Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Davidson's at-large chances are long gone

Our Scott Fowler, who wrote an excellent piece on former Wake Forest star Rodney Rogers in today's paper, was a bit conservative following Davidson's Southern Conference tournament loss Sunday when he suggested that he didn't think the Wildcats would get an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

Let's be more clear on this--no how, no way. It ain't happening.

Those chances were remote before the Wildcats lost at home to Butler in an ESPN BracketBuster game Feb. 21. After that, although talk persisted, they were nonexistent.

Consider this; Davidson is now ranked 69th in the NCAA's official ratings percentage index (RPI), which uses a mathematical formula to compare the body of work for each team to the other Division I members. The field is 65, and 31 of those go automatically to conference champions, like the Southern's Chattanooga.

Teams ranked 69th simply don't get in. To be assured a spot, you better be 40th or higher. The wins that Davidson fans like to point to have come against West Virginia and N.C. State. The Mountaineers have a solid RPI at No.26. The Wolfpack is a brutal No.102.

Folks who say the NCAA wants Stephen Curry, Davidson's all-American guard, in the big dance simply don't understand the selection committee's workings. There is no cult of personality at work here; while the committee and everyone else will be disappointed that Curry won't be back to work more tournament magic, they won't be able to make it happen.

And finally, check out all the at-large bids the Southern Conference has received since 1976, when the tournament expanded. Uh, that would be "none." And it won't change this year.

The NIT will be delighted to have the Wildcats and Curry as participants.--Stan Olson


Josh said...

Thanks for a dose of reality Stan! Glad to see someone in the media realm is not drinking the kool-aid.