Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Will Middle Tennessee Get Left Out?

With the exception of the Ivy League, regular seasons are now all over, and many conference tournaments have already concluded. We've already had some conference tournament upsets and at least one spectacular half-court game-winning buzzer-beater (Stetson). But we've also had teams crushing all conference opposition (Marist, Gonzaga).

But Middle Tennessee State isn't among the winners this week. The team is still mourning the loss of Tina Stewart, their junior guard who got stabbed to death by her roommate. The Blue Raiders lost in the first round of the Sun Belt tournament to Arkansas State 72-66. In ordinary situations, Middle Tennessee State would be at risk of being left out of the NCAA tournament with a resumé like theirs (RPI 46, 14-2 in the Sun Belt conference, best wins are James Madison and Kansas State). But I think they have a good chance of landing an at-large bid this year, in part because the selection committee is made up of humans with hearts rather than computers with cold hard data.


Now in: Boston University, TCU, Southern Cal, Samford, UT-Martin, Oakland, Stetson
Now out: UMBC, Duquesne, Vanderbilt, Appalachian State, Tennessee Tech, Oral Roberts, East Tennessee State

Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 10
Big 12: 7
ACC: 6
Big Ten: 5
SEC: 4
PAC-10: 4
Atlantic 10: 2
Colonial: 2
Mountain West: 2

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