Comes down to four games:
@ West Virginia
Need to win three of those four and carry the rest (except @ Connecticut). Rutgers, South Florida, and St. John's were gimmies at the beginning of the year, but certainly seem a bit tougher now.
If we only drop one of the four listed and the road trip to Storrs, we're 9-9 in the league and could sneak in with one win in the BET. Obviously spirits are down and we haven't done anything to inspire confidence over the past month, but there are still games to be played.
The nice thing about Saturday at UCLA is that the Irish have nothing to lose. It's really an exhibition game of sorts. A win would be nice, but our NCAA chances rely on conference games at this point.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
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Forgive me if the beginnings of the last two posts seem a bit bipolar. If nothing else, this is a plea to keep supporting the team.
Maybe the coaching staff and seven players have been tremendously disappointing, but there's one guy who comes to play every night. Without Luke Harangody, we're DePaul. Keep cheering for the big guy and pray he comes back another season.
Don't you think the game against UCLA could be a bit more important?
UCLA is ranked #15 in the country, but much of that is due to their win/loss schedule in the PAC-10, a presumably weaker conference than the Big East. Any inter-conference wins the Big East has really ought to strengthen the hypothesis that the Big East is indeed a really strong conference. As such, a 9-9 record will look even better.
Or do you think this is all just bull? :)
I think a win at UCLA would still look pretty nice to the tournament selection committee.
Split the last two, and that's okay, but two wins in the BET would look better because that would make the last 10 be 5-5 (assuming a win at UCLA). Make it to the BE Championship game, and that'd almost be a lock.
Got to take care of business in the last four conference games, though.
Obviously UCLA would be a huge feather in our cap, but we're not getting into the tournament with a sub-.500 conference record and 9-9 is probably good enough barring a bad first round BET exit.
Villanova made it in with a 9-9 conference record last year, but most major conference bubble teams need to have winning records in the league for a shot ('07 Arkansas and '05 Iowa/NC State being notable exceptions. Of course, all three also won two or three games in their conference tournaments and had significantly better RPIs).
As far as it comes to just getting in the Tournament, beating UCLA would be a quality win to boost us over other 9-9 Big East teams. However, going 8-10 in the league would be pretty damning regardless of the outcome Saturday.
Of course, that's not to play down Saturday's game. It would be a very nice win indeed, but would not offset losing a needed conference game from here on in.
I think that beating UCLA will be a huge win, confidence wise and with the selection committee. However I dont think the committee would penalize us if we lose. They will probably give us bonus points for even scheduling a game like this during the conference season.
That's a good point, it's as close as it gets to a freebie for the Irish. Huge reward for winning, only a slight punishment for a loss.
If nothing else, winning on Saturday would snap us out of this funk and put a good mojo in the team for the Louisville game (which is as must-win as they get).
ACC schools have, in the past, made it in with sub-.500 records when the league was "on".
The strength of the league could play into ND's favor, but that would hinge upon the UCLA outcome.
That being said, a first-round defeat in the BET puts us firmly on the Doomtrain to the NIT.
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