The Grand National Championships

March 13, 2009

Strange Day in Bubbletown.

Now we’ll break it down by conference, but some odd things have happened today. And you have to stop and reassess. We know what we know. But let’s reassess it here.

ACC: The six locks are the same. (UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, and Boston College). Maryland got to the semifinals. And as such? There are five keys to look at here. Record/RPI/SOS/Top 50 Record/Last 10 games.

Maryland: (20-12) 9-9 49/22 4-7 6-4

You have to think they’ve done enough. A look at this resume compared to other resumes along the way of the bubble watch? Especially considering they did beat Michigan. Fucking Michigan.

Big East: If your RPI is below Penn State’s, you’ve got no chance of an at-large. Thus no to Providence. Seven bids. (Louisville, UConn, Pitt, Villanova, Marquette, Syracuse, and West Virginia).

Big 10: Penn State’s done enough. Illinois, Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State and Minnesota join them. Michigan and Wisconsin?

Michigan: (19-13) 10-10 42/11 6-11 5-5

I’ll admit it. It’s one that looks slightly better than my team. Slightly…

Wisconsin: (18-12) 10-9 43/13 4-10 7-3

…when you eliminate from consideration the fact that Michigan lost to the Badgers twice.

Big 12: It’s a match-up of contrasting styles when Baylor takes on Missouri. Baylor is guard-oriented and built to score. Missouri is frontcourt oriented and built to press. Baylor needs to take the final step to make the NCAA’s. But Mizzou is a bad match-up for the Bears. Otherwise? The Big 12 gets six. Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas A&M

Pac-10: As Arizona looks dead, the left for dead USC is suddenly in. The win over UCLA is their 20th win. 11th conference win. 4th win versus a team in the RPI top 50. They go back to the tournament after being dead not even a week ago.

SEC: FUBAR. If you’re considering Florida on the outside looking in? South Carolina’s resume is just as bad.

Florida: (23-10) 10-8 53/84 1-5 4-6
South Carolina: 21-9 (11-7) 59/93 0-4 5-5

Mississippi State’s RPI is still in Providence levels, so you can’t really consider them. But what about Auburn? It’s a resume that could use another win, but there’s one number I want you to pay attention to.

Auburn: 21-10 (11-6) 58/67 2-3 9-1

Yeah, Jeff Lebo’s team is coming together. And in a world with similar resumes, the selection committee will hang on to any positive that they can think of. This means that Auburn will be the SEC’s third team.

Mountain West: Three berths. San Diego State got to the finals. No excuse for them not to be with BYU and Utah. New Mexico is out because they cross into the 70’s with the RPI.

Atlantic 10: With the scrappy Duquesne Dukes making the finals versus Temple? An at-large berth has been stolen (because it was supposed to be Xavier and Dayton). For a comparison point? We’ll discuss Temple as an at-large.

Temple: 21-11 (13-5) 33/42 2-5 8-2

If they lose? Tennessee winning out is a big deal for their hopes. Because some mid-major has to win the shaft. And the fighting Bill Cosby’s may have to dig it.

C-USA: Memphis beats Tulsa and we can all relax.

Missouri Valley: For Creighton’s benefit…

Creighton: 26-7 (15-5) 41/111 2-2 9-1

I know last year is last year. But this team got its ass kicked in the semis by Illinois State. Nobody’s considering them an NCAA team. I mean, last year the selection committee torched the selfsame Redbirds for their choke job. But is Creighton safer because they got burned in the Semis? Who watches the ESPNU?

Horizon: Cleveland State and Butler. That’s all you need to know.

WAC: Utah State needs to win out. They have not played much and losing to Nevada is bad luck and with this bubble, a malicious wounding.

So with the 34 at large berths and 31 conference champs. (Shows my readership that I never got called on a previous fuckup.) We essentially have 62 teams locked in. So? How do I delineate who’s in with who’s out?

I honestly don’t know. Utah State and Creighton will have strong computer numbers. What if Duqusene and Baylor win? I’m doing this as strict gut work.

Last 4 In
Auburn
USC
Maryland
Wisconsin

First 4 Out
Michigan
Florida
Creighton
New Mexico

Number 65 will all come down to a 10 point win in Ann Arbor on Janurary 2nd. God love college hoops.

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