Thursday, March 13, 2008


Today and tomorrow represent two of the most exciting days of the college basketball calendar, because teams on the bubble tend to show their true colors. As of Wednesday, we had a conservative estimate of 18 at-large bids for the taking. Here's a synopsis (will be updated through the night) of who's earned a bid, who's out of consideration, who's done playing but firmly on the bubble, who's one step closer to earning an at-large bid.

IN: West Virginia, BYU, Miami (FL)
OUT: UAB, Houston, Florida, Dayton, Maryland, UMass, Ole Miss

Bubble: Villanova, Baylor, Oregon
Stock Up: Texas A&M, Temple, St. Joseph's

Here are some quick hits on the day's events.
  • Though Villanova fought hard, two factors may crush them on Selection Sunday. First, they lost by 19 to Georgetown, who uncharacteristically made only 17 trifectas and shot a paltry 63% from behind the arc. Second, West Virginia effectively scored their biggest victory of the season and secured an at-large bid. UConn is not only the best team they've defeated all season, but they won on a neutral floor.
  • Barring a Memphis collapse, C-USA will be a one-bid league this season.
  • This season, I've been an avid supporter of Dayton, but that support for an at-large bid ended today. Though the Flyers played well today, their resume was built largely on results gained with Chris Wright (14-1 record), who did not play a single minute in the Atlantic 14 tournament. Staying in Atlantic City, Temple took care of business while UMass blew an 18-point lead in a stunning defeat to Charlotte. If Temple wins tomorrow, then we look pretty darn prophetic.
  • Florida was never in it against Alabama. Experience is what this young team requires, so the NIT may not be as worthless as it sounds. Staying in the SEC, nothing says "I want to watch the NCAA tournament" at home like letting Georgia shoot 54% from the field.
  • Baylor played its way back onto the bubble. They will likely remain in the field because they have some quality wins (Notre Dame on a neutral floor, versus Kansas State and at Texas A&M).
  • Arizona State not only played a scorching-hot USC team tight, they had a basket [unjustly] waved off in the final 17 seconds that would have tied the game. Oregon played well for the final 25 minutes in a defeat to Washington State (which the Cougars led from wire-to-wire), but I'm not in love with their prospects. On the subjective side, I saw too many easy baskets by WASU to take Oregon too seriously.
  • Losses for Houston and Maryland are crushing blows to VCU's resume.


Clement said...

1:25 am. Guess who just dropped two friends off in a shady spot in the 8-0-4 to take the Chinatown bus to NYC?


I also noted New Mexico trails Utah 67-60 as they approach the under-4 timeout.

Me thinks this could be very intriguing.

Especially if it derails a UNLV/New Mexico WAC semi-final.

Could UNLV lose out just as much as New Mexico (who has to be out one would think with a quarterfinal loss) as UNLV could use the win (ahem, on their home court) against a quality-opponent like "overrated" New Mexico?

Or is UNLV reaching the WAC (and perhaps losing to BYU in non-embarassing fashion) enough?


Sum said...

Question: Does O'Connor's presence on the selection committee help VCU's cause at all (even though I know it shouldn't)?