Friday, December 26, 2014

State of the WCC/MVC

This is part of a series of posts going up on December 26.  Let's look back at everyone's performance in the non-conference schedule and take inventory on where everyone is at.

Now I'll start combining conferences and going quicker.  Less to recap.

Gonzaga (10-1) is in fine shape - good loss, good SoS, good wins (N-Georgia, SMU, @UCLA, et al).  BYU (8-3) is your quintessential bubble team - they have a very good SoS again, have decent wins (Stanford) and has one marginal loss (N-Purdue).  Pretty standard fare for the conference, really.

St Mary's (6-3) is off the pace, just a bit.  Losing at home to Northern Arizona is a killer.  Also, that win at Creighton and vs. Irvine is diminishing.  Work to do here.

Once again, the rest of the conference ranges from decent to bad.  San Diego (6-5), Pepperdine (6-3), and Portland (7-3) are off to decent starts, but I can't find anything in their resumes to be excited about.  Their numbers are a bit off the pace for NIT contention.  Pacific (5-4), Santa Clara (4-6), and Loyola Marymount (3-8) are likely bringing up the rear.  Again, standard fare in this conference.

Wichita St (9-2) might have an issue.  The schedule is top-25, the signature win is Seton Hall, and the losses are fine...but it's tough to get a real high seed with that.  They may be stuck on the 4 or 5 line, which is okay, probably.  Northern Iowa (10-1) might run them down.  A good schedule of their own, a good loss at VCU, and signature wins of @SFA and N-Iowa will leave them in good shape for now.  MVC looks good for 2.

Behind them is a mess.  Evansville (8-2) seems like a contender, but a poor SoS and a marginal loss to Murray with no signature wins leaves them off the pace.  Illinois St (7-4) doesn't have SoS issues; they have a @Murray loss and Utah St loss issue.  The N-Old Dominion win is keeping them hanging around for now.  Loyola (8-2) is off to a great start, but does truly have schedule issues (neutral site wins over TTU and Boise keep them hanging around).  It's tough to imagine any of these 3 hanging in the bubble race for the balance of the season.

The Valley's big problem is the bottom half of the conference:  Missouri St (4-6), Southern Illinois (6-6), Indiana St (3-7), Bradley (3-8), and Drake (2-9) are all tracking towards sub-200 RPIs.  Problems will ensue.

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