By: Jason Lisk | March 7, 2018 6:09 pm ET Follow @jasonlisk
The Balloon is clearly lit as above appointment tournaments are underway. Today, we’ve apparent Arizona State’s abortion abide with an aperture annular accident to Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament, Louisville jumping all over Florida State with their aback to the wall, and NC State accident to Boston College. Tonight, we’ll get Notre Dame and Oklahoma State in what would arise to be must-win amateur adjoin teams that are in the field, to accumulate hopes alive. Syracuse, who may or may not be safe, additionally gets a adventitious at a account adjoin North Carolina.
I’ve got 38 teams bound into the acreage because I don’t anticipate after-effects will affect annihilation but seeding. And yes, one of them is NC State. I accept that today’s accident amount them a adventitious to move up and may assault them to a #10 seed, but they are in on the backbone of wins that accommodate Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, and Arizona, and activity 11-7 in the ACC.
Those 38 accommodate 10 projected auto bids, admitting that cardinal could compress based on some upsets by bid thieves in Appointment USA, the Mountain West, or the Atlantic 10. Here are my 8 final teams in as we angle entering tonight:
PROBABLY GOOD NOW
#10 berry UCLA – apparently accept afterwards acceptable at USC, as continued as they face Stanford and not California, admitting a win to get to the semis seals it.
#10 berry Louisville – yes, today’s win was huge as I had them appropriate on the cut band entering the week.
#11 berry Providence – resume is absolutely on the balloon but I anticipate the Xavier and Villanova wins get them across.
#11 berry Texas – the win over West Virginia was huge, don’t appetite to chase it with a accident to 10th abode Iowa State.
SQUARELY ON THE BUBBLE
#11 berry (First Four game) Syracuse – They might be okay. But the resume lacks huge wins. They would aish all doubt, and conceivably importantly, get out First Four consideration, with a big win adjoin North Carolina.
#11 berry (First Four game) USC – The Trojans accept a appropriate cardinal of Quadrant 1 wins, but all are appropriate on the lower end. They accomplished 2nd in the Pac-12, but the best win is one of: at Utah, at Oregon, at Colorado, or adjoin affection mid-majors Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State at a aloof site. They can’t lose to a aggregation they should exhausted in the Pac-12 tourney and may charge to ability the finals to feel safe. With a d adjoin Washington/Oregon State and again apparently Utah or Oregon, they are in a ambiguous spot.
#11 berry (First Four game) St. Mary’s – The bad account for St. Mary’s is they are done. We could see the balloon compress with bid thieves. We could see added teams win beneath them. They are not in an enviable atom and I will revisit their adjustment already the after-effects from others are in. They accept a abundant alley win at Gonzaga but not abundant abroad to go with their 28-5 record. Teams like them accept generally been beatific to Dayton, and occasionally larboard out.
#11 berry (First Four game) Marquette – For now, I’m affective Marquette in. They can’t lose to DePaul tonight. They ability charge to exhausted Villanova in the aing game. They will not be sleeping able-bodied if they don’t.
Baylor (1st Out): They absent to Kansas State on Saturday. They are 6-12 adjoin teams I accept in the field. West Virginia is a big one. A win and they are absolutely in. A accident and I’ll be reviewing their case, forth with Marquette and St. Mary’s, and they will be at accident of bid thieves as well.
Arizona State (2nd Out): The collapse is complete. Now, we see if it puts them out or almost has them in. At one point, Arizona State was ranked Top 5, had wins over Xavier (neutral) and Kansas (road), and were 12-0 branch to a showdown with Arizona. They are now 20-11 and alone from the Pac-12 clash afore a third rematch with Arizona, by accident by 12, and giving up 97 points, to Colorado.
Recent almanac is not an absolute agency for the committee, but they bankrupt by accident 5 of 6. The alone win was at home over a actual bad Cal team. The losses accommodate at Oregon State, at home adjoin Stanford, and now to Colorado on a aloof court. The RPI is now 65, and they accept alone 3 Quad 1 wins (at Utah actuality the other). They accept some high-end Quad 2 wins (Kansas State-N, vs UCLA and USC at home), but the resume gets attenuate afterwards the Xavier/Kansas results. And they’ve absent 9 amateur now to teams that won’t be in the clash field. That has to matter. That’s why, clashing some others, I accept them out now.
Alabama (3rd Out): I anticipate Alabama should be out. But they can get aback in if they exhausted Texas A&M in a rematch from aftermost Saturday. If they lose, they will be 17-15 and accept an RPI alfresco the top 65. At some point, those losses accept to amount alike admitting they accept 6 Quad 1 wins.
Notre Dame (4th Out): There is activity to be a Notre Dame debate. Ultimately, we don’t apperceive how the Board will be accommodating to angle on the Notre Dame question. This is a aggregation that absent a Appointment Player of the Year applicant in Bonzie Colson for a ample block of the appointment season. They additionally played two weeks after Matt Farrell during that span, and absent every game. Fully healthy, they are a top 30 team. They won the Maui Classic over Wichita State with both. They pushed Virginia aftermost anniversary on the road.
But I anticipate they charge to appraise the resumé. I apperceive this isn’t the pros, but the Packers don’t get to altercate they should get in over a aggregation with two added wins because Aaron Rodgers is aloof advancing aback from injury. The after-effects accept to matter. Now, if two teams are absolutely neck-and-neck, again I anticipate demography Notre Dame is reasonable in a tiebreaker based on their best games.
So they accept to win tonight adjoin Virginia Tech. That would get them central or a the Top 60 in RPI, get them a 3rd Quad 1 win. That puts them in the conversation. A win over Duke would complete it and achieve it moot.
Middle Tennessee (auto bid projection, #11 seed): The Blue Raiders will be aggravating to win the Appointment USA Tournament, but both Western Kentucky and Old Dominion are able of assault them. If they don’t win the auto bid, they accept a appropriate at-large case. I anticipate they ability be adopted over St. Mary’s, for example, in a allegory of mid-majors based on non-conference scheduling.
Oklahoma State (5th Out): They accept some absolutely big wins. They are 7-13 adjoin teams I am bulging in the field. The RPI is too low based on some non-conference dregs. They would be a historically low RPI if they got in now. Big wins weren’t abundant for Syracuse aftermost year, and I anticipate the Cowboys charge some added now to move up.
Here’s a account of teams I anticipate accept a lot to accomplish, but could get in that altercation for a final at-large atom if they beforehand actual abysmal in the appointment tournaments:
Pac-12: Utah, Oregon, Washington
SEC: Mississippi State
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