Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Three Pack For Tuesday

A look at the three most notable games (bubble-wise) on Tuesday's schedule:

Kansas State at Oklahoma State
The last Big XII at-large belongs to Texas A&M for now, but these two teams are also still in the mix for a bid. Kansas State was in our Field of 65 the last three weeks, but they are on the outside looking in this week after getting destroyed at Missouri on Wednesday. Oklahoma State wasn't even on the Next Four Out list in last week's bracket, but wins over Colorado and Texas now have them very much alive. Tonight, the Wildcats and Cowboys square off in what is essentially an elimination game for both. If Kansas State wins, they have a great chance at finishing 10-6 in conference (they host Colorado on Saturday in their season finale), which would be good enough to get them a bid. If Oklahoma State wins, they still have to face Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday in a game we fully expect them to lose. That would get the Cowboys to 9-7 and would put them in decent shape to get a bid if they were to win their first round Big XII tourney game (two wins would make them a lock). It's tough to bet against the Cowboys tonight considering the way they've played at home lately. They've won their last four conference home games, and on the season, they have lost just two conference home games - to Missouri by two back on Jan. 21 and to Oklahoma by eight on Jan. 26. Kansas State has road wins over Texas and Texas A&M on its resume, but they have struggled in their past two road games, winning by just four at Iowa State and getting smoked by the Tigers this past week.

Wake Forest at Maryland
When we put Maryland in the bracket back on Feb. 16, we did so based on the rationale that the Terps needed four wins in ther last five games to get a bid. They are halfway to that total - thanks to wins over Carolina and N.C. State - and if they get two more this week, they'll finish 9-7 in conference and lock up an at-large bid. Their biggest challenge obviously comes tonight at home against the Demon Deacons, who have won three out of four after losing three of four in one stretch. Maryland fans have to love their chances in this one for a couple of reasons - there isn't a guard in the country playing better right now than Greivis Vasquez, and they are playing a Wake team that has lost its last four road games (three of which came against non-tourney teams). As we've mentioned several times over the last couple of weeks, a 9-7 finish will get Maryland a bid. If they lose this game, beat Virginia, and finish 8-8, however, their spot in the field would not be guaranteed. Given their strong OOC resume, though, we feel very confident that an 8-8 Maryland team would get the nod over an 8-8 Virginia Tech or an 8-8 Miami team as long as Maryland won its first ACC tourney team and as long as the Hokies or Hurricanes don't go on a huge run to the semifinals.

Cincinnati at South Florida and Georgetown at St. John's
Now that Notre Dame has played its way into the NIT (just as we expected...cough, cough) the door has been flung open for the rest of the Big East bubble to stake ther claim at an at-large. If we had to do a bracket today, Providence would be in the field as the eighth Big East team, but right behind the Friars would be Cincinnati and Georgetown. For both the Bearcats and the Hoyas, their mission over the next two weeks is simple: win out and get to 10-8 and 8-10 respectively, then win two Big East tourney games, pray a little bit if you're Georgetown, and then you're in. Cincinnati's stretch run starts tonight in South Florida against a Bulls team that has lost 11 of its last 13. If the Bearcats can win tonight and finish up with a win over Seton Hall at home this weekend, they would enter the Big East tourney ahead of Georgetown in the pecking order, since they swept the Hoyas head-to-head., but behind Providence, who beat Cincinnati twice. Even above .500 in a brutal league, they would still need to win two Big East games to feel safe since their conference schedule was "easy" compared to some other Big East schools (they played Georgetown, Providence, and St. John's twice) and since they didn't do much out of conference. The Hoyas, meanwhile, becoming a very, very intruiging case if they finishing 8-10 and win two Big East tourney games. It's tough to ignore a sub-.500 Big East finish, but it's also hard to ignore wins at UConn and at Villanova, a neutral court win against Maryland, and home wins against Memphis and Syracuse. If the committee looks at "who you beat" and ignores some obvious warts on the Hoyas' resume, they could be a controversial at-large pick on Selection Sunday. First things first, though, they need knock off St. John's tonight and DePaul at home on Saturday. A Providence loss at Villanova would certainly help, too. That way, Georgetown (and Cincinnati) wouldn't have to worry about being the ninth team out of the Big East and could try to be the eighth in instead.

Also receiving votes: Florida State at Duke, Ohio State at Iowa, Virginia at Clemson, Utah at New Mexico

62 comments:

Brian said...

Brian said...

I also think Georgetown, though far from in, would present a compelling case for the committee closing 8-10 and 1 win the BET. However, a lot depends on who the team they lose to would be. If it is Providence or Cincinnati then I agree it is a must win. However, if they are matched up with Syracuse or WV a good showing in a loss might be enough to get them in. Before arguing too hard against this, please look at Arizona's resume last year. They were 19-14 (9-11) in a weaker conference and struggled more at the end of the year. Remember, if Georgetown finishes 8-10 and wins one in the BET they would be 4-1 in their last 5 before selection Sunday with the No.1 SOS and the best collection of marquee wins of any team on the bubble. (They are the ONLY team in the country to have beaten two teams in the top 5 right now). They also have 2 top-15 road RPI wins. I just don't see the committee leaving them out if there is any justification for taking them. They want to encourage teams to play hard schedules and leaving Gtown out under these circumstances would be a disincentive to do so. However, a lot will depend on other circumstances around the country. The Villanova win vs. ND was big as it moved their RPI up to 13. If they can go on any kind of run here at the end of the season and finish with top-10 RPI, Gtown would have 2 top-10 RPI road wins. Just don't see that being overlooked.

Anonymous said...

Would an FSU win over Duke at Cameron lock up a #4 seed, even if the Noles lose to VA Tech at home on Sunday?

Bracketology 101 said...

If FSU wins at Duke, they'll be at worst on the top of the 4 line in Friday's bracket.

David said...

Thanks again for all the hard work. I think we can all agree this is the most controversial(outside the BCS rankings), yet best time of the year.

If Ohio St. loses to Iowa tonight, I would have to assume that puts them on the bubble. That would drop them to 8-9 in the conference and 18-10 overall. Their OOC resume gets worse and worse as the year goes on, with Miami and Notre Dame both several games under .500 in their conferences. At this point in time they only have 1 OOC win against a tourney team and that was a close home win against Butler.

What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Arizona went 9-11 in the most stacked Pac-10 loaded with NBA talent in recent memory. And they didn't have teams like Depaul, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St Johns, and South Florida to pad their win total.

Anonymous said...

Do you think an Ohio State loss tonight @Iowa puts them on the bubble??

Anonymous said...

I dont see how a 8-10 Georgetown team would have a chance, but yet a 8-10 Michigan team wouldn't? Makes no sense at all. The Big Ten has a higher RPI. People need to get over this Big East crap, the Big Ten is just as deep, and talented. Minnesota over Louisville, Michigan went to UCONN and hung around, and they are a middle of the pack Big Ten team.

NO CLUE!!! said...

The Big Ten is just as deep? That is the dumbest thing I've read.

Minnesota beat Louisville is the only thing this conference can really hang their hat on in OOC play. That was back in December when Louisville was struggling. They also lost to Western Kentucky and UNLV that same month. If they played right now, it wouldn't even be close.

Who cares if Michigan "hung around" against UConn? So did Notre Dame, in fact it was closer than against Michigan, but nobody really cares if you "hung around" and still lost the game. Yes, Michigan had a couple nice OOC wins against UCLA (team was still very raw at that time) and at home against Duke (who they just lost to on a neutral court).

Let's not forget the fact that WVU absolutely trounced Ohio St. on it's home floor by about 30. There is absolutely no comparison between the Big East and Big Ten. I understand the bottom of the Big East is embarassing and should not be in the conference, but there is absolutely no way you look at the top 11 from the Big East and say that the Big Ten is comparable.

I'm pretty confident if you match 1-11, the Big East wins handidly, just like the ACC does every single year against the Big Ten.

Anonymous said...

Conference RPI

1. ACC
2. BIG 10
3. BIG EAST

NO CLUE!! said...

Like I said before, the only reason for these rankings are because the bottom of the Big East are so bad that they bring the rankings down, so it's really a MOOT point.

Lee said...

Dude. The bottom 4 teams of your conference count too. That's 4+ free conference wins a year vs. low major teams which makes it pretty pathetic if you can't get to .500 in league play.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the Big East's unbalanced schedule where how weak you are determines how many games vs. the bottom feeders you get.

If Georgetown makes the tournament it will be for one reason and one reason only: ratings. The NCAA wants to get what it can out of Greg Monroe before he goes pro next season.

Jack said...

Only 4 of Georgetown's losses came against teams not in the top 25. 8 of Michigan's losses have come to teams not in the top 25. Michigan's best wins are Duke (7), Illinois(NR) and Purdue (19/20). Georgetown's best wins come against UCONN (1), Memphis (3/5) and Nova (11/16). Its actually not even all that close.

Jack said...

Also, Georgetown didn't play multiple games versus the bottom 4 teams. They played 2 with Cinci (RPI 53), 2 with Marquette (ranked) and 2 with 'Cuse (ranked).

NO CLUE!! said...

I understand that the bottom 4 teams count and should count against the conference. That is why I believe that the ACC is the best conference, because there are no "gimmies" or "off nights.

But, do you honestly think that the Big Ten is anywhere close to comparable to the Big East? NO CHANCE. The question of more depth still isn't even close. Despite how bad Georgetown has been in conference play, they still would wipe the floor with half the Big Ten.

Jack said...

Ah, heres a good way to figure this out. Teams both Michigan and Georgetown have played.

Michigan plays at Maryland and loses 75-70. Georgetown plays Maryland on a neutral court and destroys them 75-48. Michigan loses 69-61 at UCONN. Georgetown wins 74-63 at UCONN. Michigan edges out a 66-64 overtime win over Savannah State. Georgetown beats Savannah State... wait for it... 100-38.

Lee said...

No I don't think the Big Ten is as good asa the Big East. And I agree the ACC is the toughest league top to bottom hands down this year. My issue is with an 8-8 ACC team getting passed over for a 9-9 or 8-10 Big East or even worse Big Ten team. Obviously individual teams have different resumes but a team like MD that beat the Big Ten twice (including Michigan State by 20 on a neutral court) really shouldn't be getting passed over for for a .500 Big Ten team.

Lee said...

Another thing about the 4 crap teams in the big east. When you go beat one of them at their gym you are getting a huge RPI win because you get the 1.4 for the road win and half of their SOS component is their opponents win % which will be high. So beating Rutgers at Rutgers is as good for your RPI as beating Gonzaga at Gonzaga or Memphis at Memphis. And all the teams in the big east get this boost opportunity at least twice a year.

Brett said...

The bottom of the Big 10 is way better than the bottom of the Big East.

However, every other comparison favors the Big East. The top of the Big East is way better than the top of the Big 10 with Pitt, Lville, UConn, and even Nova. The only comparable team in the Big 10 is Michigan State. Illinois and Purdue are at about the same level as Syracuse and West Virginia.

Brian said...

Serious Question: Do you guys think there will be more Big East teams in the Final Four or Big 10 teams in the Sweet 16

Anonymous said...

So Lee. If Georgetown finishes 8-10 with 2 wins in the BE tourney, and Maryland finishes 8-8 in the ACC, you think Maryland should get the bid?? Georgetown destroyed Maryland on a neutral court. I'm not following your reasoning. They both have very good wins. Georgetown's losses are not as bad as Maryland's. Explain.

Anonymous said...

B101, jw about your method of projecting... You said that you differ from guys like lunardi in that you take in to account what you think will happen to all of the teams for the rest of the year, and then use those numbers to project status and seeding, right?
If so, what do you think FSU will finish the year doing?

Anonymous said...

"No Clue"
Remember, Michigan beat duke also

Bracketology 101 said...

If Ohio State wins their last two they are obviously a lock regardless of the Big Ten tourney. If they drop either one of these games then they would need to win one game in the Big Ten tourney to feel safe. I can understand Ohio State fans concern with the game at Iowa since they have struggled on the road lately.

Jack said...

It might be the case that playing bad teams with strong schedules gives Big East Teams a boost- but this happens in every major conference. This year the PAC10 has Oregon which has an SoS of 8 and has lost every conference game save the last two. Virginia has an Sos of 3 and is 3-11 in conference. Indiana has an SoS Rank of 7 and has only won once in conference play. Rutger's SoS, by the way is 69- they're not delivering much. DePaul does a little better at 41... but then Georgia Tech is 40 and gives ACC teams wins just about every game.

Now if one of the Big East teams was lucky enough to play each of the bottom teams twice maybe you'd have some complaining to do but as it stands its the top Big East teams that have the toughest schedules, much tougher than the ACC or Big Ten schedules.

Anonymous said...

Jack, Michigan state and Duke both have harder schedules than Uconn

Jack said...

Yes... but thats because of their non-conference schedules.

Anonymous said...

Why is Ohio State so safe?? They beat one quality team in Butler out of conference. Beat Purdue in conference.

Anonymous said...

Uconn's OOC SOS was 23, Dukes was 31, I think what actually happened was that Duke played 7 in-conference games against top 25 teams, (and another tonight at home against FSU,plus saturday in chapel hill), and Uconn only played 5, with 1 coming in pittsburgh on saturday.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Ohio State is even close to safe is a joke...I actually hope they make it so I can bet my whole gambling bankroll against them in the first round

Anonymous said...

Just a thought... You should have the fans predict who they think will get in or get left out, and then compare it to what you guys think and what actually happens... or you could have people submit brackets to you in an email or something, and crown achampion bracketologist

Bracketology 101 said...

Great idea...we'll set something up on Selection Sunday for user brackets. Anyone in?

Dan said...

Im in

Lee said...

Re: MD/GTown
Well yes if you give MD the same two conf tourney wins. Head to head is a tie breaker. 8-10 in a weaker league overall isn't a tie with 8-8 in a stronger league. MD pounded Michigan State on a nuetral court the very same weekend as the GTown/MD game and MD doesn't deserve a number 2 seed either...

Anonymous said...

Georgetown's a better team than Maryland. I watched that game. It's not even close. Georgetown would be the 3rd best team in the ACC.

I heard the same arguments about how great the ACC was last year. They sent one team (UNC) to the sweet 16.

Anonymous said...

"I heard the same arguments about how great the ACC was last year. They sent one team (UNC) to the sweet 16."

Are you joking? Everyone knew the ACC sucked last year... they only got 4 teams into the tournament, and two of them were seed underdogs in the second round, with the upset of WVU over duke, the Acc's fate was sealed... But this year, the acc will have 5 or 6 teams in the sweet sixteen

Anonymous said...

If georgetwon is sitting on the bubble with 13 losses... I just dont see how you can let them in over a maryland who has huge wins, or Va tech, who has big wins or another team... I mean, come on, if you cant do better than 18-13 or 19-13, you dont deserve to be in a championship tournament

Anonymous said...

5 or 6 teams from the ACC in the sweet 16??? LOL. Duke and UNC definitely. And then one of FSU, Clemson, and Wake will make it. I see 3.


Maryland at least deserves to be in because they actually did something nonconference-wise, but
Va Tech?? I don't see why folks have them in at all. Their best nonconference win is against #103 Fairfield. They also lost at home to Seton Hall and @Georgia.

Funny, how they were always the doormat in the Big East and then they move to the ACC and become a midlevel team.

DBATL said...

"If georgetwon is sitting on the bubble with 13 losses. I just dont see how you can let them in over a maryland who has huge wins, or Va tech, who has big wins or another team."

Um, right. Because UConn, Memphis, Villanova, 2 of those 3 on the road, well those just don't qualify as "huge wins". The fact that Georgetown beat Maryland -- no, scratch that -- thoroughly dismembered, evicerated, emasculated and generally embarrassed Maryland -- on a neutral floor should likewise mean nothing.

The fact that Georgetown's worst loss is to Seton Hall on the road -- the same Seton Hall that beat VA Tech at VA Tech -- also irrelevant.

Oh, hey, here's another idea. All 3 of these teams (GTown, MD and VATech) played at Cameron Indoor this year. Let's look at those. Well, seems that Georgetown lost by 9 in a game that was even until a horrible technical called on Monroe while he was sitting on the bench, resulting in his 4th foul of the game. Meanwhile -- VA Tech, well, they at least kept the loss to a mere 25 points, while Maryland lost by 41 FRIGGEN' POINTS. Are you kidding me? 41?

But why is all of this irrelevant? Because Maryland and Virginia Tech are in the hands down, unchallenged, no doubt about it, best league in the country. That comment came out dripping in sarcasm. I respect UNC this year. Duke is good, not great. Certainly Top 20, probably not Top 10. After that, I am having real trouble with the ACC. Wake beat BYU on the road. Good win that. After that, next toughest OOC game was what Baylor? Indiana? UTEP? Wake has done nothing outside of the ACC. Clemson I feel a bit better about -- 4 point win over Temple, 2 point win over Illinois and 11 points over South Carolina, but none of those three are even Top 25 teams.

Sorry, ACC is in for another disappointing year unless they get "home games" in the Tourney as they often seem to do. UNC makes it to the final 8, probably final 4. Duke, probably Sweet 16. Wake, Clemson, BC (lost to Harvard, can lose to anyone), Maryland, VA Tech, Florida St., all of those are gone before that.

Anonymous said...

So much for Cinci. Boom, outta here.

Brian said...

I apologize for wasting everyones time with Georgetown questions the last few days

MattLion said...

St. Johns 59
Georgetown 56

Discuss....

MattLion said...

If the NCAA Tournament was played around Christmas break, the Hoyas would've been all set...

but alas, that's not how it works. They'll be one of the best NIT teams ever.

Bracketology 101 said...

Georgetown who?

Bracketology 101 said...

...And there goes the Big East bubble.

Anonymous said...

There will be NO MORE talk of Georgetown getting an at large bid!

Brian said...

Wow the Big East is going to be a 7 bid league after Prov loses Thurs

Paymon said...

Brian - you shouldn't be apologizing.

JT3 and the entire GTown bball team should be apologizing.

Anonymous said...

DBATL, Duke beat Xavier, Purdue, Rhode Island, Michigan, Davidson, and st johns
UNC beat Notre Dame, Kentucky, Michigan State, rutgers and nevada

Wake beat baylor, Utep and BYU

Clemson had hofstra, temple, illinois, south carolina

FSU beat Cincinatti, California, Western Kentucky and Florida

Maryland beat Vermont, Michigan state, and american

Miami beat kentucky and ST johns

BC beat UAB and providence

Virginia beat USF

Georgia tech beat vandy

Those are all wins over either top 100 RPI teams, or teams from other BCS conferences... So i would qualify all as good wins, huh?

Anonymous said...

b101 does Georgetown and Cinci's losses make it better for the Big ten to get 7 bids? and is it good news for Michigan, PSU or Minny? Georgetown is done, along with Cinci as I said earlier Big Ten is stronger.

Anonymous said...

Terps had a tough loss to Wake and both Gtown and Cincy both suffered bad losses. Do any of these teams still have a shot?

Anonymous said...

So... You must have figured into your projection-prediction seed-o-rama that duke was going to beat FSU, right? So FSU stays a 4 seed?

Anonymous said...

B101, would you be kind enough to move URI (who would be in the tourney if the season ended now) into your last 8 out now that the Big Joke conference teams have been derobed? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

B101, NEW MEXICO IN? THEY BEAT UTAH

Bracketology 101 said...

Quick hits:

Tonight's results from the Big East are huge for the Big Ten and the Big XII. Oklahoma State is moving up the bubble list as a possible sixth team out of the Big XII, and in the Big Ten, Penn State got a little safer and Michigan got a little boost by not doing anything.

Maryland's loss was killer, especially considering they led for so much of the game. That said, they are not out of the bracket just yet. Whether they are in on Friday depends on what VT does tomorrow night against Carolina.

URI and New Mexico are definitely on the bubble, but they aren't going to get real, real strong at-large consideration just yet. One of them might appear on the Next Four Out list on Friday, but probably not both. There is room on the Next Four Out list cince Georgetown will be off of it for sure, and Kansas State might be as well.

The problem with New Mexico is that, even with their win over Utah tonight, they only have three Top 50 wins, and all of those wins are in conference and all have come at home. They have no OOC resume at all, they have three losses outside the Top 100, and their computer numbers (63 RPI, 81 SOS) aren't great, either. We're not so sure, given their struggles on the road in conference, that they are a lock to win at Wyoming this weekend. URI, at this point, is a slighly better at-large candidate. They are going to finish second in the A-10, they've been on fire of late (they've won 10 of 11) and they have decent OOC wins against Penn State, VCU, and Northeastern. Their biggest weakness is that both of their quality conference wins (Dayton and Temple) came at home. The Rams aren't worthy of an at-large right now, but they are going to be very dangerous in the A-10 tourney.

Anonymous said...

So... You must have figured into your projection-prediction seed-o-rama that duke was going to beat FSU, right? So FSU stays a 4 seed?

Bracketology 101 said...

FSU will be no lower than the top 5 seed in Friday's bracket. If Illinois wins at Penn State on Thursday, the Illini might be the last 4 seed.

Anonymous said...

So you didnt think they will beat penn state?

Eric J. said...

B101 ... I think you guys should consider disabling anonymous postings. You'd eliminate some people who just want to ask a quick question and who mean no harm. But you'd also get rid of a lot of the name calling, which I'm sure a lot of people believe brings these discussions down.

DBATL said...

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. So much for GTown. God that hurts. I may be a "homer" for them, but even I cannot justify a bid after that. They were up by 16 with a bit over 11 minutes left to play. They then scored exactly 5 points in the last 11 minutes of regulation. That is beyond horrible. This includes attempts by St. Johns to give them points by putting them on the free throw line. They were outscored in the last 10 minutes plus overtime 29-10. 10 points in over 15 minutes at the end of the game. While in the Bonus status the entire time. Damn.

This has been Georgetown's problem all season long. They simply cannot score in the last 5 minutes of a game. They led by 10 or so in the second Cincinnati game and did the exact same thing -- did not score anything, allowing Cinci to tie it up and then win in OT. They sure tried to do the same thing on Saturday at Villanova, basically failing to score in the last 5 minutes, but still managed to hold out.

If one had access to the data, it would be very interesting to determine Georgetown's average points per minute during the last 5 minutes of games in 2009 (so exclude the OOC part of the season). I bet it comes out less than 1 point per minute. Brutal.

I do not know what this says other than: (1) Bubble -- popped. (2) They have no "go to" guy. (3) DeJuan Summers' draft status is nil. He will certainly be back next year, and probably Europe after that. (4) Chances of Greg Monroe coming back next year after enduring this pain are also probably near nil. (5) One needs to also question the coaching. I love JT3, and am not saying he should go, but he needs to do a lot of thinking this summer about what was failing so consistently this year and how to change that -- be it tactics, personalities, confidence, whatever it was that is so clearly failing them this year.

Still love the site. Still think that ACC is overrated. Still think that Penn St. has no business in the tournament.

Bye. I am going to sit in a dark corner for the next few days, rocking back and forth and murmuring something about clowns.

Lee said...

10 to 1 ratio. shots blocked to shooting fouls by wake tonight. that has to be a record for a college or nba game right? if the Terps couldve just gotten to the free throw line one more time (which wouldve doubled their trips to the line)...

Oh well. Win Saturday win vs. State next week and they dance.

And to the Georgetown fans. That game was 3 months ago. And Yes Georgetown beat the snot out of MD. But MD has 2 different starters and a completely different rotation now. They are a completely different team. If the Terps fail to make the NCAAs try to not embarass yourselves in the first round of the NIT so the Terps can give you a beatdown in a later round.

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