The Bracket Big Board takes into consideration past returns, current performance and expected future gains in determining who should be included among the field of 65 (31 automatic and 34 at-large bids). Essentially, the Bracket Big Board is a cheat sheet designed for amateur bracketologists if they were filling out a Tourney Pick ‘Em '09 (Sign up now!) entry today. The Bracket Big Board is updated every Monday/Friday until the dance card is officially unveiled March 15.
Pool sheets, bracket thoughts and hardcore hardwood action are about to infiltrate young minds and sap the productivity of ten million-plus American workers. TPS report filings suffer. Paper products aren't sold. And lunch breaks turn into afternoons lost.
As Forbes told us three yeas ago, the Big Dance supposedly costs the economy nearly $4 billion annually. According to a Gallup poll conducted that same year, over 40 percent of Americans -- approximately 58 million U.S. workers -- are self-proclaimed college hoops heads who are distracted by bracket discussion. Some sites considered the estimates groundless, but visit any office in towns where the local school tips during business hours and cubicle desertion is very common.
Over the years, student productivity has equally suffered. During the Noise's high school years, classes were skipped, small radios were smuggled and pleas to "cool" teachers were made.
As a high school history teacher prior to earning a full-time fantasy gig, the Noise turned his classroom into a hoops theater, projecting streaming tournament contests from computer to wall. Administration supported the Madness subjection as long as it tied into the state's curriculum (Sidebar: Students were required to research and present a poster on a tournament school they were randomly assigned, which generated key understanding along geographic, economic and social lines). Teachers in the art department didn't understand.
For those who relish deepening the recession or ruining their educations, here's the final Triple-B of the season (Note: Check this space throughout the day for additional update. If Mississippi St. upsets Tennessee, changes will be made). Happy bracketing!
*For games played through Sunday, March 15
*RPI data provided by Rivals
*Efficiency stats from kenpom.com
*Bolded teams = clinched berth
*Teams in orange = moving up
*Teams in blue/gray moving down
On the Bubble: Maryland (20-13), Creighton (26-7), Penn St. (22-11), San Diego St. (23-9), Auburn (22-11), Davidson (26-7), South Carolina (21-8),
Dropped Out: Creighton
Conference Breakdown: American East (1), ACC (6), Atlantic Sun (1), Atlantic 10 (3), Big 12 (6), Big East (7), Big Sky (1), Big South (1), Big Ten (7), Big West (1), Colonial (1), Conference USA (1), Horizon (2), Ivy (1), Metro (1), Mid-American (1), Mid-Eastern (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (2), Northeast (1), Ohio Valley (1), Pac-10 (6), Patriot (1), SEC (3), Southern (1), SWAC (1), Summit (1), Sun Belt (1), West Coast (2), WAC (1)
Updated at 2:58 PM CT
Image courtesy of Associated Press