Tomorrow is day all of us college basketball fans have been waiting for! The brackets come out tomorrow night, and it has always been a personal tradition to make fun of Clark Kellogg for picking all #1 seeds in the Final Four (has happened only once ever). So anyhow, I am not a Joe Lunardi, and we are not Bracketography.com or anything like that. Instead, I just wanted to look at some of the teams that are projecting to be in, others that are projecting in being out, and seeing if any coach out there will have a legit gripe on Sunday night.
For #1 seeds, the consensus is Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Kansas/Texas winner, and Notre Dame or Duke. I don't think there are going to be many surprises there. Pittsburgh is doing their annual postseason choke-job, but they are regular season champs of the best basketball conference, so it's no surprise they will be a #1. If there is a surprise, it is that Notre Dame is currently projected as a #1, when I think Duke is the better team. I understand Notre Dame might have a better resume from the fact they play in a better conference, but resume ranking only goes so far in my opinion.But I don't have a dog in the fight, and it doesn't really bother me who is put as a #1 seed.
On the other side of the spectrum is the bubble. This has been more volatile than I thought it would be, thanks to teams like USC and Penn State making improbable runs deep into their conference tournaments, and Michigan State going all Izzo on Purdue. Georgia and Alabama played each other yesterday in what was thought of as a play-in game, yet both those teams may be on the outside looking in. It must be championship week.
Some quick thoughts about the bubble:
Teams that will have a right to be ticked if they are left out (even if they already know it):
Harvard: I get they did not win the Ivy League, a weak overall conference. But this is a team with a Top 40 RPI. This team is good.
UAB: Better record than Cincy, harder SOS (79th vs. 83rd), and a 31 overall RPI
Georgia: Similar record to UCLA with a harder SOS (40th vs. 49th)
Colorado State: Very similar profile as Michigan
Clemson: Very very similar as Florida State, and VA Tech.
Boston College: But only if VA Tech gets in. If they are both out, then so be it.
Teams that ought to be thankful if they do get in:
VA Tech: RPI is 61st, and their SOS is 90th
Colorado: RPI is 65th, in NIT range. They did turn it on at the end of the year. Still, though. If ISU doesn't blow that 6 point lead in the closing minutes, they CU is not in this conversation. I was under the impression they had a stronger resume, but after looking over their numbers, I can't believe it is almost a foregone conclusion they are in.
USC: A .500-ish team in a weak conference. They have a couple of big wins, but they have some head scratching losses. Plus they own a 67 RPI.
Something I am wondering, is whether the RPI matters anymore? In the past, if you have a RPI higher than 50, you were going to have a tough time getting an at-large for BCS conference teams. much a given if you had an RPI below 50, that you were not going to get in. This year, it looks like it doesn't matter. Georgia is 45th, and they are considered out by the prognosticators. On the flip-side, Marquette is solidly in, and are 63rd, Colorado is at 65th and look like they are in as well. I understand getting big wins is good, but having bad losses is bad to, right?
One last thought: I'm so glad the tournament did not expand to 96 teams. Could you imagine if we were looking Minnesota, Nebraska, Baylor, Maryland, Ole Miss, and Northwestern in? This is why the NIT exists people!