Saturday, March 3, 2012

For Virginia, the (NCAA) waiting game begins

For Virginia fans that spent Friday evening rooting against Maryland, it might be a good idea to start rooting the Terrapins on.

Maryland's 70-58 victory over the Cavaliers in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals left Virginia (22-10) hoping for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. So far, all the projections we've seen have Virginia safely in the 64-team field. Problem is, the people making those projections won't actually be in the room when the real decisions are made.

The reality is Virginia's ability to secure a bid will hinge in large part on how many at-large spots will be available. Surprise ACC semifinalists Wake Forest and North Carolina State, for example, have poor NCAA Tournament resumes. But if either were to win the tournament, they receive automatic bids. NCAA shoo-ins Maryland and Georgia Tech would gobble up at-large spots, thus shrinking the bubble for a team like Virginia.

Other conference tournaments Virginia fans should keep an eye on:

Horizon League: A one-big league unless heavily favored Green Bay stumbles

West Coast: BYU will get a long look from the committee, but only Gonzaga seems assured on an NCAA bid.

Atlantic 10: If St. Bonaventure or Temple wins the tournament, no biggie. Anyone else and this probably becomes a three-bid league.

CAA: If you're a Cavs fan, you're hoping Elena Delle Donne and Co. continue running the table.

Now, Virginia doesn't need all of these things to happen. Heck, they may not need any of them.

But the more of them that do happen, the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment