Capsule comments on
NCAA field of 65

Mar 15, 2005 6:51 AM

SMALL SCHOOLS

MONTANA (8000-1): Big Sky tourney champ. On six-game win streak, going 4-1 ATS in that span. 6-7 out of league. Lost to Stanford, Missouri, Santa Clara.

UCF (4000-1): Atlantic Sun tourney champ. Went 8-1 SU out of conference. Significant results: Beat Fordham, Utah State, N. Mexico St. Went 8-5 on the road.

WINTHROP (4000-1): Big South tourney champ. On 18-game win streak. Significant results: beat Providence, lost to Oregon and Arkansas.

OLD DOMINION (600-1): Colonial tourney champ. 14-13 ATS. Significant results: beat St. Joseph’s, lost to DePaul. Went 10-2 in nonconference games.

WIS-MILWAUKEE (300-1): Horizon tourney champ. Solid 17-7 ATS, including 12-5 vs. nonconference teams. Significant results: beat Air Force, Purdue; lost to Wisconsin, Kansas.

PENN (500-1): Ivy League regular season champ. 16-10 ATS. Significant results: beat St. Joseph’s and Bucknell; lost to Providence, Villanova and Wisconsin.

NIAGARA (1200-1): The Metro Atlantic champ. 10-14 ATS, but 5-0 in nonconference games. Significant results: lost to Bucknell and Providence, beat St. John’s.

OAKLAND (10000-1): Mid-Continent champ. On five-game win streak. Could face No. 1 Illinois with win in Tuesday’s play-in game. Lost earlier meeting to Illini by 31.

CREIGHTON (300-1): Missouri Valley champ: Won last eight, including five straight covers. 9-3 out of league. Significant results: beat Ohio St, Xavier, Nebraska; lost to Wyoming.

S. ILLINOIS (125-1): Had nine-game win streak ended by SW Missouri St in Missouri Valley Conference tourney. 10-3 out of league. On 6-1 ATS run, but just 15-17 overall.

E. KENTUCKY (4000-1): Ohio Valley champ: Suffered double digit losses to Florida, Louisville and W. Kentucky. Was 12-9 ATS. On seven-game win streak.

BUCKNELL (1500-1): Patriot League champ. First NCAA appearance since 1989. Upset Holy Cross in tourney final. Beat Pittsburgh, St. Joseph’s; lost to Penn, Iowa St.

CHATTANOOGA (8000-1): Southern Conference champ. 12-14 ATS. Lost to Creighton, Ohio State; beat Tennessee. 1-3 ATS in last four games.

LA-LAFAYETTE (800-1): 15-9 ATS. Lost by double digits to LSU, Kansas, Charlotte and Vanderbilt. Finished 3-0 ATS in Sun Belt conference tourney.

FDU (8000-1): Northeast Conference champ. Went 5-1 in last six games, but was only 4-7 vs nonleague foes. Suffered early setbacks to Cal, Buffalo and Arizona State.

VERMONT (1200-1): America East champ. Top scorer and cult hero Taylor Coppenrath returns to the Dance for a second straight year. Significant results: lost to Kansas, UNC and Nevada.

DELAWARE ST (8000-1): Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champ. Just 2-9 SU vs nonconference teams. Signifcant games: lost to Michigan, Michigan St, Marquette, Arizona St.

SE LOUISIANA (4000-1): Southland Tourney champs. Went 12-2 in last 14 conference contests. 8-5 out of league, including losses to Houston, Ole Miss and Southern Miss.

ALABAMA A&M (18-13): The SWAC tourney champ. Went 3-7 against nonconference teams, including a loss to Georgia.

MID MAJORS

UTAH (27-5): Mountain West regular season champs. Has the nation’s top big man in 7-foot, 240-pound center Andrew Bogut. Just 2-8 ATS in last 10 games. 12-3 out of conference.

N. MEXICO (26-6): MWC tourney champ carrying nine-game win streak into the Dance. Stellar 8-1 ATS during that span and 18-8 over the season. Beat Tennessee, lost to Wake Forest.

N. IOWA (500-1): FThird team from the Missouri Valley to get a bid. Impressive 10-2 vs nonleague teams. Enters Dance 2-4 ATS in last six.

OHIO U (600-1): Edged Buffalo to win MAC title. 19-8 ATS mark one of the best in Dance. Finished with four-game win streak and is 8-1 in last nine. 6-3 vs weak nonleague sked.

IOWA (250-1): Getting to the Big Ten tourney semifinal got the Hawkeyes a bid. A bubble team that went just 14-17 ATS overall, but posted 5-1 mark in last six.

NEVADA (400-1): The WAC regular season champ. Loss to Boise State snapped 10-game win streak. Reached Sweet 16 last year. 17-10 ATS overall. Beat UNLV, Georgia. Lost to Kansas, Pacific.

UTEP (300-1): Defeated Boise State to win the WAC tourney. On seven-game winning streak, covering last three. 10-3 against soft nonconference slate. Beat Princeton, lost to Texas Tech.

PACIFIC (150-1): Regular season champ. Own nation’s longest SU winning streak (22 games). Lost in second round of NCAA’s last year. Lost to Kansas, beat Nevada.

UTAH ST (300-1): Big West tourney champ. On five-game win streak. 8-1 ATS out of the league, including a 26-point win over Utah. Played three close games with Pacific.

G.WASH (150-1): Atlantic 10 tourney champ. 4-0 ATS in last four contests. 8-2 in nonconference play. Beat Maryland, Michigan State. Lost to Wake Forest, West Virginia.

GONZAGA (30-1): West Coast Conference champ beat St. Mary’s for title in much tougher league. Only 12-16 ATS, but posted wins over Washington, Georgia Tech and Okla State. Lost to Illinois.

ST. MARY’S (150-1): Lost to Gonzaga in WCC tourney final. Impressive 13-4 nonconference mark, including a win over UNLV. An up and down 15-14 ATS.

MAJORS (with odds)

SYRACUSE (25-1): Big East tourney champ. 4-1 ATS in last five games. 13-1 against very soft nonleague opposition. Only significant matchup was a loss to Oklahoma St.

UCONN (10-1): Defending national champs reached Big East final after slow start in league. Went 8-3 against weak nonconference slate. Lost to Oklahoma, beat Indiana.

PITTSBURGH (40-1): Lost to Villanova in Big East quarterfinals. Only 9-14 ATS, including 4-6 in last 10 outings. 10-1 in creampuff non league sked, losing to Bucknell.

WEST VIRGINIA (125-1): Great start (10-0), big finish earned ticket to Dance. Won three games in Big East tourney, losing in finals. Nonleague wins over LSU, NC State, GW.

VILLANOVA (30-1): Public choice to win the Big East tourney off eight straight wins, but fell to W. Virginia in semis. 5-2-1 ATS in last eight games. Nonleague losses to Bucknell, Penn.

BOSTON COL (80-1): Won first 20 games, but played themselves out of No. 1 seed. 2-5-1 ATS in last eight outings. Key nonconference wins: Clemson, UCLA.

N. CAROLINA (2-1): ACC regular season champ. Lost to Georgia Tech in tourney semifinals. Tar Heels secured one of four No. 1 seeds, but are 0-5 ATS in last five outings.

W. FOREST (6-1): ACC-at-large. Preseason No. 1 in some publications. Just 12-16 ATS. Went 13-1 out of league, losing only to top-ranked Illinois. Beat Arizona, Texas, GW, N.Mexico.

NC STATE (125-1): ACC prestige plus tourney win over Wake Forest was good enough for bid. Controversial choice with just a 9-10 record in league play, but 10-3 outside ACC. Went 15-14 ATS overall.

GA TECH (30-1): Major disappointment until the league tourney. 4-1 ATS in last five. 9-2 vs non-ACC foes, losing to Kansas and Gonzaga. Reached NCAA title game last year.

DUKE (5-1): Went 18-10 ATS. A perfect 11-0 vs nonconference opponents, including wins over Michigan State, Oklahoma and Temple. 5-2 ATS in last seven outings.

ILLINOIS (2-1): Top seed and deserving favorite to win it all. though 0-3 ATS in past three outings. 14-0 out of league, including wins over Gonzaga, W.Forest, Cincy, Missouri, Arkansas.

MICH ST (35-1): Upset by Iowa in Big Ten quarterfinals. 13-10 ATS. Went 9-2 out of league, including wins over Stanford and UCLA. Lost to Duke and George Washington.

WISCONSIN (100-1): Carried five-game win streak into Big Ten tourney final. 9-4 out of league, including wins over Maryland, Penn, Wisc-Milwaukee, Alabama. Mediocre 14-14 ATS.

MINNESOTA (250-1): Gained at-large bid after beating Indiana to reach Big Ten semis. 4-1 ATS in last five outings. 10-3 nonconference slate, including losses to Alabama and Oklahoma.

ALABAMA (35-1): SEC at-large. 4-7 ATS vs nonconference teams. Reached Elite Eight last year. Significant results: beat Minnesota, Charlotte; lost to Washington, Wisconsin.

KENTUCKY (10-1): Lost shot at No. 1 seed after falling to Florida in SEC final. Ho-hum 14-12 ATS overall, but 5-2 out of the league. Beat Louisville, lost to UNC and Kansas.

FLORIDA (25-1): SEC tourney champs and a different team since SF Matt Walsh returned to the lineup. On seven-game win streak, including three straight covers. 8-3 out of the league.

LSU (50-1): Hottest cover team in the land, going 10-0 to close the season. Lost by one-point to Kentucky in thrilling SEC semifinal. Much improved over team that started 7-4.

MISS ST (100-1): Sneaks into Dance on a downer, going 0-3 ATS in last three. Posted nice 12-2 nonleague slate that included wins over St. Mary’s, Xavier and Va Tech. Lost to Arizona.

OKLAHOMA (20-1): Big 12 co-champ. 4-5 ATS vs. nonconference teams. Lost to Duke, beat UConn, Kansas and split with Oklahoma State.

KANSAS (18-1): Possible No. 1 seed gone after loss to Okie St in Big 12 semis. Enter Dance a horrible 1-7 ATS in last eight. Lost to Kentucky, but won other 10 nonleague games.

OKLA ST (15-1): Reached Big 12 finals. 14-10 ATS, but just 2-4 in last six. 10-1 vs. non-Big 12 competition. Beat Syracuse and held Washington State to just 29 points.

TEXAS TECH (60-1): Bob Knight back in the Dance after upset of Oklahoma in Big 12 tourney semis. Posted 12-6 ATS mark. Significant results: beat UTEP, lost to Iowa, Ohio St.

IOWA ST (200-1): One of the hottest teams in Big 12, winning 10 of last 13 games. 3-1 ATS in last four games. 8-3 out of league. Beat Bucknell, Virginia; Lost to Iowa, Xavier.

TEXAS (80-1): Lucky to get in Dance after going 2-3 in last five games. Horns were 10-2 outside Big 12, including wins over Seton Hall, Memphis and Tenn. Lost to Wake Forest and Iowa.

LOUISVILLE (8-1): C-USA champs on nine-game win streak and 18-1 in last 19. However, U of L is poor 3-9 ATS in last 12 games. Lost to Kentucky, Iowa. Beat Florida, Stanford.

CINCINNATI (60-1): Have struggled of late in C-USA, going 2-7-1 ATS in last 10 games. 12-2 out league, including a win over Purdue and a loss to No. 1 Illinois.

CHARLOTTE (400-1): After winning seven straight, Charlotte now enters the Dance 0-3 both SU and ATS. Posted 9-2 nonleague mark, including 102-101 OT loss to Alabama. Just 10-15 ATS.

UAB (200-1): Had five game win streak snapped with "cover" loss to Louisville in C-USA semis. 15-14 ATS, but 3-0 in past three contests.10-3 out of league, including loss to Okla St.

WASHINGTON (12-1): Pac 10 tourney champs. Won 2-of-3 against Arizona, along with nonleague victories over NC State and Alabama. Nate Robinson one of nation’s top small guards.

ARIZONA (15-1): Great outside-inside combo of Salim Stoudamire and Cameron Frye. 10-2 out of league, including a close three-point loss to Wake Forest. Just 2-4 ATS in last six games.

STANFORD (175-1): Played well over the past month, going 7-2 ATS in past nine outings. 6-4 in tough nonleague schedule that included losses to Mich St, Louisville and Tenn.

UCLA (250-1): Off bad loss to Oregon St in Pac 10 tourney. Solid 18-8 ATS mark. 7-2 out of conference, including wins over Notre Dame and Michigan. Lost to Mich St and BC.