Sunday, March 1, 2020

Bubble watch: MVC/MWC/WCC


Gonzaga (29-2) (15-1) NET 2 SoS 136
Vital signs:  12-2 R/N, non-con SoS 282, avg win 160
5-2 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2
Signature wins:  BYU, @Arizona, N-Oregon
Bad losses:  none

Hilariously, their non-con SoS might be the one thing that knocks them off the 1 line.  Seriously, 282 is a number we usually see serve as a disqualifier for the 1 line.  The dirty secret of their schedule is that they absorbed a lot of home cupcakes, and all the good teams they played went in the tank (except the ones they ran into in Atlantis).

San Diego St (27-1) (17-1) NET 4 SoS 106
Vital signs:  14-0 R/N, non-con SoS 140, avg win 154
4-0 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2
Signature wins:  N-Creighton, @BYU, N-Iowa
Bad losses:  UNLV

Reminder that the regular season is over for the MWC, so at most SDSU can take one dumb loss.  I'm not feeling great about the contenders for their spot...I don't think Dayton can catch them, the ACC is being dumb, Maryland is losing...this is close to becoming a lock for them.

BYU (23-7) (13-3) NET 10 SoS 35
Vital signs:  10-6 R/N, non-con SoS 9, avg win 144
3-4 vs. Q1, 5-3 vs. Q2
Signature wins:  Gonzaga, @Houston, N-Utah St
Bad losses:  @San Fran?  @Boise?

Since they're out of regular season games, we can lock them in.  A good solid collection of Q1/2 wins.  And some of their Q1 losses were to elite teams (Kansas, SDSU, Gonzaga), so the penalty isn't as severe as one might assume.  They're safe.


St Mary's (23-7) (11-5) NET 31 SoS 59
Vital signs:  10-4 R/N, non-con SoS 95, avg win 162
3-4 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2
Signature wins:  BYU, N-Wisky, N-ASU
Bad losses:  Santa Clara, Winthrop

Two ugly home losses in Q3 keep them from the lockbox.  Considering their 4 Q1 losses are all inside the NET Top 10, they're better off than you think.  They won enough against a reasonably good non-con schedule, so I think they're home free.  Just want to see them avoid a dumb loss first.

Northern Iowa (23-5) (14-4) NET 37 SoS 118
Vital signs:  9-5 R/N, non-con SoS 136, avg win 164
1-1 vs. Q1, 4-2 vs. Q2
Signature wins:  @Colorado, N-S Carolina
Bad losses:  @SIU, @Illinois St

@Colorado is a trump card that they can use...not sure if it's enough.  5 wins inside the top 2 quads isn't great, but they lacked overall opportunities.  8-4 in true road that good enough to forgive 2 dumb Q3 road losses?  It's right on the edge. 

Utah St (21-8) (12-6) NET 38 SoS 119
Vital signs:  8-7 R/N, non-con SoS 89, avg win 178
2-4 vs. Q1, 2-2 vs. Q2
Signature wins:  N-LSU, N-Florida, N-North Texas?
Bad losses:  @AFA, @New Mexico

They're below .500 in true road games at 4-6.  That might be the death knell.  6-4 would've looked so much better, and would've removed a couple marginal losses.  They took a couple too many, it would appear.

NIT Watch:
Pacific (21-9) (11-5) NET 106 SoS 186 - they're your 4th place WCC team, and they beat St Mary's, but that's about it.  Don't really see them as NIT viable.  Maybe San Francisco gets a look instead, but I'm guessing the number of postseason teams in the WCC ends at 3.
Nevada (19-11) (12-6) NET 88 SoS 103 - there's a bunch of MWC teams clustered close together, resume-wise.  UNLV, Colorado St, Boise St are all next to each other in the standings.  I'm not sure I can make the case for any of them to go to the NIT, but if someone does, I very hesitantly lean towards Nevada.  I don't have much conviction, though.
Loyola(Chi) (20-10) (13-5) NET 98 SoS 169 - if this is the 2nd best resume in the MVC, no one from the MVC is going to the NIT.

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