13 February 2012

NCAA week three

New number one, not by much.
1) Kentucky
2) Ohio St

3) Kansas
4) Michigan State
4) Syracuse

6) North Carolina
6) Missouri
6) Wisconsin
(very tight in this section, personally I think Carolina is the best of these three but is a cut below the Kansas-Syracuse section).

9) Wichita St(that Creighton win cemented their status as deserving attention, finally).
10) Indiana
11) Duke

12) Georgetown
13) St Louis
14) New Mexico
15) Baylor (finally exposed)
16) Florida (also)
17) Marquette

18) California
19) UNLV
20) Memphis

21) Belmont
22) Texas
23) Louisville
24) Florida St
25) Virginia

Other notes: Alabama was sitting just outside this grouping. They are likely to drop after suspending several players. Depending on how badly they do, they might not make the tournament now. Creighton has played very poorly of late. I added Northwestern to my list, but they're hardly in a safe range. This is more an example of how badly the bubble normally is.

Also. A note on coverage. ESPN asked the inane question of comparing a legitimate bubble team with Murray State. While I think Murray St has a very thin resume, I do not think that the NCAA committee would consider teams like Murray St as bubble teams should they fail to win their conference tournament. I think it more likely that the comparison is, as it usually is, between two very weak power 6 conference teams than it is between two teams from the various branches of the NCAA power structure, one a dominant team in a very weak conference, and the other a mediocre team from a much stronger conference. That is, that most of the time the committee will take dominant minor conference teams over mediocre major conference teams anyway and that talk of who doesn't get in only rarely involves teams that have any case for inclusion and more involves teams that got in who had very weak cases for inclusion (ala, VCU last year) being compared against teams that had similarly weak cases. 

As a further note, the Pac-12 is very weak again and the SEC is looking weaker now that Alabama will likely fade and Mississippi State is beginning to also and Florida is playing poorly of late. It's difficult to consider either of these "power 6" conferences in basketball at this point relative to the Big 10, Big 12, ACC, and Big East, and mid-major conferences like the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West which have historically sent multiple teams (though admittedly have very top heavy rankings of their own). If the trends continue as they have over the last two seasons, this looks very bad for the future of these conferences in basketball (as opposed to football).
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