Thursday, March 9, 2017

Big West Conference tournament preview

This is part 31 of a 32-part series previewing every conference tournament in the country.  We'll detail what you need to keep track of in each tournament and the various stakes for each team.

The standings:
UC-Irvine 12-4
UC-Davis 11-5
Cal St-Fullerton 10-6
Long Beach St 9-7
Hawaii 8-8
Cal St-Northridge 7-9
Cal Poly 6-10
UC-Riverside 5-11
UC-Santa Barbara 4-12

Tournament format:
Thursday March 9 to Saturday March 11.  Only the top 8 get invites, so GTFO UCSB.  The funny thing is, Hawaii was postseason ineligible until about a week that ruling ended UCSB's season.  They couldn't add an extra day to the conference tourney to fit in UCSB on such short notice.  Amusing.

The matchups:
1) UC-Irvine vs. 8) UC-Riverside
4) Long Beach St vs. 5) Hawaii
3) Cal St-Fullerton vs. 6) Cal St-Northridge
2) UC-Davis vs. 7) Cal Poly

The stakes:
The Big West is RPI 28.  What in the literal hell.  They were in the low teens the past couple of years.  How do you go from that to 28 in one year?  The explanation is too long for this blog, but the bottom line is the good teams all crapped the bed in the non-con, and everyone who wasn't good scheduled dumb.

This will cost the conference.  They have an outside chance at a 15 seed, but they're staring the 16 line in the face.  Irvine has a reasonable chance of reaching the 15 line; but everyone else is plain old Dayton fodder.  Their 2nd best team is RPI 195, which is a disaster.  An absolute disaster.

They've only got Davis and Fullerton even CIT eligible behind Irvine at the moment.  There's just not much good going on here.

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