I realize this will likely never come to pass, but the latest ESPN Bracketology has us as a #7 seed, first round match-up vs. Stanford, needing to beat Texas A & M (2) and Salukis or Marquette (3/6) to reach the Elite 8.
I wouldn't mind that draw one bit.
why would you not mind that draw? there would be zero chance of going very far with that draw. there are plenty of soft teams or teams that we match up well against that we can beat and texas a&m (with acie law), marquette and so ill are not 3 of them. texas tech and indiana are easier 10s for us, wisconsin is a much easier 2 (i know we beat gtown in 2006 but they are a lot better now), and notre dame, memphis and pitt are easier 3/6. i think that oregon's guards would give us problems and pitt's experience would be a problem.
My biggest fear is that we might slip to an 8 seed and have to play someone like UCLA or Kansas in the 2nd round. So while A & M would be a tough opponent, I think we would have a decent shot. I agree with K that our progress has been masked by a brutal ACC schedule these past few weeks and so am looking forward to getting outside the conference. I think we could fare well in an underdog role if we can get past the 1st round.
Haven't seen Stanford a lot this year but they seem to be sliding lately(admittedly in a tough Pac 10) and don't typically pose big match-up problems for us.
I was also pretty underwhelmed with the Salukis watching them vs. Creighton this past weekend, and while they play great D, what big wins do they have this year besides Butler?
The MVC teams have figured out the RPI. Southern Illinois played only 2 teams with RPIs 200+. Those teams kill your RPI, especially for midmajors who don't get the chance to play the top RPI teams to balance out. So Southern Illinois has played a whole bunch of teams that are 40-120 in the RPI and put up a good record going against these teams who have good records themselves. If you look at kenpom's site, of the top 25 RPI teams, there are only 2 teams that have played 1 team in the bottom portion of the RPI, Southern Illinois, and UNLV. Even then, their SOS is 29 and 36 respectively. Good, but not great. But they put up good records against those teams, and have no bad losses to overcome.