More talk about at-large bids

Will the revamped RPI help more mid-majors get into the NCAA Tournament? TheWashington Post seems to think so:
Schools such as Saint Mary's (Calif.) College, Boston University, Holy Cross, Old Dominion and Wichita State, which have often been relegated to the second-tier National Invitation Tournament, could be taking at-large bids from traditional power conference teams.
As an aside, in recent years, the NIT has belonged to the also-rans from the major conferences. Boston U. and Wichita State did both get NIT bids the past two seasons. But Holy Cross has not been invited since 1990, the year before it joined the Patriot League. Old Dominion has been there once in the last 10 years and Saint Mary's has never been invited.

But back to the bids debate. David Jones of the Patriot-News also talks about the impact of the altered RPI formula in his weekly hoops column:
Mid-majors have been climbing the RPI recently anyway but this change has really lifted them into at-large territory -- the top 65 or so. Never before have so many mid-majors invaded this realm this late in the season. Eleven mid-majors -- Gonzaga (10), Southern Illinois (13), Vermont (14), Miami-Ohio (23), Pacific (24), Nevada (28), Old Dominion (31), St. Mary's (36), Holy Cross (38), Buffalo (41) and Louisiana-Lafayette (43) -- are all at an altitude that would've made them odds-on to make the tournament in years past. The committee is chaired this year by Iowa's Bob Bowlsby but includes five commissioners or ADs from mid- or low-major conferences. Among them is WAC commish Karl Benson, brainchild of ESPN's Bracketbuster games and a known champion of the little schools that can.
Unfortunately, not all of Jones' weekly College Central spread in the paper makes it to the Web site. So Web readers miss out on his interesting take on Bucknell as an at-larget team:
Six years ago New Mexico, coached by that paragon of virtue Dave Bliss, carried a 74 RPI and an unimpressive 60-45 loss to Utah in the Mountain West final into Selection Sunday. The Lobos looked off the board. They had two wins over top 50s-- Arizona (13) and DePaul (46)-- but no road wins against anyone in the top 130. And they were eight notches below the worst RPI ever awarded an at-large to that point-- Minnesota, which got in with a 66 in 1995.

Bucknell currently stands at 78, just four notches below where New Mexico was in '99. The Bison have road wins over two top-100s-- Pitt (35) and Saint Joe;s (96) and two wins against top-40s-- Pitt and Holy Cross (38). To show the committee those weren't flukes, they also have 7-point losses at Iowa State (50) and Penn (74).

Unfortunately, ugly losses hurt just as much as great wins. And the Bison are lugging losses at Navy (303) and Lehigh (238) and at home to St. Francis, Pa. (178). Those will kill any hope.

That and the fact that Bucknell AD John Hardt is not on the selection committee. In 1999, New Mexico AD Rudy Davalos was.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

©2005 Hoop Time. All rights reserved.