Sunday, February 17, 2008

An Orange Guide: Life on the Bubble - Who to root against

As an Orange fan, I sit here watching Wake Forest upset Duke and I realized something. Wake Forest is going to all of a sudden be on the bubble.

At 16-8 with the win, it won't matter that the Decons are somewhere around 70 in the RPI when they wake up tomorrow morning. It won't matter that the Schedule Strength is somewhere in the mid 130's, what will matter is that Wake could now be the next team that the ACC deserves. Because after all, the ACC is the top conference in the land, and only selecting four teams or heavens to Betsy three if you don't call Maryland's name just isn't acceptable. Not when other conferences are getting six or seven or maybe even eight teams, and the for crying out loud they are talking about five from the Atlantic 10. The Atlantic Coast Conference deserves better, and now maybe Wake can give it to them. Or at least the committee can give it to Wake.

So if you're an Orange fan, yes you like to see Duke lose, but it could have long standing implications on how many games your Orange plays this year. It might point SU straight in the direction of the NIT once again. So don't revel in that Dukie loss too long. Instead, start thinking about who you need to be rooting against.

Root against Baylor. Sure its been a great story in Texas. But the Bears are a bubble team and they could get your spot. There is no RPI implication for you either.

Root for Cornell. The Big Red are likely to get in the Big Dance with an Ivy title, that will help the vs. tournament teams record. Its kinda cheap, but we need it.

Root against Oregon. I think the Ducks, based on the high strength of schedule might be a bigger threat than Cal or Arizona State. But don't root for them either.

Root against Florida or Mississippi. It would probably be good if Ole Miss just fell off the face of the earth. And they are trying at 3-7 in the SEC. But if that doesn't happen root against the Gators. But none of that at the expense of getting Kentucky back into it.

Root for St. Mary's. The Gaels need to beat Kent on Saturday. The Golden Flashes are starting to have one of those resumes that could get them an at-large bid if they fail in the MAC Final, especially if they win in California this weekend.

Root for Western Kentucky. At least in the game against South Alabama. Remember them from the NIT last year. I think if South Alabama loses this game, then the Sun Belt is a one-bid conference. But if USA keeps rolling they could get an at-large bid if they don't win the automatic.

Root for St. Joseph's, Siena and Rhode Island. Those three teams can do some good to keep the Orange RPI headed in the right direction.

Root against New Mexico - The Lobos are 20-6. The Mountain West looks like it could be a two-bid league. But if the Lobos make a push for three it spells trouble in the great white north.

Root against Houston - Could the committee deny a Cougar team at 27-6 that has three losses to Memphis? That would be a big question in that room. I'd feel a lot better if they had another loss or two on the docket.

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