Virginia Tech Continues Life on the Bubble.
Final Five In: Saint Mary’s, Richmond, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Alabama
First Five out: VCU, Clemson, Penn State, Colorado State, Baylor
In: Boston College, Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Worth a Mention: Clemson
Notes: Boston College, Virginia Tech and Clemson were each in the final pool of teams. Ultimately, Boston College and Virginia Tech sneaked into the field while Clemson (barely) missed the cut. It is very difficult to differentiate these teams. Boston College gained an advantage with its neutral site win vs. Texas A&M and road win at Virginia Tech late in the year. Virginia Tech has a win over to Duke to brag about. Clemson? It was hard to find something that stood out about the Tigers. A win over Boston College in the ACC quarters would help the cause.
America East (1)
In: Long Island
In: Richmond, Temple, Xavier
Worth a Mention: Dayton, Duquesne
Notes: Richmond is one of the final teams in the field. That win vs. Purdue in late November is the difference; without that win the Spiders would be on the outside looking in.
Big 12 (6)
In: Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M
Worth a Mention: Baylor, Nebraska
Notes: Colorado has a bad RPI (76), but it’s hard to ignore the Buffs’ quality wins — Texas, Kansas State (home and away) and Missouri. CU avoided a bad loss by beating Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday. Baylor’s resume is highlighted by two wins vs. Texas A&M. The Bears will need to advance to the Big 12 title game — and they are capable of doing so.
Big East (11)
In: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia
Notes: Marquette limped to the finish line, losing at home to Cincinnati and at Seton Hall in its final two regular-season games. The win over Providence on Tuesday did nothing but avoid a bad loss. Losing to West Virginia on Wednesday hurts, but the Eagles should still get in.
Big Sky (1)
In: Northern Colorado
Big South (1)
In: UNC Asheville
Big Ten (6)
In: Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Worth a Mention: Penn State
Notes: Michigan beefed up its resume by completing the season sweep over Michigan State. The Wolverines can take another step forward by beating Illinois in the Big Ten quarters on Friday, but they will still be in decent shape with a loss. Michigan State cannot lose to Iowa on Thursday. That would be too much to overcome. Penn State has some good wins (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State), but they are all at home, and the Lions already have 13 losses.
Big West (1)
In: Long Beach State
In: George Mason, Old Dominion
Worth a Mention: VCU
Notes: VCU advanced to the CAA Tournament title game but lost to rival ODU. The Rams are very, very close but just missed the cut. There are some things to like — wins at Old Dominion and vs. UCLA — but there are a lot of losses (11) and some struggles down the stretch of the regular season (1–4 in final five games).
Conference USA (1)
Worth a Mention: Memphis, UTEP
Notes: UAB has a solid case even if it doesn’t win the C-USA Tournament. Memphis will need to get to the finals to be in the discussion for an at-large invite.
Notes: Harvard and Princeton play on Saturday to determine the Ivy’s automatic bid.
In: St. Peter’s
In: Kent State
In: Indiana State
Worth a Mention: Missouri State
Notes: Missouri State doesn’t have a single win vs. a top-60 RPI team.
Mountain West (3)
In: BYU, San Diego State, UNLV
Worth a Mention: Colorado State
Notes: Colorado State has floated in and out of the bracket this year. This week, the Rams are out. Bottom line: They have only one win vs. a team that is currently in the field (at UNLV).
In: Long Island
In: Morehead State
In: Arizona, Washington, UCLA, USC
Worth a Mention: Washington State
Notes: USC is among the final teams in the field this week. The Trojans have 13 losses, but they also have some really nice wins — Texas, Arizona and UCLA at home and at Tennessee. And keep in mind, the losses to Rider, TCU, Nebraska and Bradley occurred before point guard Jio Fontan became eligible. Washington State has some good wins (two vs. Washington, Gonzaga, Baylor), but the Cougars’ RPI is 75 and they have three losses to teams ranked 130 or worse.
In: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Notes: Alabama closed the regular season with a win over Georgia, a team the Tide will likely play in the quarters of the SEC Tournament on Friday. A win would be huge for Anthony Grant’s team.
In: McNeese State
Sun Belt (1)
In: Arkansas-Little Rock
In: Texas Southern
In: Utah State
In: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s
Notes: The Gaels, who lost in the WCC finals to Gonzaga, will be sweating on Selection Sunday. The loss at San Diego late in the season is very troubling, but that is the Gaels’ only bad loss.