Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Quick Look Ahead

Here are the rest of the Tournaments to pay attention to that start before March 12 (the earliest Tournaments were previewed here):

Colonial Athletic Association (Began Friday, March 7th. Championship on Monday, March 10th): The Colonial still has a shot at two bids into the Tournament. VCU is the only team in the at-large discussion, but they're more in the discussion than you'd think by watching ESPN. If you look at their overall resume, it's actually pretty solid. Let me try to estimate what their numbers will look like if they fall in the Tournament Finals to George Mason: 25-7, 15-3 in conference, RPI in the l0w-40s, 4-4 against the RPI Top 100, wins on the road at Maryland, Akron and Bradley, and 10 wins in their final 12 games. If that's not a Tournament team, it's pretty darn close. Of course, if VCU wins this thing then it's all academic - they'll earn the only Colonial bid to the Dance.

Southern Conference (Began Friday, March 7th. Championship on Monday, March 10th): A lot of bubble teams will be watching this Tournament, although for selfish reasons only. Davidson is pretty safe for an at-large bid unless they really put on an awful display in this Tournament. So the question is whether they will continue to roll through the conference, or whether they'll slip up and this conference will get two bids. If your favorite team isn't in the SoCon, you're almost definitely rooting for Davidson here.

West Coast Conference (Began Friday, March 7th. Championship on Monday, March 10th): Like the SoCon, this conference's tournament will be closely watched by bubble teams around the country. Gonzaga and St. Mary's are basically locks for the Tournament, and San Diego's bubble probably burst when they couldn't pull themselves to place in the top two in the conference standings. But they are obviously real contenders to win the WCC Tournament. If San Diego (or perhaps some team like Santa Clara) can pull the upset then this conference will earn three Tournament bids. If not. this conference will get two.

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