Thursday, March 12, 2015

Morning News: New Bracket, Bubble Watch, Stanford Escapes, And FIU Wins A Crazy Finish

Storm the court, Lafayette fans!
New Bracket Projection Quite a few one-bid leagues had upset winners, but none of the at-large teams changed. There will be another bracket after Friday night's games are completed.

Bubble Watch Lafayette became the 33rd Tourney lock, and NC State pulled themselves off the bubble with a win.

Stanford Escapes Stanford knew that every NCAA Tournament scenario for them involved beating Washington, and they almost didn't. Washington came in having lost 10 of 12, and having totally fallen apart since losing Robert Upshaw. But white hot 13-for-20 three-point shooting almost allowed them to pull the upset. They were undone late by free throw shooting, where they hit 0-for-3, including Dan Kingma's front end of a 1-and-1 that led to this Chasson Randle game winner:
2H STAN C. Randle made Three Point Jumper. Assisted by M. Allen.

This win doesn't get Stanford to the NCAA Tournament, but it gets them close. Their RPI is nearly in the Top 50, but they went just 9-9 in Pac-12 play and have only half as many RPI Top 100 wins (6) as losses (12). They probably need to beat Utah later today to earn that at-large bid.

Florida International Wins A Crazy Finish There probably won't be another conference tournament game this season - in any conference - with a finish as wild as this one. Too bad only about 15 people were watching this game live online. First, UT-San Antonio got the ball while down by two points with around 45 seconds to go, and inexplicably committed a shot clock violation. They had to quickly foul FIU with a little over 8 seconds to go, and Ray Rodriguez hit the first but missed the second. So down by just three points, Keon Lewis attacked down the court and launched a three that he made with 2.7 seconds to go. Without any timeouts being called, Dennis Mavin took a couple dribbles and then double-pumped a contested half court shot that he banked in. Below you can see both Lewis's three-pointer and Mavin's miracle half court banked shot:

Florida International's reward is a quarterfinal matchup against UTEP, which will be an uphill battle. But even if they lose there, they'll still head home with a heck of a win.


Anonymous said...

Jeff, when will the conference previews for 2015-16 start to go up?

Jeff said...

I've been writing them for a couple of weeks now, but I won't publish any conference previews until the teams in those conferences are all done playing.

So, the earliest they'll be posted is Monday, March 23rd. Possibly later that week or early the following week.

Dan said...

What are Lafayette's chances at an NCAA run this year?

Jeff said...

Not great, honestly. It's unlikely that they're going to get off the 15/16 line. Would be a massive upset if they win a game.

luciente said...

It's weird that you didn't write up Villanova being crushed in yesterday's game against Marquette, surely costing them a 1-seed. What game, you ask? Oh, you know, the one that realtimeRPI is reporting on their site...

Jeff said...

Haha, I didn't see that. That's a pretty funny goof.