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A Tough Job for the Selection Committee
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #474, March 4, 2011
The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee gets ragged on every year by a few select fanbases, Virginia Tech's being one of the most outspoken. The reality of the situation is that they have a very difficult job, particularly this year with such a weak bubble field.
Today we're going to give you an example of 17 different teams that are considered "bubble" teams, and throw out their key numbers. We'll list four or so at a time. Here are the first four, which are all ACC schools.
One question I'm asking is why Florida State is considered definitely "in". If the Noles happen to drop their next two, which isn't out of the question considering Chris Singleton is out, their computer numbers won't be any different than Virginia Tech's or Clemson's. They do only have one bad loss, so that helps their cause. I think one more win gets the Noles in for sure.
Alabama is leading their division of the SEC, however they have four bad losses and a low RPI and SOS. Generally the selection committee leans more towards computer numbers than conference standings, so at this moment in time the Crimson Tide would probably be out.
Penn State just doesn't have enough overall wins, but they have defeated three top 50 teams and played one of the toughest schedules in the country. If they can win their last regular season game against Minnesota and then pull off a couple of wins in the Big Ten Tournament, they would have to be considered just based on their computer numbers.
Richmond plays in a weak conference, which hurts their strength of schedule. However, 23 wins can't be ignored. Gonzaga is also battling a strength of schedule problem, while Nebraska doesn't stand out in any particular area.
For the most part, it's very difficult to differentiate between most of those 17 teams. They all have their pluses and minuses, and it's up to the Selection Committee to decide who gets in and who gets out. As usual, there are going to be some teams that feel spurned. Hopefully this year it won't be the Hokies.
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