Friday, March 14, 2014

Schmolik 64 Bubble Update 3/14/14 AM

Hello, college basketball fans!

I will refer to bubble teams as those at large teams who were seeded 8 or below or those who just missed.

* Team eliminated from conference tournament

8 seeds

Kansas State* - Lost to Iowa State in QF. Expected and certainly not a bad loss. They're in.

George Washington - Plays Massachusetts in QF. Probably in even with a loss as UMass is a solid team.

SMU* - Lost to Houston in QF. This loss hurts but I feel they had plenty of leeway and they do have two wins over UConn and a win over Cincinnati. Probably will be a double digit seed but that keeps them away from a top seed in the first weekend so that might not be a bad thing.

UCLA - Beat Oregon in QF, SF vs. Stanford. They're in.

9 seeds

Nebraska - Plays Ohio State in QF. Pretty solid in even with a loss to the Buckeyes. Glad they didn't have to play Purdue even though they probably would have beaten the Boilermakers.

Colorado - Beat USC and California Berkeley, Plays Arizona in the SF. Win over Berkeley sealed the deal. They are in. Beat Arizona and they could be a 7 or better seed.

Baylor - Beat TCU and Oklahoma. Plays Texas in SF. Definitely in at this point, playing for seeding.

(The other #9 seed, Gonzaga, clinched an automatic bid).

10 seeds

Tennessee - Plays South Carolina in QF. Should be in if they win today, a loss would really hurt them. On one hand, they are stuck playing a lousy opponent. But had they played Arkansas and lost, Arkansas probably would have jumped them in the SEC pecking order so that would have hurt them too.

Dayton - Beat Fordham. Plays St. Joseph's in QF. I like their chances win or lose but a win cements their bid.

Arizona State* - Lost to Stanford in QF. Has to be sixth in the Pac-12 pecking order right now. They did sweep California so they clearly would get in over Cal (they both beat Arizona this year). I think they are still likely in at this point.

St. Joseph's - Plays Dayton in QF. The Hawks do have two wins over Dayton so they might still be ahead of the Flyers in the A-10 pecking order (unless Dayton makes the A-10 final). They would have ended up with a three game losing streak. I think they're still in with a loss but a win would lock them up.

11 seeds

Xavier - Beat Marquette. Plays Creighton in SF. I think the Marquette win is enough but another win over Creighton would be gravy.

BYU* - Lost to Gonzaga in F. RPI is still very high and they have wins over Stanford and Texas. I think they still make it.

Oklahoma State* - Beat Texas Tech, lost to Kansas in QF. Have a sub .500 conference record but probably has done enough to get in (recent win over Kansas probably has them dancing).

Stanford (play in) - Beat Washington State and Arizona State, Plays UCLA in SF. The SF most likely has them in.

Iowa* (play in) - Lost to Northwestern in 1st round. Finished sub .500 in conference. Their RPI (according to CBS is 54. They went 3-7 in their last 10, including three losses to teams clearly not in the NCAA field including Illinois at home and to Northwestern (Northwestern?) in the Big Ten Tournament. They don't belong in the field and I won't put them in. I don't care if they probably get in, they don't deserve to make the field.

12 seeds

Southern Mississippi (Listed as projected C-USA champion) - Beat UTEP, Plays Louisiana Tech in SF - Don't look now but their RPI stands at 29. It's starting to look harder to leave them out of the field the more they win especially when teams like Iowa choke.

Pittsburgh (play in) - Beat Wake Forest, Plays North Carolina in QF - No bad losses but no good wins. I think they've done enough to get in but a win over the Tar Heels certainly puts them in.

California (play in) - Lost to Colorado in QF - Probably 7th in the Pac-12 pecking order now and the Pac-12 has never had seven teams in the tournament I believe. The win over Arizona might be enough for them to sneak in. It depends on what else happens the next day or two.

Not in most recent projection

Minnesota - Beat Penn State, Plays Wisconsin in QF - Still just 9-10 in conference (same as Iowa). Probably needs a win to get in the field.

Missouri - Beat Texas A&M, Plays Florida in QF - Should be in easily if they can pull the unthinkable. Might be helped if Tennessee loses.

Providence - Beat St. John's, Plays Seton Hall in SF - Win over St. John's (on St. John's home floor at MSG) helps. Losing to Seton Hall might erase that though and they are clearly on the bubble at this point. Make the final and they are in.

Georgetown* - Lost to DePaul in 1st round - No way they get in.

Florida State - Beat Maryland, Plays Virginia in QF - Absolutely needs to beat the Cavaliers to get in. Even with the win, best other wins are vs. VCU and Massachusetts. Also lost to fellow bubbler Minnesota.

Teams that are clearly out but can put themselves in the discussion with big wins

North Carolina State - Beat Miami, Plays Syracuse in QF - Could make an argument they belong in over Florida State as they beat them. Also has a win at Pittsburgh as well as at Tennessee (bubble team). They did lose to Clemson though.

Illinois - Beat Indiana,  Plays Michigan in QF - Beat Michigan State (in East Lansing), Nebraska, Minnesota (in Minneapolis in only meeting this year) and Iowa (in Iowa City). Also have a win in St. Louis over fellow bubbler Missouri. Probably needs to win two (get to the final) to get in but stranger things have happened.

Clemson - Beat Georgia Tech, Plays Duke in QF - Already owns a win over Duke. If NC State and Clemson both pull upsets, I can see the winner in their SF matchup making the field.

Georgia - Plays Ole Miss in QF - Did finish 3rd in the SEC but behind Tennessee in the SEC pecking order. Very low in the RPI right now and a win over Ole Miss does nothing. They'd have to beat Kentucky to have a chance (a final run without beating UK probably wouldn't be enough either). Even a win over UK is nowhere near the quality of opponents that any of these teams above them can gain.

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