NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Making The Case For Local Teams

Selection Sunday is very nearly upon us, and we will finally know who is included in the Big Dance. But for now, we're still speculating. There are four local teams on the bubble, here is the case for each one.

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7 Total Updates since March 11, 2011
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NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Richmond Feeling Good, Hokies Finally Catch a Break

Richmond knocked off Rhode Island, 55-45, to reach the 2011 Atlantic 10 tournament semifinal, and locked up an NCAA Tournament berth in the process.  After the game, Spiders coach Chris Mooney called Penn State head man Ed DeChellis to thank him for playing an even uglier game and keeping the spotlight away from Richmond's 32.1% shooting.

Fans of Virginia Tech are thismuch closer to forgetting the disappointments of the past few years after Erick Green's jumper gave the Hokies a 52-51 win over Florida State.  Hokie Nation had to agonize for several minutes while the referees reviewed Derwin Kitchen's last-last-last-second jumper, which was released a fraction of a second too late.

Penn State's 36-33 win over Wisconsin may seem like a bad thing for bubbly VCU, but the committee may disqualify both the Nittany Lions and the Badgers for using peach baskets.  The Virginia Tech win, though, is unquestionably bad for the Rams and their #3bid4caa hopes.

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NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Richmond, Virginia Tech In Good Position Entering Quarterfinal Games

With under 48 hours until Gene Smith rubs the Magic 8-ball one last time and hands off to Jim Nantz, several local squads hang on to their 2011 NCAA Tournament dreams.  Here's how conference tournament action has moved the pieces around the committee's Ouija board:

Richmond has seen the other half of the A-10 bracket implode, with Dayton and St. Joseph's pulling off upset wins Friday afternoon to reach the tournament semifinals. If Spidey gets past Rhode Island, they'll take on Temple for a place in the finals and will all but lock up a spot in the Big Dance.

Virginia Tech took care of business Thursday night, drubbing a dispirited Georgia Tech team. Most observers think the Hokies are in with a win over Florida State this evening, but a loss places them squarely on the fence dividing the NIT and the play-in game.

Wins by Michigan State, Clemson, Michigan, Alabama, Colorado and USC over the past two days have VCU partisans sweating. The Rams need some good fortune and a few ugly performances by the teams ahead of them to make #3bids4caa a reality. Tug McGraw's "You Gotta Believe" mantra's getting worn out this weekend in Richmond.

Meanwhile, George Mason, Georgetown and Old Dominion are resting and hoping for favorable first-round matchups, and in the Patriots' case, blocking any calls from Providence before they get to Jim Larranaga.

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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Will VCU Make The Big Dance?

In this thread, we'll be going through the local teams that are still sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and present each team's chances of actually making the tournament. All stats from ESPN's InsideRPI (insider only). Let's take a look at VCU.

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RPI Rank: 51

Record: 23-11

Conference Record: 12-6

Strength Of Schedule: 86

Record Against RPI Top 50: 3-5

Quality Wins (against RPI Top 50): UCLA, Old Dominion, George Mason

Bad Losses (against RPI 100+): South Florida, Georgia State, Northeastern

In Or Out: Even though they have a pretty good RPI, I don't think that VCU makes the tournament. The win against UCLA is pretty nice (although not spectacular), but the quality wins against their conference opponents almost get nullified because they also lost to each of those teams (including Old Dominion twice).

They ended George Mason's long winning streak in the conference tournament, and that certainly looks good. But I think they needed to win the CAA title to get in. They played above average all season long, but I don't think that they made enough of an impact on the minds of the voters to get in.

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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Does Maryland Have Any Shot At All?

In this thread, we'll be going through the local teams that are still sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and present each team's chances of actually making the tournament. All stats from ESPN's InsideRPI (insider only). And now, the Maryland Terrapins.

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RPI Rank: 93

Record: 19-13

Conference Record:7-9

Strength Of Schedule: 78

Record Against RPI Top 50: 2-9

Quality Wins (against RPI Top 50): Penn St., Florida St.

Bad Losses (against RPI 100+): Virginia

In Or Out: Realistically, the Terps don't have a chance to make the tournament as an at-large this year. Their record, conference record and rpi just don't have the look of a tournament team. Their biggest problem is that they were unable to get wins against better teams. Penn St. and Florida St. are both pretty good wins, but they would have needed to get a W against Duke, North Carolina or one of the teams they played out of conference to make their record and rpi look even better.

On the flip side, they didn't have any really bad losses either. They pretty much played every game exactly as it was expected. That's not a great quality when you aren't much better than mediocre. If they beat Duke tonight, then I suppose we might be able to re-open this conversation. But realistically, they will probably have to beat Duke and get another win in the tournament to make that possible. Or, they could just make it easier on all of us and win the conference tournament.

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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Making The Case For Richmond

In this thread, we'll be going through the local teams that are still sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and present each team's chances of actually making the tournament. All stats from ESPN's InsideRPI (insider only). Let's take a look at those Richmond Spiders.

Resume

RPI Rank: 57

Record: 24-7

Conference Record: 13-3

Strength Of Schedule:173

Record Against RPI Top 50: 3-6

Quality Wins (against RPI Top 50): Purdue

Bad Losses (against RPI 100+): Georgia Tech

In Or Out: I think the Spiders are in the tournament. They've been one of the last four teams into the tournament in the latest projections, and they have a pretty good chance to make their resume even stronger in the A-10 tournament this weekend. A win tonight in the quarterfinals would help, but if they face one of the ranked teams in the semis this weekend, a win would make their inclusion pretty much a lock. Having said that, a loss tonight would change everything.

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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Virginia Tech's Tournament Resume

In this thread, we'll be going through the local teams that are still sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and present each team's chances of actually making the tournament. All stats from ESPN's InsideRPI (insider only) First up, The Hokies of Virginia Tech.

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RPI Rank: 64

Record: 20-10

Conference Record: 9-7

Strength Of Schedule: 100

Record Against RPI Top 50: 1-4

Quality Wins (against RPI Top-50): Penn St., Florida St., Duke

Bad Losses (against RPI 100+): Virginia (twice), Georgia Tech

In Or Out? As of right now, I have to say in. They've been sitting on the bubble for a while now, but I think they have done enough to get into the field. They have a very good win against Duke, and a Florida St. team that also beat the Blue Devils. The play the Seminoles again today, and a win would probably solidify their spot in the field. If they lose it will reopen this conversation, but as it stands right now, I think the Hokies are in.

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NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Making The Case For Local Teams

Selection Sunday is coming up faster than you can imagine, and soon enough, all of this bracketology and bubble watch stuff will be totally irrelevant. But in the mean time, we're going to speculate and pontificate to our heart's desire. There are a few local teams that have already locked up their spots in the NCAA Tournament, and a few more that are sitting on the bubble.

In this StoryStream, we'll introduce you to each local team, lay out their tournament resume, and try to guess where, if at all, they will be included in the NCAA Tournament. If you're a fan of Virginia Tech, Maryland, Richmond, VCU - or if you just want to immerse yourself in everything College Hoops, this is the stream to be in.

So keep checking back over the course of the day, and we'll be adding updates about these local teams, and why we feel they will, or will not, be included in the Big Dance.

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