Bubble Banter: Illinois State has a long, long wait for Selection Sunday

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The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here. This is where the seeds you see below come from.

This post will be updated throughout the day. 

WINNERS

Iowa (RPI: 71, KenPom: 68, first four out): The Hawkeyes did what they needed to do to be able to play themselves into at-large consideration. They won their last four games, which includes games at Maryland and at Wisconsin, and picked off Penn State at home in the Big Ten finale. The Hawkeyes probably sit on the wrong side of the bubble as of today, and if they sit on the right side of the bubble, it’s only barely. They have five top 50 wins and three top 30 wins, but none of those are top 20 wins. They have two road wins against top 40 opponents and a home loss to Omaha. The point that I’m trying to get at is that Iowa would do well for themselves to win a couple of games in the Big Ten tournament this week.

No. 21 Wichita State (RPI: 42, KenPom: 11, No. 11 seed): The Shockers won the Missouri Valley’s automatic bid. The biggest question now is whether or not the Shockers are going to get stuck in the No. 11 seed range. This team ranks 11th in KenPom. If they are a No. 11 seed, they could very well end up being favored in both their first round game against a No. 6 seed and a potential second round game against a No. 3 seed.

LOSERS

Illinois State (RPI: 31, KenPom: 42, No. 12 seed): The wait now begins for the Redbirds. Illinois State lost in the Missouri Valley title game, putting them squarely on the bubble and in very real danger of missing out on the NCAA tournament. Here’s the situation as it stands: Illinois State has just one top 80 win, which came against Wichita State. In fact, the Shockers are the only top 80 team that Illinois State has played this season, and they went 1-2 in those three games, losing by a combined 61 points in the two games outside of Normal, Il. They have a win over New Mexico, which doesn’t mean all that much, and they swept Southern Illinois in three games. That’s the third-best win in the league, but it’s barely a top 150 win.

I want the Redbirds in the dance over someone like Vanderbilt or Iowa, but I just don’t think they have a real chance at this. It’s going to be a very, very long seven days for the Redbirds, who are going to watch bubble teams across the country improve their résumés while they can do nothing but watch the highlights on TV.