First things first, this will be a week by week situation.
Yes, a win this Saturday against Mississippi St. will be a good win for our NET, but we will also have to beat Vanderbilt on the road as well as win our remaining home games against Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Alabama. Lose one of those home games and we probably have to pick up another road win at either Auburn or Kentucky to get in the NCAA Tournament field as a 10-12 seed.
The path is clear for all to see, but can this team navigate this path and pick up the necessary wins it needs in order to get it done will soon play out in real time.
I certainly hope they get it accomplished, but there is very little room for error in the remaining schedule IMO.
Almost no room for error if we concede we’re almost certain to lose at KY. Win all but the KY game & I like our chances of getting in. Lose KY & one other & it’s going to be very close. Lose 3 & I don’t see any way we make it. The home games are all winnable, but OM & Alabama won’t be easy. Vanderbilt has a bad record, but has a bunch of very close losses. Obviously if we were good enough to beat LSU on the road, we’re capable of beating AU & UK, but it’s pretty clear we have to play our best game almost every time out to win.
I think that goes without saying, it’s actually a day by day situation, one game can dramatically change things on the bubble. My point was a lot of people had us wrote off and the 2 major networks that cover bracketology still have us on the bubble, and a win against Mississippi State (Quadrant 1 team) would get us on the right side of the bubble for the time being.
If we win all but the KY game, there’s no “I like our chances” we are in 100% probably as a 7 or 8 seed, maybe even better than that. That would have meant we picked up quadrant 1 wins over Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and @Auburn. On top of a quality win over a NCAA tournament team in Alabama, plus a quadrant 2 road win over Vanderbilt. Our record would be 11-7 in conference, 20-11 overall with a SOS in the 40s, with several wins over NCAA tournament teams, nobody is sweating on Selection Sunday with a resume like that.
I think the common misconception people have is you have to have a certain number of wins to make the tournament. While wins definitely help, it’s the quality of those wins. The good news about our remaining schedule there’s several opportunities to pick-up quality wins, that’s why we could lose another 2 or 3 games and if we win the right one’s we are still very much in the mix.
Realistically we could finish conference play .500, and finish with 18 or 19 total wins and still make the tournament with our schedule. For example people keep talking about Vanderbilt and how we just can’t lose to Vanderbilt… Vanderbilt has NET of 127, which means when we play them on the road, even if we lose it’s only a quadrant 2 loss. Believe it or not that loss won’t hurt your NET that much. The only team left on our schedule that would cause a hit to our resume would be TAM, who we play at home. Their NET is 98, if we lose to them, it would be considered a quadrant 3 loss, which wouldn’t be good.
I think the formula right now with 7 games left is win at least 3 of the 4 remaining homes games (With TAM being one of them). Then steal 1 of the 3 remaining road games. And win first game in SEC tournament. Do that, with our SOS, I like our chances of being on the right side of the bubble.
Say we finish like this (Not what I think we’ll do, but using as an example)
Miss St. - W @Auburn - L
TAM - W @UK - L
Ole Miss - L @Vandy - W
Alabama - W
We finish 8th in SEC. Florida finishes 9th. We beat them in first game of SEC tournament (which would be a quadrant 1 win). And I think that would have us on the right side of the bubble. Probably as a 10 or 11 seed.
I hope you’re right. We will see. All I know is that wins help & losses hurt & we need to keep our losses at a minimum. We’ve already given up some games that had we won, we’d be talking about our seeding, not whether we can make it. By mid-Feb we need to be in the “how high can we be seeded” mode. We haven’t done that in a while.
Message boards and listening to talk radio are the worst places to go after a loss, people over exaggerate and make the situation sound much worse than it actually is. Like if this was truly a “bad season” to where we were below .500 and we were struggling in most games (which I seen a lot of people in the off-season say we would do with this team being so young) it would be impossible to even try to have a civil conversation about anything other than firing.
I keep telling people it’s not as bad as it seems, let the season play out. We’re still in the mix. Honestly if you told me this summer this team would be in February mentioned among the teams as last 4 tams in, with 7 games to go and 4 of them at home. I would take it, this is a really young and in-experienced team, I’ve seen really good coaches struggle with young teams even if those young players were talented.
Blu your the only reason I’m holding out hope as you provide stats to back up your post and it does show we have a opportunity to get in IF we take care of business. I predicted early on that we would win 50% of our conference games and continue to think that and at that time I never thought we could get in the tournament with that record but it seems we very well can. I know we have the talent to go on a 3 game win streak but I also know we can do the opposite and against Mizzou we looked like anything but a team posed to make a run. You’ve beat the drum of optimism all season and I hope your rewarded for your persistence with a trip to the Dance. Good morning, WPS
Blu, while you are correct about the quality of wins, quality of losses also factors in. This is what I’ve been trying to say to you and others for weeks. If we finish at 20-11 and lose our first game in the SECT to Vandy or GA (both Quadrant 3 neutral court as of today) we will end the season with a BAD loss. Again, I believe if we end the season 19-12, or 20-11 we need a win in the SECT or AR will indeed be sweating on Selection Sunday.
Based on those teams record and our current record it’s highly unlikely we’ll get matched up with them in the first round. I’m going off of most likely scenario, and if tournament started today we’d be playing… Florida, Auburn, or Miss St in the SEC tournament (I didn’t figure the tie breaker), so I just used Florida for example. If we ended up playing Vandy or Georgia in first round that means we would have lost a lot more games and finished 11th, 12th, 13th, or 14th in conference, and at that point we’d need to win the SEC tournament anyways to make the tournament.
Only other way we’d play one of those teams is if we finished 5th or 6th place and one of them upset a higher seeded team in their first round match-up, which I guess is possibly, but like I said based on where we are at right now and where they are, I think it’s more likely that we finish in that 7, 8, 9, 10 range and play in those games, and both of those teams are almost for sure going to finish 13th and 14th and end up playing TAM and Missouri in their first round match-ups.
Here’s an example of the SEC bracket I was basing that off of…
ESPN has 10 teams (8 currently in and FL and Us in the 1FO, NFO) on the radar. Warren Nolan has 7 teams with 20 wins and us at 19. If we get 7 teams with 20+ and we get to 20 (8) we should be in (but again, according to WN that would mean a win in the SECT).
Everything from everyone is an educated guess at this point, that’s why you see every single bracketologist have a different bracket that the other guy and different opinion on who is in and who is out. IMO, depending on which games we win you may or may not need a win or 2 in the SEC tournament, you keep trying to convince me we’ll need a SEC tournament win, I’m not convinced. And truth is nobody knows, still too many games left and too many variables. I’m just giving you my opinion on what I think it will take. Warren, KenPom, Rpiforecast, realtimerpi, all of those sites are just numbers based, those numbers will change after every single game, they aren’t the end all be all. I put more into what bracketologist say than those statistic sites, because they actually put the human aspect in it rather than strictly numbers based and will be more in line with the thinking of the committee.
As for the bracketologists, they’re guessing just like me and you. WN actually is using the team sheets. NET, Quadrant wins aren’t the only thing looked at, there are six matrixes, box scores from every game, factors such as a player leaving (The FL loss could be bumped up because of Phillips leaving) or coaches leaving. Most bracketologists are doing the eye test (don’t know if the committee will).
Heck look at our board, both me, you, and a couple others have been saying what Bilas did (young team, in it every game) and people on here are saying we suck. We don’t know how the committee will play out, neither do the bracketologists with the human factor.
I’m interested in seeing what they (the committee) does to see how it works this year, then I think next year the bracketologists will be better prepared for the new rules and picking.
After the crap performance we turned in against MSU please tell me there is a way for this team to make the Big Dance? We need some good news! Maybe this loss will only cost us a couple of spots in the NET rankings?
No, I’ll post some NIT updates once they start doing those lol, because that’s where we are headed, probably like a 6 or 7 seed there, we’ll beat the bad teams in TAM, Vandy, then maybe beat Alabama for Gafford’s last home game. But, this team definitely is not beating anyone else, they’ve checked out. I’m ready for the off-season.