While teams like Creighton, Winthrop, Davidson, Belmont, Penn and Eastern Kentucky spent the weekend securing automatic bids, and Villanova, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech got wins to lock up at-large bids (in my humble opinion), some teams decided to spend the weekend shooting themselves in the foot. [Off in the distance, a few other teams, like Clemson and Washington, got big wins to creep back to the brackets' outer edge, but they will need solid league tourney runs to truly get back in the conversation.] Here is a quick recap of those teams who made the next week unnecessarily stressful for coaches, players, fans and boosters alike:
Oklahoma State - Do you realize the Cowboys have yet to win a true road game this year? (yes, yes, they do have five neutral court wins) Baylor's 4 point win yesterday kept Okie State winless on the road. They are d-u-n done, win over Nebraska tomorrow night or not. Pretty fast fall from the 15-2 start (they are 20-10 now).
Alabama - Losing by 24 to Mississippi State, even without Ronald Steele, is pretty terrible. The SEC West is the Atlantic Division of college hoops. Bama ends the year on a 2-5 skid, and when you look at their schedule, who's their best win - Xavier? Kentucky? Simply not enough heft, and I think they join Okie St. on the outside looking in next Sunday.
Georgia - The loss to Tennessee, coupled with the losses to Kentucky and Ole Miss in the last two weeks, screams "NIT" to me.
Providence - A 13 point loss to St. John's is bad news for the Friars. They fell to 10th in the Big East and have very few quality wins (BC, Marquette) to hang their hat on. It will take a significant run at Madison Square Garden to save them (if it happens, the rest of the country will finally get to see how good Herbert Hill is).
Illinois - I realize no one wins in Iowa City, but to me this was a must win game for the Illini. Now, they do have wins over tourney-bound Big Ten teams Indiana and Michigan State, as well as a split with fellow bubble dweller Michigan.
Michigan - Speaking of Meeechegan, what a complete and utter collapse in the Ohio State game. The Wolverines didn't score in the final 3:54, with a missed dunk and front end of a 1-and-1 being the final nails. Fire Tommy Amaker right now. Seriously.
Syracuse - I hate to put my Orange on here, but the loss to Villanova hurts, especially if the Cuse lose their first round game to UConn. All the good of the Georgetown win will have disappeared in the eyes of the committee, but I still think 21 total wins and 10 Big East wins gets them in.
Old Dominion - Ran into the weekend buzzsaw that was George Mason. The Patriots, only 9-9 in regular season play, can suddenly throw a major wrench into the CAA's quest for 3 bids. Mason is playing like a team possessed, and dominated the Monarchs from the get go this evening. I still think ODU is getting in (the win at Georgetown, the sweep of Drexel and the RPI in the mid-30s), but I'm sure PackerNantz wants them out now.
Hofstra - The third place team in the CAA is done after losing to George Mason in the CAA quarterfinals. Get a better nickname.
Bradley - That Southern Illinois tip-in sent Bradley to the NIT. Given GTB's blatant cheerleading for VCU this year, we wouldn't have minded the Braves getting that win and a shot at the MVC title. Oh well, sorry fellas.
Missouri State - A looong week (again) for these guys, though Creighton's upset of SIU could work in their favor (losing by 17 doesn't though). Again, I think they should still get in, but here's another team PackerNantz will badmouth come Selection Sunday. HOWEVAH, unlike last year, when Mizzou St had zero quality non-conference wins, this year the Bears can point to their upset of Wisconsin in late November.
Air Force - Yikes, the last two weeks are not going well for them...they fell to 4th place in the Mountain West and have to play their Kryptonite Kollege, Wyoming, in a quarterfinal game. Win that game though and they are in (they are most likely comfortable now, but you don't want to end the year on a 4 game slide).
Appalachian St - The loss to College of Charleston in OT in the Southern semifinals hurts. Excellent wins at Wichita State and VCU, and against Virginia and Vanderbilt (in Puerto Rico) help, but Appy St might be brushed under the rug by not making the conference final.
Drexel - Still should be the third CAA team to make the Dance, especially given Creighton's victory in the MVC final. I hate to harp on this, but PackerNantz probably thinks these guys are unworthy too. Well Billy, I'll help you out - they have road wins against Syracuse, Villanova, the aforementioned Creighton and Vermont (the Am East regular season champ and possible conference champ). They were 14-4 0n the road overall. They have the resume of an at-large team. Rack me, I'm out.
Stanford - I don't know if they belong on this list, but to me that loss to Arizona means they really need to win at least one game in the PAC-10 tourney to feel safe. I think (they do have wins over Virginia, USC, Oregon and UCLA on their plate). Either way, the Tree is getting hammered next Sunday.