Monday, March 9, 2009

DWG Bubble Watch

Here's how I see it.

CONFERENCE WINNERS (projected) - 31:
AMERICAN EAST: Binghampton
ACC: North Carolina
ATLANTIC SUN: East Tennessee State
ATLANTIC 10: Xavier
BIG TEN: Michigan State
BIG EAST: Louisville
BIG SKY: Weber State
BIG SOUTH: Radford
BIG WEST: CS-Northridge
BIG 12: Oklahoma
COLONIAL: VCU
C-USA: Memphis
HORIZON: Butler
MAC: Bowling Green
MAAC: Siena
MEAC: Morgan State
MISSOURI VALLEY: Northern Iowa
MOUNTAIN WEST: Utah
NORTHEAST: Robert Morris
OHIO VALLEY: Morehead State
PAC 10: Washington
PATRIOT: American
SEC: LSU
SOUTHERN: Chattanooga
SOUTHLAND: Stephen F. Austin
SWAC: Alabama State
SUMMIT: North Dakota State
SUN BELT: Western Kentucky
WEST COAST: Gonzaga
WAC: Utah State
IVY: Cornell

LOCKS FOR BIDS - 24
ACC (4): Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State
ATLANTIC 10 (1): Dayton
BIG EAST (6): Pitt, UCONN, Marquette, Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova
BIG TEN (3): Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois
BIG 12 (4): Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M
PAC 10 (3): UCLA, Cal, Arizona State
SEC (1): Tennessee
MWC (1): BYU
WCC (1): St Marys - I don't see anyway they are kept out, barring a loss to E. Wash

So by my reckoning, that leaves 10 bids for about 20 teams. Here's how I would rank their chances:


1. Oklahoma State - 20-10 (9-7), RPI 26, SOS 8, 3-9 vs. Top 50, 8-10 vs. Top 100
2. Michigan - 19-12 (9-9), RPI 42, SOS 10, 6-9 vs. top 50, 10-11 vs. top 100
3. Creighton – 26-7 (14-4), RPI 39, SOS 105, 3-2 vs. top 50, 9-5 vs. top 100
4. Boston College - 21-10 (9-7), RPI 54, SOS 64, 4-4 vs. top 50, 8-8 vs. top 100
5. Ohio State - 20-9 (10-8), RPI 38, SOS 32, 5-8 vs. top 50, 9-9 vs. top 100
6. Minnesota - 21-9 (9-9), RPI 41, SOS 42, 5-7 vs. top 50, 8-9 vs. top 100
7. Utah State – 27-4 (14-2), RPI 27, SOS 133, 1-2 vs. top 50, 3-3 vs. top 100
8. Arizona - 19-12 (9-9), RPI 52, SOS 29, 5-8 vs. top 50, 9-11 vs. top 100
9. New Mexico – 21-10 (12-4), RPI 57, SOS 84, 3-4 vs. top 50, 5-7 vs. top 100
10. Florida - 22-9 (9-7), RPI 49, SOS 92, 2-6 vs. top 50, 9-8 vs. top 100
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11. UNLV – 21-9 (9-7), RPI 55, SOS 87, 4-4 vs. top 50, 8-6 vs. top 100
12. Penn State - 21-10 (10-8), RPI 61, SOS 95, 6-8 vs. top 50, 7-9 vs. top 100
13. Siena -25-7 (16-2), RPI 24, SOS 67, 0-4 vs. top 50, 4-5 vs. top 100
14. South Carolina - 21-8 (10-6), RPI 48, SOS 91, 1-5 vs. top 50, 7-7 vs. top 100
15. Miami - 18-11 (7-9), RPI 51, SOS 23, 2-7 vs. top 50, 7-10 vs. top 100
16. Temple – 19-11 (11-5), RPI 40, SOS 35, 1-5 vs. top 50, 4-7 vs. top 100
17. San Diego State – 21-8 (11-5), RPI 44, SOS 61, 1-5 vs. top 50, 4-7 vs. top 100
18. Maryland - 18-12 (7-9), RPI 65, SOS 26, 3-8 vs. top 50, 8-10 vs. top 100
19. Virginia Tech - 17-13 (7-9), RPI 59, SOS 25, 2-8 vs. top 50, 6-11 vs. top 100
20. Providence - 18-12 (10-8), RPI 71, SOS 48, 2-8 vs. top 50, 6-12 vs. top 100
21. Rhode Island – 22-9 (11-5), RPI 63, SOS 142, 2-5 vs. top 50, 6-6 vs. top 100
22. Kansas State - 21-10 (9-7), RPI 77, SOS 112, 3-5 vs. top 50, 5-8 vs. top 100
23. Auburn - 21-10 (10-6), RPI 64, SOS 69, 2-5 vs. top 50, 5-9 vs. top 100


I'm glad I did this. I thought they were closer to out than in, but now I feel a lot better about the Gophers chances. Of course, things could go all wonky in the conference tournaments. If Siena and Utah State win, they are no longer on the bubble and open up spots for other teams. If Butler loses, that takes away a bid from somebody. Same with any of the major conference tournaments, although it's pretty unlikely with the exception of the SEC, which is so weak it wouldn't surprise me to see a bubble team like South Carolina or even Auburn win it, and that takes a way a bid.

In my opinion, it all boils down to the first round Big Ten Tournament game for the Gophers. If they beat Northwestern, which would give the Gophers another win over a top 100 team, they are in - locked. If they lose, unless a lot of weird things happen and all other bubble teams around them are also upset in their first round games, it's all about the NIT, baby.