Tag:Mississippi State
Posted on: March 9, 2012 3:16 am
Edited on: March 9, 2012 10:26 am
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Bubble buster Thursday

A lot of bubble teams did themselves no favors today, and that has caused another shakeup at the bottom of the bracket.

Washington, Northwestern, Oregon and Mississippi State were among those that not only lost, but lost badly.  The Wildcats lost to Minnesota, but the other three all lost to triple-digit RPI teams.  Despite Northwestern's loss, I still have them in the bracket. 

South Florida also lost, in overtime, to Notre Dame.  The Bulls are also still in the bracket -- for now.

Washington is not though.  The Huskies are the regular season champion of the moribund Pac-12, but their lack of quality wins, both inside and outside the league, will make it hard for the committee to select them.  If they miss, they will be the first major-conference champion ever to do so in the 64+ team era.  They would also be the first outright champion of a top ten league to miss since Miami-Ohio did so in 2005.

Cincinnati is climbing up the bracket quickly with a win over Georgetown in the Big East tournament.  I have them in an 8-9 game today.

Ole Miss won its game, setting up an elimination clash with Tennessee in the SEC.

Iowa put the final nail in Illinois' coffin at the Big Ten tournament, not that the Illini held out realistic at-large hopes anyway.

Texas and Colorado St filled holes in their tournament resumes by winning away from home.  The Rams beat TCU for their best away win of the year, and Texas beat Iowa State to help get a good grip on their spot in the field.

Games to watch tomorrow for bubble teams include Xavier-Dayton, Tennessee-Ole Miss, and the Pac 12 semis.





Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:48 am
Edited on: February 26, 2012 12:17 pm
 

Bracket notes; Purdue, ISU get big wins

Purdue and Iowa State picked up huge, resume building wins on Saturday in what was a very busy day.

The Boilermakers got their biggest win of the season at Michigan.  The win for Purdue is just its second over a team that is sure to make the tournament.  It was Michigan's first loss at home all season.

Iowa State picked up its first away-from-home win of any significance when it completed the season sweep of Kansas State.  The Cyclones now have four top 100 RPI wins (despite a gaudy 11-5 conference record), and should be safe if they can get one more.  Teams with just four top 100 wins have received 13 at-large bids in the last 18 years, but that's out of 250 teams.

It was a tough day to be a conference leader.  Temple, Harvard, New Mexico, Long Island, and Middle Tennessee all lost.  Duke, Syracuse, Kansas, Belmont, Drexel, Murray State, Oral Roberts, Nevada and St. Mary's all were pushed to the brink.

Alabama put another nail into Mississippi State's coffin with a win in Tuscaloosa.  The Bulldogs have lost five straight and travel to South Carolina next.  They are only 2-6 on the road.

Northwestern kept its hopes alive with a one-point win at Penn State.  The Wildcats don't have many good wins (just six top 100), but none of their 11 losses have come to non-contenders.  They have a chance to make a statement next when Ohio State visits.

Saint Louis took its worst loss of the season at Rhode Island on Saturday.  For a team with few good wins, that's not a good sign.  Also in the A-10,  Saint Joseph's played their way back onto the bubble with a win over Temple.

Notre Dame lost at St. John's, which is the fourth bad loss of the season for the Irish.  It's also the first loss of any kind since January 16th.

Kansas clinched at least a tie for the Big 12 title with an overtime win over Missouri.  The Jayhawks are continuing their push for a No. 1 seed.

St. Mary's won the West Coast title outright, ending an 11-year streak during which Gonzaga either won or shared the regular season title.

Mostly irrelevant fact of the day: The Ivy League has half its teams in the top 100 of the RPI.  Conference USA, the Colonial, Missouri Valley, Pac-12 and West Coast conferences can't say that.

The bubble watch will be updated this morning.


Posted on: February 21, 2012 4:36 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:10 pm
 

Feb. 21 bracket: Big Ten loses some ground

Today's bracket is posted.  The top two lines remain the same.  A lot of shuffling happened below that.

The biggest news, I guess, is that I finally have a bracket with less than nine Big Ten teams in it.  Minnesota's most recent loss has the Gophers on the outside looking in.  Illinois is just a train wreck.  Nobody has looked less like an NCAA tournament team than the Illini in the last few weeks.

They were replaced by Iowa State and Washington.  Both teams are lacking in quality wins.  They each have only three RPI top 100 wins.  It's been nine years since the last time the committee took such a team, but of course, the season isn't over yet.  They have never taken a team with just three top 100 wins and none in the top 50, but that's Washington at the moment.  The field is bigger now.  They have to take somebody.

The team making the biggest move up the bracket lately has been New Mexico. The Lobos had a great week last week, beating San Diego State on the road and UNLV at home.  They now lead the Mountain West by two games.

Notre Dame continues its climb up the bracket as well.  The Irish extened their winning streak to eight games with an overtime win at Villanova.

It was a rough weekend in Conference USA as both Southern Miss and Memphis suffered their worst losses of the season.  The Golden Eagles fell at Houston, while the Tigers blew a big lead at home to UTEP.

Mississippi State is also falling apart at the wrong time.  The Bulldogs lost three in a row, including games to non-tournament teams Georgia and Auburn.  Those are their worst losses of the season.

The bracket buster took place last weekend, and as usual, no brackets were actually busted.  Murray State picked up an impressive win over St. Mary's, which will give the Racers a bit of a cushion should it need an at-large bid.  Long Beach State could have done the same, but couldn't hold on at Creighton.


Posted on: February 14, 2011 9:51 pm
 

Injuries/Roster Issues

by Jerry Palm

Florida State beat Virginia on Saturday, but it probably didn't feel like much of a win.  The Seminoles lost their leading scorer and rebounder, Chris Singleton, to a broken foot and he will probably miss the rest of the season.

The selection committee often has to deal with issues similar to this.  The key factor with injuries, suspensions and other roster issues is whether or not the player in question will be available for the NCAA tournament.  The committee usually gives a little more weight to how that team does with the roster that's going to go to the tournament than how they did otherwise.  But only a little.

It also seems to be considered more for seeding than selections.

Sometimes, the committee doesn't have a lot to go on.  One of the most famous cases involved a player that was lost in his team's final game before the tournament.  In 2000. Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin broke his leg in the Conference USA tournament and his team lost the game in which he was injured.  Before that, the Bearcats were the No. 1 team in the country and Martin was the player-of-the-year.  The committee had virtually no time to decide what to do and nothing to go on.  Cinci hadn't played a game without Martin -- they hadn't even had a practice without him.  The decision by the committee was to make Cincinnati a 2-seed, which they felt was a compromise between what they had accomplished and what they thought of the team without Martin.  Cincinnati didn't make it out of the first weekend.

Last year, Purdue lost Robbie Hummel late in February and even though the Boilers went 4-2 after that, they clearly weren't the same team.  At the end of the season, they were still the Big Ten regular season champion and had a profile worthy of a 1-seed or 2-seed, but the committee dropped them down to a 4-seed.

The flip side of that also goes back to 2000, when Mateen Cleaves missed a few games for Michigan State, including a loss to Wright State.  The Spartans ended the season with an RPI of 13 and a profile befitting a 2-seed or maybe even a 3-seed.  The committee recognized how good they were when Cleaves played though and gave the eventual national champions a 1-seed.

Florida State isn't starting from nearly as strong of a position.  They are at best a bubble team and will need to reprove themselves to the committee as a team that is capable of playing tournament quality basketball, even without Singleton.  If a team's profile doesn't stack up well enough to get selected, it won't get picked, injury or no.  The Seminoles are a late-season slide from playing in the NIT.

Minnesota has been without Al Nolen for a few weeks now, so the Gophers are in the same hole.  They lost four straight before pounding Iowa on Sunday.

Michigan State kicked Korie Lucious off the team after the loss at Purdue, but the Spartans were dysfunctional before that.  Things haven't really improved much since, but they did beat Penn State impressively on Thursday.

Mississippi State has been without both Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney at times, but haven't done well enough with them to merit any serious consideration.

Kansas State has had a revolving door at times.  They have players who were suspended and came back, and other who have left for good.  The committee will have fun with them, perhaps.

This is just a few of the cases the committee will look at.  They will know about all roster issues.  Keep in mind though that the committee will not assume that a game lost without a key player would have been won if that player been available.  They just put a little more weight on the games that player played in their seeding decisions.

 
 
 
 
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