Sunday, March 02, 2008

If Today Were Selection Sunday

As far as bubble teams go right now there are truly more teams that deserve not to get bids then there are teams that deserve to get bids. So what that does is give a lot of teams hope.

Anyhow, here is how I see it....

IN (1): Cornell (IVY)

LOCKS (28 - and assuming 11 get automatic bids): North Carolina, UCLA, Duke, Memphis, Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Xavier, Indiana, Stanford, Marquette, Louisville, Connecticut, Drake, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Washington State, Butler, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Clemson, West Virginia, USC, Pittsburgh, Arizona

SHOULD BE INS (8 - and assuming 3 get automatic bids): Kansas State, VCU, Davidson, Texas A&M, St. Mary's, Miami, BYU and Illinois State

So that leaves us with 12 spots for the true bubble teams. As of right now, I've got 22 bubble teams. But of those two teams, I'm going to give automatic berths to South Alabama and Kent. Both would likely get in without them, but Kent's loss yesterday certainly didn't help.

Anyhow, here are the 12 teams that I would put in and the 8 teams that I would leave out. I tried to be as unbiased as I could, and I looked at three criteria - RPI, Schedule Strength, and a computer ranking that has helped me identify who will get in during the years.

The first six teams qualify on all three criteria....

Baylor - Bears are probably close to that lock status.

Oklahoma - The Sooners are pretty much golden now too. Good RPI and great SOS.

Mississippi State - Bulldogs RPI is strong enough and I can't see them missing.

Ohio State - Buckeyes continue to plummet, but others are plummeting more.

Arkansas - Hogs are very solid in their numbers.

Syracuse - Really. I've tried very hard to find ways to keep them out, because I don't want to think they have a chance. But the number are there for the Orange right now in comparison to the other bubble teams.

Here are the next six teams that I'd include right now....

Massachusetts - Minutemen have to be feeling pretty good about chances right now. They seem to be the only A-10 bubble team performing down the stretch.

UNLV - Great RPI (27) for the Rebels has them pretty close to securing bid.

New Mexico - All of a sudden the Mountain West is possibly going to have more bids than the A-10. New Mexico survives even with a questionable RPI and a shaky SOS.

Western Kentucky - Sun Belt is likely going to get two bids. The Hilltoppers are deserving.

Arizona State - I still can't believe an RPI near 70 is going to grab an at-large bid, but the Sun Devils win over USC yesterday got them back in my field.

Maryland - Terps are in need of win tonight against Clemson - or the RPI will fall even lower than current 57.

Here are the 8 teams that I looked at, but opted against.

St. Joseph's - The Hawks lost to Saint Louis this week. That and the opening loss to SU were enough to bounce them.

UAB - I just don't think the Blazers have done enough against a mediocre schedule.

Virginia Tech - A strong finish is helping the Hokies and they still may get there.

Villanova - Cats are somehow back into the equation but the loss to Marquette this week keeps them out for now.

Kentucky - The loss at Tennessee today certainly doesn't help, but it doesn't end the run either.

Florida - If I was picking just on who I thought should get in, I'd include the Gators. But the numbers indicate otherwise. RPI of 61 and SOS of 105 behind most of the other contenders.

Houston - Very similar to UAB but against a weaker schedule, so they can't be included.

Wake Forest - I think the Deacs chances are done.

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