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Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
With several weeks left to play, the dust is starting to settle in conference races, and a bracket is starting to take shape...

...except for the non-majors.

Last year, there was a disparity in RPI and KP with Wichita State. KenPom loved the Shockers...RPI, not so much. It didn't matter in the end, and Wichita grabbed the auto-bid. Illinois State, otoh...

This year, there are several teams looking very good in one place, and not so hot in the other. And, as major conference programs are seeing their places secured into the RPI 40's and now 50's, where it puts these non-majors, with the added tiering component to qualify any given record, who is really in, and who is not, even if they don't win their conference's auto bid?

Checking out Warrennolan, Rhode Island (9) and Nevada (14) would look like locks, but, both have 1-3 marks versus "Group 1" opponents. UNR has some KenPom love at 17, you have to look down the rankings a bit to find Rhodie...at 34.

Gonzaga is this year's Wichita State. While 4-3 versus Group 1 teams, and KenPom crushing hard at 9, RPI's got them in that horrible bubble zone, 57th, and behind the likes of Temple, Houston, and Georgia, with clubs like Maryland and SMU right behind them. SMC is more loved by the two metrics, 22 RPI, 11 KP...but only a combined 4-1 versus Groups 1 and 2. Nobody expects either to lose again except to the other...is there really room for both in this tournament? And if Gonzaga doesn't get the better of SMC again...is AQ their only hope (by way of a SMC WCC tournament early exit)?

There are others posing some questions with odd numbers...MTSU (24 RPI/41 KP) and Buffalo (31/81), and some with closer-matching ones like WKU (38/45), Boise State (40/47), and NMSU (46/40). None of them look like locks, even if some could probably play the second weekend.

I'm left to wonder, what's the safety threshold for any of these teams? Must they all win AQ, or, who really can "slack off" just a bit during their conference tournaments?
02-02-2018 03:12 PM
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BePcr07 Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
The non-AQ mid-majors are almost always the same: Gonzaga, St. Mary's, BYU (occasionally), MWC's +1 (sometimes 2), AAC's +2-3, and A-10's +1-2. CUSA has the ability to get a +1.
02-02-2018 03:16 PM
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
A10 is so bad that a random bad loss or two for the Rams could put Rhode Island in AQ-or-bust territory. Nevada wouldn't have to win AQ in the Mountain West, but Boise pretty much has to.

I'm not convinced those in the AAC are even getting all of their work done. Temple got one against Wichita, but it was in Philly, and Wichita is slowly starting to tumble metrically. Wichita is a lock...but they may not be Group 1 by season's end for Temple or Houston. SMU shouldn't even be in the conversation right now. Temple's only there because their SOS is so darn high.
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2018 03:24 PM by The Cutter of Bish.)
02-02-2018 03:23 PM
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ShockerDR Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
(02-02-2018 03:23 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  A10 is so bad that a random bad loss or two for the Rams could put Rhode Island in AQ-or-bust territory. Nevada wouldn't have to win AQ in the Mountain West, but Boise pretty much has to.

I'm not convinced those in the AAC are even getting all of their work done. Temple got one against Wichita, but it was in Philly, and Wichita is slowly starting to tumble metrically. Wichita is a lock...but they may not be Group 1 by season's end for Temple or Houston. SMU shouldn't even be in the conversation right now. Temple's only there because their SOS is so darn high.

Temple also has some really putrid losses (Tulane, GW, La Salle) to offset those strong wins. It's AQ or bust for them.
02-02-2018 03:33 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
(02-02-2018 03:33 PM)ShockerDR Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 03:23 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  A10 is so bad that a random bad loss or two for the Rams could put Rhode Island in AQ-or-bust territory. Nevada wouldn't have to win AQ in the Mountain West, but Boise pretty much has to.

I'm not convinced those in the AAC are even getting all of their work done. Temple got one against Wichita, but it was in Philly, and Wichita is slowly starting to tumble metrically. Wichita is a lock...but they may not be Group 1 by season's end for Temple or Houston. SMU shouldn't even be in the conversation right now. Temple's only there because their SOS is so darn high.

Temple also has some really putrid losses (Tulane, GW, La Salle) to offset those strong wins. It's AQ or bust for them.

It really isn't though. If they finish with 19 or 20 wins(to include the conference tourney) they're going to have a RPI in the 30's with a top 15 SOS. With wins over 2 top 10 teams in Auburn and Clemson. Resume's like that get in pretty much every single time.
02-02-2018 03:54 PM
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CliftonAve Online
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
Cincinnati is not a mid-major basketball program. 80% of the P5 wish they had a program with the history, success, budget and facilities like ours.

(neither are UConn or Memphis but they aren't making the tournament)
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2018 03:59 PM by CliftonAve.)
02-02-2018 03:57 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
(02-02-2018 03:12 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  Last year, there was a disparity in RPI and KP with Wichita State.

Out of these teams, only Cincinnati and Nevada are top-20 in both RPI and KenPom after Thursday's games. Saint Mary's and Wichita State are top-30 in both. RPI and KP disagree by 50 places on Buffalo.

And, for whatever it's worth, the current regional seeding predicted by Jerry Palm on Friday is in parenthesis. I assume that he's projecting that any team seeded lower than 10 is only getting in with an autobid.

(6) Rhode Island - RPI 9, KP 34
(8) Nevada - RPI 14, KP 17
(4) Cincinnati - RPI 15, KP 5
(12) Middle Tennessee - RPI 21, KP 41
(4) Saint Mary's - RPI 27, KP 11
(8) Wichita State - RPI 29, KP 22
(12) Buffalo - RPI 31, KP 81
(not in) Temple - RPI 37, KP 85
(12) Western Kentucky - RPI 46, KP 45
(10) New Mexico State - RPI 47, KP 40
(10) Houston - RPI 48, KP 38
(5) Gonzaga - RPI 50, KP 9
02-02-2018 04:45 PM
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Tom in Lazybrook Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
(02-02-2018 03:33 PM)ShockerDR Wrote:  
(02-02-2018 03:23 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  A10 is so bad that a random bad loss or two for the Rams could put Rhode Island in AQ-or-bust territory. Nevada wouldn't have to win AQ in the Mountain West, but Boise pretty much has to.

I'm not convinced those in the AAC are even getting all of their work done. Temple got one against Wichita, but it was in Philly, and Wichita is slowly starting to tumble metrically. Wichita is a lock...but they may not be Group 1 by season's end for Temple or Houston. SMU shouldn't even be in the conversation right now. Temple's only there because their SOS is so darn high.

Temple also has some really putrid losses (Tulane, GW, La Salle) to offset those strong wins. It's AQ or bust for them.


Yea, GW is awful this year. We might finish dead last in the A-10 this year.
02-02-2018 07:14 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
AAC isn’t mid major.

Buffalo has no shot. 0-3 T1 & 1-2 T2. Loyola (1-2 & 2-1) is more likely being 16-2 with Clayton Custer (2-3 without) and a win at Florida and more T2 games ahead. I don’t think Loyola has a shot either as their Custer-less games did them in even though they’re clearly capable with him.

It really comes down to:
- Gonzaga
- Saint Mary’s
- Nevada
- Rhode Island
- Boise State
- New Mexico State
- Middle Tennessee
- Western Kentucky

First 4 should be safe. Ditto Boise assuming no catastrophic losses. Pistol Pete might have to win out until title game. MTSU/WKU might have to beat everyone that isn’t each other.
02-02-2018 07:25 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Realistic Mid-Major At-Large Bid Candidates
(02-02-2018 07:25 PM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote:  AAC isn’t mid major.

Buffalo has no shot. 0-3 T1 & 1-2 T2. Loyola (1-2 & 2-1) is more likely being 16-2 with Clayton Custer (2-3 without) and a win at Florida and more T2 games ahead. I don’t think Loyola has a shot either as their Custer-less games did them in even though they’re clearly capable with him.

It really comes down to:
- Gonzaga
- Saint Mary’s
- Nevada
- Rhode Island
- Boise State
- New Mexico State
- Middle Tennessee
- Western Kentucky

First 4 should be safe. Ditto Boise assuming no catastrophic losses. Pistol Pete might have to win out until title game. MTSU/WKU might have to beat everyone that isn’t each other.

I'd hardly call Boise really safe. I mean their RPI is around 40 and they have 0 tier 1 wins right now. Plus a loss to bubble team SMU that could wind up killing them.
02-02-2018 09:24 PM
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