Deace Blog: February 19th

Because you just can't wait until Selection Sunday, and want a reference tool that's easy to print out and follow, here's a look ahead to this year's Field of 65 that will make you sound smart around your buddies when the topic of the NCAA Tournament comes up. And yes, our publisher does apparently have too much free time!

2007 NCAA TOURNAMENT SELECTION PROSPECTUS

Projected Locks (40)

  1. America East champion—Vermont
  2. x-Atlantic 10 champion—Xavier
  3. y-ACC champion—North Carolina
  4. Atlantic Sun champion—East Tennessee State
  5. y-Big 12 champion—Kansas
  6. y-Big East champion—Pittsburgh
  7. Big Sky champion—Weber State
  8. Big South champion—Winthrop
  9. y-Big Ten champion—Ohio State
  10. Big West champion—Long Beach State
  11. x-Colonial Athletic champion—Virginia Commonwealth
  12. y-Conference USA champion—Memphis
  13. y-Horizon champion—Butler
  14. Ivy League champion—Pennsylvania
  15. Metro Atlantic champion—Marist
  16. Mid Continent champion—Oral Roberts
  17. MAC champion—Akron
  18. Mid Eastern champion—Delaware State
  19. y-Missouri Valley champion—Southern Illinois
  20. y-Mountain West champion—Air Force
  21. Northeast champion—Central Connecticut State
  22. Ohio Valley champion-Austin Peay
  23. y-Pacific 10 champion—UCLA
  24. Patriot champion—Bucknell
  25. y-SEC champion—Florida
  26. Southern champion—Appalachian State
  27. Southland champion—Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
  28. SWAC champion—Jackson State
  29. Sun Belt champion—South Alabama
  30. West Coast champion—Santa Clara
  31. Virginia Tech
  32. Boston College
  33. Duke
  34. Texas A&M
  35. Georgetown
  36. Wisconsin
  37. Creighton
  38. Brigham Young
  39. Washington State
  40. Vanderbilt

 x – Team that would be a fringe at-large candidate if it doesn't win its conference tournament to get an automatic bid. With only two of these, and neither one being that strong of a case, that will leave more bids for the major conferences.

y – Team that is in no matter what happens in its conference tournament.

Probables (19)

  1. Virginia
  2. Clemson
  3. Maryland
  4. Texas
  5. Oklahoma State
  6. Louisville
  7. West Virginia
  8. Marquette
  9. Villanova
  10. Indiana
  11. Michigan State
  12. UNLV
  13. Arizona
  14. USC
  15. Stanford
  16. Oregon
  17. Kentucky
  18. Tennessee
  19. Alabama

Note – Probables are teams that are already in provided they don't completely collapse down the stretch. Historically, at least one or two of these teams unfortunately does and thus doesn't make it. By these calculations, that leaves the bubble teams to contend for the final six spots in the field.

Bubble Teams (16)

Arkansas (16-10, 5-7)

RPI: 41

vs. RPI top 50: 4-4

vs. RPI top 100: 5-9

Away from home: 4-8

Key non-conference wins: Southern Illinois, West Virginia

Bradley (19-10, 9-7)

RPI: 30

vs. RPI top 50: 1-7

vs. RPI top 100: 5-9

Away from home: 7-8

Key non-conference wins: DePaul, Wright State, Virginia Commonwealth

Florida State (17-10, 5-8)

RPI: 38

vs. RPI top 50: 4-10

vs. RPI top 100: 5-10

Away from home: 4-7

Key non-conference wins: Florida, Providence

Georgia (16-9, 7-5)

RPI: 51

vs. RPI top 50: 3-8

vs. RPI top 100: 6-9

Away from home: 4-6

Key non-conference wins: Gonzaga

Georgia Tech (17-8, 5-6)

RPI: 42

vs. RPI top 50: 6-6

vs. RPI top 100: 8-6

Away from home: 3-7

Key non-conference wins: Memphis, Purdue

Gonzaga (18-10, 8-3)

RPI: 72

vs. RPI top 50: 3-6

vs. RPI top 100: 5-8

Away from home: 8-8

Key non-conference wins: North Carolina, Texas, Washington

Illinois (18-9, 6-6)

RPI: 46

vs. RPI top 50: 3-8

vs. RPI top 100: 4-9

Away from home: 6-6

Key non-conference wins: Bradley, Missouri

Iowa (15-12, 7-6)

RPI: 83

vs. RPI top 50: 2-9

vs. RPI top 100: 3-10

Away from home: 3-10

Key non-conference wins: None

Kansas State (19-8, 8-4)

RPI: 53

vs. RPI top 50: 2-4

vs. RPI top 100: 5-6

Away from home: 7-7

Key non-conference wins: USC

Michigan (18-9, 6-6)

RPI: 59

vs. RPI top 50: 3-7

vs. RPI top 100: 4-8

Away from home: 2-7

Key non-conference wins: Davidson

Mississippi (17-9, 6-6)

RPI: 61

vs. RPI top 50: 3-5

vs. RPI top 100: 5-8

Away from home: 4-8

Key non-conference wins: South Alabama

Missouri State (19-9, 10-6)

RPI: 43

vs. RPI top 50: 3-5

vs. RPI top 100: 6-8

Away from home: 8-5

Key non-conference wins: Wisconsin, Santa Clara

Notre Dame (19-6. 7-5)

RPI: 56

vs. RPI top 50: 4-3

vs. RPI top 100: 7-4

Away from home: 3-6

Key non-conference wins: Maryland, Alabama

Purdue (17-9, 6-6)

RPI: 37

vs. RPI top 50: 4-6

vs. RPI top 100: 9-7

Away from home: 3-8

Key non-conference wins: Oklahoma, DePaul, Virginia, Missouri, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Syracuse (19-8, 8-5)

RPI: 63

vs. RPI top 50: 2-3

vs. RPI top 100: 7-7

Away from home: 4-4

Key non-conference wins: Pennsylvania, Holy Cross

Texas Tech (17-10, 6-6)

RPI: 40

vs. RPI top 50: 4-6

vs. RPI top 100: 8-7

Away from home: 6-7

Key non-conference wins: Arkansas, Bucknell

Note – I project the final few spots in the NCAA Tournament field will come from among these 16 bubble teams. Some teams, like Kansas State and Notre Dame, can probably play their way off the bubble with two more wins in the final two weeks of the regular season. Other teams, like Michigan and Syracuse, will need to finish strong because of a thin non-conference resume. Perhaps the three most interesting teams on this list at this point are Gonzaga, Purdue and Texas Tech. Unless they close the season hot they're going to present some conundrums for the Selection Committee. Key non-conference wins represents non-conference victories against the RPI top 100.

Projected Top Five Seeds in Each Region

San Antonio (South)—1. Florida; 2. Ohio State; 3. Memphis; 4. Duke; 5. Butler

East Rutherford (East)—1. North Carolina; 2. Pittsburgh; 3. Southern Illinois; 4. Washington State; 5. Kentucky

St. Louis (Midwest)—1. Wisconsin; 2. Kansas; 3. Virginia Tech; 4. Vanderbilt; 5. Air Force

San Jose (West)—1. UCLA; 2. Texas A&M; 3. Georgetown; 4. Nevada; 5. Marquette


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