Louisville’s NCAA tournament chances may have been dealt a death blow Friday night when top-seed and at-large lock Nevada was walloped in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament by San Diego State. The bid thief alert, combined with Alabama’s trouncing of Auburn in the SEC and a few other bubble team victories, knocked the Cardinals out of a number of bracket projections, including the ones from Joe Lunardi at ESPN and Jerry Palm at CBS.
Over at the Bracket Matrix composite projection, Louisville is now the first team out of the field. The Cardinals are featured in 26 of the mock brackets tracked by the site, down significantly from 63 yesterday.
If you’re looking for good news, Louisville is still No. 39 in the RPI. As mentioned yesterday, no team from a power conference with a sub-40 RPI has ever been left out of the field on Selection Sunday.
There’s also a bit more history working on U of L’s side here:
Since 2010-11 two of those also had no wins against the RPI top 50. #37 Cal in 11-12 (0-3) and #37 Georgia in 14-15 (0-5). Cal was in the First Four, Georgia got a 10 seed.— William George (@willkgeorge) March 10, 2018
So that’s something.
As far as who we’re rooting for today ...
The common thought seems to be that Alabama solidified its spot in the field with its wins the last two days. But as we’ve said before, Selection Sunday often reveals that at least a few of the universally agreed upon facts from 24 hours prior weren’t facts at all. I’m not saying you need to root for Kentucky, because I could never advocate that without what remains of my soul bursting into flames. I’m just saying maybe we shouldn’t be as bummed as usual if Kentucky wins.
The story is similar with USC, which most people believe is solidly in the tournament after its last two wins. Still, there’s a chance, so root for Arizona.
Our big focus needs to be on the Atlantic 10, where Rhode Island winning today and tomorrow is the ideal scenario. Saint Bonaventure is on the bubble according to some, but comfortably in the field according to others. This makes it sort of difficult to know who to root for in the other A-10 semi. Davidson’s playing the best basketball of any team in that league, and I am legit terrified that they’re going to win today and tomorrow, and then hours later Bruce Rasmussen is going to announce that their victory knocked us out of the field at the 11th hour.
So, yeah, go Rhody.
New Mexico State might have a shot at an at-large if they lost tonight (I don’t think they’d get in), so rooting for the Aggies to claim the WAC’s auto bid is the safe play. Sorry, Keonta.
Hang in there, everyone. One way or another this will all be over soon.