Monday, March 02, 2009
Greetings Fellow Cougar Hoops-addicts. Hope you're having a great start to your week!
Well, in view of my previous post as well as a bunch of stuff I'm seeing on other blogs and message boards, it's time to set the record straight.
You want to really know about our NCAA chances?
Question: Why are the Cougs not getting mentioned currently in the National Bubble Talk?
Comment #19 from the previous post, had it right. We are not getting current press about being a bubble team because right now, we are NOT a bubble team. Think about it, if you saw a team that is 8-9 in league and 16-13 overall, would you be thinking about an NCAA tournament birth?
Nope. And neither is anyone else.
Win on Saturday and we should be a part of the discussion.
Question: People like Bob Condotta and Andy Katz are on recent record in stating that the Cougs have NO CHANCE of making the NCAA tournament unless they win the Pac-10 tournament. Is that true?
In my view, "no" that is not true. At the same time, all of us Cougars have to come to grips with this harsh reality:
WE'VE LOST WAY TOO MANY STINKING GAMES.
So, the reason why the naysayers are saying we can not make it is that they believe that no team can receive an at large bid with 14 losses. If you believe that, then we truly have no chance.
Question: What do the Cougs have to do to make the NCAA tournament?
The answer here is much clearer than what was indicated here a few days ago as well as on other Cougar blogs.
The obvious answer is to win the Pac-10 tournament. But, we are not going to do that.
So, the best answer to that question is to start with the bare minimum and work forward:
First and foremost, I am of the belief that we can make the tournament with 14 losses. However, we CANNOT make the NCAA tournament as an at large with 15 losses.
As a result, if we lose to Washington this weekend, our (realistic) NCAA hopes are totally over.
Now, lets suppose that we beat the Puppies. That win would put us at 9-9 in conference and 17-13 overall. That might be okay if there was no Pac-10 tournament. But since there is, that means that unless we win it, we're going to lose 14 games.
So, does 17-14 get in? My answer is "no." In order to have a chance to get in, we'd have to be at least 18-14. Of course, each win after 18 improves our chances considerably.
I consider 19-14 or 20-14 to be total locks.
Question: Why do you think we can get in with 14 losses if others think that we can 't?
Cuz I'm dumb.
The main reason is that our quality wins would be too much to overlook (we'd be at plus or minus 1 of .500 versus the top 25). In addition, while we'd have some warts (lack of a big non-conference win as well as losses to OSU, Stanford, and @ home versus USC), our non-conference losses are quality losses. Consider:
1) Loss to Pitt when they were in the top 5.
2) Loss to Gonzaga when they were in the top 5.
3) Loss to Baylor when they were in the top 20. (this is a bad loss now)
4) Loss to LSU who is now the SEC champ.
Question: Who should we be rooting for this week?
There's no easy answer to this question.
Barring a shocking sweep of the LA schools, Oregon State's loss on Sunday to Oregon means that we will be no worse than seventh if we beat the U-Dub. And that's a good thing!!!!
But its also very difficult for us to be above 7th even if we beat the Pups.
So, what we really need is to root for the teams that we have beaten over the last two weeks so our resume looks as good as possible. So:
1) Root for UCLA to sweep the Oregon Schools.
2) Root for Arizona and Arizona State to sweep the Bay Area schools.
If that happens, and we beat the U, then the Pac-10 standings will look as follows:
1) Washington (I think based on sweep of ASU, but the tie breaker still is a bit confusing to moi)
2) UCLA (13-5)
3) Arizona State (12-6)
4) Arizona (10-8)
5) Cal (10-8)
6) USC (9-9) assuming they sweep the Oregon Schools
7) WSU (9-9)
In that scenario, a win over the U gives us wins over the top 4 teams in the conference including wins over the conference's Top 3 (which would be ranked) on the road.
Then, we'd have to win AT LEAST one more game.
So, if we're seventh, we'd have to beat Oregon.
If we're sixth, we'd have to beat ASU.
If we have to win TWO MORE GAMES AFTER UW (e.g. finish 19-14), then:
If we're seventh, we'd have to beat Oregon and UCLA
If we're sixth, we'd have to beat Arizona State and UCLA.
Any of you see why I think its better for us to finish 7th?
Question: What can I expect from the WSU Football Blog during this Apple Cup week?
On Friday, I will provide you with my keys for Saturday's game as well as a prediction.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we will be providing you with two parts of an exclusive interview that we recently had with a Cougar Great.
Have a great week.
Posted by The Coug-A-Sutra at 6:31 PM