Saturday, March 10, 2007

What Does it All Mean?

Xavier was upset in the A10 tournament removing one bubble spot.
Nevada was upset in the WAC tournament removing another bubble spot.

This eliminates Stanford and Florida St. from my projections. I'll likely write more on Florida St. before selection Sunday, but I think given how the bubble has tightened that Florida St. has no chance of an at-large bid right now.

In the Big Ten, Illinois picked up another top 50 win which allowed them to leapfrog Purdue who only beat another top 100 opponent. If both lose tommorrow, I project that Illinois should remain ahead of Purdue in the pecking order because of a better road/neutral record. (Now, that's just what my formula says should happen, but who knows what the committee is actually thinking.) The big loser might end up being Michigan St. who despite a demonstratably tougher Big 10 schedule than Purdue and Illinois did not have a strong finish at 5-5. (One thing to consider, if the committee considers "style of play" as they moronically suggested last year, does Illinois get credit for good defense or get penalized for a boring "style of play".)

Note also that with 3 SEC West teams in the SEC semifinals, the SEC seems poised to steal one more bid. If Arkansas beats Mississippi St. they will probably earn an at-large bid, regardless of the SEC final.

Assuming I put Illinois and one more SEC team in the field, that eliminates two of the following: Texas Tech, Drexel, Syrcause, Purdue, or Michigan St. I need to check how the RPI's changed in the morning to offically see which teams are out.

You'll probably notice that unlike other projections, I'm not threatening to remove Missouri St. At 9-9 vs the top 100, a good road record, and a fine last 10, my formula will not leave them out. I believe they will get credit for beating the other good but not great MVC teams, just as Xavier will get credit for beating the good but not great A10 teams, and Nevada will get credit for beating the other good but not great WAC teams.

Saturday Express Preview
CUSA Championship – Memphis vs Houston: After Xavier and Nevada fell Friday night, bubble teams hope Memphis wins easily.

Big Ten Semis – Ohio St. vs Purdue, Wisconsin vs Illinois: Purdue and Illinois are probably in the NCAA tournament field after winning Friday, but barely. If they do not want to sweat it out, they could always win again here. Ohio St. and Wisconsin are still fighting for #1 seeds.

Big 12 Semis – Kansas vs Kansas St., Oklahoma St. vs Texas: If you believe my formula, Kansas St. and Oklahoma St. must both win if they want to have any shot at an at-large bid. Yes, the wins yesterday were nice, but they are still on the outside of my field and need to earn their way in.

ACC Semis – North Carolina vs Boston College, NC State vs Virginia Tech: Bubble teams everywhere would probably also like to see NC State just go away. North Carolina is playing for a #1 seed.

SEC Semis – Arkansas vs Mississippi St., Florida vs Mississippi: Unless Florida wins it all, an SEC West team is getting a bid. The winner of the Arkansas vs Mississippi St. game might get a bid regardless of the Sunday finale.

Big East Championship – Georgetown vs Pittsburgh: No doubt this will have large implications on tournament seeding, we just don’t know what they are.

MWC Championship – BYU vs UNLV: UNLV will likely get to host a pod out west, but BYU can also get a good seed with a win.

Pac 10 Championship – Oregon vs USC: Surprise final with the winner possibly also hosting a western pod.

A10 Championship, WAC Championship: Someone’s crashing the party as an unexpected guest. We just don’t know who.