Friday, March 4, 2011

Road to Selection Sunday

Welcome back to another year of our popular 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.

We got a late start on this feature this season, so let’s not waste any time getting right into it. Here is a look at all the teams that were affected by this week’s results.

Note: We will be releasing a complete Bubble Watch and Bracket Breakdown later today.

Teams who moved up into lock status:

Kansas State: Winners in six of their last seven, the Wildcats clinched a bid by beating Texas on the road on Monday.

Cincinnati: The Big East is a lock for 10 bids now that the Bearcats are safely in the Dance after beating Marquette on the road.

Teams close to locking up bids to the NCAA Tournament:

Florida State: The Seminoles lost to North Carolina on Wednesday, but they are proving they are an NCAA team without Chris Singleton.

Tennessee: With the soft bubble, the Volunteers just needed to avoid bad losses – they did that by holding off South Carolina.

Washington: The Huskies can’t make NCAA reservations just yet, but last night’s win over UCLA brings them closer.

Teams on the bubble that helped themselves:

Boston College: The Eagles completed a sweep of Virginia Tech on Wednesday, dominating the Hokies on the road.

Michigan State: Heading into this weekend’s showdown with Michigan, the Spartans destroyed Iowa in the second half.

Utah State: The Aggies nearly blew it against New Mexico State, but made clutch shots down the stretch for the win.

Richmond: The Spiders also just need to avoid bad losses, and they continue to do that. They have won seven of eight.

Georgia: The Bulldogs now have nine SEC wins after beating South Carolina and LSU – they lack bad losses.

Teams on the bubble that hurt themselves:

Illinois: I’m not sure the Illini have any chance of missing the NCAA Tournament, but they’re playing with fire down the stretch.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide compounded their bad loss at Ole Miss by getting blown out in the second half at Florida.

Baylor: The Bears couldn’t carry the momentum of a win over Texas A&M into the week, losing at Oklahoma State.

Virginia Tech: Another team that had a major letdown, the Hokies followed up a Duke win with a home loss to Boston College.

Clemson: The Tigers had their chances against Duke, but they couldn’t get a win at the end. Now they need to beat Va. Tech.

Memphis: The Tigers are slowly falling out of the conversation, as they have lost three of their last four, including at East Carolina.

Colorado: The Buffaloes got back in the mix with a win over Texas, but they followed it up with a loss to Iowa State.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles will likely be the Big East’s 11th team, but they hurt themselves with a loss to Cincinnati.

Teams trying to work themselves into the at-large conversation:

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers were left for dead (rightfully so), but they can get to .500 in the Big 12 vs. Colorado this weekend.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have some quality wins and knocked off Baylor on Tuesday to give themselves a chance.

UAB: Although Conference-USA is likely a one-bid league, the Blazers now have a top-30 RPI and could be league champs.

Teams falling from the at-large conversation:

Maryland: The Terrapins are now 1-9 against the top-50 of the RPI and can only max out at 8-8 in the ACC.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions have decent computer numbers and some good wins, but they now have 13 losses.

Teams whose seed is rising:

Arizona: A win at home over Oregon on Saturday, and the Wildcats will win the outright Pac-10 title. Great season for Sean Miller.

Syracuse: With so many Big East teams falling by the wayside, someone needs to step up. ‘Cuse has won four in a row.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels are a legitimate Final Four sleeper, and are rolling heading into Saturday’s showdown vs. Duke.

Florida: The Gators have now won seven of their last eight games, including Tuesday’s demolition of Alabama.

Teams whose seed is falling:

BYU: When you combine the Cougars’ second loss to New Mexico with the suspension of Brandon Davies, and you have some trouble.

St. John’s: It was just one loss, but the Big East could come calling after the way the Red Storm ended their loss to Seton Hall.

Villanova: The Wildcats are in a complete free fall. They have lost three in a row and seven of their last 11.

Connecticut: The Huskies have lost six of their last 10, including three of their last four. Season finale coming against Notre Dame.

Number one seeds as of today:

1. Ohio State: The Buckeyes are probably the safest lock for a No. 1 seed, especially if they beat Wisconsin this weekend.

2. Pittsburgh: The Panthers have had some losses lately, but they still have six top-25 wins and the Big East lead.

3. Kansas: The Jayhawks have the No. 1 RPI in the country and are 17-2 against the top-100. Road game at Missouri Saturday.

4. Duke: The biggest benefactor of BYU’s swoon, the Blue Devils have seven top-50 wins and can add to that at UNC.

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