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FutureStarrTexas A&M and Virginia Tech Move Up in ESPN's New Bracketology Update texas #a #travel #love #houston
ESPN's most recent Bracketology update, released around 9 pm ET Saturday night, sees Texas A&M moving up into the "Last Four In" section alongside Virginia Tech.
Lunardi predicts A&M won't make the NCAA Tournament unless it wins the SEC Championship.
ESPN's most recent Bracketology update shows the Aggies (21-7, 14-3 SEC) have surged ahead with five straight victories to take command of their conference title race with just one game remaining against Alabama for supremacy. They will face off against 11th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers at Reed Arena on Tuesday night for a chance at another important win.
The Aggies' last SEC victory came against Mississippi State, who are currently ranked just outside the bubble for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. A loss against the Tigers could prove costly for Alabama in terms of bracketology if they end up as six seeds and face off against three-seed Baylor in the opening round of the tournament.
Texas A&M made a major leap this week, earning them some positive AP poll votes as well. The Aggies are now ranked 24th nationally by the AP, up from 24th last week; additionally, they received an additional 10 ballots since their move up.
Though not a guarantee for where teams will ultimately finish in the NCAA Tournament, AP polls offer some insight into how the selection committee views certain teams. Texas A&M proved they deserved to be included this year after nearly being overlooked last year.
Another SEC team to watch is Arkansas, who is 19-9 on the season but projected as an eight seed in most bracket projections. Although they face a daunting non-conference schedule that includes Kentucky and Alabama, a victory this week against Tuscaloosa could put the Hogs in better position to earn a higher seed for the NCAA Tournament.
Texas A&M's biggest challenge may come in the SEC Tournament, when they take on No. 2 ranked Alabama on Saturday afternoon for what promises to be an exciting matchup between two of the top teams in the conference. With just one game separating them and Alabama for SEC regular season supremacy, Texas A&M could potentially go all the way to the SEC championship game in Nashville.
On Friday, ESPN released their most recent Bracketology update and Texas Tech made a significant move. After going 18-9 this season and winning their opening round game against Montana State last week in the West Region, the Red Raiders are now seeded seven in the NCAA tournament.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi believes their opponent in the round of 32 will provide them with a tough test, but they have the right kind of challenge to succeed, according to him.
The Raiders are an impressive team with plenty of weapons. Their frontcourt can guard both perimeter and midrange shots, while Josh McClung is their top-ranked guard. Additionally, they boast a strong defensive unit which will be key in the tournament.
Furthermore, they boast an exceptional shooter in Queta. The junior has had an exceptional season so far, averaging 17.2 points over his last six games.
If he stays healthy and keeps producing, Texas Tech could be in for a real surprise this March. Their young team has plenty of talent and the potential to compete against some of college basketball's best programs.
Although it remains to be seen if that will be enough to qualify them for the field, they boast a remarkable record against top-tier teams in the conference. They defeated Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU during the regular season while picking up an impressive victory against Texas as well.
Their tournament matchup is against Duke, a team that had an impressive performance in the Sweet 16. Their first-round game will take place Thursday night in San Diego.
Texas Tech has been on a roll since their first-round loss to Kansas. If they can win this matchup, it will give their ranking an enormous boost and could even push them into the AP top 25 come Monday.
TCU, however, has been struggling with their winless streak lately, losing four of their last five games including to Texas. A win against such an elite opponent could help TCU move up in the bracket and reach the Sweet 16. Unfortunately for them though, TCU lacks depth so it may be difficult for them to overcome being at the bottom of the bracket.
Kentucky's remarkable four-game winning streak has thrust them into the national spotlight. It has caught bracketologists' attention and seen them move up in many of their projections; however, more victories are still necessary for them to secure victory.
ESPN analyst Matt Ommen attributes UK's rapid rise to a number of other bubble teams losing in the past two weeks, such as Creighton which has lost three consecutive games and Northwestern with two losses.
Missouri has lost its last two games, including an overtime loss at Arkansas. The Tigers have now dropped eight of their last 10 contests and are just a few spots away from being eliminated in most projections.
Kentucky's four-game winning streak and those losses have put them in an ideal position to make an NCAA Tournament run. Many bracketologists have UK in the top half of their fields, and wins over Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida have only served to boost the Cats' profile.
Mississippi State is still on the edge in many brackets, but they have won six straight games and now possess a nine seed according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi. That marks an enormous improvement from where the Bulldogs stood at the end of January.
The Aggies still need a big win against Mississippi State to add another feather to their cap. A&M will attempt to do that on Saturday at 2:30 p.m..
MSU's victory against the Hogs would give them a quad 1 road victory and likely boost their NET rank in some of these projections.
A&M has won seven of its last eight games and is 13-3 in SEC play. On Saturday at 2:30 p.m., A&M and the Bulldogs will clash live on SEC Network with Richard Cross and Richard Hendrix calling the action.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are projected to make 74 of 92 brackets tracked by Bracket Matrix - with coach Chris Jans' squad making 71. A win against the Razorbacks on Saturday would likely increase MSU's chances of earning an at-large bid to the tournament, though there could still be obstacles along the way.
With two weeks until March Madness kicks off, ESPN's latest Bracketology update has some interesting changes. Texas A&M and Mississippi State both gained a spot in this version of bracketology; however, Florida Atlantic made the biggest shift of all.
This season, the Owls have made quite a run and are currently ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in their program's history. At 16-2, they sit atop Conference USA with hopes of making it to the NCAA Tournament. But do they have what it takes?
As previously discussed, FAU's path to the Tournament remains uncertain. They don't play any Quad 1 or Quad 2 games this season; however, they do have two more Quad 3 contests against Rice and Louisiana Tech before conference tournament week begins next month.
That could be a huge advantage for the Owls, as it will allow them to maintain their momentum and have an improved chance at qualifying as an at-large team in the tournament. On the contrary, if they lose too many of their remaining Quad 3 games this year, it could prove difficult for them to reach their objective.
This year, many of the top teams have fallen down the rankings, creating an interesting shift in bracketology. Ohio State, for instance, has dropped several spots and now sits 68th on the NET rankings - 10 places lower than their NET ranking after Thursday's results.
So far this season has not gone well for the Buckeyes, as they have lost eight straight games and now sit 10 games below.500 in the Big Ten. That's something to watch out for as the Big Ten tournament approaches in just two weeks!
Kansas has made a dramatic surge, rising from fourth to third in ESPN's latest Bracketology rankings. They now have an excellent chance of winning the Big 12 and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas also has a great chance at being the top overall seed in the tournament, which would be an enormous boost for them. Kansas can potentially make the Final Four and become men's college basketball's first repeat champion since Florida in 2006.
The Big 12 is filled with potential top four seeds, and there's much to love about the conference right now. Kansas seems like a lock for victory, but Purdue has been an impressive team this season and could potentially finish second if it wins its final two games of the season.