Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Friday, March 11, 2005
Championship Week Friday

A lot of bubbles have burst over the course of the day today.

One of the bigger bubbles, Indiana, has a date with the NIT as they fell to Minnesota.  As I said before; 13 losses is simply too many for an at-large team to have in the Dance.  Minnesota stamped their ticket.  Virginia Tech never had a chance against Georgia Tech, which locks GT in firmly to the Dance and locks the Hokies firmly into the NIT.

UAB's bubble is looking pretty fragile after falling to Louisville.  It was a close game, but UAB needed that quality win in order to have a convincing case.  Now Conference USA's fate lays with the selection committee on whether they have only three teams or as many as five, as UAB beat bubble-team Depaul yesterday.

Texas Tech might have stamped their ticket today by beating Iowa State.  Iowa State, on the other hand, is going to have to have some luck, but I and others think they might slide in.  Miami (OH) is done after falling to Ohio tonight.  They had to at least get to the Mid-American Final, if not outright win it.

Also, I don't think anyone had Iowa upsetting Michigan State tonight 71-69, which all of a sudden gives them a compelling argument.  It gives them that quality win they needed, as they had yet to beat a ranked team.   If Iowa beats Minnesota tomorrow - and that's quite possible, considering both teams split games over the regular season - that would lock Iowa in and make the selection committee's job even harder.  In fact, that probably doesn't bode well for a team that fell this week but are still on the bubble.

Holy Cross's loss to Bucknell in the Patriot League final will probably have them left out of the Dance.  If it does, it's a crying shame, as most people have said the same thing about Davidson losing in their conference tourney last week to UNC-Greensboro.  I don't think you can tell any team in any conference that they can have only five losses overall (Holy Cross in the regular season), and win 16 games in a row going undefeated in conference play (Davidson went undefeated, HC only lost one game) and tell them that's not enough. 

If the selection committee does, I don't think that's right, particularly when you have so many mediocre teams trying to get in from the major conferences this year.  In fact, I think you have to give them dibs over other mid-majors like UTEP and St. Mary's, teams who have records that I'm not impressed by.  I'm probably wasting my breath, but still.

Tonight's games to keep an eye on is Temple vs. George Washington, Oregon State vs. Arizona, Buffalo vs. Western Michigan, Stanford vs. Washington, UTEP vs. Rice, and New Mexico vs. San Diego State.

Posted at 09:44 pm by Expertise



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