Saturday, February 27, 2010
In: Purdue. Despite the tragic Robbie Hummel injury? They've done more than enough to porbably be a #2 seed. Ohio State. A solid RPI, a massive run (9-1 in their last 10), and 5 wins in the RPI top 50 with 12 conference wins equals locked down. Michigan State does not have the number one seed resume anymore, but two gimme home games coming up and an overall solid resume means a lock. In terms of quality wins? (Maryland, Duke, Marquette, Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State) Wisconsin has done a lot. If they got a road win versus Illinois? It may get them a three seed.
Barring a collapse: Illinois. The Las Vegas Invitational killed their computer numbers. (Losing to Bradley and Utah would keep anybody from getting in this year.) But they have a legitimate shot at 12 conference wins if they can steal one against Wisconsin or Ohio State and hold serve versus Minnesota. If not? They'll likely get a second chance against Wisconsin in the tournament. If they don't? Then things could be interesting. California. It was a big win today against Arizona State. They win against Stanford? And they have the computer numbers to be the at-large team.
Bubble Teams: Minnesota has an RPI nearing 80. They have to win tonight if they even want to think about the Tournament. Arizona State. They have an RPI in the 50's and don't have the resume to handle getting upset even once. (Best win? San Diego State.) But they are better than Washington. Their RPI kisses 60, and they're 1-6 on the road. Their last three regular season games? On the road.
UPDATE: Minnesota is up double figures against Illinois. 46-31 as I type this. Could the Big Ten only get four teams?
Friday, February 26, 2010
Barring a collapse? Pittsburgh. The non-conference wasn't impressive. But they won ten games and they're at the easy point of their schedule. Providence and Rutgers in Pittsburgh equals soon Panther fan. Soon. Georgetown. A couple of weird losses (at Rutgers, South Florida, and Old Dominion) means they have to win at least one more game. Louisville? Yeah. I'll leave them here. But two road games at UConn and Marquette and the return match with Syracuse? It means there could be that sort of collapse.
Bubble teams? Marquette. Sure, they control their own destiny. Louisville, Seton Hall, and Notre Dame are all quite winnable. But a .500 in the Big East Marquette is going to need to work a miracle to get in. 10 wins would still need tournament help. UConn is in a similar boat as Marquette, though with a strength of schedule at 2 they could go 9-9 and have a real case to be in. (But they have Notre Dame and South Florida on the road. Intricate.) Notre Dame? They also have to travel to Georgetown. And with a gimpy Harangody? Seton Hall is on the fringes. They beat Marquette and I'll delve into their case further.
One out of the four bubble teams is going to give the Big East seven berths. The Tournament is going to be fun.
Likely in barring a complete collapse? Missouri still has to make a swing through the Kansas', but you know what? 10 Big 12 wins and an RPI above 40 is an invitation to the dance, no matter if you lost to Oral Roberts. Texas had a bad month. But road games at Texas A&M and Baylor are good enough for seeding. Win one of those? It's locked in. Baylor has two near gimmes, and that would get them to 10 wins. But with an RPI/SOS of 12/19? You could say that they're locked in. Speaking of Texas A&M? The RPI/SOS is 18/6. If they win one more game? That should be enough.
The official bubble team? Oklahoma State. They really have no indefensible loss. The RPI and SOS reside in the mid-30's. They did beat Kansas State in Manhattan, and that's nice. But they would need to either take Kansas or Texas A&M to avoid needing a tournament win.
Then again? With only five at large teams from non Big six conferences right now? (Richmond, Rhode Island, Xavier, BYU, and UAB*.) Oklahoma State probably has nothing to worry about.
*And UAB still has to make a run with Memphis and at UTEP. Not safe yet.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Who's just about? Maryland. Even if they win one of their last four? It's 10 ACC wins with solid computer numbers. Nothing wrong with that. Virginia Tech. The strength of schedule sucks and they have no marquee win if the wheels fall off. But with North Carolina State and Boston College on the schedule? 23 wins and 10 ACC wins probably will not be denied. Wake Forest. A disaster of a loss to North Carolina state would be all but forgotten with wins at home versus North Carolina and Clemson. Florida State. The schedule sets up nicely. Wake Forest and Clemson? Those are the home games. Miami and North Carolina? Those are the road games. 3-1 is enough.
On the Bubble? Clemson. I can see how you'd say they should be up a level. Several decent wins and they have no truly indefensible loss. Illinois has a legitimate shot at 12 Big Ten wins. That's Tournament right there. But road games at Maryland, Florida State and Wake Forest do not bode well. And don't forget that Georgia Tech is in the danger zone as well. They will need to go to Littlejohn fighting for their lives.
And speaking of the Bees? They should beat Boston College. But they may be going into a home game with Virginia Tech needing a win to get to 8-8. And Virginia Tech is never a gimme.
The ACC will likely get six bids. Maybe seven. Well, if you look at the scenarios. The Pac-10 is only getting two teams. The Mountain West is only getting two teams. And the A-10? Any talk of six bids was surely exaggerated. Dayton is looking like they're gonna have to steal to get in the tournament.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The deal with the Sixers can break interesting. In most aspects, it's really a challenge trade in terms of Meek for a #2. I know Skiles is going to like Ivey's inherent Royal Ivey. But the gangsta Primoz Brezec is not going to be around next seaon. And as for the Bucks? They can get both a ninja rebounder like a Kenneth Faried as well as an upside play like an Alexy Shved.
Or a reverse. General Greivous and Latavious Williams? It can only help.
Then again? Meeks could become a killer with a change of scenery. Many people called that pick a sleeper. My first instinct is to like this deal. But it could change quickly.
Salmons for the expiring contracts of Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander? It depends. Salmons is a very versatile piece. He can play the two, three, and even the four if you want to run a small ball. His offensive game is a between a three and a four. The only thing is? His defense is average on its best day. Skiles may not use him as much as he should.
But a line-up of Jennings-Ridnour-Salmons-Ilyasova-Bogut? It most definitely seems like it could be worth som running as well as some gunning.
I'm gonna wait to learn more, but you know what? Until further notice, Morey did something masterful. Martin is good enough to be deemed a superstar. And Sacramento wants to get in the 2010 lotteratorium?
Portland picks up Camby. Like it.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I am too sad to type further missives in longer than 140 characters.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Michigan State is bloodied, and there are four contenders breathing down their neck. Can they hold on? Yes. Suffice it to say they can.
Why? Sure, Purdue poses a problem without Kalin Lucas, even at Breslin. But after that we have Sparty facing Penn State twice, Indiana, and Michigan. That's four wins. Ohio State comes to Breslin, and Purdue has a return match. Sparty could very well go 6-1. But 5-2 gets them to 14-4.
Homeristic tendencies aside? The Badgers have a shot to make run the table. With Al Nolen ineligible, traveling to the barn becomes easier. Northwestern struggles on the boards, and that's at home. Not to say that Illinois doesn't have the length to cause fits for Wisky, but suffice it to say that that the Badgers are looking at a 7-1 finish. Split versus Illinois, sweep Indiana, beat Iowa, Northwestern and Minnesota. So that is also a 14-4 finish.
Ohio State has two tough games as well to end the year. Purdue comes to Value City, and they travel to the Breslin. They also have two against Illinois. Indiana, Penn State, and Michigan vibe as gimmes. I see this as a 6-2 finish. But that means 13-5. It's a little tougher of a road.
A lot tougher of a road belongs to Illinois. 4 games against Wisconsin and Ohio State. Add to that a game against Purdue, and there's a distinct possibility they will lose all five of these games. They travel to Ann Arbor and get Minnesota at home. I'll say they get three. Enough to get in the tournament, but 11-7 is strictly second echelon.
Purdue looks like they'll have a say in the conference championship. Two versus Sparty, and I think they'll get them both. But they have to travel to the Barn and Value City. Admittedly?That's a strange scenario and they won't go unscathed. But they'll make the conference championship a triple triad.
It will also make the tournament fun.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
- The Mid-Major conference tournament to watch? The Colonial Athletic Conference. They have four teams who I would not be surprised to see in the second weekend. Old Dominion already took down Georgetown. But you know what? With Northeastern and Virginia Commonwealth rocking the suburbs, and William and Mary lurking, you will not see ODU win the conference.
- Virginia Commonwealth will. Utah State will probably run down Louisiana Tech and get the WAC coming into the home stretch. Charlotte also probably won't win the A-10, and with Richmond and Dayton with very similar solid resumes? The March 5th game in Dayton will likely decide who joins Xavier, Temple, and Rhode Island.
- The Big East dream of 8 bids is very much alive. South Florida has climbed up onto the bubble with Gus Gilchrist nursing a mangled ankle. And I'm sure that all is forgiven for that CMU loss. Louisville will have the super SOS number that will have 20 wins be enough for their entry. Marquette has been suffering through some bad luck this year, but their schedule is soft enough that they can run to the Conference tourney unbeaten.
- The Pac-10? They will be lucky to get three bids. Arizona State doesn't have the computer numbers. USC's digits are worse. Arizona will inexplicably get a bid just to spite me.
- Northwestern also could get in despite the computer numbers saying nothing of the sort. Pomeroy has this team going 21-10 and 9-9. If they beat the Golden Gophers at Welsh-Ryan and hold serve with the downy soft schedule. It's the one team that has never made the tournament from a Big Six school that went better than .500 in conference. You think a team like UAB is going to get in over them?
- Teams like UAB, Wichita State, William and Mary, Richmond, Northeastern, and San Diego State will further prove the continuing irrelevancy of the RPI to the selectionariat. All these teams will have decent to great computer numbers. All will go to the NIT.
- The most backdooring bubble team in the last four in? Oklahoma State. James Anderson will carry the team upon his back.
- The worst team that is still currently still alive for an at-large berth? Southern Miss.
- The three conferences that will steal an at-large berth for a multi-bid league? The MVC, the Horizon, and the West Coast. If Siena doesn't win their tournament? Well. That would be interesting, now wouldn't it?
- We'll be living in a weird world where the Mountain West will be getting more bids than the Pac-10 and as many as the SEC. The A-10 has a legitimate case for five bids. That's on the level of any conference not named the Big East. I'd be very disappointed if the selection committee shorts these leagues.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I shall present them without comment, for I am under the gun in terms of writing something else and I will get back to that soon enough.
Projected Auto Bids (in order of RPI)
Sam Houston State
College of Charleston
And that means we'll have 31 teams as at-larges. But first? We'll have the teams that should be in barring a complete and total disaster.
Should Be In
So this leaves us at 52 teams. Which means I will have 13 teams that have an in, and 12 teams that are out.
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss
- Florida State
- Old Dominion
- Oklahoma State
- South Florida
- Virginia Commonwealth
- William and Mary
- Utah State
- Witchita State
- Texas Tech
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In what will undoubetdly be my most trenchant analysis of all time, the fact is the Badgers will need to make baskets to even have a chance here. (Okay, we'll call it over 40% of their threes.) Also? Second chance baskets. Get some. Convert them.
I know the home court environment is worth about five points. And upsets also happen. A pre-Cinderellan North Dakota State came to Madison and exited with nothing short of victory. But Michigan State is a legitimate force of basketball nature. I'll call it Michigan State 58, Wisconsin 52.
Villanova (They're good. They run too. Taylor King's fun because he's a low-post threat with three point range. So yay.)
Syracuse (Wes Johnson is a God of Upstate New York. Know that Kratos is coming for you. He's got nothing to do after God of War Three.)
West Virginia (Typical Bob Huggins defensive based tomfoolery.)
Georgetown (You know, for a Georgetown team? They don't rebound well at all. Not at all. I could see them being the sort of team that gets bounced as a 13-4 Upset. If they play good defense and try to foul out Monroe? They have a punchers chance.)
Pittsburgh (The speedbump that they've hit is weird. It's not as if they've got injured. It's not as if they're worse at an integral aspect of their team. But they're staring down four losses in five games. I mean, is the fact that they're generating fewer steals really that important?)
Cincinnati (The key to success for this team was if Lance Stephenson was ready for prime time. He's not exactly been useless, but then again? If you're putting up 2 of 3 shots from beyond the arc per game and making 19 percent of them, you're not doing it right.)
Louisville (Louisville is only as strong as their defense. Their defense is merely good this year. They're not locking down the perimeter. And they are not limiting second chances. Thus? They look to have work to do.)
Marquette (With three people currently hitting over 50 percent from beyond the arc. In fairness, Jimmy Butler only chucks up one a game. But this is the sort of team that you're going to have to go to the mattresses to beat. They're 13-8 right now, seven of those losses are by 5 points or less, five by 2 points or less. Truly, Marquette will be a tough out.)
South Florida (Considering the tomfoolery and the shenanigans that involved Gus Gilchrist? The fact that this team has a shot at the NIT is a massive success. If they one one of their next three? Then can we see the NCAA discussions).
Notre Dame (Notre Dame can't defend. And they are afraid to foul. Yes, I'm saying it. Notre Dame are a bunch of pussies. Harangody is soft.)
Providence (GET BACK ON DEFENSE FOR CRAP SAKE!)
Connecticut (I never thought a defense could actually miss A.J. Price's lead guardery. And yet? Here we are.)
Seton Hall (On the bubble borderline. Jeremy Hazell and Herb Pope are a nice inside outside threat. If Eugene Harvey steadies? The Pirates may break the walls down of the tournament Johnny Extreme style!)
St. John's (Two things I could see improving their lot. One, if Sean Evans stops being a doof and passes the ball. Two? A little more willingmess to attack the basket. They're not great at free throws. But a little more kamikaze would help their cause.)
Rutgers (Mike Rosario hasn't made the transition from a shooter to a scorer quite yet. But Jonathan Mitchell isn't a bad second option. He needs to be fed more.)
DePaul (They can't shoot. Not even Will Walker. Marquette will get burnt by the fact that they got burnt by DePaul. They're better than last year. Then again...they were classically terrible.)
Monday, February 1, 2010
You scream out and you headbutt the stanchion. But the stanchion explodes!
And you lose your arms. After all, as a man, Kevin Garnett is not an arm gecko.
So basketball is not an option. What happens next?
You join the MLS. You play goal. And you become inspirational with flowing locks of Martin Hedjuk or however you spell it hair. You run around like a racing sausage or racing president.
It's ratings bonanza. It's 627292737297973263838 ESPY Awards. It's a game changer.
All because KG is not an Arm Gecko. But then again? Nothing is Impossible.
But just imagine an Armless Keving Garnett in a soccer jersey. It would look something...like this.
Credit goes here...It was in 3 minutes that this photo popped up.