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Bubble Watch 2/20/08

by David Mihm | February 19th, 2008

After a one-week hiatus, we’re back with the weekly Bubble Watch. A quick rundown of the teams featured last time around:

Big 10: Indiana Hoosiers. IU is now officially a lock.  After two wins over Big Ten leaders Purdue and Michigan State, Indiana will be in the Tournament.  The bigger question is whether Kelvin Sampson will be around to coach them.

Pac 10: California Golden Bears. Let’s see…Cal gets BLOWN OUT at home by the Oregon Ducks, making me count them out, and then get a critical road win at Arizona State to stay very much alive.  The Bears’ non-conference schedule can only hurt them, but a 10-10 overall Pac-10 record might just do it…

SEC: Arkansas Razorbacks. The Razorbacks are probably in, but lost a key tilt at Mississippi State over the weekend.

Big XII: Baylor Bears.  Baylor passed my “eye test” in a loss against Texas over the weekend, but now they need to clean up on lesser Big XII competition the rest of the way.

Big East: Seton Hall Pirates. The Hall may have peaked too early.  Still, a potentially dangerous team at Madison Square Garden.

ACC: Clemson Tigers. Clemson could very well be a great sleeper in your bracket pool…at 7-4 in the ACC, it would take a colossal collapse for them to miss the Big Dance again.

A-10: Duquesne. The Dukes are just too far back in the A-10 standings to be considered a real Bubble threat, but look out for them in Atlantic City.

Other: UNLV. To parahprase Joe Lunardi in his column this week, marginal Western Bubble teams are looked upon very favorably by the Committee.  I fear for the Rebels’ sake, though, that an 8th Pac-10 team might be the marginal entrant in the ’08 bracket.

Now to the new ones:

Big Ten: Ohio State. There are four locks and one Bubble team in this league.  The rest of the league might struggle to make the NIT.  So for the rest of the year, we’ll focus on the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Thad Matta’s team is only 1-7 against the RPI top 50, and their own ranking has slipped to #46 after a weekend loss to Michigan.  They’re in the bracket this week, but I just sense the Buckeyes sliding to the bad side of the bubble on Selection Sunday.

Pac 10: Arizona Wildcats. I just want to reiterate here what I’ve said many times in the comments on several articles in the last few weeks: Arizona could finish 8-10 in the Pac-10 regular season and still make the NCAA Tournament.  The ‘Cats have the #1 SOS, and are the #5 non-conference RPI team.  They have good road wins at Cal, USC, UNLV, and Houston, and would probably still get a top-half seed with a .500 record the rest of the way.

SEC: Mississippi State Bulldogs. One cannot overemphasize the importance of the Bulldogs’ win in Starkville over the weekend vs. their SEC West rival Arkansas.  Rick Stansbury has done a terrific job turning this team’s fortunes around, and its RPI is rising steadily (currently in the mid-40′s).  Picking off either Vandy or Florida away from home during the week of March 1 would seal MSU’s bid.

Big XII: Oklahoma Sooners.  Like the Big Ten, we’re repeating ourselves here in the Big XII.  Though not as strong as Arizona’s, Oklahoma’s non-conference profile is awfully good for a Bubble team, with neutral-court wins over West Virginia, Gonzaga, and at home over Arkansas.  Now the task is simply to prove to the Committee that they can beat good teams with Blake Griffin healthy.  Other than a game in Austin this weekend, the schedule is favorable the rest of the way, and I don’t expect the Sooners to finish worse than 9-7.

Big East: West Virginia Mountaineers. Speaking of Bob Huggins’ team, let’s take a closer look at 17-7 (7-5) WVU.  Unfortunately for West Virginia, its Big East schedule looks at lot like Syracuse’s did in 2007.  A monumental Bubble game is approaching on Wednesday, at Villanova.  Beyond that, the only game the ‘Eers won’t be favored in is a trip to Storrs on March 1.  Will 10-6 in the Big East be good enough?  Probably so.  9-7?  Maybe not.  A home win over Duquesne is the only decent scalp on their non-conference resume.

ACC: Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Somehow, the ACC is the #1 RPI conference in the country.  That’s why, at this point in the season, it’s hard for me to leave out a team that is a game over .500 and only a game out of third place.  Dino Gaudio’s team has two big home wins (BYU, and of course Duke).  The question remains whether they can get one in Chapel Hill this weekend.  A loss there would necessitate a road sweep of Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech to feel good about their chances.

A-10: Massachusetts Minutemen. Talk about a tough team to figure out!  4-2 against the Top 50, 7-6 against the Top 100, but only 5-6 in the Atlantic-10.  Luckily for the Minutemen, they’ve got a creampuff schedule to close out the regular season, except for a game at rival URI this week.  So even with a loss, Travis Ford’s team should finish above .500.  But 10-6 would look SO much better than 9-7, especially if the Minutemen were to suffer an early exit in the A-10 Tournament…

Other: South Alabama. John Pelphrey’s former team has been getting a LOT of buzz in the blogosphere.  First things first, the Jaguars need to complete a regular-season sweep of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Thursday.  Then, they’ll need to make the Sun Belt Final.  In that scenario, they’d have a 50-50 chance at an at-large bid.  But I’ve just seen too many examples in my eight years of projecting the bracket where the Bubble shrinks on teams like USA once Selection Sunday arrives.  Power conference teams just have a tremendous advantage in their opportunity to accrue late-season, marquee, neutral-court victories in their conference tournaments, whereas mid-major teams can only try to avoid bad losses.

I look forward to reading the comments of BracketNation again this week!

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49 Responses to “Bubble Watch 2/20/08”  

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  1. Ian B. Says:

    Why isn’t the Mountain West getting any love? They traditionally have good luck getting multiple teams into the tourney, and this year, the top of the conference (unlike my poor suffering Rams) is very solid.

    This year, I see three high-quality MWC teams that have a solid chance of getting in (UNLV, BYU, and New Mexico). I think UNLV and BYU are pretty much in unless they melt down, and New Mexico has a nice win over Texas Tech, only 6 losses, and should get a top 50 win assuming they split their upcoming UNLV/BYU games… yet some brackets have only BYU in the field.

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  2. John Says:

    Alright. Here I go. @ Brian. Let’s see if you understand the following: Florida is a young team. Playing a hard non-conference schedule would be hurtful, not helpful to our growth. Florida A&M WON their conference last year. We should be judged on a different level because we won back to back National Championships. These schedules are not able to be changed. We’ll make it(no SEC team with 10+ league wins eligible for the tournament has not made it in recent history.) By the way, I saw your last comment left out my name. Hi. I’m John. Who do you root for.

    @ David Mihm. I know I might lose this argument since they beat us head-to-head, but i’ll give it a try: Ohio State is not a tournament team over Florida. Cancel out their win over Syracuse and our win over Vanderbilt, and the resumes look pretty similar. They lost all of their marquee games in and out of conference: @ Butler, vs Texas A&M, North Carolina, and all of the elite Big Ten teams. Their non-conference outside of the teams mentioned above includes such luminaries as Wisconsin-Green Bay, Columbia, Coppin State and Presbyterian. You can’t penalize us for the overall weakness(compared to recent years) of the SEC. We have to play those games. Finally, while we have 1 loss to a bottom-feeder in the SEC(LSU), Ohio State has 2(@ Iowa, @ Michigan.) It’s close, but certainly I make a good case.

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  3. David Mihm Says:

    Ian, I think UNLV has a decent chance of getting in if they can make the MWC final–particularly since it’s on their home floor, I think the Committee would probably expect them to do that. I happen to think that they’ll win all three games & the auto bid, and BYU will pick up the at-large.

    New Mexico’s resume is poor, other than an inflated RPI in the 50′s. A home win over Texas Tech isn’t going to impress anyone on the Committee, IMHO.

    John, I would only say that no Big East team with 10 wins had been left home in ages; Syracuse was last year. I wouldn’t get your hopes up for the Gators. Prior seasons’ performance has nothing to do with the selection process. If Florida DOES make it, it will be on their own merits from this year.

    As for your argument against Ohio State, I also said in this week’s column that I didn’t think the Buckeyes would be in on Selection Sunday either. And remember that teams are not judged on a head-to-head basis, but against the entire field of at-large candidates.

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  4. John Says:

    @ David Mihm. Alright. All fair points. But if we defeat South Carolina tonight and either Oregon or California lose this week, is it safe to say you would project Florida over either one for this upcoming week?

    I heard this ridiculous idea that if Davidson goes 20-0 in the Southern Conference, that they should not play in the conference tournament, to give them the automatic NCAA bid, and that the winner of the conference tournament should go to the NIT. Needless to say, I don’t agree with that.

    In the unlikely event that Davidson loses in the Southern Conference tournament(preferably, the championship game) and go undefeated to that point, do they get an at-large bid?

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  5. Matt Says:

    No mention of Kentucky? I gotta believe going 12-4 in the conference should be enough to get us in barring an early loss in the SEC tourney…

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  6. David Mihm Says:

    Matt, see last week’s de facto Bubble Watch. I believe you will find it to be the most comprehensive analysis of Kentucky’s chances you’ve seen this year.

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  7. John Says:

    @ Matt. While I give Kentucky credit for the way they have played in the SEC this year, there is no way they will finish 12-4 in the SEC, specifically because my Mighty Gators will be coming to Rupp in the last game of the season to clinch an NCAA bid. As far as the conference tournament, Kentucky can beat anybody(except for Florida, who we have beaten 7 times in a row, something never done by an SEC team before) or lose to anybody. I look forward to watching Florida celebrating on our home away from home(Rupp).

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  8. Joe Says:

    @ David Mihm

    Yes, I agree that the Arizona Wildcats are on the bubble. I’m a Cats fan. They need to get at least 19 wins and have one win in the Pac-10 tournament or have 20 wins before the Pac-10 tournament to guarantee a birth. It looks pretty tough…

    @ Washington
    @ Wazzu
    UCLA
    USC
    @ Oregon State
    @ Oregon

    But, I also agree that the tournament selection committee will not discount RPI and SOS. Keep up the good work.

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  9. John Says:

    @ Joe. The RPI is not exactly reliable. Kentucky moved UP after losing by 41 at Vanderbilt last week. If Arizona beats either UCLA at home or wins at Washington State, they’ll get in, much like if Florida wins either at home against Tennessee or at Kentucky.

    @ David Mihm. I would appreciate a response to my last comment on here.

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  10. David Mihm Says:

    John, I’m not sure what else I can respond to: I’ve said on numerous occasions that I don’t think Florida’s non-conference profile is strong enough to get the Gators in & quite frankly Kentucky has the more impressive wins in conference play at this point.

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  11. John Says:

    @ David Mihm. I meant the Davidson comments on here. And if Oregon gets swept, I know you’ll have us in there.

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  12. David Mihm Says:

    John, assuming Florida doesn’t lose this week, it’s likely they’ll be back in the bracket next week. Cal isn’t likely to beat Stanford at the very least, and Oregon going even 1-1 in Southern California is only about a 30% proposition, in my opinion.

    An undefeated Davidson that loses in the SoCon final would have a better chance than a similar outcome for South Alabama. My only concern would be the shrinking Bubble if teams like BYU / UNLV / Gonzaga / St Mary’s / Butler / Drake lose early.

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  13. Ian B. Says:

    I hope Florida lose a couple of times…it’s really tiring to hear their fans think they deserve to get in based off prestige or past performance. I am a Syracuse fan, but I am willing to admit the Orange aren’t a worthy tourney team this year.

    Anyway, with Dayton, Oregon (and Arizona?) out, whose in now?

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  14. Sam Says:

    David, What do you think Arkansas will do to bolster their tournament status?
    Thier remaining schedule is the following:
    @ Kentucky-Feb 23rd
    @ Alabama-Feb 27th
    Vanderbilt-Mar 1st
    @ Ole Miss-Mar 4th
    Auburn-Mar 8th

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  15. John Says:

    @ Ian B. I’m Bracketography’s resident Florida fan(at least I like to think I am.) and I don’t think they should get in based on prestige or past performance. All I ever said is that this team should be judged differently than most teams based on the fact we lost our top 6 players. It’s not easy to have the kind of record with such a young team. However, Mike Francesa(radio host) says that past performance is taken into account.

    @ Sam. I think Arkansas will beat Alabama and Auburn. The rest of the games could go either way.

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  16. SoupDeJour Says:

    “I fear for the Rebels’ sake, though, that an 8th Pac-10 team might be the marginal entrant in the ‘08 bracket.”

    yeah, eight teams from the third/fourth best conference. yeah, cuz seven are definitely a lock.

    right now there are only three locks (UCLA, Stanford, Wazzou) and they will get probably five teams in. EIGHT?!?!?! absurd.

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  17. GJGood Says:

    I haven’t heard a lot about Kent State, if they beat St. Mary’s this weekend but lose at Akron (a very good team that has won 52 of 55 at home and in a heated rivaly) would they be in the mix as an at large? What if they beat Akron and SMC? I guess what I’m asking is…what is the minimum the MAC has to do to get a second bid?

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  18. John Says:

    @ GJGood. When i’m not following my Mighty Gators, I pay close attention to the MAC. I think that if Kent State and Akron meet in the MAC Championship Game and play a really close one, then I think depends on what some of the other mid-majors such as Butler, VCU, South Alabama, etc. do. Remember in 2005, when Ohio beat Buffalo, the Bulls were still going to get in, but Utah State upset Pacific in the Big West final later that night and it cost the MAC a 2nd bid. Also watch Miami-Fla. They have wins over VCU and Duke and have put themselves back in the discussion.

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  19. David Mihm Says:

    If Kent runs the table (including SMC and Akron) and loses in the MAC final, I’d say they’ll be in. Losing to SMC makes it dicier, but still more likely than if they lose to Akron. Basketball insiders KNOW Akron is a good team, but the #’s just don’t back the Zips up this year.

    And John is absolutely right, Miami has probably played itself back into the bracket this week.

    @Soup – I don’t know if you’ll find any respected analyst in the country who would agree that the Pac-10 is only the third- or fourth-best conference. It’s either 1 or 1A with the Big East. Regardless, remember that TEAMS, not CONFERENCES, are evaluated by the Committee, and the fact that teams play in the Pac-10 just gives them infinitely more chances at quality wins than UNLV has in the Mountain West.

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  20. SoupDeJour Says:

    @ David Mihm – check the latest RPI, i think you’ll find the Pac-10 is the third ranked conference, only 0.0033 pts ahead of the Big East…….

    However I agree it is teams and not conferences that are evaluated, still, there is no way in H. E. Double Hockey Sticks that the Pac-10 puts eight, even seven teams in the dance.

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  21. David Mihm Says:

    @Soup — One of MANY misconceptions about the RPI is that it is used by the Committee as a Bible.

    As much as I disagree with some of the subjective choices that recent Committees have made with respect to a team’s worthiness, they typically go out of their way to look beyond the numbers. For those who have watched a decent amount of Pac-10 basketball this year, there is simply no denying the conference as a whole is deeper than any in the country, and the teams at the top (UCLA and Stanford) can hold their own with anyone.

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  22. John Says:

    While this has nothing to do with projections, bubble teams or seedings, I felt compelled to mention it. I think it is a disgrace that those 6 Indiana players(including D.J. White) skipped practice because Kelvin Sampson was fired. This is not a way to make a statement in protest to Sampson being ousted. He brought this all on himself. I would not have a problem if the players went to AD Rick Greenspan and voiced their displeasure over what happened. Heck, in this one instance, I don’t even mind if they went to the media in protest, but to walk out on the other 6 players is just wrong. I give Eric Gordon credit. He said he came to IU to play for Kelvin Sampson, yet he showed up to practice. Good for him and the other 5 players. Dan Dakich was a four year starter from 1987-1991 at IU and at least he knows about the history and tradition of this legendary program. I wonder if the players do after what they did. This is not a time to be undermining the new coach. I would suspend the 6 players for Saturday’s game at Northwestern(a game I think that IU can win with only 6 players.) and send the message that if you undermine the coach, you don’t play. As a college basketball fan, I am disappointed in these players’ actions and I hope Indiana does the appropriate thing.

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  23. Matt Says:

    Kentucky gets past Arkansas, a team that was in the tourney and had an RPI in the mid 30′s. Now 15-10 overall and 9-3 in the SEC. Convinced yet?

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  24. John Says:

    @ Matt. No. If their name was not Kentucky, then we would not be having this discussion. Gardner-Webb and San Diego are better than we thought, but you still cannot los to them at home. And how do you explain the 41 point drubbing at Vanderbilt? Win out, get to the SEC Championship Game, and then they are in the discussion. By the way, this issue will be settled the last game of the season when my Mighty Gators come to Rupp and beat UK for the 8th consecutive time. Until then, best of luck.

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  25. Matt Says:

    @ John. I agree to a certain extent. But anyway you look at it, Kentucky is 9-3 in the SEC, good for 2nd in the East behind Tennessee and tied for the second best record in the entire conference. Your Gators are 7-5 and lost at home to a bad LSU team.

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  26. Christopher Mackinder Says:

    @ all: I would love to hear a lot of you chime in on this topic. Why is it that in some cases, we will stress a team’s nonconference profile (who they played, who they beat) and then in other cases, we seem to ignore the nonconference profile and look at the conference record.

    Using Kentucky as an example: The Wildcats are 15-10 overall and 9-3 in the SEC. But the fact remains there are HOME losses to Gardner-Webb (15-13 overall) and San Diego (16-12).

    Purdue is another example: While the Boilermakers are tearing through the Big Ten (21-6 overall, 12-2 Big Ten), Purdue did lost at HOME to Wofford (14-14) and Iowa State (14-13).

    I think each case above (and others) needs to be looked at separately, but why is it that these bad losses somehow get scraped under the rug when a team happens to play well in conference play. Aren’t we suppose to be judging a team’s season as a whole?

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  27. Matt Says:

    @ Chris. Very good question. I know in regards to Kentucky, they were killed with injuries early on. Plus, they had a new coach who was trying to implement a new tempo and style. So getting off to a slow start wasn’t that surprising to most.

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  28. John Says:

    @ Chris. Good point. Maybe it’s because, in the case of Purdue, they have defeated Wisconsin twice and Michigan State, whereas other than the Tennessee win, they have no standout wins. The RPI can be a faulty tool considering Kentucky moved up 2 spoots after getting pounded at Vanderbilt. My question is should the committee penalize a mid-major that has an outstanding regular season, has one opportunity to beat a major-conference team, wins that game, and loses in the conference championship game? My example is Stephen F. Austin. While I think they will win the Southland Conference tournament, what would happen if they fell in the Southland final? That would make their record 28-4 with wins at Oklahoma and the same San Diego team that beat Kentucky at Rupp. I would think, while they did win 4 Non D-1 games, it would be hard to keep a 28-4 team with 1 conference loss out of the NCAA Tournament.

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  29. Coach Chris Says:

    What Stephen F. Austin. Josh Alexander is the best player in the Southland. This team could surpirse some people and make it to the sweet 16???

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  30. billy Says:

    This is for David Mihm.
    What about the UNM Lobos GOING ON THE ROAD and knocking off Utah for their first road win over the Ute’s since 1989 and only the sixth time ever in Salt Lake City? Do you still think that “New Mexico’s resume is poor, other than an inflated RPI in the 50’s(it’s actualy 42). A home win over Texas Tech isn’t going to impress anyone on the Committee” as you stated in Bubble Watch 2/20/08?

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  31. John Says:

    @ billy. New Mexico is an interesting team, and I would prefer to see them in rather than a 6th or 7th place team from a power conference. The way the Mountain West shapes up to me is pretty much like this: BYU and UNLV are the top 2 teams and to me are pretty safe to make it into the tournament. UNLV hosts the Mountain West Tournament just like last year, so figure they’ll win it again. New Mexico would be then compared(as far as Mountain West teams) to BYU, who has a win over Louisville. The win at Salt Lake City(always a tough place to play) is a nice win, but not like BYU’s win over Louisville. Remember two things:

    Even in traditional multi-bid mid-major leagues, you MUST beat the teams ahead of you in the standings. in New Mexico’s case, that would mean defeating either BYU or UNLV, which the Lobos have yet to do. Fortunately, the Cougars and Rebels still have to visit the Pit, so New Mexico will certainly have their chances. Remember, last year Drexel had 13 true road wins last year, including wins @ Syracuse and @ Creighton, but the Commitee’s reasoning for leaving the Dragons out was they didn’t defeat any of the top 3 or 4 teams in the CAA(they finished either 4th or 5th.)

    Teams like Miami-Fla and Nebraska have emerged. Miami-Fla has wins over VCU, Duke and Maryland. Nebraksa defeated Arizona State, Oregon, Kansas State and won @ Texas A&M. I am all for the mid-majors, in fact, I often think they get the shaft, but Miami-Fla and Nebraska have(right now) put themselves in a better at-large position then New Mexico.

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  32. David Mihm Says:

    Hey guys, nice banter this week. I’m absolutely exhausted by this week’s bracket. There is just a dearth of quality on the Bubble right now, and all of the teams you point out had very good weeks (UNM, Stephen F Austin, Kentucky). Right now I still don’t see any of them in, but they could definitely play their way up there by the time Selection Sunday rolls around.

    Biggest Weaknesses:
    Kentucky – no good road wins.
    UNM – as John points out, hasn’t beaten the cream of the MWC.
    SFA – Terrible league (19 RPI). The win in Norman is looking better and better, though.

    I’m not bashing any of these teams — the teams that are IN on the Bubble have just as many problems:

    UNLV: Only hat-hanging win is BYU at home, 40 days ago.
    Ohio State: 1-8 against the RPI Top 50.
    Florida: Poor non-conference profile, 7-5 in mediocre SEC.
    Syracuse: Under .500 in conference play (how ironic is it that Boeheim’s non-conference schedule might just get him in the Tournament this year!)
    Rhode Island: .500 in a good-but-not-great conference, 1-4 in last five games…

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  33. Jake Says:

    I don’t consider the Bulldogs on the bubble. They’re leading the West, and have had a 9 game win streak. Ole Miss is a lot more on the bubble. Mississippi would be going fo rhte NIT without wins over Clemson and Vandy.

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  34. Sam Says:

    I personally think Stephen F. Austin is going to win the Southland tournament even though Lamar holds a one game lead in the standings, but in the case that they lose in the tournament, I see no way the committee is going to give them an at large bid. That will give them four losses to mediocre teams, and their win over Oklahoma is the only thing going for them. A team to compare them to would be the 2004 Utah State team. Here is a look at the numbers from that team:

    Record entering Selection Sunday: 25-3
    RPI: 43 (SFA currently has an RPI of 46)
    Big Win: Brigham Young (#31 RPI – similar to Oklahoma this year)
    Conference: Big West (#18 RPI – similar to Southland this year)
    Losses: Utah, Pacific, CS Northridge

    The selection committee shocked everyone by leaving that Utah State team, who was actually ranked in the polls at the time, out of the tournament. Many of the numbers look similar, but actually that team was in much better shape than this year’s SFA team. Their nonconference loss (Utah) was a tournament team, unlike Texas Tech. They only had one regular season conference loss, whereas SFA has two, one of which is to 6-20 Nicholls State. If that team couldn’t get an at large bid, there is no way Stephen F. Austin can.

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  35. David Mihm Says:

    Sam, I agree that SFA is an awfully long shot. The Bubble is going to shrink between now and Selection Sunday, as mediocre power conference teams accrue some big-time scalps in their conference tournaments, and mid-majors from otherwise one- or two-bid leagues upset the conference favorites. This week is probably as close as SFA will be to an at-large team.

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  36. John Says:

    I was wondering what would happen if San Diego won the WCC Tournament. The last time they hosted it, they won it in 2003(81-70 over Gonzaga.) Would the WCC get 3 bids in that situation?

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  37. Larry Says:

    Are You Serious?

    Arizona??
    Oklahoma??
    Ohio St??
    Syracuse??
    Wash??
    Florida??
    Kansas St??

    Where’s
    Wash St??
    New Mexico St?
    Western Kentucky??
    UAB??

    Marquette, Xavier, Notre Dame, Louisville and UCONN is very strong.

    A & M can beat Georgetown but Davidson can and will if they meet up BEAT KANSAS!!

    You seem to under estimate the Solid Big East and over value the PAC 10.

    Gonzaga is over rated Big Time!! So is Vanderbillt. The SEC is weak this year except for Tennessee

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  38. Larry Says:

    Sorry, missed Wash St. When I was doing the Bracket picks I had them getting beat by UNLV.

    I predict the lower seeds are going to set records for wins this year. This may be the year that No #1′s make the Final Four. That is if Duke an dBNorth Carolina both remain #2 seeds as you have it now.

    My Final Fours=Duke, North Carolina, Marquette and Notre Dame

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  39. Larry Says:

    My prediction for lower seed wins;

    1 vs 16 = 0
    2 vs 15 = 0
    3 vs 14 = 1
    4 vs 13 = 2
    5 vs 12 = 3
    6 vs 11 = 4
    7 vs 10 = 3
    8 vs 9 = 2

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  40. John Says:

    @ Larry. Do you have a problem with Florida being included in the field?

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  41. Larry Says:

    YES, I do not think they are very good. They have not BEATEN a single Ranked opponent, (Tennesse, Vanderbilt, Mississippi) But like some have written here, if they beat Kentucky in the last SEC game they will probably get in. What is there Strength of Schedule. It has to be very weak. They played No Out of Conference teams that were any good. They very easily could go 1-3 in their remaining 4 games.

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  42. John Says:

    @ Larry. I am Bracketography’s resident Florida fan(or at least I like to think I am.)
    We should be judged differently because:

    A. We won back-to-back National Championships. It’s not a reason to put us in the field, but if you don’t think the commitee takes that into account, then you don’t know the commitee. More importantly is:

    B. We lost our top 6 players(5 to the NBA) and yet we still have 20 wins. That’s a credit to Coach Donovan.

    C. January 27, 2008.
    Florida 86 Vanderbilt 64. And we should have won the second game against them had the officials not made a horrendous over-and-back call.

    It seems you are pretty new here(if not, I never saw you comment on here before), but your comments were quite impressive. That being said, I will say that if you feel a mid-major should get in instead of a team like us, that’s one thing. But to perhaps put another undeserving BCS school in the field over us is another thing. By the way, who do you root for?

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  43. Larry Says:

    I am new to logging on here but not to College Basketball. Your comment about the “Committee”, well I know they make desions for various reasons that only makes sense to them.

    The fact Florida has 20 wins is because other than the SEC, Coach Donovan scheduled weaklings to get wins this year. I could care less that Florida lost all those players to the NBA. They should not get a “PASS”. Same goes for Ohio St. They lost a few players to and they have managed 17 WINS and one of those were to Florida.

    As far who I root for, I have no team I am a fan of other than teams that work well as a team, have a good Coach etc. I like teams like Drake, Marquette,Davidson, Wisconsin, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Louisville. I am not impressed with the PAC 10 and not overly excited with those High Scoring athletic teams Like Kansas, Tennessee, Memphis and North Carolina. That being said they will all four win 3 games in the Tournament and probably lose Round 4 or at lest 2 of the 4 will.

    These are the teams I think can lose in Round #1 or Round #2 UNLV, BYU, Wash St. Vanderbilt, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Arkansa, Florida, USC, New Mexico, Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia, St. Joseph’s, Ohio St., Clemson, Syracuse.

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  44. Dex Says:

    John,
    I think the fact that Florida lost so many good players and has managed to win as many games as they have is impressive, but I think that it is a rediculous argument for putting them in the field. They should not be judged differently considering nearly every team in the country loses important players every year. I realize they are the team that you root for but I think that you would be much more critical of the Gators if they weren’t your team.

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  45. Larry Says:

    There are going to be other teams that have 20 WINS that are NOT in the Tournament because of the Conference, SOS they play.

    Florida has no signature wins.

    If they are in, they are in but last year was last year. Look at their Strength of Schedule. Who was their 20 wins against? Did they beat Ohio St.? no !! Their Non Conference shcedule may have been the easiest of anyone in the NATION!!

    Plus, as a whole the SEC is down this year (mu opinion) Tennessee is very good but Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Florida and Kentucky are not that strong. The Sec should only have 3 teams in the Tournament. I think the BIG 10 should only have 4(WISC, IND, MICH ST, PURDUE) ! I think the Pac 10 should only have 5 max! (UCLA, WASH ST, ARIZ ST, USC, STANFORD)

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  46. Dex Says:

    Larry, I agree about the Big Ten. I think you’re being a little too harsh on the SEC. Although the conference is down, there’s no way that they should only get three teams in. I think 4 would be the appropriate number. Besides Tennessee, Vandy, and Arkansas, you have to pick at least one team out of Miss. St, UK, Florida, and Ole Miss. Definitely not all of them, but one of them. And I agree that the Pac-10 is not as great as everyone says it is but if you put Ariz St. and USC in, then you have to put Arizona in. They do have the toughest schedule in the nation, so 17-10 aint that bad.

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  47. James Says:

    Hey Larry, thanks for going out on a limb with the following prediction:

    These are the teams I think can lose in Round #1 or Round #2 UNLV, BYU, Wash St. Vanderbilt, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Arkansa, Florida, USC, New Mexico, Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia, St. Joseph’s, Ohio St., Clemson, Syracuse.

    Hahahahahahahaha.

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  48. John Says:

    @ Dex. I’d feel the same way about the Gators if I did not root for them. The facts of who was lost and what the composition of the team is are the facts. I look at things objectively.

    @ Larry. I agree about the Big Ten. I think Ohio State is very overrated. They had big time games they could have won(North Carolina, vs Texas A&M, @ Butler, all 4 Big Ten teams ahead of them) and they lost them all. I am always critical of Arizona, seeing as how I think their results can be overrated, but they did defeat Texas A&M, swept Washington State(a team I think very highly of) and won at UNLV. They should be in. Where do you stand on the following mid-majors?

    Kent State
    New Mexico
    Stephen F. Austin
    South Alabama
    George Mason

    I think Butler, Drake, and VCU are in no matter what they do in their conference tournament. The interesting conference is the WCC. San Diego hosts the conference tournament, and the last time the Toreros did that was 2003. They defeated Gonzaga 81-70 in the final. Should they or another WCC team repeat that result, does the WCC get 3? I say yes.

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  49. David Says:

    Any chance of Cleveland state making it into the tournament?

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