Plenty of NCAA Tournament bubbles burst yesterday. St. John’s lost to Providence, sending the Red Storm to the NIT, just like Georgetown. California lost to Colorado, dropping to 5-11 against tournament and NIT-type teams, and likely ending their chances. Arkansas had a costly loss to South Carolina, and after getting destroyed at Alabama to end the season, the Razorbacks are basically done. With an RPI ranking outside the top 70, it would be unlikely they get in.
Here is how each of us sees it as we enter Friday’s action. Still room for plenty of movement right at the cut line.
Lisk’s Last 6 in:
I’ve got Nebraska, Stanford, and Dayton IN after yesterday. Dayton has 3 top 25 wins and an RPI inside the top 40. I don’t see them missing even with a loss, though they will drop in seed priority. Nebraska plays Ohio State so that won’t knock them down even with a loss. Stanford sealed it yesterday, and also cannot add a bad loss.
Other teams better hope Southern Miss secures the automatic bid. I’ve got them above the cut line, and a close loss to Louisiana Tech would not be too costly– with a RPI of 29 now, they will be right in the mix.
Iowa (RPI 61) and SMU (RPI 52) are testing how close they were to being locks two weeks ago. Both might take Dayton right now if you offered it. Xavier is probably in because a Creighton loss is not unexpected, and they have likely done enough.
St. Joseph’s is in a must win game against Dayton.
Lisk’s First 8 out:
Minnesota, Missouri, Florida State, NC State, and Illinois all have the ability to add monster wins that shoot them up. In the case of the latter two, it will not be enough, but will get them in the conversation. For the first three, I think it will be enough to shoot them past others right on the cut line.
Providence cannot afford to lose to Seton Hall.
McIntyre’s Last 6 In
Iowa. Hawyeyes have lost 6 of 7, and will sweat out Saturday night. Iowa will be a dangerous 11 seed.
Minnesota. Win vs. Wisconsin tonight = rest easy Saturday night.
Xavier. Win vs. Creighton tonight obviously would be nice. A loss doesn’t hurt terribly.
Stanford. Beat UCLA the Cardinal can celebrate. They’re likely in anyway, though.
Nebraska. Win vs. OSU today and definitely in. Loss and still in good shape.
Saint Joseph’s In 10 days ago; now must-win against Dayton today. Loser falls out and will need help.
McIntyre’s First 8 Out:
Dayton 23-9, RPI: 38, SOS: 29 vs. RPI Top 50 4-5 [Must-win vs. Saint Joseph's today because 0-2 vs. them this year]
California 19-13, RPI: 58, SOS: 25, vs. RPI Top 50 4-10 [Lost 4 of 5 to end season, will sweat out Sunday]
Florida State 19-12, RPI: 52, SOS: 44, vs. RPI Top 50 3-8 [Must-win vs. Virginia this afternoon.]
Missouri 22-10, RPI: 48, SOS: 83, vs. RPI Top 50: 2-3 [Must-win vs. Florida this afternoon.]
Providence 21-11, RPI: 51, SOS: 76, vs. RPI Top 50 2-6 [Must-win vs. Seton Hall. Would then need to win Final Saturday]
NC State 20-12, RPI; 59, SOS: 41, vs. RPI Top 50 2-8 [Must-win vs. Syracuse tonight.]
Richmond 19-13, RPI: 68, SOS: 62, vs. RPI Top 50 3-8 [Must-win vs. VCU tonight.]
Arkansas 21-11, RPI: 69, SOS: 93 vs. RPI Top 50 3-5 [Back-to-back losses pushed them from 'in' 10 days ago to 'out.']