Photo by Dennis Nett at Syracuse.com.
This past weekend was awfully good for the visitors…and since State was one of the road winners, I’m OK with that. But there’s a lot to cover so let’s get started.
RPI TREND GRAPHS
I’m staying with the expanded axis on the “IN” graph again this week to give a better view of those teams that are jumping back and forth between the two graphs.
UVa won mid-week at Miami and then had the weekend off to hold steady at the #1 ranking.
Clemson’s bad week started at FSU when they blew a huge half-time lead and ended up losing in OT. They followed that disaster up with a home loss to Duke.
Duke went 2-0 with wins against VT at home and then at Clemson on Sunday.
Since UNC’s three-game losing streak, they’ve won five in a row to move to a Top 5 ranking.
After being fairly stable for most of conference play, everyone else in the “IN” graph has started falling either towards or into the Bubble Zone.
|Miami peaked after beating L’ville at home on Jan 24. Since then, they’ve not done much worth talking about other than the road win against VT.State’s loss to UM has now fallen into Q2 since the Canes have fallen out of the Top 30.
FSU had the big comeback win over Clemson to jump up nicely and then beat Pitt at home to fall back some.
I was a little surprised that SYR’s road win at BC more than balanced the home loss to State. As we’ll get to in a few minutes, I think that SYR’s post-season destination is still up for discussion (but I appear to be in a small minority).
L’ville peaked nearly a month ago and since then have gone 3-5, with wins coming only against the three worst teams in the conference. For this past week, they were off mid-week (after playing 4 games in 8 days) and then lost to UNC over the weekend.
VT had a down then up week with a loss in Durham and then a win in Atlanta.
State had a great week with a win at SYR and then in Winston. They’re not locked in yet, but this past week was a big step in the right direction.
Surprisingly, ND’s jump with a win at BC was as large as State got with the win at SYR. They look good on the graph, but they have a hole to dig out of with their conference record.
BC dropped out-of-sight low with their home loss to ND.
Sunday’s ACC games won’t have any effect on the ACC Bubble discussion, so I’m going to get this section finished based on what’s available on Sunday.
From bracketmatrix.com, here’s what people are thinking about the ACC:
The Dance Card released their results after the mid-week games:
After the UNC loss, State was the last team in. So the road win at SYR gave State a nice boost in both the RPI and the Dance Card. The Dance Card should be updated sometime today for the weekend games, but shouldn’t have much impact on the ACC. Hopefully, they will start their daily updates soon…though twice a week is really good enough until the conference tournaments start.
I found it interesting that the bracketeers and the Dance Card picked the same nine ACC teams to make the NCAAT.
With the new quadrant system, everyone is really just guessing at how the Selection Committee will use it. If Jerry Palm (CBS Sports) is right, then we’re going to have some interesting discussions on Selection Sunday. For instance, he has Alabama on the Bubble with the following resume:
To the best of my memory, no power conference team has ever been left out of the NCAAT with a resume this good. (Note that I’m not making fun of Palm since he has State as a 10 seed.) In the quadrant layout, they’re 6-5 in Q1 (with two road wins) and 4-4 in Q2. I can understand the argument that they’re not a lock since they’re only a little over .500 in conference, but completely out?
We really need some articles from this year’s mock selection to get some more insight. Oh well, back to the ACC:
RPI SUMMARY TABLE:
|We’ve already seen Miami’s recent slide. Here’s what they have left to try and right the ship.
Glancing at the Summary Table, Miami doesn’t have an impressive resume. It’s hard to say where they would rank if they finished at 2-2 to end up at .500 for the regular season. But it would help State if they would get their stuff together and move back into the Top 30.
|SYR has essentially the same resume as Miami, but virtually no one has them in the NCAAT field. <shrugs>
If SYR goes 2-2, then their resume will be fine. But as the saying goes, that’s a mighty big IF. Teamrankings.com has them at less than 50% chance of winning any of their remaining games.
|FSU looks to be in good shape with a decent RPI and 8-7 record in conference. 1-2 would probably move them to the good end of the bubble…but they would probably still be OK.
|I gave up on VT after they lost to L’ville, Miami, and FSU at home. But they’re still hanging around. Their resume is frighteningly similar to State’s, so I’ll stick with the same prediction….they need 2-2 to finish up the regular season.
They don’t have any easy games left, but no one left is unbeatable and they do have 3 games at home. Clearly the ball is in Buzz’s hands, so we’ll see what he does with it.
|State’s great performance last week put them in a really good position. I’ll let the 9-9 dead horse rest in peace this week….2-2 should get the job done. But with three home games and GT’s point guard out for the season, anything worse than 3-1 would feel disappointing. (Never thought I would say anything like that this year.)
So along with 3-1/4-0 from State, let’s lay out our wish list:
- SYR, VT, and ND stay in the Top 75
- Miami move back in the Top 30
- WF stay in the Top 135
- Penn St and UNCG move into the Top 75
That’s about as much (and more) than we could reasonably hope for.
|If Bonzie is playing in the ACCT, then 2-2 might be close enough to get ND a sympathy vote. But if he’s not going to come back, then they would likely need a Thursday win in the ACCT with an 8-10 record or go 3-1 to finish at 9-9.
So ND still has a few chances left, but the NIT seems more likely right now.
Clemson’s PG missed the Duke game on Sunday due to a concussion. They looked pretty pitiful against Duke’s zone press even without Bagley. So it’s hard to say whether Clemson will be able to hold onto a two-round bye or not.
Right now, it looks like UVa is locked into a 1-seed and the Duke/UNC game would be for the uniform color in the semi’s (if they both advance). In any event, since I’ve listed the schedules for everyone from the #5-#10 seed, here are the schedules for today’s Top 4.
It looks to me the top three seeds are probably set, with the minimal difference between a two and three seed not really worth discussing. Let’s see if Clemson can run an offense this week before listing the various options and which ones would be best for State.
UPCOMING ACC SCHEDULE
If we go to the mathematical limits of the Bubble Definintion, there are alot of games of at least a passing interest this week.
I’m going to be out of touch for the rest of today. I’ll respond to critiques and questions as soon as I can. I would appreciate it if someone would add the Dance Card info in the comments when it gets updated today.