Sunday, February 11, 2007

Road to Selection Sunday

Welcome to the first installment of our new feature, "Road to Selection Sunday". Basically, it is 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.

This weekend, a couple of highly-ranked teams were upset by teams in need of a win. In other cases, some teams on the right side of the bubble lost games they should have won and are no longer as comfortably in the Big Dance as before. In addition, there were several contests between bubble teams that could have a big impact on 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:
Virginia Tech:
Blowout win over Virginia puts them back at 7-3 in the ACC; have won eight of their last eleven.
Missouri State: Road victory at Northern Iowa is their fifth in a row. 10-5 in the conference should get them a bid.
UNLV: Terrific RPI, combined with a 8-3 MWC record, moves them up for now. Has won seven of eight.

Teams on the bubble that helped themselves:
Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets won their third in a row, handily over Connecticut. They still need to find a way to win on the road.
Maryland: Home win over Duke moves them to 4-6 in the ACC, tied with Ga. Tech. Need to get to at least .500, though.
BYU: Cougars moving closer and closer to a bid. They are 9-2 and in first-place in the MWC. Will easily get to 20 wins on the season.
Texas: If they had a better RPI, they’d be closer to a lock by now. Longhorns are 7-3 in the Big 12, after their home win over Iowa State.
West Virginia: Huge win over UCLA at home gives them a marquee win for their resume. Also 7-4 in the Big East.
Syracuse: Two-point win at home over St. John’s wasn’t impressive, but it was a victory nonetheless. Three of last five on the road.
Villanova: Wildcats are moving towards a bid. They have an excellent RPI, and their win at Seton Hall moves them to 5-5.
Kansas State: Bounced back from loss at Kansas with a nice win over Colorado. They have won eight of nine, and are 7-3 in the Big 12.
Tennessee: Volunteers are making a move with Chris Lofton back. They destroyed Vanderbilt at home, following up their LSU win.
Georgia: Bulldogs, despite the loss of Mike Mercer to injury, went into Columbia and blew out South Carolina. 6-5 in the SEC.
Mississippi: After their win over Alabama, Ole Miss is now in first-place in the SEC West at 5-5. Keep an eye on Andy Kennedy and co.
Wichita State: Home win over Illinois State was fifth in their last six, and moves the Shockers to 8-7 in the MVC.
Old Dominion: Probably not much of a chance at an at-large bid, but win over VCU puts them only one game back of the Rams.

Teams on the bubble that hurt themselves:
Providence: Loss at Pittsburgh doesn’t kill them, but the Friars are passing up shots at getting marquee wins for their resume.
Florida State: After looking solid earlier in the week, the Seminoles lost two in a row, including a last-second defeat at home to Boston College.
Purdue: Like Providence, loss at Ohio State doesn’t hurt, but the Boilermakers are only 3-8 on the road and under .500 in the Big Ten.
Arkansas: Loss at struggling LSU was their sixth in nine games, and drops the Razorbacks to 4-6 in the SEC.
Vanderbilt: Commodores were looking good until they ran into a buzz saw in Knoxville, falling to fellow bubble team Tennessee by 27.
Alabama: Crimson Tide ended their three-game winning streak with loss at Mississippi, adding to their already shaky road record.

Teams trying to work themselves into the at-large conversation:
Hawkeyes don’t have the non-conference resume or RPI to make a run, but they are 6-5 in the Big Ten, and are playing well.
Washington: After the Huskies’ win over Stanford tonight, UW is now 6-7 in the Pac-10. They have won five of their last six.
Oklahoma: Road win over Baylor moves the Sooners to 6-4 in the Big 12, ahead of both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
San Diego State: The Aztecs, the preseason favorite in the MWC, have now won four in a row, and are 6-4 in conference play.

Teams that are falling from the at-large conversation:
Northern Iowa: The Panthers looked like a lock a couple of weeks ago, but home loss to Missouri State drops them to 7-8 in the MVC.
Texas Tech: Double-OT loss at Oklahoma State was Tech’s fifth straight, moving them to 4-6 in the Big 12. Texas A&M up next.

Teams whose seed is rising:
Boston College:
Loss of Sean Williams sure isn’t hurting. Last-second win at Florida State was their fourth in a row, putting them at 9-2 in the ACC.
Georgetown: The Hoyas are one of the hottest teams in the country. Their win at Marquette was their seventh straight, moving them to second place.
Arizona: Looking like a huge disappointment last week, Wildcats are back in the mix. Road win at Oregon was their third in a row.
Washington State: Cougars continue their surprise season. Win over California puts them at 10-3 in the Pac-10, and a half-game behind UCLA.
Indiana: The Hoosiers escaped at home over Illinois, putting them comfortably in third place. Very close to locking up a bid to the Dance.

Teams whose seed is falling:
Their loss at Maryland was their fourth in a row, dropping them to 5-6 in the ACC. Things don’t get better this week, at Boston College.
Oregon: The Ducks were fighting for first-place last week. After their home loss to Arizona, they are now tied for fourth at 8-5.
Stanford: One of the hottest teams around a couple of weeks ago, the Cardinal have lost three of their last four to drop to 7-5.

Number one seeds as of this week:

1. UCLA: Loss at West Virginia doesn't hurt them too much, since Darren Collison was out. The Bruins still are safely in the #1 seed range.
2. North Carolina: Big road win over Duke got them back on track after the loss at NC State. Tar Heels are in a dogfight for the ACC title.
3. Florida: Despite their weak SOS, the Gators are playing the best basketball of anyone in the country. Power numbers will rise down the stretch.
4. Wisconsin: They have not looked as impressive lately, but are still leading the Big Ten due to tiebreaker over Ohio State. Rematch could decide top seed.


  1. I think you have to include Xavier as a team that helped themselves this weekend. A near 30 point win over George Washington at GW (who had won 24 straight at home). Really helped move Xavier up, and all but eliminates GW.

  2. I think Xavier is going to win the A-10 regular season and tournament, so they probably won't need to worry about an at-large. However, you're probably right--I should've included them.