When 0.500 Isn’t Good Enough

Well the title might be a little more wide open than I originally planned, but let’s keep this on target. A subject that frequently comes up this time of year is what type of conference record is necessary to get an at-large bid to the NCAAT. Here is a little blurb from the Hoo’ville paper that we can refer to whenever this topic comes up:

Only six times since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 48 teams in 1980 (now 65 teams) has a .500 or better ACC team been bypassed when it came to receiving a bid. Unfortunately for Virginia fans, the Wahoos have been the victim three of those six times: 7-7 in 1980; 8-8 in 1992 and 9-7 in 2000.

In fact, that 2000 UVa squad marked the only ACC team to finish above .500 and not make the NCAA field.

By the way, the other three ACC teams with .500 records that were overlooked: Wake Forest (7-7) in 1983; Georgia Tech (8-8) in 1995 and Virginia Tech (8-8) last season.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

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8 Responses to When 0.500 Isn’t Good Enough

  1. cfpack03 03/01/2006 at 4:24 PM #

    I’d be interested to see how these 6 teams finished their seasons. My guess would be trending down but it’d be interesting to see.

  2. RickJ 03/01/2006 at 5:09 PM #

    I took the following data off the WRAL blog:

    ACC Records — Bids/Teams — % NCAA Bids
    16-0, 14-0 — 2/2 — 100%
    15-1 — 3/3 — 100%
    14-2, 12-2 — 4/4 — 100%
    13-3, 12-4, 11-3, 11-5, 10-4, 10-6, 9-5 — 50/50 — 100%
    8-6, 9-7 — 21/22 — 95.5%
    8-8, 7-7 — 14/17 — 82.4%
    7-9, 6-8 — 12/23 — 52.2%
    6-10, 5-9 — 1/19 — 5.3%
    5-11, 4-10 or worse — 44 — 0%

    I knew UVA took the 9-7 hit but didn’t realize they also had two of the .500 deals. The other extreme was when FSU got in with a 6-10 record. My recollection was that their AD (Dave Hart?) did some real campaigning that was criticized after the fact.

    Who knows but I don’t see the above numbers holding up in the next 5 years. I think 9-7 is the new “8-8”.

  3. Clarksa 03/01/2006 at 8:50 PM #

    How much of it is the media obsession with the “mid-majors” getting a bid to the dance? Do you take an 8-8 FSU or do you take a 24-3 MVC team?

  4. VaWolf82 03/01/2006 at 9:29 PM #

    The actual records of the 6 MVC teams run from 18-9 (11-7) thru 22-7 (14-7)…with RPI’s 20-44. I still think the two teams that lose before the semi-finals of the MVC tourney are going to be in trouble.


  5. VaWolf82 03/01/2006 at 9:29 PM #

    …especially if it’s the bottom two in the RPI….S. Illinois and Bradley

  6. Sammy Kent 03/02/2006 at 3:08 PM #

    cfpack, here’s the last ten games for the six .500+ teams that didn’t get NCAA bids:

    80 UVa: 3-7 including a loss to conference newcomer GaTech and a first round ACCT loss to Clemson. UVa went on to win the NIT that season.

    83 Wake Forest: 4-6, with a season-ending five game losing streak, including a 130-89 season finale and a first round ACCT loss, both to NC State. Wake lost in the NIT semifinals.

    Both the 1980 and the 1983 NCAA tournaments were 48 team fields. The jilted teams may have both been invited to a 64-team tournament. Or not.

    1992 UVa: 5-5, including a quarterfinal ACCT loss to GaTech. Virginia again recovered to win the NIT.

    1995 GaTech: 5-5, including a quarterfinal ACCT loss to Virginia. Tech did not play in the NIT.

    2000 UVa: 4-6, including a quarterfinal ACCT loss to NCSU. Lost in the NIT first round.

    2005 VaTech: 4-6, including a quarterfinal ACCT loss to GaTech after both teams received first round byes.

    The lesson seems to be that to make sure you get a spot at the NCAA table when you finish exactly .500, you gotta win at least one ACC Tournament game.

  7. VaWolf82 03/02/2006 at 3:43 PM #

    2000 UVa: 4-6, including a quarterfinal ACCT loss to NCSU. Lost in the NIT first round.

    Ah yes. State was 5-3 at the half-way point of conference play that year. I wrote an e-mail to a number of friends outlining the “plan” for getting to at least 9-7 and returning to the NCAAT. The seven-game losing streaak sent State back to the NIT.

    At the end of the season, the articles about UVa not getting an invite while the team they beat twice (UNC) did, invariably mentioned that the two losses to State played a huge part in not getting an at-large bid.

  8. VaWolf82 03/02/2006 at 3:47 PM #

    Nice work Sammy.

    IIRC, from 1999-2005, there were only three bubble teams (RPI 36-75) that received an at-large bid with a losing record over the last 10 games.

    In 2000, UNC was 9-7 (same as UVa) and also lost in the opening round of the ACCT. However, with a final RPI ranking of #41, UNC got an at-large bid and #76 UVa did not.

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