Blind Resumes Week 12: Which Bubble team will make the Tournament
by: Jonathon Warriner
Each week until Selection Sunday, I will pick 4 teams with a similar seed and compare their RPI, Strength of Schedule, record, Record against the Top-25, Record against Top-50 and the number of bad losses each team has (RPI 100+). Please look at the examples of teams before scrolling down and reading who they are.
Team 1: RPI: 42, SOS: 55, Record: 21-9, Record vs. Top-25: 2-3, Record vs. Top-50: 2-4, Bad Losses: 2
Team 2: RPI: 58, SOS: 54, Record: 19-12, Record vs. Top-25: 2-5, Record vs. Top-50: 3-8, Bad Losses: 2
Team 3: RPI: 44, SOS: 3, Record: 17-14, Record vs. Top-25: 2-5, Record vs. Top-50: 5-8, Bad Losses: 1
Team 4: RPI: 69, SOS: 46, Record: 18-13, Record vs. Top-25: 2-5, Record vs. Top-50: 5-7, Bad Losses: 2
Who are the teams?
Team 1: Rhode Island
Team 2: Kansas State
Team 3: Vanderbilt
Team 4: Iowa
This week I decided to focus on the four bubble teams that are fighting for the final few spots. For today I will be making arguments for and against as well as explain what they could do to solidify their spot in the tournament. Lets start off with Rhode Island, the argument for is that they have a much better record than the other three teams, while also having a great RPI. The argument against them is that they play in a bad conference and do not have the same wins that the other three teams have been able to pick up. If Rhode Island can make it to their Conference Championship game they will probably be in good shape as they will likely pick up another quality win against a top-50 team.
Kansas State has picked up maybe the two best wins of these four teams as they have beaten Baylor on the road and beat West Virginia. Those wins stick out and make it hard to consider leaving them off. The argument against them is that they don’t have a great RPI and only have 3 RPI Top-50 wins. Kansas State will right away get a chance to prove themselves, if they can beat Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament it would be hard to see them being left out on Selection Sunday.
Next there is Vanderbilt which has the wins to make the tournament and an incredible Strength of Schedule. The only argument against them is the amount of losses they have picked up, they have 14 losses at the moment and a 15th loss would be record for most losses for an at-large team. The key to making the tournament will be making a run in the SEC Tournament, where they will face Florida in the second round and could realistically make a run all the way to the SEC Championship, leaving that team off would be hard to see.
Iowa has suddenly got hot and is now on the bubble, the argument for them is that they have the wins to back them up and also appear to be streaking. The argument against them is that they have a very low RPI
rank and other metrics not mentioned on this have them very low. Iowa could really make things interesting however if they can beat Indiana and Wisconsin and that would probably be enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament.