Friday, March 9, 2012

NCAA Tournament 2012 - updated thru 3/8 action

**This week I will do my best updating daily**
Here are the 31 auto-bids by conference [bold represents already won conference tournament, if championship game is known but not played yet that is listed, rest are projected winners]:
America East: Stony Brook vs. Vermont on Saturday, March 10 @ 11am
Atlantic Ten: Temple
ACC: North Carolina
Atlantic Sun: Belmont
Big 12: Kansas
Big East: Syracuse
Big Sky: Montana
Big South: UNC-Asheville
Big Ten: Ohio State
Big West: Long Beach State
Colonial: VCU
Conference USA: Memphis
Horizon: Detroit
Ivy: Harvard
MAAC: Loyola Maryland
MAC: Akron
MEAC: Norfolk State
Missouri Valley: Creighton
Mountain West: UNLV
Northeast: Long Island Brooklyn
Ohio Valley: Murray State
Pac 12: California
Patriot: Lehigh
SEC: Kentucky
Southern: Davidson
Southland: Texas Arlington
SWAC: Mississippi Valley State
Summit: South Dakota State
Sun Belt: Western Kentucky
West Coast: St. Mary’s
WAC: New Mexico State
Here are the 30 teams I view as “in the field” as at-large teams by conference:
**ADDED TEAMS SINCE LAST EDITION – Texas was added following their win over Iowa State last night.
America East: -
Atlantic Ten: St. Louis, Xavier
ACC: Duke, Florida State, Virginia
Atlantic Sun: -
Big 12: Missouri, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas
Big East: Marquette, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, South Florida
Big Sky: -
Big South: -
Big Ten: Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue
Big West: if Long Beach State was to lose in their conference tournament they would receive a bid, thus eliminating one at-large spot.
Colonial: Drexel
Conference USA: -
Horizon: -
Ivy: -
MAC: -
Missouri Valley: Wichita State
Mountain West: San Diego State, New Mexico
Northeast: -
Ohio Valley: -
Pac 12: Washington, Arizona
Patriot: -
SEC: Florida, Vanderbilt
Southern: -
Southland: -
Summit: -
Sun Belt: -
West Coast: Gonzaga
WAC: -
That is 61 of the 68 teams that will comprise the field.
Here are the FIFTEEN true “bubble” teams by conference, of which SEVEN will currently receive bids – but in some conference tournaments we will see upsets that will reduce the # of these teams receiving a bid from SEVEN to likely somewhere closer to FOUR.  I have also listed here each team that has even the smallest of chances at receiving an at-large selection without winning their conference’s auto-bid just to be thorough (for example, the A10 teams, as I feel none are truly on the “bubble” but if the teams listed reached their tournament final they may have a case) – teams will be weeded out as the week goes on and teams lose in their conference tournaments:
**CHANGES FROM LAST PUBLISHED VERSION: Texas moved up to “in the field” following their win over Iowa State last night.  Northwestern was removed from any consideration, while fellow Big Ten school Purdue slid up to “in the field.”  In the Pac 12, UCLA has been removed from any consideration.  In the SEC Mississippi State has been removed following their opening round loss to Georgia last night.
America East: -
Atlantic Ten: None truly on bubble BUT if St. Bonaventure, LaSalle, Dayton, UMass or St. Joseph’s (PA) was to reach the A10 Final they may have a case for being one of last four teams into the field, obviously dependent on how other conference tournaments play out.
ACC: Miami (FL), NC State.  Both are likely to receive invites at this point.  Either could seal the deal for certain by advancing to the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament, while both could be in danger of barely missing out should they lose in the first round of the ACCT.
Atlantic Sun: -
Big 12: -
Big East: West Virginia, UConn.  Currently WVU has an RPI of 43, while UConn sits slightly higher at 37.  WVU has wins over Kansas State, Miami (FL), Georgetown, Cincinnati & South Florida, along with an OT loss to Baylor; UConn has wins over Florida State, Harvard, South Florida, West Virginia twice & Notre Dame.  Even with UConn beating WVU twice I still slot the Mountaineers above UConn in the at-large pool mostly driven by the Huskies 8-10 conference record – there are still a lot of games to be played, so right now cannot make a call for certain on either team, but feel WVU will get an invite and UConn will be left out.
Big Sky: -
Big South: -
Big Ten: -
Big West: -
Colonial: -
Conference USA: Southern Mississippi.  USM needs at least a win today over Marshall to remain in consideration; at the end of the day I feel they most likely need to win the CUSAT to be dancing come next week.
Horizon: -
Ivy: -
MAAC: Iona.  With the Gaels losing in the semifinals of their conference tournament I do not think that will be enough for them to receive an at-large bid, but I will still include the on the absolute fringe of the bubble – they will need A LOT of help to grab a spot come Sunday.
MAC: -
Missouri Valley: -
Mountain West: Colorado State.  The Rams at least need a win today over UNLV to remain alive, but as mentioned before the conference tournament began – I feel they need to win the auto-bid for an invite as 4 teams out of the MWC seems like a stretch.
Northeast: -
Ohio Valley: -
Pac 12: Oregon, Stanford, Colorado.  UCLA has been removed following their loss to Arizona yesterday in the QF round.  Oregon has an RPI of 63 this morning, and only has wins over likely tourney teams vs. Arizona and Washington.  Stanford has the best RPI of the trio at 51, but like Oregon lost in the QFs yesterday to Cal – also like Oregon they only have a pair of wins vs. likely tourney teams in NC State and Cal – so they are clearly facing an uphill battle.  Colorado is the only team of the three still playing as they face 2 seed Cal tonight in the semifinals – picking up a win there would be enormous as they have a poor RPI and likely need to win the auto-bid to be dancing.  Right now it looks as if all three schools will miss out on receiving a bid.
Patriot: -
SEC: Alabama, Tennessee.  Alabama can lock up a bid with a win over Florida today, but are still likely to be dancing even with a loss.  Tennessee definitely needs to at least win tonight over Ole Miss to remain alive for any consideration.
Southern: -
Southland: -
Summit: -
Sun Belt: with Middle Tennessee State losing in the QF round of the SBT they are unlikely to receive an at-large bid on Sunday.  Had they advanced to the Final and lost they would have been on the bubble.
West Coast: BYU.  The Cougars did themselves no help getting blown out by 20 to Gonzaga in the semifinals.  They still have a solid RPI, but with two teams locked into bids from the WCC they may need too much help come Sunday.
WAC: if New Mexico State loses in the final of the WACT they may still be alive to receive an at-large, but would likely wind up on the outside looking in.
Here is the order of at-large selections as we stand right now.  Just to reiterate, there are SEVEN open spots today – but that # will be reduced due to conference tournament upsets – I currently project FOUR of these teams will wind up making the dance, with #5-8 being the dreaded “first four out”:
  1. Miami (FL)
  2. Alabama
  3. NC State
  4. BYU
  5. Tennessee
  6. West Virginia
  7. Oregon
  8. UConn

Today’s key games:
2pm: NC State vs. Virginia
3pm: Alabama vs. Florida
4pm: Southern Mississippi vs. Marshall
730pm: Tennessee vs. Ole Miss
9pm: Miami (FL) vs. Florida State
9pm: Colorado State vs. San Diego State
930pm: Long Beach State vs. UC-Irvine
1130pm: Colorado vs. California

Multiple Bid Conferences (48 bids here from 11 conferences + 20 additional auto-bids = 68 teams)
BE: 8                      ACC: 6                   B10: 6                    B12: 6                    SEC: 5                    P12: 4
A10: 3                    MWC: 3                WCC: 3                  COL: 2                   MVC: 2                

Team by Team variance vs. Lunardi @
UConn: me OUT, him IN
Seton Hall: me OUT, him IN
Miami (FL): me IN, him OUT
NC State: me IN, him OUT
Northwestern: he has now moved Northwestern OUT, as I have had all along.
Tennessee: me IN, him OUT
Mississippi State: me OUT, him IN
Colorado State: me OUT, him IN
Arizona: me IN, him OUT
Oregon: me IN, him OUT
Southern Mississippi: me OUT, him IN


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