No. 12: Who’s The Last Team Out?
Of all the comments we get on the blog or via e-mail during the season, most are concerning the teams that we have in our Last Four In or Last Four Out. So, as we count down to Midnight Madness, we would be doing our loyal fans a disservice if we didn’t take a ridiculously early stab at who, come Selection Sunday, will see their bubble burst and who will sneak their way into the final field.
We won’t pick all four in and out this early, but here’s our attempt at predicting the Last Team In and Last Team out for 2007-2008:
Last Team Out:
What does the committee have against Mike Tranghese and the Big East? Two years ago, Cincinnati was mysteriously overlooked on Selection Sunday, and last year, the same fate befell Syracuse – a team that no one even had on the bubble heading into the season’s final weekend. In both cases, a middle-tier Big East team ended up as the last team out of the final Field of 65.
Who are we to mess with tradition?
Our Bold Prediction No. 12 is that Providence will be the last team out of this year’s NCAA tournament. Our rationale for this impossible-to-predict-at-this-point projection is as follows: Providence returns some decent junior talent in Sharaud Curry, Weyinmi Efejuku and Geoff McDermott, but without the graduated Herbert Hill, the Friars on paper are the seventh or eighth best team in the Big East. Their mediocre OOC schedule, which is “headlined” by games against Florida State and Boston College, leaves a lot to be desired as well. A bad non-conference season killed Syracuse last season and overshadowed the Orange’s 10-6 Big East mark. The same thing could be in the cards for the Friars, especially if they were to lose to either the Seminoles or the Eagles.
In the end, we think that the Big East will earn seven NCAA tourney bids, but we don’t think one of them will be Providence. The Friars will likely have a winning Big East record (we’ll say 10-8 for the sake of argument), but like Syracuse and Cincinnati, that won’t be enough.
Sorry Friars, you might as well not even play out this season.
You’re the Last Team Out.