Bracket Math: Illinois earns a bid
Even with sub-.500 league record, Illini could make tourney; Arizona a 1-seed
This edition of Bracket Math includes games through Thursday, Feb. 7. Rankings reflect an up-to-date S-curve from yours truly, posing as one hypothetical member of the NCAA men's basketball committee.
Notes on the "new" math:
• I have written previously about Iowa State's 1991-92 season, when the Cyclones became the only team to receive an at-large bid with a conference record worse than two games below .500. They were 5-9 that season in the old Big Eight (21-13 overall). Following their big win Thursday night over Indiana, it now seems possible, if not probable, that the Illinois Fighting Illini could repeat that history if they play .500 ball the rest of the way in the Big Ten.
That might sound surprising when you consider that the Illini are 3-7 in league play, good for ninth place in the conference, but just look at the wins they have picked up this season.
To read about why Illinois could make the tourney even with a sub-.500 league record, and to see how the latest S-curve breaks down, sign up for ESPN Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- NCAA president: Pay-for-play isn't coming
- NCAA may work with power 5 conferences
- No. 1 Arizona runs over New Mexico State
- Former Hoya Whittington intends to transfer
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game
- Nike Men's Illinois Fighting Illini Blue Basketball Practice Performance T-Shirt