After an exciting week of basketball that included upsets, down-to-the-wire finishes, bubble games, and more, the NCAA Tournament Stock Report is back. As stated last week, it is essentially a compilation of teams that are rising and falling with an eye on the NCAA Tournament. It will discuss teams whose potential seed is rising or falling, as well as clubs that are making moves either in or out of the at-large picture.
Starting Sunday night, this column will be replaced with “Road to Selection Sunday”, which will cover everything you need to know leading up to the second Sunday in March.
Virginia: Following a three-game losing streak in early January, the Cavaliers have won four straight contests, including a comeback victory at Clemson on Sunday. UVA is now 5-2 in the ACC, tied for third with Duke.
Florida State: The Seminoles are making a move after starting the ACC season 0-3. They have won four of their last five, with wins over Maryland and Virginia Tech. However, all four wins have been at home.
Duke: Remember when the Blue Devils started the ACC campaign 0-2? Since then, Duke has run off five straight victories, the last two over Clemson and Boston College. Their schedule to finish the year is treacherous, though.
Georgetown: The Hoyas were 4-3 to start the season, and were very disappointing. However, Georgetown has won 11 of 13, including a road win at Michigan and at home against Notre Dame. They are third in the Big East.
Indiana: With their win over Wisconsin on Wednesday, the Hoosiers are inching closer to locking up an at-large bid. The victory cements their position as a top three team in the Big Ten, and they have won 11 of their last 13.
Texas: The Longhorns did something on Wednesday that Texas A&M and Kansas couldn’t do: win at Texas Tech. The victory over the Red Raiders if Texas’ third straight victory, putting them tied for first at 6-1.
Kansas State: After Wednesday’s victory over Missouri, the Wildcats are right back in the at-large hunt. They lost three in a row to open 2007, but have won six straight games, five in the Big 12. KSU needs some quality wins, though.
Stanford: The Cardinal are one of the hottest teams in the country, despite their double-overtime home loss to Gonzaga. They defeated USC and UCLA back-to-back before the loss. They have won six of eight, and are third in the Pac-10.
BYU: With Wednesday’s road victory over Utah, the Cougars are now 6-2 in the conference, and have won 11 of their last 13 games. BYU beat Air Force a week ago, and are starting to make a move in the at-large picture.
UNLV: Tuesday’s road win at Colorado State makes the Rebels’ case for an at-large bid even better. Their RPI is now in the top ten, and they own road wins over Nevada and Texas Tech. The MWC is a two-bid league.
Wichita State: The Shockers are right back in the mix for an at-large bid. They pulled off their third win in a row—and second on the road—when they beat Northern Iowa on Tuesday. The win pushes them to 6-6 in the MVC.
Creighton: After heading into conference play with a 6-4 record, the Blue Jays have turned things around, and are tied for first in the MVC at 9-3. Despite their poor non-conference resume, they are looking like a tourney team.
Southern Illinois: The Salukis’ profile is looking better and better every week. Wednesday’s win over Indiana State keeps them in a tie for first place in the MVC, and a top ten RPI strengthens their resume.
New Mexico State: Their win over Boise State at home on Wednesday gave them their 17th win in 18 games. However, their RPI (81) is awful, meaning they can’t really slip up too much the rest of the way for an at-large bid.
Maryland: The Terrapins look like the same team they have been the past couple of seasons—play well in non-conference, fade in the ACC. Their blowout loss at FSU Tuesday puts them at 2-5 in the conference.
Georgia Tech: I touched on the Yellow Jackets last week, but their awful play deserves more knocking. Tech lost to Wake Forest on Tuesday, meaning they still have not won a road game since 2005, and are now 2-6 in the ACC.
Clemson: The Tigers still are probably safe in terms of at-large hopes, but they need to start winning games down the stretch. Their collapse against Virginia marks their fourth loss in five games, putting them at 4-4 in the conference.
Syracuse: The Orange were looking good, winning four in a row a couple of weeks ago in Big East play. However, they have since lost three in a row, including one at home to Notre Dame in which they gave up 61 points in the first half.
Villanova: The Wildcats are another team that was going the opposite direction a week ago. ‘Nova had won three straight games, but lost back-to-back games to Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, moving them to only 3-5 in the Big East.
Michigan: Wednesday’s loss at home over Iowa really hurts their at-large hopes. It was their third straight loss, as the Wolverines loss at Indiana and Wisconsin last week. Michigan still can’t win on the road, either.
Michigan State: Yes, the Spartans nearly knocked off Ohio State in Columbus, but MSU’s slow starts are beginning to catch up with them. They are only 4-4 in the Big Ten, and their 1-5 record in true road games is glaring.
Texas Tech: Those wins over Texas A&M and Kansas seem like ages ago. The Red Raiders lost their second in a row, this time at home to Texas. It followed a road loss to Missouri, dropping Tech to 4-3 and sixth in the Big 12.
Arizona: The Wildcats just keep falling. They were absolutely annihilated at the hands of North Carolina on Saturday in Tucson. UA had a chance to get back on the right foot, but they looked terrible, and are still only 5-4 in the Pac-10.
California: The Golden Bears might have to kiss their at-large hopes goodbye. Their home sweep at the hands of UCLA and USC make them 4-5 in the Pac-10 and only 12-9 overall. They have now lost three straight games.
LSU: This season’s most disappointing team continues to drop. The Tigers’ loss at home to Alabama drops them to 2-5 in the SEC, and was their fourth straight loss. With three of their next four on the road, LSU is in trouble.
Northern Iowa: The loss at home to Wichita State puts the Panthers at only 6-5 in the Missouri Valley, in fourth place. UNI has now lost three straight, and five of their last seven. Their non-conference profile isn’t strong, either.
Colonial and Atlantic-10’s shot at two bids: With VCU’s loss at Hofstra, and Xavier and George Washington both losing on Wednesday, these two conferences are looking like one-bid leagues. Billy Packer-types love this, since it likely means more “Big Six” teams will get bids.
Gonzaga should have been mentioned in the stock rising section. They had kind of been forgotten for a while after four straight losses, but now they have won 7 of 8 now including that big win over Stanford.ReplyDelete
What's a "Big Six"? Is the 5th best conference in the country part of the "Big Six", and if not, why?ReplyDelete
The MVC is having an up year in RPI rankings. That doesn't make them the 5th beast conference any more than it makes UNLV a top 10 team.ReplyDelete
Now if you want to expand the field of major conferences beyond the BCS conferences there could be a legitimate argument for a "Big Eight" as gap between the MVC and MWC and the rest of the mid-majors is vast.
I don't believe in the "Big Six" theory, that's why I put it in parenthesis.ReplyDelete
I threw it in there because people like the aforementioned Billy Packer seem to think there are only six major conferences.