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Friday, March 11, 2011

What to watch Friday

The bubble did start to squeeze on Thursday – Colorado probably in, UAB probably out - making Friday a potentially decisive day for Georgia. Unless Thursday was good enough. Honestly, anybody who claims to know for sure is full of it, unless they’re sequestered in a conference room in Indianapolis.

I think the best way to put it is that Georgia can feel safe by beating Alabama, while a loss would leave it all depending on what happens elsewhere. So in that spirit, here’s your guide for the day. The bubble team is listed first, unless both teams are, and RPI ranks are in parenthesis:

1 p.m.: Georgia (39) vs. Alabama (85): Here’s a stat for those who believe the Tide are in with a win. Since 2004, when the RPI was tweaked to its current formula, the lowest RPI rank for an at-large team was 63. (N.C. State in 2005 and Stanford in 2007). And the highest rank for a major-conference team NOT to make it was 40. (Cincinnati in 2006). So for those who continue to say that this is a play-in or elimination game … Hold your horses.

2 p.m.: Boston College (46) vs. Clemson (60), 2 p.m.: Some will also call this a play-in game, but I see it as a matchup of two teams that could still go either way. If you believe both teams are in good shape, you root for BC because it would likely knock Clemson out. If you believe both are in trouble, you root for Clemson in the hopes neither make it.

2:25 p.m.: Michigan (56) vs. Illinois (38): The Illini should be safely in, so the rooting interest in this one is clear. The Wolverines would have a hard case to make if they lose today.

4 p.m.: UTEP (55) vs. Tulsa: There’s still no certain at-large team from Conference USA. If bubble teams in other conferences could design a final, it would be between two teams that have no chance of making it as an at-large. So you root for Tulsa in this one.

6:30 p.m.: Michigan State (45) vs. Purdue: The Spartans were nearly knocked out Thursday but rallied to beat Iowa. If they beat Purdue, they’re almost certainly in.

6:30 p.m.: Memphis (33) vs. East Carolina: Same rule applies from the UTEP-Tulsa game.

7 p.m.: Colorado (64) vs. Kansas: The conventional wisdom is the Buffaloes stamped their ticket by beating Kansas State on Thursday. That’s probably true, because just playing Kansas today should improve the Buffaloes’ RPI. So does Georgia start rooting for the Buffaloes because it would improve their resume’? I don’t know, hard to say.

8:55 p.m.: Penn State (51) vs. Wisconsin: The Nittany Lions, whose record is 17-13, should be out by now. A loss today would do it, but an upset would make them a real threat for a bid.

9 p.m.: Richmond (58) vs. Rhode Island: A loss should knock the Spiders out.

9 p.m.: Utah State (17) vs. San Jose State: Utah State should get an at-large bid, so if it doesn’t win its league tournament, that likely means a bid is being stolen.

9 p.m.: New Mexico (66) vs. BYU: You don’t hear New Mexico in much discussion for an at-large bid, but an upset of BYU would change that.

9 p.m.: Southern California (67) vs. Arizona: A clear-cut case of bubble teams needing USC to lose.

9 p.m.: Virginia Tech (65) vs. Florida State: Another obvious one here.

10 p.m.: St. Mary’s (47) vs. Weber State: This isn’t a tournament game, just an extra non-conference game. St. Mary’s is probably in, but not yet.

11:30 p.m.: Washington (41) vs. Oregon: And the night finishes with another obvious rooting decision.


Ginny said...

I love that this is even a conversation right now. I went there from 04-08 and this was never a conversation. Some people might consider this year a disappointment considering the expectations, but I, for one, am very proud of this team. We go from not having won a single road game to a winning record in road games in one year? The future looks very bright.

PTC DAWG said...

I'll try and say this slower for folks about Bama. They need to make the FINALS of the SECT to get a bid.

UGA is in now, but now is not the time to let up. Time to improve seeding.

Anyone who considers this year a disappoint in BBALL is brain dead.

Beat BAMA...

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Washington/Oregon rooting interest is all that obvious, fwiw.

Washington is probably in - though a loss to Oregon would certainly bring that into question.

However, an Oregon win would put them in to the finals of the PAC10T, which would put them in a position to steal a bid, as they have zero at large chances.

Jon said...

Let's keep this very simple ~ Beat Bama! Go Dawgs!

Joeski said...

UAB losing added a little more importance to the Bama game, but Hell- I want them to whip the Tide just because they're the Tide!

Go Dawgs!

BZ said...

Seth, It seems the basketball team has the same problem as the football team when it comes to finishing games in the 4th quarter or 2nd half. We look like we just give out of gas. I think they need to look into their strength and conditioning program too.