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NCAA Tournament Daily Breakdown March 20

Here comes Butler again

Here’s a look back at Saturday’s excitement in the NCAA tournament.

Best Finish

The San Diego State and Temple game went to two OT’s, but the Pittsburgh and Butler game easily takes the honors. Butler coach Brad Stevens drew up another brilliant end of game play to give the Bulldogs the lead. But the two subsequent fouls on each team and the drama surrounding those calls overshadowed Stevens’ coaching. Should those calls have been made? The first one was Butler’s Shelvin Mack definitely impeding Gilbert Brown as he was going to attempt a half-court shot. The following foul in a tie game with no chance of a 90 foot made shot, was questionable. But at the end of the day, you can’t make contact and Jamie Dixon shouldn’t have had anybody on that foul line. A John Chaney coached team goes to overtime, because he never had his players on the foul line when his players were shooting for that reason.

Best Performance – Team

Brigham Young: Everybody was picking Gonzaga to beat BYU last night, but The Jimmer and his teammates had other plans. Gonzaga guard Marquise Carter had a career high 24 points against St. John’s on Thursday, but didn’t even score a point against the Cougars. As for the Cougars offense, they shot 14-28 from three point range and shot 52.5% overall. It didn’t matter that the Bulldogs won the battle of the boards by 11, 34-23. All of that resulted in a 22 point win for BYU.

Best Performance – Player

(Tie) Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker: Was there any doubt? These two should share the national player of the year award and last night’s performance is why. The Jimmer went for 34 points and also dished 6 assists as Gonzaga had no answer defensively for the Cougars sharp shooting. Kemba scored 33 and had 6 rebounds and 5 assists as Connecticut beat fellow Big East member Cincinnati last night. It’s too bad that the only way these two could face off would be in Houston on the Monday night. Or that could just be what this season deserves. Honorable mention to Kentucky‘s Brandon Knight who scored 30 against West Virginia.

Best Performance – Player on Losing Team

The Beard, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen went out with a tremendous performance against Wisconsin. He had 38 points on 13-22 shooting, but went 6 of 8 from three point range. The only blemish on his performance was that missed free throw in the final ten seconds that could have helped tie the game. Pullen is a special college player who probably won’t have a long NBA career due to his size. He’ll be hard to replace not only for K-State, but for college hoops in general.

What’s Happening to the Big East

Notre Dame is now the conference’s last hope to send more than two teams to the Sweet 16 next week. If the Irish lose to Florida State tomorrow night, then the only Big East teams to advance past this weekend would be the winners of the two Big East matchups. This was unthinkable when the tournament started but injuries (Georgetown), collapses (Villanova), peaking too soon (St. John’s), and March Madness (Louisville) thwarted the chances of this formerly (last week) mighty conference.

Coach Who Made the Most $$$

Chris Mooney of Richmond heads to the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed after the Spiders beat Morehead State yesterday. Rumors are already rampant that the Princeton grad will be a top target of the two ACC schools that have openings, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. Based on his experience and the expectations at each school, Tech looks to be the better fit due to not being on Tobacco Road with Mike and Roy. Mooney could get overwhelmed, like others, in Raleigh.  

Coaches Who Will Have a Little Pressure on them Next Season

Ben Howland and Jamie Dixon worked together at Northern Arizona and then again at Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, because of where he coaches, UCLA’s Howland will have pressure to make at least the Sweet 16 every year. Dixon will have to answer questions about annually coming up short in March until he reaches a Final Four. While not under the same scrutiny as his mentor, Dixon will have the stigma of an underachiever until he guides his team to that final weekend.

Worst Host City

Hello, Tucson, you have the NCAA tournament in town this week. The fans in the desert didn’t show up and there were over 3,000 empty seats for yesterday’s session. Evidently exhibition baseball is more compelling in Arizona this time of the year. None of the other host cities had attendance problems.

Look ahead to Sunday:

Remember About the Gus Johnson Special:

Gus surely will be involved in another buzzer beater this weekend and there are two games to choose from. First will be George Mason and Ohio State at 5:15 EST on Sunday and that will be followed by Marquette and Syracuse. One of those games is GUARANTEED to have a great ending. I’m offering a free subscription to my blog to anybody who doesn’t get their money’s worth out of those two games on Sunday.

Schedule:

(7 East)Washington vs. (2 East) North Carolina on CBS at 12:15 EDT

(8 West)Michigan vs. (1 West) Duke on CBS at 2:45 EDT

(8 East)George Mason vs. (1 East) Ohio State on CBS at 5:15 EDT

(5 West)Arizona vs. (4 West) Texas on TNT at 6:10 EDT

(11 Southwest)Virginia Commonwealth vs. (3 Southwest) Purdue on TBS at 7:10 EDT

(11 East)Marquette vs. (3 East) Syracuse on truTV at 7:45 EDT

(9 Southwest)Illinois vs. (1 Southwest) Kansas on TNT at 8:40 EDT

(10 Southwest)Florida State vs. (7 Southwest) Notre Dame on TBS at 9:40 EDT

Mid Major Basketball Overview March 8

It's a Cinderella story

Mid Major Basketball Overview March 8

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 8th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Old Dominion Monarchs RPI 23 –CAA Champion

  • 27-6, 14-4 in CAA   Away: 8-4  Neutral:  5-0
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 – Wins: Clemson, Xavier, Richmond, Dayton, and Cleveland State. Losses: Georgetown and Missouri. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 13, schedule 16.
  • CAA Wins: at Tow, NE, GM, at Hof, JMU, UNCW, at GSU, Tow, Del, at W&M, at VCU, GSU, at JMU, W&M  Losses: at Del, at Drex, VCU, at GM
  • The Monarchs have won 9 in a row and 13 of 14 in winning the CAA. As for seeding, they should be either a 6 or 7 seed. Anything worse would be an injustice. Profile will be better than Pac 10 and A-10 champs.

Gonzaga Bulldogs RPI 55 –WCC Champion

  • 24-9, 11-3 in WCC  Away: 7-5   Neutral: 3-0
  • OOC rundown: 11-6 – Wins: Marquette, Baylor, Xavier, and Oklahoma State. Losses: San Diego State, Kansas State, Illinois, Washington State, Notre Dame, and Memphis. They also have 3 gimme wins and one non division I win. RPI 79, schedule 37.
  • WCC Wins: Port, Pep, LMU, USD, at Port, LMU, at Pepp, SCU, USF, at SMC, at USD    Losses: at SCU, at USF, SMC
  • The Bulldogs have won 11 of 12 to claim the WCC automatic bid. They look like an 11 seed with the ability to move up or down one line from there. A single digit seed looks like a long shot.

George Mason Patriots RPI 27

  • 26-6, 16-2 in CAA   Away: 10-4   Neutral:  2-2
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 – Wins: Harvard, Duquesne, and Northern Iowa. Losses: NC State, Wofford, and Dayton. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 42, schedule 86.
  • CAA Wins: UNCW, Del, at NE, GSU, Drex, at JMU, at Del, Tow, at W&M, Hof, ODU, at UNCW, JMU, at VCU, NE, at GSU    Losses: at Hof, at ODU
  • The Patriots had their 16 game winning streak snapped by VCU in the CAA semis. There doesn’t appear to be a way that they don’t make the tourney, but you never know. Unless something goofy happens, Mason looks like an 8-9 game participant.

 

Bubble Territory:

UAB Blazers RPI 28

  • 22-7, 12-4 in CUSA  Away: 9-5   Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 – Wins: Arkansas and VCU. Losses: Arizona State, Georgia, and Duke. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 52, schedule 164.
  • CUSA Wins: UTEP, at ECU, SMU, Mar, at UCF, at Tula, at Mar, Rice, UCF, at Hou, at USM, ECU   Losses: at Tuls, Mem, USM, at Mem
  • The Blazers have to avoid the potential first game upset in the CUSA tournament. After the first game, they are lined up to play Memphis and if the two meet, the winner should be a lock at-large heading to the CUSA finals. That win over VCU could come in pretty handy on Sunday. But the Georgia loss could hurt them.

Utah State Aggies RPI 18

  • 28-3, 15-1 in WAC  Away: 9-3   Neutral:
  • OOC rundown: 13-2 – Wins: St. Mary’s. Losses: at BYU, at Georgetown. They also have 9 gimme wins and 1 non division I win. RPI 20, schedule 111.
  • The Aggies got the solid win at St Mary’s and are now a legit at-large candidate. But they can’t lose until the WAC final to ensure that at-large.

Butler Bulldogs RPI 37

  • 22-9, 13-5 in HOR  Away: 6-6   Neutral:
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 – Wins: Stanford, Washington State, and Florida State. Losses: Louisville, Evansville, Duke, and Xavier. They also have 1 gimme win and a non division I win. RPI 34, schedule 13.
  • HOR Wins: at Loy, Valp, CSU, YSU, at Det, UWGB, at CSU, UIC, WSU, Det, at UWGB, at UIC, Loy  Losses: at UWM, at WSU, UWM, at Val, at YSU
  • The Bulldogs seven game winning streak to end the regular season has to help. Their RPI is high, but they probably have to make the Horizon finals to be an at-large. Last year could help them, although it shouldn’t.

Memphis Tigers RPI 38

  • 22-9, 10-6 in CUSA  Away: 4-6   Neutral:  0-1
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 – Wins: Miami (FL) and Gonzaga. Losses: Kansas, Georgetown, and Tennessee. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 63, schedule 119.
  • CUSA Wins: ECU, Mar, at USM, at UAB, UCF, at UCF, USM, UAB, Hou, Tula    Losses: at SMU, at Mar, Tuls, at Rice, at UTEP, at ECU
  • Memphis needs to make the CUSA finals by beating UAB to have a chance at an at-large bid. Their 5-6 finish is entirely unimpressive. They don’t have a win over an at-large team, since Gonzaga the auto-bid and might not have made it. A loss to UAB would be crippling as their sweep is the only thing making them equal right now.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams RPI 48

  • 23-11, 12-6 in CAA  Away: 8-6   Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 – Wins: UCLA and Wichita State. Losses: Tennessee, South Florida, Richmond, and UAB. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 57, schedule 110.
  • CAA Wins: W&M, Drex, at UNCW, at W&M, NE, GSU, at ODU, at Tow, Hof, UNCW, at JMU, at Del   Losses: at GSU, at NE, ODU, GMU, at Drex, JMU
  • Tough loss to ODU in the CAA championship game. This is the ultimate bubble team. They have two very good CAA wins over Mason and ODU to go along with their OOC work. A comparison between the Rams and St. Mary’s would seem to indicate a slight edge for the Rams. It will come down to BCS conference mediocrity versus solid mid-majors like VCU. If they do get in, expect them to play in the opening round play-in game.

Saint Mary’s Gaels RPI 47

  • 24-8, 11-3 in WCC  Away: 7-4   Neutral:  3-2
  • OOC rundown: 12-4 – Wins: St. John’s. Losses: San Diego State, BYU, Vanderbilt, and Utah State. They also have 3 gimme wins and Weber State remaining. RPI 41, schedule 36.
  • WCC Wins: at LMU, at Pep, USF, SC, USD, at Gon, Pep, LMU, at SC, at USF, Port   Losses: at Port, at USD, Gon
  • The Gaels are now a coin flip for the Big Dance after losing 4 of 6 going into their final game on Friday against Weber State. A loss there and they’re done. If they do get an at-large, they will probably be playing in the opening round play-in game. We’re going to see how good that opening game win over St. John’s really is.

 

Still Alive:

Texas-El Paso Miners RPI 60

  • 23-8, 11-5 in CUSA  Away: 5-5   Neutral:  1-1
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 – Wins: Michigan. Losses: Pacific, Georgia Tech, and BYU. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non division I win. RPI 82, schedule 168.
  • CUSA Wins: Tuls, at Tula, Rice, at Hou, Tula, at Rice, SMU, Hou, Mem, Mar, at SMU   Losses: at UAB, at Tuls, at USM, UCF, at ECU
  • The Miners would probably need a miracle even if they lost to UAB or Memphis in the CUSA finals. But the bubble is a strange place this season and there might be something in their profile that the selection committee likes. The win over Michigan for instance.

Marshall Thundering Herd RPI 49

  • 21-10, 9-7 in CUSA  Away: 6-7   Neutral:  1-0
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 – Wins: West Virginia. Losses: Chattanooga, at Louisville, at James Madison. They also have 6 gimme wins and two non division I wins. RPI 64, schedule 155.
  • CUSA Wins: USM, Mem, at Hou, at ECU, Rice, at Tula, Tuls, SMU, UCF   Losses: at UCF, at Mem, ECU, at UAB, at USM, UAB, at UTEP
  • The Herd probably needs to make the CUSA finals to have a chance at an at-large. Their RPI is in range, but is the win over West Virginia going to be enough as they have some bad losses? The soft bubble awaits them if they make the finals.

 

Probably Not:

Missouri State Bears RPI 41

  • 25-8, 15-3 in MVC  Away: 7-6   Neutral: 3-1
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 – Wins: No notables. Losses: Tennessee, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and Valparaiso. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 95, schedule 165.
  • MVC Wins: at UNI, Ill St, at Cre, Evan, at Wich St, S Ill, at Brad, Cre, at Dra, Ind St, Brad, Ill St, Dra  Losses: at Ind St, UNI, at Evan
  • It’s highly unlikely that the committee is going to be more impressed by the Bears than any of the CAA teams or St. Mary’s. There will have to be an avalanche of mid-majors selected to get any Valley at-large bids.

Cleveland State Vikings RPI 42

  • 26-8, 13-5 in HOR  Away: 9-5   Neutral: 1-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 – Wins: No notable wins. Losses: West Virginia and Old Dominion. They also have 3 gimme wins. RPI 14, schedule 38.
  • HOR Wins: at UWGB, at UWM, Loy, UIC, at YSU, Det, WSU, at UIC, at Loy, Val, YSU, at WSU, UWGB  Losses: at But, at Val, But, at Det, UWM
  • Solid RPI, but who have they beaten? Beating Butler just once might have done it for them. The one thing the Vikings have going for them is that the committee chairman said that he’s more impressed by wins than anything else. Those 26 wins look nice if that’s true.

Wichita State Shockers RPI 61

  • 24-8, 14-4 in MVC  Away: 9-2   Neutral: 2-2
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 – Wins: Virginia and Tulsa. Losses: Connecticut, San Diego State, and Virginia Commonwealth. They also have 4 gimme wins and non division I win over Chaminade. RPI 76, schedule 89.
  • MVC Wins: Evan, at Brad, Dra, at Ill St, at Cre, at Dra, Ind St, at S Ill, Brad, at Ind St, Ill St, at UNI, at Evan, Cre     Losses: Mizz St, UNI, S Ill, at Mizz St
  • Highly doubtful given their late season home loss to VCU and semifinals loss to Indiana State.

 

Keeping an eye on:

Harvard (Ivy) RPI 36 23-5/12-2: Harvard could lose to Princeton in a playoff game and earn the Ivy’s first at-large bid ever. Wins over BC and Colorado make them a legitimate at-large prospect if they lose to the Tigers. It’s a weak bubble year.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

ACC Basketball Overview March 7

ACC Basketball Overview March 7

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 7th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Duke Blue Devils RPI 5

  • 27-4, 13-3 in ACC   Away: 8-4  Neutral:  2-0
  • OOC rundown: 14-1 with wins against Marquette, Kansas State, Michigan State, Butler, UAB , and Temple and a loss to St John’s. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 7, schedule 44.
  • ACC Wins: Mia, Mary, UVA, at NC St, at WF, BC, at Mary, NC St, UNC, at Mia, at UVa, GT, Clem      Losses: at FSU, at VT, at UNC
  • The Devils need to win the ACC tournament and maybe get help to get a 1 seed. As long as they win one game, they should be at least a 2 seed.

North Carolina Tar Heels RPI 6

  • 24-6, 14-2 in ACC   Away: 8-3  Neutral:  1-2
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a good win over Kentucky and losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Texas. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 29, schedule 20.
  • ACC Wins: at UVa, VT, Clem, at Mia, NC St, at BC, FSU, at Clem, WF, BC, at NC St, Mary, at FSU, Duke     Losses: at GT, at Duke
  • The Heels can get a 1 seed if they win the ACC tournament and get help. They should be a 2 seed if they win two games. If they win one and lose one, it will be a coin flip for 2 or 3 seed. They won’t be lower than a 3 seed.

 

Bubble Territory:

Florida State Seminoles RPI 45

  • 21-9, 11-5 in ACC   Away: 8-5  Neutral:  1-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a win over Baylor and losses to Florida, Ohio State, Butler and a horrible loss to Auburn. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 104, schedule 190.
  • ACC Wins: Clem, Duke, NC St, at Mia, BC, WF, at GT, UVa, at WF, Mia, at NC St   Losses: at VT, at Clem, at UNC, at Mary, UNC
  • The Seminoles need to beat Virginia Tech to be safe. Otherwise they leave their fate up to the committee. Beating Duke again would lock them in and get them into an 8-9 game.

Virginia Tech Hokies RPI 63

  • 19-10, 9-7 in ACC   Away: 6-6  Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with notable wins against Oklahoma State and Penn State and losses to Kansas State, UNLV, and Purdue. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 73, schedule 151.
  • ACC Wins: FSU, WF, at Mary, Mia, at NC St, GT, Mary, at WF, Duke  Losses: UVa, at UNC, at GT, at BC, at UVA, BC, at Clem
  • Wow. Just can’t take a good win and capitalize. They have to beat FSU to have a chance. Beating Duke again after that would lock up their bid. When you see Seth crying next Sunday, remember that the ACC is the FIFTH ranked conference this season.

Boston College Eagles RPI 44

  • 19-11, 9-7 in ACC   Away: 4-6  Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a good win over Texas A&M and a solid losses to Wisconsin and Harvard with strange ones to Yale and Rhode Island. They also have 3 gimme wins. RPI 66, schedule 57.
  • ACC Wins: at Mary, GT, NC St, UVa, VT, Mary, at UVa, at VT, WF   Losses: at Mia, at FSU, at Duke, UNC, at Clem, at UNC, Mia
  • The Eagles need to beat Clemson to wrap up their bid. A loss to Wake would send them to the NIT in a hurry. A win over UNC gets them a game in their white jerseys.

Clemson Tigers RPI 58

  • 20-10, 9-7 in ACC   Away: 3-7  Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-3 with no good wins and losses to Old Dominion, Michigan, and South Carolina. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 90, schedule 199.
  • ACC Wins: Mia, GT, NC St, FSU, at GT, BC, at Mia, WF, VT  Losses: at FSU, at UNC, at Mary, at UVa, UNC, at NC St, at Duke
  • The Tigers need to beat BC to have a chance. Beating UNC would lock it up for them.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Maryland Terrapins RPI 99

  • 18-13, 7-9 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 11-4 with a decent win over Penn State and losses to Pittsburgh, Illinois, Temple, and Villanova. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 102, schedule 178.
  • Sorry Gary. Play and beat better OOC opponents next season.

Miami Hurricanes RPI 74

  • 18-13, 6-10 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with a good win over West Virginia and losses to Memphis, Rutgers and Central Florida. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 46, schedule 145.
  • That loss to Georgia Tech finished their at-large hopes.

North Carolina State Wolfpack RPI 120

  • 15-15, 5-11 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a win over George Mason and losses to Georgetown, Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Arizona. They also have 8 gimme wins. RPI 105, schedule 181.
  • The Sidney Lowe watch has begun.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RPI 161

  • 13-17, 5-11 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with a win over Richmond and a bunch of losses. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 161, schedule 176.
  • How many more down years does Hewitt get? 2004 is a long time ago in hoop years.

Virginia Cavaliers RPI 134

  • 16-14, 7-9 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 9-5 with a win over Minnesota and a horrific loss to Seattle. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 218, schedule 302.
  • The Cavs are going to ruin one or two of their ACC mates’ seasons. Hello Va Tech. Anybody else want some?

Wake Forest Demon Deacons RPI 265

  • 8-23, 1-15 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 7-8 with no good wins and plenty of losses, both good and bad. They also have 7 gimme wins. RPI 267, schedule 246.
  • When did the Deacons turn into Fordham? The A-10 invite is forthcoming.

 Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Big Ten Basketball Overview March 6

Big Ten Basketball Overview March 6

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 7th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Ohio State Buckeyes RPI 3

  • 29-2, 16-2 in Big Ten    Away: 9-2  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with wins over Florida and Florida State. They have 7 gimme wins. RPI 6, schedule 68.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, at Iowa, Minn, at Mich, Penn St, Iowa, at Ill, Purdue, NW, Mich, at Minn, Mich St, Ill, Ind, at Penn St, Wis  Losses: at Wis, at Pur
  • The Buckeyes are a lock #1 seed and can get the top overall seed if they match Kansas this week.

Purdue Boilermakers RPI 7

  • 25-6, 14-4 in Big Ten   Away: 7-5  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with solid wins over Virginia Tech and Alabama with losses to Richmond and West Virginia. They had 4 gimme wins. RPI 17, schedule 70.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Mich, NW, at Penn St, Iowa, Penn St, Mich St, Minn, Ind, at Ill, Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at Mich St, Ill    Losses: at Minn, at Ohio St, at Iowa
  • The Boilers need to get to the Big Ten finals to secure a 2 seed. Winning one game ensures at least a 3 seed. If they lose their only game, it becomes a coin flip between a 3 and 4 seed.

Wisconsin Badgers RPI 13

  • 23-7, 13-5 in Big Ten   Away: 5-6  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 with wins over BC and Marquette and losses to UNLV and Notre Dame. They also had 5 gimme wins. RPI 33, schedule 111.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, Mich, Ill, Ind, at NW, Pur, Mich St, at Iowa, Ohio St, Penn St, at Mich, NW, at Ind   Losses: at Ill, at Mich St, at Penn St, at Pur, at Ohio St
  • The Badgers need to make the Big Ten finals to get a 3 seed and have a long shot chance at a 2 seed if they win the Big Ten tournament by beating Ohio State. They appear to be no worse than a 4 seed, unless they lose to Indiana.

 

Bubble Territory:

Illinois Fighting Illini RPI 40

  • 19-12, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 4-7  Neutral: 1-3
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with solid wins over Maryland, North Carolina, and Gonzaga with losses to Texas and Missouri. They also have a horrible loss to Illinois-Chicago and 4 gimme wins. RPI 43, schedule 59.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Iowa, Wis, NW, Mich St, Penn St, at Minn, Mich, Iowa, Ind    Losses: at Penn St, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Pur, at Mich St, at Ohio St, at Pur
  • The Illini need to beat Michigan to be a lock for Selection Sunday. They’re probably in anyway, but you never know. If they win two games, they should be at least a 7 seed. They should be able to get a 6 seed if they win the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan State Spartans RPI 50

  • 17-13, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 2-9  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with their only good win over Washington, but solid losses to Syracuse, Connecticut, Duke, and Texas. They also have 4 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 67, schedule 21.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, at NW, Wis, NW, Ind, Penn St, Ill, at Minn, Iowa   Losses: at Penn St, at Ill, at Pur, Mich, at Iowa, at Wis, at Ohio St, Pur, at Mich
  • The Spartans need to beat Iowa to be safe on Selection Sunday. Beating Purdue would lock it up.

Michigan Wolverines RPI 56

  • 19-12, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 5-5  Neutral: 0-2
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no good wins, but solid losses to Syracuse and Kansas. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 61, schedule 51.
  • Big Ten Wins: Penn St, at Mich St, Iowa, at Penn St, NW, Ind, at Iowa, at Minn, Mich St    Losses: Pur, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Minn, at Ohio St, at Ill, Wis
  • The Wolverines need to beat Illinois to be safe on Selection Sunday. The bubble is bad, but they don’t want to try it. If they really want to be a lock, beat Ohio State.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Penn State Nittany Lions RPI 54

  • 16-13, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 3-8  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 7-4 with a win over Duquesne and losses to Ole Miss, Maryland and Virginia Tech. They also have 3 gimme wins a horrible loss to Maine. RPI 117, schedule 64.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, Mich St, Ill, Iowa, Wis, NW, Minn, at NW, at Minn    Losses: at Mich, Pur, at Ohio St, at Pur, at Ill, Mich, at Mich St, at Wis, Ohio St
  • It’s going to take at least a win over Wisconsin to get the Lions in. Getting to the Big Ten finals would wrap it up.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Minnesota Golden Gophers RPI 74

  • 17-13, 6-12 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with solid wins over West Virginia and North Carolina. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 21, schedule 91.
  • Wow. What a collapse. The Gophers have lost 9 of 10 to end the regular season. Easily the team that collapsed the most during this season.

Northwestern Wildcats RPI 93

  • 17-12, 7-11 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-1 with no impressive wins and their loss was to St. John’s. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 54, schedule 274.
  • The Wildcats are heading for another empty Selection Sunday.

Indiana Hoosiers RPI 184

  • 12-19, 3-15 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no good wins. RPI 142, schedule 244.
  • Will the heat get turned up on Crean over the next week?

Iowa Hawkeyes RPI 167

  • 11-19, 4-14 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with no good wins. RPI 209, schedule 252.
  • Fran will have this team Dancing within two years.

 Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

SEC Basketball Overview March 6

SEC Basketball Overview March 6

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 6th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Florida Gators RPI 10

  • 24-6, 13-3 in SEC  Away: 9-3  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 11-3 with wins over Florida State, Kansas State, and Xavier and losses to Ohio St, UCF, and Jacksonville. They also have 4 gimmes. RPI 15, schedule 8.
  • SEC Wins: Miss, at Tenn, at Aub, Ark, at UGa, Van, UK, at USC, Tenn, at LSU, UGa, Ala, at Van   Losses: USC, at MSU, at UK
  • The Gators need to win one more to get a 3 seed and can move to a 2 seed by winning the SEC tournament. They should be set for a 4 seed even if they lose to the Vols.

Kentucky Wildcats RPI 12

  • 22-8, 10-6 in SEC  Away: 4-7  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 12-2 with wins over Washington, Notre Dame, and Louisville and losses to Connecticut and North Carolina. They also have 4 gimmes. RPI 8, schedule 15.
  • SEC Wins: Aub, LSU, at USC, UGa, Tenn, MSU, USC, UF, Van, at Tenn     Losses: at UGa, at Ala, at Miss, at UF, at Van, at Ark
  • The Wildcats need to win make the SEC finals to ensure a 4 seed. They can move to a 3 seed if they win the SEC tournament.

Vanderbilt Commodores RPI 27

  • 21-9, 9-7 in SEC   Away: 5-5  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with wins over Nebraska, North Carolina, Marquette, and St Mary’s and losses to West Virginia and Missouri. They also have 6 gimmes. RPI 11, schedule 22.
  • SEC Wins: UGa, Miss, at MSU, USC, Ala, UK, at UGa, Aub, at LSU  Losses: at USC, at Tenn, Ark, at UF, Tenn, at UK, UF
  • The Commodores need to win 2 games to be a 6 seed, make the SEC finals to be a 5 seed and they could move to a 4 seed if they win the SEC tournament.

 

Bubble Territory:

Tennessee Volunteers RPI 35

  • 18-13, 8-8 in SEC  Away: 6-5  Neutral: 2-0
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with wins over Missouri State, Villanova, and Pittsburgh and losses to Oakland, Charlotte, USC, College of Charleston, and UConn. They also have 3 gimmes. RPI 24, schedule 2.
  • SEC Wins: Van, at UGa, LSU, at Miss, at Aub, USC, at Van, at USC     Losses: at Ark, UF, Ala, at UK, at UF, UGa, MSU, UK
  • The Volunteers need to beat Arkansas to be secure. With Pearl’s problems with NCAA compliance, they don’t want to be on the bubble. If they win against Florida, they should be wearing their white jerseys. They could move all the way to a 5 seed if they win the SEC tournament.

Georgia Bulldogs RPI 39

  • 20-10, 9-7 in SEC  Away: 7-4  Neutral: 1-2
  • OOC rundown: 11-3 with notable wins over Colorado and UAB and losses to Notre Dame, Temple, and Xavier. They also have 6 gimmes. RPI 53, schedule 96.
  • SEC Wins: UK, at Miss, MSU, at Ark, Aub, at USC, at Tenn, USC, LSU  Losses: at Van, Tenn, UF, at UK, Van, at UF, at Ala
  • The Bulldogs need to take care of Auburn to be secure on Selection Sunday. Beating Alabama could get them wearing their white jerseys in their NCAA opener. Winning the SEC tournament could move them up to a 6 seed.

Alabama Crimson Tide RPI 80

  • 20-10, 12-4 in SEC  Away: 4-7  Neutral: 0-3
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with no good wins and a bad loss to St. Peter’s and 8 gimmes. RPI 231, schedule 281.
  • SEC Wins: at MSU, USC, UK, at Aub, LSU, MSU, at Tenn, Miss, at LSU, Ark, Aub  Losses: at Ark, at Van, at Miss
  • The Tide need to beat Georgia again to get an at-large. Then they play for seeding. Winning the SEC tournament could move them all the way to a 7 seed.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Ole Miss Rebels RPI 82

  • 19-12, 7-9 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with a win over Penn State and losses to Dayton, Miami (FL), and Colorado State. They also have 7 gimmes. RPI 51, schedule 105.
  • The Rebels need to win the tournament.

South Carolina Gamecocks RPI 127

  • 14-15, 5-11 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with a win over Clemson and losses to Michigan State, Ohio State, BC, and a questionable loss to Furman. They also have 6 gimmes. RPI 133, schedule 257.
  • Next year, anyone?

Arkansas Razorbacks RPI 115

  • 18-12, 7-9 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no notable wins and losses to UAB, Texas A&M, and Texas. They also have 9 gimmes. RPI 100, schedule 221.
  • Here’s guessing that John Pelphrey is going to be unemployed after next weekend or sooner.

Mississippi State Bulldogs RPI 114

  • 17-13, 9-7 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with no notable wins and plenty of losses. They also have 6 gimmes. RPI 180, schedule 167.
  • The Bulldogs came into the season with tourney hopes, but they have to win the SEC tournament now.

Louisiana State Tigers RPI 218

  • 11-20, 3-13 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 8-7 with no notable wins and plenty of losses. They also have 7 gimmes. RPI 239, schedule 263.
  • They don’t go dancing unless they win the SEC tournament.

Auburn Tigers RPI 254

  • 11-19, 4-12 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 7-7 with a win over Florida State and a bunch of bad losses. RPI 330, schedule 338.
  • If only they paid their hoops players Newton money…

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Pac 10 Basketball Overview March 6

Pac 10 Basketball Overview March 6

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 7th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Arizona Wildcats RPI 17

  • 25-6, 14-4 in Pac10  Away: 7-5  Neutral: 1-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with a win over NC State and losses to Kansas and BYU. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 18, schedule 45.
  • Pac10 Wins: at Ore, Cal, Stan, ASU, at WSU, UCLA, USC, at Stan, at Cal, at ASU, WSU, Wash, OSU, Ore    Losses: at OSU, at Wash, at USC, at UCLA
  • The Cats need to win the Pac 10 tournament to get a 5 seed. They should be a 6 seed if they make the Pac 10 finals. No wins and they could be in an 8-9 game.

UCLA Bruins RPI 35

  • 22-9, 13-5 in Pac10  Away: 5-5  Neutral: 0-2
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with wins over BYU and St John’s and losses to Villanova, VCU, Kansas, and Montana. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 74, schedule 40.
  • Pac10 Wins: WSU, at OSU, at Ore, Cal, Stan, at ASU, USC, Ore, OSU, at Stan, ASU, Ariz, at WSU  Losses: Wash, at USC, at Ariz, at Cal, at Wash
  • The Bruins need to win at least two games wear their white jerseys. Winning the Pac 10 tournament might get them as high as a 6 seed.

 

Bubble Territory:

Washington Huskies RPI 45

  • 20-10, 11-7 in Pac10  Away: 5-6  Neutral: 1-2
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 with a win over Virginia and losses to Kentucky, Michigan State, and Texas A&M. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 47, schedule 71.
  • Pac 10 Wins: at USC, at UCLA, Ore, OSU, at Cal, Ariz, ASU, Cal, Stan, at ASU, UCLA   Losses: at Stan, at WSU, at OSU, at Ore, at Ariz, WSU, USC
  • The Huskies need to win against Wazzu to be safe on Selection Sunday. They can climb as high as a 7 seed if they win the Pac 10 tourney.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Washington State Cougars RPI 73

  • 19-11, 9-9 in Pac10  Away: 5-6  Neutral: 3-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 with wins over Gonzaga and Baylor and losses to Kansas State and Butler. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 55, schedule 154.
  • Pac 10 Wins: OSU, Ore, at Stan, ASU, Wash, at OSU, Cal, at Wash, USC   Losses: at UCLA, at USC, at Cal, Ariz, at Ore, Stan, at Ariz, at ASU, UCLA
  • The Cougars probably have to beat Washington and UCLA to have a chance.

California Golden Bears RPI 68

  • 17-13, 10-8 in Pac10   Away: 5-5  Neutral: 1-2
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with wins over New Mexico, Temple, and Iowa State and losses to Notre Dame, BC, San Diego State, Southern Miss, and Kansas. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 70, schedule 6.
  • Cal doesn’t have a really bad loss on their record. The Bears need to beat USC and Arizona to be safe on Selection Sunday. Anything less probably won’t do.

USC Trojans RPI 69

  • 18-13, 10-8 in Pac10  Away: 5-8  Neutral: 1-1
  • OOC rundown: 8-5 with wins over Texas and Tennessee and losses to Rider, Bradley, Nebraska, TCU, and Kansas. They also have 3 gimme wins. RPI 79, schedule 53.
  • The Trojans need to beat Cal and Arizona to be safe on Selection Sunday.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Stanford Cardinal RPI 141

  • 15-15, 7-11 in Pac10
  • OOC rundown: 7-4 with a win over Virginia and losses to Murray State, Tulsa, Butler, and Oklahoma State. They also have 5 gimme wins and a gimme remaining against Seattle. RPI 149, schedule 250.
  • The Johnny Dawkins watch will begin if they’re here next season.

Oregon Ducks RPI 154

  • 14-16, 7-11 in Pac10
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with no notable wins and plenty of losses. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non division I win. RPI 203, schedule 136.
  • No tourney this year for the Ducks.

Arizona State Sun Devils RPI 153

  • 12-18, 4-14 in Pac10
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with wins over UAB and Tulsa and losses to New Mexico, St. John’s, Baylor, and Richmond. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 75, schedule 77.
  • Time to focus on recruiting.

Oregon State Beavers RPI 232

  • 10-19, 5-13 in Pac10
  • OOC rundown: 5-6 with no notable wins and plenty of losses. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 291, schedule 327.
  • No tourney this year for the Beavers, unless the President gets involved.

 Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Big East Basketball Overview March 6

Big East Basketball Overview March 6

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 7th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Pittsburgh Panthers RPI 6

  • 27-4, 15-3 in Big East  Away: 7-2  Neutral: 3-0
  • OOC rundown: 12-1 with solid wins over Rhode Island, Maryland, and Texas and a solid loss to Tennessee. RPI 21, schedule 91.
  • Big East: Wins: Conn, at PC, Marq, at Gtown, SH, Syr, at Dep, at Rut, Cin, at WVU, at Vill, USF, WVU, at USF, Vill   Losses: ND, at SJ, at Lou
  • The Panthers should be a 1 seed if they make it to the Big East finals. They might be good if they go 1-1 this week. They can drop no lower than a 2 seed.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish RPI 11

  • 25-5, 14-4 in Big East  Away: 5-5  Neutral: 3-0
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with good wins over Georgia, Wisconsin, and Gonzaga with a good loss to Kentucky. RPI 27, schedule 149.
  • Big East: Wins: Gtown, Conn, SJ, Cin, Marq, at Pitt, at Dep, Rut, Lou, at USF, at PC, SH, Vill, at Conn   Losses: at Syr, at Marq, at SJ, at WVU
  • The Irish will be a 1 seed if they win the Big East tournament. Unless they lose their first game, they should be at least a 2 seed.

Syracuse Orangemen RPI 16

  • 25-6, 12-6 in Big East   Away: 7-3  Neutral: 2-0
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with wins over Michigan and Michigan State. RPI 12, schedule 125.
  • Big East: Wins: PC, ND, at SH, at SJ, Cin, at Conn, at USF, WVU, Rut, at Vill, at Gtown, Dep Losses: at Pitt, Vill, SH, at Marq, Gtown, at Lou 
  • The Orange should be a lock for a 5 seed and will move up with wins. If they win the Big East tournament, they could move all the way to a 2 seed. Going 2-1 could get them to a 3 seed and going 1-1 should get them a 4 seed. It will be interesting to see how the selection committee deals with the Orange having no OOC road games. 

Louisville Cardinals RPI 20

  • 23-8, 12-6 in Big East  Away: 4-6  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with a decent win over Butler and a good win over UNLV with losses to Drexel and Kentucky. RPI 46, schedule 75.
  • Big East: Wins: SH, at USF, Marq, SJ, WVU, at Conn, Dep, Syr, Conn, at Rut, Pit, PC    Losses: Vill, at PC, at Gtown, at ND, at Cin, at WVU
  • The Cardinals need to win at least 1 game to get a 4 seed. Winning the Big East tournament shouldn’t move them higher than a 3 seed.

West Virginia Mountaineers RPI 15

  • 20-10, 11-7 in Big East  Away: 4-6  Neutral: 2-2
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 with solid wins over Purdue, Vanderbilt and Cleveland St and losses to Minnesota, Miami (FL), and Marshall. RPI 10, schedule 4.
  • Big East: Wins: at Dep, at Gtown, PC, USF, at Cin, SH, Dep, ND, at Rut, Conn, Lou   Losses: SJ, at Marq, at Lou, at Vill, Pit, at Syr, at Pit
  • The Mountaineers can get a 4 seed if they beat Marquette and Louisville. Winning the Big East tournament gets them to a 3 seed. One win ensures a 5 seed and no wins sends them to a 6 or 7 seed.

Georgetown Hoyas RPI 10

  • 21-9, 10-8 in Big East  Away: 8-5  Neutral: 3-0
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with good wins at Old Dominion, at Missouri, and Utah State. Solid loss to Temple. RPI 1, schedule 3.
  • Big East: Wins: Dep, at Rut, at SH, SJ, at Vill, Lou, PC, at Syr, Marq, at USF   Losses: at ND, at SJ, WVU, Pitt, at Conn, Cin, Syr, at Cin
  • The Hoyas are struggling w/o Wright. They need to beat UConn to get a 5 seed and avoid falling to a 6 or 7 seed with a loss. Winning 2 games and they’re a lock 4 seed, if not a 3 seed. Getting to the Big East finals makes them a lock 3 seed. They can still get a 2 seed if they win the Big East tournament. It would take wins over UConn, Pitt, Cuse, and another team to do that. Easy 2 seed.

Connecticut Huskies RPI 23

  • 21-9, 9-9 in Big East  Away: 5-4  Neutral: 3-0
  • OOC rundown: 12-0 with good wins over Wichita State, Michigan State, Kentucky, at Texas, and Tennessee. RPI 4, schedule 41.
  • Big East: Wins: USF, Rut, at Dep, Vill, at Marq, at SH, PC, Gtown, at Cin   Losses: at Pitt, at ND, Lou, Syr, at SJ, at Lou, Mar, at WVU, ND
  • The Huskies need multiple wins to avoid a 6 seed. Beating Georgetown gets them a  5 seed, beating Pitt a 4 seed, and can climb to a 3 seed if they make the Big East finals.

St John’s Redman RPI 22

  • 20-10, 12-6 in Big East  Away: 5-7  Neutral: 3-0
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with a win over Duke, but they lost to St Mary’s, St Bonaventure, Fordham, and UCLA. RPI 61, schedule 59.
  • Big East: Wins: at WVU, at PC, Gtown, ND, Rut, Conn, at Cin, at Mar, Pit, Dep, at Vill, USF   Losses: at ND, Syr, at Lou, Cin, at Gtown, at SH
  • The Johnnies need to win a game to get a 7 seed, beat Syracuse for a 6 seed. If they beat Pitt they might jump to a 4 seed. If they win the Big East tournament, they might get rewarded with a 3 seed. Tough, but not many teams are better after January 1.

Villanova Wildcats RPI 31

  • 21-10, 9-9 in Big East   Away: 7-5  Neutral: 1-1
  • OOC rundown: 12-1 with good wins over Temple and UCLA. RPI 17, schedule 109.
  • Big East: Wins: Rut, at USF, Cin, Lou, at Syr, Marq, WVU, at SH, at Dep   Losses: at Conn, at PC, Gtown, at Rut, Pitt, Syr, SJ, ND, Pitt
  • The Cats need to beat USF to avoid wearing their blue jerseys in their opening game. If they beat Cincy, they are probably a 7 seed. If they beat ND, they move to a 6 seed. They can climb all the way to a 4 seed if they miraculously win the Big East tourney.

Cincinnati Bearcats RPI 32

  • 24-7, 11-7 in Big East  Away: 8-4  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with blowout wins over Dayton and Xavier and 7 gimmes. RPI 38, schedule 284.
  • Big East: Wins: Dep, SH, USF, at SJ, Rut, at Dep, Lou, at PC, at Gtown, at Marq, Gtown     Losses: at Vill, at Syr, at ND, WVU, at Pitt, SJ, Conn
  • The Bearcats will be a 7 seed if they beat Villanova. They can be a 6 if they beat ND. They can probably go all the way to a 4 seed if they win the Big East tourney.

 

Bubble Territory:

Marquette Warriors RPI 67

  • 18-13, 9-9 in Big East  Away: 4-7  Neutral: 0-2
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no notable wins and losses to Duke, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt. RPI 123, schedule 158.
  • Big East: Wins: WVU, at Rut, ND, Dep, Syr, at USF, SH, at Conn, PC   Losses: at Pitt, at Lou, at ND, Conn, at Vill, at Gtown, SJ
  • Beat PC and you’re in Marquette. After that, the Eagles can move into an 8-9 game with a win over West Virginia and move into a 7 seed if they beat Louisville.

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Rutgers Scarlet Knights RPI 124

  • 14-16, 5-13 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 with a good win over Miami (FL) and a decent loss to North Carolina and bad losses to Princeton and St. Joseph’s. RPI 90, schedule 217.
  • CBI? Jersey Shore Invitational?

Providence Friars RPI 146

  • 15-16, 4-14 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with a solid win over URI and a decent loss to BC. RPI 81, schedule 252.
  • CBI, anyone?

Seton Hall Pirates RPI 93

  • 13-17, 7-11 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 6-6 with no good wins and plenty of solid losses. RPI 121, schedule 25.
  • Their losing record shouldn’t turn off the CBI committee.

South Florida Bulls RPI 160

  • 9-22, 3-15 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 6-7 with a win over VCU and plenty of losses. RPI 132, schedule 35.
  • Not this year.

DePaul Blue Demons RPI 229

  • 7-23, 1-17 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 6-6 with no good wins and plenty of bad losses. RPI 249, schedule 225.
  • Wait til next year.

 Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.