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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

UW’s wish list and a look at the latest RPI

The NCAA posted an updated official RPI and its bad news for Washington.
The Huskies fell one spot to No. 69.
Considering the NCAA tournament invites 68 teams, that probably leaves UW out of the Big Dance. Of course not all of the top 68 teams will receive an NCAA tournament invitation.
Remember the RPI is just one metric – albeit arguably the most important – the selection committee uses to field the tournament.
Here’s an interesting story from the New York Times about the selection process and the importance of the RPI.
Washington’s NCAA tournament hopes aren’t dead, but they’re on life support. In his latest projection, ESPN bracket expert Joe Lunardi has the Huskies out of the tournament.
Still, Washington was helped earlier today by North Carolina and Memphis.
The Tar Heels toppled North Carolina Sate 69-67 in the ACC Tournament semifinals, which knocks the Wolf Pack firmly on the bubble. The selection committee has said it evaluates equally a team’s entire schedule and does not add more weight to how a team finishes, however NC State is 4-5 in their last nine games.
The Tigers helped the Huskies’ chances when they beat Marshall 83-57 for the Conference USA Tournament title. According to Lunardi, Marshall (21-13) is lumped with UW in the first four out category. It’s hard to fathom the Huskies are seriously competing with a Marshall team that finished fifth in the conference with a 9-7 record. Still the Thundering Herd is 42 in the RPI, which is far superior than UW’s.
Can’t say it enough how much the CBSsports.com RPI tool allows you to look at teams and just compare the cold numbers.
If you’re bubble watching these are the teams I believe UW fans should root for. It’s not a scientific list, just my best guess at who helps the Huskies’ slim chances.
— Saint Louis and Xavier: They meet today in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10. It doesn’t really matter who wins, although a Billikens’ victory may provide a residual boost for UW. Whoever emerges must knock off No. 4 seed St. Bonaventure on Sunday in the title game. The Bonnies are 88 in the RPI and would steal a berth from a bubble team such as UW.
— Long Beach State: The 49ers play UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. Saturday for the Big West Tournament title. Initially I thought a Gauchos win would be advantageous for Huskies because they could claim a victory against a NCAA tournament-bound team. However, LBS is 37 in the RPI and if it loses, it will likely steal an at-large berth.
— Vanderbilt: The Commodores play Ole Miss at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the SEC Tournament semifinals. According to Lunardi, the Rebels are the sixth team outside the NCAA tournament and need a pair of wins to steal a spot into the dance.
— Arizona: I’ve reversed my thinking on this after a little more study. If the Wildcats beat Colorado in today’s Pac-12 Tournament title game, which begins at 3 p.m., then it helps Washington’s strength of schedule and gives the Huskies two wins against a team going to the NCAA tournament.
Revised: 1:06 p.m.

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