Bubble Banter: Davidson with a big win, Stanford in trouble, and … VCU?

1 Comment
source:
AP Photo

WINNERS

  • Davidson: The Wildcats landed a critical win on Thursday, smothering and covering VCU like Waffle House hash browns. It’s easily the best win for the Wildcats on the season, and not only because it’s their second top 50 win and highest RPI win. This game was on national television, and they blew out the most notable name in the Atlantic 10. I say it all the time: the eye test isn’t officially a part of the selection committee criteria, but those are humans in that room making this decision, and looking good late in the year is always, always, always a good thing. At this point, Davidson is in the tournament. They’re 21-6 on the season, tied for first in the conference and 7-4 against the top 100¬†with just two bad losses. Their non-conference strength of schedule hurts, but so long as they avoid doing something stupid — like, for example, losing to Duquense this weekend — Bob McKillop’s club will probably be dancing.
  • Temple: The Owls got past their road trip to East Carolina, which was a loss they really couldn’t afford to take. On Saturday, they’ll host UConn with a chance to add another top 100 win to their resume. I think they need it, as they only currently have two top 50 wins, a 5-8 record against the top 100 and a loss to St. Joe’s. That said, one of those top 50 wins is a blowout of Kansas in Philly, which is a great win to hang their profile on. Temple is probably on the right side of the bubble as of today, and they may even avoid a play-in game.
  • Old Dominion: Are these guys really on the bubble? One top 50 win — VCU — and just five top 100 wins against four sub-100 losses, three of which came to sub-150 teams. Get that autobid, Monarchs.

LOSERS

  • VCU: At what point do we start worrying about what the committee will think of the Rams? Since Briante Weber went down with a knee injury against Richmond, VCU is just 4-6 on the season. Granted, their only two sub-100 losses on the season came without Treveon Graham in the lineup. And yes, I realize that four of those six losses involved either overtime, a buzzer-beater or a missed go-ahead-dunk in the final minute. But winning matters, and the Rams are 4-6 on the season without Weber. For what it’s worth, I think they are safe, but it would probably behoove them to beat George Mason over the weekend and to avoid a loss to one of the league’s bottom-feeders, especially after they were mollywhopped by Davidson on national television on Thursday night.
  • Stanford: The Cardinal lost to Arizona State on Thursday night. They’ve dropped six of their last nine and, as of today, are on the wrong side of the bubble. The good news? They play at Arizona this weekend. That’s a must-win. And it may not be enough.
  • UConn: Apparently there are people out there that thought UConn was getting close to the bubble (they weren’t). Well, after losing to Memphis at home on Thursday, they’re back in that autobid-or-bust range.