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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The final bubble watch

I asked the NCAA if I could put a web-cam in the conference room where the selection committee is meeting. For some reason they turned me down, so as we sit here on Sunday morning, I can’t tell you with any huge degree of confidence whether Georgia will make it.

The bracket projections are still all over the place: Jerry Palm is predicting Georgia as a No. 11 seed, not in the play-in round, not among his last four out; but Joe Lunardi has Georgia among his last four out, along with Alabama.’s Andy Glockner has Georgia among his last six teams in (and Alabama among the last four out).

(Incidentally, if the above links don't gel with what I wrote, that's because a Sunday result has caused a change, or someone has altered their projections. One of the above experts has been known to just up and change his bracket on Sunday for no apparent reason, and I'll be curious to see if he does so again.)

There are really just two games that matter for the bubble on Sunday:

- The Atlantic 10 final: Richmond is likely in the field regardless, so if Dayton were to pull of the upset, a bid would probably be stolen. This game starts at 1 p.m.

- The Big Ten final: Is Penn State absolutely, positively in the field already? The experts think so, but you never know, so an Ohio State win couldn’t hurt. This is the final game (starting at 3:30 p.m.) before the committee’s announcement.

As I put on my own bracketology hat - and a very clunky hat it is – I think there are 12 at-large spots available, when you figure in league champs and lock teams. And that’s putting it conservatively, not assuming some teams that everyone has in, because the committee has been known to pull some surprises. And this year, with the expansion of the field, that’s even more true.

Here are the remaining candidates, with a quick resume’. Again, I see 12 spots available – 11 if Dayton beats Richmond today – and I’ve listed the teams in best guess of the pecking order:

Florida State (21-10, RPI: 54, SOS: 82, 1-5 vs. top 50, 6-9 vs. top 100)
Richmond (26-7, RPI: 44, SOS: 130, 3-3 vs. top 50, 5-6 v. top 100)
Michigan (19-13, RPI: 50, SOS: 16, 6-9 vs. top 50, 10-12 vs. top 100)
Penn State (19-13, RPI: 39, SOS: 6, 5-9 vs. top 50, 10-12 vs. top 100)
Michigan State (18-14, RPI: 45, SOS: 11, 5-13 vs. top 50, 10-13 vs. top 100)
Colorado (20-13, RPI: 65, SOS: 49, 5-7 vs. top 50, 8-10 vs. top 100)
Clemson (21-11, RPI: 56, SOS: 58, 0-6 vs. top 50, 9-8 vs. top 100)
St. Mary’s (23-8, RPI; 46, SOS: 101, 1-4 vs. top 50, 3-6 vs. top 100)
Georgia (21-11, RPI: 48, SOS: 40, 3-9 vs. top 50, 5-11 vs. top 100)
Alabama (21-11, RPI: 80, SOS: 114, 4-4 vs. top 50, 5-7 vs. top 100)
Virginia Tech (21-11, RPI: 61, SOS: 74, 2-5 vs. top 50, 8-8 vs. top 100)
VCU (23-11, RPI: 49, SOS: 87, 3-6 vs. top 50, 8-8 vs. top 100)
Southern California (19-14, RPI: 69, SOS: 39, 5-5 vs. top 50, 8-8 vs. top 100)
Boston College (20-12, RPI: 58, SOS: 38, 1-5 vs. top 50, 7-11 vs. top 100)
UAB (22-8, RPI: 31, SOS: 77, 1-4 vs. top 50, 10-7 vs. top 100)
Oklahoma State (19-13, RPI: 62, SOS: 37, 3-6 vs. top 50, 7-11 vs. top 100)
Harvard (21-6, RPI: 35, SOS: 142, 1-3 vs. top 50, 3-5 vs. top 100)
New Mexico (20-12, RPI: 66, SOS: 79, 2-5 vs. top 50, 5-8 vs. top 100)
Missouri State (25-8, RPI: 42, SOS: 127, 0-1 vs. top 50, 3-6 vs. top 100)

I'll check in with any updates during the day as warranted, and of course will have coverage of the announcement itself and reaction from Georgia. It promises to be an interesting night.


bnwdog said...

While I hope we're in...the plain and simple fact is that none of these bubble teams are going to win the whole thing. Playing in the NCAA tournament should aid in the continuing development of the program primarily on the recruiting front. However, I wonder if playing in the NIT, which one would hope we have a chance of making a decent run in, might provide just as important a role in program development by providing some legit extra playing time which we need to utilize to figure out how to close out games.

All in all I think I find myself in the position of many Georgia fans....overall pleased with the direction of the program but yearning for more. We definitely have a L O T to work on. Who knows, maybe Trey and Travis stay one more year???? Doubtful yes, but hopefully they feel the same way myself and many UGA fans do. GO DAWGS!

On another note, my wife was just contemplating the BCS in comparison to selection Sunday. Not enough teams to determine the football champ and too many to determine the basketball champ. Oh the irony and hypocrisy of the prestigious NCAA.

My rant is done…….

Jake said...

@ bwndog:

Well said.

Theseus said...

why is tennessee getting in ahead of us?