The bubble is really becoming interesting. You tell me the difference between teams like Syracuse, West Virginia, Illinois, San Diego State, Purdue, Stanford, USC, Alabama, Florida State, Clemson and Texas Tech, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. They are all about even. Yet 5-6 of them are getting in, and the rest are not. Wouldn’t want to be on the committee, that’s for sure.
With 65 spots to fill, there look to be 16 conferences that will only get one bid. They are:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Ivy, Metro Athletic, Mid American, Mid-Continent, Mid-Eastern, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southland, Southwestern, Sunbelt.
That leaves 49 open spaces. Here are the current locks:
ACC (6): (UNC, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia)
Atlantic 10 (1): Conference Champion – Xavier?
Big East (6): (Pittsburgh, Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, Notre Dame)
Big Ten (4): (Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State)
Big 12 (3): (Texas A&M, Kansas, Texas)
Colonial Athletic (1): Conf Champion (VCU, Old Dominion, Drexel, Hofstra
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Horizon League (1): Butler??
Missouri Valley (1): Southern Illinois
Mountain West (3): Air Force, BYU, UNLV
Pac 10 (4): UCLA, Arizona, Washington State, Oregon
SEC (4): Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Southern (1): Davidson or Appalachian State
West Coast (1): Conference Champion – Gonzaga?
WAC (1): Nevada
That is 38 more spots, that leaves 11 spaces left. By my count on the bubble you have:
ACC (3) – Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech
Big East (2) –West Virginia, Syracuse
Big Ten (3) - Illinois, Purdue, Michigan
Big 12 (3) : Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
Colonial Athletic (1): Either VCU, Old Dominion, Drexel, Hofstra
Miss Valley (2): Missouri State, Creighton
Mountain West (1) San Diego State
Pac 10 (2): Stanford, USC
SEC (2) : Alabama, Georgia,
Southern (1): Davidson or Appalachian State
That is 20 spaces. So 9 of them won’t get in. It is tight. One the outside looking in right now I think is Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Kansas State, Missouri State, San Diego State, Oklahoma State and Georgia. But all of this is subject to change, of course. Also, if teams like Butler, Nevada, Memphis and Xavier lose in their tourneys, the bubble gets smaller.
Final note about Winthrop. The tightness listed above really hurts them. They play their tournament on their home court. If they lose, it will be to a team with a sub 150 RPI, and before that they will only play teams worse than that (which will also hurt their RPI). Bottom line – they must win their tournament, IMHO.
P.S. Awesome new Board
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I think FSU should be in if they beat Miami and their first round tourney game. I'd take them over just about any of the other BCS conference bubble teams. Alabama - overrated all year long, Pac10 - overrated in general (except maybe UCLA), etc.
Same should apply to GT (in with 8-9 record), esp. if they beat the Heels.
That's if I was on the cmte, anyways...
FSU should probably come away from Miami with a win. I'm not sure how they will fare in the first round of the ACC tourney, though. Odds are that they will play Clemson or NCSU, neither of which is an easy win for them, even with the game being played in Florida.
GT has a tough situation, hosting UNC and BC back to back. Winning the former would do a lot for them, winning the latter would keep them alive. If they win both they're in, but if they drop both they might be done.
Clemson, I think, is just out. The absolutely have to beat Miami on Wednesday to even be in the conversation. Then they need to come home from Blacksburg with a W, no small feat for a team that's been abysmal in the second half of the season. Even if they collect those wins, they probably still need a win in the ACC tourney, perhaps even two.
Here's the problem as I see it: the ACC currently has 6 tourney locks, but the overall quality of the conference this year really begs at least 7. The problem is, I don't really see any team FSU, Clemson, or GA Tech as demonstrably better than the other two. Unless one of them gets hot and snags a big win this week (e.g., Tech over kuralonna), the conference reaches the finish line with those three sporting similar on-the-edge resumes. While they're all worthy of consideration, I don't think any of them scream "tournament team." The committee obviously won't take all three, and sadly, barring some sort of unexpected separation by one of the teams (read: at least one victory by a team that is supposed to lose), I fear they'll just opt for none of them.
However, it's not beyond the committee to make decisions that leave people going "how come they got in and we didn't" so we'll have to see.
The ACC tournament always gives teams a chance to shake things up a bit - I'm looking forward to two weekends from now (can me make it 8 of the last 9 ?!)
Personally, I think Tech either takes care of business this week against UNC or they falter and then also lose to BC. I also think FSU will plays well when Douglas gets back (for the ACC tourney, I think) thereby cementing their bid. I think Clemson is done and Va Tech will be playing for the ACC title on Sunday at home and will not lose.
-Jason "if the Big East gets 7 or 8 bids and the ACC gets 6, I'll freak" Evans
I hope everyone above is correct; but I fear that the anti-ACC committee members could decide to take only 5. If a team like UVA, VA Tech or BC finishes poorly, then it becomes very easy to leave them out. RPI, wins against Top 50, etc. don't mean much if for example the committee chooses to pick a the 2nd team from the Southern Conference to "give everyone a chance".
This year, I think that the overall quality of the mid-majors is down. Look at the Missouri Valley Conference for example: This time last year, people were suggesting they might get as many as six teams in, and they did end up getting four. This year, they might be a one-bid league. The problem is, the casual fan, who in the end is the real justification for the GDP of Poland (Oops! I mean the CBS/NCAA television contract) wants to see those little guys. Especially now that everyone's breathlessly searching for "the next George Mason" (who, incidentally, we ain't gonna see for at least another 10 years), middle-of-the-pack BCS conference squads have a tougher row to hoe. They may well be (probably are?) superior teams in a lot of cases, but upon a casual glance, 24-4 just looks a lot better than 18-12, conferences be damned. Those solid but unspectacular major conference teams simply aren't sexy picks. For every team that sneaks in with a sub-.500 major conference record and barely misses the Sweet Sixteen a la FSU '98, there are 2 or 3 more who turn in totally forgettable first-round losses, followed by indignant histrionics by pundits everywhere.
I don't like that scenario, but the way I see it, them's the facts.
The better question is whether the mid-major flavor of the month takes a bid from Ga Tech or FSU. But there's no way we get fewer than 6, imo.
i completely disagree about the media mid-major obsession existing before last year. the committee left missouri st out last year and they had the highest rpi EVER for a team passed over. moreover, gonzaga routinely got the shaft in terms of seeding. it wasn't until the last 2 years that they got a seed in line with their resume (they were ranked 6th in 2002 and were seeded as a 6!) one of the big problems with the committee is that it is stacked with people from mid-majors who have their own agendae. it is going to be very interesting to see if the mid-major lovefest/anti acc bias will continue this year.