The Bracketology Report: DePaul

Updated: February 11, 2004, 2:27 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
DePaul (Inside RPI No. 54, SOS No. 68) has made a modest run of late to bring itself to the verge of an at-large bid. Its only game over the last week was an 84-78 win over fading Marquette (Inside RPI No. 77, SOS No. 95) in Rosemont on Saturday.

The Blue Demons were cruising with under three minutes to go when the Golden Eagles mounted a charge. But Marquette missed a couple of 3-point attempts as time wound down, and Drake Diener hit four straight free throws to seal the win.

The victory, DePaul's first over Marquette in eight tries, was the Blue Demons' sixth in seven games, and eighth in 11. It also kept them just a game out of first place in Conference USA.

Coming up
A two-game road trip south against second-tier Conference USA squads Saint Louis (InsideRPI No. 98, SOS No. 104) and Houston (InsideRPI No. 126, SOS No. 46) will give DePaul a chance to continue its drive to crack the NCAA bracket. The Blue Demons have played neither team yet this season.

Both Saint Louis and Houston have struggled lately. The Billikens will be looking to halt a three-game losing streak, while the Cougars are locked in a tailspin that has seen them lose nine of their last 11 starts. DePaul's remaining schedule isn't overly imposing, so it needs to start banking Ws.

"Bubble Trouble"
The Blue Demons are No. 66 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart. That gives DePaul the dubious honor of being the leading squad among the last four teams to be excluded from the projected NCAA field. And, in a year in which Conference USA looks to attract more bids then usual, DePaul is attempting to be the sixth C-USA team to make the field of 65.

The problem for the Blue Demons is that, a pair of nice mid-January triumphs aside, they haven't done much to attract attention. Their numerical profile is decent, but, weighed down by the Division I dregs they played early in the season, hardly spectacular. DePaul faces the prospect of winning on the road against Louisville (Inside RPI No. 5, SOS No. 19) Feb. 25 and/or at home against Cincinnati (InsideRPI No. 23, SOS No. 66) on March 4, and then making a nice run in the C-USA Tournament to really prove its worth to the Selection Committee.

Games of the Week
DePaul fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS.
For Boston College @ Seton Hall (Mon.)
Notre Dame @ Syrause (Mon.)
Against CREIGHTON @ Drake (Sat.)
Virginia Tech @ RUTGERS (Sun.)

Inside the Numbers
Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include:
"Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) Memphis, UAB
(vs. RPI 26-50) NONE
(vs. RPI 51-100) Marquette
"Bad" losses
(vs. RPI 101-200) NONE
(vs. RPI sub-200) NONE
Record vs. projected field (2-4)
Win: Memphis, UAB
Loss: @Michigan St., @Seton Hall, Charlotte, @Cincinnati
Record vs. at-large pool (0-0)
Loss: NONE
Reason(s) to INCLUDE DePaul
  • 6-3 C-USA record
  • Reason(s) to EXCLUDE DePaul
  • 4-4 road/neutral record
  • 2-4 vs. RPI Top 50
  • Season breakdown (13-7, 6-3)
    All RPI data through Monday, Feb. 9

    Date      Opponent            Result       Opp. RPI      Opp. SOS
    11/21     Loyola-Chicago      73-61          217           117
    11/25     Northwestern        65-53          119           65
    11/29     N-Indiana St.       78-66          195           157
    11/30     @Michigan St.       81-89 (L)      41            21

    12/7 Bradley 77-74 192 205 12/9 @Ohio 63-60 210 167 12/14 Notre Dame 69-82 (L) 87 51 12/20 Toledo 81-93 (L) 88 208 12/27 @Seton Hall 62-76 (L) 21 44 12/31 SE Missouri St. 57-50 226 223

    1/3 Chicago St. 81-74 246 142 1/6 Charlotte 70-75 (L) 34 44 1/10 @Cincinnati 65-90 (L) 23 66 1/13 Memphis 82-73 30 79 1/17 UAB 75-64 29 11 1/20 @TCU 61-54 110 32 1/24 @Marquette 62-70 (L) 77 95 1/31 @East Carolina 70-65 170 153

    2/3 Tulane 72-48 169 101 2/7 Marquette 84-78 77 95 2/11 @Saint Louis 98 104 2/14 @Houston 126 46 2/21 Saint Louis 98 104 2/25 @Louisville 5 19 2/28 Southern Miss 75 35

    3/4 Cincinnati 23 66 3/6 @South Florida 185 111 3/10 Conference USA Tournament

    Joe Lunardi's forecast (Feb. 11)
    Chance of NCAA top seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA bid: 35 percent
    Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 30 percent
    Chance of NIT bid: 60 percent
    Chance of missing post-season: 5 percent