Sleepless in Omaha 03/13/2009Posted by sportretort in Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: badgers, big ten, bluejays, bracketology, Creighton, march madness, missouri valley, mountain west, mvc, mwc, ncaa basketball, new mexico, steve alford, Wisconsin
There have been many sleepless nights in Omaha this week. No, we are not talking the Warren Buffett household. True, he has lost $15 Billion in net worth in the last year, but he is still #2 in the world behind that Microsoft guy. We are talking another set of numbers. 73-49. That was the loss Creighton suffered in the MVC semi-finals. There was much dispare in Bluejay land after that. But fear not. The other numbers will prove out.
The good news is that Creighton has an RPI of 41, is the MVC regular season co-champion, and was riding an 11 game winning streak going into that semi-final against Illinois State. They finished the season at 26-7, and have a 10-4 record in games played outside of Omaha. They are in. They have been in all week, no matter what you read at ESPN.com and CBSsportsline.com. And even these sites are beginning to put them in the field.
The Big Ten will not get 8 teams into the dance. Wisconsin is 18-12 with a 4-9 record against RPI top 50 teams. They must beat Ohio State today to keep hope alive. Minnesota has lost 6 of their last 10 and play Michigan State today. And Michigan may need a win against Illinois today to be secure. One of those 3 teams will not make it in.
The Mountain West with 4 teams in? I don’t think so. New Mexico’s 3 losses to teams outside the top 100 and their own RPI of 58 means that they must win the MWC tourney to grab the automatic bid. Coach Alford has a track record of such runs, having done it twice in the Big Ten while head coach at Iowa, so it may happen. If they do, say goodbye to San Diego State of the MWC. This conference will get at most 3 bids.
It has been a crazy week of conference tournaments, but so far suprisingly few teams have snatched automatic bids that would not have been at large teams anyway. This should be a wide open March Madness field. And the Bluejays will be dancing.