OK, thanks for joining my chat today. Latest Bubble Watch is up on ESPN.com. Here we go...
Mark, I am going to ask you to speak as a representative not only of yourself, but for Joey Brackets and both respective polls. Why are the Terps receiving absolutely no respect from anyone? You moved them to "lock" status, yet your write-up still seems that you remain unconvinced. Joey has them as a 7 seed, and they aren't ranked in either poll. They are 10-3 in the ACC, 20 wins overall, and guided by senior leadership. They will make the Sweet 16. They have a better resume than Temple and Wisconsin easy. Talk to me.
I think Maryland is definitely capable of putting together a run in the NCAAs, especially if Vasquez plays well. I was hesitant to move them up to "lock" status because the non-conference work wasn't great and they hadn't started beating the ACC's better teams until recently. But there's no way they're left out of the 65-team field now.
I havnt seen anything on Sportscenter about florida state. IN or OUT as of now? and if out can they play their way in. Thanks
I'd say they're "in" right now, but need to pick up a big win and can't collapse. Wins over Georgia Tech definitely help. Not sure beating UNC means as much as it did in the past, but it was a game they couldn't lose.
A question I am sure you are going to be asked more and more...can Purdue make a run now without Hummel
It's going to be tough. He's one of the top 10 players in the country and was playing really well. Moore is capable of taking over a game, but Hummel is fantastic. Still waiting for final word on his prognosis.
Die hard Dukie here.... Id love some insight on what is going on in Chapel Hill. How can Roy Williams seriously be considered one of the greatest in the business after this season. 8 burger boys, sr leadership and a whole lot of bad coaching IMO. Thoughts?
Not a great year for Roy. We knew the Heels would miss Hansbrough, Lawson, Green, etc., but they should have been better than this. Injuries have hurt them, but they're not an excuse for a season like this. UNC will struggle to finish above .500 and make the NIT.
Hey Mark. I was wondering how bad last night's loss to Purdue without Robbie Hummel was for Minnesota's tourney hopes.
It was obviously a win the Gophers really needed; it might have put them closer to in than out. But it makes Saturday's game at Illinois that much more important. If they can beat the Illini, Michigan and Iowa and win a couple in Big Ten tourney, they'll have a decent shot IMO.
What are Clemson's changes of making the big dance. How many more games do you think they need to win?
I think the Tigers are in pretty good shape, even after losing at Maryland. They beat Maryland, FSU and Butler, but could use another big win before Selection Sunday. RPI rating isn't bad and strength of schedule is OK. Need to beat FSU, Georgia Tech or Wake Forest.
As of right now, is UNI in the field of 65? How many more wins do they need to be a "lock" for the NCAA tournament, or do they need to win the MVC Tournament?
They need to quit losing to Evansville, first and foremost. I thought they were going to be in the NCAAs, and still feel that way even after the loss at Evansville. Not a lot of meat on the resume, but the Panthers pass the eye test. Can't lose to Illinois State or get bounced from MVC tourney in early rounds. That would make it interesting.
Is Uconn in right now or do they still need a couple more?
I think they still need a couple of more. Have put together a good run since Calhoun came back, with wins over West Virginia and Nova. Three high-end victories, but RPI rating is still sitting there at No. 40. Road record isn't good. Need to win at least three to get to 10 Big East wins, whether it's during regular season or Big East tourney.
what are Va Techs chances after last nights embarassing loss?
It certainly didn't help the Hokies. A win over Maryland at home would definitely help their cause. Beat NC State and one of the other two (Md. and Ga. Tech), and I think the Hokies should be OK. Good wins in ACC but not much else. They look like an NCAA team on the court, but out of conference schedule will hurt.
Are the aggies a bubble team? are they definitely in? If in where do you see them seeded?
I have them in the field as a "lock." Good wins over Clemson, Minnesota, Mizzou, Baylor, etc. Probably a 6-8 seed, depending on how they finish.
I keep hearing Illinois is on the right side of the bubble, but don't so many bad losses cancel out the couple of big wins?
The wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin really help. They have a couple of ugly losses, but losing to Georgia and Bradley isn't as bad as it once seemed. The probably is Illinois padded its record with a bunch of cupcakes. Not a ton of good wins to go with the upsets of Wisky and Mich. State.
Mizzou: Where are they right now?
In the field. Probably sitting at a 7 or 8 seed and moving up. Two big games left -- at Kansas State and home vs. Kansas. Can help themselves or take a small step back as far as seeding.
cmon man, pls answer a USU Q
I think you're very close to getting into the field. Not as much for what the Aggies have done, but other teams are playing themselves out. Utah State's win over Wichita State helps, but the win over BYU is bigger. It will be close, but I think Utah State might get in, as long as it doesn't lose early in the WAC tourney.
You ranked UNM well ahead of BYU in your rankings, are you predicting a win for the Lobos over the cougars on Saturday? BYU hasn't lost at home in over a year and is on a 21 home win streak.
It will be tough. BYU plays very well at home and really handled San Diego State last night. Two very good teams hooking up in Provo.
BigTen and NPOY HAS to be Turner ... right ?
Yes to Big Ten POY. No to National POY (heard of John Wall?).
I know the Pac-10 is HORRIBLE but if Cal doesn't win the Pac-10 Tournament, are they out of the big tournament? Or can they be an at-large?
I think they have to win the Pac-10 tourney. Zero top-50 wins and lost to Oregon State last week. Beating Murray State and UC-Santa Barbara and a bunch of mediocre Pac-10 teams isn't enough to get you into the field, IMO. I might be wrong, but resume doesn't support an at-large bid at this point.
how far does virginia have to go in the ACC tourny to even have a shot at the NCAA tourny
Really, really far. Probably win it.
Why is Maryland not ranked in the top 25?
I had them ranked in the top 25 of my power rankings this week. Not a lot of folks believing in the Terps yet. Again, soft nonconference sked and didn't beat a lot of good ACC teams early. Starting to put it together now, but ugly loss at Duke left some doubts.
Georgia Tech really needed that win at Maryland. Now they are setting themselves up to have to beat VT at home to secure 8-8 in the conference. If they end up at 7-9 though, do they have enough quality wins to make the big dance? Or would they need to o some damage in the ACC Tournament?
GT just can't win on the road. It has four or five really good wins, but road record is bad and ACC record isn't great. I don't think you could take them over a 10-6 Va. Tech team or 10-6 Md. team if they finish 7-9. They definitely have the talent. I'd be surprised if they don't make it, but they could use a big win or two.
Murray State. In or Out if they win out and lose in the OVC Championship? That would put them at 30-4.
I'd say out. They're sitting at 24-3, 16-0 and have an RPI rating of No. 73. Zero top 50 wins and one top 100 win. Lost at Cal and at La. Tech and at W. Ky. Teams with the most wins ever left out: Robert Morris in 2008 and Niagra and Creighton in 2009. They all had 26 wins.
Wait, you think UMD has a soft non conference schedule? i will grant you they didn't beat anyone in the nonconference but they certainly scheduled and faced good teams like villanova, wisconsin, cinci, william and mary... explain yourself
Nonconference "performance" might have been more accurate. Best non-ACC wins came against Fairfield and Eastern Kentucky. Scheduled some tough teams, but didn't beat any of them. Non-conference schedule is ranked No. 153, so it wasn't that great.
How many more wins does Marquette need to be comfortably in?
Two more and a lock? I think it would be awfully difficult to leave out an 11-7 team from the Big East. Wins over G'Town, Xavier, U Conn and either Louisville or Notre Dame. Need to beat Seton Hall and one of the last two.
What Does Notre Dame got to do to make it to the dance? Need to Win all 3? Just 2?
Two wins out of Georgetown, U Conn and Marquette would make it close heading into Big East tourney. Like Maryland, Irish didn't play a great nonconference schedule (best win over Saint Louis and IUPUI). Terrible road record and only two top-50 wins (both at home). Need to get Harangody back for stretch run.
Talk to me about San Diego St. and UNLV. Who's in, and who's out?
If I had to pick one over the other, I'd go with UNLV at this point. Beat Louisville and split with New Mexico and BYU. SD State split with UNLV and NM and was swept by BYU. Best non-MWC win came against Arizona. I think UNLV has the edge. I guess both teams could still get in, depending on what happens in MWC tourney.
Quick question... Do you feel the Florida State doesn't receive any credit for what they are doing. They are one of the youngest teams in the Power Conferences, if not the youngest, and no one seems to give them any credit for being 3rd in the ACC currently. How do you feel about that?
I saw them against Maryland in Tally and they've got a decent club. Swept Georgia Tech and beat Va. Tech and Marquette. Not a lot else, though. Only one bad loss. I think they're in decent shape. ACC isn't great this year, though.
St Mary's in or out. Please explain why
I'd say out right now. Swept by Gonzaga and lost to Portland. Two good wins -- at Utah State and home vs. San Diego State. But that's about it. Need to get to WCC tourney finals to have a chance, IMO. 48 RPI and 131 sked. Depends a lot on what other teams do from power conferences.
Not a question, but a comment. Turner is better than John Wall imho, and Turner is playing fantastic games with every team Ohio State playing keying in on me and a less talented supporting cast than what Wall has.
Agree on supporting cast. UK has much better talent around Wall. Both are great players. But Wall has made so many clutch plays to pull out wins.
Who is a team off of the radar screen that you could see stealing a bid by winning their conference tourney?
Great question. It's hard to predict, but I could see a team like William & Mary, VCU or Northeastern winning the CAA tourney, leaving ODU for a potential at-large. I guess somebody other than N. Iowa could win the MVC, and St. Mary's could win the WCC. Could a team like Ole Miss win the SEC? Memphis or Tulsa win C-USA? Those are the ones I would watch.
ODU.....In or Out?
I'm leaning toward in; Andy Katz says he's leaning toward out. Beating Georgetown on the road means a lot. Could have really used win at N. Iowa last week. Charlotte and Bill & Lee wins aren't as good as they looked a couple of weeks ago. I think if Monarchs reach CAA finals, they'll be OK. But I feel better about them than others do.
Charlotte 49ers are hurting right now what do you think about their chances?
Definitely slipping down the A-10 pecking order. Three straight losses this time of year really hurts a team. 49ers have three good wins, but could really use a win at Richmond next week. I'd put them fifth or sixth in A-10 right now, behind Temple, Xavier, Richmond for sure and possibly behind Rhode Island and Dayton. They might be battling Rams and Flyers for one spot, if A-10 gets four teams into the NCAAs.
What are UNC's chances of making the tournament this year
NIT? Have to finish above .500.
Is 11-7 good enough in the Big Ten for the Illini?
Maybe, depending on what Illinois did in the Big Ten tourney. If it's beat Minnesota and lose to OSU and Wisconsin, I'm not sure. If it beats Buckeyes or Badgers, maybe it's enough. Computer profile isn't very good.
Mark, one more MD question. Shouldn't you take into account that MD's Dino Gregory was suspended for the start of the season? They were 4-3 while he was out during the non-conference schedule. Since he came back, they are 15-4. Isn't that a factor for the committee?
Suspensions don't mean much to the committee, as far as I know. Injuries are one thing. Suspensions are self-inflicted wounds. Not a factor.
With the losses to San Francisco and Loyola, has Gonzaga played their way out of the first two rounds in Spokane?
I would suspect that's a pretty good possibility.
If uri wins their last 3 remaining games. do you think their in?
More work to do in A-10 tourney. Two decent wins (Okie State and Dayton), plus a win over Charlotte in your scenario. Unbalanced schedule didn't help, because Rams haven't been given second chance to beat (or lose to) teams like Dayton, Richmond, Charlotte, Xavier.
Why isn't Murray State on the Bubble Watch? I know it is highly unlikely that they will get an At-Large, but they should AT LEAST be in consideration. Afterall, the only thing they have against them is their S.O.S. (and as a by-product their RPI). If they win out and lose in the OVC championship they'd be a 30-win team. The committee has to atleast think about putting in a 30-win team, right?
They're not on the Bubble Watch because I don't see any way they get an at-large bid. I might be wrong about their chances, but they have beaten no one to this point. Can they win a tourney game? Sure. But they'll have to win conference tourney to get there. Love your new football coach, by the way.
Will Duke end up getting a #1 seed?
Hummel's injury helps Duke's chances. Would be battling Kansas State, Nova, etc., for last No. 1 seed. I think first three No. 1s -- Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse -- are pretty locked up. Jim Boeheim, national coach of the year, anyone?
How long do you see it taking to get IU back as a bracket team and also national power?
You have the right coach in charge. Crean will get it done sooner than later. Just needs more players.
Given the Cards' performance on the road, and Huskies' performance since Calhoun came back, I'd go with UConn.
POY race is heating up and Turner is really good BUT not only is Wall more clutch (and talented) but he has also made everyone around him better and I feel that may be the deciding factor. Your thought?
He turned UK into a Final Four team.
Mark, Baylor is currently #12 in the RPI with lots of quality wins. They have 2 upcoming likely wins @ texas tech, and @ OU. They will surely be in the top 10 of the RPI giong into a home game against Texas, whom they have already beat. What on earth do they need to do to get some love in the polls?
Forget polls and worry about seeding. Polls mean nothing in college basketball.
if duke wins out do they get number 1 seed?
I'd say they'd definitely be the favorite if they win out and win ACC tourney.
Everyone keeps saying the ACC is down this year. UNC lays a giant egg and all of a sudden the conference has come crashing down. I readily admit that this year's ACC hasn't been as strong as past years but the way people talk about it makes it seem like we're almost a mid-major at this point. And yet, the conference is poised to get 7 teams in the tourney. I understand that right now, only one team is ranked but don't you think some of that is a result of this notion that the ACC is having a bad year? Teams like MD and Vtech (minus last night's blowout) have been playing like Top 25 clubs but get no respect because the "ACC is not that good this year." Is the ACC not good because we only have one ranked team or do we only have one ranked team because people just have it in their heads that the ACC is supposedly not good?
Because I don't think Georgia Tech is as good as it should be, and Miami and Boston College and UNC are down. NC State isn't very good, and Virginia was overrated from the start. Clemson hasn't been playing lights out, either. Duke and Wake Forest are very solid. Md., FSU and Va. Tech are solid teams, but how would they stack up against the Big East's best or Big 12's best?
Illinois won at Clemson and also beat Vandy. Are those not good? Cmon give me a break and you get paid for this?
I'm flying off the top of my head. Four good wins and 12 against teams ranked No. 150 or worse in RPI. Two wins since Jan. 1 -- Mich. State and Wisconsin. The rest came against Penn State, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan.
The Pac-10 can only expect one team in the top 64, I take it?
I would think so. Maybe a scenario where Pac-10 tourney champ and Cal goes (if Bears don't win it), but I think that's a longshot.
What does Mississippi State have to do to get an at-large bid?
Go at least 2-1, including a win over Tennessee, and beat somebody good in SEC tourney. One top 50 win over ODU and that's it. Not enough right now.
Do the Badgers have a shot at getting a 3 seed in the NCAA tournament if they win the big ten tourny? I really love your insight on this.
They'd have to go ahead of teams like Georgetown, Ohio State, Vandy, Pitt, etc. Not sure they've done enough to this point, but win over Illinois and couple of wins in Big Ten tourney might do it, depending on what those other teams do.
How good is the Big 12? Baylor, Kansas St, Kansas, Texas A&M are gave KU a run for their money. I think the Big 12 is going to do some serious damage this year. All these teams have fight in them and are not guard heavy like the ACC. Oh, did i mention they play DEFENSE!
Big 12 is clearly the second-best league in the country. Two or three potential Final Four teams (Kansas, Kansas State and maybe Baylor?). Bunch of teams which could win a couple of NCAA games.
is florida in the tourney?
If the season ended today, I'd say they're in. But tougher-than-you-think game at Georgia on Saturday, followed by toughies against Vandy and Kentucky. Really need to beat UGA and can't finish 0-3.
Of all the conference tournaments, which is the most important from a seeding/bids perspective?
A-10 and Big East are going to be huge. A lot of teams still fighting for at-larges in both leagues, and Big East teams fighting for Nos. 1 and 2 seeds.
What are your thoughts on UTEP?
Playing awfully well right now. Not a great overall profile, but they keep winning in C-USA. It's hard to see them being left out at this point.
How far will Ohio State get in the NCAA Tournament? I was thinking around Sweet 16(hopefully higher though)
Turner is the kind of player -- like John Wall -- who can carry a team through the first three or four rounds. Not sure about his supporting cast, but he's capable of going off early and often.
Folks, gotta run. Enjoyed it. Enjoy the games this weekend. Bubble Watch is up and a new one will be out Monday. Have a great weekend.