1) The bubble teams have plenty to cheer about this week, or should I say plenty to be nervous about. With 8 of the “mid-major” conference leaders also having a resume that warrants an at-large bid, the bubble could shrink drastically with upsets in the conference tournament. Combine the 5 that would be 1-bid conferences with Cal and the Pac-10 and we have a possibility of 6 bubble spots eliminated by conference tourney upsets. So fans of UAB, Memphis, Florida, and Notre Dame need to be pulling for Butler, Cal, Utah St., Old Dominion, Gonzaga, and Siena. The bubble has not shrunk, at least not yet.
2) Every year at this time, one philosophical question is debated more than any other – quality wins vs total wins. Last year the selection committee made it clear by including Arizona (19-13, statjunkieRPI=63) and not Creighton (26-7, sjRPI=42). The debate is back! Lets welcome our two players. Team A boasts a 17-14 record with a sjRPI of 56. Team B is 24-5, sjRPI=45. Easy decision right? What if I told you that Team A has 3 wins against teams ranked in the Top 10? And then told you that Team A was 0-2 verse teams ranked in the Top 25? Team A vs Team B…Quality wins vs total wins…Connecticut vs St Mary’s.
3) The “mid-major” conferences continue to get 8 at-large bids, 4 more than last year. However 3 of those 8 are sitting on the last 4 in line. Wichita St. can now only sit and watch as their at-large spot will most likely be taken away, while UAB and Memphis will meet in their conference semi-finals eliminating one of those two from the field. After all the games have been played and barring no upsets in the conference tournaments (see point 1), there will be 6 “mid-major” teams in the at-large field this year. Two from the A-10 (Xavier, Richmond), three from the Mountain West (BYU, San Diego St., and UNLV), and one from Conf USA (Memphis).