ATB: Conference Tournament Thursday – Mid-Day Report

Posted by rtmsf on March 12th, 2009

afterbuzzer1There are so many games today, we thought it would be worth a quick look at the afternoon sessions that have already concluded to see what’s going on out there, especially as it relates to BubbleLand. 

Reminder: keep in mind that RTC Live’s correspondents are simul-blogging from both the Atlantic 10 and WAC today, so be sure to check those guys out. 

Helped Themselves.

  • Minnesota – Classic bubble team at this point with a 10-9 Big Ten record, 6-6 in their last twelve games, 9-9 against the RPI top 100, RPI in the low 40s and no bad losses.  A win against Michigan St. on Friday leaves no doubt.  A loss… and Minny is playing with fire.
  • Virginia Tech – Their game against Miami today had all the markings of a knockout game, with both teams holding identical conference records and similar RPIs.  How do you justify a team getting put in that has lost six of eight, though?  VT still needs to beat Carolina tomorrow. 
  • Baylor – The Bears aren’t sniffing the bubble, but they’re looking very interesting as a possibility of this year’s Georgia.  We referred to this in last night’s ATB – they simply outworked Kansas for this one.  If they can survive the OU-Mizzou winner, they can cut down the nets in this thing. 
  • Kentucky – Maybe the news that Patrick Patterson is returning next season inspired the Cats, but they’ll have their work cut out tomorrow against LSU.   They need that game and more this weekend. 
  • Michigan – this easy win over Iowa probably puts Michigan safely in.  Their high-level numbers look exceptionally similar to Minnesotas, but where UM’s profile takes off is six wins against the RPI Top 50, including Duke and UCLA. 

Hurt Themselves. 

  • Kansas – Obviously, not in terms of the bubble, but KU probably dropped a seed line today.  Whereas previous to this afternoon, they were talked about as a 2/3 on the S-curve, this may have dropped the Jayhawks to a 3/4. 
  • Clemson – It’s really not good to lose to the last-place team in the conference in the first round of the ACC Tourney.  Clemson is an NCAA team, but with four Ls in their last five games, they’ve swooned themselves into possibly an 8/9 seed range.
  • UAB – Believe it or not, UAB is still in the conversation with today’s one-point win over Southern Miss.  The Blazers’ RPI is in the low 40s, but they’re 0-5 against the top 50.  If the Blazers can get to the Memphis game on Saturday and just give the Tigers a good run on national tv, that might be enough. 
  • Providence – Providence shot 2-17 from three and 33% overall in an ugly game that, had they won, may have been enough to get them into the NCAAs.   Given their 70+ RPI, the question for the Friars is whether an overall 11-9 Big East record is sufficient when they played the top four seeds six times. 

Mortally Wounded.

  • Arizona – Chase Budinger’s 3-15 shooting sunk the Wildcats, who should be feeling rather nervous about extending their 24-season streak of NCAA appearances right now.  They’ve now lost five of six, and if they do make it in, they’re starting at a double-digit seed.
  • Kansas St. – Denis Clemente picked the wrong afternoon to go ice cold (4-20).  The Cats had a nice second half of the season to get itself on the bubble, but they really, really could have used what was a winnable game against Texas today.  Our gut says they’re going to end up on the outside looking in. 
  • Miami (FL) – The Hurricanes aren’t dead, but they’re on life support.  They needed this game just as much as Virginia Tech did, and they soiled the bed with a flat 35% shooting performance with no player reaching double figures.

Killed Themselves. 

  • Northwestern – The Cats gave a nice run at their first-ever NCAA bid, but 8-11 in the Big Ten and a 70ish RPI isn’t going to get it done.  They really needed a solid run in Indy to make this happen.  The NIT will be a nice consolation, though. 
rtmsf (3998 Posts)

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