Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bulleted thoughts on Championship Week's developments

- Thanks to Utah State and UTEP losing, the bubble just lost two bids. Utah State should still get in, but barely, while UTEP is still comfortably in and is probably a 9 seed... but now they're taking at-large bids instead of automatic bids. The bubble might have got one back when UW downed Cal in the Pac 10 final, but UW was looking to sneak in anyway so maybe not.

- Thanks to their surprise run to win the Mountain West, San Diego State is in, though they may have made it at-large anyway on the strength of their upset over New Mexico in the semis. Said upset should quiet the darling hype the Lobos were getting from the media, as the upset loss probably now leaves them as a #6. SDSU is a #10 or #11. Though the MWC final looked like an elimination game going into today, UNLV may barely make it in as a #11 or #12: They probably had enough on their resume to get in before that game.

- Who probably loses in the bubble race? Believe it or not, the SEC. Mississippi State played themselves onto the bubble but the UTEP/Utah State upsets screwed the pooch there, so now they've probably got to beat likely #1 seed Kentucky to get in... not likely. And Ole Miss and Florida played themselves out with early SEC Tournament losses. The SEC may only send three teams: Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. They can make it four if UK lays down for the Bulldogs. UK is still a #1 seed, though, while Tennessee is probably a #5 and Vanderbilt (unless they get another favor from the Committee) is probably a #7.

- Another likely bubble casualty is Wake Forest, who took a drop from an upset loss to Miami-Fla and would have been right on the edge of the bubble had the UTEP/Utah State losses not happened.

- And the way the upsets fell like dominoes today, you have to wonder if conference refs had top teams take a dive to get extra conference teams in. Ethics are only something to bully-pulpit about in the NCAA.

- Don't be surprised to see Northern Iowa get a single digit seed on Sunday.

- Syracuse might have played their way out of a #1 seed with their quarterfinal loss to Georgetown, who might have played their way into a #3.

- Minnesota, left for dead on the side of the road after getting owned late this season by Michigan, may have played their way in with today's surprising annihilation of Purdue, who without Robbie Hammel may now have dropped to a 3 seed, maybe lower if the Committee's that unimpressed.

- The Big East is still sending eight teams. Not that I had serious doubt, but Richmond's upset of Xavier solidifies them as the A-10's 3rd tourney team

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