"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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

S-Curve: March 10 Update

Two main things struck me this morning as I worked on the S-Curve. First, there is a general overreaction to Marquette's proposed drop in seeding. While it is still possible that MU would drop a seed line, I find it unlikely. Here's a quick look at the teams that could pass the Warriors and what they need to do for that to happen:

  • Michigan: Anyone who thinks that UM beating RPI-89 Minnesota in overtime created a sea change because Marquette lost to RPI-18 Louisville is simply being illogical. Michigan still needs to beat Ohio State to pass Marquette.
  • Louisville: If the Cards win the Big East title, I could see them passing Marquette.
  • Wisconsin: At least need to beat Michigan State, more likely need to win the Big Ten title as they have those two bad losses to Iowa dragging down their profile.
  • Florida State: They need to win the ACC title. A win over Duke would be a nice start, but those two bad losses, particularly to Boston College, are ugly blemishes on the resume.
  • Vanderbilt: Their head-to-head win at the BC could come into play if they win the SEC Championship, but the Commodores main problem is that they need quality wins, and the only opportunity left is to beat Kentucky. They could win the SEC and still not pass us if they beat Florida to get there.
Past those five teams, I can't see anyone jumping that far up the S-Curve. Florida and Cincinnati are simply too far back to jump from the 6-line to the 3-line in two days. In order for Marquette to drop, three of the above scenarios need to happen. So what that means for Marquette fans is that it's time to cheer for Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Duke, and Mississippi. If three of those teams win today, there should be no way Marquette drops below a 3-seed.

The second thing is just how bad the bubble is. As teams like Northwestern, Washington, Tennessee, St. Joe's, and Dayton have lost in recent days, it's becoming really hard to find teams worthy of going in. Right now, Mississippi and NC State are the two teams above the cut line, but their spots are precarious. Ole Miss really doesn't have many quality wins, while NC State's entire resume hinges on beating a number of teams that likely won't make the field. Meanwhile, Mississippi State staggered to the finish, St. Joe's and Dayton took losses they just couldn't afford, and simply almost all the teams sitting on the bubble look unworthy. Seton Hall and South Florida look solidly in, mainly because by losing already, they can't do any more damage to their profiles. Of course, there could still be bubble thieves. The Pac-12 stole a bid yesterday when California lost, assuring there would be two teams from that mediocre league. Other potential bid-stealers include the UMass/St. Bonaventure winner in the A-10, Marshall in C-USA, and UC-Santa Barbara in the Big West


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