Thursday, February 25, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Thursday

Our quick thoughts on Thursday's results:

Bigger than any results tonight was the news that Purdue's Robbie Hummel will be out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. The biggest question surrounding the Boilermakers now is what will happen to their seed going forward. The committee will not forget about what Purdue has done to this point, but their final three games as well as the Big Ten tourney will now have extra importance. If they win out, or go 2-1 down the stretch and win the Big Ten tourney, they will still get a 1 seed. If they struggle down the stretch, then they could really see their seed take a tumble. The only historical example that is somewhat similar to this case is the 2000 Cincinnati Bearcats. Kenyon Martin broke his leg in the C-USA conference tourney that year and the Bearcats were upset in their first game. They ended up with a 2 seed in the tournament, despite their #1 RPI, and ended up losing in the second round.

It took an overtime period, but Vanderbilt was able to survive at home against a pesky Georgia team on Thursday night. The Commodores were able to overcome a five point deficit with only 33 seconds to play in regulation to beat the Bulldogs 96-94. A.J. Ogilvy made the game-tying tip-in with 16 seconds left, and he and Jermaine Beal made some clutch free throws in overtime to seal the deal. The win avenged the loss that Vandy suffered a few weeks ago in Athens, and it moved them to 10-3 in the SEC. As long as the Commodores can pick up a win on the road against Arkansas this weekend, they will remain on the 4 line next week. If they can win out and reach the final of the SEC tourney, they have the chance to jump onto the 3 line with some help. If they can somehow find a way to beat Kentucky in the SEC final, they could even get as high as a 2 seed.

With their home win over Arizona, Cal is now just one victory away its first Pac-10 title since 1960. The Bears beat the Wildcats by 24 in Berkeley on Wednesday night to improve to 11-5 in conference, a half game better than Arizona State (who won at Stanford Wednesday). Cal hosts ASU on Saturday, and if the Bears win, and then take care of business at Stanford next week, the debate will intensify as to whether Cal would deserve an at-large bid. Our opinion on Cal all along has been that if they got to 13-5 in conference, won the Pac-10 regular season title, and maintained a solid RPI, that they would probably get an at-large. Regardless of how poor the Pac-10 has been this season, we find it very hard to believe that the selection committee would deny an at-large bid to a power conference champion with a top-30 (or so) RPI - even if that team had an OOC resume as weak as Cal's. Where the Cal debate gets really interesting is if they were to finish 12-6 and then lose in the semifinals or final of the Pac-10 tourney. Would that still get them a bid? One thing is for sure: no matter how these next few games play out, Cal will be one of the most debated bubble teams in the country on Selection Sunday if they don't end up getting the Pac-10 automatic.

Of note: Kentucky beat South Carolina at home; Duke beat Tulsa at home; Wisconsin won at Indiana; Gonzaga beat Santa Clara at home; Utah State won at Hawaii; St. Mary's beat Pepperdine at home; Wofford, which has now won 15 of 16, beat Charleston at home to take over first place in the Southern at 14-3; Murray State lost its first OVC game, falling 70-65 at Morehead State.

32 comments:

Jeff said...

Vandy is overrated and got lucky that a terrible team stopped playing decently. Seriously, 84% FT shooter goes 0/2 at that point in the game? Pathetic.

hillferguson said...

@Jeff, overated by what measurement? Polls (#20)? RPI (#10)? Projected seed (#4)? Sure, they were hungover from the UK game they should have won, but UGA is a very good team. Showing the meddle to pull it out down 6 with 53 seconds is what premium teams do, IMHO.

Jeff said...

"but UGA is a very good team."

What? They have a couple decent players, but they're pretty awful.

I think 20th is fine, but 16th in the AP? Nah.

Also, I think you mean 'mettle'. 'Meddle' means something else.

Murph said...

So you are complaining about 4 spots, Jeff? I know I am stooping to your level, but who would you have ahead of them? Tennessee, a team they have beaten twice? Temple, who had to go into overtime this week to beat St. Joseph's, an inferior team to Georgia? Gonzaga, with their losses to powerhouses Loyola Marymount and San Francisco in the last month? I know the poll is a flawed measurement, but this is not their worst choice (UTEP and Xavier not ranked in the AP?).

And need I point out the mathematical likelihood of someone missing two free throws in a row (on the road), even with an 84% from the line? It's not that "pathetic". Pathetic is correcting someone's word usage instead of answering his question.

Anonymous said...

Murph, I believe the likelihood you are thinking of is around 2.5%, or one out of every 40 times.

Jeff said...

"Temple, who had to go into overtime this week to beat St. Joseph's, an inferior team to Georgia?"

Look up Palestra Magic. Clearly, you know nothing about the Big 5.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=293432603

Game was much closer until Nova made their FREE THROWS at the end.

mag900 said...

Are you referring to the terrible Georgia team that has beaten Illinois, Georgia Tech and Tennessee this year? Just checking.

Murph said...

Thanks for that Anon. Without doing a bit of research, I would not know for certain, but I bet players have home/road splits that would make those odds a little different.

And as someone who grew up watching A-10 ball, I do know about the Big 5. You are saying that Big 5 ball is more intense than SEC conference play, however. I can't quantify that outside of looking at conference RPI or qualify that outside of personal experiences attending SEC games, neither of which tells the whole story. What I can say is that Georgia has finished out tough games with wins (UT, SC, Vandy, GT, Illinois) and has a respectable RPI (93). St. Joseph has an RPI near 200 and their best wins are Dayton and Boston College.

Again, though, you deflect from defending your initial statement. If you were just blowing off some steam after a disappointing game, that's fine. As a Vandy alum, I was annoyed, too. But I am curious by what basis you made your original statement.

49ers Fan said...

Arizona State has been playing very good ball lately and could beat Cal on Saturday. What would be ASU's at large chances if they can win at Cal and sweep the LA schools next week? The Sun Devils have to be wishing they could have pulled out that game against Baylor.

Anonymous said...

Does it hurt Virginia Tech that Rhode Island was able to win at Boston College, but VT got destroyed by BC? Do you think that the committee will put more weight on Va Tech's gaudy record or the fact that so many of those wins came against teams outside the top 100? VT also got an easier ACC schedule only having to play Maryland, Wake, and Duke once. VT also lost to 2 of the worst teams in the conference, UNC and BC. Will the committee look at all these factors about VT? Or just reward that gaudy win-loss record?

Bob said...

Unless you grew up in Philly or went to school there, you don't understand the Big 5. In 2001-2002Penn won the Big 5. Is the Ancient 8 better than the A-10 or Big East? Of course not but it shows you that anything can happen in those games. SJU is horrible this year, as someone who's had to watch them play 5-6 times, the only two games where they looked like some semblance of a Div I team were at the Palestra against two top 20 opponents. Now, call that what you will but there is just something about that place that tends to make those games close. But is the SEC a better conference top to bottom than the A-10, sure but a loss to SJU at the Palestra in a Big 5 game should not be the black eye for the Committee that you suggest it is.

Anonymous said...

The loss of Hummel will hurt some, no doubt. But Purdue still has a very good team. Grant and Hart can step in and get the job done. I think it would be unfair to other teams if Purdue's seed is dropped too far. He is not as valuable to Purdue as Kenyon Martin was to Cincinnati. You could argue that Etwan Moore and JaJuan Johnson are Purdue's best players. Chris Kramer's great defense can't be ignored either. The loss of Hummel will hurt some, but Purdue is still a very good team.

Anonymous said...

Will the Purdue injury give the committee an excuse to reward media darling Duke?

Paymon said...

I think I understand where Jeff is coming from. Vanderbilt seems to eke out close wins in games that a 4 seed should kick ass and take names, and they have some forehead-scratching losses (semi-home v. Western Kentucky, @ Georgia by 14).

Their 68th-ranked adjusted defensive efficiency (kenpom.com) goes a long way in explaining that they take possessions off at that end of the floor.

If they win their next 3, they probably deserve the #4 seed. I don't think they'll beat Florida away from Memorial.

Like everyone else has said, they are fairly strong with the other metrics.

Mark said...

I was a bit surprised to see Oklahoma State in your field. Are you predicting/projecting that they will beat Kansas or Texas A&M?

Anonymous said...

Lunardi did it again today! -- Duke and Maryland square off in the 2nd round. I also caught Georgetown in a potential 2nd round matchup v. ODU (a team they already played)...

Nuss said...

At what point do we start talking about ASU as a bubble team? I know the committee may not place as much stock in the Pomeroy ratings as I do, but it’s tough to ignore their No. 27 standing. That’s better than a lot of teams considered mortal locks for the tournament …

Bracketology 101 said...

Lunardi must be having his students doing his brackets now.

We have a great idea for a new contest. Whoever finds the most mistakes and oversights in a Lunardi bracket gets to be B101's honorary bracketologist of the day.

Bracketology 101 said...

Oklahoma State has earned its way into the field with some big wins in conference (at Kansas State, A&M, Baylor), but they are by no means a lock at this point. They are going to have to beat Kansas or A&M to lock up a spot (we think they'll win one of the two). If they don't, they'll finish 8-8 in conference and they'll have to do some damage in the Big XII tourney to get a bid. Despite their big wins in conference, their weak OOC resume is holding them back considerably.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Purdue beats Michigan State this weekend we likely won't move them from the 1 line. Although people may hate it, Duke is next in line for a 1 seed right now. They have the 2nd best RPI in the country, have some solid OOC wins and are the best team in the ACC (the 3rd rated conference).

If VT loses to Maryland this weekend we will entertain conversations on their at-large status.

The Cal-ASU game this weekend is the easily the biggest game in the Pac-10 this year. If they can win out and then were to lose to Cal in the conference final they would be a tough call since they would have a share of the regular season title. Anything less and they have no chance.

Bracketology 101 said...

Lunardi fixed the Duke-Maryland screw-up in his bracket. We will of course make fun of him for this in a special Friday Questions for the Competition post later today.

AG said...

Man, how on earth did NC State ever let Herb Sendek get away? He's built a competent basketball program out of nothing in short order.

As for Duke, the RPI is starting to remind me of US News college rankings. In the same way US News starts with the assumption that Harvard/Princeton/Yale are the best schools and just measures the rest based on how closely they resemble those 3, the RPI seems to start with the assumption that Duke is good, and measures other teams by how closely they resemble Duke.

Anonymous said...

You do mean Va Tech is a lock at 10-6 (not 9-7) right? They're 8-5 right now. They have 2 wins (Wake and Clemson at home) the whole year that are worth anything (maybe 3 if you include Seton Hall on a neutral court). I'm not sure they'll be safe even at 10-6.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Duke. They have beaten some okay teams OOC (UConn, Gonzaga, Charlotte, ASU?). But they've been beat by the 2 best teams on their schedule (Gtown and Wisky). In normal years, where UNC and another ACC team might be elite, this wouldn't be a big deal because Duke could just beat those teams in conference to prove its eliteness. Their computer numbers are very strong by beating teams ranked 25-75 a lot. They could very well get a #1 seed and have beaten nobody stronger than a 5-7 seed.

mag900 said...

i'm not sure why you decided to flagellate duke for potentially being a 1 seed after not beating anyone better than a 5 seed. the same thing could be said of kentucky. its best wins are tennessee and vandy, both of which will be right around a 5 seed (they currently are projected as a 4 and 5 seed).

Anonymous said...

You have a point mag900. The argument you make has some validity and why I think Syracuse should be higher on the s-curve than Kentucky. However, Vandy and Tennessee are a little better (IMO) than whoever is the ACC's #2 (Maryland I guess?). Kentucky also doesn't have the losses that Duke has. And although it shouldn't matter, it's not going to hurt that Kentucky has 4 future 1st rounders on their team.

Anonymous said...

As a Tennessee student and diehard Vols fan, I can tell you with 100% confidence that we are not nearly as good as Maryland.

Dwayne Holt said...

What does Rhode Island need to do to secure a bid? How many Atlantic 10 teams do you see in the field on March 14th?

Anonymous said...

I agree with AG. Herb Sendek is a terrific coach and wasn't appreciated in Raleigh. They ran him out of town cause he couldn't get deep enough in the tournament. At this point, Wolfpack fans would just like to make the tournament one of these years. Do you think Steve Lavin could have succeeded if he had taken the job at NC State?

Bracketology 101 said...

URI has nothing very impressive on their resume, but also nothing bad. If they can win out to get to 11-5 in conference they should safe barring a loss in the 5/12 opening round game of the A-10 tourney (should they end up the fifth place team in league). If they end up 11-5 or even 10-6 but make it to the A-10 semis they should be safe. What they don't want to do is lose to Charlotte next week and then lose in the 4/5 or 3/6 game of the A-10 tourney. Then they may get squeezed.

We think the A-10 will ultimately end up with 4 bids. They have a chance for 5 if things break their way in the conference tourney, but 3 is possible if all their bubble teams (Dayton, URI, Charlotte, and St Louis) flop here in the last few weeks.

mag900 said...

Sendek is a good coach -- not a terrific one. I don't see how you possibly could label a coach "terrific" when, in 17 years as a head coach, he has reached the sweet 16 a grand total of 1 time (and proceeded to immediately lose that 1 time). with that being said, he is much better than what they currently are enduring with.

Anonymous said...

So you just judge coaches by their tournament performance? Just making the NCAA tournament is tough, which NC State is finding out right now.

mag900 said...

Yes, I judge BCS coaches by how well they do in the NCAAT -- especially when the sample size spans 17 years, most of which was in the ACC and PAC 10. Not being able to win a single game in the Sweet 16 over 17 years with a long list of future NBA players is not indicative of a "terrific" BCS coach. We aren't talking about Mid Major expectations here. Is this a shock to you?