"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How loud would you have booed MU losses to Auburn (237th ranked), Hampton (211th), Miami-Ohio (196th) and Yale (166th)?

Sometimes when I read the skepticism about MU making the tournament, I feel like critics may as well be yelling, “there is no way MU is fast enough to outrun the elimination bear!” We don’t have to be faster than a bear, just the the other teams trying to outrun the elimination bear.

Let’s look at the next 16 teams behind MU according to Forecast RPI that would have to pass a 9-9 MU team to make MU fall to the back of the pack and be eliminated.

According to Pomeroy, MUs worst loss is to 50th-ranked Gonzaga and its best road win is against 76th ranked Rutgers, compared to:

1. Cincinnati – won at 36th St. John’s, also worst loss to 36th St. John’s at home
2. Minnesota - won at 55th Michigan, lost to 112th Virginia
3. Florida State – won at 67th Miami, lost to 237th Auburn
4. Virginia Tech – won at 20th Maryland, lost to 112th Virginia
5. Michigan State –won at 83rd Northwestern, lost to 83rd Iowa
6. Georgia – won at 73rd Mississippi, lost to 47th Tennessee
7. UCLA – won at 80th Oregon, lost to 99th VCU/95th Montana
8. Baylor – won at 41st Texas A&M, lost to 130th Oklahoma
9. Xavier – won at 38th Duquesne, lost to 196th Miami-Ohio
10. Temple – won at 105th Dayton, lost to 69th California
11. Oklahoma State – won at 181st LaSalle, lost to 136th Texas Tech
12. UNLV – won at 124th Air Force, lost to 135th UC Santa Barbara
13. Washington State – won at 79th Stanford, lost to 80th Oregon
14. Nebraska – won at 130th Oklahoma, lost to 155th Davidson
15. Colorado State – won at 29th UNLV, lost to 211th Hampton
16. Boston College – won at 20th Maryland, lost to 166th Yale

So MU is ahead of all 16 of these teams at 10-8 according to Forecast RPI. If we go 9-9, Cincinnati and Georgia certainly pass us, but you would really stick all of the other 14 ahead of us?

BEST ROAD WIN. The most common argument made for why a 9-9 MU team would NOT make the tournament is “no quality road wins.” However, if you look at Pomeroy ratings, MUs win at 76th ranked Rutgers is better than the best road wins of half the teams that would have to pass MU. Nebraska beat 130th ranked Oklahoma by 1 point on the road tonight to get their first road win of the season, and Michigan State is 1-8 on the road against DI foes. MUs overall road performance is better than most bubble teams.

“We can’t win on the road,” sounds good in a vacuum, until you look at the teams that would have to pass MU.

With its worst loss to 50th-ranked Gonzaga, Marquette wins the “no bad losses.” Even assuming we lose at 62nd ranked Seton Hall to close the season at 9-9, all but two of the teams that need to catch us will have worse losses. In fact, 10 of 16 teams that would have to pass a 9-9 Marquette team to kick them out of the tournament have bad losses to teams outside the Top 100.

If some MU fans want to boo the players for losing by 12 to a St. John’s team that won at WVU by 10, by 18 over Notre Dame, by 15 over Duke, and by 17 over UConn, I would suggest those fans are very, very spoiled. It ranks with our loss to 50th ranked Gonzaga as our worse loss of the year.

BOOS, REALLY? How loud would your boos be if MU had lost to 237th ranked Auburn, 211th ranked Hampton, 196th Miami-Ohio, or 166th ranked Yale? And you are going to put all 10 teams on this list with losses to teams outside the Top 100 to ahead of a 9-9 MU team to make us the “last team out?”

Admittedly a few of the 16 teams that would need to pass MU could come due to surprise winners of any combination of the ACC, B10, B12, BE, CUSA, MWC, P10, SEC, WCC, but even if three of those nine tournaments bring new surprise teams into the tourney, you need to pick out 13 of the 16 teams listed above to bump MU.

Certainly 3-2 is not a lock after the recent slump, but do it and we get in as long as we don’t get upset in the opening round of the Big East Tournament. Will I sleep easy on that? No, I will be nervous and won’t be surprised if we are in one of the new play-in games in Dayton under that scenario – but I will feel good and believe 4-1 is a no brainer for a solid seed.

Let’s start by taking care of business when Seton Hall comes Saturday.


JesuitWarrior said...

The point of the boo'ing isn't that the fans expect MU to be mauled by the elimination bear (nice analogy) - but more because the expectations and potential are so far from being met. I disagree with boo'ing in general, both the home and visiting teams, but obviously folks are free to do what they want from their paid-seats. These Warriors are just a step short, a step slow from really being good, and we all can sense it. Its frustrating to see it slip away so often. And, the Johnnies stomped on our throats and we seemed to not respond. Its hard to already be thinkning "wait 'til next year", except for us Cubs fans, who as camp opens are already thinking that.

James said...

Stop trying to defend the product on the floor. This team is an embarassment to its university and it's fans.

A berth in the NCAA would be nice for the record books, but the result of the 1st round game could be horrendous. A blow out loss would be projected.

Fire Buzz. Test DJO for retardation. And recruit a fucking Big Man.

Michael said...

You are smoking crack. They have no chance at the tourney now even if they win out.