Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Championship Week Notes


VCU's loss in the CAA semi's, South Alabama's loss to Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt conference tournament and San Diego's WCC conference tournament championship just cost two bubble teams spots in the NCAA tournament if you believe that South Alabama, St. Mary's and Gonzaga are all in the tournament. Are they in the tournament? Let's take a look.

St. Mary's - RPI 38, SOS 137. The Gaels have some very good wins - Drake, Oregon, Seton Hall, San Diego State - and they have no bad losses - Texas, Southern Illinois, Gonzaga, San Diego X 2, Kent State. Combine that with their non-conference RPI of 17 and SOS of 31, and they're in.

Gonzaga - RPI 30, SOS 94. The same story as St. Mary's. A number of quality wins - UConn, St. Mary's, St. Joseph's, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky - and no bad losses - Texas Tech, Tennessee, Washington State, Oklahoma, St. Mary's, San Diego, Memphis. Winning a competitive WCC (at least at the top) also will go a long way. Based on name power alone, the 'Zags are in.

South Alabama - RPI 37, SOS 127. They beat Mississippi State and San Diego, which keeps looking better, and swept Western Kentucky. They had close losses to Mississippi (buzzer beater) and Vanderbilt (2OT). Argue all you want about "good" losses helping teams out, but the committee considers it.

Virginia Commonwealth - RPI 54, SOS 155. VCU is in a much tougher spot. They missed against Miami and Arkansas in nonconference play, but they did beat Houston and Maryland. Their only hope was that all the conference tourney favorites win out, and since that didn't happen, it looks like they will be one of the odd men out.

Teams that still needed to play their way into the tourney (Ohio State, Syracuse, Florida, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon) just had their margin of error erased. Bubble teams better hope and pray that Butler, Memphis, Kent State, and Xavier win their conference tourney's.


This is not the same Indiana team that was coached by Kelvin Sampson. They barely beat Ohio State and Northwestern and lost to Penn State and Michigan State (by 30). At least six players, including Big Ten player of the year DJ White, skipped practices after Dan Dakich was named Interim Head Coach (reportedly, the team wanted assistant Ray McCallum to be named interim coach). JaMarcus Ellis was suspended for the Penn State game for mouthing off to coaches. In the last five games, it doesn't even look like Eric Gordon is trying - it seems like he has resigned himself to the fact that he will be leaving Indiana for the NBA after this year and is trying to get there without injury.

The Hoosiers are a shell of their former selves. It's too bad, because this team could have gone a long way riding Gordon and White.


The terrible season of officiating in college basketball continued this past weekend as UCLA was handed two victories:

Against Stanford:

And against Cal:

Now I understand that, as both Cal and Stanford blew big leads to the Bruins, they shouldn't have been in the position to have a missed call by a ref affect the game this much, but the fact of the matter is that both of these games were decided on very close calls, that easily could have (read should have) gone the other way.

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