Yet another outstanding day in Championship Week – unless you were a bubble team. With Saint Joseph’s beating Xavier, the Atlantic-10 is guaranteed at least two bids, and possibly three if Temple knocks off St. Joe’s in a tight one. Furthermore, do bubble teams begin to worry about the Big Ten? As Minnesota and Illinois both pulled off upsets in the quarterfinals, one of those two is going to make the title game and force bubble teams around the country to root heavily for Michigan State or Wisconsin. Overall, though, it was a moving day for bubble teams. Several teams that were on the bubble going into Friday added a key win to their profile for the Big Dance, while others lost games they needed to win in order to get a bid. Let's take a look at who helped their chances for an invitation and whose hopes took a hit in their quest for a bid.
Teams that helped themselves:
Virginia Tech: The Hokies knocked off Miami (Fl.) in impressive fashion on Friday, setting them up for a potential “win and in” game against North Carolina in the semifinals.
Texas A&M: The Aggies clinched a bid by knocked off Kansas State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Might have moved into the fourth spot in the conference pecking order.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks also clinched a berth by beating Vanderbilt in the SEC quarterfinals. They now have five top-50 wins and are making an upwards move in the seeding.
Saint Joseph’s: The Hawks are the clear No. 2 in the Atlantic-10 after beating Xavier in the conference semifinals; they can put any doubt to rest with a conference tourney title.
Temple: The Owls are going to be in the mix no matter what after their sixth straight win and 13th conference victory overall, but a win tomorrow would give them the automatic bid.
UNLV: The Rebels are pretty much in – a second-place finish in the Mountain West plus a run to the conference championship should get them a bid. Could still get auto-bid.
Teams that hurt themselves:
Ohio State: The Buckeyes had a chance to clinch an at-large bid with a second-straight victory over Michigan State, but they couldn’t get the win and now have to wait and see.
Florida State: The Seminoles were basically just thrown onto the bubble because of everyone else’s struggles, but their loss to North Carolina in the quarterfinals killed their shot.
Thank God that most, if not all of the mediocre, middle of the pack BCSer's are losing. Now, maybe the committee (rather than you media 'experts') will select in more of the deserving non-BCS clubs into the mix for the NCAA Div 1 Tourney.ReplyDelete
If it were left to you media-types, the 'dance' would be a BCS only party. Fortunately 6 of the 10 committee members are from the smaller conferences, and common sense will prevail. The smaller conferences ARE Deserving of more bids...it is they that make the NCAA Tourney exciting in the early rounds...not to worry...your BIGS will inevitably (thanks to great seedings) rule the later rounds. No one conference ought to have more than 5-6 bids, and in a topsy-turvy year like this one, no more than 4. Open up the tourney - not more teams - just a fairer process.
If not - then Conferences 7-32 should bolt (for the CBI or to a lesser extent - the spayed n neutered NIT) for a revamped and upgraded NAIA or a new collegiate sports organization. To heck with the NCAA-let the BCSer's have it.