Late last night/early this morning, Clement posed a series of questions. Tonight, I provide answers to those questions that surround the NCAA Tournament.
"Quin Snyder Who?"
Blake Griffin goes for 16 and 20, yet the Oklahoma Sooners lose to Missouri (who is 18-0 at home btw). Meanwhile, Kansas loses @ (2-12 in conference) Texas Tech in a relative 19-point laugher.
Q: With that in mind: has Oklahoma ruined their chances at a #1 seed?
A: For starters, I projected Oklahoma was the #6 overall team in the Big XII despite projecting them to win their conference tournament. Why is this the case? They lack the quality wins that the top 3 Big East and top 2 ACC teams have. Not to mention, Oklahoma has often played to the level of their competition, needing to pull away late in games against inferior competition. While "style points" get scrutinized more often in college football, it will be difficult to argue that OU has a stronger resume than the aforementioned teams, as well as Michigan State and Wake Forest.
"Missing in Action"
Marquette thumped Pitt in the opening stretch of the second half - with a 21-5 run out of the gates - but couldn't seal the deal, ultimately losing 90-75 to DeJuan Blair and company (largely due to a 21-2 run of their own).
Q: Is the loss of senior guard and captain Dominic James simply too devastating to take the Golden Eagles seriously come tourney time?
A: Yes. It was already going to be tough sledding for Marquette with James. Without James, Jerel McNeal is a shell of himself. In two road games against Louisville and Pittsburgh, he has shot 11-for-43 from the field.
"Really an Upset?"
Q: Let's make it simple. Whose home loss was more surprising: LSU's to Vanderbilt or Purdue's to Northwestern?
A: Because of their horrible strength of schedule, I have not drank the LSU Kool-Aid yet. Don't get me wrong, they have some quality guard play and Trent Johnson is an excellent Xs and Os coach. That said, the Purdue's loss was more surprising, because I thought they were turning the corner. I thought wrong. That Kevin Coble is some player!
Q: Admit it, after tonight's loss to Georgia Tech...even the staunchest Miami (Florida-style) supporters have to shut their yaps. Right?
A: Absolutely. Miami lost a must-win game against an ill-disciplined yet talented Georgia Tech team. It was a must-win game because the value of their best OOC win is decreasing by the minute. It's not quite over for Miami because bubble teams continue to lose and they can make up plenty of ground during Championship Week.
"It's So Hard To Say Goodbye..."
Q: Is it possible that both SEC stalwarts Kentucky (losing to Georgia) and Florida (losing to Mississippi State) sealed their bubble fates with damaging losses tonight?
A: First off, thank you, Boyz II Men. Second, the Florida/Kentucky tussle this weekend is an at-large bid elimination game. Third, I think it is possible for the winner to have a chance an at-large bid if they make the SEC Tournament Final.
"Mired in the Muck"
Q: Is it possible a mid-major (i.e. Creighton, Siena, St. Mary's, Davidson) was the big winner with SO MANY bubble teams losing in the past 48 hours (Va. Tech, Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, Miami (Fl), Georgetown, Notre Dame, Kansas State)? Or, was it a major conference squad like Providence, Texas A&M, or Arizona (who does draw Cal tomorrow)?
A: It's too early to say. These smaller tournaments must first happen, but Creighton and Siena are definitely benefitting while St. Mary's and Davidson are not far behind. Other potential winners are Rhode Island and Washington State. Both are peaking at the right time and have resumes that look better with every passing loss by every bubble team.
"Isn't this a FOOTBALL Conference?"
No it isn't a trivial question this time. Minnesota moves to 9-8 in the Big 10 with a HUGE home victory against Wisconsin. Next up: Michigan.
Q: What are we mere mortals to make of Big Ten bubble squads Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, and even Northwestern? A simple in/out (as of tonight) would suffice.
A: Here are my thoughts ...
Penn State: IN
Ohio State: IN