JR Swift’s Blog

What I’m Thinking About Today

Does anyone want to be in the tournament?

Posted by jrswift on March 13, 2008

Starting to look like no one really wants to make the field.  Plenty of blown opportunities today with a few more still possible.  Might be easier to talk about who did well today than who didn’t.  The Big East has definitely got 7 teams.  Whatever doubt existed about Pitt and West Virginia is gone.  Congratulations for earning it.  Still going in the Atlantic 10 is St. Joseph’s and Temple who won the games they needed to win.  Dayton couldn’t get it done against Xavier and things are not looking good for them.  UMass lost to Charlotte and may be in even worse shape.  Both teams need to hope for Xavier beating Charlotte in the finals.  Otherwise, someone else is going to get that second bid that I still think the Atlantic 10 is going to get.   UNLV barely escaped (at home) against TCU and may have hurt themselves more than they helped themselves.  They need to win tomorrow night against New Mexico or Utah or they may have to sweat a bit.  Also sweating a bit is Baylor.  The Bears did the unthinkable and lost to the worst team in the Big 12.  I actually dropped them to the bubble.  Texas A&M may now be in better shape as they have survived Iowa St and will have a shot against Kansas St. to lock up a bid.  UAB and Houston are done.  Stick a fork in them.  Neither one even managed to make the semi-finals so, what little hope they had is gone.  Oregon lost a chance to move up by losing to Washington St. and Arizona St. may be in trouble after losing to USC, which is now a lock.  We’ll see if Arizona can make its case against Stanford tonight.  Maryland just fell to BC and they are all but done.  Miami (F) is close to a lock now and can cripple Virginia Tech’s chances if they can win tomorrow.  Florida St. is a real long shot but, if they could beat North Carolina tomorrow. who knows?  As for the SEC, Florida is finished.  Losing to Alabama ends it as they had to have a deep tourney run to make a case.  No three-peat for Billy Donovan.  Ole Miss is still fighting it out with Georgia and they really need to win this one or it is hard to see them having much of a chance.  Villanova missed a golden opportunity by getting blown out by Georgetown.  It is tempting to throw them out but somebody has got to get in. Finally, things look pretty good for Kent St.  It wouldn’t hurt for them to win one more game and at least make the MAC final but, with all the other teams choking, they look pretty good.  BYU is now a sure thing.  They probably should have gotten that designation earlier but they have it now.

Looking at some of these bubble teams does not exactly fill one with confidence.  Teams that have a real chance to make the field like Virginia Tech, UMass and Illinois St. have practically no wins of any significance and it is hard to say that they “deserve” a bid.  Either the field is just too large or there are simply too many mediocre teams this year.  It might be a bit of both.  In any case, tomorrow is going to be very interesting.  Here’s the field again:

NCAA Tournament Field of 65

Automatic Bids (31) – Projected [31]

(Italics indicates Team in the Field)

(Bold indicates Team believed to be a lock)

America East – UMBC

Atlantic 10 – Xavier

ACC – North Carolina

Atlantic Sun – Belmont

Big 12 – Texas

Big East – Georgetown

Big Sky – Portland State

Big South – Winthrop

Big 10 – Wisconsin

Big West – Cal State-Northridge

Colonial – George Mason

Conference USA – Memphis

Horizon – Butler

Ivy – Cornell

Metro Atlantic – Siena

Mid American – Kent St.

Mid-Eastern – Morgan St.

Missouri Valley – Drake

Mountain West – BYU

Northeast – Mount St. Mary’s

Ohio Valley – Austin Peay

Pac-10 – UCLA

Patriot – American

SEC – Tennessee

Southern – Davidson

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

SWAC – Alabama St.

Summit – Oral Roberts

Sun Belt – Western Kentucky

West Coast – San Diego

WAC – Boise St.

At-Large Bids (34) – Projected [23]

(Bold indicates Team believed to be a lock)

Duke

Clemson

Miami (Fl)

Kansas

Kansas St.

Oklahoma

Louisville

Connecticut

Marquette

Notre Dame

Pitt

West Virginia

Purdue

Indiana

Michigan St.

Stanford

Washington St.

USC

Vanderbilt

Mississippi St.

South Alabama

Gonzaga

St. Mary’s

Bubble Teams [21]

Virginia Tech

Maryland

UMass

Dayton

St. Joseph’s

Temple

Baylor

Texas A&M

Syracuse

Villanova

Ohio St.

Virginia Commonwealth

Illinois St.

UNLV

New Mexico

Arizona

Arizona St.

Oregon

Arkansas

Kentucky

Mississippi

If you held a gun to my head on those last 11 teams, I’d let you go ahead and shoot.  OK…I wouldn’t.  At this point, I’m going to have to mostly go with teams that haven’t yet “screwed the pooch” lately and say Texas A&M, Baylor, Ohio St., UNLV, Arkansas,  Virginia Commonwealth, Illinois St., St. Joseph’s, Ole Miss, Arizona and Villanova.  I’m going with Temple, Arizona St., Dayton and Virginia Tech as next in line in case someone screws up and they will.  Stay tuned.

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