI, No. 146 SOS) convincingly last Wednesday, 87-60, to claim a one-game conference lead. Luis Flores scored 32 points, 10 better than the 22 tallied by St. Peter's Keydren Clark, the nation's leading scorer, and Jason Benton notched a double-double.

The hot-shooting Jaspers then pasted Fairfield (No. 154 RPI, No. 219 SOS) 89-69 on Sunday. Once again Flores led all scorers, this time with 27, and once again Manhattan relied upon a double-double, this time Dave Holmes's 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Coming up
Manhattan will look to extend its winning streak to seven games in a second consecutive meeting with Fairfield on Wednesday. The game originally was set for Dec. 5, but had to be postponed due to snow.

Then it's back home to face winless and hapless Loyola-Maryland (No. 325 RPI, No. 296 SOS) Friday, followed by a road game at Iona (No. 187 RPI, No. 157 SOS) on Sunday. None of these three foes appears to be a threat, so while the Jaspers must guard against overconfidence, this is still a great chance to bank some wins and start separating from the rest of the MAAC pack.

"Planting seeds"
The Jaspers are No. 49 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart, which makes them a No. 12 seed. Though their RPI ranking is respectable, their strength of schedule is less so, and they almost certainly will need to win the MAAC in order to earn a spot in the NCAA field. We project, in fact, despite an incredibly mediocre group of "bubble" teams, that Manhattan would not qualify at-large this week.

Given the weakness of the MAAC, Manhattan should be heavily favored in nearly all of its remaining games. The Jaspers control their own destiny in terms of reaching the NCAA Tournament but shouldn't expect a rise in seeding except for procedural reasons, such as last week's bump to No. 11.

Games of the Week
Manhattan fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS.
For Pitt @ SYRACUSE (Sat.)
RICHMOND @ Kansas (Thur.)
Against Iona @ ST. PETER'S (Thur.)
Siena @ NIAGARA (Fri.)


Inside the Numbers
Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include:
"Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) NONE
(vs. RPI 26-50) NONE
(vs. RPI 51-100) N-Richmond
"Bad" losses
(vs. RPI 101-150) NONE
(vs. RPI sub-150) NONE
Record vs. projected field (0-1)
Win: NONE
Loss: @Syracuse
Record vs. at-large pool (n/a)
Win: does not yet apply
Loss: does not yet apply
Reason(s) to INCLUDE Manhattan
  • No. 42 RPI
  • 6-2 road/neutral record
  • Reason(s) to EXCLUDE Manhattan
  • Only three Top 150 wins
  • All but two remaining opponents sub-150
  • Season breakdown (11-3, 6-0)
    All RPI data through Monday, Jan. 19

    Date      Opponent            Result     Opp.RPI    Opp.SOS
    11/24     N-Columbia           72-57        298       276
    11/29     Fordham              90-77        169       28

    12/2 Wichita State 57-74 (L) 87 65 12/7 Rider 72-54 149 257 12/17 @Syracuse 63-69 (L) 20 113 12/20 N-Richmond 70-62 55 10 12/28 N-Holy Cross 56-54 199 230 12/29 N-Pennsylvania 47-49 (L) 59 24 12/31 Hofstra 65-58 153 53

    1/3 @Siena 72-50 184 93 1/7 @Canisius 81-63 192 196 1/9 @Niagara 90-81 159 268 1/14 St. Peter's 87-60 135 146 1/18 Fairfield 89-69 154 219 1/21 @Fairfield 154 219 1/23 Loyola (MD) 325 296 1/25 @Iona 187 157 1/30 Niagara 159 268

    2/1 Canisius 192 196 2/4 @Loyola (MD) 325 296 2/8 @St. Peter's 135 146 2/13 Iona 187 157 2/15 Siena 184 93 2/18 @Marist 270 273 2/21 Bracket Buster/TBA 2/26 @Rider 149 257 2/29 Marist 270 273

    3/5-8 MAAC Tournament


    Joe Lunardi's forecast (Jan. 21)
    Chance of NCAA top seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA bid: 55 percent
    Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 25 percent
    Chance of NIT bid: 40 percent
    Chance of missing post-season: 5 percent

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