Seed List: Louisville pulls plug on NCAA bid
A month from now, a yet unknown at-large team will be looking in the direction of Louisville, Kentucky and quietly acknowledging the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team for self-imposing a post-season ban in light of the allegations surrounding the program. On Friday afternoon, the school announced that the Cardinals would miss the ACC tournament and NCAA tournament in 2016. How this plays out beyond April remains to be seen, but the Cardinals absence will open up a spot on the Selection Committee’s final Seed List.
If you’re counting, that’s two, by the way. Southern Methodist (SMU) announced before the season that it would also miss this year’s NCAA tournament due to a self-imposed ban. If this keeps up, the Committee may not have many choices on Selection Sunday. The bubble pool is already shrinking and finding 68 suitable teams may not be that easy.
As of this morning, I’ve dropped the Seed List to 92 teams. A few others remain on the radar, but those teams are far enough out of contention that deciphering between them isn’t worth the time. We’ll see if any of those squads can make a run in the next two weeks that bring them back to life.
A couple of final thoughts – keep an eye on Wisconsin and Vanderbilt. The Commodores have underachieved much of the season but looked the part in beating Texas AM this week. Can they win away from home? That’s the question. The Badgers are also coming together after a troublesome start. Wisconsin has won five straight. Both UW and Vandy are among the First Four out this morning.
This would have been an ideal year for “mid majors” to find a spot in the Field of 68. Unfortunately, few have taken advantage of the opportunity. Monmouth, Valparaiso, Chattanooga, and maybe Arkansas-Little Rock, are about the only outfits that are likely to appear under Best of the Rest when Bubble Talk resumes. I’m not considering Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga, or potentially BYU in that group; they would be under the West Coast Conference.
Enjoy your weekend of hoops.