As I mentioned back in January, the Atlantic 10 is having a great year. Five teams have garnered predicted at-large bids in various bracket predictions: Xavier (of course), Temple, Charlotte, Duquesne and Dayton. As of Tuesday, the College Women's Hoops S-Factor was predicting 4 Atlantic 10 teams would make the tournament.
But then Charlotte lost on Wednesday night against LaSalle and Duquesne lost a home game against St. Joseph's. It was not an uncharacteristic loss for Duquesne, but for Charlotte, it was their first conference loss against a team outside of the big five in the A10.
But it also pushed both Duquesne and Charlotte out of the top 50 in RPI. This meant that Temple, a team that is still undefeated in the Atlantic 10 conference and is on a 13-game winning streak, lost two of their three top 50 wins, and so lost ground in the S-Factor rankings. But if Temple wins every game except for their regular season finale against Xavier, there is no chance they will not be rewarded with an at-large bid from the NCAA selection committee.
It's interesting to look at the big five's record against each other.
Xavier: 3-0 with Duquesne and Temple left
Temple: 2-0 with Dayton and Xavier left
Duquesne: 1-1 with Xavier and Charlotte left
Charlotte: 1-2 with Duquesne left
Dayton: 0-4 with Temple left
That big doughnut in the win column for Dayton against the other big five teams will surely weigh heavily on the minds of the selection committee.
Weirdness in the S-Factor in the Big 12 conference. Iowa State lost to Texas Tech last night, and plummetted outside of the S-Factor's predicted at-large bids, while Texas Tech rose up 13 spots. Meanwhile, Kansas State got a routine win over Colorado and is now being shown at the cusp of the at-large bids.
But the S-Factor is more of a prediction of the tournament if the season ended right now, and it does not take into account the future schedule and predicted future wins. Texas Tech closes its regular season with 4 top 26 (RPI) games out of 5, while Iowa State will feast upon Big 12 north teams, and gets Texas at home. And conference record means a lot in the Big 12, the most difficult of all conferences from top to bottom. (Although probably not enough for Kansas State, who may be left to a WNIT bid if they go 9-7 in conference.)
Now in: Middle Tennessee State, USC, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Kansas State
Now out: UA Little Rock, Iowa State, Charlotte, Temple, Syracuse
Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 9
Big Ten: 7
Big 12: 6
Atlantic 10: 2