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former1dog
02-06-2017, 08:34 AM
Well, interestingly enough Saint Mary's looks to me like a lock for the tournament this season as opposed to last year when they had a similar record and got left home.

RPI is at 20. KenPom at 14.

I would be surprised if they lost more than 2 more games before selection Sunday.

Are they a lock?

sittingon50
02-06-2017, 08:47 AM
I would think so (don't expect them to have a bad loss).

DixieZag
02-06-2017, 08:50 AM
Unless they beat us, I doubt they have any margin for error.

TexasZagFan
02-06-2017, 08:54 AM
Unless they beat us, I doubt they have any margin for error.

Won't disagree. Just look how the middle teams in the Power 5, such as Syracuse, are moving up thanks to a couple of timely wins. They're back in the conversation, at the expense of mid-major schools.

OTOH, if SMC has 4 losses after the WCC tournament, i.e. 3 of those coming to the Zags, I think they're in. Would be awfully hard to keep them out under that scenario. WCC was destined to be a one bid conference last year.

ETA: when I encounter someone who is a Zag hater, another arrow in the quiver is the additional money that would flow to the Zags (and/or SMC) if we were in a top 5 conference. You think we'd have a bit better chance against the big boys if we had another $5-$10 million a year flowing into the program? Although I like the way we schedule OOC, there wouldn't be the stress of having to load the OOC to boost our resume. Syracuse, for example, rarely ventures as far as a day's drive from home before conference starts. They get away with it, because they play in the ACC.

CDC84
02-06-2017, 08:55 AM
I think so, although I would advise not losing to a team like Pacific.

Whether people felt it was right or wrong, the NCAA committee caught a lot of grief for not putting SMC into the dance last season. I don't see the committee doing the same thing again unless St. Mary's gives them a reason to.

On the other hand, if they lose at BYU and lose all three games to Gonzaga...you have to wonder. They didn't get in with 5 losses last season, and last season featured what has almost been universally branded as one of the worst and least talented NCAA Tournament fields in the expanded bracket era. It's going to be more difficult to get in this season.

Gonzaga better bring their "A" game Saturday night.

gonstu
02-06-2017, 08:55 AM
I think SMC loses 3 more times prior to big dance: Zags x2 and at Provo. There's a chance they lose an unexplainable but they have shown ability to beat the wcc teams they should beat. That said, I think they still get in with those 5 losses.

former1dog
02-06-2017, 08:56 AM
I think SMC loses 3 more times prior to big dance: Zags x2 and at Provo. There's a chance they lose an unexplainable but they have shown ability to beat the wcc teams they should beat. That said, I think they still get in with those 5 losses.

We'll find out, obviously, but I don't think BYU has a chance against St. Mary's, even at home.

TexasZagFan
02-06-2017, 09:00 AM
I think SMC loses 3 more times prior to big dance: Zags x2 and at Provo. There's a chance they lose an unexplainable but they have shown ability to beat the wcc teams they should beat. That said, I think they still get in with those 5 losses.

I think they'll win in Provo. I just don't see the Marriott getting as jacked up for the Gaels.

gonstu
02-06-2017, 09:02 AM
I think they'll win in Provo. I just don't see the Marriott getting as jacked up for the Gaels.

You (and f1d) could very well be right. The x-factor is BYU energy/motivation/desire. If they want it as much as they wanted the zag game, I see it being a close game.

gaels87
02-06-2017, 09:06 AM
I think they'll win in Provo. I just don't see the Marriott getting as jacked up for the Gaels.

Obviously, we are square on the bubble if we lose both to GU and to BYU - the difference (so far) is we don't have any bad losses, as opposed to the last few years where we have had a few horrible (below 150) losses. Arlington is sitting at about a 60 RPI right now. The win @ Dayton (hovering around top 30) is something we haven't had the last few years either.

TexasZagFan
02-06-2017, 09:17 AM
Obviously, we are square on the bubble if we lose both to GU and to BYU - the difference (so far) is we don't have any bad losses, as opposed to the last few years where we have had a few horrible (below 150) losses. Arlington is sitting at about a 60 RPI right now. The win @ Dayton (hovering around top 30) is something we haven't had the last few years either.

I don't think anyone on this board has forgotten about your "good" win at Dayton. I'm looking forward to a barn burner on Saturday.

gonzagafan62
02-06-2017, 09:25 AM
No they aren't a lock yet. They beat BYU in Provo though and they are. Their RPI and Ken Pom numbers are significantly better than last season also. And they have gotten in before (2013) by losing to GU 3 times. Even if they don't win vs GU they are still a lock providing no bad losses and winning in Provo

Hoopaholic
02-06-2017, 09:27 AM
I believe they have to beat BYU have a good showing (winning would secure the bid) against us this coming saturday and then if loss this saturday make it to finals of WCC tournament to be secure

unfortunately the Power 5 gets all the hype and attention and this years splitting of games is killing the opportunity in my opinion

as evidence of this is the dropping two spots in todays coaches poll despite winning both games

ZagsGoZags
02-06-2017, 01:31 PM
Obviously, we are square on the bubble if we lose both to GU and to BYU - the difference (so far) is we don't have any bad losses, as opposed to the last few years where we have had a few horrible (below 150) losses. Arlington is sitting at about a 60 RPI right now. The win @ Dayton (hovering around top 30) is something we haven't had the last few years either.

Gael,
good point. The reason SMC looks stronger this year, is not only because they are stronger, but also they beat a good team, Dayton, worth more than the win over Stanford last season.
Here is the main point, though: They beat Dayton, a somebody, because they scheduled a somebody ( somebody besides zags and BYU who they have to play). When you have the guts to schedule somebody, you get not only a few wins, but valuable pressure experience.
It seems to me that Bennett is more concerned in the tactical game of rankings, than with throwing his boys against strong opponents so it will make them as strong as possible by the end of the season. Also when you schedule somebody, you get much more national visibility.

Martin Centre Mad Man
02-06-2017, 02:40 PM
FWIW, teamrankings.com forecasts SMC as a near statistical lock for the Dance. They project the Gaels will be a 6 seed.

https://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-tournament/bracketology/

Markburn1
02-06-2017, 02:55 PM
I absolutely hate it that the players at St. Mary's have to endure this conversation every year, especially this team. Those kids are good enough to test themselves against better competition. Instead, their entire existence is usually predicated on beating Gonzaga with the rare exception noted above. They would be better off playing four legit teams in pre conference and splitting than running the table with a clearly inferior schedule. I've listened to Bennett's excuses for years now and none of them hold water. They need to take their lumps by playing on the road without expecting a return match until they beat some of those teams to create some scheduling leverage. Bennett is a very good coach. Pathetic scheduler that will never increase the legitimacy of his program if he continues to insist his school deserves home games with better teams because he racks up twenty five meaningless wins every year.

gaels87
02-06-2017, 03:11 PM
I absolutely hate it that the players at St. Mary's have to endure this conversation every year, especially this team. Those kids are good enough to test themselves against better competition. Instead, their entire existence is usually predicated on beating Gonzaga with the rare exception noted above. They would be better off playing four legit teams in pre conference and splitting than running the table with a clearly inferior schedule. I've listened to Bennett's excuses for years now and none of them hold water. They need to take their lumps by playing on the road without expecting a return match until they beat some of those teams to create some scheduling leverage. Bennett is a very good coach. Pathetic scheduler that will never increase the legitimacy of his program if he continues to insist his school deserves home games with better teams because he racks up twenty five meaningless wins every year.

It's something many of us SMC fans are frustrated with too, believe me. Hoping that the win @ Dayton shows him that we CAN go on the road and win against very good teams. The fact that we will have basically the same team back next year, too... it has to be done.

At least next year we get the holiday tournaments back, so that gives us 1-2 other good games + The Dayton series was a home & home. We will lose Stanford and I doubt that they will re-up after getting beat both times pretty handily. Honestly, get two more solid road games on the schedule, and I will be beyond happy.

hooter73
02-06-2017, 10:07 PM
the NCAA committee year in and year out, through their picks, has always said you have to go play somebody. It is not a mystery why SMC gets "left out."

maynard g krebs
02-06-2017, 10:20 PM
the NCAA committee year in and year out, through their picks, has always said you have to go play somebody. It is not a mystery why SMC gets "left out."

If that was true, they wouldn't have left out Monmouth with their road wins at UCLA and Georgetown, and neutral wins over Notre Dame and USC, and neutral 3 pt loss to Dayton.

The NCAA will use whatever excuse (in Monmouth's case, a couple of road losses in league, and we know how those games can be) is convenient to keep the little guys out.

soccerdud
02-06-2017, 11:08 PM
If that was true, they wouldn't have left out Monmouth with their road wins at UCLA and Georgetown, and neutral wins over Notre Dame and USC, and neutral 3 pt loss to Dayton.

The NCAA will use whatever excuse (in Monmouth's case, a couple of road losses in league, and we know how those games can be) is convenient to keep the little guys out.

aye. you've expertly demonstrated the difference between a necessary and a sufficient condition. if you're a mid-major, beating someone OOC appears to be a necessary condition for getting an at large bid. it isn't necessarily sufficient, tho.

(disclaimer: this post is not taking a stance on smc's schedule or tournament odds this year)

rennis
02-07-2017, 06:58 AM
"Whether or not they get in, one thing is for sure: the WCC has not adequately prepared Saint Mary's for the NCAA tournament"

~Jay Williams

meadgrad02
02-07-2017, 07:01 AM
That Dayton game was in November, wins in November over good teams doesn't matter now. **Sarcasm**

DixieZag
02-07-2017, 07:06 AM
"Whether or not they get in, one thing is for sure: the WCC has not adequately prepared Saint Mary's for the NCAA tournament"

~Jay Williams

I hope they go to the sweet sixteen. Actually, I hope they go to the final four so long as they're in a different bracket. I don't want Randy rewarded for his M.O. but his fans and players deserve it.

TexasZagFan
02-07-2017, 08:23 AM
That Dayton game was in November, wins in November over good teams doesn't matter now. **Sarcasm**

That type of comment has arisen from the dead over the past month, in response to our best OOC victories, i.e. "that game was two months ago," "Arizona was without Trier," etc.

mgadfly
02-07-2017, 08:31 AM
I hope this is the year that non power conference teams get the respect they've earned by out performing mediocre major conference teams. But I'm not holding my breath. An interesting read last month http://herosports.com/news/college-basketball-2017-year-of-the-mid-major-gonzaga-valparaiso (I'm not sure if it has been posted here, maybe we already talked about it).


In fact, it seems like in recent years the NCAA has been trying to make sure a mid-major never does win it all. For instance, it is almost impossible for a mid-major to receive an at-large bid. Just last year we saw potential giant-killers Valparaiso, Monmouth, and St. Mary's left off the guest list. The Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC, AAC, Big East, and A-10 have accounted for 220 of 253 at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament since 2009-10. The other 24 conferences have accounted for the other 33. Sixteen conferences have not sent a single at-large team to The Dance in the past seven years.

Last year at about this time SMC was 17-2 and was listed as a bubble team or "not a stretch" team or whatever by various bracketologists. They had a win over 15-5 Gonzaga that was more recent and relevant than their win over Dayton this year. They then lost a road game to BYU and to a fairly tough Pepperdine team but added a second top 25 win against Gonzaga before losing the conference championship. They were left home (or sent to NIT hell, or whatever). I remember one pundit saying the only reason they had a top 50 win is because they lost to GU to bump GU into the RPI top 50. So apparently those wins were tainted and didn't really count. Then they had teams with RPIs around 60 from major conferences that had 3 wins against top 50 (and 7 losses) getting in because they had 3 top 50 wins to SMC's *0 wins (not counting the tainted GU wins).

And the trend for non power conference at large bids is not good for SMC. Last year, 33 of the 36 at-large bids went to the ACC (6), Big 10 (6), Big 12 (6), Pac 12 (6), Big East (4), American (3), and SEC (2).

Of the other 25 conferences, the A10 received 2 and the MVC received 1. And notice their seedings as well. Wichita State, one of three non-major at large bids, was given an 11 seed - one of the last two spots in the tournament for at-large teams (they beat Vanderbilt by 20 in the play-in game). Had Louisville been eligible, Wichita State wouldn't have been in the tournament. VCU received a 10 seed and Dayton a 7 seed.

And if you want to be really afraid for SMC, also note how many went to Western non major schools over the past decade.

I'm hoping that SMC has nothing to worry about. They shouldn't have anything to worry about. They currently have RPI top 50 wins against Dayton and Nevada. There is a decent chance that Nevada drops to below 50 before the end of the season (they are at #44 now). SMC has an RPI of 20 with a 2-1 record against the top 50. That is a better RPI than the lowest ever left out, but that will drag as 5 of their last 6 games will hurt their RPI, not help it. Syracuse has an RPI of 69. But they have 3 wins against the top 50. And they are likely to pick up more by virtue of a bunch of opportunities down the stretch and some of their 51-100 opponents moving into the top 50. At the end of the season you may have Syracuse at about RPI 60 with 6 wins against the top 50 and SMC with 1 or 2 wins against the top 50 and an RPI around 30. As we've seen (e.g. Colorado State a couple years ago, SMC/St. Bonny/Monmouth last year), that's a comparison that the mid major loses more often than they win. SMC may not need a win against GU, but anyone that thinks they won't be biting their fingernails come selection Sunday if they don't, hasn't been paying attention to the total BS that has been the selection committee the past ten to fifteen years.

maynard g krebs
02-07-2017, 11:00 AM
Barring a loss to someone other than GU or BYU, or getting blown out by one/both of them, I still believe SMC is safe this year. Their profile is higher than the Monmouths and Valpos, and being top 25 all year there would be too much outcry. Denying them w/o great justification would call too much attn to keeping out the mids.

Hoopaholic
02-07-2017, 11:01 AM
Barring a loss to someone other than GU or BYU, or getting blown out by one/both of them, I still believe SMC is safe this year. Their profile is higher than the Monmouths and Valpos, and being top 25 all year there would be too much outcry. Denying them w/o great justification would call too much attn to keeping out the mids.

blown out....defined? Such as 23 point loss earlier to us?

maynard g krebs
02-07-2017, 11:05 AM
blown out....defined? Such as 23 point loss earlier to us?

Yeah, if that happened again at their place the committee could use it against them, justified or not. They just need an excuse imo. One blowout loss? Arizona was down by 37 midway thru the 2nd half at UO, a lower ranked team than the Zags. But we know they won't leave them out.

Mr Vulture
02-07-2017, 11:13 AM
St Marys should be in the NCAA tournament even if they lose all three times to us. I think they could even withstand a loss to someone else in conference although they might not want to test that theory....

TheGonzagaFactor
02-07-2017, 01:00 PM
If that was true, they wouldn't have left out Monmouth with their road wins at UCLA and Georgetown, and neutral wins over Notre Dame and USC, and neutral 3 pt loss to Dayton.

The NCAA will use whatever excuse (in Monmouth's case, a couple of road losses in league, and we know how those games can be) is convenient to keep the little guys out.

Monmouth had 4 losses in a bad league (and still deserved an NCAA bid over SMC).

TheGonzagaFactor
02-07-2017, 01:02 PM
Yeah, if that happened again at their place the committee could use it against them, justified or not. They just need an excuse imo. One blowout loss? Arizona was down by 37 midway thru the 2nd half at UO, a lower ranked team than the Zags. But we know they won't leave them out.

Because Arizona plays some tough teams... SMC doesn't. It's not "looking for an excuse" ... it's "leaving out a team that didn't prove themselves"

Arizona didn't get blown out at home by UTA and they didn't get blown out by GU.

maynard g krebs
02-07-2017, 02:48 PM
Monmouth had 4 losses in a bad league (and still deserved an NCAA bid over SMC).

Incorrect. Per ESPN, they were 16-2 in league reg season. 2-1 in conf tourney. And they and SMC both deserved bids; not either/or.

As to this year, every available metric says SMC is somewhere around the 20th best team in the country. That outweighs subjective opinions imo.

maynard g krebs
02-07-2017, 02:49 PM
Because Arizona plays some tough teams... SMC doesn't. It's not "looking for an excuse" ... it's "leaving out a team that didn't prove themselves"

Arizona didn't get blown out at home by UTA and they didn't get blown out by GU.

You do get the concept of hyperbole, right?

ZagsGoZags
02-07-2017, 03:32 PM
Incorrect. Per ESPN, they were 16-2 in league reg season. 2-1 in conf tourney. And they and SMC both deserved bids; not either/or.

As to this year, every available metric says SMC is somewhere around the 20th best team in the country. That outweighs subjective opinions imo.

The problem with 'every available metric' is that more than half of those are stats based on how well they have performed on offense and defense against The Teams They Played. Who is that? cupcakes in pre-League, cupcakes in league.

gonzagafan62
02-07-2017, 06:40 PM
The problem with 'every available metric' is that more than half of those are stats based on how well they have performed on offense and defense against The Teams They Played. Who is that? cupcakes in pre-League, cupcakes in league.

Ken Pom is adjusted for SOS

ZagsGoZags
02-08-2017, 03:44 AM
I know it is adjusted for SOS. There are many other metrics used by journalists and BB talking heads besides KenPom stats.
Besides not ALL KenPom stats adjust for SOS, some stats don't even lend themselves to SOS treatment, like Free Throws, etc,
which is the reason I said more than half rather than nearly all.

Bogozags
02-08-2017, 05:01 AM
If UCLA "gets in" with their SOSl then SMC will get in as well...not as high a seed but still get in this year...I predict an SMC win at BYU so SMC should only have four loses...

gonzagafan62
02-08-2017, 05:02 AM
I know it is adjusted for SOS. There are many other metrics used by journalists and BB talking heads besides KenPom stats.
Besides not ALL KenPom stats adjust for SOS, some stats don't even lend themselves to SOS treatment, like Free Throws, etc,
which is the reason I said more than half rather than nearly all.

I know. But if you truly wanna know how great their offense and defense is, start there. I don't really care about the free throw stuff.

TexasZagFan
02-08-2017, 05:17 AM
If UCLA "gets in" with their SOSl then SMC will get in as well...not as high a seed but still get in this year...I predict an SMC win at BYU so SMC should only have four loses...

Yeah, I'll be rooting for SMC at BYU. Unless we drop the game in Moraga, but I like our chances.