The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 22, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Friday, March 22, 2019

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

Cincinnati

110.8

1.5

Iowa

111.1

1.2

Ole Miss

110.3

0.0

Oklahoma

110.7

-0.4

Texas Tech

117.8

0.0

Northern Kentucky

104.5

13.3

Kansas St.

112.7

0.0

UC-Irvine

106.2

6.5

Tennessee

118.3

0.0

Colgate

102.8

15.5

Gardner-Webb

99.5

1.0

Virginia

121.1

-20.6

Buffalo

115.0

0.0

Arizona St.

107.9

7.1

Wisconsin

115.1

0.0

Oregon

109.7

5.4

Utah St.

111.3

0.0

Washington

108.8

2.5

Duke

123.1

0.0

North Dakota St.

97.9

25.2

Houston

114.8

0.0

Georgia St.

103.9

10.9

Mississippi St.

113.9

0.0

Liberty

106.7

7.2

North Carolina

121.7

0.0

Iona

97.8

23.9

Virginia Commonwealth

110.7

0.0

Central Florida

109.4

1.3

Iowa St.

114.8

0.0

Ohio St.

109.9

4.9

Virginia Tech

115.5

0.0

Saint Louis

104.1

11.4

 

Today’s Schedule

All Times EDT

TIME

MATCHUP

NETWORK

SITE

12:15 PM

(10) Iowa vs. (7) Cincinnati

CBS

Columbus 

12:40 PM

(9) Oklahoma vs. (8) Ole Miss

truTV

Columbia 

1:30 PM

(14) Northern Kentucky vs. (3) Texas Tech

TNT

Tulsa 

2 PM

(13) UC Irvine vs. (4) Kansas State

TBS

San Jose 

Approx. 3 PM

(15) Colgate vs. (2) Tennessee

CBS

Columbus 

Approx. 3:25 PM

(16) Gardner-Webb vs. (1) Virginia

truTV

Columbia 

Approx. 4:15 PM

(11) St. John’s / Arizona State vs. (6) Buffalo

TNT

Tulsa 

Approx. 4:45 PM

(12) Oregon vs. (5) Wisconsin

TBS

San Jose 

6:50 PM

(9) Washington vs. (8) Utah State

TNT

Columbus 

7:10 PM

(16) NC Central / North Dakota St. vs. (1) Duke

CBS

Columbia 

7:20 PM

(14) Georgia State vs. (3) Houston

TBS

Tulsa 

7:27 PM

(12) Liberty vs. (5) Mississippi State

truTV

San Jose 

Approx. 9:35 PM

(16) Iona vs. (1) North Carolina

TNT

Columbus 

Approx. 9:55 PM

(9) UCF vs. (8) VCU

CBS

Columbia 

Approx. 10:05 PM

(11) Ohio State vs. (6) Iowa State

TBS

Tulsa

Approx. 10:12 PM

(13) Saint Louis vs. (4) Virginia Tech

truTV

San Jose 

 

 

 

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March 17, 2019

PiRate Ratings FINAL Bracketology For 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Duke

Virginia

Gonzaga

North Carolina

2

Michigan St.

Tennessee

Michigan

Kentucky

3

Houston

Florida St.

Texas Tech

LSU

4

Purdue

Kansas St.

Wisconsin

Kansas

5

Auburn

Villanova

Virginia Tech

Iowa St.

6

Buffalo

Mississippi St.

Cincinnati

Marquette

7

Wofford

Maryland

Louisville

Nevada

8

Iowa

Seton Hall

Minnesota

Central Florida

9

Ole Miss

Syracuse

Baylor

Washington

10

Virginia Commonwealth

Utah St.

Florida

Oklahoma

11

Oregon

Ohio St.

Temple/Arizona St.

St. John’s/TCU

12

Saint Mary’s

Murray St.

New Mexico St.

Vermont

13

Liberty

UC-Irvine

Old Dominion

Montana

14

Saint Louis

Northeastern

Northern Kentucky

Georgia St.

15

Yale

Bradley

Colgate

Abilene Christian

16

Gardner-Webb

Prairie View A&M

Iona/Fairleigh-Dickinson

N. Dakota St./UNC Central

 

Last Four Byes

Virginia Commonwealth

Florida

Oklahoma

Ohio St.

 

Last Four In

Temple

St. John’s

TCU

Arizona St.

 

First Four Out

North Carolina St.

Belmont

UNC Greensboro

Furman

 

Next Four Out

Indiana

Alabama

Clemson

Texas

 

Bids By Conference

Conference

Bids

Big Ten

8

ACC

7

SEC

7

Big 12

7

Big East

4

AAC

4

Pac-12

3

MWC

2

West Coast

2

Atlantic 10

2

One-Bid Leagues

22

Bracket Gurus 68 Team Field

The Gurus Have Reached A Verdict

In New York, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee by now has agreed on 68 teams and only a little moving in the seed lines is yet to come.  After last night’s games, especially after the Oregon win over Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game, it basically came down to about 70 teams competing for 68 spots.

The Gurus met via conference this morning and quickly eliminated all but four of the teams on the Bubble for three spots in the field.  By the end of the coffee talk, we had agreed to eliminate one team, leaving three teams for the final two spots.  There’s the rub; at this point, we had a hung jury.

In the Committee room, they break for ice cream at this point.  The Bracket Gurus share something in common with each other but totally opposite of the Committee.  All 12 Gurus are into the Keto-Paleo-Bulletproof way of life.  We not only didn’t break for ice cream, none of us consumed more than our upgraded coffee.

Unfortunately, it was an early Sunday morning funeral that broke up the meeting and allowed the Gurus to step away from the numbers, which was ironic to the max.  The dearly departed friend of the Captain had been a certified public accountant as well as a sports fanatic.

The Gurus reconvened via cyberspace while consuming mass quantities of healthy fat and good quality animal protein (sorry Vegan friends).  Once satiated, the 12 Gurus realized that in all but one city where we reside, it is too beautiful to be indoors.  So, we quickly agreed on that 68th team as well as which team is sadly number 69.

To borrow from the great Jim Nantz, “Friends,” here are the 68 teams we have selected to represent the NCAA Tournament Field.  They are presented in alphabetical order.  The seeding will come in our final installment to be published as we have a Big Ten Tournament Champion.  If the game is a blowout, the seeding will appear before the conclusion of the game.  If the game is close, then expect the seeding to be on this site within 5 minutes of the conclusion of the game.  It will be marked as our “Final Selection.”

The following 68 teams as voted 12-0 by our gurus are:

(3 One-Bid Tournaments to be decided today)

Abilene Christian

Arizona St.

Atlantic 10:  Winner of St. Bonaventure vs. Saint Louis

Auburn

Baylor

Bradley

Buffalo

Cincinnati

Colgate

Duke

Fairleigh-Dickinson

Florida

Florida St.

Gardner-Webb

Gonzaga

Houston

Iona

Iowa

Iowa St.

Ivy: Winner of Harvard vs. Yale

Kansas

Kansas St.

Kentucky

Liberty

Louisville

LSU

Marquette

Maryland

Michigan

Michigan St.

Minnesota

Mississippi St.

Montana

Murray St.

North Carolina Central

Nevada

New Mexico St.

North Carolina

North Dakota St.

Northeastern

Northern Kentucky

Ohio St.

Oklahoma

Old Dominion

Ole Miss

Oregon

Prairie View A&M

Purdue

Saint Mary’s 

Seton Hall

St. John’s

Sun Belt: Winner of Georgia State vs. Texas-Arlington

Syracuse

TCU

Temple

Tennessee

Texas Tech

UC-Irvine

UCF

Utah St.

VCU

Vermont

Villanova

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Washington

Wisconsin

Wofford

 

It came down to Arizona State versus North Carolina State.  The Sun Devils won out due to a better strength of schedule and better results in the 1st and 2nd Quadrant.

Bracket Gurus Breakfast Meeting

The Bubble Has Deflated

Good Morning PiRate Supporters.

This is the Captain writing this morning, as our sleepy Bracket Gurus try to wipe the sleep out of our eyes and begin perusing all the numbers.

One good thing about sleeping 3-4 hours a night for almost a fortnight is there isn’t much time to develop the junk that one must wipe out of his or her eyes.

If you have been following PiRate Ratings Bracketology prior to today, what you saw on this website was one person’s (moi) prediction as to what the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee would choose for the final bracket.

Beginning this morning, I step aside as sole Bracketologist to become one of multiple Bracket Gurus.  I have selected an excellent group of qualified experts to help interpret the criteria used by the Selection Committee to attempt to replicate what the actual Committee has been doing for the last five days.

Our Gurus include members of the sports media, a couple with former basketball coaching experience, a mathematics professor, a sports handicapper, and a basketball savant that can tell you exactly how many points Charlie Scott scored in the three games when North Carolina won the December 1967 Far West Classic.

Our Gurus have done an incredible job already this morning.  They have culled the field down to 69 teams.  Basically, three teams remain in consideration for the final two spots in the field.  Early this afternoon, we will reveal our 68 teams that we predict will make the field, and then following the Big Ten Championship Game (or earlier if the game is no longer in doubt), we will reveal our final Bracketology seeding.

Check back around 2PM Eastern Time today for our Final 68, and then sneak a peak here once the Michigan State-Michigan winner is known to see our final prediction.

 

Bracketnomics in Less Than 36 Hours

Once the field of 68 is announced, we begin perusing all the stats from all 68 teams.  We look at each school’s official athletic site to get their official cumulative box for the season, and then we add our own touches to help you select your brackets for your pools.

Our system is unique, and we have back-tested data that helps us isolate the contenders from the pretenders.  If you haven’t taken a look, here is the primer that will help you earn your online Bachelor of Madness Degree.

https://piratings.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/bracketnomics-2019/

March 15, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Friday, March 15, 2019

March 15, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Virginia

Gonzaga

North Carolina

Duke

2

Kentucky

Michigan St.

Tennessee

LSU

3

Michigan

Purdue

Houston

Texas Tech

4

Florida St.

Wisconsin

Kansas

Kansas St.

5

Mississippi St.

Virginia Tech

Marquette

Nevada

6

Buffalo

Villanova

Maryland

Auburn

7

Wofford

Cincinnati

Iowa St.

Louisville

8

VCU

Iowa

Central Florida

Washington

9

Syracuse

Ole Miss

Baylor

Seton Hall

10

Minnesota

Oklahoma

Ohio St.

Utah St.

11

Temple

Arizona St.

North Carolina St.

TCU/Florida

12

St. John’s/Belmont

Saint Mary’s

Murray St.

New Mexico St.

13

Liberty

Vermont

UC-Irvine

Old Dominion

14

Montana

Northeastern

Northern Kentucky

Georgia St.

15

Yale

Bradley

Colgate

Gardner-Webb

16

Sam Houston St.

Prairie View

Iona/Fairleigh-Dickinson

North Dakota St./Norfolk St.

 

Last 4 Bye

Utah St.

Temple

Arizona St.

North Carolina St.

Last 4 In

TCU

Florida

St. John’s

Belmont

 

 

First 4 Out

Alabama

Clemson

Indiana

Furman

Next 4 Out

Nebraska

Texas

UNC Greensboro

Georgetown

 

Conference

Bids

ACC

8

Big Ten

8

SEC

7

Big 12

6

Big East

5

AAC

4

MWC

2

Pac-12

2

West Coast

2

Ohio Valley

2

One-Bid Leagues

22

 

Bid-Stealers Are Alive

There are numerous bid stealers alive in the Power Conference tournaments.

Memphis plays in the AAC Quarterfinals today where they host the tournament

Saint Louis, Dayton, and Davidson are still alive in the Atlantic 10

West Virginia is an upset of Kansas today away from making the Big 12 Finals

Xavier is in the Big East semifinals playing Villanova today

Nebraska is alive in the Big Ten and playing Wisconsin in today’s quarterfinals

Fresno St. and San Diego St.  both play in the Mountain West semifinals today

Oregon and Colorado look like game competitors in the Pac-12 semifinals today

South Carolina begins play in the SEC quarterfinals today, while Alabama must beat Kentucky to stay in the mix as one of the first teams out

March 9, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Saturday, March 9, 2019

March 9, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Gonzaga

Duke

Virginia

Kentucky

2

Tennessee

Michigan

North Carolina

Michigan St.

3

LSU

Houston

Purdue

Texas Tech

4

Florida St.

Kansas

Wisconsin

Kansas St.

5

Virginia Tech

Marquette

Maryland

Mississippi St.

6

Villanova

Nevada

Buffalo

Cincinnati

7

Iowa St.

Louisville

Wofford

Auburn

8

Baylor

Syracuse

Iowa

Washington

9

Ole Miss

Central Florida

Oklahoma

St. John’s

10

Virginia Commonwealth

Florida

Minnesota

Ohio St.

11

Texas

Utah St.

Seton Hall

Temple

12

North Carolina St./TCU

Arizona St./Alabama

Belmont

Lipscomb

13

New Mexico St.

Old Dominion

Vermont

Hofstra

14

UC-irvine

South Dakota St.

Montana

Drake

15

Yale

Texas St.

Bucknell

Wright St.

16

Radford

Sam Houston St.

Norfolk St./St. Francis (PA)

Iona/Texas Southern

 

Last 4 Byes

Texas

Utah St.

Seton Hall

Temple

 

Last 4 In

North Carolina St.

Arizona St.

TCU

Alabama

 

First 4 Out

Clemson

Indiana

Furman

Georgetown

 

Next 4 Out

Murray St.

Nebraska

UNC Greensboro

Saint Mary’s

 

Bids By Conference

Bids

ACC

8

Big Ten

8

Big 12

8

SEC

8

AAC

4

Big East

4

MWC

2

Pac-12

2

One-Bid Leagues

24

 

Potential Bid Stealer Tonight

Belmont plays Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Game tonight, and the winner will receive the first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  This should be a must-watch game for you if you go mad over March Madness.

Both teams enter this game sporting 26-4 records, and both teams have a star player that will make this game worth watching.  Murray’s Ja Morant is an NBA Lottery Pick.  The 6 foot 3 inch sophomore point guard has moved ahead of the injured Darius Garland as the top point guard on the draft board.  Morant averages 24.2 points per game with a John Stockton-like 10.3 assists per game.  He doesn’t just jack up a ton of shots every night either; he takes sensible shots rarely off-balance, and he can put a team on his back and win in the postseason, as last night’s nip and tuck semifinal game with Jacksonville State proved.  The Gamecocks made a furious second half comeback to take the lead late in the game, before Morant took over and put JSU away with a key three-point play the old-fashioned way.  He then supplied enough tight defense to force JSU’s last chance shot to be a low-percentage one.

Belmont is led by their swingman guard/forward.  Dylan Windler is a multi-tooled 6 foot 8 inch senior that has continued to improve during his four year stay in Nashville.  Windler put  up Elgin Baylor type numbers last night in Belmont’s semifinal win over Austin Peay.  The Governors actually led this game for a good part of the first half, but Windler was on fire while also being a beast on the boards.  When is the last time, a wing player scored 32 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a Division 1 game?  Might it have been the Hall of Famer from Seattle University that starred for the Lakers for a dozen years?  Windler averages 21.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for Belmont.

Magic Johnson has been front and center at this tournament, and when he saw Windler play last night, he no doubt thought about his former rival with Indiana State and the Boston Celtics, as Windler drained eight three-pointers.  Windler, by the way, hails from the Sycamore State.  He projects as a D-League prospect at the present time, but he could work his way into a second-round selection with a couple more excellent outings on the national stage.

Which brings us to this:  Obviously, one of these two stars will be sad tonight after the other flashes a big smile knowing he is headed to the Big Dance.  Is there a chance that the loser might steal an at-large bid?

Belmont must be given some consideration if the Bruins lose a close game tonight.  At 26-4, they are currently sitting at #41 in the Net Ratings.  The Bruins are 13-3 away from the Curb Events Center, and they have two wins over rival Lipscomb plus a win at UCLA.  Among their four losses is a game at Purdue, where Belmont was in the game most of the day.  Purely mechanical, this Belmont team is probably better than Bubble teams like Arizona State, Alabama, Clemson, and TCU.  If Lipscomb holds off Liberty tomorrow in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship; if Purdue wins the Big Ten Conference Tournament; and if UCLA advances to the Semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, Belmont’s resume might be good enough to sneak into the Dance with a trip to Dayton in the First Four.

 

 

March 7, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Thursday, March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Duke

Gonzaga

Virginia

Kentucky

2

Tennessee

Michigan

North Carolina

Michigan St.

3

Houston

LSU

Purdue

Texas Tech

4

Kansas

Wisconsin

Florida St.

Kansas St.

5

Marquette

Virginia Tech

Mississippi St.

Maryland

6

Iowa St.

Nevada

Cincinnati

Villanova

7

Buffalo

Louisville

Wofford

Auburn

8

Iowa

Baylor

Syracuse

Washington

9

Ole Miss

Virginia Commonwealth

Oklahoma

St. John’s

10

Central Florida

Florida

Minnesota

Ohio St.

11

Texas

TCU

Utah St.

Seton Hall

12

North Carolina St./Temple

Arizona St./Alabama

Belmont

Lipscomb

13

New Mexico St.

Old Dominion

Vermont

Hofstra

14

UC-irvine

Yale

South Dakota St.

Montana

15

Texas St.

Colgate

Drake

Wright St.

16

Campbell

Sam Houston St.

Norfolk St./St. Francis (PA)

Iona/Texas Southern

 

Last 4 In

North Carolina St.

Arizona St.

Alabama

Temple

 

Last 4 Bye

Texas

TCU

Utah St.

Seton Hall

 

First 4 Out

Clemson

Indiana

Furman

Georgetown

 

Next 4 Out

Murray St.

Nebraska

UNC Greensboro

Saint Mary’s

 

Bids By Conference

Bids

ACC

8

Big Ten

8

Big 12

8

SEC

8

AAC

4

Big East

4

MWC

2

Pac-12

2

One-Bid Leagues

24

March 6, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Wednesday, March 6, 2019

March 6, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Duke

Gonzaga

Virginia

Kentucky

2

Tennessee

Michigan

North Carolina

Michigan St.

3

Houston

LSU

Purdue

Texas Tech

4

Kansas

Marquette

Wisconsin

Florida St.

5

Kansas St.

Virginia Tech

Mississippi St.

Iowa St.

6

Maryland

Nevada

Cincinnati

Villanova

7

Buffalo

Louisville

Baylor

Auburn

8

Iowa

Wofford

Syracuse

Washington

9

Ole Miss

Virginia Commonwealth

Florida

St. John’s

10

Central Florida

Oklahoma

Minnesota

Ohio St.

11

Texas

TCU

Utah St.

Seton Hall

12

North Carolina St./Temple

Arizona St./Alabama

Belmont

Lipscomb

13

New Mexico St.

Old Dominion

Vermont

Hofstra

14

UC-irvine

Yale

South Dakota St.

Montana

15

Texas St.

Colgate

Drake

Wright St.

16

Campbell

Sam Houston St.

Norfolk St./St. Francis (PA)

Iona/Texas Southern

Last 4 In

North Carolina St.

Arizona St.

Alabama

Temple

Last 4 Bye

Texas

TCU

Utah St.

Seton Hall

First 4 Out

Clemson

Indiana

Georgetown

Furman

Next 4 Out

Murray St.

Nebraska

UNC Greensboro

Saint Mary’s

Bids By Conference

Bids

ACC

8

Big Ten

8

Big 12

8

SEC

8

AAC

4

Big East

4

MWC

2

Pac-12

2

One-Bid Leagues

24

 

 

 

 

March 1, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Friday, March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

Seed Team Team Team Team
1 Gonzaga Virginia Kentucky Duke
2 Michigan St. North Carolina Tennessee Michigan
3 Houston Purdue LSU Texas Tech
4 Kansas Virginia Tech Marquette Nevada
5 Kansas St. Iowa St. Florida St. Mississippi St.
6 Maryland Wisconsin Baylor Villanova
7 Wofford Cincinnati Louisville Buffalo
8 Ohio St. Florida Syracuse Iowa
9 St. John’s Washington Auburn Oklahoma
10 Ole Miss TCU North Carolina St. Virginia Commonwealth
11 Central Florida Texas Utah St. Temple
12 Alabama/Seton Hall Clemson/Minnesota Belmont Lipscomb
13 New Mexico St. Hofstra Yale Vermont
14 Old Dominion South Dakota St. UC-Irvine Montana
15 Texas St. Radford Drake Wright St.
16 Colgate Sam Houston Texas Sou./St. Francis (PA) Siena/Norfolk St.

 

Last 4 In Alabama Clemson Minnesota Seton Hall
Last 4 Bye Central Florida Texas Utah St. Temple
First 4 Out Arizona St. Butler Georgetown Furman
Next 4 Out UNC Greensboro Dayton Murray St. Memphis

 

Bids By Conference Bids
ACC 9
Big Ten 8
Big 12 8
SEC 8
AAC 4
Big East 4
MWC 2
One-Bid Leagues 25

 

Note: We expect a school other than Washington will win the Pac-12 Conference Tournament and thus allow two Pac-12 teams to go to the NCAA Tournament.  For now, Arizona State has played itself outside the at-large pool after a short stay in the last four in.

We also believe there is a decent chance that a school other than Buffalo might win the MAC Championship.  If this happens, then the MAC will get two teams in the field.

Wofford is most likely going to get in the field whether or not they earn the automatic bid from the Southern Conference.  Should UNC-Greensboro, Furman, or East Tennessee State win the SoCon Tournament over Wofford, then we believe the Terriers will get an at-large bid, giving this league its first ever multi-bid season.

The Ohio Valley Conference could get consideration for two teams if Belmont and Murray State keep winning and meet in the Championship Game of the OVC Tournament.

Should the nearly impossible happen, and Gonzaga loses in the West Coast Conference Tournament, then the WCC will get two bids.  Saint Mary’s could strengthen its at-large hopes if they upset Gonzaga Saturday night.

 

 

 

 

February 13, 2019

Bubbles Are Boiling

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:16 pm

Five Sundays from today, the NCAA Selection Committee will choose and seed the 68-team field for the NCAA Tournament.  At the present time, the Bubble list has begun to emerge with greater clarity.  There are about three dozen teams still competing for at-large bids, and more than half will not get into the Dance.

Some of the teams under consideration will eventually receive automatic bids when they win their conference tournaments.  On the other hand, there could be a few major upsets in the power conference tournaments forcing a bubble to pierce for one of these teams.

Let’s look at the principle boiling bubbles today.  We will let you decide if their resumes warrant bids or warrant bans to the NIT.

Team

Net

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Alabama

44

2-6

6-1

4-2

3-0

Arizona State

72

3-1

4-3

3-1

6-2

Baylor

32

3-5

7-1

1-0

5-2

Belmont

60

3-1

2-1

2-2

11-0

Butler

53

1-7

6-3

4-1

3-0

Central Florida

45

0-2

4-2

7-0

6-1

Clemson

39

2-6

2-2

5-0

6-0

Creighton

57

2-9

3-2

4-0

3-0

Davidson

68

0-2

3-1

6-3

8-0

Florida

42

1-9

3-1

3-1

5-0

Hofstra

51

0-2

0-1

4-1

16-0

Indiana

49

4-8

2-3

1-0

6-0

Lipscomb

30

2-3

2-1

2-0

12-0

Minnesota

58

3-6

4-2

4-0

5-0

New Mexico St.

59

0-1

2-1

8-2

9-0

North Carolina St

37

1-6

5-0

2-1

9-0

Ohio St.

36

4-5

3-2

4-0

5-0

Oklahoma

41

3-8

5-2

7-0

0-0

Ole Miss

35

3-7

3-0

4-0

6-0

Saint Mary’s

50

1-5

1-2

6-3

7-0

San Francisco

52

0-4

1-1

5-1

11-0

Seton Hall

69

2-6

7-1

2-2

3-0

St. John’s

48

4-4

4-1

2-2

8-0

TCU

33

1-7

5-0

7-0

4-0

Temple

55

1-5

5-1

4-1

7-0

Texas

34

4-6

4-4

3-1

3-0

Toledo

54

0-1

2-0

8-3

9-0

UNC Greensboro

46

1-3

1-0

5-0

13-0

Utah State

38

1-2

2-2

4-2

10-0

VCU

43

1-3

2-2

7-1

7-0

Wofford

28

2-4

3-0

4-0

9-0

Yale

62

0-3

1-0

5-1

8-0

 

Team

EFF.

SOS

Rd/Neut

Con

Ovr

Alabama

48

17

6-7

6-5

15-9

Arizona State

63

66

5-4

7-4

16-7

Baylor

34

50

5-4

7-4

16-8

Belmont

64

160

8-3

10-2

19-4

Butler

53

25

4-8

5-7

14-11

Central Florida

50

89

6-3

7-3

17-5

Clemson

31

36

4-6

5-5

15-8

Creighton

49

12

5-6

4-7

13-11

Davidson

75

106

7-6

9-2

18-6

Florida

38

29

5-7

4-6

12-11

Hofstra

67

225

7-4

11-1

21-4

Indiana

45

37

3-7

4-9

13-11

Lipscomb

33

204

9-3

11-0

20-4

Minnesota

56

51

5-6

6-7

16-8

New Mexico St.

54

134

9-3

9-1

20-4

North Carolina St

40

194

5-4

5-6

17-7

Ohio St.

32

49

6-3

6-6

16-7

Oklahoma

42

7

7-6

3-9

15-10

Ole Miss

39

63

7-4

6-4

16-7

Saint Mary’s

44

47

3-8

6-4

15-10

San Francisco

47

121

5-5

6-4

18-6

Seton Hall

66

40

6-6

5-6

14-9

St. John’s

52

57

7-4

6-6

18-7

TCU

37

20

6-5

5-6

17-7

Temple

76

56

8-5

7-4

17-7

Texas

28

3

4-6

6-6

14-11

Toledo

51

126

9-3

8-3

20-4

UNC Greensboro

80

188

10-2

11-1

22-3

Utah State

43

115

8-5

8-3

18-6

VCU

46

54

6-5

8-2

17-6

Wofford

30

133

8-3

13-0

21-4

Yale

72

123

7-4

5-1

15-4

 

Here’s an explanation of each column

Net: This is their official NCAA NET rating, the new and improved formula that supersedes all other, like the RPI.

Q1-Q4: These are the won-loss records for each quadrant.  The Quadrants are broken up into these groups.

Quadrant #

Home

Neutral

Road

Quadrant 1

1-30

1-50

1-75

Quadrant 2

31-75

51-100

76-135

Quadrant 3

76-160

101-200

136-240

Quadrant 4

161-353

201-353

241-353

If you play the #101 team at home, this is a Quadrant 3 opponent.  If you play the #101 team on their floor, this is a Quadrant 2 opponent.  If you host the #50 team, it counts as Quadrant 2, but if you play that team on a neutral floor or on the road, it is a Quadrant 1 game.

EFF.: This is the ranking in total efficiency, which is offensive efficiency combined with defensive efficiency and adjusted for strength of schedule.

SOS: This is the ranking of strengths of schedule for each team.  Keep in mind that the difference between #1 and #50 may be minimal, while the difference between #51 and #100 may be considerably more.

Rd/Neut: This is the combined road and neutral court won-loss records

Con and Ovr: Although not used by the Committee, this is the conference and overall won-loss records for each team for you to look at and decide for yourself if a certain team belongs in the Dance.  We are not 100% convinced that committee members don’t subconsciously let this stat creep into their decision-making process.  If a team finishes four games under .500 in their league while another finishes four game over .500, that four game swing is going to count for something, even if it isn’t supposed to count.

Trying To Think Like A Committee Member

Let’s look at each school on this list.

Alabama

With wins over Kentucky and Mississippi State, the Committee might overlook losses to Northeastern and Georgia State.  Two of the Tide’s non-conference losses are to probable NCAA Tournament teams Central Florida and Baylor.  The Tide sits at 6-5 in the SEC and projects to a 10-8 or 11-7 final mark.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation with possibility of starting in Dayton.

Arizona St.

The Pac-12 surely cannot be limited to just one bid, can it?  The Committee is not supposed to look at this metric, but this is no different than when the judge tells the jury to disregard a remark from a sustained objection in a court room.  Of course, it is remembered.

Arizona State beat Kansas and Mississippi State.  This past weekend, they handed Washington their first Pac-12 loss.  The Sun Devils lost a close game to Nevada.  They also lost at home to Princeton and recently were blown out at home by Pac-12 cellar dweller Washington State by 21 points.  They also lost at SEC last place Vanderbilt by 16, and they barely beat SEC #13 Georgia.

Does the Kansas win and close loss to Nevada do enough for the Sun Devils?  Their NET rating is 72, and their strength of schedule is 66.  In their favor, Arizona State has a winning record away from Tempe.

Verdict: Sorry, nothing in the inbox but some ads for hotels near Madison Square Garden in late March that you probably won’t need.

Baylor

The Bears lost early in the season to some really weak teams in Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin, but the TSU loss may turn out to be to a future NCAA Tournament team.  At 7-4 in the Big 12 with wins over Texas Tech, Iowa State, and TCU, plus a sweep of Oklahoma, Baylor is on the inside as of now.  We project Baylor to finish 10-8 in the league, and with this league’s strength, Coach Scott Drew can sleep peacefully when his team is eventually ousted in the Big 12 Tournament.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation and does not have to make travel arrangements to Dayton.

 

Belmont

Every year, Coach Rick Byrd has his Bruins among consideration for an NCAA Tournament bid, and this year is no different.  Belmont won at UCLA and Murray State, and they swept rival Lipscomb, who is in the top 30 and also in discussion for a potential at-large bid.  Among their losses is to Purdue in West Lafayette, but also among the losses are two to Jacksonville State.

We project Belmont to win out in the regular season to enter the OVC Tournament at 16-2 in the conference and 24-4 overall.  The Bruins will be the mild favorite to win the automatic bid, but Murray State, Austin Peay, and Jacksonville State will have shots as well.  If Belmont lost to Murray in the Championship Game and finished 26-5, the Bruins would have to be part of the at-large discussion.

Verdict: The Bruins need to win the automatic bid and then become a very game 12-seed.  Too many Bubble teams have to fold for Belmont to rise up and secure an at-large bid.  We believe as an automatic bid-winner and #12 seed, the Bruins are equipped with the talent and coaching to win their first tournament game after some near misses.

 

Butler

This Bulldogs team is not in the class with some of their recent NCAA Tournament teams.  A lone Quadrant 1 win came in a neutral contest with Florida, a team which they played a second time a month later and lost by close to 40 points.

The next most impressive victory is a home win over Ole Miss.  Butler’s NET rating of 53 is on the in-out line, but in their favor is a #25 strength of schedule

Verdict: We hear Dayton is lovely in March.  Even if it snows several inches, you will be very happy you got to visit Southwestern Ohio.  It’s an easy 2 hour drive.

 

Central Florida

The Golden Knights beat Alabama and Temple, and they lost to Houston.  UCF should get to 10 wins in the American Athletic Conference, but the Knights need to pull off one big win to solidify their at-large standing against their peers.  UCF will get that chance with games remaining with Cincinnati and Houston.  A sweep of South Florida might also be impressive enough to push them over the top.

Verdict: Hanging on to a First Four bid for now

 

Clemson

The Tigers don’t have many great wins on their schedule.  Their recent upset of Virginia Tech and an earlier win over Lipscomb are the only Quadrant 1 victories.  In their favor, they are 11-0 against Q3 and Q4 combined, so their losses have been to good or great teams.

We project CU to go 8-10 in ACC play, which in most years gets an ACC team into the field, whether it is deserved or not.  Clemson might need one more upset to complete their resume-building.  They certainly need to hold serve against the teams beneath them in the league.  A win tonight at Miami would be mighty.  We think that a win at home over Florida State, North Carolina, or Syracuse would give them all the juice they need.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation and probably not one to Dayton

 

Creighton

The Big East is top heavy with two superior teams and a half dozen good but not great teams.  At 4-7 in league play, the Blue Jays have a lot of work left to do to get onto the upper half of the Bubble.

The one thing keeping Creighton in the discussion currently is the fact that they have played 12 Quadrant 1 games so far and have a top 15 strength of schedule.  However, they are only 2-10 in those games.

Creighton’s next four games are must-win games.  The Blue Jays have to take care of Xavier tonight in Cincinnati and then beat Seton Hall, DePaul, and Georgetown to improve to 8-7 when they travel to Marquette in March.  A 6-1 finish from here would put CU at 10-8 in the league and 19-12 overall, where an opening round win in the Big East Tournament would give the Blue Jays a strong chance to get in.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only if they meet the parameters set above.  As of today, we’d say their invitation would be to host a game in the NIT.

 

Davidson

Bob McKillop is one of the most underrated coaches in college basketball.  While Davidson has an exceptional history of greatness thanks to what legendary coach Lefty Driesell did 50 years ago, those were different times.  Driesell recruited four or five players as good as Stephen Curry, and he brought Davidson to the top five of the rankings in 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969.  McKillop inherited a mess when he took over this program that was coming off a 24-loss season plus the transfer of their one good player.  He’s now led the Wildcats for 30 seasons!

Of course, none of this means anything to the Selection Committee.  Davidson’s resume is iffy at this point, and without an automatic bid, it looks like a slim possibility.  Their only quality win to date is a home game victory over conference co-contender Virginia Commonwealth.  This is their only win against a top 100 team, and it came at home.  Unless they face VCU in the Conference Tournament, they will face just one other top 100 team the rest of the way.  The stars just don’t align for the Wildcats this year.

Verdict: They better win the automatic bid or plan on playing in the NIT, CBI, or CIT

 

Florida

Coach Michael White is underachieving in Gainesville, and, following in the footsteps of Billy Donovan, could find his seat heating up quickly if the Gators miss out on this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Florida’s schedule is the only reason why at 4-6 in the SEC and 12-11 overall that they are still in consideration as an at-large team.  The Gators are looking at 8-10 in the league and 16-15 overall.  With that record, they will have to win at least three SEC Tournament games to even be in the final discussion.

Verdict: One of the biggest disappointments of the season does not receive an NCAA bid and may not receive an NIT bid either

 

Hofstra

Make no bones about it, Hofstra is not a real at-large candidate.  However, we wanted to list the Pride here to show you their resume.  At 21-4, the Pride has no Q1 or Q2 wins.  They are 16-0 against Q4, and their strength of schedule ranks 225.  We wanted to show them to you so you can compare them with the other Mid-major teams on this list.  We could have also shown you UC-Irvine, a team in a similar boat with Hofstra, while Wofford, UNC Greensboro, Belmont, and Lipscomb have some tiny at-large hopes.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only if it is automatic

 

Indiana

This was supposed to be a much better year in Hoosierland, and like his brother Sean, Archie Miller has come under fire.  IU was supposed to contend with the Michigan schools and Purdue for the Big Ten title.  Instead, the Hoosiers find themselves mired in a tenth place tie in the Big Ten at 4-9/13-11.

Indiana has the bare minimum criteria to squeak in as a fortunate bubble team.  Their NET rating is just under 50, and most power league teams in the top 50 get into the field.  Their strength of schedule is 37, and this is okay for any major conference team on the bubble.  Their efficiency rating is also okay at 45, not great but adequate enough for a Big Ten team.

With 12 Quadrant 1 games and wins in four of those contests, the Hoosiers have proven they can compete at the top of the game.  Of their seven remaining games, five are against tough opponents, and Indiana needs to win two of those five games and four overall to enter the Big Ten Tournament not needing to win three games to feel comfortable about getting an at-large bid.

Verdict: At the present time, we have them as the #68 team in the field, and they would be slotted to go to Dayton, where they might have to play Butler. What a rivalry game played close enough for the fans to make the commute by car!

 

Lipscomb

The Atlantic Sun Conference is mid-major at best and borders on low-major status, but Florida Gulf Coast proved this league has the ability to send teams to the Sweet 16.

Lipscomb made its first NCAA Tournament appearance last year and scared North Carolina for a half.  This Bisons team is better than last year, and the former NAIA superpower might be talented enough to replicate what FGCU did earlier in the decade.

Lipscomb has played five Q1 games, all on the road and won twice, once against TCU.  They have no bad losses, going 14-0 against Q3 & Q4.  Among their losses is a four-pointer at Louisville.

If Lipscomb beats Liberty tonight in Nashville to complete the season sweep, they will almost assuredly win out to finish 16-0/25-4 before hosting all their conference tournament games.  It would take a lot to not be the automatic qualifier, but in the event they lost to Liberty in the finals, they would be 27-5 with a lot of positives on their resume.

Verdict: The Bisons are a very likely automatic qualifier, but if they were 27-5, it would take a lot of statistics-bending to exclude them from the at-large pool.  However, we have faith that the Selection Committee would find ways to ship Lipscomb to the NIT in favor of the ninth place team in the ACC or 10th place team in the Big Ten or even the fifth best Big East team, or even TCU who lost at home to this Lipscomb team.

 

Minnesota

Richard Pitino, Saul Phillips, Murray Bartow, and Bryce Drew know what it is like to have fathers that enjoyed long, successful careers in college basketball.  They also know what it is like to have their team’s fanatics wishing that those great coaches had created daughters rather than sons.  Pitino is on very thin ice in Minneapolis, and the Gophers must make the Big Dance if Pitino is to stay employed in the Cities in 2020.

The Gophers are in 8th place in the Big Ten with a 16-8 record overall.  This is just enough to meet the minimum for a Big Ten team.  Their NET rating is 59, which is right on the line for average lowest rating that gets in.  Three Quad 1 wins and a 5-6 record away from home gives the Gophers a decent shot at making the field.

Minnesota’s closing schedule could cinch their bid or kill their chances.  Their more winnable games are on the road, and the tougher opponents must come to Minneapolis.  Tonight’s game at Nebraska could be a bell-weather contest.  A loss might open the door for another bubble team to step up and pass the Gophers.

Verdict: For now, we believe the Selection Committee would send the Gophers an Invitation and even allow them to avoid the First Four.  However, a 3-4 finish to give UM a 9-11 mark in the league and 19-12 overall might put Minny on the wrong side of the Bubble if they lost their first Big Ten Tournament game.  Pitino loses his job if UM misses the Dance.

 

New Mexico St.

New Mexico State is not getting an at-large bid, even if the Aggies win out until the WAC Championship Game and then lose to Grand Canyon or Cal St. Bakersfield by one point in overtime.

Let’s look at their resume.  They lost at Kansas by three points, and that was their only Q1 game.  Even had they beaten Kansas by three, their resume is too thin with just one Q1 game.

NMSU is just one spot behind Minnesota in the NET Ratings, and the Aggies are 9-3 away from Las Cruces.  However, their strength of schedule rates at number 134, and we learned from the top-16 seed reveal last week just how much this year’s Committee valued strength of schedule.

Verdict: No At-large chance, but we believe this team could be 30-4 when they win the WAC’s automatic bid.  Coach Chris Jans has overcome a lot of adversity to resurrect his career.  NMSU will be a dangerous 12 or 13 seed.

 

North Carolina St.

Kevin Keatts is one of our favorite basketball coaches.  We are in high regard of his ability to evaluate talent and alter his schemes to best exploit opponent weaknesses and utilize his talent.  Even that embarrassing oops loss to Virginia Tech does not alter our opinion.  Keatts is a Final Four coach of the future, be it here or some place else.

This Wolf Pack team is not going to advance very far in the NCAA Tournament, but they will almost definitely receive a bid based on their results so far.

When an ACC team has a top 40 NET rating, they are going dancing.  NCSU is presently #39.  The Wolf Pack currently has a winning record away from Raleigh.

All is not peachy though with their resume.  Their Strength of Schedule is an unheard of for an ACC team #194, because they played six of the bottom 34 teams in Division 1, including the two weakest of all.  State only has one Q1 win all year, a home victory over Auburn which looks less impressive now than it did then.

The Pack can easily finish the regular season on a 5-2 sprint to a 10-8 regular season conference record, which gets an ACC team an at-large bid better than 95% of the time.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation as one of the last teams in that do not play in the First Four

 

Ohio St.

The Buckeyes really should not be in this discussion.  The only reason why we include them here is that they still need to avoid a total collapse.  At 6-6/16-7, if OSU goes 3-5 down the stretch, they will get into the field.

Road wins over Cincinnati, Indiana, and Creighton are impressive enough already, but we see the Buckeyes finishing no worse than 4-4 and possibly 5-3 to make their selection quite easy.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Oklahoma

Can a team that is 3-9 in their conference really be in the hunt for an at-large bid?  Oklahoma certainly hopes so, and thanks to the Big 12’s overall concentration of power, the Sooners do have a legitimate chance to get into the Field of 68 with a conference mark no better than 7-11.

In OU’s favor is a schedule that faced no Q4 teams and just seven Q3 teams.  Oklahoma went 7-0 in those games.  Their overall strength of schedule is #7, which means that a winning overall record is going to be enough to give them a chance.

Oklahoma has six games remaining prior to the league tourney, and if they go 3-3 with one of those wins coming against Kansas, and then they win their first Big 12 Tournament game, the Sooners will be in good enough shape to expect great things on March 17.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation if they go 3-3 plus one Big 12 Tournament win

 

Ole Miss

Ole Miss is 16-7, and all seven of their losses came to Q1 teams!  They have three Q1 wins, including one on the road against Mississippi State.

A 35 NET rating and 39 Efficiency rating makes their resume complete.  At this point, Ole Miss is competing for a 7 or 8 seed and not needing to worry about missing out on the Dance, unless they totally collapse.  Coach Kermit Davis has done an incredible job in his first year in Oxford.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels have received an at-large bid in the past, but they also beat Gonzaga in the past.  This year, it appears out of reach, and a 11-5/22-12 final record (the best possible without beating Gonzaga, is most likely to fall short of the minimum needed criteria.

Verdict: SMC is going to have to beat Gonzaga to have any chance, and most likely, that win will have to come in the finals of the WCC Tournament, which would then give the Gaels the automatic bid and Gonzaga an at-large bid at the expense of another team on this list.

 

San Francisco

At one time earlier this year, USF looked like a potential at-large team.  A 13-point loss at home to Gonzaga followed by losses at Saint Mary’s and San Diego, basically necessitated winning at Gonzaga to have a real chance.  The Zags ran the Dons off the floor, ending USF’s at-large possibilities.

Verdict: No bid unless USF pulls off the upset and wins the West Coast Tournament Championship.  We cannot see USF beating Gonzaga, but if the Dons earn the #2 or #3 seed in the conference tournament, while BYU earns the #4 seed, then the Dons could hope that the Cougars upset Gonzaga, giving them a chance to knock off BYU for the automatic bid.

 

Seton Hall

Seton Hall is in a similar boat to Butler and Creighton in the up and down Big East race.  The Pirates have some pluses and some minuses in their quest to get a bid.

On the plus side are wins over Kentucky and Maryland, but countering those two great Q1 victories are losses at home to St. Louis and DePaul.  Three of their Q1 losses were by five points or less, and they have only played seven games against Q3 & Q4 teams.

With a 69 NET Rating, the Pirates need to improve their standing in the last five weeks.  The schedule is quite tough with the top two Big East teams (Villanova and Marquette) still on the schedule, and the Hall has road games with Creighton, St. John’s, and Georgetown.  We expect SHU to enter the Big East Tournament at 7-11/16-14, and the Big East is not strong enough for a team with fewer than 10 conference wins or nine with a couple of conference tournament wins to get in.

Verdict: Looks like they will be disappointed on Selection Sunday without an upset of Marquette or Villanova and a 9-9 Big East record

 

St. John’s

St. John’s is only a half-game in front of Seton Hall, but their resume might as well be 20 games ahead.  The Red Storm have played a much tougher schedule this year, and schedule strength appears to be very important, just behind NET Ratings, with the Committee.  Sweeps of Marquette and Creighton with their worst loss coming against DePaul gives SJU a strong shot at making the field.  Add a 7-4 record away from home, and the Red Storm would have to collapse to miss out this year.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation, probably an 8 or 9 seed

 

TCU

Like Ole Miss, all of TCU’s losses have come to Quadrant 1 teams.  They are 16-0 against all others.  A 33 NET rating and 20 Strength of Schedule Rating puts the Horned Frogs well up into the good graces of the Selection Committee.

TCU should be no worse than 9-9 in the Big 12, and when a league is as strong up and down as this one, the 9-9 team always gets into the field.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Temple

When a top 10 team has just one loss all year, the team that beat them gets added oomph in their resume.  Temple gave Houston their only loss so far this year.  The Owls lost their other five Q1 games to date.

Temple’s NET Rating is 55, which puts them on the Bubble for sure.  Their Strength of Schedule is 56, which is at the bottom of the allowed SOS for an at-large team.  An 8-5 record away from home (7-4 away from the City of Brotherly Love) makes their criteria smack dab in the hunt as one of the final teams in our highest teams out.

Temple can go 5-2 the rest of the regular season to finish at 12-6 in the league.  With a win in the AAC Tournament, that would give the Owls at least 23 wins, and that would leave them exactly where they are now–in the middle of the discussion between teams number 67 and 70.  A win at South Florida this weekend would really help.

 

Texas

The Longhorns have the worst record of teams that appear to be in good shape with the Selection Committee.  At 6-6/14-11, UT still has work to do just to guarantee a plus .500 record.  They have played the third toughest schedule in the nation, and they own wins over North Carolina, Purdue, Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor.

Add a 34 NET Rating and 28 Efficiency Rating, and Texas only needs to get enough wins down the stretch to guarantee an at-large bid.  A 9-9 Big 12 record does the trick.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Toledo

The PiRate Ratings are big fans of the Mid-Major conferences that have been around for decades, and the MAC is one of those leagues.  Toledo was really good back in the late 1960’s when Steve Mix played for the Rockets prior to starting in the NBA.  Success has been limited for Toledo on the hardwoods since then.

This Toledo team has no chance of securing an at-large bid, and with a 30-point loss to Buffalo, it is hard to see them getting revenge in the championship game of the MAC Tournament.  Still, we include them in this write-up, because the MAC Tournament is always competitive, and the top-seeded team loses in it more than the average conference.

Toledo is one of three or four teams that could upset Buffalo, although this year’s Buffalo team has all the tools to sweep the regular season and conference tournament.  However, if Buffalo loses, then obviously another team must win the automatic bid, while Buffalo bursts a Bubble for another team as a certain at-large team.

A 9-3 record away from home makes this a dangerous team in Cleveland.  Toledo will waltz into Cleveland as the number one seed from the West Division, so Buffalo will have to beat two others before the Rockets will have to glare at the Bulls in a possible title game.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only bid winning automatic bid, but Buffalo still gets in if they lose the MAC Tournament

 

UNC Greensboro

This is a team no favorite from a power conference will want to see in a potential Round of 64 NCAA Tournament game.  UNCG is a tough matchup, and the Spartans have a unique style that is hard to prepare for on a couple day’s notice.

With a 46 NET Rating, UNCG is worthy of an at-large bid if they were to win out all the way to the Socon Championship Game and lose a close one to Wofford.  The Spartans are 10-2 away from Greensboro, but their issue is a schedule that is rated 188 (which is still ahead of North Carolina State).

If UNCG is to earn enough respect to be in the at-large pool, the Spartans must win their two big games this week.  They play at Furman tonight, and then meet Wofford in Spartanburg Saturday.  If UNCG wins out but loses in the SoCon Championship Game, they will be 30-4 and in the mix for one of the last four bids.

 

Utah St.

With a 38 NET Rating and 43 Efficiency Rating, Utah State should be in the almost safe range for an at-large bid, but the Aggies are still on the outside looking in thanks to a strength of schedule rated 115.  Utah State has seven regular season games left, and if they win out, they will enter the MWC Tournament at 15-3/25-6.  Most importantly, if they win out, it will mean the Aggies beat Nevada.  The boys from Reno come to Logan on March 2.  USU almost has to win that game to have any serious at-large chances, but they also have a chance to win the automatic bid in the tough Mountain West.  Nevada won the MWC last year and failed to make the tournament title game as the number one seed, so history could repeat.

Verdict: We believe the Aggies deserve an at-large bid as of today, and for now we will give the Selection Committee the benefit of the doubt in realizing that they deserve to be in

 

Virginia Commonwealth

At the current time, we actually have VCU as the likely automatic bid winner from the Atlantic 10, ahead of Davidson, but we included the Rams here to show you how close they are to qualifying as an at-large team.

VCU has a 43 NET Rating, 54 Strength of Schedule, and 46 Efficiency Rating.  This is already better than some of the other teams thought to be among the last four in and first four out.  They have a 6-5 record away from home and won at Texas.  They suffered narrow losses to Virginia and St. John’s.

We project VCU to finish 15-3 in the A-10 and 24-7 overall in the regular season.  If they lose in the conference tournament and finish 26-8, the Rams will be in the mix for an at-large bid.

Verdict: We believe VCU has the best chance of winning the A-10 Tournament and the automatic bid, but if they lose in the Championship Game, the Rams still have a chance depending on how many Power Conferences have major upsets or if teams like Buffalo and Nevada lose in their conference tournaments

Wofford

If we told you that an anonymous team was ranked 28 in the NET Ratings with the number 30 Efficiency Rating, and with a 20-point road win at the number four team in the SEC, and with four losses all year to North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma, you might reply that Auburn or Texas Tech will obviously make the NCAA Tournament, guessing from the information given that one of these two teams must be that anonymous team.

Mention Wofford to 99% of the general college basketball fandom public, and you are very likely to hear such fanatic tell you that they will be another one of those first round 25-point losers to some Big Ten team.

Wofford and UNC Greensboro both probably belong in the NCAA Tourmament.  Unfortunately, one of these two are likely to be team number 69, 70, 71, or 72.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation if they earn the automatic bid

 

Yale

There has never been an at-large Ivy League team, and there isn’t going to be one this year, even if Yale is probably better than a couple of teams seriously on the Bubble.

The Bulldogs’ best win is a neutral court victory over Miami of Florida.  Their resume won’t get them an at-large bid.  We project the Bulldogs to go 12-2 in the Ivy League to earn the top seed in the four-team tournament.  We also project Yale to win the Tournament to finish 24-5, where they will earn no better than a 13 seed and possible a 14 seed.  At 13, there are multiple potential 4 seeds that could be uspet by this Yale team.

 

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