Once again in typical fashion Maryland losses by a bucket. If Maryland had beaten UNC yesterday I fully believe their ticket would have been punched. Since we didn't we are standing here waiting on the decision from a collection of who knows if the selection committee truly understands basketball. Maryland left a lot out on the court in terms of solidifying their résumé, with 2 heart breaking losses to FSU, the meltdown just a week ago at UVA and add in the close games against UNC, UK, and Miami.
According to ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi, Maryland sits as the second team out behind UVA. The way it stands as of Sunday morning Lasalle, Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss and Boise State are the last four in. The first four out are UVA, TERPS, Tennessee and Southern Miss, with Kentucky and Umass lingering in the second tier out of the tourney. I want to truly breakdown who deserves to be the final four in and who deserves to be watching the others from the outside. Lets get the obvious out of the way, Kentucky without Noel is half as good as they were with him and that's wasn't as good as they have been in previous years, so KENTUCKY = OUT. UMass is not a tourney team due to a weak schedule and no big wins and 2 decent wins, nothing that even remotely says we have an argument, so UMass = OUT. Southern Miss has a lot of wins, but those wins are against a ton of nobodies and with no top 50 wins and going 0-3 against your only true conference talent Memphis, an automatic berth was your only shot, so SOUTHERN MISS = OUT.
That leaves us with 7 schools fighting for those 4 coveted spots. Ole Miss is the only one of those 7 to still have a chance to get a auto bid and in my opinion by the numbers is the least worthy to be dancing of the remaining 7. So if Ole Miss wins it would be detrimental to Marylands chances to get in. This is the part no one knows what exactly the committee looks at to pick the last teams, but here is my analysis of the last 7:
Boise State - 21-10 (9-7), lost 1st conference tournament game. RPI - 41, BPI- 45, 4 top 50 wins, best win Colorado State, bad losses Nevada (175), Utah (161)
Middle Tennessee - 28-5 (19-1), lost in Semifinals conference tournament. RPI - 29, BPI - 44, 1 top 50 win, best win Ole Miss, bad losses Arkansas State (164)
LaSalle - 21-9 (11-5), lost 1st conference tournament game. RPI - 46, BPI - 54, 2 top 50 wins, best win VCU, bad losses Central Connecticut State (202)
Ole Miss - 25-8 (12-6), playing in conference championship. RPI - 50, BPI - 38,2 top 50 wins, best win Missouri (twice), bad losses South Carolina (227), Miss State (232)
Tennessee - 20-12 (11-7), lost in quarterfinal of conference tournament, RPI - 59, BPI - 61, 3 top 50 wins, best win Florida, bad losses Georgia (140) twice
Virginia 21-11 (11-7), lost in 1st conference tournament game. RPI - 74, BPI - 48, 4 top 50 wins, best win Duke, bad losses Delaware (141), Georgia Tech (148), George Mason (163), Wake Forest (169), Clemson (185), Old Dominion (318)
Maryland 22-12 (8-10), lost in Semifinals in conference tournament. RPI - 67, BPI - 50, 3 top 50 wins, best win Duke (twice), bad losses Georgia Tech (148)
As you can tell, all of the remaining "Bubble" teams are pretty damn equal and all have impressive marks and some have devastating marks. Every year there are a couple surprising selections from the committee and I feel this year will be no different. In my opinion my selections would goes as Ole Miss would need to win today to get in, based on lack of impressive wins and bad losses with 13 sub 200 wins. Tennessee gets in based on quality wins and really only Georgia as a bad loss(twice). Middle Tennessee looks good by numbers, but once you look at the substance there is none and without having any quality wins, no dance for you. Boise State is not impressive and there best wins are essentially splits in their conference, with a quality win over Creighton, I think the Broncos get in, though I don't think they deserve it. Virginia, oh Virginia. The Hoos should easily be in the tourney with who they have beaten and sweeping the Terps would seem like a lock over the Terps, but according to the experts they don't compare head to head in analyzing teams, this would leave the Hoos sitting at home with way too many bad losses and a collapse down the stretch. LaSalle just doesn't have the top tier wins, they beat Butler and VCU in the same week, outside of that no much other than a terrible loss to Central Connecticut, Lasalle stays home if Ole Miss wins, if not somehow they get in. That leaves Maryland and they can beat the best, the only team to beat a full strength Duke team this year, but the experts feel our non conference schedule will be our demise, I think the way Maryland played this week at the ACC Tourney will get us in the back door.
I know there is some wishful thinking having Maryland in the tournament, but using the numbers above no one can say without a doubt we don't deserve a significant look or that Marylands resume doesn't compare. I feel that the combination of multiple Duke wins especially the one this week against a full strength Duke and no really bad losses outside of maybe GT, but still sub 150 loss, Maryland deserves it just as much as any other. I want teams that can beat elite teams and Maryland, UVa and Tennessee are the only ones that can claim that on the bubble teams.
Come on committee don't fail us now!
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