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Miscellany

Can Marshall Get an At-Large Bid if it Loses to Memphis in the Conference USA Title Game?

Chances are good you couldn’t name one player on Marshall, nor its coach. Marshall is 20-12 this season, but only 9-7 in weak conference USA. Friday, the Thundering Herd knocked off Southern Miss – which will be dancing with an RPI of 19 – in the CUSA semifinals. Marshall also beat Cincinnati earlier this season. That win looks better by the day as the Bearcats have reached the Big East final.

But Marshall probably isn’t beating Memphis. The Tigers seem to be peaking and everyone is healthy. They’re 11.5-point favorites and have beaten Marshall twice this season by a combined 27 points. So the real question should be: With a close loss today, how much at-large consideration will Marshall get?

For fun, let’s compare some bubble resumes:

………………RPI……SOS…….Record vs. RPI Top 50….. Good wins
Marshall   41………… 19……… 4-4 Cincinnati, Southern Miss 2x
Seton Hall 61…………58……… 3-7 VCU, Connecticut
Northwestern 57…… 12……… 1-10 Michigan St.
BYU ……….49……….. 103……. 1-6 Gonzaga
Iona ………42……….. 161…… 0-2 none
Mississippi 50……… 61……. 1-6 Alabama
NC State 47………….. 30……. 2-8 Texas
Virginia 45…………… 91……. 2-6 Michigan

The Rebels and Wolfpack can greatly enhance their resumes today with wins over Vanderbilt and North Carolina, respectively. I don’t think Ole Miss would be a lock with a win over Vandy, but yes, NC State would be in with a win over their rival Tar Heels. And no, I don’t think Virginia is a mortal lock. NC State probably has the edge over UVA (they split two games), but not by much.

It’s pretty clear to me the answer is yes: Marshall can still get into the NCAA tournament with a loss to Memphis.

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