We had another team drop out of the tournament last week, when Louisville self-imposed a postseason ban for 2016 stemming from the escort scandal that was revealed during the offseason. Along with SMU, that makes for two definite at-large teams officially out of this year’s tournament, creating room for a couple more Bubble teams than usual.
Today, we’ll be looking at the resumes of four teams that are currently leading their conferences, meaning if the season ended today, they would be in the tournament automatically. These four teams are all very much on the Bubble if they would lose their conference lead. In this hypothetical scenario, we will say that all four of these teams lost in their conference tournaments, and only two of them can make the tournament as at-large teams. It will be up to you guys to decide which two teams you would put in, based on their blind resumes.
Team A is 15-8 on the season, but are the current leaders in their conference at 8-2. Their conference is rated 5th best by RPI, therefore, they play in the toughest conference of the four teams we’ll look at today. That being said, they have the lowest RPI of the four teams at 74. Their SOS is 100, but their non-conference SOS is very low at 210. They are just 3-4 on the road this season, but they have beaten more Top-100 teams (6) than any of the other three teams. They have a 6-6 record against Top-100 teams.
Team B is 19-5 and they are ranked 31 in RPI, the highest of these four teams. Team B’s conference is the worst of the four teams, ranked 19 in conference RPI, which is part of the reason for their SOS ranking, which is 126. However, their non-conference SOS is 47. They are 4-2 against the Top-100 teams this year, and all six of those games were in non-conference play, and they were all away from home (3 true road games, 3 neutral court games). They also boast an impressive 10-4 record on the road this season.
Team C is 18-5 on the year, playing in 14th ranked conference based on RPI. They are 123rd in SOS and 73rd in non-conference SOS, both solid rankings. Team C is ranked 65th in RPI, which is another fair ranking. This team is in the middle of the road with most of these rankings. They are just 2-5 against the Top-100 this year, which isn’t the best, but they are 6-1 on the road, which is pretty good.
Team D is 18-4 this season, and they are 49th in RPI rankings, which would suggest that they are good enough to be in the tournament. They have only played five teams in the Top-100 this season, but they are 3-2 against them. They are also 9-4 on the road. They play in the 18th best conference, which is much of the reason that they have the 188th ranked SOS. But they played the 40th most difficult out of conference schedule, so they have been tested.
The four teams will be revealed tomorrow, so be on the lookout for that. I no longer have to work tonight, so I will be live-tweeting the action tonight, highlighted by Michigan State at Purdue and West Virginia at Kansas!