Bracketology: Who's In, Who's Out
Selection Sunday is in one day, and I'm here to tell you who's in and who's out from the bubble.
Teams Fighting for Final Spots
Arizona Wildcats - Top 35 strength of schedule and nine wins over teams in the RPI top 100 coupled with wins over Kansas, Washington, UCLA, Gonzaga, San Diego State, and USC have earned the Wildcats a bid.
Dayton Flyers - Blown out by a questionable Duquesne team, but they still have a strong RPI in the 20s and have eight victories over teams with an RPI of 100 or greater. However, they had a weak schedule, but I think their strong RPI earned them a place in the tourney.
Maryland Terrapins - The Terrapins made it to the ACC Semifinals. The ACC is one of the toughest conferences in the nation and the Terrapins fell apart earlier in the year. They have also beaten the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Mississippi State Bulldogs - Same SEC record as Florida (9-7), but unlike the Gators, the Bulldogs are playing in the SEC Final after beating the only ranked team in the conference, No. 16 LSU. The Bulldogs are practically a lock.
New Mexico Lobos - Won eight of their last 10 and went 12-4 in the Mountain West. That earns a bid for the Lobos in my mind.
San Diego State Aztecs - Top 30 RPI, should be an automatic bid and plus, they'll play in the Mountain West Championship against Utah, a game they should win.
St. Mary's Gaels - 26-6, 10-4 in conference, has more than earned the Gaels a bid, but since most of the world suffers from, "They play in an awful conference so they're no good syndrome," many say they're out. They must be in for the sake of all Mid-Majors.
Temple Owls - The Owls stunned No. 19 Xavier last night, but they need to win tonight against Duquense to secure a bid (obviously). If they lose, they'll likely be out of the tournament.
USC Trojans - Top 40 RPI, strength of schedule in the 20s, nine victories against RPI top 100 teams, have beaten UCLA, Cal (twice), Arizona State, and Arizona, and will play the Sun Devils again in the Pac-10 Finals.
Baylor Bears - This is contingent on them not winning the Big 12 Championship, which is a shocker in itself. The Bears are 20-13 but are 5-11 in the Big 12, which hurts them badly. They do not deserve a bid; if they do, then Providence, San Diego State, etc. deserve one.
Boston College Eagles - Lost to Duke in the ACC Quarterfinals and they're 22-11 overall and 9-7 in the ACC is crossed out considering they lost to three teams in the RPI top 100 and to Harvard at home. Swept by the Hurricanes of Miami, who are also a bubble team and 15 of their wins have come against teams outside the RPI top 100.
Florida Gators - Went only 9-7 in SEC play, and going 14-3 in non-conference play, all against bad opponents, means the Gators certainly didn't do enough to earn a bid.
Kansas State Wildcats - Only five wins over teams with an RPI over 100 is low, no major victories (like Providence), makes the Wildcats' chances slim to none.
Miami Hurricanes - The Hurricanes dropped the ball against Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament. They also lost to Georgia Tech, which along with the loss to the Hokies, sunk the hopes of the Canes.
Penn State Nittany Lions - 22-11 overall and 10-8 in the Big Ten, which is an absolute joke. If the Lions are worthy, they'd go 12-6 in that awful conference. Every loss for the Lions in the Big Ten was against teams with RPIs of over 75. Awful schedule, awful conference, pops Penn State's bubble.
Virginia Tech Hokies - They're worse than Boston College with a mark of 18-14 overall and 7-9 in ACC play. However, they may gain some love from the committee since they were able to post a quality record against strong teams on the road. But they struggled at home and lost their last three home games to Florida State, Duke, and North Carolina, and then lost again to the Tar Heels in the ACC quarterfinals. The Hokies are not deserving enough to have their name called.
Should be but won't be
Auburn Tigers - Won nine out of their last 11, but a poor strength of schedule and only a 2-4 record against teams with an RPI over 50 makes me think the committee gives Auburn the cold shoulder.
Creighton Blue Jays - RPI in the 40s , 26-7 overall, however a 73-49 loss to Illinois State in their last game makes the committee think they're not worthy, and they probably aren't.
Davidson Wildcats - They should be but won't. Stephon Curry put on a show last year, but this year isn't last year. However, if CBS pulls some strings, they're in, and they should be.
Providence Friars - They went 19-13 overall and 10-8 in the best conference in the nation. The Friars also beat No. 1 Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rhode Island (who Penn State lost to), and they beat Cincinnati both times they played them. However, they're probably out since they lost by double digits to Louisville. If they kept it together and lost by at least five they'd be in, but that beating coupled with DePaul advancing to the second round severely hurt the Friars' shot.
Rhode Island Rams - Yes, the Rams should be in after winning 10 out of their last 13 and six of their last eight, but after losing to the Duquesne Dukes early in the A-10 tourney probably killed their hopes.
South Carolina Gamecocks - Even though the Gamecocks went 10-6 in conference, which is better than both Mississippi State and Florida, they lost to Miss. State and they also have a strength of schedule in the 90s and only have one win over a top 50 RPI team and eight over teams between 200 and however many teams there are (330?), very negative. However, the conference record and the fact the committee might be looking to put SEC teams in gives South Carolina a shot.
UNLV Rebels - One and done on their home court conference tourney negates the nine wins over teams with an RPI of over 100, but those wins could sew up a bid for the Rebels.
Utah State Aggies - 29-4 overall, 14-2 in conference, need I say more. However, a triple digit SOS and only one game vs. a top 75 RPI team turns me against the Aggies.
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