NCAA Tournament: Who's In/Out
With Selection Sunday just less than 14 hours away, there are only three at-large bids left for about seven bubble teams.
Those bubble teams include Arizona, St. Mary's, San Diego State, Maryland, Penn State, Creighton, and Auburn. (This according to ESPN).
All of these teams have a decent and deserving chance of making the tournament. With that, here are the teams I have in and out of the tournament.
In: Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats have had six wins in the RPI- top 50 including UCLA, USC, San Diego State, Gonzaga, and Kansas and have an SOS rank of 32.
They are led by the trio of Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, and Nic Wise.
I expect them to be a No. 11 seed. Arizona is the most talented and fully equipped team of these seven, having a good inside game with Hill, a good outside game with Budinger, and a good distributor in Wise.
In: St. Mary's Gaels
St. Mary's were off to an 18-2 start and probably a 19-1 start but their star point guard Patrick Mills was badly injured in his right wrist.
This led to the team ending with a 6-3 record. This team, with Patrick Mills healthy, would have probably won the WCC tournament or have been an at-large bid lock. I expect them to also be a No. 11 seed.
In: San Diego State Aztecs
The San Diego State Aztecs compiled a 23-9 (11-5) record in the very tough MWC. They were the runner-ups in the MWC championship, losing to Utah 52-50 on Championship Saturday.
They are my personal favorite team to be a "Cinderella story," because they are a well-coached team with a great defense and a bright young star in Lorenzo Wade.
San Diego State had problems in the season when last year's MWC freshman of the year, Billy White, missed two big games.
Also, Wade was arrested on burglary charges and was suspended for the first eight games, including the 59-52 loss to Arizona State.
Out: Maryland Terrapins
With three legit wins over North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Michigan State, Maryland look like a virtual lock for an at-large bid but with the ugly losses of 22 [Gonzaga], 27 [Georgetown], 29 [Clemson], and 41 [Duke] and the 7-9 conference record they are out of the bracket for me.
Maryland, in my opinion, is the most deserving of these out to make the tournament.
Out: Penn State Nittany Lions
The Nittany Lions have a 22-11 (10-8) record in the Big Ten. They have quality wins over Michigan State and Illinois (2).
But with their 68 RPI and their 115 SOS they encountered a very easy non-conference schedule, including NJ Tech and William and Mary.
Out: Creighton Blue Jays
Creighton did not play one team ranked in the top 25 and their hardest game was against Dayton, who they beat.
But with the terrible 73-49 loss to Illinois State in the Missouri Valley semifinals, it looks like their incredible journey is over.
Out: Auburn Tigers
Auburn had some quality wins over Tennessee, Mississippi St., LSU, and Florida but really needed to at least make the SEC championship by beating Tennessee on Saturday but came up short by nine points.
Auburn really needed a big guy in order to defeat the Volunteers, having been out rebounded by 18.