"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 13, 2021

Robin Hood, Prince of Bids

Typically, this would be where we talk about the bid thieves, and we're going to, but today we're starting not with the bid thieves, but with the potential Robin Hoods of this tournament. When we think about Robin Hood, the old adage of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor comes to mind. In this case, the Robin Hoods are those that are potentially stealing bids from the locks and giving them to the bubble.

Kansas and Virginia could be different kinds of bid thieves

Photo from Disney's Robin Hood (1973)

In the past couple days, we have seen Duke, Virginia, and Kansas all bow out of their conference tournaments not due to losses but due to COVID positive tests. For Duke, this took a potential bid thief off the table and insured the ACC champion would be a team already safely in the field. Virginia and Kansas are different. While we don't know their status for the NCAA Tournament, if they not included in the bracket because they will be unable to participate in next week's games, or if they are included and later removed due to those positive COVID tests, that will open up the way for teams currently on the bubble to get in. That should give some hope to teams like Mississippi, Xavier, St. Louis, and Boise State, who are all currently right on that cut line.

That said, we do have the traditional bid thieves in the mix as well. Here are the four conference tournaments we're still watching:

American--CINCINNATI or MEMPHIS: The Bearcats take on Wichita State while Memphis takes on Houston with the Final on Sunday. The only lock in the league is Houston. Wichita is currently in our field but a loss could knock them out, which happened to projected auto-bid 11-seeds San Diego State and St. Mary's in 2016. Teams on the bubble should cheer for Houston, though if it's anyone else, I suspect the American will remain a 2-bid league (so sorry in advance, Shockers). If Cincinnati wins, they would enter the field as a 14-seed. If Memphis wins, they would enter the field as a 12-seed.

Big East--GEORGETOWN vs Creighton: The Big East is really hoping for a fourth bid, and it likely comes from either Xavier surviving their incredibly bubbly week or Georgetown securing a bid that would likely take X out of the field. Xavier's hopes of boosting their resume (discussed yesterday) were dashed by the NCAA declaring teams eliminated from conference tournaments could not add games, so the surest path to a fourth Big East bid falls to the Hoyas. If they win, they would enter the field as a 13-seed.

Mountain West--UTAH STATE vs San Diego State: The Aggies are two-time defending Mountain West Tournament champs and if playing one's way in were a thing, would be in better shape today than they were earlier this week. We don't believe in that here at Cracked Sidewalks, so it's a safe bet that the only sure way to a Utah State bid is to win. Interestingly, that win could easily knock another Mountain West team out as Colorado State is in our last four and if Boise is still alive (unlikely, but possible) they could also be a bid thief casualty. If they win, they would enter the field as a 12-seed.

Pac-12--OREGON STATE vs Colorado: The Beavers will be hoping to earn a bid of their own very late tonight after knocking off cross-state rival Oregon last night. They have no at-large path and while some think UCLA is still on the bubble, they seem likely to sneak in, so the Pac-12 has everything to gain and another league will end up losing if Oregon State cuts down nets in Las Vegas. If Oregon State wins, they would enter the field as a 13-seed.

1-Seeds: 1-GONZAGA 2-Baylor 3-MICHIGAN 4-Illinois

2-Seeds: 8-Houston 7-Ohio State 6-ALABAMA 5-Iowa

3-Seeds: 9-Arkansas 10-Kansas 11-West Virginia 12-Oklahoma State

4-Seeds: 16-FLORIDA STATE 15-Virginia 14-Purdue 13-TEXAS

5-Seeds: 17-Villanova 18-Tennessee 19-Byu 20-CREIGHTON

6-Seeds: 24-LOYOLA CHICAGO 23-Connecticut 22-Texas Tech 21-Usc

7-Seeds: 25-COLORADO 26-Wisconsin 26-Clemson 27-Oregon

8-Seeds: 32-Lsu 31-Oklahoma 30-Missouri 29-SAN DIEGO STATE

9-Seeds: 33-ST BONAVENTURE 34-Florida 35-Rutgers 36-North Carolina

10-Seeds: 40-Georgia Tech 39-Michigan State 38-Vcu 37-Virginia Tech

11-Seeds: 41-Ucla 42-Maryland 43-Louisville 44-WICHITA STATE

12-Seeds: 50-WINTHROP 49-COLGATE 48-Xavier 47-Mississippi 46-Colorado State 45-Drake





First Four Out: St. Louis, Boise State, Syracuse, SMU

Next Four Out: Memphis, Utah State, St. John's, Seton Hall


No comments: