Saturday, March 13, 2010

Schmolik Bubble Watch (3/13/10 AM) - Updated RPI #'s

Schmolik Bubble Watch

Hello, college basketball fans!

Updated: March 12, 2010

It's time for Schmolik's Bubble Watch. For many teams, this is a make or break week. Bubble Watch analyzes who is on the bubble and their chances of making the NCAA's.

First, teams that I feel are locks for the tournament. As always, I reserve the right to change my mind during the week. Automatic Bids not included. (* Still alive for automatic bid).

ACC: Duke*, Maryland, Clemson, Florida State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech*
A-10: Temple*, Xavier*, Richmond*
Big East: Syracuse, West Virginia*, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Georgetown*, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame
Big 10: Ohio State*, Purdue*, Michigan State, Wisconsin
Big 12: Kansas*, Kansas State*, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri
C-USA: Texas El Paso*
MWC: New Mexico, Brigham Young, UNLV*, San Diego State*
Pac 10: California*
SEC: Kentucky*, Vanderbilt*, Tennessee*
WAC: Utah State*
WCC: Gonzaga

Bubble Teams Still Alive for Automatic Bid
A-10: Rhode Island
Big 10: Minnesota, Illinois
Pac 10: Washington
SEC: Mississippi State

Party Crashers Still Alive for Automatic Bid
ACC: Miami, NC State
C-USA: Houston
WAC: New Mexico State

Total # Locks: 35 (not counting Big East, Big 12, and MWC champs)
Minimum # At Large Locks: 29
Automatic Bids: 31
Remaining Bids: 5
As of Now: 7 teams in contention. I may return some teams to consideration between now and Sunday.

Stats courtesy of Rankings are as of March 12, 2010 morning.

Thursday/Early Friday Update: Butler now automatic bid, Marquette, Notre Dame, Utah State, UNLV added to locks. Arizona State, Seton Hall, South Florida removed.

Friday Update: Mississippi removed from consideration. Kent State added to bubble list.

RPI/ Conf or Non Conf RPI: Good RPI is 30's or higher, marginal is 40's, poor is 50's or below.
*Last 10 games: 7-3 or better is a strength, 5-5 or lower a weakness.
SOS/Non Conf SOS: Good is top 20, bad is below 100.
Top 25 games: Strength: Two or more, Weakness: Zero
Top 50 games: Strength: Four or more, Weakness: One or fewer
Bad losses: Weakness: Home losses to teams below 100 in RPI, Loss to teams below 200 in RPI

* lists “Last 10” in their RPI data. Although the last 10 games or last 12 games has been removed as an official criteria, the official bracket procedures state “chronological results” are considered so a poor or strong finish may still matter.

Bubble Teams (In/Out as of Last Schmolik 64 Update)


Virginia Tech (In)

Strengths: Conference RPI (39), Bubble wins: at Georgia Tech
Weaknesses: RPI (56), Non Conf RPI (100), Non Conf SOS (342!), no Top 25 wins

Tournament Result: Lost ACC 1st round game to Miami (seeded 12th in conference).

Outlook: As of Friday AM, Virginia Tech’s RPI was 52. Expect it to drop after losing to Miami. Great ACC profile (although loss to Miami hurts), horrible non conference profile. If the Selection Committee wishes to make a statement about non conference scheduling, look for the Hokies to get the shaft. If Georgia Tech upsets Miami, don’t be surprised if Georgia Tech passes Virginia Tech in the ACC pecking order.

Atlantic 10

Rhode Island (Out)

Strengths: RPI (38), Non Conf RPI (5!)

Weaknesses: Conf RPI (85), 5-5 in last 10 games, no top 25 wins, only one top 50 win

Should Be In If: They make the A-10 final, beating Temple
Should Be On the Bubble If: They lose to Temple

Outlook: If the A-10 will get another at large bid, it will be Rhode Island. They have the highest RPI, a terrific non conference RPI, and wins over Dayton and Charlotte.

Big East

No Bubble Teams

Big 10

Illinois (Out)

Strengths: Three Top 25 wins (Vanderbilt, at Wisconsin, vs Wisconsin in Big 10 tournament), Five Top 50 wins
Weaknesses: RPI (69), Non Conf RPI (123), Non Conf SOS (105), 5-5 in last 10 games (including 5 of last 7), Bubble Loss: Home to Minnesota

Should Be In If: They make the Big 10 final, beating Ohio State
Should Be On the Bubble If: They lose.

Outlook: Clearly have only one strength (quality wins), but it’s the one that the NCAA (at least according to almost everyone in the media) seems to like the most and teams have in the past gotten away with poor RPI numbers and poor finishes if they have a few quality wins. The RPI did crack the top 70 although still a very questionable RPI (and a loss to Ohio State probably drops it below 70 although I imagine not by much). Minnesota winning throws a wrench into things as the closer the two get in profile, you have to give the edge to Minnesota.

Minnesota (Out)

Strengths: Two Top 25 wins (vs Butler, Wisconsin), Four Top 50 wins
Weaknesses: RPI (68), Conf RPI (61), Non Conf RPI (74), Bad Losses: at Indiana, Home to Michigan

Should Be In If: They make the Big 10 final, beating Purdue.
Should Be On the Bubble If: They lose.

Outlook: With a lot of teams falling out, Minnesota is making a last ditch case to get in. They clearly have the top wins and even better a win at Illinois. In many ways, they are just like Illinois, lousy RPI numbers but good wins. Those bottom feeder Big 10 teams really hurt the Big 10 in RPI, not only Illinois and Minnesota but Ohio State and Michigan State (not even in the top 25). In conference, Illinois did finish a game ahead and had a tougher Big 10 RPI/SOS. Here’s a couple of scenarios I didn’t think were possible at the start of the week: 1) Minnesota would be the 5th Big 10 team instead of Illinois, 2) The Big 10 could actually get SIX teams in the NCAA’s. Hey, why not? Should Illinois and Minnesota play in the Big 10 final, can you say only the winner gets in?

Big 12
No Bubble Teams

Conf USA

No Bubble Teams


No bubble teams.

Pac 10

Washington (In)

Strengths: Non Conf RPI (23), 8-2 in last 10 games, Two top 25 wins (Texas A&M, California)

Weaknesses: Conf RPI (67), Bad Losses: Home to USC and Home to Oregon

Should Be In If: Probably can’t be sure unless they win it all.
Should Be On the Bubble If: They lose.

Outlook: The way things are going for Washington, it looks like they should be in. Certainly Stanford’s upset helped them win but prevented the Huskies from getting a quality win. Of course they can remove all doubt by winning over Cal.


Florida (In)

Strengths: Conference RPI (37), Bubble Wins (Mississippi State),

Weaknesses: RPI (54), Non Conf RPI (77), Non Conf SOS (107), 4-6 in last 10 games, Bubble Loss (vs Mississippi State in SEC Tournament), Bad Loss: Home vs South Alabama

Tournament Update: Lost to Mississippi State in the SEC SF.

Outlook: Florida had beaten Mississippi State in the regular season already but in Gainesville. You would think MSU’s win in the SEC would be worth more. Still, considering Mississippi State had a bye helped. In addition, while Florida beat Michigan State and Florida State, Mississippi State has no top 25 wins. I’m not convinced that MSU is an automatic over Florida. The worst thing that happened Friday to the Gators was them losing to Mississippi State. The second worst thing probably was Minnesota beating Michigan State. It put Minnesota into bubble consideration and took away one of Florida’s Top 25 wins, leaving them just Tennessee.

Mississippi State (Out)

Strengths: Bubble Wins: vs Florida in SEC Tournament, Sweep over Mississippi

Weaknesses: RPI (63), Conf RPI (51), Non Conf RPI (71), Non Conf SOS (209), no top 25 wins, just one top 50 win, Bubble loss: at Florida, Bad Loss: Home vs Rider

Should Be In If: Makes the SEC final
Should Be On the Bubble If: Loses

Outlook: See Florida. While I don’t think it’s a done deal Mississippi State will be considered ahead of Florida, I guarantee they will be considered ahead of Ole Miss or there will be a lot of bad blood in that state between the two schools this upcoming year.




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