Friday, March 13, 2009

Auburn vs. the Bubble, update the second

Reference shamelessly stolen from Andy Bitter, mostly because I'm just bitter--HAHAHAHA--that he thought of it first when I spent half of fourth grade playing this game.

Stock arrow: Down. Most of the teams that lost were behind Auburn anyway and the Virginia elimination hurts.

GOOD NEWS

--Providence lost to Louisville and is toast.

--Kansas St. lost to Texas; ditto.

--Arizona lost to Arizona St. The Wildcats are not toast, but they've now lost 5 of their last 6 games, won only one game away from home--an neutral-court W over Gonzaga--in 11 tries against the RPI top 100, and with that loss finished under .500 overall in an iffy Pac-10. They're in trouble, certainly.

--Rhode Island was never really a threat to pull an at-large anyway, but losing to Duquesne ended any kind of pipe dreams about them.

--New Mexico pulled a total gag job against Wyoming. With only five top 100 wins--all of them coming at home--and four sub-100 losses, the Lobos are toast.

--Florida downed Arkansas, as you know, and will face Auburn in the SEC quarterfinals tonight. (Preview is forthcoming.) I'd have personally preferred the Hogs as an opponent for auto-bid purposes, but from the "Bubble" perspective the chance at a much, much better win is obviously a good thing.

NEUTRAL NEWS

--Virginia Tech routing Miami eliminates the 'Canes but puts the Hokies in position to definitely get themselves into the conversation with a win over North Carolina today. (Still, this is preferable to the 'Canes having won: if they'd beaten Carolina, they would have been in.)

BAD NEWS

--Virginia could not handle Boston College and will not be giving Auburn an extra top-100 victory by moving up the RPI. "Best-case scenario Auburn" has been downgraded to only 7 top 100 wins and a 4-6/3-4 1-50/50-100 split.

--San Diego St. wrapped up a three-game sweep of UNLV by whipping the Rebels on their home court. I don't know what to think about either of these teams--all things (save "last 12" record) considered, the Runnin' Rebels have the much better resume. But SDSU has now beaten UNLV three times, twice on the Rebels' home court. Surely UNLV can't get in ahead of the Aztecs, can they?

--USC upset Cal to start a push. With eight top 100 wins, they're worth paying attention to.

--The Big 10 saw all three of its alleged bubble teams win in comfortable fashion yesterday. Penn St. might still conceivably miss with a loss today, but Auburn cannot catch them.

--Maryland survived a stiff challenge from N.C. State to stay alive.

WHAT TO WATCH

--In the ACC, root like hell against Maryland and Virginia Tech. The Terps, especially, look to me like they'll be in good shape if they can knock off an overrated Wake Forest team.

--Xavier and Dayton held serve in the A-10 quarters yesterday (the latter clinching a bid in the process). They can eliminate the league's last two potential bid thieves today--though I'm not sure I'd expect either one to do it, particularly the way Temple played yesterday in dismantling a decent St. Joseph's team.

--San Diego St. likely clinches a bid if they beat BYU in Vegas today. Auburn does not want them to clinch a bid.

--In the SEC, from the bubble perspective I think Auburn wants an upset of South Carolina to potentially ease LSU's passing and form to hold in the other two quarterfinals. (Particularly, of course, Tennessee's.)

--Auburn does not want Utah St. to be tossed into the at-large pool; they face New Mexico St. in the WAC semifinals.

--USC could really start chirping if they beat UCLA today.

--As always, Auburn wants every team with a bid already locked up to keep winning and keep the remaining bid thieves--Baylor, Wyoming, anyone not named Memphis in C-
USA--out.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Not too much about Auburn's tourney chances, not when so much other stuff was going on. Bitter has another run-down of yesterday's bubble action if you want it. The OA-News's Gribble and Svetitz are continuing their fun "5 Things" series from the women's tournament at the men's: pre-tourney edition is here, report from Thursday in Tampa is here. This is something that's popped up here and there around the Auburn-based Internets over the past few days:
Korvotney Barber isn’t upset that he was left off the All-SEC First-Team roster. But his folks are.

“A lot of people are disappointed about it,” Barber said. “My parents are very disappointed about it.”

But not Barber. He’s just happy to be noticed.

“It’s been a (long time) since anyone’s been selected from Auburn,” he said. True. Barber, though, does have a legit beef for being put on the second team instead of the first. He’s the only player in the conference to average a double-double in league play.
Legit? My response to Barber slipping to second team is: Eh. It's not like the guys on the first team are chopped liver: Meeks and Patterson are all Kentucky has, Mitchell and Thornton have been terrific for the league champions, Varnado is a force, and Smith and Downey and Calathes are each excellent players who led their teams to the fine SEC seasons they had. Yes, Barber had an outstanding year, yes, I'd personally take him over those last three players, and yes, he's way, way better than most of the other second teamers. But it's hardly an outrage. Gee and Ogilvy are with him on the second team, so it's not like he doesn't have some good company in the "snubbed" department. Down or not, there's still a lot of talent in this conference.

The JCCW's "Where We Stand," updated:

On Tuesday I estimated that seven spots were still available, but Cleveland St. winning the Horizon and Minnesota eliminating all doubt against Northwestern yesterday mean 60 bids are now accounted for and only five are still worth debating. The JCCW breaks down the current bubble like this:

IN!

1. Penn St.
2. Creighton
3. Florida
4. Arizona
5. South Carolina

OUT!

6. San Diego St.
7. UNLV
8. Maryland
9. Auburn
10. USC
11. New Mexico
12. Virginia Tech

A quick note: dropping UNLV from No. 2 on Tuesday's list all the way to No. 7 feels like an overreaction, especially since the Rebs still have an 8-7 record vs. the top 100. But they've lost six of their last eight, their RPI numbers--average win/loss of 162/79--kind of suck, and they finished 9-8 in Mountain West play. They just don't look like an NCAA team.

4 comments:

Philip Arnold said...

Haha, Bubble Bubble. Haven't seen that game in years upon years. Definitely a fun one...

jd said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zsPMNj45H0

Jerry Hinnen said...

That? Was awesome.

This is even awesomer, though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvSTEKIMmr4&feature=related

jd said...

Really, I just love all of the Advantage's stuff. I actually own two of their CDs. Dorkitude level...high