After a chaotic past few days in College Basketball, the dust is beginning to settle and there is a much clearer image of the upcoming tournament field and the NCAA Tournament bubble watch.
Teams That Are In
The Commodores did one of the toughest things in College Basketball, and that is beat the same team three times in a season. Vandy knocked off Florida in the SEC quarterfinals, solidifying their case for an at-large bid tomorrow. Vanderbilt has a semifinal matchup this afternoon against Arkansas, a game that can only help the Commodores potential seeding.
Xavier has bounced back very well from that 6 game losing streak they suffered in February. X picked up wins over DePaul and Butler in back-to-back days and then suffered a very tough loss to Creighton last night in the Big East semifinal. The Musketeers are now 21-13 and have done more than enough to make up for their tough February and will be in come Selection Sunday.
I feel like I’ve written about the Demon Deacons extensively in the last few days/weeks, but they were an interesting case. No bad losses, a strong finish to the regular season, yet they were still on the bubble. Well, they avoided a bad loss against BC and then played a good Virginia Tech team competitively and that should seal the deal for Wake Forest.
The win over Baylor was the key here for the Wildcats, it would have been very nice to pick up that win last night over West Virginia, but the Baylor game should put them in as one of the last four teams. I also believe they have a one team buffer between them and missing the tournament field.
Last Team In
The Trojans are a soft 24-9 this season with just two wins over top 50 teams in SMU and UCLA, both solid wins, but they also have a bad loss to Arizona State. USC will be watching the Rhode Island game and hoping for a Rams loss against Davidson today as the Rams would be the only team that can knock them out of the field.
First Team Out
This is soft because the Rams are still playing and have a shot at an automatic bid if they win the A-10 championship. Anything short of winning the championship will keep the Rams out of the field. With Dayton losing, the Rams lose out on the chance for an additional quality win. Auto-bid is their only hope and if they get it, it would knock USC out of the field.
Next Teams Out
A promising start to the week with a bevy of teams on the bubble losing early in their conferences tournaments made it look like ISU still had a fighting chance, but all that hope is lost. I personally would love to see the Birds in the field and completely agree with Jay Bilas that when it’s a toss up between a power 6 school and a mid-major, the mid-major should always get the nod. Redbird fans are hoping that the committee thinks the same way.
Despite the fact that the RPI is an outdated statistic, it is still used and Cuse has a bad one at 85. The Orange have some big wins, but they’re all at home. And people are very quick to forget the bad losses endured by Cuse at that same Carrier Dome, a la St. John’s (by 33) and Georgetown (by 7). They do also have losses to UConn and Boston College this season. I don’t know why this even merits discussion but Cuse should not be in.
Much like their in-state competitor, Cal suffers from a very weak resume. The Golden Bears won a single top 50 game and that was against the aforementioned Trojans. Cal is a combined 6-9 in road/neutral site games and has losses to San Diego State, Colorado, and Stanford. 0-7 against the top 25, 1-8 against the top 50 just isn’t good enough even in a year with a historically weak bubble.
The Dawgs are in the same boat as Cal, they had chances against good teams and didn’t take advantage of them. The Bulldogs were 0-6 against the top 25 and 1-9 against the top 50. Georgia’s best win is over Vandy, solid, but after that, it is UNC-Asheville…I rest my case.