09 March 2012

Quick hit on the bubbles

As noted, the bubble is weak. There are several teams above this who wouldn't have gotten in on a normal year. Still 9 spots up for grabs. Connecticut locked their spot up. I don't expect any major surprises in the major conference tournaments (and most of the non-bubble teams are eliminated now anyway). It's possible someone strange could win the Atlantic 10 tournament, but even that team is likely from a group just outside this range (St Bonaventure or LaSalle for instance) and would most likely just be knocking another A10 team off the radar. Pac12 is in a similar position.

1) Texas (27, 6-11-1) might have locked their bid up by simply not losing when several other teams did. Provided they don't get blown out by Missouri, they should be in.
2) BYU (41, 5-6-2) is probably safe, but this is more because a lot of teams lost.
3) Miami (44) plays later. Remains to be seen what happens, but they probably need to win against Florida St to be in as NC St swept them. 5-9-2 is not too impressive.
4) Iona (45) is still hanging around the discussion. Not sure they will get in. They are reasonably safe on my sheet. 3-2-5 doesn't have much to say for itself though.
5) NC State (47) might have done more than anyone else on this list, but mostly by winning two mediocre games. Virginia is not much of a prize. They are however now 8-10-1. Which is respectable in this crowd.
6) Arizona (48, 7-8-2) will definitely need at least one more win to be safe. And possibly may have to win outright as Oregon State is not the marquee that Washington would have been.
7) Drexel (49) might be safer than Iona at 5-4-2. They racked up a lot of wins against mediocre teams though.
8) Seton Hall (50, 8-9-3) is probably outside looking in now, but as of today they are the last team in on my list.
9) Middle Tennessee (51) and Stanford (53) are toast. As is Oregon and St Joesph's. None of them have much of a distinguished record.
10) Washington (56) and Southern Miss (57) did not help themselves much.Both at least have decent records. 9-9-1 and 7-5-3
11) Dayton and Xavier.. play each other. Pretty much the winner still has a shot for at large bid, loser is toast.
12) I wouldn't put South Florida in, but some people might. 6-10-3 is not much and there's no marquee wins.
13) Mississippi State is probably safely done and NIT bound at 5-5-6. Tennessee has played their way into the discussion while MSU played out, but they're not much different. 5-9-4 but with a sweep of Florida.
14) Colorado State might get in at (74), which is pathetic. Win over San Diego State would ice it. 
15) LaSalle and Minnesota are on the radar, but I doubt either gets in without winning outright.
16) So much for Northwestern? Probably. 5-13 does have zero bad losses, but not much other than a win over Michigan State at home to look up to.

There's an amazing amount of teams on the NCAA radar still who have zero or one top 50 win, and in some cases, very poor top 100 records. Other than Texas, Seton Hall, and Tennessee, nobody on this entire page has more than 3 top 50 wins. Which is pathetic. Clemson barely got in last year with a similar profile, as did Georgia, while Maryland missed the tournament. Two years ago Virginia Tech missed the tournament with 11-8 record against decent teams (but only 3-6 against the top 50). That sort of profile could get you at least an 8 seed this year. This tells me so far that we should expect lots of craziness in the middle of the field at the very least, if not some craziness at the top (depending on how the seeding shakes out).

Champ watch: Other than Kentucky and Kansas, nobody looks that powerful, with an outside look at Carolina. Bob Knight liked Missouri, but Missouri can't guard anyone. I'm not happy with a Kentucky pick, mostly because it's likely to be popular and it means you really need to clean up the middle of the bracket and nail the final four to win any pools, and meanwhile Kansas isn't that powerful. Very bleh.

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