March 4th, 2013 01:24 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Alabama, Midweek Schedule, RPI, SEC
Last Friday we told you something that everyone else in the free world knew to be true: Florida and Missouri had already locked down spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. We also told you that thanks to a stronger schedule, Tennessee — at that point — would be the most likely SEC team to grab a third tournament bid with Kentucky following closely behind the Volunteers. We projected Ole Miss and Alabama as DOA thanks to a combination of RPI and schedule strength measures.
Over the weekend, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi adjusted his projection of this year’s tourney field and his view fell into line with ours: Florida, Missouri and Tennessee in… Kentucky and the others out.
For now, at least.
As we also noted on Friday, it’s tougher projecting the SEC’s tourney teams this year because, frankly, the league isn’t very good. Usually it’s easy for us to eyeball the SEC’s teams, compare their numbers with the typical figures associated with NCAA at-large picks, and draw a clear line between the haves and the have-nots. That’s not the case this year. There are two haves and four or five almost-haves.
All that said, let’s take a look at the SEC’s resumes — all 14 of them — as they stack up with one week of regular-season play to go. The digits in bold/italics are numbers to be concerned about, based on past NCAA Tournament selections:
|School||RPI||SOS||Vs Div I||Vs SEC||Vs RPI 1-50||Losses Vs RPI 100+||Losses Vs RPI 200+||Vs Non-Con (Away)||Non-Con SOS|
As you can see, Florida and Missouri have healthy resumes.
Tennessee has reason for concern with its RPI and those two losses outside the RPI top 100 (both to Georgia). Kentucky must be worried about its RPI, its record versus RPI top 50 teams, and it’s non-conference record away from Rupp Arena. (How the committee will view the Wildcats post-Nerlens Noel is also a concern.)
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