Thursday, February 15, 2007

Davidson out of NCAA's? Blame Sendek

If Davidson doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament this season, Herb Sendek might be partially to blame.

That might seem like a stretch – the much-maligned former N.C. State coach is now 2,000 miles away at Arizona State – but consider this:

Since Davidson won at Arizona State 75-70 Dec. 22, the Sun Devils have lost 13 straight games entering Thursday night’s game with UCLA. So, even though Davidson beat a major conference opponent on the road – typically a big boost for a mid-major team’s NCAA resume – Arizona State (5-18 this season) has turned it into just another win.

Arizona State’s RPI, according to realtimerpi.com, is now 246. That’s lower than all but three Southern Conference teams.

Davidson’s other nonconference opponents also haven’t helped. Duke, Missouri, Michigan, and Charlotte have all underachieved this season. That’s pushed Davidson’s strength of schedule down to No.187 this season, and its RPI down to 61.

-- Kevin Cary

3 comments:

WB said...

Gotta win the SoCon Tournament to get in. That has never really been an issue for any SoCon team. Even if Davidson had beaten App State earlier this season and gone undefeated in the conference, it would still have been tough to get in without winning the tournament.

That's life in the Souther Conference.

Nice post, Kevin. Keep it up!

Evan said...

If Davidson wins out and loses a very close one to App State in the SoCon tourney finals, I would argue that they still have the remotest of chances for an at-large. It would depend on what happens in the other tournaments, but I think their overall wins total (26-5 if you take away the DIII games) might be too impressive to overlook. It's tough to say though because, as Kevin points out, their "quality" opponents have really underachieved. At this point, Appalachian State has a better shot at an at-large. They're going to have to beat Wichita State tomorrow in the Bracket Busters and win out to the SoCon finals (and probably lose to Davidson) to be taken really seriously. If they achieve all of that it would a real shame for them not to get a spot in the NCAAs.

Kleinias said...

Kevin, are you becoming a somewhat empathetic reporter on Davidson basketball? Kudos to you for this post. Very interesting stuff!