Posted on: March 14, 2008 5:08 pm
It's probably too early to know for sure. But my guess is that Tennessee's 89-87 victory over South Carolina in Friday's SEC quarterfinals secured a No. 1 seed for the Vols regardless of what happens in Saturday's semifinals. Why? Because even if UT loses to Vanderbilt or Arkansas they will get out of the weekend without a "bad" loss -- Vandy and Arkansas are both NCAA tournament teams, you know? -- and thus with a solid resume that'll be difficult to push to the second line.
Right now, the Vols are 28-3 with the No. 1 RPI and No. 1 Strength of Schedule in the country.
They've beaten Memphis.
And West Virginia.
And at least five other teams that figure to be in the NCAA tourament (Gonzaga, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Western Kentucky and Kentucky) plus at least another four that were either on the bubble as recently as yesterday (Florida and Ole Miss) or are still on the bubble today (Temple and Ohio State). Add it up, and that's nine victories over likely NCAA tournament teams and four more over legitimate bubble teams. And that's why the Vols are probably headed for a No. 1 seed regardless of what happens next.
Want the name of a possible surprise No. 1 seed?
Watch out for Texas.
The Longhorns are 27-5 with the No. 5 RPI and No. 6 Strength of Schedule in the country.
They've beaten Tennessee.
And Saint Mary's.
And at least four other teams that figure to be in the NCAA tournament, namely Oklahoma (twice), Baylor (twice), Texas A&M and Kansas State. They're 5-2 against the Top 25, 10-3 against the Top 50. And if the Longhorns were to beat Oklahoma and presumably Kansas to win the Big 12 tournament they'd have a great case for a No. 1 seed and perhaps be in position to jump UCLA based somewhat on their December victory at Pauley Pavilion
Posted on: March 1, 2008 10:08 pm
Texas cost itself the top ranking.
I feel like I should tell you that now.
I spent part of Saturday morning crunching numbers, looking at every bit of information available. I came to the conclusion that if Texas won at Texas Tech I'd move the Longhorns to No. 1 in Sunday night's Top 25 (and one) based mostly around the facts that they had won eight consecutive games and comprised a list of victims (Tennessee, UCLA and Kansas) that no other elite team can match.
And then guess what happened?
To a Texas Tech team that spent Wednesday losing to Texas A&M by 44 points. And that's a Texas A&M team that spent Saturday losing by 27 points to Oklahoma. And that's an Oklahoma team that spent Wednesday losing by 18 points to Nebraska. And that's a Nebraska team that spent Saturday losing by 14 points to Oklahoma State. And that's an Oklahoma State team that has endured a six-game losing streak this season.
So yeah, things are now a mess.
Should I put North Carolina No. 1 even though its top win is against Clemson?
Or should I put Memphis No. 1 even though it just lost at home to Tennessee?
Or should I put Tennessee No. 1 even though it just lost at Vanderbilt?
Or should I put UCLA No. 1 if it wins at Arizona on Sunday?
At this point, I'm not sure.
I'll figure it out in the next 20 hours, I guess.
But I would've had Texas No. 1 if it won at Texas Tech on Saturday.
I feel like I should tell you that now.
Posted on: February 12, 2008 2:32 pm
DALLAS, Texas -- Naturally, my connection is delayed here at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
I'm not sure why I assumed it wouldn't be.
But the extra time has given me a few minutes to get a few things accomplished -- like return some emails, review some notes and spend $5 sitting in one of those First Class Seats massage chairs here in the airport. Seemed like a good idea when I walked passed it, to just plop down, do some reading and get a massage in a massage chair. I thought it would relax me. But it was one of the most unnecessary and painful experiences of my life, just two hard round things beating the crap out of my back until I tapped out and turned the machine off.
It didn't feel great.
It just hurt.
It's a terrible invention.
I hate massage chairs.
So now I'm back reviewing notes, and an interesting one from last night's Texas-Kansas game is that the Longhorns now have wins against three of the top six teams in the country. They've beaten No. 3 Kansas (at home), No. 4 Tennessee (on a neutral site) and No. 6 UCLA (on the road), and just wait and see how angry John Calipari will be on Selection Sunday if his Memphis Tigers get a No. 1 seed in the South Region and end up having to play what would essentially be a road game against Texas in Houston for the right to go to the Final Four.
Imagine being undefeated and the No. 1 overall seed and having to play a state school inside its state, and then realizing Texas has already beaten three other elite teams. My guess is that would be what officially sends Calipari over the edge. But either way, it would make for an entertaining press conference with lots of good conspiracy theories, and I love entertaining press conferences with lots of goods conspiracy theories.