Blog Entry

Jam packed Saturday

Posted on: March 3, 2012 2:20 am
There have been no changes to the bracket the last couple of days, but it is sure to change tomorrow as many teams end their regular seasons, and three conferences crown their tournament champions.

The Atlantic Sun, Big South and Ohio Valley conferences will decided their automatic qualifiers Saturday.  All bubble teams will be watching the OVC game closely as Tennessee State tries to steal an at-large bid away when it faces Murray State.  The Racers are in the NCAAs, win or lose.

Harvard can also clinch the Ivy League title with a win at Cornell and a loss by Penn to Yale.

Everyone will be talking about North Carolina and Duke, which could have top seed implications, but the games involving teams trying to fight their way into the bracket are more interesting.

West Virginia is at South Florida in a battle of bubble teams.  The winner isn't necessarily a lock and the loser isn't necessarily eliminated, but the winner could have a leg up on the loser if they are competiting for a spot in the bracket.

Texas has a chance to make a big splash, and fill a big hole in its tournament profile, when it travels to Kansas.  The Longhorns do not have a win away from home of any significance, but I think it's safe to say, winning at Phog would be significant.

Northwestern will try to keep its number of bad losses at zero as it goes on the road to play Iowa.  The Hawkeyes have been playing much better the last few weeks, but they are not a tournament team, so it's a must win for the Wildcats.

Washington can wrap up an outright Pac-12 championship with a win at UCLA.

Finally, BYU has a chance to pick up its best win of the season when it faces Gonzaga in the semifinals of the WCC tournament.  The Cougars beat the Zags at home earlier this year.


Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:24 pm

Jam packed Saturday

So, by your argument, you would put Kansas St in before Iowa State because of "road wins"???? Iowa State beat Kansas State TWICE including once on the road, they beat everybody in the Big 12 conference at least once (except for Missouri) including wins over 2 top 10 teams (Kansas and Baylor) Kansas States conference record was 10-8, but they deserve to be in because of Road wins???? As far as the little schools, they dont get in because 90% of there schedule is against teams that cant beat some high school teams. Don't get me wrong, I love rooting for the little schools when they make a run in the tournament, but a school like Oral Roberts does not deserve to take the place of a Northwestern or Iowa State or Texas just because they were able to win more games when they dont come close to the level of competitiion that these schools face on a daily basis throughout the year.

Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:10 pm

Jam packed Saturday

Please explain to me the logic behind making the 4 seed of the Big 12 Tournament a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament???? I know the Big 12 is good, but come on!!!!!!

Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:18 pm
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Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:16 am

Jam packed Saturday

The Committee looks at ALL games, not just conference games. Iowa was TERRIBLE in the non-conference (a loss to the Campbell Camels, anyone?) and has an RPI higher than 100.....there is no rational argument for Iowa over a Northwestern team that has an RPI in the 50s against the 9th hardest schedule in college basketball (and who took Michigan to OT twice and lost, lost to OSU by 2, lost to Purdue by 2, and lost to Illinois by 1 this season.....)

Keep in mind, Iowa also got the conference's worst team (Nebraska) twice (Northwestern only played them once), and only faced the top teams in the conference (Michigan, OSU, MSU) once each (Northwestern played MSU once, but the other two twice each).  In other words, you damn well better believe Northwestern would be above .500 in the Big Ten if they played Iowa's conference slate. 

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:05 am

Jam packed Saturday

Duke got blown out by Ohio State....and Northwestern just forced Ohio State to hit a last second shot for a victory. I'd hardly say losing to Ohio State at Ohio State is a bad loss, regardless of margin.

Northwestern's consistency is damn impressive....any team can get lucky/up for a great opponent (or catch a great opponent sleeping), but it shows a lot more mental strength/physical consistency to play and beat every bad team (RPI higher than 100) that you play, especially when those teams are gunning for you.  I'd say Northwestern's record against its schedule is MUCH more impressive than, say, Cincinnati's, or WVU's, or anyone of the bubble teams from the Pac12.

Northwestern will probably go dancing with a win vs. Iowa, and a win in the first round of the B1G guarantee it, they need to win 2 games in the Big Ten tourney. 

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:21 am

Jam packed Saturday

It's that time of the year when the NCAA positions itself to screw over all the 'little' teams which have had great seasons in favor of getting more Big Six power conference teams (particularly Big East teams) into the NCAA tournament.  It is true that these smaller teams have played weaker schedules (often because the Big Six Conferences avoid them), and many have lost to some low RPI teams (often bitter rivals).  Many have not beaten a Top 20 team, but then few have had many chances and generally have had to play an AWAY game in these David Goliath matchups (Kansas's only home loss of the season to Davidson being a major exception).  Still, it is impressive that many of these teams (Oral Roberts, Drexel, VCU) have won 10 or more games on the road.  That to me shows they can compete.  When you are a Bubble Team and you have only three or fewer AWAY wins (Mississippi St, UConn, WVa, Northwestern) and you are arguing you deserve to be in the Dance, because you lost to a lot of good teams, who can take you seriously? particularly if you also have some losses to teams with RPIs > 100, your argument against the 'little' teams. Maybe there should be a minimum number of AWAY wins required to qualify?  Is five too many?  That would eliminate Miami, Colorado, Texas, Seton Hall, Iowa St and Harvard (unless the team won their conference of course). Some 'little' teams like Dayton and Colorado St would also be eliminated fropm the Bubble, but those truly have no business getting an at large selection anyway. 
If other Big Xix conference teams must be chosen, take those like Cincinnati (6 away wins), Oregon (7 away wins), Kansas St (6 away wins), all of which have lost some bad games, but have beaten some of the better teams and have winning records in their conferences.

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 7:44 am

Jam packed Saturday

It all depends on how you define a "bad loss." No, Northwestern hasn't lost to any terrible teams. But it got absolutely blown out at home by Baylor (69-41) and on the road by OSU (87-54). They also got shellacked pretty good in back to back games at Wisconsin (20 pts) and Minnesota (23 pts). The margin of defeat in those losses looks pretty bad to me. Northwestern is holding on primarily by virtue of an upset win over Michigan State. But they really do have to defeat Iowa and reach the Big 10 semis, in my view, if they want to have a chance to dance.

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:08 am

Jam packed Saturday

No bad losses for Northwestern but almost no good wins. How can they even be considered a possible tourney team. Don't downplay Iowa who has a better conference record and with a win here will end the conference season at 8-8 in what is generally considered the top conference this season. Not a fan of either team but outside of a feel good story how can anyone in their right mind even think about putting Northwestern in the big dance. If Iowa wins they deserve an invite.

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