Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12/31 recap

Big East:
Xavier 70, St John's 60 - early bubble stakes, advantage X
Seton Hall 81, Providence 80 (OT) - not the type of home game you want to surrender to the resume, Provi
Georgetown 61, DePaul 54
Villanova 76, Butler 73 (OT) - no real harm to Butler, but they will need to convert a big chance somewhere
Creighton 67, Marquette 49

Louisville 90, UCF 65
Memphis 88, USF 73
Houston 75, UConn 71 - and one of the Big 3 got nipped on the road tonight

Ohio St 78, Purdue 69 - road win
Illinois 83, Indiana 80 (OT) - Indiana is officially the team who should panic right now
Michigan St 79, Penn St 63
Iowa 67, Nebraska 57 - and with that, no funny business in the B1G today

Princeton 73, Kent St 68 - I guess we're going to be talking about Princeton being on the fringe of the bubble talk for the next 2 months
Maryland 70, NC Central 56
Syracuse 70, Eastern Michigan 48
Kansas St 72, George Washington 55 - litmus test failed for G-Dub.  K-State trying to claw back to the bubble; they'll have their chances

Wednesday preview:
Most of the country is off, but we get underway in the Mountain West and Missouri Valley.  Also a lingering American game, SMU at Cincy, with immediate bracket impact.  Also, we'll know more about Colorado St (home to SDSU) and UNLV (road at Fresno).  Harvard faces a must win at home against BC.

Monday, December 30, 2013

12/30 recap

Tennessee 87, Virginia 52 - lol ACC
NC State 68, UNC Greensboro 64 - road win!
Louisiana Tech 102, Oklahoma 98 (OT) - quality road win!  La Tech could get some mileage out of it.  Looks bad for OU, but there's enough chances in conference play that they can make this go away
Kansas 93, Toledo 83
Ole Miss 79, Western Kentucky 74 - road win!
St Louis 57, Vanderbilt 49 - road win!

WCC play:
St Mary's 88, Pacific 80 - quality road win stops the bleeding
Pepperdine 80, BYU 74 - but this would appears to be critical for BYU.  My God what is happening to this team
Loyola Marymount 65, San Diego 62 - LMU has the shiny record with no heft, remember
Gonzaga 69, San Francisco 41 - yawn
Santa Clara 76, Portland 68

Tuesday preview:
The Big East is underway with 5 conference games.  St John's/Xavier, SHU/Provi, DePaul/G'town, Nova/Butler, Marquette/Creighton.  Marquette in an early must-win situation.  And a chance for Butler to start working their way up the board.

B1G play is also underway.  Indiana at Illinois is where your attention should be.  Unless major upsets happen, you can ignore the other games for now.

American play is also underway.  Louisville, Memphis, and UConn on the road at UCF, USF, and Houston, respectively.  This is the beginning for both - trap road games that can do great harm, but can do some good, because road wins

Relevancy elsewhere, too:  
Kent St at Princeton - sneaky good mid-major game
Duke v. Elon - this is a neutral site game (those clever Dookies)
North Carolina Central at Maryland - I'm putting Maryland on upset watch
George Washington at Kansas St - great litmus test game for GWU

Sunday, December 29, 2013

12/29 recap

Most irrelevant recap of the year so far.

Buffalo 55, Drexel 52 - aaaaand there's the last of the momentum that Drexel's campaign had.  Bubble teams don't lose at home to Buffalo
Notre Dame 87, Canisius 81 (OT) - uh, what?
Georgia Tech 58, Charlotte 55 - and bubble teams don't lose this game at home, either, Charlotte

Scores-only recaps:
Eastern Kentucky 90, IPFW 68
Dayton 72, Murray St 51
Wichita St 81, Davidson 70
Maine 89, MTSU 85 (OT)
St Joseph's 73, Boston 67
Maryland 85, Tulsa 74
UTEP 60, Denver 54 (2OT)

Monday preview.  Not much here either.  Most teams are in cupcake mode trying to get a warmup in before conference play.

Virginia at Tennessee - both teams kinda need a win
Toledo at Kansas - ok, let's see how that 12-0 record looks now, Toledo
Louisiana Tech at Oklahoma - LT should provide a decent litmus test.  Let's see how strong the mid-pack of the Big 12 is
Ole Miss at Western Kentucky - road win chance to salvage the at-large resume
St Louis at Vanderbilt - StL is more safe but still, road wins are always gold
BYU at Pepperdine - BYU really needs to stop messing around
St Mary's at Pacific - St Mary's needs to salvage their profile as well.  This is a good start

Saturday, December 28, 2013

12/28 recap

Signature games:
Syracuse 78, Villanova 62 - No real harm to 'Nova, although getting to the 1 line is probably too tall an order now
Kentucky 73, Louisville 66 - UL has a resume problem.  That resume won't support a 1 seed claim.  The eye test will, though

Bracket impact games:
Indiana St 85, Belmont 73 - Maybe the death knell to Belmont.  Too many losses absorbed
UMass 69, Providence 67 - Golden chance for Providence goes by the boards
Missouri 68, NC State 64 - Mizzou adds a road win of reasonable value

Holding serve games:
Cincinnati 74, Nebraska 59
Duke 82, Eastern Michigan 59
Xavier 68, Wake Forest 53
VCU 69, Boston College 50
Gonzaga 74, Santa Clara 60
Colorado 84, Georgia 70
UCLA 75, Alabama 67

Road wins are always good wins:
Southern Miss 77, Rhode Island 64
Harvard 94, Fordham 86
George Washington 69, Hofstra 58

Bad loss zone:
UNC Greensboro 55, Virginia Tech 52
South Carolina 78, Akron 45 - I'm an idiot
Loyola Marymount 87, BYU 76 - Now I'm really worried about BYU.  The SoS might not be enough

Would you believe there's 39 games on Sunday without a single one I feel like listing?  It's a Hold Serve Sunday across the country.

12/27 recap

Good teams (Ohio St, UNC, SDSU) beat bad teams.  Yippee.
DePaul 57, Northwestern 56 - Chicago's finest!

Alright, prepare your bodies for a relevant Saturday:
Villanova at Syracuse - both teams are in a position where a conference championship might not be enough to secure a place on the 1 line in March.  Which makes this kind of signature win chance (for both) more important
Louisville at Kentucky - and this is downright critical for Louisville.  We documented their problem when they'll hit conference play, and their not-as-good-as-you-think non-con record.  Gotta get this scalp

Lower-key across the rest of the country.  Providence has a prove-it game on the road at UMass.  Belmont is at Indiana St, with both teams hovering around the back end of the bubble.  Harvard's in a non-trivial spot, on the road at Fordham.  Xavier needs to hold serve against Wake Forest.  Missouri in a road game at NC State that they should win.  And finally, WCC play is going to be underway

Friday, December 27, 2013

S-Curve 12/27

Editor's note:  this'll be pinned at the top of the blog until the next bracket.  Look downwards for analysis and a bracket for this S-Curve.

The 1 line:  Arizona (13-0), Wisconsin (12-0), Ohio St (12-0), Syracuse (11-0)
The 2 line:  Louisville (11-1), Michigan St (10-1), Villanova (11-0), Kansas (8-3)
The 3 line:  Oklahoma St (11-1), Duke (9-2), Kentucky (9-3), Iowa St (11-0)
The 4 line:  Wichita St (11-0), Connecticut (10-1), Massachusetts (10-1), Oregon (11-0)
The 5 line:  Florida (9-2), Baylor (8-1), Iowa (11-2), Colorado (10-2)
The 6 line:  Memphis (8-2), San Diego St (8-1), Creighton (9-2), Gonzaga (9-2)
The 7 line:  UCLA (10-2), North Carolina (8-3), Georgetown (7-3), Missouri (10-1)
The 8 line:  New Mexico (9-3), VCU (10-3), Florida St (8-3), Michigan (7-4)
The 9 line:  Pittsburgh (11-1), LSU (8-2), St Louis (10-2), Oklahoma (11-1)
The 10 line:  Illinois (10-2), Texas (10-2), Harvard (9-1), Butler (8-2)
The 11 line:  Indiana (10-3), Stanford (8-3), Virginia (9-3), BYU (7-5)
The 12 line:  Cincinnati (10-2), George Washington (10-1), Boise St (8-2), St Mary's (9-2), Toledo (10-0), Southern Miss (9-2)
The 13 line:  North Dakota St (8-4), Belmont (7-5), Manhattan (9-2), Drexel (8-3)
The 14 line:  Green Bay (6-3), New Mexico St (9-5), UC Santa Barbara (6-4), Mercer (6-4)
The 15 line:  Louisiana-Lafayette (6-4), Bucknell (5-5), Stephen F Austin (8-2), North Carolina Central (5-3)
The 16 line:  Elon (5-5), Bryant (6-6), Northern Colorado (4-3), Stony Brook (8-4), Radford (6-4), Jackson St (4-7)

Last 4 out:
Arizona St

Next 4 out:


There's your state of the conference recaps.  Meanwhile, I didn't technically give a Friday preview.

You don't need one, unless DePaul/Northwestern intrigues you somehow.  Ohio St, North Carolina, and San Diego St get tuneups.

Next S-Curve and bracket are probably January 6.  Today's S-Curve (12/27) will be the curve of record until then.

State of the conferences, part 7

State of the Big Sky

The numbers show a bit more wide open battle.  Northern Colorado (4-3) has the one winning record, and did beat Kansas St, but otherwise has a rubbish schedule.  Regular mainstays Montana (2-4) and Weber St (1-5) aren't exactly instilling confidence in me right now.

Further down, Eastern Washington (3-5) is probably next best, followed by a random mish-mash of North Dakota (1-7), Idaho St (1-5), Portland St (3-4), Northern Arizona (2-8), Montana St (3-6), Sacramento St (1-5), and Southern Utah (0-8).

Final prediction:  Just the top 3 with overall .500 records or better.  I expect a tight battle for the NCAA spot with consolation spots for the losers in the CBI/CIT.

State of the Northeast

Bryant (6-6) actually scheduled up a bit to put itself in the profile lead, but no wins of note are really there.  St Francis(NY) (7-5) has the only winning record to date.  Robert Morris (5-8) is a bit down from previous years.

Behind that, expect a lot of ugly records.  Wagner (4-7), Mount St Mary's (3-8), LIU (4-7), Central Connecticut St (3-8), Fairleigh Dickinson (2-9), Sacred Heart (2-12), and St Francis(PA) (2-9).  Good luck to you all.  You'll need it.

Final prediction:  This conference might not have a 2nd postseason team unless Bryant gets upset.  They won't, and the conference won't.

State of the Big South

Boy, this is just ugly.  These computer numbers are ugly, period.    Charleston Southern (2-6), Winthrop (4-4), UNC Asheville (2-7), Coastal Carolina (3-6), Radford (6-4), Gardner Webb (4-7), High Point (2-7), Liberty (3-7), VMI (3-5), Campbell (2-6), Longwood (1-8), Presbyterian (2-9).  That's the conference.  Go ahead and tell me who's good.  No one is dominant.  Can any team get to 13-3 or even 12-4 in conference?  Can anyone get to .500 overall?  The answer might be no.

Final prediction:  One postseason team, whoever the hell it is.

State of the Southland

Stephen F Austin (8-2) is up to its old tricks.  Good record against a bad, bad schedule.  Don't act like they're anything special.  Oral Roberts (4-6) is where it's at.  A sterling schedule and a couple non-trivial results (@Tulsa, N-Bowling Green).

In the next wave (predicted above .500 teams), we have Northwestern St (2-7) and Sam Houston St (5-4).  Below that, the abyss.  New Orleans (1-4), Southeastern Louisiana (3-6), McNeese St (0-9), Houston Baptist (2-9), Nicholls St (2-6), TAMU-CC (2-8), Lamar (1-10), Abilene Christian (0-7), Central Arkansas (1-7), and Incarnate Word (0-1) will do little other than hurt the conference profile.

Final prediction:  Oral Roberts to the NCAAs, and hey, a couple will make the CBI/CIT too.  Bully up.

State of the SoCon

Elon (5-5) scheduled up.  Unfortunately for them, they lost too many tossup games.  They didn't get any quality wins in the process either.  However, they may be the only team that can avoid the PIG in this conference.

Davidson (3-8) just lost too much, plain and simple, although they scheduled up too.  Everyone else ranges from bad to worse, with Western Carolina (4-8), Wofford (2-7), Georgia Southern (3-7), UNC Greensboro (3-7), Samford (2-8), Appalachian St (0-8), Furman (3-5), Chattanooga (1-8), and The Citadel (1-8).

Final prediction:  Elon is this conference's only hope, Davidson notwithstanding.

State of the A-East

The top 3 might separate, between Stony Brook (8-4), Albany (6-6), and Vermont (3-8), but the profiles are predictably barren.  Pay no attention to Hartford (5-8), UMBC (2-9), New Hampshire (1-9), Binghamton (2-9), Maine (0-9), and UMass-Lowell (0-11).

Final prediction:  One postseason team.

State of the MEAC

North Carolina Central (5-3) is actually building up a non-trivial resume (@NC State, @ODU).  Could they avoid the PIG?  Perhaps.  Norfolk St (5-5) might have a winning record too.
Now, the unwashed masses.  All are not significant.  Hampton (5-7), Coppin St (3-7), Morgan St (3-7), Florida A&M (2-10), North Carolina A&T (2-9), Savannah St (0-10), Delaware St (0-9), South Carolina St (1-8), UMES (1-6), Howard (1-12), and Bethune Cookman (0-13).

Final prediction:  NCCU avoids the PIG!

State of the SWAC

Hey, they're not awful!  14-71 against D1!  This is progress!

Jackson St (4-7) has 4 of the wins, which include @Evansville and Louisiana-Lafayette.  Hey now!  Texas Southern (3-7) has another 3, including @Temple.

Alabama St (3-5) has 3, but none are notable.  Southern (1-9), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-9), Alabama A&M (1-6), Prairie View A&M (1-9), Mississippi Valley St (1-7), Alcorn St (0-7), and Grambling (0-5) exhibit the terribleness you're more used to with the SWAC.

Final prediction:  The SWAC never has, nor ever will, matter.

State of the conferences, part 6

State of the MVC

The rest of the conference is letting down Wichita St.  That's the story, plain and simple.

Wichita St (11-0) assembled a top 50 non-con SoS, which is very important for obvious reasons.  @St Louis, N-BYU, and Tennesee aren't signature, but good enough.  Unfortunately, I think 3 is about the peak because of the lack of truly high-end wins they'll need to compete with the big boys.  On the plus side, I do think they can absorb a couple of "bad" losses and not really get harmed in the seeding.  The selection committee is more forgiving to teams with shiny records these days.

Any hopes for the rest of the conference?  Indiana St (6-3) has a surprisingly bad non-con SoS.  The losses range from perfectly fine (@St Louis) to marginal (@Belmont) to bad (N-Tulsa).  The win @Notre Dame gives them life, though.  Split with Wichita and we'll talk.  Missouri St (8-2) is the other team in range, with losses N-Virginia and @Louisville.  Problem is, the signature win is Oral Roberts.  Again, split with Wichita and we'll talk.

Drake (7-3) has busted out with a good record and reasonable schedule, and reasonable losses (New Mexico St at home notwithstanding).  Again, no wins to lean on, though.  Northern Iowa (4-6) has a good schedule but whiffed against it.  And the losses @Milwaukee and @George Mason accentuate the point.  The home win over VCU is merely pyrrhic at this point.

Illinois St (6-5) has a fighting chance at .500 and did beat Dayton and Northwestern at home.  So they're capable, but only of ruining other seasons.  Evansville (4-6) did at least beat Mercer but otherwise whiffed their chances too.  Southern Illinois (3-8), Bradley (5-7), and Loyola-Chicago (4-7) all have the combination of bad schedules and a lack of quality wins that will actively hurt the conference.

Final predictions:  Wichita...4 seed.  Indiana St NIT, the next 3 to the CBI/CIT.

State of the MAC

A bit of a rebound year in the computers for them.  Can it last?

Toledo (10-0) is the surprise undefeated team, and a non-con SoS only around 200 (higher than you'd think).  There is not a single top 100 win here, though, which means the margin for error remains small.  House money chance at Kansas is coming.  Impossible to read situation until they get into conference play to play similar opponents.

Ohio (7-3) is a semi-notable team.  One bummer loss (@Oakland) cancel out a pocket collection of wins (UNI, Evansville, Mercer, @Richmond).  At-large hopes aren't dead.  Akron (6-3) isn't dead either since the losses are fine (@MTSU, @St Mary's, N-Iowa St), but they needed a better win than Oral Roberts.  Close to dead.

Two other reasonable NIT hopes lurk.  Eastern Michigan (5-3) has a top 10 SoS but I don't expect it to hold, and with no great wins, it won't.  Kent St (8-2) has a more marginal schedule, but likewise no win to point to.

Rapid fire through the bottom 7 of the conference.  Bowling Green (5-5) and Western Michigan (6-5) in the next tier with typical average MAC profiles.  Buffalo (4-4) going 0-3 vs. the MAAC has set them back.  Miami(OH) (3-5) at least saved their losses for the road games.  Northern Illinois (4-5), Ball St (1-7), and Central Michigan (5-5) are bottom feeder teams devoid of profile value.

Final prediction:  I'll trust Toledo to win the conference for now.  Ohio has enough to get an at-large to the NIT.  However, despite the bounceback in the conference, can they get another NIT team to at least turn the progress into results?  It's close, but I'll say no.  Akron, Kent St, and Eastern Michigan to other postseason tourneys.

State of the Ivies

Everyone expected Harvard to at least be in the at-large discussion.  Is Princeton trying to crash the party?
Harvard (9-1) won in Alaska, but Denver/Green Bay/TCU have only a littl evalue.  Lost at Colorado.  Those represented their quality win chances so far.  They've got a put-up-or-shut-up game at UConn imminent.  Without it, they might have to win the Ivy to get in.

However, say, winning one of three against Princeton (9-2) will let them at least be within shouting range of the bubble, thanks to Princeton's rise.  The N-Portland loss is a bit of a buzzkill, but N-Pacific, @Bucknell, and @Penn St wins at least give it a fighting shot.  However, losing the Ivy probably means absorbing a fatal RPI blow.

If there is a 3rd postseason team, it might be Columbia (7-5), as they have the best chance of reaching .500, although the profile is barren.  The rest of the Ivy is back in the pack.  Yale (5-6), Brown (6-4), and Dartmouth (5-4) at least padded their barren profiles with empty calorie wins.  Penn (2-7) and especially Cornell (0-11) are in more dire straits.

Final prediction:  Is there room for a 2nd Ivy team (probably Princeton) in the NIT?  I'll say yes.

State of the CUSA

A bit of a rebound year?  They're individually making a couple of waves, at least, but the bottom of the conference is terribad again.

I expect a three-headed battle heading into conference play.  Southern Miss (9-2) did win at North Dakota St, but the losses at Louisville (fine) and Western Kentucky (not fine) weigh it down.  The computer numbers here are worse than they look.  Louisiana Tech (9-3) doesn't have a bad loss weighing it down (depending on how you feel about Louisiana-Lafayette).  However, with no win, they'll need a dominant CUSA season to be an at-large factor.  Charlotte (8-3), however, got the scalps of the CUSA season (N-Kansas St, N-Michigan, but the rest of the profile didn't cooperate.  Losses to Davidson and @Charleston are very damaging in retrospect.  Name value doesn't sync up with computer value.  So, this leads to a very conflicted situation.  I still think they're an at-large threat despite the computer profile.

Middle Tennessee (6-4) is a team probably out of range.  Did play some good opponents, but just got one scalp versus Akron.  UAB (8-3) got the obvious scalp versus UNC, but couldn't back it up unless you want to count N-Temple (and you might).  If they could've just split N-New Mexico and @LSU.  These two do, at least, have NIT hopes and help form a solid top third of the conference.

UTEP (6-5) did beat Tennessee on a neutral and East Carolina (6-3) has a good W-L record, but each lack any profile heft to be real threats.  Tulsa (4-8) is probably better than the record indicates, as they scheduled up and took several body blows.

The value of the conference falls off a cliff after this, probably.  Marshall (3-7) has their peak now behind them.  Florida International (6-4) is an empty profile.  Old Dominion (5-7) has at least reaches respectability, for now.  Rice (3-6), Tulane (6-6), and North Texas (5-5) have very unremarkable profiles.  Florida Atlantic (2-10) and Texas-San Antonio (2-7) just aren't doing anything for anyone.

Final predictions:  Charlotte wins the 3-way tug to the NCAAs.  Let's send the other two to the NIT, at least.  There will be CBI/CIT teams.  MTSU and UAB for sure, let's say UTEP too.

State of the Colonial

They're back to being respectable!  A bit of a rebound, led by a fringe at-large candidate.
Drexel (8-3) has good losses (@UCLA, N-Arizona, and I'm calling @St Joseph's acceptable).  However, those supposed good wins are now between rubbish (@Rutgers) and marginal (N-Alabama and N-Elon).  They've got @Southern Miss coming up, so faint at-large hopes remain.
Delaware (6-6) has respectable computer numbers as a base, but no wins to back it up.  Towson (6-6) has the record with a worse SoS and much worse losses.  But between them, I expect the 2nd and 3rd conference spots to be filled.

Behind them will probably be a dogfight.  Northeastern (3-9) did schedule up, so they're better than the record.  They're probably 4th.  There's a bit of a mess behind them.  William & Mary (5-4), UNC Wilmington (4-7), James Madison (4-9), Charleston (4-7), and Hofstra (3-7) are all losing teams with varying degrees of failures.  Charleston in particular is a bit shocking.  UNCW might have the leg up with a decent SoS so far.

Final predictions:  Drexel runs away with the conference.  Delaware and Towson to the CBI/CIT.

State of the Horizon

The conference is taking another hit this year.

Green Bay (6-3) has ascended to the top, with a home win over Virginia in its pocket for seeding purposes.  They're a head ahead of the rest of the league.

Preseason favorites such as Cleveland St (5-6), Valparaiso (5-6), and Wright St (5-7) have disappointed.  CSU has turned a decent schedule into no wins of note.  Valpo did the same with a worse schedule.  WSU did the same with a really bad schedule.  Milwaukee (9-4) played a bad schedule, so it's an artificial record.  No wins to lean on.

The bottom of the conference is lean.  Oakland (3-10) played a monster schedule with predicable results.  Youngstown St (5-6), Detroit (4-8), and UIC (3-8) are headed to the basement with no remarkable profile qualities.

Final predictions:  Green Bay is the class of the league.  We'll send 2 of the other 4 contenders to the CBI/CIT.  I don't know which ones, though.  Don't ask me to predict.

State of the conferences, part 5

State of the A-10

This is the big rising conference so far this year.  Big leaps forward, for one team in particular.  Start thinking about 4 bids here, folks.

UMass (10-1) was the revelation, doing it against a top 25 schedule to boot.  LSU, New Mexico, N-BYU, @Ohio...a good pocket collection of wins.  And there's 3 other road/neutral wins on top of it.  This makes the @Florida St loss moot.  This profile can be good enough for a protected seed if they win the A-10, as the conference will have more quality win chances for them.  Pay attention carefully to this team.

VCU (10-3) have probably held at expectations so far.  Losses are explainable (@UNI, N-Georgetown, N-Florida St), and wins @Virginia and @Belmont help reduce the harm.  They're not out of the woods, but a solid A-10 season will get them in the tourney.  They'll need a bit of dominance, though, to really jump up the seeding lines.

St Louis (10-2) is the 3rd team that should head the conference.  Losses to Wisky and Wichita St are practically preordained.  However, the schedule was a bit unbalanced with no other wins they can truly lean on.  Kind of like VCU's situation, only a little bit weaker.

I figure the bubble to be behind these three teams.  George Washington (10-1) is the stealth threat, but be aware the non-con SoS will languish around the 225 mark and SoS won't break 100.  Loss to Marquette hurts more than you think, but N-Creighton and N-Maryland wins actually compare favorably to VCU and St Louis' situations.  Dayton (9-3) did well in Maui beating Gonzaga and California while losing to Baylor.  The issue is losses @Illinois St and N-USC aren't befitting of an NCAA tournament team.  However, those wins do allow them to recover.

The next group of teams, probably aren't bubble teams right now, but I expect one to emerge.  One typically does.  Just don't ask me to predict which one.  Richmond (8-4) only has one marginal loss (@Wake Forest) and did beat Belmont, so there's room to make a charge.  St Joseph's (6-4) only has one marginal loss (@Temple) and did beat Drexel, so file them in the same category.  LaSalle (6-6), however, has probably absorbed too many body blows (and potential knockout punches to Miami and UNI among others) considering a lack of quality wins.  St Bonaventure (8-4) has SoS issues and bad road losses surrounded by no good wins.  Richmond and St Joseph's are more likely to make runs and have better support, but I still group these 4 together saying 1 of the 4 will make a run.

The bottom 4 will be fodder.  Fordham (7-4) is probably more focused on building up wins against inferior competition as they have (although they ruined Manhattan's profile in the process).  The bottom has fallen out at George Mason (5-6); they have a deadly combination of SoS killers and decent teams that they lost to.  Rhode Island (6-5) is in the typical situation of no quality wins and marginal losses.  Duquesne (5-5) has a horrible schedule and nothing resembling a win of any value.

Final prediction:  Behind the top 3, I expect a 4th team to make it.  GWU over Dayton for now.  We'll project Dayton to the NIT with Richmond.  Let's not the Bonnies and LaSalle in the CBI/CIT picture.

State of the WCC

The Big 3 is now a Big 4 with Pacific.  Are there enough wins to get 3 in the NCAAs?  Probably not anymore.

Gonzaga (9-2) has played their usual heavyweight schedule.  The losses are a bit of a bummer though (N-Dayton, N-Kansas St).  N-Arkansas, New Mexico St, and @West Virginia are the best wins, which quite isn't good enough for a top seed.  They'll be fine, though.  Just be careful.

BYU (7-5) has played a legitimate heavyweight schedule, so that 7-5 mark is better than you think.  Do you want to hold @Oregon, N-UMass, N-Wichita St, and Iowa St against them?  You can't.  You can, however, about Utah.  @Stanford and N-Utah St are decent wins.  However, their situation would be exponentially better if they trade one of those wins for UMass or Wichita.  They do need to beat a top-end team, just one, to feel solider.  Problem is that Gonzaga is all that's left.

St Mary's (9-2) was having a fine season until the Diamond Head ruined it.  Strong SoS, undefeated until South Carolina and Hawaii ruined it.  They actually have a strong collection of pocket wins (Louisiana Tech, Akron, NDSU, Drake, Boise St, the last one on the road).  Such a difficult team to project.  The schedule is strong, but because of mid-majors, not high majors.  Several great wins, but they are home ones, not road ones.  The committee is harsher than I'd like them to be about these kinds of profiles.

Pacific (8-2) has emerged as a 4th power team here.  At least the computers support the idea.  Losses @Oregon and N-Princeton, win over @Utah St.  Probably not a serious NCAA threat but just good enough to provide resume support to the top 3.

It's going to be a tough road for anyone else to get to .500 overall in this league.  Portland (8-4) seems like the best bet.  They did beat N-Princeton but it's the only strength of any kind in the resume.  San Diego (7-4)  has a similar profile, except that they lack that top 100 win.  Loyola Marymount (7-4) is essentially a profile clone of San Diego.  San Francisco (5-5), Santa Clara (5-6), Pepperdine (6-5) all have marginal profiles that suggest they'll be the bottom 3 teams, with no nutritional value for the league.

Final prediction:  There isn't enough strength in the league to support 3 NCAA teams.  It's a shame for BYU and St Mary's, who just absorbed one too many blows, probably.  BYU in, St Mary's out is my call.  Pacific is a NIT bubble team, and I fear they're going to find the wrong side of it.  Them and Portland to the CBI/CIT.

State of the Mountain West

There's no chance they could've followed up last year's monster performance in the computers.  They are drastically down.  There's multiple bids here, but the chance of only 2 is very real now.

San Diego St (8-1) is probably co-favorites with New Mexico now.  The loss to Arizona is excusable, and wins over Creighton and Marquette on neutrals will have value (particularly Creighton).  They'll be fine barring significant issues in conference play.  The bigger question is seeding.  The MWC champion very well might not have the seed you'd think they have.  I think a 6 seed is the baseline, frankly.

New Mexico (9-3) is probably the other safe team.  Another sterling non-conference schedule (8th) this year.  N-UMass, N-Kansas, and New Mexico St are excusable losses, with Cincinnati, @New Mexico St, and N-Marquette balance it out enough.  Similar state to SDSU.

The real fun begins behind them.  Boise St (8-2) is your first bubble team.  They went out and retrieved a good non-con SoS (in the top 50) to give themselves a chance.  Problem is, they got no signature wins out of it (they whiffed the two chances to Kentucky and St Mary's).  I'm not sure 1-3 against the top 2 will provide enough value.  Would the rest of the conference provide enough value to supplement?  Utah St (9-2) has a bit worse profile, with USC representing the best win and a loss to Pacific that unfairly stings a bit.  This is a generous call to put them in the same bubble category.  UNLV (8-4) is the enigma of the conference.  SoS is much worse than you'd think (170ish).  The loss to UCSB looks worse than it is, but when the best win is Omaha, it hurts bigtime.  Whiffed home chances against Arizona St and Illinois are really hurting right now.

The problem is that reasonable bubble candidates end here.  Wyoming (7-4) lost to reasonable opponents (@Denver worst among them, but didn't win any games of consequence to balance it out.  Colorado St (6-4) is basically in the same boat (hey, they lost to Denver too), but they did at least beat New Mexico St.  They have a prayer, maybe.

Fresno St (5-6) did schedule up a bit but didn't do anything at all with it.  Nevada (5-7) is in the same situation without the schedule benefit.  San Jose St (4-6) and Air Force (4-5) have bad schedules and will hurt the conference going forward.

Final prediction:  We'll say Boise doesn't make it, but the door closes in front of them.  2 bids.  UNLV to the NIT, Utah St to the CBI/CIT.  A significant step backwards.  Shame.