Blog Entry

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:36 am
Edited on: March 9, 2010 12:39 am

Fairfield blew a nice lead.

Saint Mary's did not.

Here's Tuesday morning's Gettin' In.

Teams that punched tickets Monday: Old Dominion, Siena, Saint Mary's and Wofford each earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on Monday. That means nine of the 65 spots in the field are claimed.

Best game:
Fairfield was up 13 with less than 18 to play Monday night, and bubble-watchers everywhere were debating whether Siena could get an at-large bid after the sure-to-come loss in the MAAC tournament title game. My opinion: No, the Saints probably wouldn't have received an at-large bid given that they own zero top 50 victories. But guess what? It doesn't matter now because the Saints stormed back, forced overtime and recorded a 72-65 victory that made them the MAAC's automatic qualifier. Now they'll sit back and wait for the selection committee to give them a No. 12 seed, then we'll all pick them to beat some No. 5 seed.

Team whose dream remained alive: North Texas was nearly upset in the Sun Belt quarterfinals, but the Mean Green easily handled Denver in Monday's semifinals. The 63-56 victory will allow them to take a 10-game winning streak into Tuesday's title game.

Team whose dream was crushed: Western Kentucky fell behind by 16 points late in the first half and only scored 48 in the game, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Hilltoppers lost Monday in the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament. What's surprising is that they had a chance to win, and that they actually led 48-47 with less than four minutes remaining. WKU seemed in control. But Troy countered with a 7-0 run, won 54-48 and ensured WKU's NCAA tournament streak will stop at two.

Performance I hope you witnessed: The West Coast Conference was probably going to be a two-bid league regardless, but Mickey McConnell ensured as much with a 26-point effort that keyed Saint Mary's 81-62 victory over Gonzaga in Monday's WCC tournament title game. McConnell hit 10 of 17 shots -- including four of seven 3-point attempts -- and helped the Gaels prevent Gonzaga from winning this event for the 11th time in 13 seasons.

Performance I hope you missed: David Schneider hit a big shot to lift William & Mary to the title game of the Colonial tournament, but missed pretty much every shot in said title game. He was 2-of-13 from the field in Monday's 60-53 loss to Old Dominion, 3-of-22 from the field in his past two games.

Three random notes

1. The Big East tournament starts Tuesday with four games. If you're a fan of a bubble team, you should root for St. John's to beat Connecticut, for DePaul to beat South Florida, and for Providence to beat Seton Hall.

2. The Horizon League title game is Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. If you're a fan of a bubble team, you should root for Butler to beat Wright State because the alternative outcome would turn the Horizon into a two-bid league, which would effectively shrink the field by one.

The Oregonian newspaper reported late Monday that P.J. Carlesimo is a serious candidate to replace Ernie Kent at Oregon. Kent is expected to be officially fired at the conclusion of the Pac-10 tournament.

Final thought: Nothing in the Top 25 (and one) got folks fired up like Purdue down at No. 11.

But I don't understand the argument.

I mean, where do you think Purdue belongs?

No question, the Boilermakers were on their way to the No.1  seed in the NCAA tournament three weeks ago. But everything changed when Robbie Hummel tore his ACL, and this clearly isn't the same team. They looked average in a home loss to Michigan State, then backed that with a couple of wins over bad Big Ten teams, and I honestly think placing Purdue 11th is pretty darn generous.

It's unfortunate, but the fact remains that Hummel is gone.

So we'll never know what the Boilermakers might've otherwise been.

But I think I know what they are right now.

And that's something slightly less than a top 10 team.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 7:04 am

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

Sure, I'll respond to you (since I'm up early to catch a flight home this morning).

First, don't think of Purdue moving from 10 to 11 as me dropping Purdue for winning, because that's not what happened. Last week, I had West Virginia one spot behind Purdue. Then WVU beat Georgetown and won at Villanova, and I moved the Mountaineers up to No. 5, which dropped everybody in that range down a spot whether they won or lost. So New Mexico went from 8 to 9, Michigan State went from 9 to 10, and Purdue went from 10 to 11, not because I was penalizing those schools for winning, but because WVU leapfrogging them bumped everybody down a spot because, you know, that's just how numbers work.

Not sure why that's so difficult to understand.

But you wouldn't believe the number of emails from people who don't understand.

As for KSU, at this time of the year I think it's important to rank almost entirely on body of work, and I think KSU has a better body of work than everybody I have below KSU, save Purdue. But Pudue's body of work is less meaningful now that Hummel's gone. Again, don't think of it as rising three spots or dropping four spots or whatever. Every Sunday I rank teams in the order I believe they should be ranked, and I don't pay much attention to the numbers. I slot teams, then put numbers beside them. Even with two losses, KSU, in my opinion, belonged eighth -- right between Nova and New Mexico.

Same logic applies to Villanova.

Yes, the Wildcats have lost three of their last five.

But those losses are at Pitt, at Syracuse and to WVU.

No shame there.

And the body of work still says around No. 7.

Don't trust me, go look at any bracket. Almost everybody has Nova as a No. 2 seed.

That suggests No. 7 in the Top 25 (and one) is about right.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2010 2:40 am

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

Actually Gary since you never seem to get the point. Most Purdue fans probably had no problem with you dropping Purdue to number 10 the wekk before......why you ask? Becuase we knew losing Hummel would hurt our ranking right off the bat, and losing to MSU didn't help either.

HOWEVER, this past week Purdue smoked IU and then beat Penn State @ Penn State a team that is really playing well right now and should have upset Michigan State (who you moved in front of Purdue) @ MSU. And, yet you still moved them down a ranking. Seriously win both games in a week and one on the road and you deserve to fall another spot? This is where you were bashed on. I think Purdue is right at #10 I won't deny that, but for you to drop them after winning both games is where you made your mistake. So what did you see that made you believe they had to fall another spot?

I would also like to know why KSU only fell to #8 after losing 2 (yes I know Kansas was one of them) and the other one is Villanova. How many loses does it take to knock a team out of the top 7 for you? This team since Feb 6th has lost 5 of 9 with there only quality win being over West Virginia which happened on Feb 8th. All of there other wins are agaisnt bottom teams in the BigEast. While they lost to Gtown, West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pitt are all good loses that is still 4 loses. Also they lost to Uconn and quite frankly that is not a quality loss. I think the AP and Coaches have them too high as well at #10, but seriously you think they deserve to stay as high as #7?


P.S. I know it is highly unlikely you respond to me, but I will look for your answer as I would love to hear what you have to say.

Also, Purdue is 3-1 without Hummel (playing from behind @ Minn counts, let's face it) and their only loss is MSU which was by single digits and only 2.5 days after the lose of Hummel.

Since: Mar 9, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2010 1:28 am

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

You have got to quit picking on engineering schools.  Some school just have more web users.  In 2008 there was a preseason poll on who you thought would win the Big 12 in basketball.  The University of Kansas finished third in that poll.  Of course they won the Big 12 and NCAA titles that year.  Kansas State and Texas A&M finished first and second in the poll.  A link to the poll was on a Kansas State chat site, and we logged on and voted blindly for our team.  Sounds like you have the same trouble with Purdue.  In hind site you weren't picking on Purdue, you were just doing your job. Nice work.

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