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SEC RPI Watch 2/25/13

gfx - by the numbersAs we told you earlier today, a compilation of information from 89 different bracket projections suggests that four SEC schools are currently NCAA Tournament-bound.  We say: Not so fast.  In fact, as of today, we believe there are only two SEC schools who are assured of making the tourney.

Those of you who’ve read our site for a while know that each year we track the RPI information and other important data for SEC schools throughout hoops season.  You probably also know that we’re usually dead-on in our tourney picks (as was the case just last year when we projected four teams all along, as opposed to other services who’d predicted five right up until Selection Sunday).

While the powers-that-be annually tell us that many factors go into selecting the NCAA field, the reality is that Selection Sunday almost always comes down to simple math.  There’s a reason guys like Jerry Palm are so accurate in their yearly assessments — its a science, not an art.  And when it comes to the math of selecting NCAA teams, most often the selection committee lets teams play themselves out rather than in.

So how do the current SEC tourney resumes stack up?  See below:

 

 

  School   RPI   SOS   Vs SEC   Vs D-I   Vs RPI Top 50   Vs RPI Top 100   Road W Vs Top 100   L Outside Top 100   Last 10
  Florida   4   22   12-2   22-4   5-3   11-4   3   0   8-2
  Missouri   38   52   8-6   19-8   3-4   7-8   0   0   6-4
  Kentucky   46   49   10-4   19-8   1-4   6-8   2   0   7-3
  Ole Miss   56   126   9-5   20-7   1-4   4-6   1   1   5-5
  Tennessee   57   36   8-6   16-10   2-4   7-9   1   1   7-3
  Alabama   62   84   10-4   17-9   1-2   7-5   0   4   7-3
  Arkansas   80   82   8-6   17-10   3-4   5-8   0   2   6-4
  Texas A&M   86   55   6-8   16-11   2-4   5-3   1   4   4-6
  LSU   97   133   7-7   16-9   1-4   4-6   0   3   7-3
  Georgia   123   51   7-7   13-14   0-6   4-9   2   5   6-4
  Vanderbilt   143   54   5-9   11-15   0-6   4-14   1   1   4-6
  S. Carolina   201   146   3-11   13-14   0-3   3-7   1   7   2-8
  Auburn   218   103   3-11   9-18   0-5   3-11   0   7   1-9
  Miss. State   241   112   2-12   7-19   0-5   0-14   0   5   0-10

 

So what would it take for each SEC team to make the NCAA Tournament at this point?  Read on…

 

* Florida is in.  The Gators are simply playing for a #1 seed at this point.

*  Missouri is in.  Barring a total collapse the Tigers’ RPI will land them a bid.

*  If Nerlens Noel were still healthy, Kentucky would probably be in at this point.  As it stands, the selection committee will watch to see how the Cats finish the season without their best player.  They are squarely on the bubble today.

*  Ole Miss would not make the field if bids were handed out today.  Their RPI is too low and their strength of schedule serves as an anchor.  With that kind of schedule, the Rebels needed more than a 1-4 record versus RPI top 50 teams to gain a bid.

*  Tennessee needs one of two things — 21 wins by the end of the SEC Tournament or a time machine.  If the Volunteers could travel back to the end of November and reverse their fortunes at RPI #13 Georgetown (a 36-37 loss) and at RPI #73 Virginia (a 38-46 loss), UT would be sitting pretty today.  Instead, they need to keep piling up late wins.

*  Alabama needs a very hot finish.  An RPI-boosting upset of Florida in Gainesville on Saturday would certainly help.  Or the Tide can simply hope that the selection committee realizes that three of Bama’s four ugly losses to teams outside the RPI top 100 came in December while Andrew Steele was out with a hernia.  The trouble is that Steele’s status with an injured ankle might make him hit or miss in the Tide’s lineup from here out.

*  Arkansas’ low RPI likely means the Razorbacks will need to win their final four games and grab at least one more victory in the SEC Tournament to make the NCAA field.  Anything less than 22 wins and it’s hard to picture Arkansas improving its RPI enough to gain entry.

*  Texas A&M and LSU need miracle finishes.  As in “win out in the regular season and then make a deep SEC tourney run” type of miracles.  And most likely that still wouldn’t be enough to land either team an at-large NCAA berth.

*  The only way Georgia, Vandy, Carolina, Auburn, or MSU get into the Big Dance is by cutting down the nets at the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

 

Florida and Mizzou are in.  Kentucky is on the cusp.  Everybody else still has plenty of work to do.

 


4 comments
MoKelly1
MoKelly1

I find it amazing Mizzou continues to rank so high in the RPI despite its middle of the pack standings in the SEC. We can't win anything on the road.

Mike007
Mike007

 @MoKelly1

 Within five years; Mizzou will join the Big 10....

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

Those are the most depressing words I have ever heard. Who wants to go to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan or Penn. in winter to see football when you can go to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina or Arkansas? A no brainer in my world.

guest001
guest001

Love your site. Thanks for all your work.

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