11 March 2013

NCAA: One week to dancing edition

1) Florida 11-6
2) Indiana 13-5

3) Louisville 13-5
4) Gonzaga  11-2
5) Duke       14-4

6) Kansas         13-4-1
7) Ohio St          9-7
8) Pittsburgh     10-6-1
9) Michigan       12-5-1
10) Michigan St 11-7

11) Wisconsin   9-10
12) Syracuse    11-8
13) Creighton  13-6-1
14) Miami         10-4-2
15) Georgetown 12-4-1

16) Oklahoma St  8-6-1
17) VCU            11-7
18) Arizona        10-5-1
19) Missouri        9-9
20) St Mary's      6-3-2

21) Colorado St  10-6-1
22) Minnesota    10-9-2
23) St Louis       11-5-1
24) Marquette    10-6-1
25) Virginia         7-2-8

Ranked Teams
26) New Mexico 16-5
28) Kansas St       7-6
35) Notre Dame  10-8
37) Memphis        6-4
45) UCLA          11-5-3

Clinched Bids
13) Creighton
42) Belmont   11-6
100) Harvard  (Princeton is slightly higher but lost two in a row this weekend to lose the conference title)
110) Florida Gulf Coast. Mercer wasn't far behind (~125) but lost at home in the conference finals.
251) Liberty. The best team in this conference was probably Charleston Southern and they are only about 170.

Safely in (from early tournaments)
29) Wichita St 11-7-1. Lost in the conference title game, and is high ranked on everything but RPI (41).

Unsurprising minor conference upset:
Iona over Niagara. Iona's in the top 100 (89). Niagara is roughly 145. I don't think Iona will be recognized as any better than a 15 though without some other upsets.
George Mason losing (by 2) put a much lesser team in the driver's seat for the Colonial, but either way they were probably a 15 or 16 seed.

Bubble of doom (from early tournaments)
31) Middle Tennessee St 1-3-2. Lost in semifinals of Sun Belt, has a gaudy 28-5 record overall, mostly against its own conference (20-2 in conference), which is terrible. The next best team is ranked at 167 (Arkansas St, which was also eliminated in the semis). I think they've got a decent shot at making it in anyway as they also have a decent RPI at 28. The defective computer ranking system the committee mostly uses by chance happens to be not far off in this case. If not, Sun Belt will go from having a 12 seed (that's really an 8) to a 16, possibly in one of the play-in games. Assuming they don't get in in another play-in game (as a 12 or 13). They're right now the first team out, but it's very close to Tennessee in likelihood. They have a better argument to make it in than Louisiana Tech will, which was blown out in the last two games (both against the next best teams in their conference).

Note: MTSU lost last year in their conference tournament and the eventual bid went to Western Kentucky (with a losing record). They didn't make it in last year either at large, but they were much lower in rankings (around 50, rather than 30) and were only 24-6 rather than 28-5.

62) Stony Brook  0-2. American East went from having a dangerous 13 seed to a 15 (Vermont) or a 16 (Albany) as cannon fodder. They're clearly out, but they're very close on my list.

Teams that will need to avoid losing in conference tournaments this week:
38) Denver   3-8
57) Akron     5-3-3
59) Davidson 1-3-4 (update: clinched Monday)
61) Bucknell  4-3-2 (in finals Wednesday)

72) Stephen F Austin 2-2-1
83) Weber State 1-1-4
(I included the last two because they're far ahead of the rest of their conferences. Montana is about 60 ranks below Weber, and NW St is around 100, well behind SFA. Ohio is about 20 spots behind Akron, and then the MAC is terrible after that).

Teams "in" on my list that won't make the field right now.
25) Virginia   (4-2 top 50)
36) Iowa        6-9-2 (3-8)
40) Baylor     6-10-3 (3-10)
44) Mississippi 7-6-2 (1-4)
47) Stanford 6-11-2 (1-9)
Virginia is probably the only one that deserves a bid here, but they've got 8 non top 100 losses and a terrible road record to shoot themselves out of the field at the moment.

This leaves room (along with MTSU) for
53) Oregon    7-6-2 (3-3)
54) California 6-10  (4-5)
55) Butler      11-6-1 (4-3)
58) Tennessee  9-9-2 (4-7)
62) Temple      9-5-3 (3-2)
Right now I would be surprised if any of these teams misses, but any upsets and Tennessee is toast, and possibly Kentucky (not on this list, but safely in on mine) as well.

SWAC note: Texas Southern passed Southern into the top 150. Grambling managed to win 0 games, and plays again on Wednesday.

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