Sunday, February 25, 2007

Road to Selection Sunday

Welcome back to the "Road to Selection Sunday". As stated last week, it is basically a recap of the past couple of days in college basketball, usually the weekend that was just completed. It will go over the teams on the bubble that helped or hurt themselves, teams in the NCAA Tournament whose seed is rising and falling, and much more.

What a wild weekend in college basketball. Three of the four projected one seeds from last weekend lost, and several upsets occurred to shake up the NCAA Tournament landscape. In terms of bubble teams, many squads didn’t take advantage of opportunities to boost their resume, while others picked up big wins to help out their profiles for the Big Dance. With only fourteen days left until Selection Sunday, let's take a look at all the teams that were affected by this weekend's results.

Teams close to locking up bids to the NCAA Tournament:
Notre Dame:
Irish are now in fourth place in the Big East. Getting their season finale to get to 11 league wins would clinch a bid.
Michigan State: Back-to-back wins over Wisconsin and Indiana put Spartans in for now. Terrific RPI gives MSU some leeway.
Tennessee: Vols picked up big road win at Arkansas. #11 RPI in the country finally backed up by 8-6 SEC record.

Teams on the bubble that helped themselves:
Florida State: Seminoles blew out North Carolina State to snap five-game losing streak. They will need to finish 7-9 to have a chance.
Villanova: Wildcats have inflated RPI of 19, and got to .500 in the Big East with home win over Rutgers. Need to finish at least 8-8.
Syracuse: Orange improved to 9-5 in Big East with road win over Providence. It was Syracuse’s fourth straight win.
DePaul: The Blue Demons are making a late push at a bid. They have won four of their last five, and should win their finale.
Illinois: Fighting Illini moved into third place in the Big Ten with their sixth win in seven games. 9-6 conference record is huge.
Purdue: They stayed alive with road win over Northwestern to get back to .500 in the Big Ten. Final two games are absolute must-wins.
Michigan: Wolverines beat Minnesota on the road to improve to 7-7 in the Big Ten. Last two games are at home to end the year.
Kansas State: Wildcats picked up a must-win with their victory at Colorado. Getting their last two games would put them at 11-5.
Texas Tech: Big win in the final seconds over Oklahoma State was their third in four games. Red Raiders are 7-7 in the Big 12.
Georgia: Bulldogs seem to be the only SEC bubble team helping themselves, with their win over Mississippi State. 8-6 in SEC.
San Diego State: The Aztecs are making a late push towards an at-large bid. Have won 7 of 8, but it might be too little, too late.
Xavier: Musketeers have won six in a row, and are making a great case for a bid. Should win their final two for the league title.
Old Dominion: ODU finishes regular season on 11-game winning streak, giving them the #2 seed in the tournament. Still work to be done.
VCU: Rams won the CAA regular-season title, which should count come Selection Sunday. Overall resume is lacking, though.
Drexel: Finished only fourth-place in the CAA, but 13-4 road record and solid non-conference showing is impressive.
Gonzaga: Bulldogs got a must-win in their overtime victory at San Francisco. One more win gets them a split of the title.

Teams on the bubble that hurt themselves:
The Tigers are falling further and further from a bid. They have now lost four in a row and nine of eleven. 5-9 in ACC.
Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets blew a late lead at Virginia, which would have been huge for their hopes. Two home games to finish.
Providence: Friars are pretty much done after their home loss to Syracuse. 7-7 in the Big East, with two road games to finish.
Oklahoma State: Cowboys look similar to Clemson right now, after losing to Texas Tech late. Four straight losses for OSU.
Alabama: Crimson Tide sure didn’t look a Tournament team in their home loss to Auburn. Have lost four of five.
Mississippi: Rebels missed a chance to pad their win total with their loss at South Carolina. Overall resume is not good.
Mississippi State: Bulldogs are making a late run, but their loss at Georgia might have been something of an elimination game.

Teams trying to work themselves into the at-large conversation:
It might be too little, too late—especially after their loss at Nebraska. Have won three of their last four.
Massachusetts: UMass has a chance to get a split of the A-10 title in their final two games. Might need to get to tourney final.
Hofstra: The Pride won their final three games to finish third in the CAA at 14-4. Non-conference resume is unimpressive.

Teams that are falling from the at-large conversation:
Sooners missed a huge chance to pick up a marquee win with their loss to Texas at home. Need to beat Kansas on Monday.
Washington: Huskies were in the mix after last weekend, but back-to-back losses to Oregon State and Oregon end that.
Arkansas: What happened to the Razorbacks? They started 12-3, but now are only 5-9 in the SEC after home loss to Tennessee.
New Mexico State: So much for a two-bid WAC. The only way NMSU gets in is if they win the WAC tourney—played on their home floor.

Teams whose seed is rising:
The Terrapins are one of the hottest teams around, especially after their win over North Carolina.
Duke: The Blue Devils won their fourth straight on Sunday, over St. John’s. It was also their third straight road victory.
Georgetown: Hoyas are really making a push at a two seed. Knocked off Pittsburgh on Saturday to take Big East lead.
Louisville: The Cardinals just keep rolling. Won their fifth straight, at Connecticut, to move to 11-4 in the Big East.
Texas: Longhorns locked up a bid with their fifth straight win, at Oklahoma. Only one game out of the Big 12 lead.
USC: The Trojans likely solidified a bid with back-to-back home wins over Stanford and California. 11-5 in the Pac-10.
Oregon: The Ducks erased all the bubble talk surrounding them with wins over Washington State and Washington.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores still have the #2 profile in the SEC, after their comeback win over Kentucky on Sunday.
UNLV: The Rebels are only one game out of the Mountain West lead, after knocking off Air Force on Tuesday. #12 RPI.

Teams whose seed is falling:
The loss to Georgetown isn’t a bad defeat, but the Panthers aren’t playing well lately, and are falling in the standings.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles dropped to sixth in the Big East with their fourth loss in five games. Home game vs. Pitt coming up.
Kentucky: Their Top 10 RPI is the only saving them right now. Loss at Vanderbilt drops them to 8-6 in the SEC.
Air Force: Their loss at TCU this weekend was their second in a row, and kills any shot they had at a protected seed.
Butler: The Bulldogs won this weekend, but fell at home to Loyola (Chicago) on Thursday. Three sub-100 losses.

Number one seeds as of this week:
1. UCLA:
With the other three #1 seeds from last week falling, the Bruins are getting a little separation for the overall top seed.
2. Ohio State: Finally, a new #1 seed. Buckeyes, after their win over Wisconsin, make the jump. 14-1 in the Big Ten.
3. North Carolina: Despite their road loss to Maryland (4th in ACC play), Tar Heels still have an impressive overall resume.
4. Florida: They get the edge over Wisconsin for the final #1 seed. Their two losses in the last three games don’t bode well, though.

1 comment:

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