Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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|Posted: 02/11/18 12:53 am ::: Big XIIand the NCAA Tournament
|Usually at this point in the season the Big XII is looking at 6 teams in the NCAA. This year the conference is more likely looking at 4 teams, with 3 teams in, 3 teams on the bubble and one with a far outside shot.
Baylor (23-1, 13-0 conf., 5-1 RPI top 50, 0 sub-50 losses, rankings 7 RPI, 2 Sagarin, 3 Herhoopstats, 3 Massey)
Baylor played a very weak non-conference schedule, losing to UCLA without Mulkey and Cox and beating Stanford without McPhee. If Baylor goes undefeated the rest of the way they should be able to claim a #1 seed; otherwise they should be a #2 seed.
Texas (20-4, 11-2 conf., 5-3, 1 bad loss, rankings 9, 6, 7, 6)
Texas looks like a #3 seed right now but could move up or down depending on their finish. Two wins over Baylor could move the Longhorns up to a preferred #2 seed in Kansas City, but without a victory over the Bears they could fall to a #4 seed, particularly if they suffer another loss.
Oklahoma St (18-6, 9-4 conf., 3-4, 2 bad losses, rankings 45, 17, 20, 18)
Oklahoma St is a very good team that played 3 teams that have won 3 or fewer games non-conference so they have a low RPI. The 3-4 record against top 50 teams is also a bit misleading as all 4 losses are to top 10 teams and they have a win over #11 UCLA. With games left against both Texas and Baylor as well as the Big XII Tournament, a top 10 win could propel the Cowgirls to a #5 seed.
Oklahoma (13-12, 8-6 conf., 1-9, 3 bad losses, rankings 28, 24, 23, 37)
The Sooners seem bound to answer the question, "How many losses are too many to be considered for an at-large berth?" Oklahoma already has 12 losses, and assuming they lose to Baylor in the regular season and Texas in the semifinals of the Big XII tourney that would give them 14 losses. Even if they win every other game that would leave the Sooners 17-14 with only 1 top 50 win (USF). Those back-to-back early season losses to Little Rock and Florida could be very costly, because right now most people would agree they are among the top 40 teams in the country.
TCU (16-8, 7-6 conf., 2-5, 3 bad losses, rankings 60, 45, 54, 43)
The Horned Frogs are one of the more interesting teams to evaluate. They are ranked in the top 25 in both the AP and the Coaches poll, but looking at their record it is hard to make a case for inclusion in the NCAA. TCU was a run of the mill 10-5 team on January 6. Their best win was against Alabama and they had lost to Yale and Kansas. But then TCU beat Texas by 2 and backed that up with a win at WVU by 2. They ran off another 5 wins in a row, but when it came to playing the top teams, they lost the next 3 by at least 17 points. I have them jusytout right now, but a win over Oklahoma st or Baylor in their last two regular season games, or an upset in the tourney could put them on the right side of the bubble.
West Virginia (18-7, 6-7 conf., 1-5, 2 bad losses, rankings 52, 22, 22, 28)
West Virginia was undefeated non-conference and looked to be sailing into the NCAA. They were 13-0 before a loss to Texas to finish out 2017, but 2018 has been a nightmare. All of their wins have been agaainst the bottom 3 teams while they have lost to each of the other six once. Right now I still have West Virginia just in, but they must get to 9-9,in conference, which means beating Oklahoma next Saturday.
Kansas St (13-12, 5-9 conf., 1-9, 3 bad losses, rankings 84, 63, 72, 61)
At first blush Kansas St doesn't seem to have a chance. But I include them because they have four winnable games left (TCU, West Virginia, Kansas, Texas Tech.) That would get them a first round matchup with either Oklahoma or Oklahoma St, and that could make things interesting.