Thursday, February 17, 2011

Around the NCAA - February 17, 2011

Wednesday night went mostly as scripted.  The home teams won the two big ranked battles, with Purdue quickly making Badger fans forget the Ohio State game and Connecticut cooling off red-hot Georgetown.  The current result is Purdue getting a leg-up for a 3 seed over Wisconsin and Connecticut stopping their seed free-fall that had them at #1 just a few weeks ago.

The top teams in Conference USA faced off and both of these match-ups went to the home side.  Memphis completed a season sweep of UAB and Southern Mississippi put a wrench in UTEP's regular season title hopes.  I think this will end up a 2 bid league, but your guess is as good as mine who will join Memphis in the dance.

Did St. Mary's ruin their at-large chances?  If the Gaels lose at home to Utah State this weekend in Bracket Busters, it might be best to win the West Coast Conference Tourney.  Plus, Gonzaga is going to be gunning for them in the regular season finale as well.

Georgia blew a big lead at home to Vanderbilt and inched closer to the bubble.  With tough games remaining, the Bulldogs cannot afford a tailspin.

Cincinnati got a huge win to keep from falling into major bubble trouble.  It was not surprising based on how the Big East has just beaten each other up this year.

Finally, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Valparaiso took further hits to their at-large chances, although none were unexpected.

Thursday's Lighter Menu
Richmond at Temple - a chance for the Spiders to get more comfortable
Washington State at Arizona - the Cougars try to make a late run and need a signature win like this
DePaul at Providence - just to prove how light tonight's schedule is


  1. I absolutely hate how a "mid-major" like st. mary's is pretty much a near lock one day...and then 2 losses later they now need to win the WCC tournament?? If they lose to Utah St. on Saturday their resume should take ZERO hit. How come the power conference teams considered to be on the bubble can afford to lose and lose to quality teams and yet they are still safely on the bubble. Meanwhile IF st. mary's loses two games in a row (including one to a very good ncaa caliber team in Utah State) they are all the sudden in a free fall and better win ALL their remaining games?? Its absolutely retarded. Part of the problem is bloggers like you and others who publicly give these smaller conference teams these ultimatums. The selection committee whether subliminally or actively listens and reads, and then discriminates against mid majors all the time. You cant say "oh well st. mary's has no quality wins". Its apples and oranges comparing st. Mary's to a team like cincinnatti. Cincy has essentially lost every game to better competition...they have a FEW quality wins against big east middle tier teams. If you are going to say that St. Mary's in the Big East couldn't replicate their record, you are crazy. Its a matter of opportunity, and judging a team based on its conference and not on its own merits. Just because a team plays in a great conference (i.e. the big east) doesnt mean it is better than a team from the WCC for example. This whole notion of "locking up bids with a great win" for bubble team is ridiculous. Teams like Cincy have like 9 or 10 opportunities for "big wins". Just because they win 2 of them doesn't mean they are tourney-worthy. I would argue that the Utah States and George Masons and St. Mary's of the world would just as easily finish 10th in the big east as well...

  2. Just a couple things to point out -

    1) I posed the St. Mary's line as a question, it was not an opinion or statement of fact. They lost last night to a team with an RPI of 311 - no other at-large discussion team has a loss that low - it is just the type of loss that can make you worried. If they lose to Utah State and then in the West Coast tourney, they will have 7 losses - I believe the same number that got them left out a few years back. I just said it might be best to win the conference tourney. Why leave it to the committee.

    2) I still have them safely in my bracket, in fact, seeded the same number as Cincinnati (10). I am by no means a Cincinnati lover, but they have currently done enough to warrant a bid. They matched St. Mary's with one quality out-of-conference win (Xavier) and are above .500 in the nation's toughest conference. Cincinnati has also not lost to a team with an RPI lower than 23.


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