BracketBusters hurting mids on bubble (cont.)
Locks: Temple, Richmond
Now things are really starting to sift out in the A-10, but not in a great way for overall bids. Now, along with Saint Louis, Duquesne is starting its own bubble body count. These will be treated like bad losses, but in this season's A-10, that's pretty harsh. Things look good for three bids, with the fourth A-10 semifinalist having a very solid chance.
Richmond moves into the lock category as the league leader at 11-2 and A-10 team with the best nonleague profile. Even with three rough games remaining, there doesn't seem to be a way Richmond can miss at this point. (Who loved the Spiders in December?)
SHOULD BE IN
Xavier (19-7, 10-2, RPI: 19, SOS: 22) now clearly sits third in the A-10 order after a huge road win at fading Charlotte. The X-men are the next team to try out the Billikens in Saint Louis and then host Richmond in an awesome game next Sunday. With games at Fordham and St. Bonaventure after that, X would likely sign for a split this week. That should equal NCAAs barring some really unexpected stuff.
These next three teams remain extremely close ...
IN THE MIX
Rhode Island (20-6, 8-5, RPI: 25, SOS: 60) routed Fordham after losing at Saint Louis. The Rams won at Dayton, but the overall profile is still questionable when compared to the Flyers. URI needs to win its last three (at St. Bonaventure, Charlotte, at UMass) and then we'll see what happens in the A-10 quarters.
Charlotte (18-8, 8-4, RPI: 55, SOS: 99) lost twice at home, including to Duquesne, and now is in a lot of trouble. The 49ers will need to take advantage of season-closing games at URI and vs. Richmond.
Dayton (18-8, 7-5, RPI: 42, SOS: 41) doubled-up on harmful road losses, losing by a deuce at Duquesne after falling at Saint Louis last week. The Flyers' five A-10 losses are by a total of 11 points, but they're still losses and now they're mounting. Dayton definitely passes the NCAA eye test, but its résumé is starting to test the limits of committee patience. The Flyers still go to Temple (on Wednesday) and Richmond and can't afford to lose both.
Saint Louis (17-8, 9-3, RPI: 82, SOS: 137) No one likes a party crasher, which is what the Billikens are in the A-10. Fourth-place Saint Louis might not be a great at-large candidate at this point, but the opportunity is there to change that. The next three -- Xavier, Duquesne and Temple -- are at home, where the Billikens are 14-1. They then close at Dayton, in what could be an enormous game.
BracketBusters was a fiasco for the CAA, which saw four of its top five teams lose, including the two that had legitimate at-large hopes. Old Dominion remains the auto-bid this week. This conference tourney is going to be brutal and may be the only bid this league gets. Fair? Probably not.
SHOULD BE IN
IN THE MIX
Old Dominion (21-8, 13-3, RPI: 41, SOS: 85) had a golden chance at Northern Iowa, which was without seven-footer Jordan Eglseder, and whiffed. Bad time for a bad performance. Winning out until the CAA final would make for a very interesting Selection Sunday debate.
William & Mary (19-8, 11-5, RPI: 48, SOS: 86) had the national stage to itself Friday night at Iona and delivered a performance that joins Illinois State's 30-point Valley final loss to Drake in 2008 in the annals of all-time TV-game whiffs. BW has been pro-Tribe all year, but any committee member watching that couldn't have thought W&M looked like an NCAA team. Mix in 200+ RPI league defeats to UNC-Wilmington and James Madison and the three great nonleague wins probably aren't enough. We'll see...
Locks: New Mexico, BYU
Could this league actually get four? It did, barely, this week, but that's unlikely unless there are two semifinal upsets in the league tourney.
SHOULD BE IN
IN THE MIX
UNLV (19-7, 8-5, RPI: 43, SOS: 62) is courting danger after picking up a fifth MWC loss and slipping behind San Diego State in the standings. The Rebels should win their last three, but an exit before the final of the MWC tourney on its home court would be risky. UNLV split with all three other MWC contenders and probably needs to beat one more to feel safe about dancing.
San Diego State (18-7, 9-4, RPI: 38, SOS: 72) remains a sneaky at-large hopeful after two more MWC wins, but probably needs to win at BYU on Wednesday to be a serious candidate past this week. The Aztecs are 2-3 against the other top teams in the MWC.
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