Sunday, March 01, 2009

Is Any Team Hotter than Wazzu Right Now?

Washington State 51, #11 Arizona State 49, OT
A very ugly game all around, as Washington State was really able to dictate their style of play. Surprisingly, Arizona State did not turn the ball over much, but they just could not score against Washington State's defense. To be fair, everybody has been having trouble with Wazzu lately, as they've now won three straight games over UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. Of course, they're still only 8-9 in the Pac-10, and they're a very mediocre 5-11 against the RPI Top 100. But they're still alive, and they've got something to play for in their Pac-10 finale besides just wanting to try to deny rival Washington the outright Pac-10 title. If they can win that game and then make the Pac-10 semifinals then we can actually talk seriously about Washington State's at-large chances. As for Arizona State, they have now completed a miserable road trip to the state of Washington, and are now only 10-6 in the Pac-10. They are now 9-7 against the RPI Top 100, and their other numbers are all pretty good, but I think it's safe to say that the Sun Devils have not quite locked up their Tournament bid yet. They've got to win at least one more game, and for them to be a complete absolute lock I think they actually need two more wins. One will probably be enough, but one can forgive Arizona State for not wanting to leave any room for doubt after last year's Selection Sunday.

Oklahoma State 68, #24 Texas 59

Oklahoma State played very well in this game, and it was only a fierce Texas rally that made this one a game in the final minutes. That said, it was interesting to see the fans rush the floor when you could easily argue that Oklahoma State has had the better season thus far. Travis Ford's boys have now won five straight to get to 8-6 in the Big 12, and with zero bad losses have an RPI of 30th. That said, they lacked any marquee wins (their best up to this point were over Siena and Texas A&M), and as mediocre as Texas have been they still have a name that suggests they're a marquee victory. They close their season at Oklahoma, and it's hard to see an upset there as Oklahoma State's complete lack of size will make Blake Griffin a monumental task. So that means that the Cowboys must take care of Kansas State on Tuesday night. I don't think an 8-8 Oklahoma State team will make the Tournament. As for Texas, they are also 8-6 and in need of at least one more regular season victory. Like Oklahoma State, the Longhorns also end with a very tough game (at Kansas), so they've got to get their win Tuesday night against Baylor.

Kansas State 77, Nebraska 72

Continuing our discussion of 8-6 Big 12 teams brings us to Kansas State. They have the easiest route to 10-6, but they also have a much weaker resume than either Texas or Oklahoma State. They have bad losses to Iowa and Oregon and their RPI is only 73rd. I don't think Kansas State makes the Tournament unless they get to 10-6 and then win at least one Big 12 tournament game. They just have too many losses without any marquee wins. This loss drops to Nebraska to 6-8 and more or less ends their Tournament hopes. If they can win three or four games in a row then we can talk about their Tournament chances, but until then they're basically out of it.


Anonymous said...

Ok State has a marquee win but K-State doesn't? Please explain how beating Texas at home is a marquee win while beating Texas in Austin isn't.

Jeff said...

Well, my point was that I was trying to explain why the fans were rushing the court. I don't really think Texas is a marquee win either way, since they're a bubble team.