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2007 NCAA Bubble Teams


By hagrin - Posted on 11 March 2007

My brother, the resident bracketologist of our household, and myself tried to do the last 4 in and last 4 out discussion tonight after the games were done and we really had a very hard time being able to come up with a list. Here's the list we considered as true bubble teams -

(Assuming all favorites win their conference finals today)

  • Appalachian State
  • Mississippi State
  • Stanford
  • Missouri State
  • West Virginia
  • Kansas State
  • Florida State
  • Air Force
  • Old Dominion
  • Drexel
  • Illinois
  • Purdue

Looking at this list, it's really going to be hard to pick just 4 teams from this list. To me, Appalacian State, Mississippi State, Missouri State and Air Force are definitely out. Appalacian State, although a good non-conference SOS had to win their conference tournament and that's a 1 bid conference. Air Force, who STILL hasn't won a conference tournament game, is out due to a devastating collapse at the end of the season (and the gift they got last year getting in). The other 2 just don't have the resumes.

WVU is probably out because of the high-ish RPI (59), bad SOS, 2-7 record against the Top 50, non conference SOS of 272 and having played UCLA without Collison knocks them out.

Kansas State is going to be a tough one. However, high-ish RPI (56), bad SOS, terrible non-conference SOS and 3 losses outside the Top 100 (New Mexico, Colorado State and Nebraska) should keep them out. Their one saving grace is an 11-7 conference record. However, they only played A&M and Texas once - if you replace them on the schedule, they would probably be 9-9 or 8-10 (would have drawn a tougher 1st round opponent for the Big 12 tourney). The Big 12 just isn't a very good conference if you only have to play 5 of your 18 games against the 3 toughest teams and one of those teams you played 3 times. I have them out, Lunardi has them in.

FSU has every number going for them except for their 8-10 conference record and the fact that the ACC already has 7 locks for the tournament. FSU has the best RPI of a bubble team, some quality wins and maybe most importantly no bad losses all year (no losses outside Top 55 in RPI). Almost half of their losses came with their starting PG out so you have to factor that in with wins over Florida, Duke and Maryland. They got screwed last year, they should get in this year. I have them in, the entire world has them out so we'll see tomorrow.

Old Dominion has the GREAT road win at Georgetown on their campus (not the larger arena in DC). They were 2nd in the Colonial and beat up Drexel twice this year. A decent RPI, the good road win and finishing 2 full games ahead of Drexel in the CAA gives them the nod over Drexel. The Colonial is a multi-bid conference after last year's run by Mason and Hofstra getting squeezed so Old Dominion is in. To me, this is as close to a lock as you can have of the bubble teams listed.

Drexel is going to be a tough, tough decision for the committee. They finished 4th in the Colonial. They lost to ODU twice and went 1-5 against the top 3 teams in the Colonial. Just those numbers alone and you would have to say "Why are they even in the conversation". Well, here's why - 14 road wins, a 14-5 road/neutral record and with huge ROAD wins at Villanova and Syracuse back-to-back and Creighton. With huge wins like that, you would think that they should be in right? Well, factor in they lost to Rider (RPI 200), William & Mary (RPI 198) and UPenn by 19 and Drexel has to be out. Drexel is going to be the Hofstra of last year. Oh, and if you're thinking that the head-to-head record won't matter because of George Mason getting the bid last year, remember that George Mason won the regular season title, Drexel finished 4th behind Hofstra, VCA and ODU. Drexel has to be out right, but many have them in. In fact, after all of the above, I have them in because ... well, look who is left.

And now the worst two - Illinois and Purdue. If you notice, so far I have only two teams in so that would mean by default, these two have to get in; however, I don't see how these teams get in. Illinois and Purdue both have no signature road wins. Purdue has a home victory against Virginia in the ACC classic. Illinois has the better record, the better RPI, the better SOS and the far superior road/neutral win record. Purdue has two losses outside the Top 100 (Indiana State and Minnesota), but Purdue beat the heck out of Illinois. To me, this is a toss up. A lot of people are giving the edge to Purdue and I would have to as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if Illinois didn't get in. To me, one of these teams gets in so that the Big Ten gets its 5th team, but only one. I'll guess Purdue, but wouldn't be shocked to see Illinois.

My Last Four In -

FSU
ODU
Drexel
Purdue

What's great? Lunardi just made his updates and we're 2 off now. Should be interesting.