Joe Lunardi is certifiably insane: Illinois State and Saint Joseph (he is a St Joe employee) are projected in! Yeah, sure! It would be a really miserable job if this resume was included. The at-large field is the best 45-50 teams, not the teams who beat the bottom 250 of the RPI! Illinois State has two RPI Top 50 wins (Creighton twice) and that's it! They lost to ALL FIVE of the NCAA teams they played. Illinois State is a CBI team at best!. Lunardi, stop sniffing the cheesesteaks and drinking the Hawk Juice!
And how about St Joseph's?. I love Phil Martelli, and Hawk Talk, but did anyone look at St Joe's out of conference schedule? They blew out Villanova in a neutral game, which is a quasi-in-conference game since it is part of the Big 5. Then what? Their RPI is 45, their SOS is 53. Not convincing. Their only other OOC win in the top 100 was Siena on the road. Then crapola! The next best win was #155 Penn State at home. I'm sorry but the OOC counts too, and St Joe's played a ...Jim Boeheim schedule and lost. Sure, they beat Xavier twice, and I'm sure that avenged their undefeated season loss to Xavier of a few years ago, but that is not enough.
Besides St Joe's has more to benefit from an NIT Final Four, than getting blown out in the first round of the NCAA tourney :)
And now let's pick on Dookie Vitale: Stop quoting conference records in association with the conference RPI for conferences with unbalanced scheduling (eg ACC). Let's look at Virginia Tech's schedule. Best OOC RPI win? #126 UNC Greensboro at home. Need I say more? Need I say more? Seth, we love you, but you are going to the NIT, and then straight to the CSTV (CBS College Sports) analyst chair. VaTech OOC schedule is so weak, it's crazy to even think they could get in. Their ACC schedule was soft too, they played the top three teams once, and lost to all of them handily (UNC, Duke, Clemson). They did have a good record against the other ACC bubble teams, which may be their saving grace, along with their performance in the ACC conference tourney. They beat Maryland twice, beat Wake Forest and Florida State once, and split with Miami and Georgia Tech. They played ACC bottom teams NC State and Boston College twice. Compare that with playing Duke and Carolina twice.
So as much as we love Seth Greenberg, they don't deserve an NCAA bid. But the selection cmte is humans, not robots, and the VaTech story, with all the adversity the team and the university faced in the last couple of years, may give them the "human interest" boost, and get them over the hump.
Hate to break the news to you Virginia Tech fans, but the best wins you had were over bubble teams, Miami (split), Maryland (twice), FSU and Wake Forest. Virginia Tech has not beaten an NCAA team. Besides, a young team like that has a lot more to learn from a good run in the NIT, than getting blown out in the first round of the NCAA.
In fact, I'm not sure they would deserve to be in even if they beat UNC. The analysts seem to be micromanaging every single move in the conference tourneys, and forget that the previous games count too! It's the whole season, not just the last game or the last 12, or just the conference games. We love you Virginia Tech, but get ready for the NIT.
|Conference||Locks||Contenders||Want In too|
|ACC||Duke, UNC, Clemson||Virginia Tech||Maryland, Wake Forest, Florida State||Pac-10||Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon|
|Big East||Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, ||West Virginia||Villanova, Syracuse|
|Big 10||Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana||Ohio State, Illinois (tourney final)|
|SEC||Tennessee, Vandy||Arkansas, Miss State||Kentucky, Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia (tourney final)|
|Big 12||Texas, Kansas||Texas A&M, Kansas State||Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech|
|Everybody else||Xavier||BYU, St Mary's||Gonzaga, Southern Illinois, Dayton, UMass, VCU, UAB, Houston, New Mexico, Illinois State, |
PS> Automatic bids are removed from the list (eg conference champions).