So the question of the day on this Selection Sunday is: Are the Baylor Bears worthy of a spot in the NCAA Tournament? ESPN appears to believe so, saying:
Putting It All Together
It’s not just BPI -- which has Baylor 44th -- that rates the Bears highly. Ken Pomeroy’s well-respected system had Baylor ranked 40th entering Saturday's games.
KenPom’s “Luck” statistic looks at the deviation between the team’s actual record and their expected record based on offensive and defensive efficiency. Based on that, Baylor has been the 4th-unluckiest team in Division I this year.
Statsheet.com, who tracks RPI and SOS through a number of different measures every day, agreed as of yesterday, placing the Bears in the Tournament as a #12. Over on BaylorBears.com, the MBB blog "Full Court Press" laid out the argument for Baylor to get an at-large bid over the numerous other teams listed on the bubble. The basis of that argument is Baylor's strength of schedule, which was actually quite good this season at #14 (or 16, depending on who you believe). I didn't put much stock into the idea until I saw this a few minutes ago and started looking a little deeper.
Selection Sunday reminder: EVERY YEAR committee emphasizes non-conf. SOS. If a a surprising team does/doesn't get in, it's likely b/c that.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 17, 2013
This is obviously a tweet from Stewart Mandel, who works for Sports Illustrated, and he's right. OOC SOS is a point of emphasis for the Selection Committee and weighed extremely heavily, some might say disproportionately so.
The 10 bubble teams according to Lunardi are: 1. Middle Tennessee State, 2. Virginia, 3. Ole Miss, 4. Boise State, 5. Kentucky, 6. Lasalle, 7. Southern Miss, 8. Maryland, 9. UMass, 10. Tennessee, He has Baylor, according to his latest update, completely out, meaning we aren't even on his bubble anymore at all. That's a bit depressing and obviously a change from what BaylorBears wrote their blog post.
Somewhat funny sidenote: the noted SEC homers at OutKickTheCoverage did an article this morning showing who would be favored in matchups among the bubble teams and kept Kentucky in with the above 10, because of course they did.
Anyway, the argument for Baylor goes something like this: none of the so-called bubble teams listed above has a higher strength of schedule than Baylor did at 14 with a schedule including probable #1 seeds Kansas (#5 RPI) and Gonzaga (#7) and a Kentucky team ranked at the time we played them with a healthy Nerlens Noel. Our OOC schedule also included a close loss to Colorado (#38). If you're deciding between flawed teams with flawed resumes, then, Baylor's chances seem as good as any due to the fact that we faced a better schedule than other teams supposedly ahead of us. I can certainly see the logic in putting Baylor in ahead of or alongside a team like Tennessee, who got 20 wins in a decidedly weaker conference and doesn't have nearly the same SOS.
For their part, SB Nation's bracketmasters have us in the Next Four Out category, putting us far on the edge of the bubble if on it at all. I think that's probably true, regardless of our SOS. We just didn't do enough to get in with 18 wins, even if our schedule was that much more difficult.
Now the links:
Baylor almost overcomes Adidas Paramilitary PJ's in loss to Okla. St. - CBSSports.com
Baylor's terrible first half against Oklahoma State dug a hole that the Bears couldn't climb out of.
Baylor baseball splits pair in Houston - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Baseball
Bears start day with 8-3 win over New Orleans
Baylor uses big seventh inning to key 8-3 victory against UNO baseball | NOLA.com
Privateers commit four errors, allow 13 hits in loss
Baylor men’s resume won’t do Bears any NCAA favors - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Men's Basketball
KANSAS CITY — In the aftermath of Thursday night’s devastating 74-72 loss to Oklahoma State, Baylor coach Scott Drew tried to plead Baylor’s case for an NCAA tournament bid.
Baylor’s tournament fate left to committee that showed VCU love two years ago | Dallas...
Baylor coach Scott Drew hopes selection committee thinks Baylor passes the “eye test.”
In the end, Baylor does not deserve the NCAA tournament - The Big Mac Blog
1. This is why you hate college officiating. Sixteen seconds after Baylor tied Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tourney with a four-point play with 19 seconds remaining, the officials screwed up with a terrible call on a drive to the basket by OSU guard Phil Forte where there was...
Stay tuned for more. I'll update the front page with the most-pertinent bracket information as it comes out. And we'll have an Open Thread later just in case.