Wednesday, February 27, 2008

State of the Bubble: Colonial to Mid-American

How is your team fairing compared to others? Are there any locks that come out surprising to you? How far will Tom O'Connor and his band of bracketeers go to find an at-large? Who knows any of this? Well let me help out with a 6-part series about teams in the field, near the field, and teams losing contact with it. This is the State of the Bubble! Part Three!


Bid Range: 1-2
Bubble Riders: George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth
Please note that I'm giving the Colonial a bid range only because Tom O'Connor(George Mason's AD and VP) is the chair. That said, this will likely be a one bid conference, only because of recent home losses by the two bubble riders(The Rams lost to Old Dominion, the Patriots to UNC Wilmington).

Conference USA

Bid Range: 1-2
Locked Up: Memphis
Bubble Riders: Alabama-Birmingham, Houston
By all rights, only Memphis should be in, but when you have one dominant team, one or two stragglers are sure to follow. The Blazers and Cougars are those stragglers, with UAB holding the edge due to a tete-a-tete win and a near scalp of the Tigers on February 16th.


Bid Range: 1-2
Locked Up: Butler
Bubble Rider: Wright State
Bid Range is only up because the Raiders won the first matchup. But that was in Dayton and the rematch Thursday is in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler is playing for seeding, but it's loss at the hands of Drake means a top 4 seed is almost out of reach.

Ivy League

Likely Bids: 1
Likely Winner: Cornell
Actually you can start ingraving Cornell's invite today, the Big Red have a 3 game lead on Brown and can clinch as early as this weekend in the only league without a conference tourney.

Metro Atlantic

Likely Bids: 1
Likely Winner: Niagara
This year's MAAC is reminiscent of the AFC Central of the 1980's. Everyone it seems is tied for first. I like Niagara to emerge from the conference tournament, but you could say he same thing about Loyola(MD), Rider or Siena.


Bid Range: 1-2
Almost There: Kent State
Bubble Rider: Ohio
Is this the year the MAC Daddies get a second bid? Well the only it will happen is if the Golden Flashes make it to the championship Game. The Flashes made it easier by going in Moraga and toppling Saint Mary's, something Drake, Oregon and Gonzaga couldn't do. Ohio could make a case(given it's upset of Maryland) but unlikely to do so.

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