Bracketeering Number 8: Can Anybody Play This Game?
The Governator hasn't had much to clap about. His state is teetering on the brink of financial collapse. His beloved Chargers disappointed for the gazillionth consecutive year in the playoffs. The fourth installment of the franchise he is most identifed with, Terminator: Salvation, was a hot mess of swirling sands and Matrix-stop action ripoffs.
But at least he can smile about something. The Pac-10, which features four schools from his turf, finally managed to get more than one team in this week's NCAA Tournament projection.
Now, this isn't a ringing endorsement of West Coast play. This is a reflection of how bad college basketball has become. I had to dig deep to come up with the last seven at-large teams to fill the bracket. Even last year, teams that had RPIs worse than 40 weren't even sniffed at. There's a very good chance that more than one team with an RPI worse than 60 will get a dance invite, which has never happened in tournament history. It's like crashing the hottest party on the Vegas strip only to find scarred strippers and Ed Hardy models (or the audition line for the latest VH-1 show).
Part of the reason has to lie with the one-and-done epic fail. Why the NBA insists on keeping talented young men who are legally old enough to work full-time, fight for their country and vote from their league just so they can take underwater basketweaving for a semester baffles me. If they're good enough to play at 18, they're good enough to play at 18. Case closed.
Here are your last four teams to hang with the Tool Academy dropouts:
Dayton - 32 RPI, 4-5 against the top 50 RPI.
San Diego State - 40 RPI, tied for 3rd with UNLV in the Mountain West.
Arizona State - 2nd in the Pac-10(which means something this week), 7-3 last ten.
Virginia Tech - 8-2 in their last ten games and 3rd in the ACC(which is actually good).
Here are your first four teams unsuccessfully trying to pick up passed-out blondes:
Texas Tech - 1-8 against the Top 50, 4-6 in their last ten.
Cincinnati - 2-6 vs. Top 50, 5-5 their last ten, 6th in the Big East.
Marquette - 2-6 vs. Top 50, two losses against teams with a 100 RPI or lower.
Wichita State - Two losses against teams with a 100 or lower RPI, five MVC losses.
Here's the bracket.
1 Villanova(Big East) v. 16 Belmont(Atlantic Sun)
2 Purdue(Big 10) v. 15 Wofford(Southern)
3 Wake Forest(ACC) v. 14 Sam Houston St. (Southland)
4 BrighamYoung(MWC) v. 13 Murray State(OVC)
5 Texas A&M(Big 12) v. 12 Virginia Tech(ACC)
6 Tennessee(SEC) v. 11 Siena(MAAC)
7 Richmond(A-10) v. 10 UTEP(C-USA)
8 California(Pac-10) v. 9 Maryland(ACC)
1 Kentucky(SEC) v. 16 Lehigh(Patriot)
2 Kansas State(Big 12) v. 15 Morgan State(MEAC)
3 Gonzaga(WCC) v. 14 Weber State(Big Sky)
4 Georgetown(Big East) v. 13 Utah State(WAC)
5 Michigan State(Big 10) v. 12 San Diego State(MWC)
6 Northern Iowa(MVC) v. 11 UAB(C-USA)
7 Florida State(ACC) v. 10 Louisville(Big East)
8 Oklahoma State(Big 12) v. 9 Charlotte(A-10)
Midwest Region(St. Louis)
1 Kansas(Big 12) v. 16 Play-In Winner
2 New Mexico(MWC) v. 15 Coastal Carolina(Big South)
3 West Virginia(Big East) v. 14 Oakland(Summit)
4 Temple(A-10) v. 13 Cornell(Ivy)
5 Pittsburgh(Big East) v. 12 Arizona State(Pac-10)
6 Wisconsin(Big 10) v. 11 Georgia Tech(ACC)
7 Baylor(Big 12) v. 10 Rhode Island(A-10)
8 Clemson(ACC) v. 9 Ole Miss(SEC)
West Region(Salt Lake City)
1 Syracuse(Big East) v. 16 North Texas(Sun Belt)
2 Duke(ACC) v. 15 Pacific(Big West)
3 Butler(Horizon) v. 14 Vermont(America East)
4 Ohio State(Big 10) v. 13 Kent State(MAC)
5 Vanderbilt(SEC) v. 12 Dayton(A-10)
6 Texas(Big 12) v. 11 St. Mary’s(WCC)
7 Xavier(A-10) v. 10 Florida(SEC)
8 UNLV(MWC) v. 9 Missouri(Big 12)
Play-In Game: Quinnipiac(Northeast) v. Jackson State(SWAC)
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