Sunday, March 2, 2008

One Week Left...

Clemson is in!
Maryland needs to win 2...
Everyone Else? Just don't lose...

Click here to see standings

Click here to see schedule

Congratulations Clemson, the NCAA drought is officially over. Sunday's stunning come from behind victory at Maryland clinches the Tigers first winning conference record in over a decade. More importantly, the win virtually guarantees a NCAA berth for Oliver Pernell's squad. With a win this week against one of the Techs, or a loss by either Miami or Va Tech, the Tigers will also clinch an opening day bye in the ACC Tournament.

Maryland is now in serious trouble. While a win against Clemson likely would have likely gotten the Terps over the NCAA hump, a win next Sunday against Virginia will not guarantee Maryland a bid to the big dance. Prior to the Collapse against the Tigers, Maryland's had the 55th ranked RPI. If they had held on, their RPI likely would have made it to the top 50. Instead, their RPI has fallen to 64. The loss also puts the Terps in serious danger of playing in the opening day of the ACC Tournament. Since both Va Tech and Miami hold tie-breakers over the Terps, Maryland is going to need a bit of help to avoid the opening round. That may be a blessing though. Maryland needs to beat Virginia, win at least one game in the tournament and pray that there are no tournament upsets that would gain a mid-major conference an extra bid to the NCAA's

For the rest of the bubble teams, it's simple... just don't lose. I still think Miami's RPI gets them in with an 8-8 conference record, but if they finish 8-8 and then do something stupid like lose to NC State, they could be left out. The bottom line for the 'Canes... make it to 9 wins. Va Tech is in a similar position, but given their 62nd ranked RPI, I'm not so sure that 9 wins gets them into the NCAA Tournament unless the 9th win comes against Clemson. For Wake and Florida State, things are much clearer... Time to go on a four game winning streak. An 8-8 regular season finish is not going to get the Deacs or the 'Noles into the NCAA tournament. A ninth win by either team would come in the opening day of the ACC Tournament, and let's face it a win against the likes of BC, State or UVa is not going to impress the selection committee, while a win on day two against on of the ACC's top four teams may be just enough.

Of course the beauty of March Madness is that everyone, even Ga Tech, UVa, State and Virginia still have a shot at making it to the NCAA Tournament. Just win the ACC Tournament, and you won't even have to sweat during the selection show.