Friday, March 13, 2009

Bubble You Pleasure, Bubble Your Fun Part IV

The major conference tournaments will be starting over the next three days, and seeing as the bubble is obscenely weak this year, the majority of the bubble determination is going to come in the form of middle-of-the-pack major conference teams playing each other in their conference tournament's early rounds. Be sure to check back here daily for complete analysis of everything bubble over the next week.

Sweating it out (record, RPI, SOS, top 50, top 100, road): Who has already lost?

- St. Mary's (25-6, 45, 160, 2-3, 3-4, 8-3):
Best Wins: Providence, Utah State, San Diego State
Worst Losses: Portland, Santa Clara

See here for St. Mary's analysis.

- Creighton (26-7, 39, 106, 3-2, 9-4, 8-4):
Best Wins: Northern Iowa, Dayton, George Mason
Worst Losses: Drake, Wichita State, Arkansas Little-Rock

What is going to doom the Bluejays is their early season losses to Arkansas Little-Rock and Nebraska. Both were on the road to top 100 RPI teams on shots hit in the last 10 seconds. In back-to-back games. If this profile read 28-5, 11-2 against the top 100 and 10-2 on the road, we would be saying much different things about the Bluejays. They are probably on the outside looking in right now.

- Davidson (25-7, 69, 165, 1-4, 1-4, 10-2):
Best Wins: West Virginia
Worst Losses: Citadel, Charleston (twice)

Davidson is out. I am giving them a courtesy post because I love Steph Curry. See here for more Davidson analysis.

Texas A&M (22-10, 29, 43, 4-5, 8-8, 4-5)
Best Wins: Missouri, Texas, LSU, Arizona
Worst Losses: Tulsa, Texas Tech

The Aggies lost to Texas Tech last night (thanks to an ungodly performance by Mike Singletary). A&M should still feel pretty safe. They have a number of good wins, especially in non-conference play, and they came into March on a six game winning streak. Lunardi had them as a nine before last night, which means that even with the loss, there are going to have to be a lot of teams that jump them in the next few days.

Kansas State (21-11, 81, 98, 3-6, 4-9, 5-5)
Best Wins: Missouri, Texas
Worst Losses: Iowa, Oregon

K-State lost to Texas last night. They are out. The RPI is too low and they just don't have enough in their out of conference schedule.

Providence (19-13, 78, 45, 2-9, 6-12, 4-6):
Best Wins: Pitt, Syracuse
Worst Losses: Northeastern, Baylor

Providence beat DePaul, but that win doesn't really help them. They really needed to beat Louisville last night to have a legitimate chance at a bid. Now, they are probably on the outside looking in. They only have one loss outside the top 100, but two top 50 wins and a bunch of "good losses" does not an NCAA bid make.

Miami (17-11, 61, 25, 2-6, 6-10, 4-6)
Best Wins: Wake Forest, Florida State
Worst Losses: NC State, Maryland, Georgia Tech

Believe it or not, the Canes actually did have a chance at earning bid. Until they lost to Virginia Tech yesterday. The U had to play their way into the field, and losing in the first round of the conference tournament isn't going to get you there.

Arizona (19-13, 58, 32, 6-9, 8-12, 2-9)
Best Wins: UCLA, Washington, Kansas
Worst Losses: Stanford, Washington State

Yesterday, I said win and you're in. Arizona lost. They still have a solid resume, but 13 losses is a lot of losing. They are in a similar position as they were last year, except their schedule strength is not as good. The Wildcats will truly be sweating it out, as they need bubble teams to lose. How big does that Butler loss look in Tuscon now?

UNLV (21-9, 66, 86, 4-4, 8-6, 6-6)
Best Wins: Louisville, BYU (x2), Utah, Arizona
Worst Losses: TCU, Colorado State

So UNLV lost to SDSU, dropping their RPI by 10 spots. This could be a huge blow to the Rebels tourney chances. They now have eight losses to MWC foes, including one to TCU and one to Colorado State. But looks at some of their wins - BYU, Utah, and Louisville are all top 25 RPI teams, and UNLV won at BYU and Louisville (the latter without Wink Adams). I think UNLV has a bit of an advantage on Arizona and Creighton, other teams right on the edge waiting out championship week, but if teams like Virginia Tech and Penn State keep winning, the Rebels may be NIT bound.

New Mexico (21-11, 65, 80, 4-4, 5-7, 6-6)
Best Wins: BYU, Utah, SDSU, UNLV
Worst Losses: Central Florida, Drake, Texas Tech, UTEP

New Mexico lost to Wyoming last night. They are probably out of contention for a bid at this point.

Today's Games:

Texas (22-10, 35, 28, 6-6, 9-9, 4-6):
Best Wins: UCLA, Villanova, Wisconsin, Oklahoma
Worst Losses: Arkansas

The Longhorns are in. They have a good RPI and a good SOS, and six top 50 wins and four top 30 wins is nothing to sneeze at. The issue with Texas is that while they only have one really bad loss, they were not great in true road games and, well, they have so many losses. 11 losses is a pretty big number (they will be at 11 if they don't win the Big XII tourney). The win over Colorado probably sealed it, but beating fellow bubble team Kansas State puts them in. They get Baylor today in the Big XII semi's.

Oklahoma State (22-10, 18, 9, 4-9, 9-10, 4-6):
Best Wins: Siena, Texas A&M, Texas
Worst Losses: Baylor

Oklahoma State is in after beating Oklahoma. they are 18th in the RPI, have not lost to anyone ranked lower 59 in the RPI, and just once to a team lower than 33. In. The Pokes get Mizzou today.

Penn State (22-10, 67, 82, 5-9, 6-10, 5-6)
Best Wins: Michigan State, Illinois (x2), Purdue
Worst Losses: Rhode Island, Iowa

Penn State beats Indiana yesterday and advances to face Purdue, but the win actually hurt Penn State in the RPI. Penn State is right on the edge. They have four wins against the top three in the Big Ten, but they also have 10 losses and have not beaten anyone of significance in their out of conference schedule. A win probably gets them a bid, and a close loss might as well. If they get blown out, the Nittany Lions will be holding their breath.

Michigan (19-12, 43, 10, 6-9, 9-11, 3-8)
Best Wins: UCLA, Duke, Illinois, Minnesota (x2)
Worst Losses: Maryland, Iowa

The Wolverines did what they needed to do by beating Iowa. Now they get Illinois, and a win against the Illini would probably lock up a bid for Michigan.

Minnesota (22-9, 36, 38, 6-7, 9-8, 3-6)
Best Wins: Louisville, Illinois
Worst Losses: Northwestern

Minnesota knocked off Northwestern yesterday to move themselves up five spots in the RPI. The Gophers should be feeling pretty good about themselves right now. They don't have many bad losses, and have a win over the team that looks destined for the #1 overall seed in Louisville. They are probably in right now, but a win over Michigan State this afternoon wouldn't hurt.

Ohio State (20-10, 35, 31, 4-9, 8-10, 4-6):
Best Wins: Butler, Purdue, Minnesota
Worst Losses: Northwestern

I think Ohio State is already in. They are 35 in the RPI, and their only loss outside the top 50 is at Northwestern, where Purdue and Michigan State also fell. They have some quality wins, and finished in the top five in a conference that may get eight teams into the dance. Their game against Wisconsin today will see the winner lock up a bid.

Wisconsin (19-11, 40, 14, 4-9, 9-10, 4-7)
Best Wins: Ohio State, Illinois
Worst Losses: Iowa, Northwestern

Wisconsin is just about in the same position as Ohio State, but they probably are a little further down on the bubble. The loss to Iowa is bad, and they don't have as many good wins as OSU, but the Badgers should be in right now.

Florida (23-9, 46, 84, 2-6, 8-8, 2-7)
Best Wins: Washington, South Carolina
Worst Losses: Mississippi State, Georgia

Florida go the win they needed over Arkansas yesterday. They could still use a victory over Auburn today. The Gators don't have the strongest of resumes. An RPI of 48 is nice, but 2-6 vs. the top 50 and 2-7 on the road isn't. Neither is 9-7 in the SEC. A win over a streaking Auburn team could be enough to push the Gators in.

South Carolina (22-8, 49, 92, 1-5, 7-7, 5-6)
Best Wins: Florida, Baylor
Worst Losses: Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Charleston

The Gamecocks are tough to figure out. They have three pretty bad losses and just one top 50 win (Florida, which wasn't a top 50 win until they got a bump today), but they did finish tied for the SEC East championship. Right now, I think that they are out (can you really put them in over a team like Ohio State or Wisconsin or Arizona?) but they absolutely can play their way in over those teams with a run through the tourney.

Virginia Tech (18-13, 56, 23, 3-8, 6-11, 5-6)
Best Wins: Clemson, Wake Forest
Worst Losses: Georgia, Virginia, Seton Hall

The Hokies got a huge win over fellow bubble dweller Miami yesterday to keep themselves in contention for a bid. They have been the Heartbreak Kids season, and really for the last two or three years. It would be great to see them beat North Carolina and get a chance to go dancing.

Boston College (22-10, 56, 58, 4-4, 7-7, 5-5)
Best Wins: UNC, Duke, Florida State
Worst Losses: Harvard, St. Louis

BC beat Virginia and should be all set. They get Duke today with a chance lock it up.

Maryland (18-12, 61, 28, 3-7, 7-10, 2-6)
Best Wins: UNC, Mich State
Wost Losses: Virginia, Morgan State

Maryland got a nice win against NC State yesterday to keep their hopes alive. They still have a lot or work to do, however. Beating Wake tonight would be a good way to start, but that still may not be enough.

San Diego State (20-8, 43, 66, 1-5, 5-7, 5-4)
Best Wins: Utah, UNLV (x3)
Worst Losses: Wyoming

Beating a team three times is very difficult. The Aztecs did just that last night, knocking off the Running Rebels for the third time this season and giving their tournament chances a huge boost. They get BYU tonight, and a win against the Cougars probably gets SDSU a bid.

Temple (19-11, 39, 50, 1-5, 4-8, 9-8)
Best Wins: Tennessee
Worst Losses: Buffalo, Miami OH, Long Beach State, UMass, La Salle

Temple picked up a win last night that they needed, but the Owls still probably need to beat Xavier today to have a real chance. Remember, they played 17 of their 30 games on the road, and two more on a neutral court.

Utah State (26-4, 28, 137, 1-1, 2-3, 10-3)
Best Wins: Utah
Worst Losses: Boise State, Nevada

Utah State is not getting an at-large bid. They have 12 wins against teams that are 200+ in the RPI, another five against teams that are 150+, and they have one win of significance. If they had beaten St. Mary's, Nevada, and Boise State, and were coming into this tournament 29-1, then it would be a different story. But they didn't. Win the WAC.

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